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Archive for the ‘GAPS’ Category

Against the Grain eBook GIVEAWAY (CLOSED) (Worldwide)

I actually had the good fortune of winning this book myself from a giveaway hosted by the lovely Hybrid Rasta Mama, and it has easily become one of my all-time favorite cookbooks - especially since most of the recipes are GAPS friendly!

But whether you’re truly against the grains or not, you will love the recipes in this book – they are just that good.

Starting with the intro, this eBook is jam packed with great information – it’s actually the first place I heard about GAPS and how damaging grains can be to the health of our guts. Kate wrote it so well in fact that she made me look deeper and pretty much changed my entire mentality around foodhow’s that for an eBook?

I’ve had the opportunity to try out close to half of the recipes so far, and in the 3 or 4 months since I’ve had this book, several of them have already ended up in my regular rotation.

The garlic rubbed pork chops are super easy to make and amazingly good – just the other day I made a huge batch so I could take extras to lunch at work, and not a day went by that I didn’t get jealous glances and comments from my co-workers in the lunchroom!

The spicy lime marinated beef strips are FREAKING awesome (there is no better way to describe them lol) – we topped them with a little homemade guacamole and sour cream, served with a side of steamed broccoli, and it was one of the best dinners ever. I’ve just realized I want to make these again like, right now! Read the rest of this entry »

Healing My Gut: Week 2 ~ Monday Menu

Homemade Yogurt - 8 Hours of Refrigeration

Image by I Believe I Can Fry via Flickr

I have officially been on the GAPS Intro Diet for one week!

First of all, I must pat myself on the back (again – I’ve been doing it a lot ;) ) for sticking to anything diet-like for a whole week. I don’t know if that’s ever happened before!

I totally understand now why Mama Eve was posting so much on her experiences with GAPS – this diet is insane! (In a good way, of course).

So here’s my story so far:

Monday – the very first day of Intro for me, I stuck to the whole thing beautifully – lots of broth, boiled meat, veggies. I was a rock star.

Until that night. Read the rest of this entry »

Healing My Gut ~ Monday Menu

Preparing of chicken broth

Image via Wikipedia

I had chicken broth for breakfast this morning.

That’s because I’m beginning week one of the GAPS Intro diet today – so it’s not exactly a conventional menu plan I’m sharing.

But for any who may be curious (and for my own reference, of course), I’m posting what I hope to be eating this week as I begin the process of healing my gut, or restoring the balance of bacteria that is so important to proper digestion, healthy immunity and even the way my brain works.

So I spent the weekend making lots of chicken and beef stock and fermenting sauerkraut, along with cutting up different veggies to make them super easy to prepare.

I’m not making a formal ‘breakfast, lunch, dinner’ thing right now, as during the first week especially I’ll probably just be eating what I want, when I want (within the limits of the diet, of course).

So far I’m seeing the challenges of really consuming every part of the bone broth I’ve made (which means adding in the fat and marrow that would usually be taken out), and not using the microwave to re-heat anything. Nothing too bad yet, but of course I’ve only just started. :)

I do just want to quickly reiterate that I’m normally not a fan of ‘diets’ and I dislike the connotation that diet has - my intention with GAPS is not to lose weight per se (though I do hope to do so), but to pretty much revolutionize my insides and truly become healthy – both in body and in brain.

And one thing that’s cool with this is that you’re not just changing what you eat – but changing a lot of the other areas of life that I’ve already taken care of (I feel like I’ve prepared without even realizing it!) – things like switching to all natural personal care products, reducing toxins in the home – whether it be cleaning products or the things I store and cook food in – in all those areas I am ready!

So in some ways this is like the next step in that journey…

So here’s the plan for this week: Read the rest of this entry »

What Is GAPS – And How Am I Going To Do It?

Isolated bacteria - Micrococcus luteus

Image by NEPMET via Flickr

Over the past couple days I’ve been writing about what I see as the pros and cons of beginning the GAPS diet – something I’ve become more interested in and excited about the more I’ve read about it.

In case you’ve been wondering just what the heck the GAPS diet is, here is a super quick and simple summary -

GAPS stands for Gut and Psychology Syndrome, which is a condition that establishes a connection between the function of the digestive system and the brain, and is a term coined by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, who has worked with hundreds of children and adults with neurological and and psychiatric conditions.

The diet is essentially based on the idea that the bacteria – or flora – that populates our guts is way out of order, and needs to be healed. This gut flora is incredibly important for all kinds of things:

  • Appropriate digestion and absorption of food
  • Synthesis and absorption of nutrients
  • Protecting the gut from invaders and toxins

Well-functioning gut flora is the right hand of our immune system. The beneficial bacteria in the gut ensure appropriate production of different immune cells, immunoglobulins and other parts of the immunity. But most importantly they keep the immune system in the right balance. ~ GAPS – What is it?

There are many ways for our gut flora to get out of balance (years of eating processed foods, anyone?) and the GAPS Diet is essentially a way to heal the delicate balance of flora in order to restore proper digestion and immunity.

Its effects are not just on the body, but on the brain – it was a diet created to assist with both mental and physical problems like autism, hyperactivity and attention deficit, dyslexia, dyspraxia, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, eating disorders and more.

OK, I’m getting into a little bit more than I wanted to here, but I thought it might help to know why I’ve become so interested in this whole thing!

It is also a helpful reminder to me – to know that repairing the damage of years is definitely going to be a process. GAPS doesn’t look easy – but it seems worth it for sure, so starting early next week I’ll be starting out with the GAPS Intro Diet.

Here are some of the ways I’m preparing to embark on this journey… Read the rest of this entry »

GAPS Diet – My Pros & Cons

Homemade Sauerkraut: The Yield

Image by I Believe I Can Fry via Flickr

Yesterday I posted about my interest in beginning the GAPS diet and what I see as the pros to taking such a drastic measure.

Today I’m discussing the cons – I would love to hear your thoughts as well!

Cons…

It looks hard!

I talked yesterday about how in some ways I think it will be easier to have something more strictly laid out than just ‘I am giving up grains’ – but that also doesn’t make it any easier!

I have a problem with commitment – particularly when it comes to diet and exercise – and that scares me. I don’t want to chalk this up as another failure in trying to attain good health.

On the other hand, I can’t know whether it will work unless I go ahead and give it a try – and that’s what I always come down to in the end.

It is going to be hard to follow something so regimented – especially making all the homemade stock, fermented dairy and vegetables, and baked goods with alternative flours that GAPS calls for – but I am hoping with enough forward preparation (stocks can be frozen, thank goodness) and support from the husband that I will be able to make it happen.

The GAPS diet calls for eating a lot of fermented foods – and I don’t really like them. Read the rest of this entry »

A Whole New World…

Homemade Beef Stock: The Yield

Image by I Believe I Can Fry via Flickr

Do you have the Aladdin song in your head now?

I know I do (and if you didn’t, you probably do now).

At any rate, that has absolutely nothing to do with my intention for writing this post…I just like to provide a little harmless (or super annoying) distraction every once in awhile.

OK – here’s the thing though – yesterday I promised to write about an upcoming major change to my diet that I’ve been contemplating, and, well, it’s time to deliver.

I am (most likely) going to attempt the Gut and Psychology Syndrome (or GAPS) diet created by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride – hopefully beginning early next week.

I’m not going to go too much into what the GAPS Diet actually is here – you can easily find plenty of information on it – but I am going to discuss why I’m interested as well as what I see as the pros and cons of embarking on what seems to be a pretty strict regimen – something I generally don’t do very well with…

First off, let me say that I am not a ‘diet’ person. I don’t really believe they work well or long term (there are exceptions to that, of course) and I don’t think they are very good for a healthy self-image either. I really believe that the key to eating well is, well, eating well. (Yes – that was cheesy. Sorry).

Really though – eating a good balance of healthy, whole foods is my ideal (not that I’ve ever been able to accomplish that longer than literally a week at a time).

So why do I think GAPS is different? Read the rest of this entry »

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