GAPS Introduction Ongoing Thoughts

I wanted to have a record of how GAPS Introduction progressed for us. I think it would be helpful for me to have something to look back on and also for others considering doing GAPS Intro.  But I don’t want to have GAPS posts completely take over the blog.  I’ve decided to keep a running account/journal on this page as a (possible) day by day event log and thoughts as we go along. My plan is to update this page as needed.  I’ll have other GAPS related posts periodically since that is the stage of life we are currently experiencing.

Pros and Cons of Intro This Time Around

One thing that seems to be a bit of a challenge is doing GAPS Intro in the summer. Intro (especially the early stages) focuses on soups and broths.  With such warm weather it doesn’t seem ‘natural’ to be eating this way.  When Joe and I did Intro last October the weather was perfect for soups and broths.

A really good thing about doing GAPS right now is that the children are all home.  School will start for Kiki and Lulu on August 21. By that point we’ll be well into intro if all goes well. That will make packing lunches easier.

Another great thing about doing GAPS at this time is it will help empty out our freezer. Each summer we like to use up all of the meats that we put in the previous year so we can start fresh.  We’re a little late with starting the process of emptying out the freezer due to all of our traveling.  I’ve made up an inventory of what we have which is super helpful for planning our meals.  The goal is to have it as empty as possible by August 15 (the start of antelope archery) so it can be refilled with wild game. We also have about 30 chickens to put in the freezer this year and a few ducks.

Also a plus for GAPS is there is a nice amount of produce in season this time of year.  Our farmers market is only active about 6 weeks out of the year with now being the active time.

Day 1

Joe: He said that he felt perfectly fine. In fact, he appeared to be perfectly fine as he spent the day working at putting new shingles on our house. He said he did not seem to have any less energy than a normal day and even took Christopher for a walk in the evening.  Joe had a detox foot bath with Epsom salt (every one will have the same ‘style’ of detox bath in order to help me keep the rotation straight).

Kiki (17): She seemed to be fine other than the fact that she did not eat much. I had to ‘encourage’ her to eat and take broth.  She did a foot bath.

Me: My day went well.  I had an ample amount of energy to get things done.  I did notice while I was in my detox bath that I started fretting a little about things that I have coming up.  We are putting up a shop/garage and I have to fill out all of the paperwork for the permits and thinking about it stressed me out a little more than usual.  We’re also trying out new cell phones that don’t seem to work very well (after several years of Joe and I just having the month to month cell phones) and thinking about the phones also stressed me out.  The amount of stress I felt thinking about these two things was more than usual.  I was super tired and ready for bed at 9PM.  But I would start to fall asleep and then jerk awake. That was rather annoying.  I woke up at 4AM and couldn’t get back to sleep. Instead of getting up I stayed in the bed and did fall asleep around 6 until 8.

Lulu (15): I think that Lulu needs this more than any of us. She also seems to be fighting it the most.  She wasn’t overly impressed with any of our day 1 food. She did say the butternut squash soup was okay which is a compliment coming from her.  She asked toward evening what was for dessert, I told her she could have more soup.  She wanted a smoothie or just a spoonful of honey. I had made her ginger tea with honey but she didn’t like that.  She didn’t want to do her foot bath but did it anyway. I think she somewhat enjoyed it. Especially since she and I watched a movie on Netflix while she soaked.  She and I talked alot about why we are doing this and how we hope it will help her.

Christopher (3): He had a pretty good day.  He did ask for several things from me; p bread, cheese and smoothie.  I offered him meat, carrots and broth each time. He did eat good amount of meat during the day and a fair amount of carrots. He had about a half cup of broth over the course of the day.  He also really loved the sour cream (raw, homemade without culture) and would have eaten as much of that as he could. Because of the probiotic aspect of a raw sour cream I limited his amount.  I think for him we will just use that as his probiotic for now and add in pickle/kraut juice or whey in a few days.  Too much probiotic can add to die off symptoms and I don’t want that for any of us, especially little Christopher.  Joe said that when he and Christopher were on their walk, Christopher suggested they get in the truck and drive to town for a hamburger. 🙂

Day 2

Everyone slept in some today. Joe was up first sometime around 7 which is quite late for him.  I had woke up at 4AM and was awake until 6 but went back to sleep until almost 8.  We let the children sleep figuring rest was good for them. They were up around 9:30.  On this day, everyone except Kiki had a detox foot soak with baking soda. Kiki had a friend over and then went to bed without doing hers.

Joe: Said he had another good day. He worked on the roof again and then asked me to go for a short jog with him before he went on his normal jog. We’re talking about doing a 5K together in September which would be no problem for Joe but a huge challenge for me.  We alternated jogging and walking for a mile. Then he went on a 3 mile jog on his own.

Kiki: Seemed to have a pretty good day. She hate more than the day before and said she felt fine.

Me: Pretty good. I did have a few short episodes of frustration which may or may not have been related to Intro.   The walk/jog with Joe went well and I seemed to have enough energy for it.  I worked for awhile on this day and felt really good as far as mental clarity.

Lulu: She is still struggling with what she can have and what she wants to have.  She is actually requesting foods that she would normally not ask to eat. I find that interesting.

Christopher: WHEW. He has some challenges on this day.  After waking up at 9:30 he complained of a tummy ache. Joe took him to the bathroom and he had a small BM. When he came back from the bathroom he looked horrible. He was very pale.  I gave him about half a cup of applesauce along with his breakfast of meatball soup. He ate both well.  Around noon he asked for more food. But when I gave him his chicken and butternut squash soup he totally freaked out and had a fit like we’ve rarely seen.  I put him in bed to calm down thinking I’d put him in the tub as soon as he was calm (thought maybe the bath would help him) but within a few minutes he was asleep.  He slept for a couple of hours, woke up to go to the bathroom and went back to sleep for another two hours.  When he woke up he was happy and hungry. He ate a couple of pieces of cooked carrot and a very large amount of chicken.   He very much enjoyed his foot bath (I gave him a choice of foot soak or real bath) and loved sitting in the living room watching the Olympics with daddy while soaking his feet.  Around 8 he asked for more food and finished off all of the white meat from the chicken.   After his long nap, he didn’t really want to go to sleep but did lie quietly in his bed and soon fell asleep. Christopher moved to Stage 2 today when I added egg yolk to his broth. He didn’t eat much of it and was less than impressed with egg stirred in (and he told me that often).

Day 3

Monday. 🙁  Joe went back to work. I worked for awhile in the morning and then took Lulu to the doctor for her sports physical plus ran errands in town including restocking our food.  We are adding egg yolk today which means the rest of us are moving to Stage 2.

Joe: We had discussed what he would have for breakfast and take a lunch the night before.  I’d made a soup in the crock pot for his breakfast plus had chicken and squash for his lunch. He would also add a roast that had been cooking all night to the lunch and heat broth to take in his thermos. However,  he forgot all of this and woke me up to help him get his breakfast and lunch. This is so not like Joe and I was pretty surprised by it.   Joe was also pretty sore in the morning but that is most likely from the roofing over the weekend than Intro.  He arrived home from work hungry and tired.  After dinner he went back up on the roof for awhile.  He had a sea weed detox bath and then got ready for bed. Unfortunately right at bed time Kiki discovered the kitchen sink was running out water from the underneath pipes. Joe spent about an hour trying to fix that but didn’t have the needed parts.  We went to bed much later than either of us wanted.

Kiki: Said she still felt good today.  She seems rather tired. I still don’t think she is eating enough.  She did seem to enjoy the lamb soup (with egg yolk stirred in) and sour cream that we had for dinner. She did a sea weed foot bath. She did tell me that she has lost a pound so far -she is happy about that.

Lulu: Going to town was hard on Lulu. She talked alot about the foods she was missing and mentioned several times that maybe she could just live with her stomach aches and eat whatever she wants.  She did help me pick out things at that grocery store that she felt she would like (she asked for beets which really surprised me).  We took along soup for our lunch but she wouldn’t eat hers until we got home. She did seem to enjoy the dinner.  Late in the evening I decided to add whole eggs in for Christopher and Lulu asked to have on also so she did.  That was quite a jump ahead since she is still supposed to just be on yolks. I’m hopeful she will wake up on day 4 feeling well.  Foot bath for Lulu today.  Lulu and I spent a huge amount of time talking this day not only when we went to town but also in the evening while watching the sunset.  I know she is very frustrated with her limited foods.

Christopher:  He had a much better day than day 2.  He ate a large amount of antelope roast and a few carrots. He refused his broth. I really would like to see him eat more than just meat and carrots. He used to love broth (almost beg for it).  He did have a small melt down at dinner time over his lamb soup.  It didn’t last too long and then he happily ate the lamb and some more antelope along with sour cream.  He wouldn’t have any vegetables or broth.  Christopher had a sea weed die off bath which he did not really enjoy. I think the sea weed floating around freaked him out. He managed about 10 minutes in the bath before he told me “I’m done with the sea weed bath” in the cutest little voice.  After his bath he had about half a cup of applesauce.  When we started getting ready for bed (before the broken sink incident) Christopher said he was hungry and asked for an egg.  Joe and I decided that there were a whole lot worse things he could request than an egg so I fried him an egg in chicken fat. He was the happiest little boy ever and ate every bite of his egg declaring it “yummy”.

Me: I woke up feeling good even though I wasn’t planning on getting up quite so early (see Joe above).  I got alot done which was important since we had to leave for town around 9:30.  Town was okay. I took the permit stuff in that I had been fretting about over the weekend.  The permit lady was someone I knew from when we moved and she was wonderful. Very helpful and all went well.  We should have our building permit (for a new garage/shop) by the middle of next week if everything goes as planned.  I was also able to get my new cell phone (that doesn’t work very well) exchanged for a different model. I’m hoping it will work better.  The cell phone company also issued a ‘trouble ticket’ to find out why we drop so many calls out here. Hopefully something can change to make it work better.  These two things which are so small had caused me so much stress over the weekend which is unusual for me.   I was very tired after town and shopping.  Putting dinner together was a challenge.  My sea weed bath was wonderful and I was ready to hop in bed right after. But the sink issues prevented that.  I discovered a rash on my thighs this night. I’m thinking this is die off related but will keep an eye on it. It hurts a little bit.

Day 4

Today I’m finding myself hoping that we can move through Intro at a pace that is appropriate. It is tempting just to rush through it but then will we really find the benefits we are looking for? On the other side, when I read the Intro section in Gut and Psychology Syndrome it does say “those without serious digestive problems and food intolerances can move through the Introduction Diet quite quickly” (page 144, 2010 edition).  So I guess we will try to find a pace that moves us forward but not too fast.

Joe: Woke up feeling horrible.  He had a super hard time getting going this morning and told me several times how bad he felt.  Pretty much a general all over ache. I wish he would have had time for a detox bath but he didn’t. He came home from work a couple of hours late due to trying to find the parts needed to fix our sink.  He said he was feeling pretty good but was stressed. He probably would have been stressed not on GAPS after trying to fix the sink.  He did not take time for a bath or foot soak this night.

Me: I woke up feeling pretty good except for a little tired.  During the summer months I don’t usually get up with Joe on his work mornings. But the last 2 days he’s asked me to help him with his breakfast and lunch. I think that while he knows what we are eating he’s not 100% sure and doesn’t want to grab the wrong things.  It’s really not that big of a deal to get up since I’m usually up about 45 to an hour later anyway.  I had a hard time when I stopped to pick up something at the store. The cashier was talking to me and I couldn’t remember how to use my debit card.  I usually use cash but didn’t have enough and the whole ‘push this button’ thing got me all confused. I ended up telling it to give me cash (which I wasn’t planning on doing since my next stop was the bank) and then couldn’t figure out how to cancel the cash.  I was so flustered and confused. That was very unusual for me. When we got home from town I put water on for honey and mint tea. Everyone had a cup (I had mine without honey) along with a choice of meat (chicken, lamb or antelope) and summer squash (cold that had been cooked in broth, which Christopher did not eat).  After dinner this evening I had loose stools several times.  What is that about? The addition of egg yolk? I didn’t have any trouble last night with it.  We had well cooked greens for dinner (a mix of beet and mustard cooked in lamb broth), could that be the culprit? I think I will avoid greens for now but continue with the egg yolks. It never occurred to me that greens could be a problem.  Looking in my GAPS book I think that leaving out the item that bothers me and then coming back to it later is the right thing to do but I should continue to move forward with other additions.  I absolutely needed my detox bath this night.  I used apple cider vinegar which was interesting.

Children: I’m going to lump them all together to tell you about our trip to town. We (the girls and I) had eye appointments today. Afterwards I needed to run 2 super fast errands.  Apparently being in town was torture for the girls and they kept talking about every restaurant we drove by. Most of the places they mentioned we have not been to since we moved here (and started real food).  Then they would start talking about all of the other foods they missed (specifically things their grandmother cooked when they visited a couple of weeks ago).  This conversation got Christopher going too. It was not fun.  I finally had to put an end to the conversation.  We then started talking about the stage we are in and what we have to look forward to in this stage.  They did tell me how excited they were about having a casserole for dinner instead of soup. Of course, when dinner time came around they started in again on the things they miss. Joe put a stop to that conversation really quickly.

Christopher: You know how when your 3 year old is quiet it is time to worry?  This morning he was very quiet so I went and checked it out. He had taken a chair and climbed up on the counter to get down the peanut butter. I found him eating it with the yogurt thermometer thingy (apparently it was easy to grab out of the drawer).  Later he did the same thing and took down the honey. I caught him in the act that time.  Other than that it was a much better day for him (minus the car conversation mentioned above). He asked several times for meat and even told me the chicken was super good.   I do wish he would eat more vegetables. I’m not sure how to make that happen. At dinner he did a great job drinking his broth and then he ate some butternut squash which he said tasted like candy.  I guess that is good. 🙂

Day 5

Joe:  He was tired again this morning and had a ‘gurgly’ stomach.  Other than that he said he feels okay. He didn’t get me up to make his breakfast and lunch today. I believe he actually skipped breakfast and took cold meat and cold zucchini for lunch. When he got home for lunch he was able to get our sink fully functioning again (yippee!) and that was about it. His energy was very low.  Shortly before bed he was helping me get a simple soup/broth started in the crock pot. My meat bone was too big so he was cutting it down for me. Somehow he hit the crock pot just right and broke it.  Joe was so sweet he disposed of the old pot and then started a fresh batch (with a new bone) in our small crock pot.

Me: Even though Joe did not wake me up this morning, I was up shortly before he left due to our dog barking at the neighbor’s pig who was down here helping himself to our chickens feed.  When Joe was getting ready to go he found a bag of groceries that had been left in the car from our Monday grocery stop.  The girls were put in charge of bringing groceries in and left it. I was not very happy to discover that the mushroom for tonight’s dinner were in that bag and ruined.  Good thing Kiki is going to town today so she can purchase more mushrooms.  My stomach was still off when I woke up and my stool was loose. I didn’t feel the ‘urgency’ that I felt last night with needing to go but it was still there. Today is payroll day (for my bookkeeping job) which always makes for a stressful day.  I’m happy payroll is only monthly!  I finished the bulk of my payroll needs early which was good.  I absolutely did not feel like cooking anything in the morning.  The idea of cooking and chopping just leaves me blah.  We do have a good amount of food in the fridge that can be re-heated for today’s meals. And there is antelope or deer roast in the crock pot (I can’t remember which and it all tastes the same) along with broth.  I do plan on grinding some antelope up today to make into meat balls for tomorrow’s breakfast.  A few hours after I was up my stomach felt fine. I seem to be obsessed with the thought of ice cream today. I keep trying to think ice cream style treats that we can have in the near future.  I’m sure this is not a good thing and probably indicative of my issue with sweets. By early evening I was struggling, I had no energy to do anything. I took a die off bath (sea salt) hoping that would help. It didn’t help too much.  I’m finding it harder each day just to do my basic things.  Taking care of the chickens and ducks is a challenge and I find I can barely lift the water containers.  Just walking out to the chicken area seems to take all of my energy!  When I’m doing my food prep I sit at the kitchen table and avoid standing around as much as possible. After I do anything I have to go rest.

Christopher: Woke up very happy and very hungry. Since we are adding in yogurt today he got a small amount of that for breakfast along with an egg fried in chicken fat.  Christopher is really the only one eating fried eggs (Lulu did have one a few nights ago but none since).

Lulu: Like me, she is obsessed with sweets.  She found a picture on Tumblr last night and can’t stop thinking about it.  She is in a more positive mood today as far as progressing through GAPS. I do think given a choice she would quit.

Kiki: She seems to be doing better today than yesterday as far as the food obsession goes. She did go into town on her own today for a job interview (she got the job and starts on Monday) and picked up mushrooms (see my section) and zucchini for me while in town.  Kiki said that she didn’t have the food urges today when going to town like she did yesterday.  Her energy seems very good and she even did quite a bit in the kitchen to help me out today.

Day 6

Joe: He woke up shortly after 5 and our power was out. This made for an interesting start to our day. Since we are on a well when the power is out we do not have running water.  Joe used our stored water for a sponge bath while I check on our crock pot of soup. Fortunately it was still piping hot so I put it on the stove top to finish cooking.  Joe was feeling super tired this morning but had not stomach troubles.  Joe was very excited about having a soft poached egg in his soup this morning.  He took a thermos of soup for lunch.  When he got home from work he told he that he had nearly passed out while working and thinks he needs to take more food along with him and increase his carbs.

Christopher:  He woke up happy and hungry. He was very excited about his egg in his soup for breakfast. Overall he seems to be doing good but his color was off again today.  A little applesauce helped with that but I do think he needs more fruits and vegetables than what he is getting. Now if he would just eat the vegetables! He’ll eat small amounts of some things but other things he avoids. He likes butternut squash and carrots plus he thought the beets were pretty good. He’ll also eat a little broccoli. Overall, he likes the sweet tasting veggies much more than anything else.

Kiki and Lulu: Both were also happy about the egg in the soup. We had things to do in town and took along a picnic lunch of cold meats. I would have put in cold veggies too but they had all been eaten.  The children really enjoyed their picnic in the park.  Town today was much easier than last time. The girls did not talk about the different restaurants.  Perhaps it’s because I told them that conversation was off limits or maybe they were just satisfied with the picnic lunch.

Me: Woke up tired but otherwise fine.  The power being out meant I couldn’t do my bookkeeping work or any chores that required running water. As the day went on I felt progressively worse.  So tired I could barely stand it. While in town I had to go pick up our new building permit (I was super excited that it was ready so quickly) and climbing the flight of stairs up to the office was nearly impossible for me. Just walking down the street was a challenge.  I had several hours of work to do when we got home and then it was time to fix dinner.  I really wanted to feel good an just push through my tiredness.  As soon as Joe got home we moved the chicken tractors which about did me in.  I was so tired I could barely eat dinner.  I was able to rest for a bit after dinner which helped.  A little later my friend called for me to come over and pick up eggs for the week (she and I sell our surplus eggs to a few families in town).  When I got over there she told me that I looked like I didn’t feel very good. Boy, was she right! When Joe and I returned home we talked about how Intro is truly going for us. He was nervous after almost passing out. I am very stubborn and don’t like to ‘quit’ things but realized that at this time in our lives maybe GAPS Intro is not right for us.  We had always planned that if Intro didn’t work out (at this time) we would do full GAPS.  So that is what we are doing. Immediately after making that decision I made us a snack of Almond Meal Pudding.  We were all quite pleased with it!

I guess my journal about GAPS Intro has now come to an end. Some people might look at our short 6 days on Intro as a failure. While I really hated ‘quiting’ I’ve decided it wasn’t a failure at all.  It was good to see just where our food weaknesses are (sweets for sure!) and also really opened up some terrific conversations with the children.  I’m also pleased that we are listening to our bodies and what is right at this time.  I do think GAPS is a great program and has helped many people in many ways.  I’m happy that for now we will stay on full GAPS. I’m not sure how long that will last since we do want to get back to our regular real/whole/traditional foods diet.  Our regular style of eating works pretty well for us when we stick with it.  With all of the traveling this summer that wasn’t always easy (we did do pretty good but not great) and our digestive systems did suffer.  Our food journey continues as we try to discover what exactly works for our family.

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