Thursday, January 24, 2013

The GAPS protocol

This Jan. 1 our family (except Phillip) embarked on the hugest New Year's resolution any of us has ever attempted - to get rid of food allergies if at all possible.  We've been on a long journey with health problems as a reaction to wheat and then corn and then milk.  I came to a place where I realized that things were getting slowly worse and with my children's whole life ahead of them I couldn't stand to watch their eating choices shrink so I researched a diet, tried it out on myself for 3 months, tested some basic recipes on them and on Jan 1 we eliminated : Starches, Sugars, Grains and for the most part, even Dairy on the GAPS diet. Since then these are the results

Zak: clearer thinking, able to work on school with a little more focus and attention, huge difference in his ability to understand Math

Eliot: poor Eliot does not like our diet change and has lost 1 lb in protest, we're going to keep and eye on him to make sure this doesn't become a problem.  In other news he has suddenly become ... regular.

Eliannah: is pretty much on this diet because I don't want to cook her something different.  She likes it the best though because she already likes her meat and veggies.

Isaac: Here is where the biggest changes have occurred.  Our SUPER PICKY eater who skipped dinner after dinner after dinner, ate only cereal for breakfast and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch, whined, threw fits, refused to nap and in general didn't get enough sleep has started eating everything with gusto!!!!  He talks about "when he was little" he didn't like broccoli or bell pepper or carrots but at dinner most nights he fills up on veggies and we have to remind him to eat his meat!!  He also throws far fewer fits, has no problem taking his naps, fights less and is WAY more obedient.  FYI I haven't changed suddenly into a better parent, this is totally a change in him.

Charissa: has pretty much always been on the Gaps diet since she has always refused any grain except rice.  This whole shift is no biggie for her.  She has never tolerated diary either so there is essentially no change in her diet.

Me;  My allergies and asthma have gotten significantly worse over the years and have taken over my life.  I would go out and spend time at a park with friends only to go home and lie on the couch for hours.  I started getting headaches and phantom pains in different parts of my body for no reason, my eyes were so puffy some mornings I could barely open them before I started Gaps in October.  Since then and my asthma - while still uncontrolled, is much better.  I have had enough energy to clean the house on a more regular basis and drink less caffeine.  I had also stopped taking a daily allergy control medicine until we got a dog but after an initial reaction my body is getting used to him and I have once again stopped taking Claritin.

   (wow, we sure eat a lot of tuna fish, the middle row is all nuts, seeds and dry fruit for school lunches)

Over all the health and behavior of the kids has gotten so much better.  Less fights, less problems.  While the diet is super restrictive and I basically have to cook 3 times a day the kids have helped out and how hard is it to cook meat and veggies all the time?  We haven't gotten bored of it yet because we're pretty much eating seasonal veggies and in a greater variety (rainbow chard where have you been all my life!!).  Between Costco selling organic meat now and a local farmer's market selling a weekly farm box for $15 we have maintained our $250 a week food budget AND we are eating totally organic and grass fed where possible.

The benefits are well worth it even though this is what my pantry looked like when I eliminated everything with sugar, corn, and soy.  ( the liquor in the top cabinet may not be on the diet, but it stays.... it stays ...)

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