Week 4

Um. You might be wondering what happened to Week 3. Well, Week 3, we stuck to the protocol, but I was swamped with other commitments and didn’t keep track of my intake. I am less and less hungry these days. I wake up between 5:30 and 6:30 am, whether I’ve gone to bed at 10pm (rare) or midnight (common). I have a bit of water and my thyroid med, then I don’t have anything else for two or three hours. I’ve been experimenting more with our morning juice, included garlic, ginger, and beets.

We’re basically on Full GAS now, though I’m still cooking lots of soups and stews. I have had a couple seemingly random allergy/asthma attacks, late a night, and would like to figure out if they’re food-related. I thought it could be from tomatoes, as it happened after eating Bolognese sauce, but it happened again after I hadn’t had any tomatoes for several days. I’ll keep track of them as they happen and see if I can determine a pattern.

Breakfast has become an incredibly elaborate affair. Juice, involving multiple veggies, then the kids breakfast, still oats and ghee, but this week, I’m taking out the maple syrup and sugar-sweetened fruit syrups and making cooked apples to go with their oats. Since we just smoked a new batch of bacon (honey-cured), we’ve been having that with breakfast. After that’s cooked, I fry onions, adding leafy veg once the onions are nicely browned. Then I cook eggs. I was up at 5:17 this morning and just finished breakfast a few minutes ago…it’s 10:33. The good news is this big late breakfast holds me over ’til 3 or 4 o’clock. I snack a bit on olives or cheese while I prepare dinner and I’m good.

My energy, especially considering how little sleep I’ve been getting, has been pretty good. I’m almost wondering if I should cut back a bit on my thyroid med? I might cut out 1/2 a grain of the 2-1/2 I’m taking now and see if I get more sleep. Not that I necessarily want to sleep more, but it’s supposed to be good for healing.

My feet are still bothering me, but I’m standing a LOT, with all the GAPS cooking + buying club food prep I’ve been up to lately. All things considered, they’re not as bad as they could be.

I read HellaD’s post about External Baths and then more here about the benefits of Epsom salts and have made a commitment to soak every other day. I’ve put it on my calendar in hopes that I will not forget. I would love it if that baths would help with the joint pain. On the days I don’t take baths, I’ll encourage the kids to and put Epsom salts in their bath.

Day 22 Bought 10 pounds of halibut fish frames at New Seasons today for $0.99/pound. Once I get the beef broth finished, I’ll make a big batch of fish broth! It was beautiful out this afternoon. I sent the kids outside to play and they didn’t come in ’til dusk. So looking forward to more warm weather.

  • Juice: Carrot and celery juice
  • Breakfast: Beef broth, bacon, sauteed onions and chard, two fried eggs, sauerkraut, duck liver pate
  • Lunch: Skipped
  • Snack: Green olives
  • Dinner: Goat Korma with Fragrant Cauliflower

Day 23 Mike’s been getting a lot of garden prep done and I need to plant peas asap. I’ve never waited this long.

  • Juice: Carrot, kale (from garden), ginger, green apple
  • Breakfast: Beef broth, bacon, sauteed onions and bok choy, two fried eggs, sauerkraut, duck liver pate
  • Lunch: Skipped
  • Snack: Salami and Swiss cheese
  • Dinner: Cabbage, Onions & Apples with Sausage

Day 24 Dry brushed my skin and then took a long soak in the tub last night. Looking forward to doing that more. Almond flour arrived finally…we were completely out! Baked some delicious apple-cinnamon muffins this morning. Had an mild allergy attack around 11pm.

  • Juice: Carrot, celery, beet root, parsley root
  • Supplements: CLO/Vitamin D, O3FA
  • Breakfast: Bacon, sauteed onions and bok choy, two fried eggs, sauerkraut, duck liver pate (forgot broth)
  • Lunch: Snacked on apple-cinnamon muffins
  • Dinner: Onion soup with sirloin, spinach salad

Day 25 I was a little concerned that making fish broth would make the house stink, but I turned 10 pounds of halibut frames into fish stock and the house smelled SO good. I really want to make some crab soup or clam chowder. (How do you do that without potatoes?) Also made a fresh batch of kimchi and blogged all about it.  Another huge breakfast, no lunch, and practically no dinner. I’m not trying NOT to eat, but I’m not driven by hunger. Took another Epsom salt bath.

  • Juice: Carrot, celery, beet root, parsley root, daikon, apple, ginger…one of my favorite combos so far
  • Breakfast: Beef broth, bacon, sauteed onions and bok choy, two fried eggs, sauerkraut, duck liver pate
  • Lunch: Coffee at cafe, a bite of Luc’s brownie (cheat alert: rice flour and sugar)
  • Snack: Homemade cream cheese and gravlax
  • Dinner: Skipped
  • Late night snack: Monterey jack cheese, pickled salmon

Day 26 Slept almost 8 hours last night. A rarity. I noticed this morning while carrying a basket of clean clothes upstairs that my knees didn’t hurt as much as usual. Overall, I feel less achy in my joints, mostly noticeably my shoulders. Is it GAPS or could the Epsom baths be helping so quickly? I had another bath this evening after dinner tonight.

  • Juice: Carrot, celery, beet root, parsley root, daikon, apple (forgot the ginger and it bummed me out)
  • Breakfast: Bacon, sauteed onions and kale from the garden, two fried eggs, sauerkraut, duck liver pate
  • Lunch: Skipped
  • Snack: Larabar and some Parmesan cheese
  • Dinner: Cioppino with Parmesan cheese and Sauerkraut

Day 27 Canned nine quarts of beef broth, six quarts of fish broth (plus one quart that broke in the canner), and 1 quart of duck broth. Last night I went to bed around 10pm and slept ’til 5:30 or so. Mike didn’t clean the kitchen when he got home late last night. I was pretty frustrated to wake up to a messy kitchen (longstanding issue), so I just made myself a simple breakfast and got out of the house for a while. Came home to a clean kitchen and house, made muffins, and soaked cashews and peanuts. Finally made sauerkraut. We’re going to run out before this batch is ready, but still have plenty of kimchi, plus the batch I made a few days ago. I am obsessed with food.

  • Breakfast: 2 eggs scrambled with smoked salmon and cream cheese, coffee
  • Lunch: Slice of beef tongue, slice of cheese, olives
  • Dinner: Apple cinna-muffins, coffee

Day 28 I hosted a Demarle party today, cheated a bit having a slice of cheesecake (sweetened with sugar). Made a delicious dinner, made even better because everyone ate some of everything I prepared and seemed to enjoy it all. Or at least, there were no complaints.

  • Juice: Carrot, beet, daikon, ginger, apple, 1 scoop of kelp
  • Breakfast: Almond flour pancake, bacon, 2 fried eggs, fried onions, duck liver pate,
  • Lunch: Quiche rancheros, carrot muffin, roasted butternut squash and onions, cheesecake, coco-cocoa crack
  • Dinner: Roast duck with cherry-balsamic sauce, roast leeks, green salad, pickled chard, coco-cocoa crack, glass of cherry hard cider
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Week Two

Day 8 After going a bit off protocol over the weekend, we returned to it Monday. Carrot juice does seem to have helped. The duck was fantastic.

  • Before breakfast: Carrot juice, about half a cup
  • Breakfast: Liver paté, fried with onions in ghee, two eggs fried in ghee, kimchi, beef broth with ghee
  • Lunch: Leftover gingered carrot and shrimp soup with kraut and kimchi
  • Dinner: Roast duck, bok choy, onions, ginger and garlic sauteed in duck fat, kimchi

Day 9 Crazy day.

  • Before breakfast: Carrot-celery-kale-apple juice
  • Breakfast: Beef broth, two eggs fried and bok choy fried in duck fat, liver pate, kimchi
  • Lunch: Pork with fennel and apple, sauerkraut, creme fraiche
  • Dinner: Ground beef with taco seasoning, lettuce, cheddar cheese (we were at a friends)

Day 10 ‘Nother busy day. We sliced and packaged many pounds of bacon, finished beef broth and duck broth, and pork fat…and cleaned the kitchen.

  • Before breakfast: Carrot-turnip-kale-celery-apple juice
  • Breakfast: Beef broth, bacon, two eggs and bok choy fried in bacon fat, liver pate
  • Lunch: Skipped
  • Dinner: Pork with Fennel and Apples, sauerkraut, creme fraiche, applesauce

Day 11 Today, the dryer stopped working, the DVD player stopped working, and Annabel had her debut stage performance. Food took a bit of a back seat. Thank the gods our most important “D” appliance, the dishwasher, didn’t stop working.

  • Before Breakfast: Carrot-fennel-kale-apple juice with CLO/omegas
  • Breakfast: Duck broth with ghee, bacon, bok choy and two eggs fried in bacon fat, liver pate, kimchi.
  • Lunch: Egg drop duck soup with bok choy, green onions, kimchi
  • Dinner: Pork and apple with sauerkraut

Day 12 Quite a day. Baked GF birthday cake in morning. Mike fixed the dryer and took the DVD in for repair while I went to a paleo potluck at my friend Durga’s house. SO fun, delicious, and rejuvenating. Home, frost cake and go to 4-year-old’s birthday party for the afternoon and then come home to make for dinner for family and two children who are sleeping over! I crashed on the couch at 9pm, but was not completely worn out by what for me “normally” would have been a completely exhausting day.

  • Before Breakfast: Carrot-fennel-kale-apple juice with CLO/omegas
  • Breakfast: Duck broth with ghee, bacon, bok choy and two eggs fried in bacon fat, liver pate, kimchi.
  • Lunch: OMG. Kale chips; nori with raw butter; roasted asparagus; two kinds of beef liver pate; seaweed salad; dulce chips; sauerkraut; beef heart and kidney stew; raw cacoa and coconut cups
  • Afternoon birthday party: crudite with herbed butter, thin slice of GF cake that I baked…didn’t like it much
  • Dinner: taco salads with ground beef cooked with onions, cumin, ground chipotle, tomato paste, cabbage with cumin, coriander, lime juice, olive and sesame seed oil

Day 13 Clean up day.

  • Breakfast: Almond flour pancakes with cinnamon and ghee, bacon, two scrambled eggs with home smoked salmon and home cultured cream cheese, coffee with honey and cream
  • Skipped lunch
  • Dinner: Taco salads!

Week One

I’ve decided to discontinue the daily meal updates and post a weekly record instead.

Day 1 Mike and I started intro yesterday. Here’s what I ate.

  • Breakfast: Liverwurst and chicken broth with pickle juice (from homemade LF pickles)
  • Mid-Morning Snack: Mug of broth with pickle juice. Realize that it tastes really good.
  • Lunch: Celeriac-Apple Soup with Pork Patties (cooked for a while, til the meat was softened)
  • Afternoon Snack: Same as lunch.
  • Dinner: Same as lunch, plus I added a leftover beef patty and some duck prosciutto to the soup. I made a batch of applesauce and we all enjoyed that immensely.
  • Before bed, I had a cup of chamomile tea.

Day 2 Today I ate

  • Breakfast: Liverwurst and a mug of chicken broth with pickle juice and egg yolk.
  • Mid-morning snack: Cup of garlic and ginger infused duck broth with egg yolk and kimchi juice.
  • Lunch: Pork Loin and Bok Choy in Duck Broth.
  • Dinner: Same as lunch, plus a bit of applesauce with cinnamon.

Day 3 I ate:

  • Breakfast: Chicken broth with pickle juice, liverwurst
  • Lunch: Not very good chicken soup (too much onions and garlic)
  • Afternoon snack: Banana-hazelnut butter pancakes
  • Dinner: Curried buttercup squash soup with chicken

Day 4 I’m starting at the screen, drawing a complete blank on what I ate yesterday. Oh right, now it’s coming to me.

  • Breakfast: Liverwurst, 1 egg fried in ghee, a couple small almond flour & yogurt pancakes, beef broth with kimchi juice
  • Lunch: Leftover duck soup
  • Dinner: Onion soup with sirloin and yogurt, applesauce

Day 5 I ate

  • Breakfast: Liverwurst, one fried egg, pork patty, pickle, chicken broth
  • Lunch: Leftover onion soup with more beef broth and kraut
  • Dinner: Gingered Carrot Soup with Shrimp and Kimchi, applesauce

Day 6 Yesterday I taught my Dairy Magic class and had a bit of a “cheat” day. I couldn’t be rude and not enjoy all the yummy homemade cream cheese and mozzarella or let the leftovers go to waste, right? I also made a batch of carrot muffins, for my students to have with cream cheese and had some of those. Plus, I had a mug of coffee. Back on the protocol today. At this point, we’re in Intro, Stage 3 and sliding into Stage 4, ready for juices, fried eggs. If things keep apace, I expect we’ll be on Full GAPS within week or so.

  • Breakfast: Liverwurst, egg, baby bok choy sauteed in duck fat, half a lactofermented pickle.
  • Lunch: Carrot and shrimp soup with kimchi, mug of coffee with honey and cream
  • Snack during class: Two carrot cake mini-muffins with homemade cream cheese
  • Dinner: Spaghetti squash with Bolognese sauce and leftover homemade mozzarella

Day 7 Sunday was a quiet day here. We enjoyed a big family breakfast, then in the afternoon, my husband took the kids to a friend’s house for the rest of the day. I puttered around, preparing two kinds of liverwurst, brining a duck to roast Monday, cleaning up around the house, and enjoying the solitude.

  • Breakfast: Almond flour pancakes, eggs fried in ghee, pork sausage, carrot juice
  • Lunch: Skipped, not hungry
  • Snack: Carrot muffins with cream cheese, beef liver paté
  • Dinner: Skipped, not hungry

Days 11 and 12

Day 11 Today, the dryer stopped working, the DVD player stopped working, and Annabel had her debut stage performance. Food took a bit of a back seat. Thank the gods the dishwasher didn’t stop working.

  • Before Breakfast: Carrot-fennel-kale-apple juice with CLO/omegas
  • Breakfast: Duck broth with ghee, bacon, bok choy and two eggs fried in bacon fat, liver pate, kimchi.
  • Lunch: Egg drop duck soup with bok choy, green onions, kimchi
  • Dinner: Pork and apple with sauerkraut

Day 12 Quite a day. Baked GF birthday cake in morning. Mike fixed the dryer and took the DVD in for repair while I went to a paleo potluck at my friend Durga’s house. SO fun, delicious, and rejuvenating. Home, frost cake and go to 4-year-old’s birthday party for the afternoon and then come home to make for dinner for family and two children who are sleeping over! I crashed on the couch at 9pm, but was not completely worn out by what for me “normally” would have been a completely exhausting day.

  • Before Breakfast: Carrot-fennel-kale-apple juice with CLO/omegas
  • Breakfast: Duck broth with ghee, bacon, bok choy and two eggs fried in bacon fat, liver pate, kimchi.
  • Lunch: OMG. Kale chips; nori with raw butter; roasted asparagus; two kinds of beef liver pate; seaweed salad; dulce chips; sauerkraut; beef heart and kidney stew; raw cacoa and coconut cups.
  • Afternoon birthday party: crudite with herbed butter, thin GF cake that I baked
  • Dinner: taco salads with ground beef cooked with onions, cumin, ground chipotle, tomato paste, cabbage with lime juice and sesame seed oil

Day 10

‘Nother busy day. We sliced and packaged many pounds of bacon, finished beef broth and duck broth, and pork fat…and cleaned the kitchen.

  • Before breakfast: Carrot-turnip-kale-celery-apple juice
  • Breakfast: Beef broth, bacon, two eggs and bok choy fried in bacon fat, liver pate
  • Lunch: Skipped
  • Dinner: Pork with Fennel and Apples, sauerkraut, creme fraiche, applesauce

While we’re doing fine with the dietary aspect of the protocol, I’m still challenged to remember to take my supplements. I should be taking vitamin D/cod liver oil and omega-3 fatty acids with breakfast and HCl with all meals, but I just forget. My goal for the coming week is to get into a routine with taking at least the first two. I can remember to take my thyroid hormone and probiotic because I take them first thing in the morning, but once everyone else is up, the distractions of making breakfast, mediating disputes, getting people ready to get out for the day tends to make me forgetful. I have been making my juice an hour or so after I get up and may try adding my liquid supplements to my juice and at the same time, setting up everyone else’s in water or juice. Remembering the HCl at every meal is going to require some other tact. Ideas? How do you remember to take your supplements?

Day 9

Crazy day.

  • Before breakfast: Carrot-celery-kale-apple juice
  • Breakfast: Beef broth, two eggs fried and bok choy fried in duck fat, liver pate, kimchi
  • Lunch: Pork with fennel and apple, sauerkraut, creme fraiche
  • Dinner: Ground beef with taco seasoning, lettuce, cheddar cheese (we were at a friends)

That’s all.

Day 9

I realized, finally, that I’m feeling overwhelmed because not only am I a week into GAPS, but also preparing a load of ferments, bacon, smoke salmon and gravlax for members of our buying club and working on blog posts about rendering fat and making broth that are requiring lots of food prep, plus I want to take pictures when there’s good light in the kitchen, which is slowing down both of those processes. Here’s what we’ve prepared this week:

  • 1 gallon of sauerkraut
  • 1/2 gallon of kimchi
  • 1 gallon of preserved lemons
  • 16 quart stock pot on stove with beef broth
  • 5 or so pints of lard, half of it still in the slow cooker, waiting to be jarred when the light is right
  • 8 quart stock pot of with duck broth, waiting to be jarred up when I can the beef broth tomorrow
  • 70 pound of pork bellies (Mike’s smoking these today)
  • 5 pounds of salmon (Mike’s *supposed* to be smoking these today, but he forgot to take them with him to our smoking partner’s house!)

The good news is, once we get all the bacon and ferments out of here and I finish up these blog posts, cooking just for my family will be a breeze!

This morning, amused with myself as I made our morning juice and really enjoying the process because I never thought I’d be one of those people, you know, someone who juices everyday, I realized that 1) I also never thought I’d be one of those people with two deep freezes and I never even imagined that I’d be someone who renders her own lard or makes her own kimchi and 2) I’m really glad that I have the energy to do things like make juice and cleaner the juicer everyday, that I am able to take better care of myself than I could a year ago. I was beating myself up a bit, for not starting GAPS sooner, for not going gluten-free sooner. I know so many people doing this diet, but they and their kids all seemed sicker than me and my kids. I didn’t fully understand the protocol or how it healed the body. The truth is, I was in denial about the state of my health, in part because I’d been sick for so long that I had kinda grown used to it–dis-ease had become normal, something I was supposed to just muscle my way through somehow. Even once I did quit gluten and experience some improvements, I still didn’t understand how damaged I was inside. I’m really glad that Mike suggested we do this together–I couldn’t do it on my own.

Anyway, here’s what I ate yesterday:

  • Before breakfast: Carrot juice, about a cup
  • Breakfast: Spoonful of liverwurst, bok choy sauteed in duck fat, two eggs fried in duck fat, duck broth with ghee
  • Lunch: Almost-Instant Vegetable Beef Soup
  • Dinner: Same as lunch
  • Snack: XXX-rated chocolate-coconut butter/oil-honey concoction I will write about later

Day 8

After going a bit off protocol over the weekend, we returned to it Monday. Carrot juice does seem to have helped. The duck was fantastic.

  • Before breakfast: Carrot juice, about half a cup
  • Breakfast: Liver paté, fried with onions in ghee, two eggs fried in ghee, kimchi, beef broth with ghee
  • Lunch: Leftover gingered carrot and shrimp soup with kraut and kimchi
  • Dinner: Roast duck, bok choy, onions, ginger and garlic sauteed in duck fat, kimchi

The kids are taking more of an interest in the diet, which I suspected would happen. We still have some rolled oats and rice pasta left, so I’m allowing them to slowly work through those. I’ve explained that they must have eggs or meat with every meal, some fat whenever they eat carbs, and a bit of kraut or yogurt everyday. Luc agreed to cream with his oats and admitted they were good that way. I’ve explained a bit about bacteria and digestive healthy and why carbs alone aren’t healthy. I don’t want to force this diet on them, rather, I hope for them to see that Mike and I are enjoying this food and that they can too. They were very excited to have roast duck–both ate an incredible amount of food at dinner and even seemed to enjoy the bok choy.

Day 2

Day 2  Today I ate

  • Breakfast: Liverwurst and a mug of chicken broth with pickle juice and egg yolk.
  • Mid-morning snack: Cup of garlic and ginger infused duck broth with egg yolk and kimchi juice.
  • Lunch: Pork Loin and Bok Choy in Duck Broth.
  • Dinner: Same as lunch, plus a bit of applesauce with cinnamon.

I feel good, not as tired as I expected to be on no caffeine. I haven’t been hungry, though I am obsessed with thoughts about food. Not cravings so much as thinking about what I need to do to prepare for tomorrow. I’m worried about going hungry and having blood sugar crashes, though I haven’t had one in ages and with all the fat and broth I’m eating, I don’t imagine it will be a problem.

Earlier today I stumbled across this helpful post about preparing to go on GAPS. I managed to do much of what she suggested. I made and canned about 30 quarts of chicken, duck, and beef broth; made a big batch of applesauce, which my kids prefer to cooked apples (though I may try those, too); and pre-cooked 10 pounds of pork sausage patties. I thought patties would mostly be for the kids, but they already came in handy when I need some meat to go with our first soup. Some of her other suggestions I do already as a matter of course: preparing fermented vegetables, keeping two freezers full of meat, and meal plan. It didn’t occur to me to stock up on, pre-cook/pre-cut squash or prepare crispy nuts, but I’ll probably do that this weekend.

Day 1

Mike and I started intro yesterday. Here’s what I ate.

  • Breakfast: Liverwurst and chicken broth with pickle juice (from homemade LF pickles)
  • Mid-Morning Snack: Mug of broth with pickle juice. Realize that it tastes really good.
  • Lunch: Celeriac-Apple Soup with Pork Patties (cooked for a while, til the meat was softened)
  • Afternoon Snack: Same as lunch.
  • Dinner: Same as lunch, plus I added a leftover beef patty and some duck prosciutto to the soup. I made a batch of applesauce and we all enjoyed that immensely.
  • Before bed, I had a cup of chamomile tea.

When I quit eating gluten in July 2010, I almost immediately felt much better. My brain fog lifted, my aches and pains diminished, the bloat I hadn’t even previously recognized went away, my energy increased, the reflux disappeared, but I also went from having normal, formed BMs to constantly loose stools. After months of this, my doctor ordered a stool analysis, which revealed the presence of helicobacter pylori. She gave me some supplements to take, but unfortunately, I constantly forgot to take them and nothing changed. A month or two later, she finally mailed me the report from the company that performed the analysis, and I saw that an important piece of the puzzle had been missing. My doctor had neglected to mention that I also have an overgrowth of candida albicans.

Doing more research on my own, I found that H. pylori resides in the stomach and causes stomach ulcers, not diarrhea. It’s also protective against reflux, which I find interesting since I used to have reflux. Perhaps my body allowed it to grow to protect itself? C. albicans, on the other hand, can go just about anywhere in the body, causing a myriad of symptoms, in fact, nearly every single symptom I have. I wish my doctor had told me about the yeast. I’m not sure that I would have been ready to do anything about it any sooner than now, but maybe. (Here’s a list of another GAPS person’s symptoms, mine is virtually the same, except for the constipation and eye matter. I’ll write up my own list of symptoms presently.)

Caffeine could also be a culprit. I didn’t have any coffee yesterday and I definitely have noticed in the past that I have to “go” soon after drinking coffee. I also always drink coffee with milk or cream, so that too could be a problem. For now, I’m sticking with the GAPS Intro protocol, albeit interpreted somewhat loosely. Perhaps I should not be eating liverwurst, for instance. It’s not in the list of foods for Phase 1, but it’s well ground and well cooked meat. And gosh it’s good!

I feared that I would be stuck doing the Intro protocol for weeks or more, but I think we’ll progress quickly. I already have noticed very minor improvement in my digestion after just one day (trying to find a balance here between TMI and keeping a good record of my progress). I prepared a meal plan for the week, based on Phase 1, but we added raw eggs and ghee to our broth this morning and I think we’ll continue with that. So delicious! I’m having a bit of duck broth with raw egg yolk, pickle juice and duck fat now, trying to imagine the cafe that would serve such a beverage. There should be such a place, no?

Copyright

Chris Musser © 2011