So, if you’ve read my last three articles about the GAPS diet (Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet), I will have you know that I was writing that from a perspective of how I have felt about the GAPS diet prior to trying it. Which was much excitement, enthusiasm, and expectation. That’s how I’ve been feeling about it for months.
Remember – theory is theory though, experience is experience.
From now on, I will be writing about the GAPS diet from the perspective of how it actually is.
What I mean by this is that I don’t want to get too carried away making it seem like this is the answer to everyone’s prayers (and my own), before I’ve actually tried it. To some people, I fully believe it may be exactly what they need to heal. To others, no (as I mentioned in the last paragraph of Wednesday’s post). I have been excited about it, but it’s dumb to be too narrow minded about one particular approach because if it doesn’t work it may make you feel like something is wrong with you. And when you’re caught up in excitement, it can be hard to take your blinders off.
Ohhh I’m being a downer…. I’m just trying to be realistic though. For my sake and yours.
How the GAPS is Going So Far
So, anyway – how is the GAPS intro going so far?
Overall, I would say it’s going okay, but not spectacular. Of course, it’s early, so “we’ll have to see”.
For the last 8 days I’ve been eating mostly soup. I cook broth every other day, and then I pick off the boiled meat, put it aside, and then when I want to eat, I go and take some meat, take some broth, take some vegetables, boil them all until nice and soft. Blend with an immersion blender if I feel like it. Other times, leave it unblended.
I usually add some animal fat, sea salt, and crush a piece of garlic into the soup after. Also, sometimes I eat boiled vegetables and meat not in soup…. and have broth on the side. That’s okay too, as long as everything at this stage is cooked IN broth, and eaten WITH broth.
Oh yes, and I’m making a point to eat carrots, winter squash, and beets frequently in order to avoid going too low carb.
I’ve slowly introduced egg yolk, increased my intake of sauerkraut juice, I tried ghee one time. This morning I had actual sauerkraut for the first time. That’s it. Oh yeah and I took half of a probiotic (biokult) for the first 6 days, and yesterday and today I’ve increased it to one whole one per day (it’s emphasized that you need to build up your tolerance very slowly for probiotics and fermented foods, even if you were taking probiotics and ferments beforehand).
I guess you could say I’m on Stage 2.
Things that have been good about the GAPS so far:
- The food is simple, and it tastes really good. I have yet to get sick of eating soup, and I haven’t had any cravings for anything else. I’m not hungry, and feel quite satisfied. I like it because there are so few ingredients that you don’t have to THINK about what you’re going to eat. Sometimes thinking about what you’re going to eat is the hardest part of eating.
- Over all, I haven’t felt terrible with die off. Like, I mostly feel fine, not fatigued – enough energy to get up and exercise and do stuff. In other words, I feel very functional. I’m also not overly angry or cranky or anything either (actually, that’s not 100% true… but mostly).
- My skin was actually cooperating nicely prior to starting this and was quite clear, so it was a good baseline to start with to know if I was going to get detox breakouts. So far, not really! I’d say my skin has gotten a little blotchy, and a couple of really tiny detox pimples, but yeah… nothing particularly wretched.
- I’m taking detox baths every day and they are relaxing and nice and I enjoy them 🙂
- For those of you wondering about weight fluctuations… I don’t know because I don’t own a scale, but I don’t *feel* any thinner
Lol.. uh…. I thought the good list was going to be longer.
Okay the bad stuff:
- I was pooing really good before I started the intro, but starting on day 2 or 3, I’ve been constipated every day. So I’ve been giving myself the daily enema to sort that out (I find this embarrassing to admit, only because I don’t want you guys picturing me giving myself an enema. You’re picturing it now, aren’t you? Stop it. Stop that.) I presume this is because of how low fibre stage 1 intro is compared to how was I was eating before ie. lots of fruits and vegetables, and my intestines aren’t used to it yet. I hear this is fairly normal for the intro.
- Even though the food is simple, I feel like I’m doing a LOT of dishes. But then again, that might be because Luke’s away this week and I usually make him do the dishes at least once per day (ha, sucka!). Oh yeah, and because everything in this diet is full of fat, it makes washing the dishes SUPER annoying and takes up a lot of soap. And clogs my drain and stuff.
- Mild detox reactions that I have noticed: Some mild stomach nausea on and off, bloating, gas, heartburn, stomachaches, skin blotchiness as I mentioned above, one time my knuckle got inflamed like it used to when I had hand eczema (but that went away quickly). Also, my cheeks have been flushed a lot.
Okay, the biggest problem I’m having is the indigestion, because it’s making it really hard to know when to move on and add in more foods.
See, this was a big part of the reason I wanted to do this… I was sick of getting random bloating and heartburn and stomach aches occasionally and not knowing why or what caused it.
What I was hooooping was going to happen was that once I started eating this super digestible mushy food all the time, that that stuff would go away so I could establish a baseline. And then from there, if it returned, I would know it was because I either
- a) Introduced a new food I wasn’t ready for, or
- b) was having a detox reaction to an increased dose of fermented foods or probiotics
But nooooo, it couldn’t make it that simple for me, could it? Thanks, GAPS.
So, yeah.. at this point, my stomach is even worse than it was before. It’s just downright bad! Before, I didn’t have indigestion ALL the time, but now on the GAPS, I’m getting it every day (not necessarily all day, but consistently every evening I am either bloated, dealing with acid reflux or cramping. And my stomach tends to feels “touchy” and vaguely sore off and on throughout the day, every day).
Now, of course, this all could just be part of the detox – worse before it gets better. I hope so. I often hear people say they start to feel better in the second week. I fully admit to impatience.
But the big problem is that I often hear that people judge their food reactions mainly based on indigestion stuff – bloating, cramps, nausea, reflux, gas, diarrhea etc….
But because I’m just having them every day, I’m not finding myself able to identify what’s a healing crisis and what’s a food reaction, and now I’m scared to move on in stages and add new foods, but I know I have to. Apparently, because the first stages of the intro are so restricted, it’s not advisable to spend a long time in each one. 3 – 5 days is best.
However, despite that, I often hear of people being stuck on intro for a long time, and I don’t want to be one of those people ! Especially because I didn’t think that I was going to be one of those people 🙁
*Sigh* Trouble in GAPS paradise already.
Well, that’s that! Hope things get better. If there’s any GAPS vets out there, I’d appreciate any advice or relatable experiences. Did your digestive issues go right away on intro or is this weird? 🙂
Are you sick of me talking about the GAPS yet? I’ll try to talk about something else next week (try). Anything in particular you want to know about?