Last Thursday, after about a fortnight on step four, I felt the time had come to move to step five.
We went to Battersea Park for a picnic on Saturday. They had a lovely little jazz festival on in their bandstand, with various stalls selling food and drinks. Among them was a mobile ethical coffee van also selling juices and smoothies made from scratch. I spotted a rare opportunity to buy something that would be completely GAPS legal and I pounced on it! I had a small (200ml-ish) ‘veggie reviver’ made from carrot, beetroot, cucumber and mint and it was absolutely delicious. I drank it as slowly as I could – which admittedly could have been slower – but it was so refreshing in the heat.
Within ten minutes I felt nauseous and light headed, not great when you have a five month old baby strapped to you. Then I couldn’t stop yawning and had to have a sit down. I felt like someone had smashed me over the head with a hammer. Carrots and beets are fairly sweet as veggies go, so I’m thinking it was a classic sugar reaction. First comes the rush, then comes the crash…
While we’re on the subject of the S Word, I don’t think I’m tolerating it well at all. The first part of step five is adding pureed apple – which was uneventful, no reactions. Next up is increasing your honey intake, so I made some little frozen fudge balls (super easy and absolutely amazing, recipe to follow). Each one has about 2g of honey in, and I was having three pieces each day. Although this only equates to just over a teaspoon a day, eating them sparked off a sweetie chain reaction which made me crave more sweets. Which I didn’t have, and it left me feeling really low. I also noticed I was even more hungry having them in my diet, and I was already ravenous anyway. Totally natural and to be expected when you’re exclusively breastfeeding a chunky baby, but even I was shocked by it.
This past week has also seen me bloated, windy and leaving behind nasty smells in the loo. I’m convinced that sugar is the culprit, so I’ve stopped the honey, fruit and juices today (Wednesday). I’ll monitor how I’m feeling over the next week and see if it’s made a difference. I think it’s safe to say that I’ll be staying on step four for a tad longer. And that’s just fine. As I said before starting intro for the second time, I am in no rush and am determined to enjoy the healing process this time round.
GAPS is all about listening to your body. If something I’ve recently added into my diet isn’t agreeing with me then it has to be removed again. I have faith that I’ll be able to successfully reintroduce it once my gut has healed. It took 35 years, a very poor early diet, years of taking the pill and a lot of party related abuse to get me into this state. It’s not going to heal over night!
On a brighter note I ordered a food dehydrator and am seriously excited at the new possibilities it’ll bring to my kitchen 🙂
After a whole month of very limited eating, I felt ready to take the plunge and transition over to Full GAPS. To be honest there isn’t much difference between step six and Full GAPS, and eating wise I’ve kept things pretty simple and will continue doing so. It’s pretty much going to be meat, fish, veggies, salads, soups and a few treats for the foreseeable future. As well as continuing my supplements, probiotics and fermented foods.
As I mentioned last week, I get very hungry around 4:30/5pm when the girls are having their dinner, and unsurprisingly this is when I end up snacking (albeit on super healthy food). Today I tried something different, and ate a slightly smaller dinner than I would usually have with the girls then had a small bowl of green veg soup later on when hubby ate. I feel this will suit my needs so much better than snacking earlier and eating big later. When I first started cutting out sugar and processed food back in 2007 I would eat like this and have my last meal around 5pm. It worked well then so I don’t see why it shouldn’t now. It also means that rather than being in the kitchen doing, I’m sitting with the girls while they are eating, and that cannot be a bad thing 🙂
I went to a different farmers market on Saturday and happened upon a raw goat milk stall, which I was thrilled about. I’ve been tolerating goat milk kefir quite well, and raw organic milk is much preferable to its pasteurised alternative. I made some yoghurt which came out beautifully and tasted gorgeous, and have been making 2yo banana smoothies with it every morning which she’s been loving. I’ve got a little jar of yoghurt starter topped with milk in my warm kitchen, eagerly awaiting it to turn into curds and whey so I can have a crack at making cheese. I’ve also just come across this which claims you can make kefir from coconut milk. It may well be my solution to getting the good stuff into my 4yo, seems rather unfair that the person in my family needing its benefits the most can’t currently have it.
We’ve got a massively busy fortnight coming up – including two picnics, a pub lunch and three days of entertaining at home. It’s going to be very interesting to see how I fare up. Wish me luck!
I hosted lunch today for the first time since starting the diet, and apart from making my guests bread which I didn’t eat any of I had the same as everyone else. With no adverse effects at all. I was stoked! This is a huge relief as we are entertaining a lot over the next few weeks. I still drank a couple of cups of stock in between meals, and I’m being more mindful of everything I’m eating – which can’t be a bad thing.
I’m also finding that I have more control over my urges to eat than I did pre-GAPS. One of my biggest problems is that I get distracted with the kids, go past the peckish feeling and end up ravenously hungry. Then of course I want to eat everything in sight. Six weeks ago I would raid the fridge and eat anything I could lay my hands on, but now I’m properly thinking about the food I want to consume. Will this agree with me? Is it likely to make me feel ill? Should I have more nuts/egg, etc or is that just asking for trouble? Snacks have become goats milk kefir, fermented veg or boiled meat. My weakness is eating the girls scraps, although recently they haven’t been leaving many.
New foods today:
– raw salad and veggies
– bolognase with courgette and carrot strips (recipe to follow)
– pumpkin pie cupcake with icing (recipe to follow)
I’m taking a huge leap of faith by assuming that these will be my last intro days. I’ve had a bit of a cold this week and I think it’s been making me really hungry. I also did a lot of uphill walking in the rain yesterday, with baby in the sling while pushing both girls in the double buggy. I was bound to be peckish after all that exercise! I felt good though today, and ate with no digestive or stomach problems.
New foods today were:
Lamb shoulder casserole with mint and rosemary
Super yummy almond & cashew biscuits (recipe over on my other blog)
I remember watching a documentary once on the US Navy Seals. Their motto was ‘slow is smooth and smooth is fast’. Feels quite poignant 🙂
While re-reading some of the recipes in the book I realised that I accidentally jumped ahead of myself the other day! Technically you aren’t supposed to be adding sweetness until the sixth and final step, so I guess I’ve combined steps five and six and will just have to hope it’s okay. I haven’t been having a huge amount of sweet stuff – but I’ve been loving what I have had! I ate a pecan and date loaf over the course of three days (which had about 50g of dates in it), and I also ate about 200g of puréed apple and rhubarb over a few days.
Those were fine. Today I had a bite of 2yo’s banana, which instantly didn’t agree with me. I also picked at the leftover cherry crumble which I’d made for their desert. It was completely GAPS friendly and sugar free (just cherries, nuts and coconut – recipe to follow) and it was so yummy! I felt really naughty eating it though, like I was sneakily breaking the rules or something. I also just wanted to eat the whole lot, and had to use a lot of will power not to!
After vowing to take this week easy so as not to end up on the intro diet for longer than the weekend, I really messed up this morning! I made 4yo my rice-free kedgeree for breakfast the other day – she ate over half of it and the leftovers sat in the fridge. They weren’t getting eaten, and I just couldn’t stand the idea of it going in the bin. Seeing as I’m eating all veg now I thought it would be fine, but was wrong. It could have been completely coincidental, but it left me feeling rotten with a sore stomach for hours. Although there was only about half a teaspoon of tumeric in the whole lot, I’m pretty sure that was the culprit. I definitely won’t be attempting any other spices for a while!
I got another big jar of fermented veg on the go yesterday, which is just as well because after having my salad today I was only left with a days worth of veggies. I ate lunch quite late, then drank cup after cup of stock all afternoon. Have to say it made my stomach ache completely disappear.
I became ravenous at around 4:30pm, and had a handful of leftover duck from yesterday along with the last of the bread I made on Friday. I’ve been getting really hungry around this time for a while now, and always need a little snack. I wonder if it’s because my body clock runs on an earlier cycle due to starting most days between 4:30-5am? If I’m honest it would be this time that I’d start reaching for sweet treats. I’m glad to have put a stop to that habit if nothing else.
It’s half term here so lots going on outside the house which means having to be even further ahead of the game stock wise. It’s going to be an interesting week!