Monday, June 17, 2013

Day One

This is my personal journey with the Gut and Psychology Syndrome diet. This diet, also known as the GAPS diet, was developed by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, to treat her son's Autism. You can check out her website here.

You can order a copy of her book here or on Amazon. I didn't find a copy at my local library, or through any of the discount book sellers, but if you decide you want to buy a copy, check all your favorite book shops.

The reason I started this diet, with my family, is kind of a long story. If you want to learn more about my personal adventure and how I got here, check out my other blog and our challenges over the last two years. Briefly, my youngest son was born in March 2011, and for reasons that were not immediately apparent, he cried, constantly, almost from birth. Eventually, he was diagnosed with reflux, swallowing difficulties, developmental delays, and ultimately "static encephalopathy" Cerebral Palsy. 

Because of the Cerebral Palsy, my son has low muscle tone and hemiparesis, or right-sided weakness. He also struggles with Sensory Processing Disorder, has had multiple upper respiratory infections (with fourteen different rounds of antibiotics - before he was two!), pneumonia twice (once requiring hospitalization), had a significant speech delay (both receptive and expressive), and major issues with separation anxiety. His big sister, though a much easier baby, also struggles with anxiety (she has a diagnosed anxiety disorder), a speech delay (initially it was an expressive delay, but she also had major issues with intelligibility), and Sensory Processing Disorder. 

 Of our eight children, five of them are struggling with some sort of "psychological" issue, including dyslexia and Autism, in addition to the diagnoses above. Not only was life overwhelming, but we were desperate for answers and help.

After reading about the dramatic improvement parents were seeing with the Gluten-free/Casein-free diets, we were gearing up for that when someone mentioned Dr. Campbell-McBride's book. I devoured it, quickly. But, the GAPS diet is pretty intense (you can look over the outline here, here, and here). It took a few months to get ready to actually take that step. This page has been very helpful.

Today, we took the plunge. Last week, we bought several pounds of all natural beef bones from a local butcher; I dropped several into a crock pot yesterday, to begin the process of cooking. I also bought a whole chicken, and will be picking up some fish carcasses from our local public market when it opens on Thursday. I bought some commercial yogurt, for the cultures, so I could make my own at home, with raw milk, for probiotics, and put teaspoons of sauerkraut juice in our bowls of soup tonight. A friend (who started the GAPS diet over a year ago) gave me kefir grains, so making some fresh kefir is on the list of things to do, too.

My kids do not like this diet, to put it mildly. Our four year old (mentioned above) was screaming "I want C.A.N.D.Y.!!" very loudly earlier, and sobbed over eating the bone broth. My two year old, who is still nursing because of his swallowing issues, has been much "hungrier" for Mama today. Honestly, it was a bit of a challenge to drink the bone broth for breakfast this morning. And I won't lie; this isn't something I'd choose just for fun.

But, it has been, surprisingly, very filling. The little ones enjoyed their well-cooked bones (with lots of healing connective tissue) at dinner, and no one is struggling (too badly) with withdrawls, yet. I have a feeling that is coming. But, we have boxed up almost everything that will be a temptation, so we should make it through. I'll let you know how I'm feeling tomorrow.

We are NOT doing this diet to lose weight, though a few of us can definitely stand to lose a few pounds. The reasons for embarking on this for the health and well-being of our children, and our sanity. If you don't know anything about the GAPS diet, definitely check out the links above; do your own research. And, if you are thinking about embarking on your own journey but aren't quite sure you can do it on your own, contact me. I'd love to share the journey with you!! I have certainly appreciated the people who have shared mine with me.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your journey! We just started the GAPS diet and I'm devouring every bit of info I can glean from other moms who have been there done that!!