Has it been a week already?
I can’t tell if it feels like it’s been a few days or a few months. But it is time for an update, so here we go.
We ended week two in the beginnings of Stage 4 of the Intro diet. We were able to have simmered meats and vegetables and were able to successfully introduce ghee. Three of our four children were taking egg yolk and also the whites perfectly. My oldest son began reacting to egg yolk after two days of no reactions. But he was able to eat everything else we had introduced, which was a relief.
This week we introduced quite a few new foods.
I baked an almond bread from almonds that I had soaked overnight and dehydrated (called crispy almonds), eggs, coconut oil, and honey. So this was going to be introducing almonds to our children, as well as eggs that are baked into a bread.
So far, surprisingly, everyone has been able to eat this without a problem. Even my oldest son!
I tested the bread on his wrist (the sensitivity test) and nothing happened. Then we moved forward and gave everyone a bite sized piece of almond bread and watched, and waited.
We skipped a day, because we were going to be out and about that day, but the next day I doled out larger pieces. I tested my oldest son again with the sensitivity test, because of what had happened with the eggs before. No reaction on his skin, so we cautiously gave him another piece.
No reaction in any of the children.
I am hopeful – but I still feel a little burned from last week. I intend to give my oldest the skin test again before feeding him more almond bread. Here’s hoping he can take it well. It might seem strange that he would react to egg yolk but not baked whole eggs, but I’m guessing they are just recognized as two different foods by his body.
Now, when I say there was no reaction, I really mean there was no immediate reaction such as swelling or sneezing or diarrhea or any of the other reactions we’ve had in the past. We’re still watching out for later reactions like rashes or whatnot. But so far, so good.
I am so very thankful – but I honestly don’t know what to think! Will I ever feel like we are in the clear? You’ll know by next week’s update whether or not they started reacting.
I added freshly juiced carrots to our morning routine and increased our probiotic intake. This healing food produced a little more die-off: headaches, fatigue, and breakouts in myself, and fussiness in the little ones and worsened eczema in my second son. Eventually I added a little beet. The eczema is still there, and I’m going to start giving him less juice and see if that helps anything. The die-off is good, but we don’t want to rush it.
It also could be the addition of almonds that is causing the eczema. We’ll cut some things out this week and experiment. He’s not complaining though, and I’m thankful it doesn’t seem to really bother him. But yes, we do want it gone.
Here’s what I learned this week:
GAPS is so very hard.
But I guess I already knew that. These little ones have voracious appetites! I feel like they are going to eat me out of house and home! We go through pounds and pounds of meat a day, and veggies. We eat sooo much and yet still feel hungry. It’s the strangest feeling, and not unique to the GAPS diet. It’s so weird to sit there stuffed to the gills and still want food.
GAPS can be so very confusing.
What stage are we on? When do we move to the next? Should we introduce this or wait until they’re tolerating this or what? I read that some people stay on some stages for up to a year, and then I read not to stay on any one stage longer than a week. Huh?! I find myself rubbing my temples and closing my eyes and trying to make sense of it all – more times a day than I can count.
I have no clue. I just have no clue.
I want to quit. Every day.
I know that I want to quit. I want to be done. I am burned out.
But why, you say? You’ve seen such progress in just a few weeks?
I know . . . I know. But I can’t convey how hard this diet is, especially with four very different little ones and their unique systems. I wake up and cook, do dishes, eat, go start cooking the next meal, do dishes, eat, cook, dishes, eat, and I am doing all this in the wake of a brain fog caused by toxic pathogens dying in my body. It’s HARD, folks. (My husband is a HUGE help, I really can’t stress that enough.)
Maybe if it were just me doing the diet, it would be simpler. I could just kind of eat soup all the time and only have to watch myself. But when there are many of us, I’m juggling everyone’s different bodies and trying to keep everyone on the same stage at the same time. It wears me out. But I know God’s got my back.
Writing is my solace – it’s been so therapeutic to be able to write at the end of the day most days.
So, at this point in the diet, we’ve come too far in intro to be able to quit. I literally can not quit this intro diet without there being health repercussions. We have to continue healing, finish intro and move into Full GAPS. But just know that every day I tell my husband I want to give up. Every day.
And then I see my children eating healthy, nourishing food, packing it away with no complaints, and I marvel. They’re guzzling bone broth and butternut squash soup and mashed cauliflower. I watch these children eating almond bread with eggs, eating spoonful after spoonful of ghee, and I sit back, amazed. It really is worth it. Going into Full GAPS will be so much easier than this.
If you’re reading this and you are considering trying GAPS. . . well, I’m not sure what to tell you right now. I do not want to be dramatic but I need to let you know this diet is hard. It’s confusing. It’s isolating. It’s time-consuming. It’s just plain consuming. I read many different blog posts before the decision to try it and some said the diet was easy, and some said it was the most difficult thing they’ve ever done . . . I’m going to have to side with the difficult one.
Sigh. Pressing on.
Read on for week 4 on the GAPS Intro Diet.
12 thoughts on “GAPS Intro Diet Week 3”
Thank you for sharing your honest feelings, Danielle. My son and I have been doing GAPS Intro, Stage 1 for close to week now, and, YES, it’s hard. I do a LOT of dishes, too! I keep telling my son and myself we’re just working to “heal and seal” our guts, as Dr. McBride stresses is the goal of GAPS. I have already cooked my third whole chicken and made three 8-quart stock pots full of chicken and veggie soup. We are eating it for every meal, and I am sending my son cooked carrots with ghee for his school snack. I have the GAPS book and have read a good bit of it, but not cover-to-cover yet. I have been relying on this list from “Well Fed Homestead” http://www.wellfedhomestead.com/what-can-you-eat-on-the-gaps-intro-diet to know what we can eat, and we have added simmered hamburger and onions to our meal a few nights for supper, so I sure HOPE that list is right/it was okay to do! I, too, have been struggling with hunger, although my son has not complained. I have been adding coconut oil to my soup to and just eating some plain between meals to help with hunger. I send your “Coco Honey Fat Bombs” with my son to school for his dessert at lunch, and he loves to tell his classmates he’s eating “fat bombs.” 😉 He and I love them! We’re going to be making the ginger gummies as soon as our molds and gelatin arrive. So, thank you so much for providing us recipes for a couple of treats to make this more enjoyable!
I am also confused about the length of time to stay on each stage of Intro. I had been hoping to do Stage 1 for a couple of weeks, but someone I know who used it for her auto immune disease recommended 6-8 weeks on Stage 1 and then taking another 1-2 weeks for each subsequent stage of Intro. But, in the book, Dr. McBride leaves it really wide open to individual’s needs. Our problem is, we don’t have diarrhea issues so we can’t gauge it by when that goes away. We are just focused on healing our digestive tracts to help with my son’s eczema, food sensitivities (not allergies), and autism. I have a few nut allergies that I’d love to get resolved, but I am doing it primarily for solidarity with my little boy and to improve my digestive system and fight back bacterial dysbiosis. Anyway, I’m praying we’ll know when to move on and add eggs. I don’t want to make it excessively difficult if we can move on more quickly, but I’m conservative by nature and don’t want to go to all this trouble and expense and then rush Intro. and then ultimately not get the foundational healing we need.
Like you, Confused but Determined,
Thank you so much for sharing your experience too Jennifer. I love when readers share their experiences, I think it helps other readers. I got tickled when I read about your son bringing the fat bombs for snack! Super cool!! It sounds like you are doing great. I think the hamburger and onion sounds great! It’s one of my kids’ favorites too.
And thanks for the link, that is so helpful!
I wish I had not gotten in a rush to eat more foods and we would have stayed longer on the earlier stages. I think I need more healing than my children in some cases! They seem to be going at a faster rate than I am. But I don’t want to have to revisit Intro because we rushed through. Sigh! I hope things start to make more sense!
Best of luck to you. Hope you have a great second week on intro! <3 Dandy
Just catching up on your GAPS journey. Stay strong! This sounds so challenging, but at the same time you have accomplished more with your family’s dietary restrictions than most people do in their whole lifetime.
I have been meaning to write and ask you a couple questions, mainly about die-off. You wrote a few things in this post, but what exactly do you experience with die-off? I introduced bone broth into our diets about 3 months ago or so and within the past 3 weeks or so I have been getting headaches and heartburn, both of which I never get typically. Also, my 9 month old son has a lot of eczema all of a sudden. We are all on probiotics and my 9 month old mostly just has breastmilk, fruits, vegetables and bone broth.
I was thinking maybe his eczema and my symptoms are related since he is breastfeeding and maybe my body is experiencing some sort of die-off. It is freezing cold here in the Northeast and the air is dry, but it seems like too much eczema too quickly to be all weather related. I’m stumped as to what it is.
Last question. This is probably not what you want to talk about right now on your diet, so just disregard this message if you are starving and can’t handle a response. : ) Your pre-GAPS diet sounded a lot like how I cook. I do my best to make home-cooked meals and snacks with real ingredients, but also live a real life with 3 small kids and no extra time. I would really like to start replacing some of the bread we buy at the store with homemade sourdough bread. When you did eat grains did you make your own bread? Most of the sourdough recipes I read either seem unrealistic for me at this stage of my life, or require kitchen tools that I can’t afford to buy right now. Any thoughts?
Sending prayers to your family as you continue on your GAPS journey!
Hi Meg, thanks for the encouragement! I just want them able to eat everything, I want it so badly.
Die off is something I’m still trying to decode. I am by no means an expert! I’ve not heard much about bone broth causing die off reactions. I have heard it causing histamine problems, but I am not familiar with that either. Although our sons’ eczema did get much worse in the winter, it was always gut-related. I feel for you – I know exactly what it is like when your baby is suffering with eczema. Do you ferment? I am sure a few drops of kraut juice would help his little tummy. Sauerkraut fermented for about 6 weeks has always been the best for us, but you can go as short as a week if you need to. I think if you were experiencing die-off, you’d have headaches and general malaise and crabbiness. I’m sure you know that the heartburn does have something to do with the gut being out of sync though. Let me know if you figure it out. It’s so, so very hard to decode.
Thanks for the info! I looked up histamine and that sounds like it could be it. Thank you for the suggestion! Bone broth, ferments, and several other things I eat regularly are high in histamines. And symptoms include headaches and heartburn. It said histamine intolerance is cumulative, so it is like a glass of water that fills up (high level of histamines in diet), but you won’t experience symptoms until it overflows. Which makes sense because it didn’t start right away with the bone broth. I read it is probably related to certain gut bacteria that breaks food down into histamines in your gut, causing high levels. However, it didn’t make sense how that could happen seemingly overnight when I never had an issue before. Then I read how a histamine intolerance can be caused by hormones levels due to breastfeeding and other hormone changes (menopause, birth control pills etc). This would make sense! I’ll have to read more about it. I guess until I stop nursing I will just cut down on bone broth. I haven’t started fermenting myself yet, but we eat Bubbie’s pickles and sauerkraut. Maybe I will start giving him a few drops of the juice. He may have just been reacting to what was going on with me, so cutting down on broth will help him. After I suspected the broth I pretty much entirely cut it out, except for a bit here and there to see if I had the reaction again, and his eczema is pretty much all gone except for one small spot! I have also been putting tallow balm on him frequently and his skin is so much better (it was really dry).
Yes, when it involves your little ones it makes you want to exhaust every avenue to get to the bottom of it as quickly as possible. I reached out to a few bloggers I follow that highly recommend bone broth and haven’t heard anything back. So I really appreciate you responding. Take care!
I’m so glad you found some information!! Woohoo! So happy to help, albeit in a roundabout way. I know the GAPS diet calls for meat broth and not really bone broth. Did you read anything about meat broth causing histamine problems? Maybe a switch to meat broth? Just a thought. Hope you and your little one feel better SOON!! <3
Thanks so much Dandy! I looked into the differences and sounds like meat broth is definitely the way I should go. I also read that glutamates (what is in MSG) increase as you increase the cooking time and temperature of the broth. So this is probably what I am reacting to now that I read about it. I’ll probably give my body a break and then try the meat broth. They say some people have to build up very slowly with it. Thanks again for taking the time to help me out. I know you don’t have much spare time with all you have on your plate so I appreciate it!
That’s great information about the broth Meg! Thanks for commenting. I’m happy to help in whatever way I can. Sometimes it might take me a while, but I eventually get there! 😉
We’re in the same boat here; four weeks on intro, myself working to get on intro 2 and my son still on intro one; trying to heal eczema in him and heal my gut and allergies/digestive issues so our future children won’t have these problems. I’m between a rock in a hard place in trying to clean up my milk as my son is still nursing but trying not to detox too much. I feel I’ve given up everything; nuts, dairy, eggs, grains, legumes, and even GAPS intro foods such as chicken to see if we can find the eczema’s trigger point but as of yet; nothing. We started this just for my son’s eczema which we have not even seen improvement in yet in all this time. It’s hard, it’s disheartening. Like you, I’ve come too far to quit, though I wish to goodness I could. I still hold out and hope and pray my son is healed of eczema. Thank you for your honesty in what you are dealing with and going through; GAPS is not a walk in the park and it takes a very strong person to do it; kudos to you mama!
Maggie, prayers for you and your son. I can truly empathize. Thank you for your kind comments. You’re right, it is no walk in the park. Very well put! We’re dealing with eczema too…. I kind of think eczema is a liver issue as well. Have you ever looked into this? It’s just a thought but I plan on looking into it more. Sigh… GAPS is confusing. LOL. I guess I should say, our bodies are incredibly complex. I pray for you two to see immediate results. There’s always hope. <3
Thank you so much for this post, I’m on week 2 and Wanthe to quit so bad right now. I see so many posts on here about eczema I thought I would share my input. My 5 year old had severe eczema since she was a baby, I tried everything. Gaps helped her but it still didn’t go away, until I found a website about most eczema being causes by detergent. We have been detergent free and she is eczema free unless we stay with family or swimming. You would be surprised the products in your home that can contain detergent. Shampoo, toothpast, soap, laundry soap ( even dye free ones) and worst is dishwasher soap because you ingest it. Hope it helps some of you