Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Time to Revisit GAPS. No, Really!

You know how I was so excited for my gluten-free oats to come?  Well, guess what?  Stomach pain.  It's not terrible, but enough that I know it's irritated.  I've thought about writing posts a few times this past few weeks after different foods cause me stomach pain.  The oats- dark chocolate- soy sauce (DUH- I forgot it has WHEAT in it!)- and more that I can't think of right now.

I'm glad that I can tell when food is affecting me.  My stomach is saying "enough is enough", and I really need to soothe it and let it heal.  I went back and looked at the foods that are acceptable on GAPS.  I've been on a more restricted diet long enough that it doesn't seem that overwhelming to me.   Here is a description of the foods allowed (taken from the GAPS diet website):

The best foods are eggs (if tolerated), fresh meats (not preserved), fish, shellfish, fresh vegetables and fruit, nuts and seeds, garlic and olive oil.  Apart from eating vegetables cooked, it is important to have some raw vegetables with meals, as they contain vital enzymes to assist digestion of the meats.  Fruit should be eaten on their own, not with meals, as they have a very different digestion pattern and can make the work harder for the stomach.  Fruit should be given as a snack between meals.

It is very important to have plenty of natural fats in every meal from meats, butter, ghee, coconut (if tolerated) and cold pressed olive oil.  Animal fats on meats are particularly valuable.  Fermented foods (sauerkraut, yogurt, and kefir) are also a very important part of this diet in addition to homemade meat or fish stock.  It is recommended to take a cup of warm meat or fish stock with every meal as a drink as well as soups and stews made with the meat or fish stock.  The stock, kefir and fermented vegetables will over time restore the stomach acid production, which will improve digestion.

It is best to avoid processed foods (any packet or tinned foods).  They are stripped from most nutrients that were present in the fresh ingredients used for making these foods.  They are a hard work for the digestive system and they damage the healthy gut flora balance.  On top of that they usually contain a lot of artificial chemicals, detrimental to health, like preservatives, colorants, etc.  Try to buy foods in the form that nature made them, as fresh as possible.

Notice there are NO grains listed?  Yeah, NO grains.  The last time I did it I did allow myself Buckwheat, Quinoa, and brown rice.  Nope. Not this time.  I'm planning (HOPING) to follow this strictly.  I just really hope that it won't mess up my running schedule.  I found a new running group that I'm running with on Mon/Wed/Fri, and I LOVE it.  LOVE LOVE LOVE it.  I can't even tell you.  I've been wanting to find an early A.M. running group for so long, and they're about my pace.  We do 4-5 miles each time, which is perfect.  I hope that when I get rid of all grains it doesn't mess up my energy.  I started to do the Intro to GAPS diet back in October, but gave up after a few weeks.  I got really nervous because I was losing a lot of hair.  I went to a GAPS meeting last night at a local health food store called Real Foods.  A lady named Melissa Washburn presented info about GAPS.  She and her family have being doing GAPS for 2 years!  It was great to light the fire under me again, and get me excited to try it again.  I'm still debating on doing the GAP Intro, or just starting off with the regular GAPS that is more lenient.  I think with the stomach pain when eating and the food sensitivities that I need the Intro.

Now the biggest question for myself:  Am I ready to tackle this with my family?  I  think it would benefit all of us.  I'm going to research a bit more & see if I can find others with large families and/or older kids, and see how they approached it.  It would my life easier in that I wouldn't be preparing 2 separate meals.  On the down side I'd have to win the battle with my kids, and try and help the see why it is so important.  Hmmmm.  A lot to think about.  I'm for sure going to start it for myself the first week of February.  I think Jimmy will want to do it with me, even if I don't tackle it with the kids.

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