I wrote this post in August 2013, but I believe the information is still relevant and REAL. We did an awful job coming off of GAPS. Please do it differently for your body!
This is Farm Princess & me at Red Robin on her 5th Birthday, last week. Did you know they don’t have the bird anymore? Or balloons? How disappointing, on a girl’s 5th Birthday! 😉
I heart GAPS, but I’m human and I fall short of perfection. Keep that in mind as you read this post. 😉
Since April, when we went to Disneyland, we have come off of GAPS way too quickly & have slacked in areas we shouldn’t have.
On Mother’s Day, The Farmer bought me a box of truffles from Ladybug Chocolates. I love their chocolates. But they contain sugar–and other things, I’m sure.
We went camping and instead of trying to make a gooey honey-sweetened chocolate for my GAPS legal s’mores, or relying on unsweetened chocolate, I bought Hershey Bars. Yes. Soy-Lecithin containing, sugar containing Hershey Bars.
We went to a Nancy Thomas camp in June (which we LOVED! If you have a RAD kid, GO TO ONE!!!). Volunteers at the camp offer the parents candy and stickers for their name tag & tell them that they’re an awesome mom or dad multiple times per day. The first time we went to a camp like this, we said “no thank you” on the candy and just took the stickers. That was a weekend. A full week of camp is stressful and exhausting and emotionally draining and sometimes a little chocolate helps. So, at the week-long camp, when they offered us candy, we ate it.
On 4th of July I chatted with my friend Pam while eating Trader Joes Olive Oil Potato Chips and loved them. And I bought a few more bags after that…
On Farm Princess’ Birthday we went to Red Robin (we did eat gluten free, but still, not GAPS).Â Later that day, we got some cupcakes from the Crave Bakeshop in Lake Oswego (gluten free, but sugar filled).
We went to Chipotle the other day and for the first time ever, ordered the kids’ meals for our kids–with corn tortillas and chips. They usually get salad. We had corn tortillas too.
And worse than that? Our kids had worked in the garden so hard with me that day, I wanted to reward them. There’s a Ben & Jerry’s right by the Chipotle we went to. Yes. Terrible parents! We rewarded them with tummy aches! 😉
We have mostly been eating healthy at home, but these unhealthy foods have created some issues for our family:
Farm Boy 1 is not gaining weight, off of GAPS. He gained 3 lbs from January to April. Since April (when we went off GAPS), he hasn’t gained anything & some days he is down a pound or 2. He feels “full” when he hasn’t eaten nearly as much as he did on GAPS. Sometimes he gets itchy all over. He’s uncontrollably hyper these days. His learning disabilities are worse than before.
Farm Boy 2 suddenly has had to use an asthma inhaler again. It has been years since he needed one!
Farm Boy 3 is severely constipated and extremely moody again. We’re talking scary rages, people. (He has RAD, which I’ve mentioned before). He’s had some nightmares & woke up screaming (this is not typical for him). He’s getting traditional neurofeedback done to help his brain. His brain needs a lot of help (it typically takes a year or so to do neurofeedback and heal the brain–it will take 2 years for his brain). The gut and the brain are so connected, neurofeedback cannot do its job well if the gut is messed up. And I’m thoroughly convinced that his is! His muscles have been getting stiff and his fingers stick together. He caught a cold/sore throat/fever that has lasted about a week now and just will not go away. His immune system isn’t working properly.
Farm Princess has had asthma, eczema & extreme bloody noses come back. We did not miss these things!!
I have been dealing with: muscle stiffness and muscle cramps again (especially with potatoes that have been re-heated–more on that one later!!), a little more weight gain & more fat in the mid-section (ugh), just feeling “blah,” headaches, tummy aches, less energy, some digestive loveliness (not!) and needing more sleep than I ever needed on GAPS (hello naps!). Some of my teeth hurt. I had zero toothache issues on GAPS. Before GAPS, I was needing to have a surgery done, to remove a screw (from a jaw surgery I had when I was 18) that is facing the wrong direction & poking into my gums. When I ate sugar, the gums were extremely irritated and it was painful (it is behind a back, bottom tooth). I was dreading that surgery–they would have to go through my face to get to the screw. Surgery in the face is extremely difficult to recover from. It is not fun AT ALL. Anyways, while on GAPS, the screw didn’t bother me one bit!!! YAY! But when we have eaten sugar again, guess what? All of the sudden it hurts again. Ugh. I do not want that surgery!
Please note, as far as “Coming off of the GAPS diet,” I have not set a good example for all of you.
Dr. Natasha says, as you introduce new potatoes, buckwheat, millet and quinoa,
“Do not rush with the introduction of these new foods, it make take several months to do it properly.”
And, in all CAPS in the book, she says something that I think we all need to remember:
“YOUR PATIENT WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO GO BACK TO THE TYPICAL MODERN DIET FULL OF SUGAR, ARTIFICIAL AND PROCESSED INGREDIENTS AND OTHER HARMFUL “FOODS”.
In other words, introducing some grains and starchy veggies is one thing–introducing Hershey Bars and Ben & Jerry’s is quite another thing (and not appropriate for a GAPS patient).
So why do I think that we need the Intro?
1. Because we never really did it. Not correctly, anyways. When we first started GAPS, we started with cooked meats and veggies, and way too quickly we added in cooked apples and raw bananas and cheese. We didn’t drink broth. We didn’t cook with animal fat. We didn’t introduce ghee, we just used butter, from the start. We didn’t eat sauerkraut. It was my own made-up-version of GAPS (ha!), not the true GAPS! 🙂 (In my defense, we started before I owned the book–which was probably dumb–but well, here we are). And last October, we sort-of, kind-of gave the Intro a try, but again, we didn’t do it right. I thought I knew what to do and didn’t really read the details (and there are a lot of details to understand!). We did it way too fast and I didn’t know what I was doing. I had no clue, until this week, that you can’t have roasted meats on the Intro. See? I’m learning, too. I want to do this thing right.
2. Because I think doing the Intro is critical for healing the gut completely. Full GAPS is healing, but to seal up the gut, the Intro is necessary, not optional, in my opinion.
3. Because I recently read Nichole’s blog about her daughter, Ellie, and FPIES (Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome), and I saw many similarities to what she’s facing and what we faced with Farm Boy 1 when he was younger. I think Ellie is a lot more severe than Farm Boy 1 ever was, but still–I think the gut issues are similar. If you read about FPIES, they say that kids outgrow the vomiting at about 3 years old. Farm Boy 1 was older than that, though I think his feeding tube and the corn & soy based high calorie formulas may have induced a lot of his vomiting.
I honestly wonder how Farm Boy 1 would be doing if we hadn’t started GAPS 2+ years ago. He doesn’t vomit up his food anymore. He can tolerate fats without puking. He likes foods he never used to like. Once upon a time, he only ate chicken nuggets–and only the crispy edges. Now he eats a bowl of pureed zucchini soup (soup made him gag before!!!) and says “are there seconds? That was good!” This is not a coincidence–it’s not just because he got older and his taste buds matured. Nope! We started GAPS, took away the junk, added nutrient-dense foods, and his taste buds changed. And his eating issues went away. Yay! Can you imagine what life might be like for him, at 10 years old, if he still only ate the crispy edges of chicken nuggets, and threw up all the time, and didn’t gain weight? I believe, if it weren’t for GAPS, we’d still be there, or worse.
And I wonder how much more he might be healed if we did the Intro (correctly!).
4. I want Farm Boy 3 to have a healed gut, too. His brain needs that. Our family needs that.. Whew! I love my boy and pray for him every day, that God can heal him. He needs to get his gut, brain, moods and rages under control before he grows up and has a job, a wife, and a family…
Side note, I believe that ALL RAD kids need the GAPS Intro. I know that the life of a RAD mom is hard enough. Some days (or most!) you are just trying to survive. The idea of making homemade sauerkraut and bone broth and rendering lard is a little overwhelming. I get it! But I really believe it’s what these kids need, or their brains won’t heal. This diet works for people with Schizophrenia–I believe it can work for RAD kids, too. (Sometimes they seem a little Schizophrenic, don’t they? ;). It heals the gut and the brain, and that’s what RAD kids need!
5. Farm Boy 2 and Farm Princess need their guts sealed so that they don’t deal with asthma, etc.
6. I need my gut sealed. I thrive on GAPS! I have more energy, some friends have said I look *brighter,* like my skin is glowing on GAPS. I feel it, too! Now let’s see what the Intro can do for me! 🙂
So, I’ve got pork fat defrosting to make some lard.
I just harvested 2 heads of cabbage from our garden today that I’m going to ferment (Farm Boy 3 grew them! He’s an excellent gardener! His garden patch is the most weed-free area in our garden and his veggies are thriving!! He’s excited to ferment his cabbage with me!). 🙂
I did the yogurt sensitivity test on everyone last night. Everyone did fine except Farm Boy 3. Dairy may be an issue for him. We will try again after a few weeks on the Intro. (I seem to be allergic to bandaids, though!! I learned today that they contain corn–who knew? They make me itchy!)
We’ve got tons of broth in the freezer, and The Farmer has been processing more of our yummy, soy free, corn free chickens lately! We’ve got freezers full of meat and a garden with lots of veggies!
I’ve been reading over the GAPS book and writing down an Intro schedule for our family. I will share it when I’ve figured it out.
Anyone else want to do the Intro? Who wants to join us?