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I started sharing at the end of September how my poor choices over the summer resulted in me feeling horrible all of the time. There was very little I could eat without getting a stomach ache. I was tired all the time and felt like doing nothing. I think I was even bordering on depression. It was not a fun time. Adding to it all was a sense of frustration and guilt knowing that I caused this by taking on more than I should, eating things I knew I shouldn’t, and overall ignoring my own health and ‘pushing through’. Sigh.
On October 1 we (my husband and I) joined the 30 Day GAPS Intro Challenge hosted by Cara at Health, Home & Happiness. The first few days of GAPS was not an easy time. I had some die off symptoms that left me moody and emotional. I thought about throwing in the towel a few times. But after the first few days I started to notice that I was slowly feeling better. My stomach didn’t hurt as much. I was still very tired but would have short bursts of energy. Just over a week into the challenge I had to be out of town for 5 days. This stalled me a bit but when I returned home I was back on Intro. By the time the month ended, I was feeling considerably better. We actually stayed on full GAPS while at home for most of November.
Doing GAPS was a good lesson for me. It really made me pay attention to my body. Because it is an elimination diet I became very aware of how certain food would affect me as I added them back in. It was a huge eye opener and really made me think about society today. How many illnesses, behavior issues and assorted other things are directly contributed to our crappy diets? These are things that my mind knew with the research I’ve done since switching to real/whole/nourishing foods and doing GAPS but actually experiencing these things for myself was huge.
I never really had any trouble with the Intro foods but once we were done with Intro and working toward getting back to our regular Nourishing Traditions style diet, I noticed more negatives. During this time, we also had some ‘events’ which featured only conventional style foods. Visiting family for a weekend and eating what they provided left our entire family feeling quite sick for a few days. Eating too much over Thanksgiving weekend (a mix of NT and conventional) also didn’t sit well with us. And a pizza party earlier this week left me miserable (the rest of the family seemed okay) even though I ate only one piece of pizza, a small salad and a few crackers with cheese. Oh and a piece of cheesecake 😉
So I’m left with the possibility that for at least this current time, I still need to be very careful with what I eat. I’m also hopeful that by being diligent to provide my body with nourishing foods someday I’ll be completely back to where I was prior to the start of summer.
While we’re not really on GAPS now I do still want to keep many of the GAPS principles in mind especially concentrating on the GAPS principals outlined by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride in the book Gut and Psychology Syndrome on page 144 “If you have decided to go straight into the Full GAPS diet, keep in mind that about 85% of everything your patient eats daily should consist of meats, fish, eggs, fermented dairy and vegetable (some well cooked, some fermented and some raw). Baking and fruit should be kept out of the diet for a few weeks, and then be limited to snacks between meals and should not replace the main meals. Homemade meat stock, soups, stews and natural fats are not optional- they should be your patients staples.” For the other 15%, we’ll be having soaked, sprouted or soured grains, nut or coconut flour goods, plus the occasional not so good thing when circumstances dictate.
So that’s where I am. I’m definitely much better than I was a few months ago but still have some healing to do. And in the future, I need to remember not to take on more than I can handle and to take better care of myself.
Photo Credit: alyssssyla on Flickr