Thursday, August 22, 2013

Plugging Away

We have passed the official two month mark on the GAPS diet. Storms have been weathered, lessons learned, mistakes made, and tears shed. But, I am very happy with our decision to begin this sometimes arduous, overwhelming, worthwhile journey. Though we haven't seen marked improvements in our youngest children, we have noticed definite improvement in two of our older children; the clearer-thinking, less-sensory-sensitive/defensive, better-able-to-cope kind of way. And, my migraines have been all but completely eliminated! That is definitely worth the investment.

And, I have learned to make MANY new things, like:
  • yogurt
  • nut flour
  • nut milk
  • coconut milk (way too easy - check out recipes here and here)
  • grain-free scones (that are amazing, I might add). 
  • jerky (from marked down buffalo - and it was yummy, too.)
  • fruit leather
  • "crispy nuts"
  • mayonnaise
  • pancakes from squash (who knew - you will hardly notice the difference)
  • "cali-spuds" also known as creamed cauliflower or "fauxtatoes" like these
  • homemade marshmallows
And, though it is definitely an uphill climb, it hasn't fixed all the problems I hoped it would, it is expensive, difficult, and a heck of a lot of work, this diet/lifestyle change has tremendous benefits. If nothing else, I have more energy than I've had in years, and I haven't had a migraine in almost two months!! But even more than that, my sweet four year old, who has struggled more than anyone else with this lifestyle change (we have to feed her every couple of hours, or her anxiety and sensory issues are much worse), told me yesterday that she likes the diet. Before the diet, her tummy hurt all the time, but it doesn't hurt anymore since we started the diet. 

Unfortunately, GAPS isn't intended to address either anxiety or sensory issues. And, for us, it hasn't helped. Honestly, I was hoping it would; really hoping. Even so, it helping many issues that we didn't even know needed to be addressed. And, I'm starting to really have fun with the process. Never what one could consider a "domestic goddess" before, it is very fun to be able to make so many items for my family. It is fun to be learning more about nutrition and health, and to see the direct connection between what I eat and how I feel. 

In the next few days, I'm hoping to post photos of some of what we've made recently. And, I'll be sharing my adventure with making kvass, borscht, kefir (which I'm a little nervous about trying).

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Three Steps Forward...

We enjoyed fresh kiwi tonight, and it was so yummy. But, one of the girls didn't do well with it, at all. Shortly after savoring the rare treat, she began having terrible stomach pain. Dissolving into tears, it was obvious she was miserable.

Having taken out our microwave, I didn't have a great way to heat a rice bag. Fortunately, I discovered that a warm over does work, it just takes longer. Since we were baking macaroons and coconut shortbread in the other oven (I have the most amazing oven ever, a Frigidaire Flair with two ovens) I was able to make use of the heat in the smaller oven and get heat the rice bag.

I also used some doTERRA DigestZen layered with coconut oil, to see if that would help. Thankfully, it did! In a fairly short time, the tears stopped and my sweet daughter was feeling much better. 

Though I never want any of my children to suffer, it was definitely good to find out that kiwi is not on the approved list, at least for now, and that DigestZen helps in such difficult situations.

Other than the little hiccup with the kiwi, I think our GAPS journey is going quite well. We've basically adjusted to cooking this way, and I'm gaining confidence in shopping. With the completion of the Intro Diet, our choices have opened up significantly, making snacks and menu planning much easier. And, it seems, we picked a great time to begin our GAPS journey; many people have journeyed before us, so the resources online are amazing. I'll be posting a list of my favorite recipes pages in the next couple of days. Some of them get visited every day, even multiple times a day.

We still aren't seeing dramatic improvements in our youngest kids; their anxiety and sensory issues actually seem worse. But, other issues are definitely improving, like my migraines; I haven't had one in almost two months. We've also noticed a dramatic reduction in our daughter's migraines. The learning struggles that prompted us to begin this crazy, psychotic, therapeutic diet have improved dramatically. In many ways, we have a new kid. And, our youngest son, though still struggling with anxiety and sensory issues, has been making great strides forward with his expressive language; that is a blessing I didn't really expect.

Though I get tired, and this diet is a tremendous amount of work, the benefits are outweighing the challenges, which makes it easier to stay the course. Seven weeks down...ninety-seven left to go.