GAPS Diary: Stage 3

Today’s GAPS Diary update…

We began the 3rd Stage of the GAPS Intro Diet last week. In this stage we get to add avocado, eggs scrambled in ghee, pancakes, and actual sauerkraut. Our yogurt and sour cream have finished culturing so we’ll add those in too.

On Thursday Man had egg whites for the first time and felt kind of “foggy” a couple hours later. He also “cheated” on the diet for the 2nd day in a row at work – this time with guacamole. Avocado can be introduced, but not necessarily all the other ingredients. It was homemade so it probably wasn’t too far off from what we should be adding. He felt fine eating this.

We also received the juicer I ordered, so Man & Housemate made carrot juice mixed with cod liver oil before bedtime. They still fear constipation, but it’s getting better. The both love the juicer because it’s quick and easy to clean – everything goes in the dishwasher.

That night I took an epsom salt bath before dinner and soaked for a relaxing 40 minutes. I was using it to detox and to absorb magnesium that might help lessen the cramps that usually accompany the first day of my period. All the sudden when I got out of the bath I felt nauseated. I laid on the couch and closed my eyes for a while. My mouth was dry and my tongue felt coated. I was able to sip water, but the thought of anything else was disgusting. The nausea passed in about an hour, but I still didn’t feel like eating dinner. I had one small piece of lamb so I wouldn’t wake up starving, but I couldn’t handle the idea of warm food or broth.

Friday morning I started my period and I was afraid that I would have severe cramps. This summer I did a blood sugar handling diet for a month (some protein at every meal, no grains or sweets, limited fruit) and I had the worst cramps of my life! I actually took ibuprofen for them because I couldn’t sleep, which is so rare that I didn’t even know we had some in the house. So I was worried that this diet would be like that, or worse. It turns out that the cramps were mild to moderate. The sweets cravings on the other hand, were of the usual variety. In the afternoon I wanted chocolate or earl grey tea with stevia. Instead I made a cup of strong peppermint tea, which reminds me of an after dinner mint. Later in the evening the cravings were even more intense and I had chamomile tea with 1/2 teaspoon of honey. I couldn’t even taste the honey so it was probably silly to add it, but it satisfied something. Friday night when we went to bed we all put a drop of yogurt on one wrist and a drop of sour cream on the other to see if we have a skin reaction to them before we start eating them.

On Saturday I woke up after 10 hours of sleep! I felt great, but was surprised to have needed that much sleep. I also realized that I never had a backache with my cramps the day before – which is the first time that’s ever happened! My cramps were less intense than usual, which makes me really happy!

None of us had a skin reaction to the dairy so that morning we made GAPS pancakes using almond butter, delicata squash, and eggs. We looked through the book and online and couldn’t find anything that said that we needed to leave spices out of them, so we added cinnamon and nutmeg. We also weren’t sure if the squash should be raw or cooked. We used it raw and it was really hard to scoop out, but it cooked easily after being in the food processor. The pancakes were delicious! I spread extra ghee on mine and Man had honey on his. We also had scrambled eggs with avocado and sour cream. A real breakfast again!

We all felt a little up and down with our energy that day. Man had brain fog about 2 hours after the sour cream. He seems to have this reaction when he tries each new cultured food. We painted my office, which I know should not be done on GAPS because it is adding toxins to our house, but it was planned in advance. We used low VOC paint and left it airing out while we went to a corn maze and picked out pumpkins. The smells of deep-fried sweets tempted me while we were there! It was another difficult day of sweet cravings and I generally had a ravenous appetite all day. When we got home we had an Italian Casserole with pork again. We also made an Autumn treat of ginger tea with cinnamon to drink while we carved pumpkins.

Our jack-o-lanterns

Our jack-o-lanterns

Getting ready for bed I notice that I have 5 new pimples, on my chin and forehead. So far I’m chalking this up to my period and not the new foods.

On Sunday we woke up after 8 hours of sleep and we both felt like hopping out of bed. We made pancakes and eggs again and finished painting the office. The pancakes were a double batch so we could have some for snacks for another couple of days. I made beef soup and Man made ghee on the stove. He had actually made ghee a long time ago, but I never had. He just melted 2 pounds of pastured butter on the stove on a low heat. Some of the milk solids floated to the top and the others sank to the bottom. It was a little hard to separate the last bit so we had one jar with half ghee and half solids, but it turns out that what had previously been solid never set up again so it just poured off like milk later in the day.

Homemade ghee

Homemade ghee

I decided that baking squash is the way to go for future pancakes so I baked an acorn squash, mashed it, and put it in the freezer for next time. Our day felt very productive and energetic.

Monday was also a super productive day for me. My energy was just really great. I mowed the lawn and raked leaves. After work I did yoga for the first time in a while and then took a walk around the neighborhood. I felt really serene. I took another epsom salt bath and felt sick after about 40 minutes again. I guess that’s too long for me to stay in.

On Tuesday I made eggs over medium with sauerkraut and roasted veggies for breakfast. This diet has us eating veggies and something cultured at EVERY meal. Even a snack of a pancake has squash in it and yogurt on it! It’s also gotten me away from fried eggs every morning. Eating soup for breakfast for a couple of weeks made me realize that I like it and it’s easy. Always having soup around also ensures that I eat lunch. Even when I’m having a stressful day and feel tense in my stomach, it gives me something easy to digest. I’ve also been working on saying “thanks” before I begin each meal. Thanking the farmers who grew the foods, grocers who sell it, to myself or my housemates who prepared it. I’m just trying to take a moment to get into a parasympathetic state before I dive in.

Dr. Natasha recommends that adults eat four egg yolks a day, but I’ve found that I can’t get that many in now. I’m a smaller woman, but I seem to max out at two when I’m also having ghee, yogurt, and sour cream every day – not to mention all the fat on the meat and in the soups. I’ve also had a different experience of hunger lately (other than when I started my period). It’s not the old kind with cravings and the urgent, “I’m starving,” feeling. It feels ok to be hungry. My blood sugar handing, which I have been working on for a while, seems to be much improved.

Another thing we’ve noticed is that we’ve all felt that we’ve had bad breath off and on this week, which I take as a die-off or detox symptom. I’ve lost 8 pounds, but the cellulite on my thighs is more pronounced. I’m glad it’s Fall and no one has to see that! Housemate hasn’t had asthma in a week, except when she took a yoga class. She’s been trying not to use her inhaler since she knows that her asthma is part of the release of toxins from her lungs. She doesn’t want to stop that unless it’s really critical.

We’re all feeling generally well and adjusted to the new foods so we’re moving on to Stage 4. We’ll add roasted and grilled meats, olive oil, bread made from almond flour, and daily carrot juice.

For more details about what GAPS encompasses and how it’s treated, please see Dr. Campbell-McBride’s GAPS website, or my GAPS Diet overview page. You can also contact me for a GAPS Consultation.

For the next part of our journey, read on for Stage 4.

This post is part of Fight Back Friday at FoodRenegade.com!

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