First Week on the GAPS Intro Diet: What I Ate, How I Felt and the Effect it had on my Family 

GAPS INTRO STAGE ONE

Day One: 1L water kefir, 1.5L chicken stock and lots fresh herb tea (made from boiling water and herbs grown in my garden and dried out at home).

I felt like I’d been knocked for six, but put that down to caffeine withdrawal. Had a cheeky afternoon nap while Freddy watched a film sitting on my lap and the girls watched a different film upstairs. That was basically how the day rolled, and I paid the price with a truly horrendous bedtime. I was not going win any parenting awards that day, but hey ho!

Day Two: 1L water kefir, 1.5L chicken stock, little bit of boiled meat from stock and herb tea, with a tbsp of loose leaf Oolong added.

Definitely felt more human, but wasn’t functioning at full capacity. We had another day at home, which certainly wasn’t easy, however I was much more able to step in to diffuse meltdowns and didn’t feel completely broken by the end of the day.

leg rash before and three days into GAPS

GAPS INTRO STAGE TWO

Day Three: 1L water kefir, 2L Chicken stock (twice with egg yolk) and herb/Oolong tea throughout the day, slow cooked brisket with garlic, onions, carrot and butternut squash in the evening.

I sprang out of bed at 5-something for the first time in months and realised I wasn’t grumpy. Also the strange rash that appeared on my left leg on 29/07 has massively gone down. It was very sore, itchy and inflamed but is noticeably better in all areas.

We had a lovely day with friends, and I was absolutely fine preparing food and not getting tempted to eat it. I did end up feeling a bit queasy after the stock with egg yolks so won’t be doing that again – it passed quickly though. My two girls had a sleepover in my eldest’s room and put themselves to bed, which is a total and utter miracle in itself!

Day Four: 1L water kefir, 1.5L chicken stock and herb/Oolong tea throughout the day and slow cooked pork blade with garlic, onions, turmeric and carrot in the evening.

Another early wake up, but rather than struggle to get out of bed I was more than happy to get up earlier than the rest of the house and did some editing work on my novel. I felt good today, although noticed a bit of nausea after drinking the tea, so will leave the Oolong out, as I’ve discovered it’s quite high in caffeine and I think I need a complete break from caffeine. Had some very challenging moments with my eldest daughter but managed to stay calm throughout, which is a huge achievement.

Day Five: 1L water kefir, 1L chicken stock and herb tea throughout the day. Soup for lunch made from stock and veggies out of last nights dinner with a little bit of boiled chicken and home made ghee drizzled over the top, boiled chicken and sauerkraut for dinner.

Didn’t have any nausea after drinking the tea, so I think staying off the Oolong for the time being is a good move. I found that I was hungrier today than I have been, but I realised that I drank less stock than other days, as I was out all afternoon, so that’s probably why. No reaction to the ghee or sauerkraut which I’m very happy about. The inflammation around the strange leg rash is completely gone, and the rash itself is now just a few spots. It’s been incredible watching it disappear each day, and to think the doctor prescribed steroid cream (which I didn’t use).

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Day Six: 1L water kefir, 1.5L chicken stock and herb tea in the morning. Boiled chicken, sauerkraut and ghee salad for lunch. Fasted from 1pm through to 11am.

Months ago my husband and I booked tickets to an outdoor festival and stay overnight in a hotel – it’s a rarity for us, so we weren’t about to miss out. I couldn’t take food and drinks into the event, so made sure I drank plenty of stock before heading out, and had a nice filling lunch before going in. Then I took it as a great opportunity to a little fast. Intermittent Fasting is incredibly beneficial for the body, check out what the fabulous Mark Sisson has to say on the matter in this detailed article.

GAPS INTRO STAGE THREE

Day Seven: breakfast out: plain poached egg yolks, avocado and smoked salmon. 1L water kefir, 1.5L chicken stock and herb tea throughout the afternoon. Beef shin casserole in the evening.

We went to a lovely breakfast restaurant at around 11am, and I ordered plain poached eggs and only ate the yolks, avocado and smoked salmon, along with fresh mint tea. I have to admit, seeing my husband tucking into his ‘Full American’ which is essentially an English breakfast with a stack of pancakes on the side, did make me envious. It looked so amazing. It was the first time I’ve looked at non-GAPS food and wanted to eat it, but of course didn’t.

Overall 

I’ve noticed a massive improvement in my mood, and am much more upbeat than I have been in a very long time. The food prep side hasn’t bothered me in the slightest, but I have come from a starting point of strict paleo anyway. I haven’t had any significant detox symptoms, largely I think because I haven’t eaten processed food or refined sugar for so long.

The best thing is that I’ve got so much more patience with the children, and am heaps calmer than I was this time two weeks ago. Hubby and I reconnected at the weekend too, and I’m confident that brighter days are here for our family now.

I moved quickly through the first two of the six stages of intro, and plan to eat stage three food for at least a week before moving onto stage four. I haven’t had any stomach or digestion issues, which is wonderful.

All in all I’m feeling great, long may it continue!

 

 

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Korean Style Pork

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Cooking day #2 – cue kids kicking off left right and centre, baby unwell and it pouring with rain (even though it’s now July). Amid the chaos however, something wonderful was created in the kitchen…

Ingredients (8-12 servings):
2kg of pork shoulder or leg
750ml stock
4 carrots
Small swede
Handful of fresh coriander
6 shallots
6 cloves of garlic
50ml tamari
2 tbsp freshly grated ginger
2 tbsp fish sauce
Tbsp sesame oil
Tbsp lime juice
Star anise

Method:
– preheat the oven to 160 degrees

– peel the carrots and swede and chop into bite size chunks, chuck into a large ovenproof pot, along with the star anise. Cube the meat and place on top of the veg

– put all the other ingredients except the stock into your blender and whizz to a paste, add a touch of stock if the blender is resisting

– pour the paste over the meat and veg and give it a good coat with your hands, then pour over the stock

– cook in the oven with the lid on for three hours, and a further hour with the lid off. The meat will literally fall apart at this stage and the veggies will be super tender

– this dish freezes well so put some away for a super quick meal another time. The pic below was the meal I made with leftovers (served with spinach and roasted aubergine & broccoli)

 

Goan style vegan curry

I’ve always been a huge fan of Indian food, and was delighted to discover I could make curries from scratch without it being too difficult or needing too many additional ingredients to the ones I usually have in my fridge or cupboards. This Goan style curry is exceptionally speedy, in fact you could probably make it quicker than the local curry house could deliver!

Ingredients (to serve two):
Med sized sweet potato, peeled & diced into 1cm cubes
Med sized aubergine, peeled & diced into 1inch cubes
Small red onion, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1inch piece of ginger, finely grated
1/2 fresh red chilli, finely diced (or a whole one if you want it really hot)
400ml coconut milk
1 tsp tamarind paste
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground turmeric

Method:
– sweat the onions and garlic in a little oil over a med heat
– add the spices, ginger, chilli and tamarind and stir well
– add the aubergine and sweet potato ensuring you coat them thoroughly
– pour over the coconut milk a little at a time
– bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer, and cook on a very low heat with the lid on for for 20-30 mins
– serve with rice & naan bread