It’s been 5 months since we began the GAPS Diet. I still can’t decide if that is – no, wait. Yes, it does feel like a long time. It feels like an eternity! But be that as it may, it’s time for a little GAPS update.
We made it!
Well, we made it to the Full GAPS diet, after around 4 months on intro. For some people this is not a long time to spend on the intro phase, but it was way longer than I had expected. I was feeling like we had kind of rushed into Full GAPS, and I started stressing. We were pressing into Full – because we were preparing to go on a 10-day out-of-state trip and wanted to have as many options available to us as we could for traveling.
The trip went amazingly. God heard our prayers and He went above and beyond what we expected – which is just like Him!!! The trip was a relative breeze; it even went smoother than pre-GAPS trips. I’ll write more about it in an upcoming post, but I’m so happy to say it went well and it is possible to travel on the GAPS diet!
Stress Hurts, and Perspective Heals
GAPS moms do tend to stress a lot. It’s a big load to tow. We tend to carry it all on our shouldersÂ and be so unforgiving to ourselves. I had been stressing about rushing through Intro. I felt like I had messed up so many times. (I had.) But I got to sit down for a few hours with the wonderfully amazing Andrea from It Takes Time and Moms AWARE (who incidentally lives right up the road from me! Score!) who gave me such a hopeful, peaceful perspective.
Through her wisdom (she’s been there – they were on Intro for TWO YEARS and she has NINE CHILDREN – I wasn’t kidding about the amazing part) she got me to realize I was focusing too much on healing. Sounds funny to a GAPS mom, but it was true. Stress was hurting me and our family. She made me realize my mistakes weren’t the end of the world. It just goes the way it goes. She helped me to see our situation from the outside – that if another friend came up to me with the same story, I would be telling her she was doing a great job.
Wow. She had no idea how much I needed to hear that. Because of that conversation, I have since relaxed so much about our GAPS lifestyle. It’s not a do-or-die, everyday-needs-results way of living anymore. It has taken the pressure off of me and allowed me to leave the healing in God’s hands, where it ultimately was the whole time. I had made GAPS my new god for a while, I’m sorry to say.
God is just so gracious and gentle. He could have really given me a proverbial spanking for doing this; instead, He sent me to a warm Christian friend for the encouragement I so desperately needed.
It makes me tear up just thinking about it. We are, many times, way too hard on ourselves. What a good Father we have!!!
So it was so nice to visit with someone who had been there and lived to tell about it. And I got a free kombucha SCOBY out of it too. Rock on!!
The Good News
I thought it would be helpful to list all the changes our family has seen since beginning the GAPS diet.
- When we began, all four of our children had reacted to eggs via my breast milk, so we never fed them eggs. Now, my three youngest can have any style of eggs, and they love them! My oldest son can tolerate the yolks, which is a miracle in itself as he was the one to react the worst. And yolks are where all the nutrition is. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am about this.
- Due to the increased and in some cases total egg tolerance, my life is a lot less stressful.
- All four of my children can eat ghee, which is basically clarified/strained butter. Full of vitamins and healthy fat, I am delighted to be able to add it to each meal.
- Three of my four children can tolerate butter – but since ghee is so similar to butter, we stick with the ghee. Hopefully soon my oldest will be able to have butter as well.
- My second son’s eczema is about 90% gone. I honestly have no idea what I did (if anything) or how this happened. All I know is that we moved to Full GAPS and I was not able to keep up with the daily juicing. It is so much to handle, something had to give for a while. I hope to reintroduce it slowly again. I mention juicing because I always thought that the juicing exacerbated the eczema. But now life is so much more bearable for my little guy. My husband wisely mentioned one time that food allergies areÂ bad, yes, but you can avoid the trigger foods and feel fine. But eczema is constant and almost unbearable. Our son is so much happier these days. He still scratches a tiny bit, but the weeping and bleeding days are gone and I pray they stay gone.
- I had started feeling exhausted and was a real pill to be around. So I started giving my adrenals some love and taking some supplements and I feel so much better. I started taking Rhodiola Rosea twice a day, but it took several weeks before I felt any change. I also started taking 500 milligrams of trimethylglycine (TMG) which is something our bodies don’t make as much of as they need to nowadays. And probably the biggest difference was made by taking 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of sea salt in a tall glass of water first thing each morning. I feel so much better these days! My dear friend Kelly from Primally Inspired also suggested taking SR Adrenal from Pure Prescriptions and although I haven’t bought any yet, I plan to soon when I run out of rhodiola rosea.
- When you move to Full GAPS, you are allowed to have kombucha. This makes my day every day. Yay for kombucha! I make a ton of it at a time and soon I’ll post my method for making large batches.
- I’ve been making 24 hour goat milk yogurt for several weeks now. (Tutorial also coming soon!) This stuff is amazing, and don’t even think it tastes bad. At all. Raw, unpasteurized, homemade goat’s milk yogurt has a wonderful taste and none of that gamey flavor you get from store bought. It’s a-ma-zing. My favorite treat. I love straining the whey out and eating it like cream cheese. Mmmmm! I have tested it on my children, and I don’t think they are ready for it yet, but soon. 🙂
- I have had scaly, dry skin on my lower legs for as long as I can remember. I mean, for decades people. It was like an alligator and I even got teased about it when I was younger! Yes, I did say ‘WAS’ – because it’s almost gone. Homemade yogurt is such a healing food and it is very simple to make. I think this is been the contributor to the improvement. Yay for smooth legs!
- My two youngest children have really put on some adorable weight since beginning. I LOVE THIS!!! I have always had fat babies but skinny toddlers. But my 1- and 3-year old have a healthy new layer to them and I am so proud. I think my older two have gained some, but it’s just not as noticeable. We all lost weight when we began, which is typical when you take out grains, and are now filled in nicely.
- I feel funny about mentioning this, because this is in no way a guilt trip. But I want to be honest. For the first time in my life, everything I eat is healthy. It just kind of hit me several days ago. There is no unhealthy food on this diet, unless you cheat. For the first time ever, everything I feed my children is healthy. I used to feel so guilty feeding my children unhealthy foods when their bodies were in need of healing, but I did it because of our limited diet. It is so nice to have dropped that guilt from my life. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t expect mothers to drop everything and start making all food from scratch. It has been such a difficult decision and journey, the GAPS diet, but now that things are getting streamlined, it’s easier to feed them everything healthy. And it feels good.
- My kids have been sick only once since starting the diet. That is amazing. We used to get colds on top of colds, alternating weeks of fevers and coughs.
All in all, things were so bleak and dark for several months, but we are coming out of it and feeling better than ever. I’m very happy with the way we eat these days. Yes, sometimes I want to be off the diet, but I do NOT want to go back to feeling bad and tired all the time. It’s just not worth it.
I want to fully disclose something – a part of my relaxing about healing has been that we now have a few restaurants in town where we can find GAPS-friendly choices. These are NOT GAPS-legal, due to not being homemade, and I don’t want to give people the idea that this is approved by the diet – it’s just something we do to keep sane. We eat out about once a month, so it is not a big deal and we have had no ill effects. Some people on GAPS can’t handle eating out or don’t want to risk losing healing time, and I completely understand. I don’t recommend it, I just feel the need to be thorough in my update. 🙂
Well, I guess that’s all. Are you on the GAPS diet? How is your journey going? I would love to hear how you are faring! <3