Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Begrudgingly Beginning GAPS

I finally got the results from my Enterolab allergy test and they were NOT GOOD. I was reactive with every single thing they tested me for (about 14 things) including beef, pork, chicken, tuna, rice, wheat, eggs, soy etc. etc.

After a few days of moping around and crying in the shower while imagining my own funeral after I wasted away and died from being allergic to food in general, intermixed with daydreams of me brutally attacking FDA and Big Agriculture reps for bringing this on (yes, I fully blame the money-grubbing food companies and their reckless wanton use of glutens and sugars) I finally decided to pick up the pieces and figure out what the heck to do with my life (and digestion).

Enter Dr. McBride and the GAPS diet.

I read the book, the long FAQ page, and even wrote to her myself before starting, but then, as I seem to do all things, I decided to dive right in head-first.  I wrote to her to ask, what kind of broths can I eat if I'm allergic to all the usual meats? I researched around and found a store in my area (God bless it-the only one) that sells a variety of wild game meats, so I started with some rabbit broth.  There is no fat on a rabbit, so my broth was thin and weak.  Then I overcooked it (thinking I could just leave it going in the crock pot until I had eaten it up. bad idea.) I'm not sure if it was the rabbit or something else, but the second day on that broth and I got a migraine and threw it back up. No more rabbit. Ever.

I should add that the very night before receiving my enterolab results, I had gone out with my boyfriend to a fancy celebratory meal, and ordered scallops with rice (and I think a cream sauce) followed up with a GIANT ice cream sundae which we shared. I also had the soup at the restaurant, which in retrospect I'm sure had gluten in it.

I was puking all night. Celebratory night: ruined. The next day I got my Enterolab results and so now THIS is my memory of my last meal. Me sobbing and vomiting over the toilet in the bathroom with my poor (angel of a) boyfriend handing me cool washcloths. Gross.

So I'm on the broth. I will keep a journal of how this goes. I have very high high hopes. The reply I got from Dr. McBride (yes, she replied! Quickly!) was not to worry about the enterolab results and just focus on healing and sealing my gut.  So this means I can try regular meat broth? Hooray! It will certainly be more fatty too. Yum. Good and good FOR you. 

My first both was a lamb broth, made with lamb oxtail looking bones.  Deliciously fatty and rich. I ate it until I was sick of it.  Now I know there are a bunch of recipes out there for all kinds of designer soups and things you can eat on the GAPS into diet, and they all sound wonderful, but I work full-time and I just needed healing, nothing fancy. As easy as humanly possible. I couldn't have done this without my crock pot. I can throw some meaty bones in there, with filtered water (just using a Brita filter on the tap), a little salt, and some fresh seasonings from the farmers market (I've tried, Thyme, Parsley for it's anti-inflammatory effects, Sage, Mint) and hit go. Slow cook for 10-12 hours. I get home from work and I can sip broth all evening, then have some warm tea with honey right before bed. It's not fancy, but it's WORKING. I also bought a wide mouth thermos so I can pour the hot broth in there in the morning and take it to work and sip all day, which avoids the conundrum I found myself in at some point wondering how I'm supposed to have broth for every meal and avoid warming it in the microwave). The thermos is a lifesaver.  This is so easy in fact, that I can see continuing the nothing but broth routine at least for breakfast and lunch for a long, long time.

I also had to do the probiotics, but was terrified of dairy after the vomit-fest of my last meal/ice cream sundae. I researched probiotics, and since I couldn't afford the "bio-kults" I ended up buying "primal defense" and it seems to be doing okay.  I perused around the internet trying to figure out how to ferment my own vegetables, and it looks complicated. I plan to get around to figuring out how to do that (I took one stab at it and it was a complete fail-- it smelled too scary to put into my poor wounded tummy) so I've been using Bubbie's Saurkraut and Pickle juice.

The first week I had terrible die-off. I thought I had the flu. I was exhausted constantly. I haven't been that tired since before I went primal. I had migraines that wouldn't quit, and red irritated eyes. I think I was eating too much of the fermented veggie juice because it was the only taste alternative to broth. I don't know if it ended because I cut down on the juice a little or because I finally made some headway in my gut, but it only lasted about a week. One miserable week.

So I did stage one for a week, then started stage two. I added the ghee. So far so good. I added the raw egg yolks to the broth, carefully carefully carefully separating out the egg white which Enterolab had warned me I would have a reaction too. And two days ago I started with the veggies boiled in the broth and YUM.  The nice thing about this slow route to food again is that each added food seems GLORIOUS. Boiled broccoli, cauliflower and brussel sprouts- Hallelujah!! So stage two lasted about a week and then I was chomping at the bit for stage three.

Which I started today. I have discovered that the best broth on the planet is duck broth. Super fatty, I add a lot of natural mineral-filled sea salt, and with an egg yolk in it, I swear it could be chinese egg drop soup. This morning, I had a whole scrambled egg, egg whites included, scrambled in heaping spoonfuls of ghee. I oversalted it, but other than that, it was pretty darn good. We'll see how it goes.

I have avocados standing by in the fridge to try as well, and am pretty darn excited about that too. I feel like I moved pretty quickly through stages one and two, but I've been pretty diligent, and I"ve been praying my fool head off, so I'm jut considering it a blessing. I will have no problem once I get to the full GAPS diet, because it pretty much looks like the primal diet that I was already enjoying.

On to Stage Three!

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