Well, we are embarking on an adventure, or at least that's what I hope to think of it as, this next month and beyond. In January, some of you may remember, I committed to one month of grain-free/refined sugar free for myself. Some benefits of that were a more even appetite (not as much feeling desperately hungry before meals) and my heartburn/some digestion issues almost disappeared. However, it seemed to be a lot of work not worth it enough for just those benefits for the long run and didn't address what I'd hoped, which were my "nerve issues" specifically but not limited to tingling and numbness in my hands and feet. So...back to normal life. Not much processed food but some. Not as much grain and bread as a normal person, but some. Not as much sugar as the rest of the world, but definitely some!
A few months later though we started noticing M, who has had some issues with digestion all her life including as a colicky baby, started have tummy aches and having trouble going to the bathroom. I really felt like it seemed to be related to her favorite foods...bread and bready type things and dessert! So for several months I hemmed and hawed because I felt like it would be beyond torture to change her diet. Finally it got so bad and all the normal stuff wasn't helping much at all (prunes, juices, tons of fruits and veggies) that I got fed up and cut out the gluten. For the most part I am doing the same thing. And it really hasn't been that bad. Daniel has had some withdrawls and bought a loaf of bread last week for himself but he's been a trooper with the meals we've been eating lately. We've cooked a lot with brown rice flour which is more expensive than whole wheat organic, but not outrageous. However.
For quite some time I've known of the GAPS diet and have thought it sounded intriguing for those people who it could help, but way too much work and not what we needed. Well, that has changed in the past few months. I've been noticing more and more things that the GAPS diet can help with that are problems with the kids and I feel almost like I can't NOT try it. I don't want to. It is going to be extremely hard and I imagine the kids are going to be super cranky the first few days (as well as myself) and its going to be a lot of work! One of the reasons I was resistant at first was that I thought I couldn't do it here in France but the more I read I realized that I could, I'd just need to be more creative with things acquiring certain things and the probiotics they recommend would have to wait a bit. So we're going to take it slow and the downtown market is going to be my new best friend. Our grocery budget is probably going to be crazy for a month or two or three with having to buy more meat and starting out with organic pastured eggs. But produce here is relatively cheap and easy to obtain, so that won't be a problem.
So tonight I will be making a beef broth with some bones in my freezer and heading to the market in the morning if I can. So for a brief explanation of what this "diet" is supposed to help with is "healing" your "gut" and your digestion system. I am sure this isn't the proper terminology and someone can correct me if I am wrong but various things include diet and medication and illness can disrupt the normal healthy bacterias etc. in one's gut which leads to a number of issues in many people...all the way to behavior/emotional/mental problems not to mention physical results of course. One of the main ways this diet is used is for people with autism spectrum disorders. None of my kids are struggling with that in particular, but we have a definite family history of other issues such a attention issues, sleep disorders, etc. All of these things and treatments must be balanced with the knowledge that ultimately it is God who gives and takes all things of course. But keeping all that in mind if my family (and my functioning as a wife and mother) have a good change to significantly benefit from this, I think its time to try it. So, there you have it. Here's my hat tip to you if you read all that:).
Here are some meal ideas for this upcoming very bizarre week, on the intro of GAPS:
Broccoli Beef Soup (leeks, ground beef made into meatballs, broccoli)
Ginger Garlic Butternut Squash soup (pureed)
Creamed Cauliflower with meatballs (put cilantro on top)
Hamburger patties cooked in broth, carrot sticks cooked in broth
Chicken "noodle" soup
Those are my ideas for the first couple of days. My goal is to do 2 days with just the intro for me and the girls and add the eggs and some cooked apples on day three (maybe just one day on the super strict...I don't want any starving children!:)
We'll see ...wish me luck!