Friday, April 29, 2011


I'm cautiously optimistic...

I had a long talk with my mom yesterday, who is very supportive of GAPS. I explained to her the situation with Hannah being constantly hungry. And thus far, her suggestions seem to be working!

-I sat down with Hannah and talked with her about what it means to be full. We made a joke out of it, saying that when you're too full, you feel like saying, "Bleh..."

-We told the kids our set snack times, and also communicated that they were now allowed to eat as much as they wanted at meals, after they finished the small serving of each food we put on their plate. For us, snack is at 10:30am, 4:30pm, and bedtime (I will flex this if our meals end up early or late).

-This morning at breakfast, I served Hannah a plate of food, and then allowed her to serve herself seconds after she had finished her plate and her mug of broth.

-She ate more than 1/2 pound of meat, about 2 cups of veggies, a cup of broth, and sauerkraut. The child is 6, mind you. I ate about half that much.

-After I cleaned up breakfast, I made a double batch of sunflower seed crackers (that should last us 2-3 days) and we nibbled on a few of those for snacks.

-At lunch, Hannah ate very lightly, SAID SHE WAS FULL, and GOT UP FROM THE TABLE HAPPY!!!

I'm still in shock.

An hour later she asked for a snack before quiet time and I told her no, that she could have a snack after quiet time at 4:30 and she cried. I suspect that will resolve itself, but if not we can adjust. Regardless of that, the tension around here is so much less today that I'm thrilled.

This diet seems to have a way of bringing issues to a head and forcing you to deal with them. It's kind of painful in the process, but instead of just coping, you actually become healthier physically, emotionally and spiritually. I keep thinking today how grateful I am that we are doing it. If you're still on the fence about whether to do GAPS, just do it. It's hard, but you'll be so glad you did.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


I took the full dose of my anti fungals yesterday and was a little foggy, but still functional. Woke up feeling pretty stinkin' good this morning. There is light at the end of the tunnel!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mom, I'm hungry...

I've always thought of myself as having very few "issues" with food. I started eating for health as a 17 year old, and never struggled much with weight (either too much or too little), comfort eating, or other things many people talk about. But doing GAPS has uncovered one of them for me: I actually worry about enjoying food.

It's not that I don't enjoy the taste of things, but I rarely allow myself to get excited about food, or to really savor it. It's This philosophy has served me well for the most part. But I realize my perspective is not totally healthy when my kids get excited about a totally legal GAPS food, and it makes me uneasy. Why is that???

Before GAPS, many foods we truly enjoyed were not really working for us. They either had things in them that we were sensitive to (like eggs), or they were made with refined ingredients. But that's not the case now. And I still feel this way.

I also get totally overwhelmed with how MUCH food my kids (particularly Hannah) want to eat. My three girls finished off 20 oz of green peas at dinner the other night, in addition to 1/2 pound of ground beef EACH and some other things! Also, we will be eating a meal and they'll ask about what they get for snacks. We will just have gotten up from a meal and I'll be clearing the table and they'll come to me saying they're hungry. Honestly, I get really angry. I try not to, but I do. I don't want to refuse them food if they're truly hungry, but I don't understand, particularly after this long on GAPS, how they could really be that hungry still. Not to mention that I just want them to eat at meals, rather than play around during meals and insist on being fed later. We never allow them to fill up on snacks, so I don't understand why they continue to do that.

I really, at some point, want to do other things with my life besides living in the kitchen. I understand that our previous diet created some nutrient deficiencies that we're now making up for, All of us but Hannah have reached a saturation point by now, and mostly eat reasonable amounts, but she is still never (and I do mean never) satisfied. On the rare occasion she says she's full, it's because she doesn't want to eat what's on her plate and she'll be back asking for snacks in 10 minutes. She doesn't get them, and that results in tension between us, which causes stress to both of us...

This is one area that I really really hoped GAPS would fix. I still think it will, but I'm weary of waiting. Anybody have any thoughts?

Yeast, eczema and lettuce wraps

I am ONE dose of anti-fungals away from my theraputic dose. I'm hopeful that will mean an end to the obvious symptoms of die off this week. My intestines feel raw. Last night it actually hurt to sit down, because my insides felt so swollen and sore. I've been having a sharp pain in the middle of my right foot when I walk on it. I looked up the reflexology on it, and it's my solar plexus, which is connected directly to my digestion. Fascinating. The body really is amazing. I plan to start probiotics again this week, and continue the anti-fungals for at least another 4-5 weeks, probably more like 2 months.

Last week we ran out of broth for a couple of days prior to grocery shopping day. Audrey started scratching her legs up again, in spite of taking No Fenol! When we started her back on the broth, it quit again! It amazes me that broth could make that obvious of a difference. I suppose it would take a couple more tries to see if that's really what it was, but it sure seemed so. Weird.

I made Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps last night, a recipe from the Grain Free Meal Plans. Oh yum. The girls devoured them. It was our first try of raw lettuce, and so far so good. It felt really right to be eating raw, light, cool food. I love soups, and still crave them, but it's been nearly three months since we ate anything raw and it was great. The kids would have refused lettuce of any kind before we started the diet, and they happily ate it. I can hardly wait for summer salads with yogurt ranch dressing...yum...

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Chicken Zucchini "Spaghetti"

I created a very yummy dinner tonight! Let me know if you try it and like it. :)

4 medium zucchini, sliced into thin strips lengthwise on a mandolin (use the french fry attachment, and BE CAREFUL!)
2 pounds ground chicken
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 large onion, finely chopped
3-4 cups chicken broth
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp dill
Celtic Sea Salt

In a dutch oven, add half the broth and the chicken, turn to medium high heat and bring to a boil. Use a wooden spoon to break apart the chicken, cook until the chicken is mostly done. Add the garlic and onion, and turn down the heat to simmer for 10-15 minutes. Then, add the zucchini and remaining broth. Cover, bring back to a boil, and allow the zucchini to simmer until tender. Serve with a slotted spoon or with the broth in a bowl. Drizzle with yogurt and garnish with sauerkraut. I served steamed broccoli alongside this, and we topped it with ghee. Delicious!

Thursday, April 21, 2011


It was time to up my anti-fungal supplement dosage today. Thankfully, I don't feel as badly as I did when I started, but my stomach hurts, I have "floaters" in my vision (keep seeing things out of the corner of my eye. Creepy.), and I'm very itchy today. Oh, and the bottom of my left big toe is sore. I've had a crack in the skin there for literally years. I guess that must have been caused by the yeast, because it sure is sore to walk on now, but not red. The brain fog is mostly gone, thankfully.

I also felt really angry this morning, though there was nothing much to be angry about. That could have been some sort of reaction. I'll have to see if it continues, or if I just needed to talk through some stuff. I think there's a danger in this kind of diet, to pin every little urge on a food problem. Though it's all's all interconnected. You know? I think it's highly likely that something can bother us emotionally or even spiritually, and cause a food sensitivity, just like the reverse can happen. We cannot be completely healthy while only addressing food issues.

The pattern seems to be two days of this die off, and then I take a break for a day before increasing again. By that pattern, I have about 1 1/2 weeks till I'm at the full dosage, and my N.D. says I might be on it for 4 months, depending on the severity of the overgrowth. I'm supposed to go back for him to check on me in 4-6 more weeks.

I'm getting well, and for that I'm thankful. Bleh. Tired of feeling gross. But I'm getting well.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

When Nobody Does

To reference one of my favorite kids' books,

This is what happens

...when nobody does. :)


People from many drastically different walks of life say it is valuable to visualize what you want to see happen. The people who teach this are all so drastically different, that I'm convinced it is a law that God built into our world. We were given an imagination, and we can use it for our benefit. Sports people, New Age'rs, motivational speakers and charismatic Christians all teach that if you want something, you must first see it in your mind and heart.

Here's the question I've been asking myself: can I see myself well? Can I see myself eating *that* food, and not having symptoms? Can I see myself with lots of energy?

Sometimes it seems to me that reactions are almost as much about expectations as they are physical realities.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Nick: Doesn't think he's tolerating the yogurt well yet. That's the first thing that has bothered him. He continues to feel good, have lots of energy, etc.

Me: I'm continuing with the anti-fungal supplements. It will be at least another week or two before I will be able to take the full recommended dose. Every time I up the dose, I have about two days of terrible gas, fatigue, brain fog, and sometimes a headache if I'm not careful with the probiotic foods. Then the next day I feel better than I have in maybe years, until I up the dose again. The mix of feelings I have about larger doses are almost comical - I can hardly wait to get well so I really want to just take the full dose and go to bed for a few days, but reality ("Oh yeah, I have to take care of my children") keeps me adding one pill at a time.

I noticed a little yellowing of the skin on the palms of my hands. Hmm...too many carrots and winter squash, probably. In the past couple of days I have tried to lean toward green and white veggies instead, but we're about to intro juice again so... Anybody have any thoughts about this?

We added olive oil yesterday, and to my surprise, everyone but Nick had a little diarrhea. OLIVE OIL?! I, of course, added more than the "few drops" we're supposed to start with, so I don't think I'll consider this an intolerance. Tomorrow we will do the few drops and see how everyone does. Prior to GAPS I had been cooking with it in large amounts, so I'm fairly certain we will tolerate it well.

Hannah: She has the yellowish skin as well. I haven't noticed it with Audrey or Tess, but they have Nick's olive skin tone while Hannah's is like mine. I wonder if it just doesn't show up in darker skin? Hannah got rather yellow as a toddler, before we took her off gluten - to the point that people noticed it. Is this a liver thing?

She continues to complain of stomachaches, though it seems less the past few days. She has not been having regular accidents, for the first time ever. The only exception to that is if she has diarrhea. There must be a physical and/or developmental reason for that, since Audrey, who is 16 months younger, is able to get to the bathroom. I have stopped commenting on it if she has an accident, just quietly cleaning her up. She is expressing embarrassment about it to me, for the first time. I see that as a positive thing, because I think before when I was frustrated with her, she was being defensive about it. Live and learn. This parenting thing is not an exact science, thankfully.

Audrey: has been scratching a bit as I relax more on the salicylates. Tonight I tried giving her two No-Fenol with dinner, to see if that helps. Her arms are still clear, but her legs look a bit splotchy red and she has one small splotch on the right side of her mouth that flares after eating salicylate foods. I really see a difference in her since starting the diet. She seems...sturdier. Her face has some softness to it. She's definitely taller. Her eyes are bright. She's more willing to try new things and be outgoing. She laughs nonstop.

Tessa: is getting all four eye teeth at the same time. You can see the little white points just below the skin. In my experience with my kids, these are the most painful ones. Ouch. I have a good teething homeopathic, thankfully. She had a day of high fever, a clear runny nose, and lots of messy diapers. Can't really tell much about the food though, because of the teeth. I handed her a toddler fork and served her dinner on a plastic plate instead of her high chair tray last night. She proceeded to eat her entire meal with that fork and had an absolute blast! I don't remember my other two doing that so early (not quite 16 months), but she does have big sisters to watch!

Haven't taken on the soup thing yet, between Tess teething and me dealing with die off. This has also been on of those weeks where we have had tons of requests for our time. I alternate between saying no to everyone, and having busy weeks. My threshold for being overwhelmed is pretty low, so I say no a lot. Tomorrow we're supposed to meet friends at the library, Thursday is playgroup at our house, and Friday an old friend arrives to stay the weekend. Somewhere in there I need to grocery shop, cook, clean, arrange a guest room, and buy Easter stuff for the kids. Whew.

I do wish I could find some food prep shortcuts. I find it difficult to keep up with dishes, cooking, laundry, housekeeping, while still homeschooling and having friendships. I'm hoping that as I start to feel better, this will also get better.

Monday, April 18, 2011

New Information

I learned yesterday that I'm working with something I wasn't aware of: some sort of sensory processing problem. In Hannah, at least.

Friday, I got really tired of the constant arguments over drinking broth with meals, and declared then and there that all meals would consist of soup until further notice. This doesn't bother me one bit, and Nick was happy to go along. I feel great eating soup (I usually eat two bowls per meal), and it's easy and quick to reheat. Hannah immediately got depressed, which I figured was just stubbornness. But then, she proceeded to only eat maybe two bites at each meal, FOR TWO DAYS. I could tell she was very very hungry, but she would not eat. By Sunday afternoon, it was getting ridiculous, and Nick basically required her to take a few bites. What happened next shocked me: she actually vomited.

I completely understand when people whose kids are autistic or have other complicated problems have to go through the ABA process described in the GAPS book in order to get their kids to eat. My kids have been sick, but there are kids out there far sicker than mine. What I did not realize, is that I'm dealing with some of those types of problems in my kids too.

I can honestly say that I don't remember ever having disliked the flavor or texture of a food to the point of feeling like throwing up. In fact, I feel very little empathy for people who describe those types of feelings. I had to process all of this for awhile with Nick yesterday, because I find myself getting very angry at my kids about this, and even at other adults who tell me "I just have this thing. I can't stand _____." I want to say, "GET OVER IT." This is perhaps not the most loving, understanding response I could have. :) I realized where that comes from though: I have never felt like I had a choice! When I came to nutrition as a 17 year old, I was having grand mal seizures. It was either eat right, or stay on medication that was making me very ill. While other people had the option to nurse their little food pet peeves, eating junk to get them through college, I was learning how to cook because I had to be able to function. And until I was diagnosed with gluten sensitivity years later, I continued to occasionally have seizures anyway!

People regularly talk to me about how hard it seems to eat the way we do, or how they could never do that. I try SO HARD to be understanding, to put myself in their shoes. But it's hard. It reminds me of what the disciples said to Jesus after He taught a particularly difficult message. Many people left Him, and He asked the disciples if they were going to leave too. Their response? "Where else would we go? You have the words of eternal life." Eating this way doesn't equal eternal life, of course, but the idea is the same. What else could I do? What option do I have? I have never seen just dealing with being sick as a choice to make. I have too many things I want to do and experience in this life!

But, while that determination gets me through this time, it can also make me unloving with my kids, especially while doing this diet. It helps that I now understand where my frustration comes from. I'm sure this determination will help others along the way, but I must balance it with love. The whole "speaking the truth in love" thing is a difficult balance at times!

So, where do we go next? Before meals, Hannah must eat one bite of soup, followed by a sunflower seed cracker, which she loves. The next day, it's two bites. The next, three. We'll see how that goes. When we told her this plan she was relieved. She can wrap her mind around a certain number of bites. And I'm working on my empathy. Thankfully, I have a husband who is very kind and understanding - of both sides of this! He understands my frustration, and he understands the kids difficulties. He helps to ground me, on a regular basis. I really think we will make progress this way. And we kind of had to go through the experience we had this weekend, to understand what the "real" issue is. Onward!

Saturday, April 16, 2011


As we go, I keep noticing symptoms disappearing that I did not even list in my first post. Last night, Audrey was able to take a bath without having an itching attack.

We live in an area with both chlorinated and fluoridated water, and the chemicals have bothered her for some time. At her worst, we had to only bathe her at my parents' house, because they are on well water. We have grown accustomed to bathing her quickly, usually in the shower, before she absorbed too many of the chemicals to function. We have a chlorine filter on our shower head and a "bath ball" in the tub to absorb as much of the chlorine as possible, but the only thing that would remove fluoride is a terribly expensive whole-house reverse osmosis filter.

Bathing (even in the shower) has been a miserable experience, as her skin turned fiery red and she screamed in discomfort and fear. She would often tear into her skin following a shower, because of how itchy and dry it was. When she had open wounds from her eczema, baths were impossible because of the feeling of the water on her sores.

But last night, she played with her sister, she had her hair washed, and she got out without pain. This is working. It's really, really working. Thank you God!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Birthday Cake

Hannah's 6th birthday was Monday. I agonized for weeks, literally, about what to make for a cake. She's old enough to know the difference, and we were having my parents and siblings over and I wanted to make something that they would find edible, if not enjoyable. I finally settled on carrot cake with cream cheese frosting because we've been eating almond butter successfully and since carrot cake is always dense, I hoped it would not seem too odd. Since egg has still been a struggle, I looked for a recipe with as few eggs as possible (which is difficult, because once people intro eggs, they USE EGGS. Wow.) I finally settled on this recipe, which I tripled for our big extended family. For the cream cheese in the frosting, I poured some yogurt into a strainer lined with a coffee filter, and put it in the fridge overnight to drain the whey. I subbed coconut oil for butter.

These turned out pretty good! They received mixed reviews from my family - some thought they were tasty, many agreed they were "weird" or not what they expected, but the only person who didn't eat it was my more picky 20 year old sister. My 11 month old nephew, who hasn't been much wanting to start eating solids, LOVED them. My 23 year old brother said the frosting tasted like Pinkberry frozen yogurt, which was a very high compliment coming from him! Hannah, who was the most important one, and actually all of us doing GAPS, thought they were delicious. :) We let Tess eat a whole one, probably too much for her and she vomited that night. And I had diarrhea the next morning. I'd still call it a success. Whew. On to the next challenge!

Week 7

I realized this morning that we've been on GAPS for 7 weeks! That sounds a lot longer than it feels. I miss sweet potatoes and my GF sourdough waffles, oh and chocolate, when I think about them. But other than that, I find the diet to be very satisfying.

Nick has maintained his new weight, and has been exercising most mornings for the first time in his life. He has yet to have a negative reaction to adding foods, unless he really overdoes it at first.

I am still dealing with die off reaction from the yeast cleanse supplements. I added another dose this morning since I was mostly symptom free yesterday, and feel a little dizzy and out of it this morning. Dr P says most people have 14 days of die off. One week down, one to go!

Hannah is still complaining of a stomach ache regularly. She had some chamomile tea a couple of nights ago and said she thought it bothered her. I have a hard time believing it was that - seems more likely to be the yogurt. But we're going with her assessment for now, in part because I want her to feel empowered to make observations about how her own body is working with the diet. She continues to fight me about taking her broth or eating soup. I have been filling her plate with food, and requiring her to drink her broth before she can have seconds of food, which she almost always wants. She continually "checks" to make sure the rule is still in effect. I hope she will reach a point of accepting it sometime soon.

Audrey has been scratching a bit the past couple of days, I think because of the salicylates in almond butter. She's been refusing the baking soda water that makes it stop, but I have been giving her the choice of either drinking it or simply not scratching. For the most part she's been leaving her skin alone, by choice.

Tess woke up with a fever this morning. She hasn't been drinking well again, and I hope that we're not dealing with a UTI. I nursed her an extra time this morning, and have been regularly handing her a sippy cup. She will sometimes take one sip and that's all. I also wondered if it could be die off and/or teething, since she's getting the anti-fungal supplements in my milk and I can see her eyeteeth just below the surface, about to pop through. Who knows?

I roasted chicken last night, for the first time. I didn't expect to notice much of a difference between that and boiling but, um, wow. I have never had chicken taste so good! I kept eating bites of it as I deboned it.

The next few steps in intro feel vague to me. I suppose the transition from boiled to roasted meat might be tough for some people. Or adding in olive oil. Or fresh juices. But these seem like simple changes for us and it's difficult for me to to want to add in one thing at a time here. We may attempt to move quickly through stage four and see how it goes. One or two days on each new thing seems like it may be enough for these things. We were so familiar with which things we were sensitive to prior to starting GAPS, that I can pretty much predict what our responses will be. Though I must say I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly Audrey was able to start egg, and that Hannah's symptoms did not change when we added ghee! GAPS bread will have to wait (at least for Hannah and me) until we successfully intro egg, but I will probably attempt it for Nick and Audrey's sakes.

The best advice I've received about GAPS? Don't think about it too much. It's just food. Read what you need to read, learn what you need to learn, then think about something else. Throw yourself into other things as much as you can. The more I obsess about the diet, the worse I feel and the more restricted I feel. But in the long term, I really believe this is worth doing. It will make a huge long-term impact on our family's health, which will better enable us to carry out the work God has for us to do!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


What do we think will happen if I run my cheap food processor for 15 minutes like I'm supposed to, to make nut butter? Will it burn up? It says in the manual not to run it more than 1 min at a time. And when I tried it for a couple minutes before, it heated up some and the nuts didn't stay down on the blade anyway. But people insist that is the way to make soaked nut butter...

Keep it simple. Breathe. Slowly.

These are the words I'm repeating to myself today. I upped the dose of my yeast cleanse supplements a tiny bit and the die off symptoms are moderate. My mind works slowly. I have hurt myself several times today because either my depth perception is off or I'm just less coordinated. I have several rash-y spots that have popped up on my skin - on the inside and outside of my elbows, itchy spots on my legs, spots on my back, and spots that are a little sore on the soles of my feet. The oddest thing though, is gas that smells almost like burning plastic. Um, that's just weird. I called to check in with my doc this morning, to make sure all of that is normal. His receptionist, who knows me well, assured me it sounded fine but that she would check with him as well. The other weird thing is I've been needing almost double the amount of HCL that I had been taking, or I feel my meals sit in the pit of my stomach like a rock. I've been taking the whole huge 600mg capsules instead of only half like I had been.

This is all temporary, and it's necessary for me to get well. I'm grateful to have a doctor who can both help me figure out what's wrong and guide me through it so I don't have to go it alone. I keep wondering if a large part of the health problems I've had over the past several years were due to yeast overgrowth. I'm basically having all the annoying symptoms and rashes I've had over several years all reoccur at once. The last time I tried to do a yeast cleanse was in about 2005, and I ended up with very painful "bubbles" on the soles of my feet that took several months to heal. I discontinued the treatment and never did finish. I am hopeful that I can go slowly enough this time, (and that my body is in better shape) to detox without those kinds of reactions.

For now though? Slowly. Breath. Keep it simple....

Almond Butter Fudge

This is a favorite snack around here these days. We make it with almond butter, virgin coconut oil, and a bit more celtic sea salt than the recipe calls for. It is just a bit sweet, a bit salty, and very satisfying!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

So. Tired.

About an hour after I take the yeast cleanse supplements, I am so tired I can hardly get up the stairs. Several hours later my body clears it and I can function again. I'm still taking a tiny dose compared to what is recommended.

I feel a little stupid that I let it get this bad. I knew I wasn't digesting well, but it was due mainly to stress that I had little control over. That maldigestion made yeast run wild. Candida is kind of the ground level in natural medicine, as far as I'm concerned. I was unaware that, even while eating no refined sugar or carbs, candida could still take over.

I can tell that the gas and pain I've been struggling with are tied to the yeast. Ever since starting the supplements, I will start to feel gross, wait for it to start, but it quits almost before it begins. I think I prefer feeling wiped out to being sick. At least I'm not in pain!


It's been a few days since I updated everyone's status...

Nick is still doing awesome. Not much more to say about him. This diet seems made for the way his body works.

I'm cautiously excited about doing this yeast cleanse over the next few weeks. On the one hand I hate, HATE yeast die off reactions. It's like self-inflicted flu symptoms and foggy brain. On the other hand, I know I will get better if I can just push through this. Tess is teething, and adding die off toxins to her load is hard too. I wonder if it would be easier to wait a couple of months and wean her before doing this, but I don't want to rush her and I want to get better by then. We'll see how it goes. We intro'ed homemade raw goat's milk yogurt this week, and I have not noticed any digestive symptoms from it at all. I have had a little more "gunk" in my throat after eating it, but nothing uncomfortable.

Hannah continues to tell me her stomach hurts and to have anxiety-type symptoms. Her digestion seems totally fine. I keep waiting for her to get better - even on just broth, veggies and meat she had these symptoms so I don't think they are food-related. If I give her no-fenol regularly she does not have potty accidents, and if we get lax, she does. So, she's still reacting to salicylates on some level.

Audrey seems to be having a growth spurt. She is looking older, her skin and eyes look much healthier (which is all pretty obvious to me after how sick she was). She is able to tolerate some salicylates with no-fenol, but often about 2 hours after the meal she will get itchy again. At that point we give her some baking soda water (1 tsp baking soda in a cup of water) and she stops itching after just a few sips. GAPS says baking soda water is good for detox and Dr P (our N.D.) says it's good for stopping allergic reactions. I don't know which this is (maybe both?), but it does work amazingly well.

Tess has done great with everything unless I get lax about grinding up her veggies. The meat we eat right now is so soft that it digests fine with minimal chewing, but even the soft-cooked veggies cause her diarrhea if they aren't ground up. We have one of these, which makes it very convenient to do right at the table while we eat. (Unless she gets impatient, which also happens!)

This morning I cooked our breakfast sausage in tallow instead of broth, and everyone seems to have done fine with that. The flavor is so much better! We are moving into stage 4 of the intro diet finally, and I think it will be an easy transition. Meats that are roasted or grilled, olive oil, fresh juices, and bread (for the egg-eaters anyway) all seem like they will go well and quickly. After those comes raw veggies, cooked apple, and finally fruit juices and raw fruit, for which I am rather excited. We'll see how everyone does with having fiber again, but I suspect we may be able to get through these next stages in another couple of weeks. Eating fruit just in time for summer sounds like a terrific idea to me. :) I'm hopeful that as my digestion gets better with the yeast cleanse, and as Hannah's anxiety levels come down, we will begin to tolerate egg, but I think the trial for it is probably another couple of months away.

Fascinating process, this is!

Jerky, etc.

Got my first batches of jerky going in the dehydrator today. Trying small amounts of several different things until we figure out what we like best. Salmon with dill and coconut aminos (good soy substitute!); ground turkey with a little marjoram, onion and garlic; and ground beef with cumin and cayenne. I don't know how the dried herbs will work, but we eat lots of them and they are flavors I know better than traditional spices. I'm letting the salmon marinate in the fridge for a couple of hours before putting it in to dry.

Also just pulled some melted butter from the oven to strain for ghee, there are two chickens going in the stockpot on the stove, and now acorn squash is roasting for lunch. Yum!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Brain Cloud

Did you ever see Joe Vs. The Volcano? Great cult classic movie. In it, he is diagnosed with a "brain cloud," which later turns out to be a money-making scheme by a greedy businessman. Hysterical.

The yeast cleanse stuff I'm taking is making me feel like the biggest ditz today. I can't remember what day it is. I would lose my head if it wasn't attached. And I took a very small amount compared to the recommended dose. Maybe I can blame yeast for all the episodes of complete flakiness I've experienced in the past year or so?


Thursday, April 7, 2011


Day two, and we're all feeling good!

I am awfully excited about this.


I hate candida. I suppose it must do something good, somewhere, or it wouldn't live in our bodies. But man, it does not do good things in large numbers.

I went to my naturopath tonight, so he could help me figure out what I needed to do next. GAPS says if you get stuck, usually there's a fungal issue and you will need some nutritional support to get rid of it. So... I muscle tested ridiculously weak for fungal issues, and the things that helped are Neem, 10-Undecenoic Acid, and Collidal Silver (which Dr Natasha does not recommend but we have used it (correctly!) for years and I know it works for me). So I'm on quite a regimen of pills 3x a day for maybe several weeks, but I bet I'll make lots of progress in (or at least after) those few weeks.

I also got a massage today from a friend, which was amazing. The knots in my shoulders actually feel relaxed tonight.

Just FYI - do NOT google images for candida. I may be scarred for life.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

God I Look to You

Awesome song I've been clinging to the past few weeks...

Effective Marketing

You know they've done a good job when a magazine catches your eye and it's just so pretty you must buy it!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


I'm calling it: almond intro is a success! Yesssss....

Three days on almonds so far and I don't think there's anything going on we can attribute to them. It's funny-just adding almond butter (which I've been doing store bought roasted-not ideal, but my food processor can't run long enough to do almond butter) makes me feel so much less hungry. By that I mean I can go two hours between meals, instead of one. Ha! I'll take it!


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GAPS uses only homemade yogurt that has been fermented a full 24 hours.

Almost no one makes yogurt like that because it's very sour. However, that amount of time allows the live cultures to eat up all the lactose, which is very hard for some people to digest. There is a particular strain of probiotics called S. Thermophilis that is responsible for helping digest lactose (it actually produces lactase, the enzyme that digests lactose). Lactose intolerant people have had that strain wiped out by yeast overgrowth, antibiotics, or what-have-you.

My dehydrator arrived this afternoon (Thank you Staci!), and I already have a batch of 24 hour yogurt going in it. This is the next thing on my list to intro. Goat's milk has always muscle tested fine for me, but still seemed difficult to digest. I'm betting it was the lactose. It sure would be nice to have yogurt added for an easy snack!

I've been really wiped out this week. It's either more die off, or my adrenals. Probably a combo of the two. Considering seeing my naturopathic doctor to see what suggestions he has. Seems like I should be feeling better than I am - the rest of the family seems to be doing better every day! For that I'm very thankful!

Adrenal/Thyroid Function

I found this scorecard very interesting yesterday. I have 29 of the indicators for adrenal exhaustion right now. Um...yeah. The recommendations to rehab the adrenals are very interesting as well. Many of these nutrients are in good supply in the GAPS diet. I'm interested though, in getting some dessicated adrenal gland when we can. No matter how much sleep I get, I am always very low energy, and have a hard time committing to activities because I get so tired so quickly. I'm very ready to have normal amounts of energy and be able to exercise regularly again!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Egg Conclusions

Hannah and I just aren't ready yet. We both did yolk yesterday and today, and we both felt terrible all day today. Lots of gas, and I seriously felt like my brain was out of whack. I spent the whole day with this sad, foggy, achy feeling. I feel the best I have all day now, at 11pm.

On one hand I'm disappointed, but I'm also happy to know for sure now. We will wait 2-3 months and try again. In the meantime, we will try almond butter as soon as we're feeling good again.

Hannah is doing well with ghee, but I don't have much desire to try it right now. I felt very bad on it just a week ago.

We have a weekly 1/2 gallon of raw goats milk now, so after almond butter we will be trying homemade goat milk yogurt and kefir.

After that comes avocado, which we have had a few times and the kids and Nick have seemed fine on it.

Our dehydrator should arrive Monday. Very exciting!

If I could do it all again, I would have been more precise from the beginning. It's hard to be six weeks into this but only eating stage three. We would have been able to move faster if we had really intro'ed one thing at a time with no cheating. Instead we spent lots of time confused and backtracking.

I served soup for lunch today and Hannah and Audrey made a battle out of it again. Very strange. I don't understand the mental block against soup. I can even call it something else and they eat. Hannah was literally gagging and dry heaving as she took bites. It was hard to believe. I have gotten away from serving actual soup, instead steaming veggies and poaching meat and serving with broth, but this made me think more soup is in order. Soup is also much much easier from a preparation standpoint. They must need more practice with it. Calm, kind, patient, but firm guidance is SO important here and SO hard to give. It definitely shows you what you're made of!

New Interview with Dr. Natasha

Check it out here...


We spent some time working outside today. Temps are supposed to hit 78 degrees! The sunshine feels good, and I'm sure the dose of vitamin D will help everyone feel better.

Hannah and I both did ok digestion-wise on our egg yolk yesterday and today, but we are both crabby as anything. She has spent most of the morning crying over nothing, and I feel like joining her. At this point I think we will push through, because our symptoms have obviously improved. But I wonder what the next couple of days will bring.

Audrey is doing awesome, and thrilled to be eating pancakes. Nick had one this morning too, and said he likes them better than "regular" pancakes. It's amazing to me how Audrey (and Nick too, really) just took to this diet. Hannah and I seem to have more issues to work on, but we're obviously making progress...

Friday, April 1, 2011


I feel a bit better this evening. I started thinking about what I had been doing when I was feeling good. One thing I came up with was raw liver pills. You can read more about it here. Aside from adding it to the meatloaf a few weeks ago, I have had a difficult time bringing myself to cook and eat liver. A while back I happened upon the idea to cut it into tiny pieces and swallow them like pills. I've never had any trouble swallowing pills, so this is easy for me. Cutting the liver up was much harder, but still doable. :) I have a little more energy and feel a little less foggy-headed now.

Weston Price Foundation and Bradley Method/Brewer diet both recommend 4 oz of liver at least once a week for pregnant/lactating women. This is cheap and relatively easy to do!

Hard Days

The hard days seem to come in waves with this diet. Seems to be common, from what I've read. Today I am wiped out, sad, frustrated, weak, unmotivated, and my stomach and head feel...weird.

I've been adding too many things in at one time, at which point my stomach goes, "wait, what are you doing?" and proceeds to reject all of it. Sooo, I have to be more disciplined about adding in one thing every four days. This. Is. SO. Hard. To. Do.

I've been hard on the kids for saying they're hungry all the time, but when I don't cheat (as in, eat "legal" foods that are out of order), I'm finding I'm hungry every hour too. I have considered myself a fairly disciplined person, but this is really challenging me. I'm back to just egg yolk today, and need to do just that and meat, veggies and broth for the next four days to see if the yolks alone work. My stomach is gurgly and I keep seeing stars.

If I can start to get some foods properly, reliably intro-ed, I know I will start to feel better. But I'm starting to dread intro-ing foods because they almost always make me sick. And I'm not doing well on just meat, veggies and broth.