Today is the eighteenth day of our GAPS diet journey. And, considering that we took a cheat day yesterday, things haven't been too bad. I'm extra tired, probably from the sugar I consumed (gummy bears and some delicious Ben and Jerry's ice cream) as well as the detox resulting from the probiotics killing off the unhealthy bacteria that got a boost yesterday. Of course, the restlessness of my two youngest children contributed to my low energy as well. But, I digress. What, you may be asking, is a "cheat day?" Well, let me explain.
A "cheat day" is when you choose to cheat on the GAPS diet. It is definitely not recommended, because whatever cheating you do slows the process of healing your gut, prolongs the time you need to be on the diet, and can have some pretty painful consequences, depending on where you are in the healing process and what you choose to eat.
Because yesterday was the birthday of our country, we intended to celebrate with my family, at a local park with river access. We planned and prepared diligently, trying to make sure we had what we needed for the adventure, and realizing that time was of the essence, because we couldn't bring enough snacks to keep kids sustained for too long. Having done so well with the process, and having been at this effort for so short a time, we really didn't want to loose momentum. Until, that is, we arrived at the park and discovered the plethora of forbidden foods at every turn. My sister isn't on the diet. She wanted goodies. My niece isn't on the diet, and she also wanted goodies. My parents aren't on the diet, and they wanted goodies. Even being very discreet and as supportive as they are for our journey, it was almost impossible not to notice the potato chips, cookies, candy, and fresh fruit.
So, we decided to cheat. We gave the kids special permission to eat goodies, in moderation (a concept that is, I've discovered, completely incomprehensible to a six year old boy, lol. He ate like he was starving. Then again; he always eats like he's starving!) fully aware that we'd deal with consequences later. I just thought it would be several hours later, like eighteen, or twenty-four, not six or eight. Anxiety and tummy aches were the worst consequences, and the fatigue I mentioned earlier. All things considered, I'm very glad we made the decision we did. We will not, however, be cheating again any time soon. And other than ice cream, I don't really want to!
Actually, I'm surprised by how my tastes have changed in such a short amount of time. Instead of eating carelessly and with abandon yesterday, I ate a few bites of various things, but didn't long for any of it. And, instead of being put off by the smell of broth, I realized it smelled really good; my husband said the same thing; the broth smelled good. How different from just a few days ago.