Wanting to start GAPS to help with depression, but no energy to start - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 21 Old 07-09-2011, 01:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I feel like I'm between a rock and a hard place.  I have been reading about the GAPS diet and a lot of it resonates with me.  I have diagnosed myself with depression, hypothyroidism, yeast problems, and some digestive issues.  No, I haven't been formally diagnosed with anything, I'll elaborate if anyone asks.

 

Anyways, I think GAPS would be good for me and the kiddos but whenever I read about it everyone talks about how time-consuming it is.  I don't even have the energy to do the stuff I want to do, let alone take on more kitchen responsibilities.  However, I won't have more energy until I help my hypothyroidism and depression, and then we're back to the beginning.

 

Any advice or thoughts?  Maybe a few, "You can do this!"  Anyone doings GAPS currently? 


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#2 of 21 Old 07-10-2011, 05:40 AM
 
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I am eating primal, so I am kind of doing GAPS. Does GAPS actually allow grain or is that just starting off? It is good of you to look for support as the primal thread helped me going, and especially marksdailyapple forum. Well I wish I could be of more help specifically.

What I will say is that you deserve to be healthy and nourished! Take care of yourself. Oh just remembered there a thread in the mental health section that is huge and talks about inositol for depression. Not sure if that is what is working for me, but since I have been consistent with it, my depression has been at bay. Sure there are hard days, but it isn't like it used to be.
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#3 of 21 Old 07-10-2011, 09:24 AM
 
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Anyways, I think GAPS would be good for me and the kiddos but whenever I read about it everyone talks about how time-consuming it is.  I don't even have the energy to do the stuff I want to do, let alone take on more kitchen responsibilities.  However, I won't have more energy until I help my hypothyroidism and depression, and then we're back to the beginning.

 

Any advice or thoughts?  Maybe a few, "You can do this!"  Anyone doings GAPS currently? 


I'm not doing GAPS, but I've looked into it for DD's food allergies. I'm too chicken to do it, and besides, I already have whiplash from some huge changes I've made in my diet over the past year. So the sudden, completely committed approach to GAPS is not going to work for me at this point in time. The strategy I've chosen is to slowly make our diet more and more GAPS-like, step by step, without actually doing GAPS. Like Koalamom, I'm eating basically a primal diet, so basically just meats, eggs, veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds (and some dairy). I'm working on learning to incorporate bone broths and fermented foods into our diet, which will take us in an even more GAPS-like direction. For what it's worth, I've seen huge changes for the better in my health and my DD's health as we've been slowly changing our diets, so I definitely don't think you have to do full-on GAPS in order to see some good results.

 

I think Cara at the Health Home Happiness blog now has a GAPS intro meal plan that you can purchase, so if you do want to do it, that could be really helpful. You'd still have to cook a lot, but at least the meal planning would be done for you.

 


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#4 of 21 Old 07-10-2011, 09:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, Koalamom and Bodhitree!  I'm kind of an all-or-nothing sort of gal, which is one reason why I'm feeling overwhelmed.  It's nice to get a reminder that I can make small progress and still be progressing.

 

Koalamom, Primal eating interests me, especially because The Hubby has Type I diabetes.  I think it would be beneficial for him to be using more dietary fats instead of carbs for energy.  I'm shying away from Primal, however, because it just seems like a lot of meat, and that can get pretty spendy pretty fast.  But, GAPS is pretty meat-heavy too, so maybe I just need to suck it up and tighten the budget belt.

 

Bodhitree, thanks for the tip on the meal plan.  Part of my loss is I don't know what to do EXACTLY.  I don't know what's legal and what's not, and my library system doesn't have the book.  I'll have to look into an inter-library loan.

 

Okay, gotta run, screaming toddler.


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#5 of 21 Old 07-10-2011, 09:05 PM
 
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Bhoditree, I am curious about your diet. Do you include root vegetables, like sweet potato, yucca, etc.? Also, what were the health benefits that you saw for you and your daughter?

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#6 of 21 Old 07-11-2011, 07:15 AM
 
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Bhoditree, I am curious about your diet. Do you include root vegetables, like sweet potato, yucca, etc.? Also, what were the health benefits that you saw for you and your daughter?


I do include root vegetables and probably more starchy vegetables overall than is typical for a primal eater. We have white potatoes maybe a couple times a week, and during fall/winter we eat sweet potatoes pretty frequently. I also eat more fruit than most primal folks do. And I don't worry about macronutrient ratios at all, so I'm not aiming for low-carb or anything like that (although my carb intake is certainly lower than it was back in the day when I ate lots of sugar and wheat).

 

I started on this whole journey when it became clear to me that my DD had food sensitivities. Eventually it became clear to me that I have some sensitivities too. At the time, we were vegetarian with a diet based on whole grains and vegetables, but we also ate a lot of baked goods and sugar (I've always had a major sweet tooth). I started eliminating foods that DD or I seemed to be reacting to, and after a while there just wasn't enough left to eat, so DD and I shifted into being omnivores instead of vegetarians. Then I discovered Paleo/Primal and started moving more in that direction, eliminating sweets at the same time, which was a huge deal for me. And now I'm working on incorporating more aspects of WAPF, like raw dairy, fermented foods, bone broths, etc. But I should also say that I'm not 100% strict, either. I do occasionally eat rice or brown rice pasta, and once in a while I buy a loaf of GF bread for DD and me. But even with that flexibility built in, I've gotten amazing results.

 

So during the time period I've been making all these changes, these are the health results that I've seen:

 

-DD's and my eczema has cleared up and we seem to be getting over some of our sensitivities. We can now handle some of the foods that I had previously eliminated, as long as we keep it on a rotational basis.

-My hair is getting thicker. I have all these little 2-inch long hairs all over my head that are clearly new growth.

-My skin is better, although I do still have breakouts sometimes.

-I can be out in the sun much longer without burning.

-My allergies and asthma are much, much better. I used to have to take allergy medicine daily from spring through fall, and now I only take it maybe a couple times a month.

-I have a sense of inner vitality that is hard to explain. I just feel good physically almost all the time.

-I have a sheet of abdominal muscle that I don't think I ever had before. There are hard muscles under my belly fat, and honestly I did very little in terms of exercise to make that happen. (I do Mark Sisson's primal-style fitness, so I'm pretty active, but I'm not spending lots of time doing crunches or anything.) If I lose enough more fat, I will have a six-pack.

-My cravings for sweets are subsiding, and my satiety signals are much stronger than they ever were under my old style of eating. Now I get very strong messages from my body to STOP EATING when I've had enough.

-And possibly as a result of that last thing, I keep losing weight without trying. I eat when I'm hungry, and I eat lots of fat and calorie-dense foods like nuts. But I'm still somehow losing weight. I'm about fifteen pounds below where I was when I got pregnant three years ago, five pounds below my previous weight that I considered pretty good, and thinner than I have been since I was 18. My weight loss is not slowing down yet, so I may end up actually being truly thin, which I never have been before. I've spent a lot of my adult life within the normal weight range, but still kind of chunky.

 

Sorry if I sound like a crazy evangelist, but the changes really have been amazing, much more than I ever expected. It has been a ton of hard work to learn how to eat differently, but so worth it. joy.gif

 


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#7 of 21 Old 07-11-2011, 08:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Sorry if I sound like a crazy evangelist, but the changes really have been amazing, much more than I ever expected. It has been a ton of hard work to learn how to eat differently, but so worth it. joy.gif

 


It does sound like it's worth it!  Talking about feeling full, I NEVER feel full.  My stomach can hurt from having so much stuff crammed into it and I'm still hungry.  I definitely need to change my food habits.

 


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#8 of 21 Old 07-11-2011, 09:37 AM
 
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Lazurii:  congratulations to you on taking steps to take care of yourself and your family...these are hard things to do!  And yes, the "all or nothing" approach can make you feel like a constant failure!  Write this on something and keep it somewhere you can see it every day:

 

PROGRESS, NOT PERFECTION

 

That's what you would tell your children if they were struggling with making needed changes, right?


Good luck on your journey, mama! 


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#9 of 21 Old 07-12-2011, 05:30 AM
 
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Eating primal is the best thing we have ever done, most of our health problems have cleared up. But is sure has cost way more. Eating beans and bread all day was cheap, and replacing the grain with meat is hard (especially for a former vegetarian.) Anyway, we eat meat at every meal (except the kids eat eggs for breakfast) and stock up when it is on sale.
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#10 of 21 Old 07-12-2011, 10:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm looking into the GAPS introduction and I jsut don't think I can do it right now.  Our garden is actually producing well for the first time in a long time, and I would have a very hard time not eating all the fresh tomatoes, carrots, collards, kale, etc!  I think going on the full GAPS would be a better option for us.

 

In happier news I found my gauge and rocker to my pressure canner!  Now I can clear my freezer out of bones, make a ton of broth, and then process it into quarts for shelf storage.  Then I can use the free freezer space to load on delicious grass-fed beef.  I have a source that sells me tongues and hearts for $3/lb.  He also give me wonderful stock bones for $1/lb, and they have soo much marrow and connective tissue on them.  Yum!  That way I can just open a quart of stock a day for me to drink up without taking up precious freezer space.


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#11 of 21 Old 07-12-2011, 11:03 PM
 
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Bhoditree, thanks so much for the detailed response! My 5yo dd has a lot of allergies and sensitivities (food and environmental) and we are moving towards Gaps to see if it would help. We have been eating TF (broth, ferments, soaking, sprouting, the whole caboodle) and pretty high fat for 4 years. And of course avoid her allergens and suspected sensitivities. She still has bad eczema and some days her env. allergies just seem horrible. I have thought for a while that we should at least try grain free, but have been too overwhelmed. Add to that lots of traveling and a DH who was very resistant and it was just not doable. Now we have no other options to turn to. I am amazed that you have seen such good results without even restricting carbs. I accidentally got onto Robb Wolf and listened to a few of his podcasts. It seems like all grains really play a big role in inflammation and any auto-immune thing (which I think allergies are). He also has a lot of stories of people doing well with quite a bit of carbs still in their diet.

We have been doing the full Gaps for a week. And cheating liberally at that. For the first while we were all struggling and felt miserable, but I think we might have turned a corner maybe yesterday. Except for dd whose eczema is still bad and env. allergies bother her more than usual. At least she slept better though. This is definitely helping my blood sugar. I am hungry for the first time in very long, where the last year or so I would get dizzy long before my stomach rumbled.

 

Lazurii, I would also transition slowly. Adding good stuff and just "exchanging" is often easier, so (if you are not doing it already) add broth, ferments, more fat, switch to good oils, sea salt and unrefined sugar. Then go gluten and sugar free, then grain and legume free, then move to low-carb paleo. Get familiar with the Gaps recipes and maybe avoid inflammatory things like the nightshades.Then, when you feel very comfortable with all these things, do an intro (and I think you might be able to move through all the stages and back to the full Gaps in about 6 weeks).I think the only way that it is really doable is to see it as a lifestyle change, so go at it in small bits and only as much as you can do at one time. If it is only to make kefir, that would be a great way to give your health a boost. As will adding more fat. And if you have been low fat for a long time you can add it in slowly. There are a lot of advice on the boards here on how to up your fat intake. Putting butter on everything, if you can do butter, is a good start. Eliminating gluten and sugar will normally really boost health. Just don't go wild with alternative grains and honey. Gluten-free baking is such an adjustment I would almost go straight to avoiding baked goods in general. I think if you do it one thing at a time you might find like Bhoditree that your health keeps improving. Then by the time you tackle the intro in Gaps you might have the energy for it. Also, looking at it as a long-term thing gives you lots of time to read, prepare, practice the recipes, get used to the socially limiting aspect of it, etc. Have you looked at www.gapsguide.com ? She wrote the Gaps Guide and has a LOT of info just on her site. And her own experience. She even suggests transitioning into Gaps very slowly.

 

Also, I hear you with regards to how much it costs. Stew meat might be cheaper, and sometimes organ meat as well, if you can do that. And fat as a main source of calories might take some of the load off. Especially if you can get something like coconut oil on a special or lard. We render our beef fat and add it to stews, soups even fried eggs. I think someone somewhere wrote something on Paleo on a budget. Google it.

 

www.everydaypaleo.com has some recipes. And I think www.balancedbites.com as well. And http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/thread/1181694/any-interest-in-a-grain-free-recipe-only-thread is all recipes. Haven't looked at it to see how many are Gaps friendly, but they are grain-free, which is a good place to start.

 

And you can definitely do this! Good on you for taking responsibility for your health.

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#12 of 21 Old 07-13-2011, 06:28 PM
 
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Lazurii, it sounds like you're making some great progress. I hear that GAPS intro is pretty intense, so a ton of people do full GAPS first and then do intro later on once they're used to it. I like SAmama's suggestions for taking baby steps. I remember how it feels to be depressed (I struggled with depression for years), so I just want to say I hope you're giving yourself lots of credit for each little positive action you take. Regarding blood sugar and feeling hungry/full, I definitely do a lot better with those things when my diet is mostly  paleo/primal. When I eat lots of rice and beans (as I just did for dinner tonight eyesroll.gif) I get that feeling where my belly is clearly full but I'm not satisfied.

 

SAmama, I bet you'll see some good results for your DD from eliminating grains. It seems to me like getting rid of sugar, seed oils, and grains is crucial for easing all that autoimmune stuff. It has certainly helped me (in spite of my occasional slip-ups), and my DD seems to be doing well too. I hope you see some good progress soon with your DD's eczema and allergies. That stuff is so tough to deal with.


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#13 of 21 Old 07-14-2011, 10:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, I'm sharing some of my progress.  It's not GAPS related, but it's something.  Most of my collards in my garden had gone to seed, and they were huge plants.  Today I tore them out, shredded the leaves, and now my dehydrators are stuffed full of leafy goodness.  I like to dry and grind greens to use in smoothies, baked goods, soup, etc.  I'm just glad that I actually got it done instead of letting them rot in the garden.  Woo-hoo for me!


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#14 of 21 Old 07-15-2011, 03:02 PM
 
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Okay, I'm sharing some of my progress.  It's not GAPS related, but it's something.  Most of my collards in my garden had gone to seed, and they were huge plants.  Today I tore them out, shredded the leaves, and now my dehydrators are stuffed full of leafy goodness.  I like to dry and grind greens to use in smoothies, baked goods, soup, etc.  I'm just glad that I actually got it done instead of letting them rot in the garden.  Woo-hoo for me!



thumb.gif  I'm jealous of the stash of dried greens that you're going to have!


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#15 of 21 Old 07-15-2011, 04:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It's amazing how much room dried, pulverized greens take up.  Hint, it's not a lot.

 

Okay, gals, I took the plunge.  I actually went to the natural food store and picked up everything I need to start the GAPS intro, stage 1.  For $43 I got:

 

5 lbs of carrots

3 lbs of onions

2.5 lbs cauliflower

2.2 lbs cabbage (to make some more sauerkraut for the juice)

3.4 lbs broccoli

1.5 lbs boneless chuck roast (beef)

2.5 lbs boneless leg roast (pork)

3.25 lbs cut-up fryer (chicken, obviously)

 

Erg, I hope it's enough for five days!  I have no idea now much meat I'm going to eat by having it at every meal.  Luckily I already had my freezer full of stock bones so that won't be part of the cost.  And my garden is starting to produce some lovely zucchini and yellow squash, so yum!

 

Did I do good?  Will this last me five days?  I eat a ton because I'm still nursing both the kids and they're kind of picky eaters.  I just hope this goes well!  My plan is to not demand perfection from myself, if I don't have the time for this then I'll drop it.  I also won't adhere religiously to five-days-for-every-phase, I'll just move on when I feel like it, after spending at least five days at it.  I think it'll be less overwhelming to move slower.

 

Okay, enough with this report.  Thanks for all the support, I just really appreciate it.


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#16 of 21 Old 07-16-2011, 05:40 AM
 
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Can you eat eggs? And does GAPS restrict potatoes? What about fruit?

Lazirii, great list of foods! Eating Primal for me is really simple (sometimes boring, boo hoo) and I buy the same stuff you do, except I get chicken thighs, and ground beef as they are the cheapest and I am on a tight budget. Ground beef, onions and broccoli are my favorite. I like to add super soaked pinto beans sometimes as I break the rules with beans. When starting without grains, it is pretty hard at first for many as you just want to fun to bread, but it will pass after 3 days. Dried fruit is helpful to grab and go when you want bread the first couple of days. My kids are grain free most of the time but I will make some rice in bone broth to go with their meals sometimes.
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#17 of 21 Old 07-16-2011, 08:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I can eat eggs later.  The first few phases are very restrictive.  The only vegetables I can eat at this time are carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, leeks, onions, winter squash, and summer squash.  The first five need to be well boiled.

 

I'm so excited, though, because in the GAPS diet you're encouraged to eat all the soft bits off the bones after you use them for stock, and that's my favorite.  I'm always sneaking into the pot and pulling out the cartilage, fat, and marrow.  Sprinkle some sea salt on that and YUM!

 

I found this site and I'm loving it so far.  It's very in-depth about the diet, which is nice because my local library doesn't have the book. 


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#18 of 21 Old 07-20-2011, 12:58 PM
 
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I'm so excited to see someone else starting this!  We started our GAPS journey on Monday.  Hubs is doing the Intro and I'm doing a modified Intro since I'm nursing my youngest.  When we finish nursing, I'll go back and do the Intro by myself.  We're waiting for my son to finish his summer preschool session, and we'll be putting him on the Intro Diet to see if it will help him (he's diagnosed as high functioning autistic).

 

I am loving the 30 Day guide from Health Home Happiness.  At first I thought I could come up with menu plans on my own, but then realized the cost of it was well worth saving me time in trying to figure it all out.  Initially, the Intro seemed so daunting.  I wasn't sure how we could possibly do it, but we're 3 days in and it hasn't been too bad at all.  However, I am beginning to wonder if I can keep following all of my food blogs... if I see another cupcake, I may freak out.

 

I hope everything keeps going well for you! 

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#19 of 21 Old 07-20-2011, 03:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, I had to stop reading food blog, Aegis.  Torture.  But I still have stuff all around me:  loaves of sourdough bread on the table for my sister, leftover oatmeal cookies nobody is eating (Hubby!  Get on that!), and then I went grocery shopping with my sister last night and we had to stroll through the bakery, of course.

 

But I'm feeling pretty good. I'm putting my vegan will power to good use, I was wonderful at avoiding non-vegan food when I was vegan.  It was more of a mindset.  If it was something I could have in moderation I had no control.  If it was in a category of "Don't touch!" then I wouldn't.

 

I felt pretty crappy the first 2-3 days.  My son even started throwing up, and he's doing a modified Intro.  I'm giving him a bit of frozen fruit as "ice cream" and he's getting eggs and store-bought whole milk plain organic yogurt.  I've been breaking out with pimples all over my face and back, I was getting the sweats the first few days, I had headaches, and my mouth was just disgusting.  Things are slowly clearing up.

 

BuggaBoo has been night waking, he spectacularly wet the bed the first night (he hardly ever has accidents), and when he came in to nurse the morning of Day 2 he threw up all over me.  He proceeded to throw up about 7 times total before noon.  After that he was just fine, but he took two loooooong naps that day.  Doozer has been cranky but not too bad.  She has been sleeping more restlessly, needing to nurse more and not liking the blankets on her.

 

One thing I've enjoyed eating is something a bit like vegan cheeze sauce over broccoli and beef.  To make the sauce you boil carrots and a bit of cauliflower in beef broth until very soft.  Mash like potatoes with a good pat of tallow and sea salt.  Then take just a bit of broth and half a small onion and boil the onion until very soft.  Add the mashed carrots/cauliflower and a bit of garlic.  Whiz everything in the food processor until very smooth, tasting for salt and fat.  Spoon over boiled broccoli and beef.  It's not exactly like cheese but if you've have vegan cheeze sauces before you'll find a similarity.  And with all the carrots it's a toxic orange color, just great for kids.

 

The "ice cream" I've been making for the kids is frozen bananas, sometimes frozen cherries or blackberries, egg yolks, a bit of honey, water, and I put in about a teaspoon of bone powder (I grind up the soft bones after making bone broth to add to things).  Whiz it up in a blender and serve.  I also have been freezing this into popsicles so I can just throw them at the kids.  Between the two of them they only eat a smoothie a day, which contains two bananas and two egg yolks.


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#20 of 21 Old 07-21-2011, 04:50 AM
 
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Great recipes Lazurii.
Yeah when I went primal, I was sick for the first few days. But it shall pass.thumb.gif
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#21 of 21 Old 07-23-2011, 02:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm feeling really discouraged today.  I started getting a bladder infection two days ago.  Yesterday I bought some cranberry pills and loaded up on them and water.  But it hasn't made a dent!  I'm going to stick with it, but the infection is turning into a whopper.  I'm just so mad that I might have to go get an antibiotic and start all over again.  Not fair!

 

*sigh*  Any tips?  I guess I can start swallowing some raw garlic.  Would it help to up my cod liver oil, I'm already taking 4 teaspoons a day.


SAHM to DS BuggaBoo blahblah.gif  12/07, and DD Doozer energy.gif03/10.  Sharing life with The Hubby since 01/05.

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