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GAPS Diet Chat and Support

post #1 of 210
Thread Starter 

Joanie had the great idea of starting a GAPS thread seems how there seem to be several of us doing it/starting it/thinking about it. I thought it was a great idea! I totally need more ideas and support doing this; it's very intense!


Abra, you're a wealth of knowledge and a VERY GOOD GAPS mama! I see all your ferments on Facebook thumb.gif Rhyko LOVES the pancakes you posted. He eats about one a day for snack.


So we've been doing Full GAPS loosely since my DH's family left just after Rhyko's birthday, but we're ready to start the Intro again. I think we'll be starting on Monday, that way I have the weekend to get things ready.

post #2 of 210

Yay for a GAPS thread!


I'm working my way up to starting it. I'm taking small steps first to clean up my eating and get organized before diving into the really restrictive stuff. I haven't bought the book yet but have been reading up online. I'm currently making my first batch of raw sauerkraut! SO EXCITED redface.gif


I want the pancake recipe! I don't have Facebook. 

post #3 of 210

Great idea!  


Pancake recipe:  3-4 eggs, 1 soft banana (or peeled and seeded zucchini), 1/2-1 cup peanut/almond butter.  Blend all ingredients in a blender until very smooth.  Cook in a little ghee or coconut oil just like a regular pancake.  The recipe is very flexible, with enough eggs anything will hold together.  


Christina:  From what everything says online, you're really  not supposed to do the intro diet while breastfeeding.  My DH is on his 3rd week of the intro diet and the rest of us are (mostly) doing the full GAPS diet.  My kids have had a few grains here and there, but I've been grain free.  I would really like to do the intro diet because I'd love to clear up my egg sensitivity and see if it will heal my vertigo issues.  So far I just feel like I'm having mega die-off(healing reaction) this week.  I've been super tired and unmotivated to do much (except make all this food from scratch of course!).  


Right now my DH is between stage 2-3 and been stuck here for a while.  He's eating:  Bone broth, boiled meat, boiled/steamed veggies, ghee, coconut oil, homemade yogurt, homemade sour cream, egg yokes (white are still giving him a reaction), avocado, honey, fermented veggies, and today he's going to start with the zucchini version of the pancakes.  


The supplements that we are taking, we very slowly introduced the BioKult probiotics, adding 1 more pill each day.  


9 BioKult pills (3 with each meal)

6 TriEnza pills (2 with each meal and increasing until there will be 3 with each meal.  Only my DH takes these, as he has major digestion issues)

2 krill oil pills (we take krill instead of the cod liver oil that's suggested)

5000iu's Vit D3


Fermented foods that I'm making, we eat some fermented food with every meal:


Red cabbage kraut

Cabbage, carrots and cauliflower

salsa (i cook with this a lot to add flavor)

Sour cream 


Milk kefir 

Water kefir



I'm ALWAYS making stock.  It takes at least 24 hours to make one batch, so it's slow and we consume a lot of it right now.  I tend to alternate between chicken and beef, as those are the easiest organic, pastured meats I can find here.  


Another easy recipe:  1 cup coconut oil, 1/2 cup peanut butter, honey to taste, pinch salt, 1tsp vanilla.  Melt coconut oil gently, blend all items in blender, pour into a dish and store in freezer.  This is a great way to get enough coconut oil every day and it sort of feels like candy, even though it's all super healthy ingredients.  We all eat a few large bits (small pieces) per day.  


So far my dh has been doing really well with the diet.  He feels a bit deprived, but overall is feeling well and really wants to get his body healthy so that he can get off of his bi-polar meds.  He plans on waiting until he's been healthy for 6mo and then slowly wean off of them.  He's struggled with digestion issues HIS WHOLE LIFE.  He's a perfect GAPS case, starting with the fact that he had severe colic as a baby and then diarrhea issues for as long as he can remember.  Currently he's going to the bathroom 1-2 times a day and it's between a 4-5 (on the bristol chart).  This is very good for him and he can really see the progress that the diet is having.  I on the other hand, don't have digestion issues and ended up a tad constipated the first week (which is supposedly normal when you remove most fiber). Now things are pretty much back to normal for me, which is good.  


A typical daily diet for my dh is:


Breakfast:  Stock with 3-4 egg yokes, topped with lacto-fermented salsa


Lunch:  Soup w/tons of meat and veggies, topped with sour cream.


Dinner:  Meat and veggies cooked in ghee and stock (just enough stock to keep it from browning), topped with fermented veggies


Snack:  Yogurt w/honey - coconut oil fudge (just a tad)


Drinks:  Tea, stock, water, small amount of water kefir (I don't think this is technically legal, but I make it very dry).

post #4 of 210

Also to add..  We very slowly transitioned over to this diet.  Over the last few months I had slowly be making less and less meals with grains and increasing our probiotic foods.  I took time to learn each new thing and incorporate it.  It's A LOT to learn, even if you already eat well.  I probably spend 4-6 hours a day making food from scratch, researching and trying new things.  I'm just starting to get into a good routine with it all.  I don't think that anyone should jump into something like this all at once, it's just too over-whelming.  Take it slow and then pick a day to start sticking with it (or the intro if you're going to do that).  

post #5 of 210
Thread Starter 

Yes, we've basically been transitioning for about a year. We cut out dairy and grains when Rhyko was about 2 months old. We cut out other starches (potatoes, beans, etc) when we started more Paleo type eating in January, but added back in sweet potato a couple months later. But, for the most part, minus dinners out and the odd week here and there with company or whatnot, we've been eating this way since then. We started looking into GAPS more this summer and I read the book mid July. We tried to do the Intro diet, but only got about three days in before I felt I couldn't do it anymore because of milk supply. I don't think we were doing the Intro diet very 'properly', though... I don't think we were eating enough. We were really just having three bowls of soup a day. I think we should have been eating about double that.


At any rate, it is my intent to eat as much as possible when we start the Intro again on Monday. This time we're going to use ground meats instead of 'stew meats'. They always ended up dry for us. I've been making GAPS chili once a week lately and the ground beef has to simmer with the other ingredients for about 45 minutes in that recipe and the meat always tastes good, so I figured we'd try that. Besides, I have about 25 pounds of ground beef in my freezer! Haha.


But, I will certainly switch back to Full GAPS if need be if the intro doesn't seem to be agreeing me or Rhyko.

post #6 of 210
Thread Starter 

I'm curious how you're making sour cream, Abra. I used to LOVE sour cream, but haven't had it in ages. We've only just started having raw cheeses about two weeks ago, after not really having cheese for almost a year. 


Rhyko HATES cheese. lol.gif

post #7 of 210
Thread Starter 

Also... sorry to spam!... We've been getting most of all of our meats and all of our cheeses from US Wellness Meats. I really, really love the 75/25 ground beef. That's some good stuff! And their steaks are great, too. And the raw milk cheese is AMAZING! We eat the ground pork with breakfast every morning. Just wanted to put that out there in case anyone needs help finding a good meat source. They also have organ meats, headcheeses, sausages, etc. And sugar free beef franks! Those are REALLY GOOD!!


We would do a local cow share or whatnot, but we just don't have the freezer space and just haven't made the investment in a chest freezer. We will, though. Maybe next year.

post #8 of 210

Sour Cream:  Heavy cream, yogourmet kefir starter, whisk together and leave on the counter for at least 24 hours.  I've also been re-culturing it with good success.  I know that the package says not to, but I found a few things online that said you can do it 6-7 times before it will start to lose efficacy.  I've also tried it in my yogurt maker with a yogurt starter and that works perfectly well too.  Note:  I do not heat the cream, but I do heat milk when making yogurt.


In Oregon I always lived close to really good meat sources, or I would order 1/2 a cow.  I think a freezer is a great investment and you can often find them used for $100-$200.  A used freezer can totally pay for itself quickly with the $$ that you'll save on meat.  Buying the whole animal generally costs around $4lb once you get it, which is SO much cheaper than even ground burger at a store like Whole Foods.  Luckily here in WI I found 2 really good sources for meat at the farmers market.  I've gotten grass-fed beef, pasture pork, pasture chicken and eggs for a very reasonable price.  We eat a lot of ground meat, but I also use just about any kind of meat in soup.  Ground, stew, whole roast cut up, and pulled chicken.  


I really struggle with whether I should try the intro diet.  I've already lost 6-7lbs since we left Oregon and started to transition to this diet.  I really can't afford to lose any more weight, as I'm now too thin.  I did read on the Gaps site that it's normal in the beginning and as my body gets healthy I should start to put back on a few lbs.  However, in the mean time I think I might need to wait until Coralie nurses less.  I'm finding it hard as it is to eat enough, even if I cram myself full of fats.  We'll see though, I really just want to be able to eat eggs without a reaction.  Hopefully that will happen on the full Gaps diet with a little time.  I have been experiencing some good die-off/healing reaction from the probiotics and then again when I started eating coconut oil and milk kefir.  While I'm not sure that I completely believe in the theory below, I included a link to a really interesting perspective that die-off/allergies from good food is really a healing reaction.




This link is an interview between Dr. Mercola and Dr. Campbell-Mcbride.  It's long, but I found it interesting as she goes into better detail about things.  Plus, I always like to hear authors talk about their own subject.  




Luckily none of my kids have digestive issues, so they just get to come along with us on the ride.   Coralie likes most food, including plain yogurt (and the homemade stuff is sour) and cheese, so we got lucky there.  Rhyko might change his mind about cheese, just keep offering here and there and see how it goes.  I really wish that some of my friends who have kids that are super picky eaters would consider something like this.  Unfortunately, most people find it too hard and it's so much easier to feed a toddler organic spaghetti o's and crackers than to think that diet might have a cause.  Food cravings are so amazing tied to digestive health, but who has the time to hassle with it..  Sigh.

post #9 of 210

What are everyone's goals with doing the GAPS diet?  This might be good to write down now to document progress.



* Heal egg sensitivity.  I currently get a bad tension headache when I eat eggs.  According to Bee's website it may very well be a 'healing' reaction because eggs are full of a lot of good stuff, but as of now I avoid them because I don't feel good for days after eating any eggs.  

*While my digestion is pretty good, it could always use some improvement.  The goal is to go easily 2-3 times a day.  

*Heal my vertigo issues, which are greatly tied to my immune system.  I'm much more dizzy when I'm run down.  



*Heal IBS (chronic diarrhea)

*Have more stable moods, he's always had severe mood swings.

*Get off of his bi-polar meds -  Lithium (half of which is the natural version) and Seraquel



*Improved health and stronger immune systems.

post #10 of 210

I am starting really slowly over here. I have a ways to go before I enter GAPS territory but I'm starting out nearly Paleo for a bit to make my way there. I already have more energy just from the past few days of eliminating grains and increasing healthy fats/proteins/vegetables. I've suffered from horrible brain fog and memory problems for years (to the point of embarrassment in front of people greensad.gif), and eating this cleanly is the only thing I've found to help. I went to work last night with so much clarity in connecting thoughts. It has been a while since things were so clear. It gives me hope! I will type out my goals when I get more time to organize them. smile.gif


As for purchasing 1/2 a cow... How do we find sources for that? We bought a chest freezer early this year in hopes of doing that at some point, but the only friend I know who can supply the meat has a really long wait. 

post #11 of 210

We have been buying our beef from Jeff Leen farms near here.  They raise 100% organic and grass-fed beef and pasture chicken.  I'm sure they sell 1/2 a cow if you pre-order, otherwise check Craigslist, it's a great resource to find small local farmers.



post #12 of 210
Thread Starter 

For us, our goals:



* Heal my insulin resistance

* Get to a better weight

* Heal gut issues I've had since I can remember

* Treat my flakey scalp

* Heal depression/mood/anxiety issues



* Treat food sensitivities

* Have more energy

* Gain some muscle/weight



* Re-establish healthy gut flora (he had antibiotics and formula when he was in the nicu, before he ever had breastmilk gloomy.gif )

* Build immune system

* Learn to enjoy a variety of foods





Rhyko does a really good job with the foods we're eating. He sips his spoonfuls of kraut water, cod liver oil and elderberry syrup like a champ! And he eats all veggies, meats and fruits we give him. He just doesn't like cheese! So funny. I think I'm not too worried about that... I'm still on the fence about whether or not humans should even be drinking the breastmilk of another species... confused.gif

post #13 of 210

Yeah, if he eats a wide variety of food, I wouldn't worry about it.  I think that dairy is a traditional food, but should be consumed raw and from grass-fed animals.  Of course this isn't always available and we really need the variety, so we continue to use it.  I have gone for long periods of my life though without dairy and was a vegan for a while in high school.  It would be my preference to own my own cow or a few goats.  As soon as we settle somewhere, we plan on raising our own dairy and meat again.




Rhyko does a really good job with the foods we're eating. He sips his spoonfuls of kraut water, cod liver oil and elderberry syrup like a champ! And he eats all veggies, meats and fruits we give him. He just doesn't like cheese! So funny. I think I'm not too worried about that... I'm still on the fence about whether or not humans should even be drinking the breastmilk of another species... confused.gif

post #14 of 210

Here is a link to a bunch of interviews from people who have gone through GAPS.  I've been slowly listening to them over the last few days.



post #15 of 210
Thread Starter 
So we are on day two of phase one today and I feel much better this time around! It is just a few hours before dinner and I'm not starving, so that's good. I think technically perhaps what we are making what could be classified as a watery stew rather than soup... but its all good.

We are diligent with our suppliments. We are all getting over some sniffles so ive been giving all of us elderberry syrup which has honey, but its only about a tablespoon total throughout the day. I will discontinue it until our intro is over once R stops sniffling. In addition to that we are taking CLO and kraut water. Also we got this excellent probiotic that includes the soil organisms that Dr Natasha talks about in the book.
post #16 of 210

Can ya'll post your raw sauer kraut recipes?  Also what starter do you use for yogurt?  I was just using organic yogurt from the store, but I know that you can purchase better starters online.  Any recommendations?  TIA!

post #17 of 210

Originally Posted by Jaimee View Post

Can ya'll post your raw sauer kraut recipes?  



I made my first raw kraut batch per Abra's suggestions and this YouTube instruction: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gObQR5Vm4M


I used red cabbage and carrots, sea salt and dill. I also used a bigger jar than the woman uses in the video. I couldn't massage as much liquid out of the cabbage as she did (maybe because it was red cabbage?) but Abra said you can just add water to cover the vegs and then put the whole cabbage leaf on top to hold them down beneath the brine. I have a shot glass pressed between the leaf and the lid to keep it down for sure like the video suggests.


I have a question for anyone else who has done this before, though! How do you know when the kraut is ready to eat? The video says 4 days, but Abra says she usually does a week. I'm on day 4 right now and really want to try it! But if opening it early will ruin the fermentation, I don't want to do it. Help?

post #18 of 210

Christina:  Glad to hear that it's coming well.  We are also taking the BioKult probiotics that she suggests on her site.  We also make more 'stew' like meals, as they're more filling and substantial.  How are you feeling?


Jaimee:  I just use cabbage, salt and water in my kraut.  I then do everything that Joanie mentioned above.  After some experimentation I use Stoneyfield farms organic plain (whole milk) yogurt as a starter.  It's turned out the best of all the brands I've tried.  I do plan on ordering some different types online, but maybe in a few weeks.


Joanie:  It's okay to open your kraut every day and try it.  You can't hurt it, some recipes aren't even air tight (anerobic).    You can stop it at any point, depending on how you like it.  I like mine tart, so I wait.  Also, red cabbage is tougher, so I think it takes a bit longer than green cabbage.


AFM:  I'm still feeling run down and super dizzy.  I think that I've still having some strong die-off symtoms, as I keep increasing my probiotics and I'm drinking milk kefir, which is STRONG!  This week I made almond flour bread, which everyone was happy to eat (so it must be okay, heh). 

post #19 of 210
Thread Starter 

I'd love your almond flour bread recipe, Abra! We're not there yet, obviously, but I like a tried and true recipe word of mouth any day! :)


I am a GAPS cheater, I think, because I just buy Bubbies Kraut and Pickles. They don't use any vinegars, preservatives and those two items are live. I just don't have the support or help during the day to have the time to make everything. :(

post #20 of 210

I still can't believe how quick and easy it was to make raw sauerkraut... (and CHEAPER! omg the raw kraut in our stores is like $10+ a small jar...) This is the first thing I've ever "jarred" and I walk past it a hundred times a day admiring it on my kitchen counter. LOL! I told DH I have a renewed interest in growing my own produce next year and trying out canning. I could get so hooked.


Tomorrow I'm making bone broth for the first time too. bouncy.gif


After this, I think I need to try making kombucha. I love that stuff so much but can't afford to pay for it bottled in the store. I looked up how to make it, and that one looks pretty interesting... lol

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