This blog is going to be about yummy recipes and funny stories – I promise! But I’m christening this blog with it’s very first post about my current struggle with food. It’s day 16 of the strictest diet I’ve ever been on – the GAPS diet. After years and years of abdominal pain, bloating, [noxious] gas, occasional skin rashes, food intolerance that seem to be increasing by the day and eating disorders, and so on, I was fed up!
So I went to a naturopath (because physicians kept saying it was stressed-induced and tried to put me on anti-depressants and anti-anxiety pills – no thank you!) And they sort of help nudge me in a right-ish direction lol. They put me on a Low FODMAP diet, which helped reduce my symptoms a lot, but a life without onions, garlic, many fruits, BREAD, etc. was no life at all… So I scoured the internet for a more long-term healing solution, and I came across the Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) diet. Long story short, I don’t agree with a lot of what the author, Natasha Campbell, says BUT I was desperate and willing to give anything a try.
On January 9th, 2020, I embarked on a health-seeking journey. I started the GAPS diet (a super-strict and labor intensive meal plan) as well as Henry’s Internal Cleanser (and boy, was I cleaned out, if you know what I mean…)
yup… that’s chicken feet
mush topped with sauerkraut
mush topped with kimchi and egg
the one where I put too much turmeric in the soup and it stained everything
“meatball water” lol
GAPS pancakes (squash + eggs + peanut butter)
I literally ate so many of these when I moved onto this stage bc I was like, “OMG SOMETHING FINALLY HAS FLAVOR!”
egg drop soup made with bone broth
look at this creation – yogurt made just from a can of coconut milk and a probiotic!
this is what rock bottom looks like… jk, this is what separating the broth for drinking and the meat from the bones for eating looks like
this was a later stage when baked nut rolls were allowed. ground nuts + squash + butter + eggs. they were gross, but that was probably my bad.
here we have a specimen of some chicken and veg topped with sauerkraut. this became the staple towards the last week and a half.
a typical breakfast in the last two weeks. looks like real food lol but they don’t taste like ihop pancakes, that’s for sure.
when I finally got to bake my chicken instead of boil it to the point just before jerky… that was a nice change.
breakfasts of the last week of the diet were when I treated myself 😉 scrambled eggs topped with dill and avocado. cucumber slaw (made in my experiment about how to cook with salt) washed down a glass of organic carrot juice.
the best for last? well, the best of the worst you could say. this “winter squash cake” from the GAPS book is made of eggs + squash + honey + butter + ground almonds + apples. It was so freaking good after a month of blech-food. would I ever make it again? lol no.
As I am writing this final part, it is now February 8th, 2020. I survived 30 days on the GAPS Intro Diet, with zero cheats or deviations from the strict protocol. Today was my first day off the GAPS Intro diet (and no, I am not switching to the Full GAPS Diet for like one to two years…) It was a mountainous test of discipline, but the hardest part for me was the time and effort to cook about every two to three days the labor-intensive dishes. The bone broth took about three hours in total since I made it in the Instant Pot. Sometimes the other food could be cooked in tandem, but especially in the beginning, I had to use the broth in the soups. So total cooking time in one night would be like six hours. SIX HOURS.
Would I recommend the diet for everyone? Heck no. It’s a ton of work and it’s probably best to do it under the supervision of a GAPS-trained specialist; I ended up losing 11 pounds over those four weeks, which is no bueno because I’m already pretty petite.
I would however recommend Henry’s Internal Cleanser from Greenline Organic Health for most people. This stuff is legit. It cleans out your digestive tract and helps with nutrient absorption & detoxification. Just be prepared to be in very close proximity to a restroom for like the first week…
Today was my day of celebration for completing the GAPS Intro Diet as well as the first day of cautionary testing of my [hopefully healed] gut! In the morning, we went to the farmers market downtown. We saw the coolest parsnips ever, tasted all sorts of things from cayenne popcorn to coconut oil blueberry chocolate. And I just couldn’t resist getting a jar of Ground Up‘s coconut cardamom w/ chia seed almond & cashew butter… sooooo yummy! I spread it on Pacific Rose apple slices we also got at the farmers market 🙂
I ate my first meal out at a restaurant in a month! Woo hoo! We went to Shalom Y’all and actually I was pretty bummed that I couldn’t get the lamb shakshuka since it was between the brunch and dinner times, but I got the delicious Shalom Y’all Plate (falafels with lemony green sauce. hummus. labneh. coleslaw. a hella tangy pickle. the softest pita bread ever. what’s not to love?) I have been wanting to try labneh, and I finally got the chance – it is so good! I think I like it more than yogurt! And about eight hours after eating it, I still don’t have a tummy ache, so I am so excited and hopeful that I really did do some healing action on my gut! 😀
After the biggest meal I’ve eaten in a month, we needed to walk around a bit. We wandered into this cool vintage and antique home store and played with all the random stuff. It was such a great day to spend with Abdulla & my new gut! hehe 🙂