It’s not just for the new year, new month, new moon. It’s for when you’re ready and I’m ready now.
H (my son) and I need to make a change in our diets (and probably hubs but he refuses to take lunches to work so will not be fully participating in the journey I’ll be writing about as we go along).
Background: I have had stomach flu I believe about 6 times since December and H has had it almost all of those times as well. After those flus, several times I’ve gotten some kind of respiratory thing including bronchitis and an ear infection. H again, usually is along for the ride. I’m tired of being sick, I’m tired of still having panic attacks if I’m not good about taking my fruit and veggie capsules. I want my immune system back. For a little extra background…I was on a healthier sort of standard american diet growing up- my dad made all kinds of awesome home made food but we still ate plenty of refined carbs, sugar, processed foods, fake foods, soda, candy, etc Not all the time, but it was there. After college, I went on a more plant based journey. For almost 8 years I ate a primarily vegan diet with a little bit of dairy, fish and eggs here and there. Sometime around 3 or 4 years ago, I started having weird panic attacks which culminated in me passing out in my bathroom while brushing my teach and having a concussion. Around that time I was found to be anemic, got an iron shot, go pregnant and started on prenatal vitamins and the panic attacks seemed to go away for the most part. Part way into my pregnancy I started craving meat and added it back in. For the next year I vacillated between mostly plant based and eating meat, dairy and eggs. By the beginning of this year, I was eating it all but still loved cooking and eating plant based meals. However, after completing my health coaching program with IIN, doing some research and really thinking back on the last several years, I came to the conclusion that my body does not seem to thrive on a plant based diet. I have a hard time absorbing all the things I need without help. (Basically adding everything back in seemed to reduced the panic attacks, however the only that that really keeps them at bay is my JP, my theory is that it is ultra absorbable and also helps the body absorb other nutrients).
Anyhoo, something is obviously wrong with my gut and I’m ready to fix it. After talking to another practitioner, I settled on doing some research into the GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) approach. Although this is a treatment created for people with autism, add, depression and other brain type issues, it all stems from the immune system found in our gut and can be beneficial to anyone (everyone) needing to balance out and boost the beneficial bugs that comprise that system. It involves a 5 stage introduction diet where you pull back on most foods and eat a lot of broth, soup and well cooked veggies and meats then adding more and more foods along the way. Once you make your way through those stages without any stomach issues, you can add several other foods back in. Although the main foods this way of eating is based on are meat, veggies, fermented foods (veg and dairy, and healthy fats. It’s recommended to continue on the “full GAPS” diet for about 2 years. I’m not sure I’ll be committing that long or not but I think a good 6 months should get us whipped into shape. It’s not that restrictive once you roll through the intro stages and it will just be a different challenge to find food when out than finding vegan food was.
Stage 1 starts tomorrow. I’ve poached some chicken, removed it from the bone and then threw the bones back in with the liquid and veggies the chicken was poached in. This will become a super nutritious broth on which I’ll be basing the soups we’ll be eating for the next 4 days or so. It’s 100 degrees plus here folks and I’m planning to eat soup for every meal…yep. The broth will slow cook overnight and then strain it before making quick chicken soup for our meals tomorrow. Snacks will be sips of sauerkraut juice, honey, fat bombs (honey and coconut oil) and more soup or broth. Grant me patience with my toddler who will likely be asking for things he can’t have for a day or two and when I say no, he’ll want ALL THE BOOBS. Ugh. Deep breath, I’ve got this.
Alright, I’m signing off now. I have so much more to say but I think I’ll save the details for some individual posts. Things I feel need to be discussed- the loss of a piece of my identity when I stopped eating plant based; how I feel like a liar most of the time when people think I eat super healthy but really I have a total sugar addiction; the guilt and frustration that will occur when people outside of our direct family want to cook or buy us food while we have all these restrictions. My parents are visiting in like 3 weeks, I’m sorry dad, no mac n cheese or pizza on this trip for us. And a bunch more stuff that’s flying through my head.
For now, I’m going to go makes some tasty fat bombs from coconut oil and honey. mmmmmm