Archive for June, 2011

day 4: intro diet

Whew!  Day Four.  After the ease of the first 3 days, I thought I had this nailed.  My teaching schedule really threw me off, though!

As I lay in bed last night, I remembered that I hadn’t checked the fridge for breakfastie materials.  I knew that we probably didn’t have enough leftover meat or thawed broth to make a quick breakfast soup.  Then I went to sleep and didn’t think about breakfast until morning…at which time I panicked.  I remembered that my sister had left a quart of pumpkin soup that was GAPS-legal in the freezer but I wasn’t sure there would be enough for the three of us.  I decided to give the kids some Kashi cereal with almond milk that they hadn’t finished before we began the diet, and I had some of the soup.  GAPS fail.  At least for the kids.  And tomorrow we’ll do the same thing.  heehee

While I was defrosting my pumpkin soup, I prepared lunch, supper, and evening snack.  For lunch, I put about 3 cups baby carrots, 1 lb leftover arm roast with about 2 cups broth, 1 sliced zucchini, and one chopped sweet onion in a saucepan and simmered on the stove for about 90 minutes.  Then I mixed in a tablespoon of beef gelatin and some RealSalt.  Yumm-o.

We ate pineapple and blueberries for afternoon snack.  We all definitely got an energy boost and I’ve decided that unless I see detrimental results, we will continue with fruit even on the Intro diet.  We will save it for snack, away from meals, though.

For supper, I put 2 large sliced zucchini, 1 lb leftover chopped chicken with about 2 cups broth, and 1 lb green beans from Grandpa’s garden into a covered baking dish and set the dish in my Sun Oven.  I set up the Sun Oven at around 10am and it was done by the time we got home around 4pm.  I probably could have cooked it in just 2 or 3 hours if I had been home to preheat the oven and position it right, but this was very low-hassle.

I knew we’d be pretty hungry before bed, so I killed two birds with one stone…slow-cooker chicken feet!  I had two very excited young’uns when I revealed what the evening snack would be.  :)  And I was one happy mama to have 3 quarts of nice stock for later this week.

Leftover meats are all gone now.  I’ll need to cook something for tomorrow’s lunch and supper.  I do like cooking in the Sun Oven but it’s not practical for lunch since the backyard is shaded for most of the morning.  Also, I’m not sure I could cook large cuts of meat in the few hours of afternoon sunshine.  Pre-cooked meats with raw veggies have turned out well so far so maybe I will concentrate on slow-cooker for lunch or large portions of meat, and then use the Sun Oven when I have leftovers.  Hmm.


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day 3: intro diet

I slept less than an hour last night.  I stayed up later than I had planned and was definitely hungry before bed but didn’t eat anything.  I think that hunger, along with pain, kept me from dropping off into dreamland.  The mysterious creature living in our wall began to make noise early in the morning as well, so no sleep for me.  :/  Today, my stomach is bothering me.  This is not unusual if I’ve not slept but I’m watching to see if this could be a response to the change in diet as well.  Tonight I’ll make sure to go to bed with a full stomach and some pain medication if necessary.

We began the day with lemon-water, as usual.  There was still some summer squash soup left this morning, so I added the ground beef I had browned on Monday and divided the soup between the three of us for breakfast.  Then I put the roast, onions, and carrots in the slow-cooker for supper.

For lunch, the kids ate leftover chicken, green beans, and new potatoes.  I made soup with diced chicken for myself.  An hour later, I was very hungry and completely out of energy.  I ended up eating some pineapple and blueberries and felt soooo much better!  I had plenty of energy to clean and organize until suppertime.

We had the roast, carrots, and onions for supper.  Since we had to eat early (5pm), I wasn’t sure what we would eat when we returned from rehearsal.  I wasn’t hungry, but I did need to take some pain medication so I ate about a cup of blueberries and a few chunks of pineapple.  The kids split the last gluten-free muffin and had some blueberries as well.

I am now wondering what we will do when the fruit is gone.  It has definitely been my fall-back for something quick to pick us up at snack time.  I guess we will see what next week brings!

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day 2: intro diet

My doctor has given me a green light for the GAPS diet.  However, my cardiologist and rheumatologist both say that my condition is severe enough that I cannot quit taking my medications.  Dr. Campbell-McBride’s book suggests that GAPS is most effective when medications and supplements are limited.  I will keep that in mind, but I will continue taking 2 medications, DHEA, and a multivitamin at my doctors’ requests while I am on the diet.  My hope is that I will progress enough that they will be willing to let me discontinue the medications.  We will also be taking a probiotic daily during the intro diet and increasing our dosage slowly to therapeutic levels.

This morning, I reheated the leftover soup from yesterday and we each had a slice of bacon with it.  YUM.  ’nuff said.

We did not have a morning snack as we were out running errands.  I was surprised that we did not feel too hungry by the time we returned around 1pm.  I gave the kids half a banana each (our last banana, ha!) and I had a cup of broth while I warmed some carrot/onion puree that I had made yesterday with some broth and cooked some hamburgers.  We spread the burgers with some homemade fermented mustard and dipped each bite into the carrot puree.  We also each had a fermented pickle and a cup of broth with lunch.

We finished the last of the beet/pineapple/mango/carrot/mint juice for afternoon snack.  The kids were glad we finally finished the beets.  heehee

I had forgotten to put the roast in the slow-cooker this morning, so for supper tonight we ate steamed cauliflower and leftover chicken drizzled with chicken broth and beef tallow.  If the kids are hungry when they get home tonight, we’ll have blueberries and maybe pineapple before bed.

All in all it was a good day with just the usual hunger.  That being said, smelling the freshly baked cookies at Sam’s this morning was just as challenging as ever!  We stood strong, though! :)

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Bacon.  Yes, I did.  :)  And no, I don’t regret it.

Monday is our chill day, at least until evening rehearsals.  I thought this would be a good day to get a feel for the mechanics of the intro diet.  I had spent considerable time yesterday looking through the intro meal plan at Health, Home, & Happiness and wrote a sketch of my own actual plans for the week, which consisted of lots of question marks and a few meat/veggies penciled in here and there.  :)

I knew I would start today with a squash soup, but since the price of organic butternut had gone up to $2.49/lb, I decided to substitute in-season crookneck squash.  I had several quarts of chicken stock ready in the fridge, so I heated 3.5 qts of stock in my stockpot while I cooked bacon in the cast iron skillet.  When the bacon was done, I browned 6 smallish sliced crooknecks with some chopped green onion tops in the bacon fat.  (In the future, I will put more squash into the soup.   The blend was a bit thin for my taste.  I think 12 smallish crooknecks or 6 large ones would be about right.)  Then I added 2 Tblsp beef gelatin, 1Tblsp pink Himalayan salt, and the browned squash to the stock and simmered for about 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, I put a chicken, half a butternut squash (sliced lengthwise in thirds), a sweet onion from the farmer’s market, and 2 cloves of garlic in the slow cooker for supper.  I also browned 1lb of ground beef for convenience later in the week.

By this time, the soup was done and I put about 6 cups into the blender.  After making a big mess and deciding to blend smaller batches next time, I poured about 2 cups of soup into each of our breakfast bowls and served it with a slice of bacon.  The kids knew we would be starting a new diet and were a bit skeptical, but after tasting the soup they decided the diet wouldn’t be so bad.  The bacon helped, too.  :)  My 9-year-old son asked for a clove of minced fresh garlic to add to his soup and then declared it to be pretty fabulous.  I finished blending the remainder of the soup and put away about 12 cups for future meals.  There is enough bacon for one more breakfast and then I’ll be sad, but such is life.

Blueberry season just ended here in the Ozarks, and so I still have fresh berries hanging out in our fridge.  We’ll eat the blueberries for morning snacks until they are gone – probably about 4 days or so.  I also have pineapple, mango, and pears to eat before we really hit our GAPS stride.  I plan to juice the pineapple with some beets & greens for afternoon snacks this week and maybe I’ll puree and freeze the mangoes for future use.  Maybe.

For lunch, we ate chicken leftover from Friday with fresh steamed broccoli drizzled in coconut oil.  I topped each serving with some freshly minced garlic.  We each had about 6oz of broth with our meal.

The kids had a gluten-free muffin and I had more of the breakfast soup for afternoon snack.  Then we had our juice and off we went to rehearsal.  The kids each ate a pear while I worked and seemed quite content.

Supper was the slow-cooked chicken & squash.  Yummy.  The kids aren’t usually excited about squash but I think the fact that we didn’t eat dinner until 8:30 may have improved their opinion of that veggie.

I did all right hunger-wise until mid-rehearsal, about 6pm.  Then I ran out of zip and would have eaten my music if no one had been watching.  I’ll need to think of an appropriate snack for next week.

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small beginnings

Four years ago, I learned about the GAPS diet and realized that this protocol could possibly help me overcome some autoimmune issues I have battled.  Since then I’ve slowly moved into a psuedo-GAPS-preparation diet by removing processed foods, lowering sugar intake, and eliminating gluten and pasteurized dairy.  Even though I’ve seen benefits in my digestion and some skin reactions, I still have some major challenges to face.  I was diagnosed with lupus last year after a severe bout of fever, rash, and pain that lasted for 5 months.  Lingering pain is prompting me to search for ways to reduce inflammation in my body – and I believe a good way to do that is to follow the GAPS diet as detailed in Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride’s book, Gut and Psychology Syndrome.

I’ll just be honest: the reason I didn’t go full-GAPS four years ago is that it takes a boatload of discipline to stick to it.  With two littles running underfoot, that was just not a possibility four years ago.  Now that my kids are a bit older, I think I can manage it…and we shall see.  Desperate times.  :)  I’ll chronicle my journey through the GAPS intro diet and the full GAPS diet as I go.  I was fortunate to find a 30-day menu plan to help with the intro diet here, and I’ll stay close to the suggestions in that plan.  Seasonal produce may dictate a few changes and foods like sugar-cured bacon may occasionally make their way to my plate, but my resolve is almost certainly firm this time.  ;)

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