Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Back on GAPS

two giant butternut squash, just before I put them in the oven.
I've been cooking a lot of squash lately.

Saturday, November 1, Sunshine and I started GAPS again. I figured that would give us a good 3 and a half weeks before Thanksgiving to try to get our bodies feeling better. At that point we could evaluate how we were feeling and decide whether to continue or not. We haven't had success sticking with GAPS long-term in the past (morning sickness got in the way), so I'm curious to see if we can do better this time around.

When we did GAPS before, we did 6 weeks of GAPS Intro followed by several weeks of Full GAPS, at which point we had to stop because the nausea was so bad I could no longer cook. This time we're skipping Intro and going straight to Full, in an effort to avoid the food fatigue that happens on Intro.

We've been eating a mostly Paleo diet for awhile now, though with very little nuts and coconut since they don't agree with me. We've been eating some dairy (we like our cheese) as well as the occasional corn tortillas or corn chips. And we won't mention the chocolate I've been eating....

The corn and dairy have been giving me problems and aren't GAPS-approved, so they had to be eliminated, as did the chocolate. We started drinking and using bone broth again (I slacked off awhile ago) and re-introduced probiotics and fermented foods. I'm still not fond of the flavor of sauerkraut, but I found some local fermented sauerkraut that incorporates garlic, kale, and collards and is quite yummy. We've also upped our veggie intake, which had dwindled a bit of late, and try to make sure we're cooking everything so it's easily digestible.

So we didn't actually have to make a lot of changes, we just needed to fine tune things a bit.

Why did we need to go back on GAPS?
I've known I needed to for awhile now: I can't tolerate rice at all anymore (even the small piece of rice cracker I eat on Sundays when I take the sacrament doesn't sit well) and the small amount of corn that I occasionally eat never sits well either. I don't feel well, they sit in my stomach like a brick, and my stomach gets bloated. Bloat is not a good look on anyone.

Dairy makes my stomach hurt.  And adding insult to injury, I haven't been able to lose weight in awhile. I lost the baby weight right away, but it came back as I tried to figure out what I could handle and how to get the fuel I needed.

My stress levels have been high for awhile now and my method of coping is (and has been for years) to eat chocolate. This is problematic for several reasons. Mainlining chocolate has left me with a blood chocolate level above the legal limit :) Too much chocolate gives me insomnia (this is a recent, troubling development), which exacerbates my stress issues. Eating lots of sugar contributes to my weight issues; and sugar and stress both contribute to increased brain fog.

Why now?
River is down to nursing once a day. Less frequent nursing means my carb requirements are lower and the chances of River being affected by my body detoxing goes down. Physically, I've also reached the point where enough is enough and changes just have to be made. I can't handle it all anymore and want to look and feel better.

I will say the timing is a bit tricky. Last time we did GAPS I tried to start right after Halloween, but ended up pushing it back a week or so. This time I stuck to it and we started the day after Halloween. It was a little rough. Sunshine went trick or treating at our ward trunk or treat on Thursday and got plenty of candy, so we skipped trick or treating on Friday. Instead, she spent Friday working her way through her loot. I gave her permission to do so in the hopes that she would make herself sick and decide that candy wasn't worth feeling so crummy. While she did make herself sick and feel crummy, she tried to blame it on me: "You forced me to eat all my candy!" No, I told you you could eat it if you wanted to, not that you had to eat it all.

Unfortunately, coming down off a Halloween sugar high is harder than coming down off a normal sugar high. We're over the worst, but the first few days were not super pleasant for either of us.

I've been eating mostly grain free for awhile now and while eating rice and corn again would be nice, I'm ok not eating them. The ability to eat dairy occasionally would be nice though. And chocolate, of course.

I really need to be able to lose weight and I need to regain my mental clarity.

Sunshine's issues aren't as pronounced as mine, but I've noticed increased behavioral/mood issues and intestinal issues. It'd be nice to see a decrease in her issues and more ability to control herself as a result.

We're almost two weeks in, and I can see a difference in myself. My desire for sweets is rapidly decreasing and the cloying sweetness of a Reese's peanut butter cup is just too much. Yes, I've had one since we started GAPS- I had a moment of weakness while grocery shopping last week. I don't think I'll do it again though. I haven't quite kicked my chocolate habit, but I am much less dependent on it now- a square or two of dark (dairy-free chocolate) is enough to get me through the day. And since my energy levels are going back up (I had an awesome run yesterday!), I don't feel the need to artificially increase my energy by consuming large quantities of chocolate in the afternoon just to keep going and be productive.

Because we're being a little more relaxed in our approach, things are going slower, but at the same time, I think it'll be easier to tighten things up when we're mentally and emotionally ready.

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