Tuesday, May 24, 2011

No Eggs

I have to say, I'm frustrated. I didn't have any of the weird dizziness with the duck eggs, but the large amounts of sulphur-smelling gas were definitely there. Ugh.

On we go!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Thursday, May 19, 2011


OK, so we finished intro. Here's where we're currently at:

Nick: has lost a ton of weight. He's really happy with it. I almost feel like it's a bit too much for him. He's 5'11" and under 160 pounds. He feels great most of the time.

Me: I'm still having occasional digestive upset, loose stools (though not true diarrhea), gas, etc. It's much less frequent than it was when we started. I'm continuing on the anti fungals. Ghee, yogurt and kefir still seem to give me large amounts of painful gas, so I'm avoiding them for the most part. I'm relying on nuts a bit heavily because of morning sickness, but they give me diarrhea if I eat too many. Overall, I would say I feel more calm and happy.

Hannah: continues to be very sad and complain of not feeling good, often. I wish I understood what's going on with her. It seems like we still have not figured out everything we need to. My hope is that, with time, she will heal enough that whatever the problem is, will no longer be a problem.

Audrey: has good days and bad days with her skin. Eating almond butter every day seems to be enough salicylates to cause her to get itchy if we forget to give her No-Fenol every day. If we keep up with the enzymes, she does pretty well.

Tess: is growing like a weed and completely hysterical to talk to and watch. I haven't noticed any health issues recently. We are down to one nursing and *sniff* I suppose I'll wean her since she's almost 17 mos and I'm pregnant.

Now what? Part of the interest of this diet has been that there is always something new to add, something to be excited about. Now, honestly, I'm a little bored. We could try beans, but beans have always been hard on me, and except for occasionally craving Mexican food, I don't miss them. I would love some amaranth or buckwheat, but with as few carbs as I seem to need, it seems silly to start them this soon. I can't really do much with flours because not all of us handle eggs. My ND muscle tested me for egg and said it's the yolks that are bothering me, to try the whites only. I also have a source for local duck eggs that I'm going to try. So there's some potential there for new foods, though I don't feel good on sweeteners so baking is not really a big draw. And scrambled egg whites? No thanks, I'll eat homemade sausage, thanks.

We are eating far too many hamburgers, meatballs, and sausages for my taste, but these things are quick and require almost no planning. I'm a bit fried by all the meal prep, plus dealing with early pregnancy, so that's where we're at. I crave soups and will sometimes make some, but usually I'm the only one who will eat it. Well, Tess eats it with me. I bought a bunch of whole chicken legs last night. Those should be good roasted.

Just feeling blah, I guess. Where do we go from here? Everything seems high carb, high allergen, or high sugar. Here I am, complaining about a limited diet again. Will GAPS really fix our sensitivities? And how long will we have to wait? Or is this just a very expensive, very time consuming, failed experiment?

Monday, May 16, 2011

This Week

My hair was falling out so much that I got scared and sad last week, so I made an appointment with my ND on Saturday. He told me that die off increases oxidative stress on the body, and can cause hair loss. An antioxidant (which he gave me) will clear it, and it is much improved today. I also told him about my recent heart palpitations and he said that points to magnesium and potassium deficiency. I haven't noticed a difference in those yet, but I have no doubt they will improve as well.

I am amazed at the difference in my body since taking that metabolic typing test. I am happier, more centered, my stomach doesn't hurt, no gas (unless I eat too many carbs), no sweet cravings (unless I don't eat enough fat), my skin isn't as dry, I have energy, I seem to sleep better, and one really weird thing - the night blindness that I've had for years is gone! If at each meal, I eat one serving of veggies, fill up on protein, and take in as much fat as I possibly can, I feel awesome. Who knew? I have had a bit of "morning sickness" and pregnancy tiredness in the past few days, but even with those, I feel better than I have felt in recent months!

An observation: on GAPS, it becomes easy for the focus to become somewhat skewed. Sometimes it seems that it's all about being able to eat any and all foods, with no symptoms. I don't know anyone who is aware of their body who can eat anything they want without any symptoms. Do you know what I mean? On the other extreme end of this spectrum are the people who only eat 5 foods, because they know they feel good on those foods. While I completely agree with the GAPS philosophy of healing the gut through probiotics and easy to digest foods, I'm not sure the goal needs to be eating all foods. There is a fine line to walk here, because prior to GAPS we were on a very limited diet and STILL felt terrible. That's not what I'm talking about. If there are foods we can eat and feel awesome on, shouldn't we be happy with those, rather than pushing the envelope continually and feeling mediocre? I'm all about continuing to use GAPS to have more healing take place, and maybe, eventually, more foods will work. But in the meantime, I have found some things that are working, and I'm pretty stinkin' happy about it. :)

Many people who come to GAPS are very ill, and have been for a very long time. The problem with long-term illness, is it gets into your consciousness. It becomes part of who you are. And sometimes it can create a negative view of life without us even realizing it. I really appreciate the people who eat Paleo, because even though they are eating very similarly to GAPS, it is approached from a positive perspective, "This is something I can do to make my body work and feel amazing." GAPS seems to be sometimes approached with "This is a terrible experience I must endure in order to maybe someday get to eat whatever I want, but that might never even happen." Ew. Not the approach to life I want to have.

All this said, I think GAPS is an important and awesome health tool. I'm very glad to have come across it. Along with GAPS, I am so grateful to have an amazingly supportive ND. His assistance makes this whole journey significantly less painful. :)

Friday, May 13, 2011

An Announcement

We found out this week that we are expecting baby #4!

We are happy, excited, overwhelmed, terrified, etc. This is a bit sooner than we expected, but God has a plan that's always better than ours. :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Metabolic Typing

I read Dr Natasha's latest blog post with much interest, because she addressed something very close to home for me.

First, some back-story...
We've been on GAPS since February. Hannah has had some lingering issues, but Nick, Audrey, and Tessa all nearly instantly felt amazing. I, on the other hand, felt terrible. Granted, some of that was candida issues, but even when die off subsided I still had nearly constant gas, bloating, and fatigue. When we started the diet I was still nursing Tessa (now 17 mos) often, so I made sure to get large amount of carbs to keep my supply up.

A couple of weeks ago, I finally emailed my ND (who is very supportive of GAPS, but doesn't use it in his practice at this point.) I told him that I felt terrible, didn't know what to do, and asked what he suggested. He responded that he wanted me to take a Metabolic Typing Test online. The test is $40, money we didn't really have to throw away. I looked up this concept on the GAPS help board, and it had gotten mixed reviews. Some said it could be helpful, others thought it had no scientific basis. After talking it over with my husband, we decided to go ahead and pay for the test. The results I got said:

20% Sympathetic
16% Balanced
63% Parasympathetic
24% Slow Oxidation
75% Fast Oxidation

Along with those results, you also get a suggested meal plan, a list of recommended foods, and some other suggestions regarding food preparation.

When I communicated my results to my ND, he laughed and said, "You're practically an Inuit!" My body is currently asking for large amounts of fat and protein, and very few carbs. So I started eating that way immediately. One small serving of usually a green veggie at each meal, covering everything with oil, filling up on fatty meats. Within one day, the gas and bloating were gone, and I had normal amounts of energy!

I had tried everything I could think of. I was taking HCL with all my meals. I thought I must be reacting to some food I was eating, but couldn't figure out what in the world it could be. I even made some turkey vegetable soup this week, and it gives me gas - too many veggies!

Dr Natasha's blog post was very interesting to me, in light of this experience. If I had been able to follow my body's signals through taste, smell and satisfaction, it could have told me what I needed to know. But so many things can distort that signal - candida, habit, what you think you "should" eat... The test recommends retesting in three months, to allow for adjustments your body will make with time and different circumstances. Maybe because my current type is more extreme, I was not able to stumble across the right fat/protein/carb proportions, like most people are able to do? Regardless, I finally got that breakthrough I've been praying for! And just in time...

Casein Allergy

Last Wednesday night, I made the Chicken Satay recipe out of the Internal Bliss cookbook. YUM. It was SO good. In place of the coconut milk called for (since I didn't have any made), I used GAPS yogurt. We sat down to dinner and everyone was enjoying it. Hannah DEVOURED her chicken, dipping it in the sauce, and then started to complain of a stomach ache. I didn't think anything of it (as fast as she had eaten), so I sent her to the couch to lie down for a few minutes until she felt better. She came back to the table a few minutes later with hives all over her lower abdomen.

Since she had a severe allergic reaction just a few weeks ago, Nick immediately got her some baking soda water to head off the reaction. She drank a little, her upper lip swelled, she sneezed quite a bit. Then she stabilized and we were able to put her to bed at the normal time.

The next day, her belly was protruding, so swollen that her navel was puckered up. She had a fiery red rash under the skin that was no longer raised like before. It covered only her lower intestine area. I decided to take her to our ND, which required an hour trip each way in the car by myself with all three kiddos. This went amazingly well. He checked her belly, and told me he was rather concerned about it. I had brought a grocery bag full of GAPS foods we had been eating, and he muscle tested her on them. The yogurt and ghee are the culprits. I asked him, "How can she react to ghee?" He didn't know. The imprint of the casein?

We removed those from her diet, and her belly returned to normal within two days. The rash healed slowly. She has had no further problems this week.

I had to wean Hannah earlier than I wanted because I got pregnant when she was only 8 months and couldn't keep up with the calorie demands. We put her on raw goat's milk formula until she was obviously reacting to it and gluten at 15 months, when we pulled her off milk altogether. There was nothing else I could have done at the time, but I wonder if her sensitivity developed when her gut was so damaged from being a c-section baby, gluten, and we added the goat's milk on top of that. It might be a long road to healing this sensitivity, if we ever can.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Where I've Been

Posted the list on my personal blog, in case you're curious. Um, wow.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

I just wanted to say Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there who are working hard to heal your families. Even when people think you're wrong or weird, and when it's really hard, you persevere. There was a woman that did these kinds of things in the Bible, about which the Bible says,

"Her children rise up and call her blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied); and her husband boasts of and praises her." (Prov. 31:28). 

Though we don't need gratitude in order to do the right thing, it's always nice. :) May this be something we all hear from our kids today, or someday...

Friday, May 6, 2011


I'm eating filet mignon and cauliflower for lunch. Yeah, GAPS is pretty rough... :)

In other news, this week was ridiculous and I have about four posts to write but no time. Be back Monday probably!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


I've been noticing several strange things lately. This is a TMI post!

1. I seem to be losing a lot of hair since starting gaps. Low thyroid? It's similar to what I've experienced at 4-5 months postpartum.

2. I have not had a period since we started gaps. I've been taking periodic pregnancy tests (you never know about these things!) and so far they've been negative.

3. I have always had many large fibroid cysts in my brsts. The whole side of the left one was nearly solid since an attack of mastitis last fall. Now it's totally gone. The two largest cysts are all that remain and they are significantly smaller!

4. This is gross, but I keep finding long white strings in my mouth. They seem to appear after taking my antifugals. Yeast? Gross!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

What I did

I leaving the previous post up.

Sometimes, on this diet, you feel terrible. The whole world is falling apart.

Then you realize...I'm hungry. So you eat.

And you realize...I am really tired. So you take a nap. Like, one of those naps where you don't budge for two hours and wake up groggy but much happier to be alive.

And you realize...I really have to go to the bathroom. So you do.

And suddenly, life isn't going to end. It'll be ok. You can do it one more day.

Just hang on. ;)


I'm not very happy today. I just thought I'd warn you ahead of time.

Generally, I make a big attempt to be an upbeat, encouraging person. But I'm pretty down today, and if I can't whine a bit here, where can I?

I feel terrible again. I can't really decide if I've felt badly all along and just had hope that it would get better, or if I had some points where I really felt good. But, today I'm discouraged and I really feel yucky.

I'm pretty sure I know what the culprit is. I'm eating too much almond butter. For whatever reason, my body can handle it to a point, but then there is this line I cross and it all goes downhill. It is SO HARD for me to stay away from it though. My kids don't seem to have the same struggles with it, and they are eating a lot of it, probably too much for them too. But how, when I'm feeding it to the kids all the time, do I avoid eating it myself? It's so quick and easy - we just eat it off a spoon.

I confess...I get tired of meat. I get tired of animal fat. Some days It grosses me out to be eating a bowl of soup and crunch down on some part of chicken that is unidentifiable. I'm craving light, cold food, but so many of the intro foods before that point aren't working for me that I wonder if I'm ready for that. I want a hamburger and fries like you wouldn't believe. I want to take my family out to eat and not be sick, to just be able to sit around a table and enjoy food like normal people.

I'm tired of being hungry. I'm tired of feeling shaky and weak. I'm tired of smelling bad and having my entire abdomen feel bloated and gross. I'm tired of taking HCL and feeling it burn in my stomach until I take baking soda to wipe it out and know none of that meal will digest well. I'm tired of NOT taking HCL and feeling a lump in my stomach where the food is just rotting. I'm tired of being dizzy and foggy after taking my anti fungals. I'm tired of running out of things like broth and knowing we have no money to buy chicken backs until payday. I'm tired of spending hours in the kitchen and not having time for other things that are more important. I'm tired of making eggs for other people and being afraid to try them again myself, but there seems to be no way I would do well on them when I'm already feeling badly.

We are daily, hourly, making the choice to continue this diet because we know it is the right thing for us. I mean, we felt terrible before we started, feeling terrible now isn't that much different. And we have seen huge improvements in the members of our family that didn't have severe digestive issues. I know it works. I have no plan to abandon it. But friends, I'm tired and discouraged today. God, I really need a breakthrough for ME...