May 13, 2013

90 Days GAPS Summary: A Piece To The Puzzle (Part One of Three)

Can I just tell you I am a HUGE fan of the GAPS diet! I have read so many wonderful stories of healing in people's lives from doing the GAPS diet for a season of life (everyone is different and it could be months or a couple of years.)  However, the main reason I am a big fan of this way of eating and internal healing is because I personally have seen such drastic improvement in my own health is just a matter of 90 days!  Praise God! It is amazing.
I really do Praise Him because he is the ONE allowing GAPS to work to heal me.  By His Grace alone....
Over the next three posts I would like to summarize for you~
1.) What my day looks like on GAPS each day and what I take supplementally
2.) Symptoms that are gone and some that are still here
3.) Addressing other pieces to the puzzle like my thyroid and getting enough 
     sleep that are helping me heal.
What my GAPS day looks like:
I wake up and take my thyroid medication on an empty stomach (T4 and T3.)

About 20 minutes later I take my probiotics of which I have been able to work up to the therapeutic doses finally. I take GutPro (because is it dairy free and has NO fillers)and Prescript Assist (because these are the soil based probiotic organisms that we need) right now and when I am done with those will be switching because we are supposed to switch probiotics frequently so as make sure we get a variety of good bacteria in our intestines.

A few minutes after the probiotics that I take L-Glutamine powder in some water.  L-Glutamine is a great gut healing amino acid!

Now we are about 30 minutes from my waking and I get to have my morning cup of "coffee!"  My morning cup of coffee is actually juice. I have been able to successfully introduce juicing into my daily routine and I look forward to it everyday.  It rejuvenates me and wakes me up!  My morning juice consists of 2-3 carrots, a piece of cucumber, a few dill sprigs, sometimes a yellow or red beet, several beet greens, a few big leaves of kale, & 2 celery stalks. It is so tasty! It ends up to be about a cup and a half.

While I am cleaning my juicer I have already started my breakfast broth, meat and veggies simmering on the stove.

About a half an hour after I have had my juice my breakfast is usually ready. 
**It is good to let freshly made juice be in your stomach with no other proteins or foods for about 20-30 minutes to get your digestive enzymes flowing as well as allowing your body to get all the nutrients from the juice without much work.

My breakfast varies in how it is prepared but usually the variety of food I eat is close to the same each day/meal.  I eat a bowl or big cup of bone broth (usually homemade beef or chicken) with every meal. In the broth (for a soup) or on the side is usually some form of good meat like Wild caught Salmon or Halibut, Grass Fed Beef, Organic and Antibiotic Free Chicken, or Nitrate and Sugar Free Pork Bacon that is antibiotic free.  Along with the meat I add lots of veggies to the pot.  The veggies I eat are usually avocado, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, bok choy, mustard greens, carrots, acorn squash, spaghetti squash, & zucchini squash.  I would like to reintroduce onions and garlic again soon and hope to be able to have those.
*It is good to be sure to eat some form of squash with each meal because there is carbohydrate energy in those and it keeps the GAPS patient from going into a state of ketosis. We need some form of carbohydrate but not coming from starch or starchy veggies.

I don't eat all my meals in the form of a soup.  I do make my own beef sausage patties to have on hand. They are seasoned with salt and pepper, sage, thyme and sometimes rosemary.  I make a lot of these to store in the freezer.  Chicken I usually roast, grill or make in the crock pot.  Fish I usually sear on the stove, bacon of coarse is fried and other beef cuts I usually do in the crock pot as well. Sometimes I make little croquettes with chicken or beef, avocado and squash and fry them up.  Sometimes I make meatballs and throw them in a pureed cauliflower or carrot soup I made.  Regardless of how my food is prepared I always have some form of fat added to my dish like reserved bacon fat, beef tallow, and/or avocado.  I cannot tolerate coconut oil still and do sometimes use olive oil drizzled over my fish wish some dill. I also like to julienne cut my veggies to add variety or sometimes I even make "noodles" out of my zucchini for a change.

Before I eat I take my HCI and GUTzyme digestive enzymes to help me digest my proteins, fats and carbohydrates. I don't make enough stomach acid to properly digest the foods I eat.  I am hoping this is temporary but my doctor says that I have a genetic marker that doesn't allow me to digest my proteins properly so I may need to take HCI the rest of my life.  We will see. Only the Lord knows. My goal is to be off all medications (thyroid) and all supplements, except for a Multi Vitamin, someday.

After that part of the routine I can sit down and enjoy my breakfast! I usually have two big bowls of soup or a big plate of meat with veggies and a side of broth. On my second portion of food I pour a dose Flax Oil (optimal EFA's) over the soup or meat to make sure I am getting my essential fatty acids in. Sometimes it is just flax oil and sometimes a mixture of Flax and Borage oil. This is also a source of good fat.

I still would love to be able to have egg yolk, raw milk yogurt and homemade sauerkraut.  I will try these over the coarse of the next few weeks again to see if I can tolerate them yet. I did buy some beef gelatin for an egg replacer and look forward to using that soon.

After breakfast I take my vitamins. This will vary for every individual but I have been tested for my vitamin and amino acid levels through a NutrEval Test and need to take the following:
  • Vital Nutrients with no Iron or Iodine (no iodine until my Hashimotos antibodies come down a bit)
  • Folic Acid (I need a bit more that my multi provides.)
  • Blood Builder (I need a little supplement of iron but not as much as comes in a multi)
  • GLA (Gamma Linolenic Acid)
  • ALA (Alpha Lipoic Acid)
  • Vitamin D (I take this additionally after lunch since I need a bit more than my multi provides.) 
I really don't snack throughout the day unless I have some bacon cooked up. Then I might have a slice here or there.  I may also have a piece of acorn squash as a snack.  Usually I just eat my three meals a day.

For lunch it is the same as breakfast and I do take my Vital Nutrients Multi vitamin after I eat.

In between lunch and dinner I take more T3 for my thyroid.

For dinner it is also the same as breakfast but sometimes I prepare something a little more fancy (again, same food just prepared differently) to satisfy my desire for something special. After dinner I also take more of my multi vitamin and two more GLA capsules.

The hardest parts of being on the GAPS diet for me are:
  • Lack of variety at this point in time. It is such a slow process reintroducing foods ONE at a time and I also have to introduce supplements ONE at a time.  This means that I try something on one day and have to wait as much as three to four days before I can try something else.  Sometimes if I have had a reaction I have to wait longer until the reaction subsides. I can't wait to not be so limited. I know it will come with time and patience with this healing.
  • Not being able to eat freely is hard too. I miss being able to just pick up a piece of food that is at a potluck or someone's house or even mine for that matter, and enjoy it.  Instead I literally have to think about every single thing that enters my mouth and how it will affect me.
  • I still have sweet cravings a lot and wish I could just have a piece of fruit here and there. Hopefully soon!
  • The prep is also hard.  I have gotten a good routine going though.  I make 21 quarts of broth every 4-5 days. I make sure my veggies for juicing are prepared on a tray the night before.  I have all my veggies cut for the next day the night before and either my meat cooks in a crock pot all night for the next day or I have it prepared for the next day.  It takes a lot of forethought but makes the days easier in that I am not in the kitchen 24/7.
Stay tuned for the next two parts to this series!  The next one will be all about my symptoms that have disappeared and some that are still sticking around.  The third and final post I will talk about a big piece of the puzzle to my healing ~ my thyroid imbalance/balance as well as getting adequate sleep.

How is GAPS going for you?  Do you have any questions for me? Do you have Hashimotos Thyroiditis and Hypothyroidism and have a tip or idea to share with me?


Please note - I am not a medical doctor.  What I say on this blog is based on my own research along with my own personal experiences.  I assume no liability and my advice, ideas or suggestions should not replace those of your own practitioner.


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For any and all health advice/suggestions and/or posts on this blog, I do not assume any liability for you. The posts and comments on this blog are not meant to be a substitute for your own practicing physician's care in your life. These posts are based on my experience and research in my own healing journey and are placed here to encourage and help those ailing with their health. We are all individuals and there is not ONE pat answer or resolution that applies to everyone across the board.