Category Archives: Nutrition

Natural Healing Stories- Autism

Natural Healing Stories- Autism

natural-healing-stories autism

 

Today begins an amazing series on Natural Healing Stories!  I have been wanting to share these incredible, encouraging stories for some time now. The chance is here! When you have chronic health problems, hope is often a distant memory.  Let these stories infuse hope and courage into those of you who are struggling with your bodies, or the family and friends you love who are in desperate need of healing.

Healing From Autism

I am so pleased to share with you an interview of a really amazing mama I met a couple of years ago.  When I met her another friend had told me that her son was diagnosed with autism, but ‘lost his diagnosis’.  I was AMAZED. I picked her brain and asked her a million questions about what she did to help her son’s body recover from such dysfunction.  I watched as her son played with my son of the same age and would have never been able to tell that he was even close to an autism spectrum disorder.  I’ve moved away from this friend, but have enjoyed keeping in touch with her and seeing how her lovely family is doing. I am so pleased to share some of her healing story with you here on Mindful Mama.

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Tell us briefly when you first starting noticing your son was ‘sick’?

After Fosters 12 month shots…which were done at 13 months…he legs swelled right away. That same night. .he struck a fever of 104…we went to emergency room. .they couldn’t explain why. Foster knew how to say about 10 words. Such as mama, dada, up, kiki for kitty, ball, go etc…within a few days he would look at me & try to say Mama, and he could.only get out mmmmmmm…then by 3 weeks quit talking.

What official diagnosis did he receive from the medical field? How did they come to that?

I decided to take Foster to a private psychologist in Charleston. I didn’t want to wait for SC waiting list… We took Foster at 16 months. ..she diagnosed him with Autism.

In your opinion, what treatments (natural or conventional) have provided you the best results?

Right away we started the GFCF (gluten-free, casein free) diet…1st no milk..his eye contact was coming back…he laughed again. .my heart was jumping for joy…my baby was coming back to me!!!

Took out all gluten next…speech was coming…Yay!!!

We also use bio-medical supplements. ..this helps his gut & immune system fight back and helps him focus.

We did every therapy known to man kind. EI, OT, PT, SPEECH, ABA ,TALKING TURNS ,HYPERBARIC  OXYGEN THERAPY & sensory therapy. ..

All were amazing. ..sensory therapy was the strangest…but it brought back a lot of Fosters senses of touch…he never hugged or kissed anyone…gave you his forehead to kiss & hugged you backwards…giving you his back…he wouldn’t wear a hat…after this 8 week course every day 2x daily. ..

Foster wore a hat…Foster kissed me on the lips…Foster hugged me…I cant tell you the joys of what some people take for granted!!!!

preston

What treatments (natural or conventional) have caused the most problems or brought about little healing?

None…all were good…my hope is that moms don’t ever give up!!!

I beat this …so can you!!!

Your present condition:  What symptoms/issues are you still trying to get past? What symptoms are no longer a problem for you any longer?

Foster has been mainstream since he was in 4K…he’s still on the diet. .still receives OT & ABA, and takes the nutritional supplements.

FOSTER IS A SOCIAL BUTTERFLY..GETS IN TROUBLE LIKE A TYPICAL KID FOR TALK ING DURING CLASS..WE BARLEY HAVE ANY SYMPTOMS

He jumps a lot when he gets excited and he says his favorite subject is NASCAR.

What encouragement would you offer to those seeking natural healing from medical problems in their life right now?

PLEASE DON’T GIVE UP…fight for your loved ones!!!

And please remember you have rights…and you don’t have to vaccinate if you don’t feel comfortable doing so. There are either religious or philosophical waivers in almost every state for school/daycare.

 preston

 

Feeding an Adopted Baby Without Commercial Formula

Feeding an Adopted Baby Without Commercial Formula

 

homemade formula3

The quest to offer my children the chance for the best health possible has led me further down the road of natural health than I would have ever imagined.

Well actually, I never imagined being anywhere NEAR the road of natural health.

I am a RN. Not only that, I grew up in a world and culture where mainstream medicine was duly adhered to. No questions asked.

Having children and the subsequent millions of new decisions that lie before you….can really make you examine your understanding of important things.

After a process of grueling discussions, countless hours of reading and careful reconsideration my husband and I decided it was our role to take ownership of our children’s health.  We did. And we haven’t looked back.

We honestly grew into this process in such a natural way, one change after the other, all for the purpose of supporting and strengthening our children’s bodies to function the way they were so beautifully designed.

THEN, a curve-ball came when we adopted our son at 2 weeks old.

camden anthony

 

 

Continue reading what we did to feed our sweet boy

with the best nutrition possible!!

 

 

Our story shared on The Healthy Home Economist………read here.

 

comemrcial formula

 

homemade formula2

 

 

 

 

Be sure to read the rest of our amazing journey to nourish our adopted son with the best nutrition possible!
Read the story HERE, featured on the Healthy Home Economist.

 

How We {Graciously} Handled Halloween On a Refined-Sugar Free Diet

How We {Graciously} Handled Halloween On a Refined-Sugar Free Diet

halloween

 

This year was the first time we really participated in Halloween. We went to a trunk-or-treat event at a nearby church and the kids had a blast. We have been on the GAPS/paleo diet for over a year now, and Halloween was the first time that our kids have had ANY candy in that time. It was quite the event in their eyes.

 

We have a 5 ½ year old, 4 year old and almost 2 year old. Prior to the diet our kids hadn’t yet developed any real chronic childhood conditions, and I say yet, because most children have at least one. But, since being on the GAPS diet our kids overall health has clearly improved. Infectious processed like colds or stomach bugs come and go without making us flinch and they are MUCH less frequent than when we were eating a more typical American diet. My sons lactose intolerance has improved greatly as he can now drink raw cows milk without diarrhea and is eating cultured dairy without a problem. All three of their stools (very important indicator of overall health) are as perfect as can be (yes, we talk A LOT about poop around here!) and they seem to be functioning at an optimal level for kiddos their age.

 

 

Lets face it: Kids LOVE candy.  Even if they never eat it, they still love it.  Adults do too (even though I tried a M&M this halloween and was so disappointed how fake it tasted!)  We don’t tell our kids not to love junk food- we explain to them why they should avoid junk food and what it does to their bodies.  They are not at all expected to think its nasty. But they are expected to follow our lead when it comes to what they put in their mouths, and one day hopefully when they are older they can make wise choices based on knowledge, not rules.

 

Since our children’s health is at a very stable place, we thought eating a little Halloween candy would not jeopardize that any, but we also wanted to be pretty careful here as they have not had any refined sugars in over a year, and candy is nothing but bad news to your health.

 

 

So this Halloween:

  • they were each allowed to pick one piece of candy the night of halloween
  • for the next 3 days they will eat 1 piece a day, after their tummies are full with lunch (help reduce blood sugar fluctuations)
  • they enjoyed homemade marshmellows, caramel apple pudding pie (recipe coming soon!), and a grain-free chocolate cookie the night of Halloween

 

“The Baby” Camden didn’t eat any candy, and didn’t even know he was missing out. He has his own little bag of homemade marshmellows and chocolate cookies and he thought that was just the greatest thing. Since he was born he has had breastmilk/homemade formula, and nutrient dense foods without grains until we introduced rice around 18 months. He has not had any refined-sugars whatsoever. He has definitely been fed the ‘best’ as we have learned with each child the importance of real-food for babies and the connection to their development of chronic problems.

 

The kids really liked searching through all the candy they collected and picking the three ever-most-cherished candies to savor over the next three days. The rest was thrown out.

 

This might seem rather extreme to some who let their kids just have a blast and eat whatever Halloween candy, and might seem liberal to others who didn’t allow their kids to eat any junky candy.

 

The reality is, this worked great for us and they certainly enjoyed lots of tasty sweets during our fun night. They were not lacking in the least, and I felt comfortable with what I was letting into their little bodies.

 

The best comment of the night from the newly-candy-eating-kids was from Lucas my 5 year old while eating a tootsie roll:

“Mom, I can’t believe I’m eating cardboard….and it tastes so sweet still. I can’t believe this fake food is tricking my brain into thinking it tastes so good!!”

Ha! The ways we try to teach our kids about taking care of their bodies and how much they really try and listen… On how they can savor life is so precious.

beloved cheat

10 Tips to Feed Your Baby a Nutrient-Dense Diet

10 Tips to Feed Your Baby a Nutrient-Dense Diet

 

Feeding a baby is of utmost importance for their health and development. I have learned so much about it through each kid (doing the wrong thing first!) and share here these time-tested principles for feeding children who will thrive from a real-food, nutrient dense diet!

Read my guest post on Homemade Mommy.

 

 

 

Healing is HARD- Prevention is Where it’s At

Healing is HARD- Prevention is Where it’s At

Three of the most important things I’ve learned  since I’ve entered this world of natural health would be:

 

– Healing IS very possible- BUT….

-Healing is VERY hard work- THEREFORE….

-Prevention is where its at.

 

 

So simple, and yet I cannot express the

depth of value there is in prevention.

 

This significant reality is given lip-service here and there, but is VASTLY undiscovered and majorly ignored. It’s just not exciting or compelling enough to get noticed.

 

Since adults often seem indifferent in prevention for their own lives, lets talk kids for sake of a good argument.

 

Chronic childhood conditions” (coined “the three C’s” by Katherine Erlich MD, author of Super Nutrition  for Babies) are present in almost every american family.  The numbers that these conditions are rising by and to yearly are unprecedented.

 

 

Allergies, asthma, chronic ear infections, eczema, ADHD, colic, reflux, constipation, food intolerances, celiac disease, behavioral problems, gastrointestinal distress, autism-spectrum disorders, autoimmune diseases, childhood cancers, dental problems…

 

It’s no longer just the adults who ‘don’t take care of themselves’ that are the chronically ill ones in our society, its our CHILDREN!

 

If children are not VIBRANTLY healthy in a culture …something is seriously wrong.

 

Unfortunately, the parents who are most eager to get things back to the way they were suppose to be in their children’s diets and worlds, are those that have seem the harsh, cruel, unrelenting nature of chronic illness…..it just keeps on rearing its ugly head, as more and more problems develop.

 

I firmly believe that people’s bodies, when given the proper nutrients and environment needed, can and will heal. HEALING IS POSSIBLE.  For children the possibilities are even greater as their damage has only just begun.  BUT, it requires ALOT of hard work to bring these children’s bodies back up from the slippery slope they’ve started plummeting down.

 

Read for even 10 minutes the stories of the parents below who are trying to recover their children from various chronic issues, and it will be clear to you that HEALING IS HARD.  I know this personally, not because I have a child with a chronic childhood condition, but rather because I am one. I have been ‘sick’ since I was a child with an autoimmune disease, allergies and weaker immune system. On my healing journey I have so often wished that I didn’t have to do all that I possibly could to regain my health, but rather that I could have entered into adulthood simply maintaining vibrant health.  I am still hoping, praying and working very,very hard for healing….and i’m seeing great signs….but i’m not there yet. HEALING IS HARD.

 

  Recovery from autism 

Another recovery from autism

Recovery from leaky gut

Recovery from many things

Recovery from asthma

Recovery from multiple delays

 

 

Healing is VERY, VERY hard.

 

 

Typically, I am calling out to parents with chronically sick kids already, encouraging them towards natural healing and its vast possibilities….

 

 

but today I am making a desperate, honest call to those parents whose kids are. not. yet. sick. 

 

 

Yes- there is healing available for these awful problems, BUT PREVENTION is calling out unforgivably and demanding that it be heard. You hold the incredible power of prevention for your children. You and only you.

 

Learn from the parents who have gone before you, wishing so desperately that they had known what they know now.  Heed the wisdom of centuries past where these very common childhood conditions, were virtually unheard of.  Learn about the nutrient-dense diets that cultures all over the globe have thrived off of prior to the introduction of processed foods. Uncomplicate your world, and go back to the basics, the simple foundation of our health coming from our food.  You don’t have to learn all the in’s and out’s of what the body requires, which foods have what, how this works with that…..you can bypass all that information, and just let it take root in your bodies as you are consuming REAL FOOD.  You don’t have to understand it all….just EAT IT!

 

“Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food.”   
Hippocrates, the “Father of Medicine”
 
 

Yes, it may cost you SO MUCH to make nourishing your family a top priority…..but what makes willingly compromising your children’s health worth it?  If eating and living the way our bodies were designed to be nourished can truly prevent health issues in your childs present and future (which it CAN!), wouldn’t any sacrifice be worth loving and investing in them in this way?  Less money on entertainment…less time out of the house…more time in the kitchen….more time finding good food sources….

 

What if learning how to cook and feed your family real, nutrient-dense food would require you to quit your job, live off of one income and eat most meals at home?  How much is too much sacrifice for the health of our kids?? Yes, the sacrifices it might take may seem very counter-cultural and possibly over-the-top to others…..but when it comes to protecting our children’s health in the most powerful and effective way….

 

Prevention is where it’s at.

♥ Mindful Mama

 

The hope of prevention

 

 
“Food is one of the most powerful tools you have to protect, preserve, and ensure your baby’s health and well-being. In the coming chapters, we’ll introduce the concept of Super Nutrition and explain how providing foods that are rich in critical nutrients, as well as reducing toxins, will enable your baby’s body to function optimally. We’ll focus on what you can proactively do to create a fundamental base of good health for your baby and significantly increase the odds of your baby living a long, happy, and healthy life.” 
 
Excerpt from “Super Nutrition for Babies”
 
 
 
Part of Well Fed Wednesday’s blog carnival

10 Survival Tips for Cooking for GAPS Diet (or any real food diet)

10 Survival Tips for Cooking for GAPS Diet (or any real food diet)

Cooking for a real food diet, especially the GAPS diet, is no small feat…it consumes your time, your money and your energy! What’s our other option?? Continue getting sicker and sicker, unable to ENJOY any of our lives? Nah….I opt for healing our bodies through nutrient-dense foods. There is hope in this overwhelming undertaking…..here are some time-tested tips that will help you survive cooking for your real foods diet!!

 

  1. Employ a husband (preferably your own) to carry your burden with you.

     

    -Feeling like you’re not alone with all this work to do makes a HUGE difference

    This could easily be a roommate or another family member as well

    Not every husband would be able to do the same, but Luke is ‘in charge’ of kombucha, juicing, organizing my fridge when I bring home groceries and many mornings he makes breakfast. (What.a.man.)

     

  2. Do NOT wait until you run out of certain staples, keep them continuously going.

     

    -yogurt and sour cream (as soon as you buy your milk/cream, come home and start it)

    -broth (as soon as your low, start another batch of broth)

    -kombucha

    -fermented veggies

     

  3. Buy a deep freezer and buy in bulk.

    You will have a love affair with a large white box.

     

  4. Double recipes whenever you can.

     

    -freeze leftovers, or keep so there’s extra in fridge for that week

    -this is hard for the frugal type (me!) but really it’s not costing you more, you would make it again anyways, it’s just SAVING you time!

     

  5. ‘Cheat’ where you can, without compromising healing.

     

    -For the GAPS diet, don’t go eat a krispy kreme donut now, BUT there are products that are technically GAPS-legal, but not home-made.

    -Things like canned coconut milk, tomatoes, olives OR jarred PB/almond butter, dried fruit, larabars…..get the jist? If you can’t keep up with every single thing being homemade, compromise where you need to within the realm of GAPS-legal ingredients. If you notice any adverse reactions, stop using that product.

     

  6. Make work play.

     

    Don’t always be alone and focused when you’re doing your tasks, have your kids help you with certain things, and instead of always sitting on the couch having meaningful conversations with your spouse at night, work on getting caught up in the kitchen, and enjoy each other’s company at the same time. (why do we always separate work and play? REAL LIFE: ideal doesn’t always happen, and there’s lots of work to do!!)

  7. Keep snacking simple.

     

    -For special days it’s fun to give the kids a blueberry muffin or jello jigglers, but for most other days we do dried fruit/nuts, baby carrots or fresh fruit. EASY.

     

  8. Keep recipes simple.

     

    -Find easy recipes that use what you typically have available and that everyone likes, and don’t feel bad to keep rotating them- eating simply is not a bad thing!

     

  9. Make your appliances your slaves, rather than becoming a slave to them! (get the most out of them)

     

    -When your oven is on for, say, a casserole, throw a squash in there too for later in the week! Use up that oven time well.

    -When your food processor is out for a soup, cut up a couple extra onions in there, bag ’em and throw ’em in the freezer for next time.

    -When you are juicing, make a lot for everyone and make your time count!

    -When you are dehydrating, fill that puppy all the way up!

    -When you are simmering your stock, strain and store it, and then fill that pot of bones back up for round two!

     

  10. Work a little bit through every day, instead of set days/times for cooking.

     

    -There might be some people who can get all their cooking done, say, on the weekend, with the rest of the week free from cooking, BUT for the average mama, this is unrealistic and a tad bit overwhelming. For me, getting things going then walking away for periods to play with the kids, work on the computer or take a shower…is the best way for me to stay on top of my cooking. Obviously, between events, returning to the kitchen to finish up something, put it in the fridge and then moving onto the next task.

    – Always think “is there something easy I could get started”. I don’t like to spend extended periods of time in the kitchen, but if I can throw a bag of nuts in water to soak, or start my yogurt—these quick little tasks allow me the freedom to come and go as I please, but also accomplish much in the way of a well-run kitchen!

 

With courage and determination, feeding your family a real-foods diet is a realistic lifestyle! The rewards make the work WELL worth it….everything worth something calls us to some level of sacrifice.

 

Any tips YOU have implemented to help make cooking for your real foods diet more do-able? Please share!

♥Mindful Mama

GAPS Seminar Reveal

GAPS Seminar Reveal

Here is the video, yes rather amateur nevertheless very informative, of the GAPS Program 101 seminar I put on. I am glad to have this resource available to those who want to learn more about the connection of our gut health to the rest of our bodies. Several people who are now implementing the GAPS program have found this compilation of information very helpful. I hope you do as well!!

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Desserts without sugar- is this an oxymoron?

Desserts without sugar- is this an oxymoron?

Dessert without sugar, well, refined-sugar that is.

 

I have been eating a whole foods diet for 3-4 years now and I really only dabbled in natural sweeteners…..

 

Up until the GAPS diet entered our world. I will never go back to depending on sugar as the only sweetener that ‘tastes good’.

 

Honey is a fantastic sweetener. Yes, maybe partially because our sweet ‘receptors’ have become more sensitized…but I don’t think that is the primary reason!

 

We have realized the simplicity and deliciousness that comes from using honey and fruit as a sweetener in desserts. We have also had non-GAPS friends try some of our treats and they have been pleasantly surprised. Open your mind to the thought that your ‘sweet tooth’ can be given loving attention, without the robbing, destructive effects of white sugar. There are entire books written on the very well documented effects of white sugar on the human body. It truly robs us of many nutrients, while literally giving nothing back. Sugar feeds cancer, grows yeast, rots your teeth, leads to osteoporosis and arthritis, is as addictive as drugs, causes gallstones, contributes to heart disease and adrenal fatigue, suppresses the immune system significantly, causes exhaustion and irritability…..

 

It depletes us so profoundly…it’s amazing with the amount we eat (170 pounds a year per person, Nourishing Traditions), people are still functioning somewhat ‘normally’.

 

There are certain foodies that say no sweetener is a good sweetener. I do NOT fall into that category. Honestly, I delight myself in sweet things. There are few things that are as enjoyable as a sweet treat that really hits the spot. It’s actually something I have been battling in my mind for the past several years….I just didn’t want to give up that ‘sweet taste’ in this world. The sacrifice, even for health’s sake, seemed too large a request. Whole-food sweeteners actually have something to offer your body. They should still be eaten in moderation, as they do affect your blood sugar, but they can be a healthy and enjoyable part of a whole-foods diet. I am overjoyed that my new understanding and experimenting in cooking has brought me to realize I don’t have to give up “sweetness” to be healthy!! Phew. It is SUCH a relief. That may sound silly to you, but if you like the majority of people, you love sweetness too ;o)

 


 

This is one of our new favorite desserts I just made. It is made with almond flour and sweetened with honey and chopped apples. It’s called Apple Spice Coffee-Cake. You can find it at this amazing site: Against All Grain.

 

This is just one of the MANY desserts that we have made in the past 2 months without refined sugars. And I have bookmarked dozens more (we just try not to eat too many, as the primary source of our calories on the GAPS diet (and for most people) should come from animal products and veggies).

 

For non-GAPS families, grade-B maple syrup is an especially delicious whole-food sweetener, as well as rapadura (completely unrefined cane sugar). Dates are very sweet and are complimentary to many different recipes. One of my favorite recipes using dates as the sweetener is peanut butter-coconut bars.

 

Learning to enjoy sweet things… without the guilt and harm to our bodies. Join me.

For the first time I……

For the first time I……

We’re probably around day 40 of our GAPS diet, to restore our gut and immune health and I can say it’s been truly an incredible experience so far.

Here’s a brief snapshot of some of our successes thus far:

For the first time I

    Haven’t eaten sugar-sugar (we can have fruit/honey…which is much enjoyed ;o) for one whole month!

    Didn’t get sick when the rest of the family had a mild cold ( I ALWAYS get everything my family gets, and am wiped out by it!)

    Haven’t eaten ANYTHING out, everything we eat is prepared in our humble little kitchen

    Have felt in control of what I’m eating, not compelled and helpless to eat what I know I shouldn’t eat

    Spent more money on produce than I thought possible!

    Have successfully gotten our kids to eat and like very non-kid foods! They were decent before, but nothing compares to this!)

    Have been comfortable with everything that has gone into my family’s mouth, knowing it was ALL beneficial!

These are ALL first’s for me!!!!! So thrilled at the successes we have had so far, and the rewards for our effort to get our bodies ecosystems back in balance. Luke and I feel better than we have felt in a long time. There have been many symptoms that have gotten much better and some that have completely resolved already. We have noticed a HUGE difference in what the kids will eat, and their interest in good food. This THRILLS my heart as a mama that wants to build her babies up strong and resilient.

I have made more new recipes in this last month than I have made in my whole 6 years as a married woman, cooking for her family! Most homemade meals you can adapt to make GAPS-friendly, but there are so many delicious recipes on the web for GAPS meals, snacks and desserts that I have just been out of my mind with trying to plan and make them all!! It’s just too exciting!! And the best part is, that even when serving dessert, I can feel really good about what my family eating. Why did ‘treats’ become this thing we do to reward ourselves for something, that in turn only steals our bodies of their nutrients and health. Why can’t treats be delicious and beneficial to our bodies?!

We have had so many tasty recipes so far in this experience and not too many flops surprisingly!! I want to share what our evening of nourishing our bodies looked like tonight.

Appetizer:

Broccoli Bites from Food Renegade


Dinner:

Spaghetti Squash with Homemade Italian meatballs and Sauce (my recipe, not my pics)


Dessert:

Pumpkin Cake Bars with Cinnamon Icing from Food Renegade

Banana-Nut Treats

Banana-Nut Treats

RECIPE: 

1 ripe banana

½ C coconut flour

1 C assorted nuts (pecans, walnuts, sunflower, almonds)

4 T honey

3 dates

3 T almond butter

1-2 t vanilla extract

Lemon zest

 

Mix all together in food processor. Adjust for texture as needed with adding more dry/wet ingredients. Roll in unsweetened coconut. Best enjoyed straight from the freezer

Here goes nothing!

Here goes nothing!

 

Today my husband and I started the Intro diet for the GAPS program. I have been planning for over a month to start this today.

 

The GAPS diet is a very therapeutic, short-tem, whole foods diet that restores gut function, re-populates the gut with beneficial bacteria (as the harmful bacteria gets put back in check), and aids the body in powerful detox from the toxins that contributed to the problems in the first place.

 

The program involves diet, supplementation, and detox. People can do this diet anywhere from a couple of months (very minimum) to 2+ years. You continue until (and even past) symptoms have subsided, which is an indication that healing has/is taking place.

 


This diet benefits and heals multiple processes in the body. People have addressed and recovered from:

  • Food/seasonal allergies, asthma, eczema, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, intestinal problems (Cronhs, IBS, diverticulitis, celiac disease, colic, chronic diarrhea, gas, bloating, reflux, abdominal pain and stool abnormalities.) As well as behavioral and mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, autism spectrum disorders, schizophrenia, ADHD/ADD, learning disabilities, OCD…

     

There are many related disorders/issues that people also find resolve while on the GAPS diet.

 

My family is doing the diet for MANY reasons. Without being too personal I will try to capture why we are so compelled to implement such drastic measures in the hopes of further healing.

 

My husband and I both have stomach issues after almost every meal. We never really knew what bothered us because the abdominal pain/discomfort/reflux was so often. We knew dairy definitely caused some problems, but until recently we weren’t sure what else was the problem. We now have put the pieces together and have realized the grains, both processed and properly prepared, can cause our typical stomach symptoms. GAPS removes both of these temporarily to allow the stomach to heal without having to break down grains or lactose (which can cause A LOT of problems for people with abnormal gut flora). Viola for us.

 

I have an autoimmune disorder, and simply put, 80% of the immune system resides in the gut. When you address your abnormal gut flora you in essence change the state of your immune system. This can actually reverse the autoimmune disorder and prevent future autoimmune diseases that many be triggered. Having experience with many patients with devastating autoimmune diseases, we feel it is too risky to not rebalance our gut bacteria, especially mine. We feel GAPS is the most thorough and effective way to do that.

 

I also have clear symptoms of yeast overgrowth, which goes right along with abnormal bowel flora. Yeast is an opportunistic infection, and so presence of yeast overgrowth, is a sign of pathogenic (bad) bacteria/parasites. YUCK.

 

We eat mostly whole foods, with as much organic & local as we can afford, but we feel like we are too dependent on some staple processed items we use like tortilla chips, crackers, bread (hubby only ;o) and snacky-treat foods. We buy the natural/organic, non-GMO varieties of those items, BUT they are still not GIVING to our bodies, but rather taking away every time they are consumed.

 

We definitely have some level of sugar addiction, as it is very hard to go through the day and not have something sweet. Not to say we won’t eat them here and there once we have completed GAPS, but we are not comfortable with how often we eat them now. Going on GAPS will surely make us very aware of what we eat/crave, and once we are done our palates will have been realigned to want REAL FOOD. Just trying to limit those things has done nothing for those cravings. Getting them OUT seems like it will.

 

We are young, active, and trying to eat a whole foods diet…..and YET we often feel very dragged down, fatigued, get sick way too frequently and simply don’t have the energy that people our age, in our “healthy state” should!! I have seasonal allergies (ahh! Make me a crazy woman at times!), chronic headaches for 5 years (have been MUCH better since acupuncture 6 months ago, but still very prone to getting them), random dizziness, and low lying infections that come and go. Not to mention the constant discomfort with my stomach. I’m pretty much a mess. My family is gracious with me and all my symptoms (writing them down makes me almost feel like a hypochondriac, but I’ve seen a lot of those in the ER and yeah…I don’t think I fit the picture). My husband’s main issues are his gut—he often does not feel well….at least every day after some meal. Right now it’s just his gut, but letting abnormal gut flora flourish will indeed spiral into many other health problems eventually.

 

So far our kids have not shown any clear signs of chronic problems (soooo grateful for that!) They will also do the GAPS diet, but not until we get into the Full GAPS diet which has a large variety of foods allowed (we should be there in a couple of weeks). There are some things that we have noted in relation to their health that we will continue to monitor to see if they clear up while on GAPS. We are excited as we have a very intentional, concentrated block of time to try and get our kids less geared towards wanting junk, and expand their palate to liking even more real foods!

 

So here we go a little bit (okay, a lot bit!) deeper on our journey in and towards health. Completely unsure what the results and conclusions will be. Hoping for the best, but totally aware that the results will probably be different than we expect. We are grateful that we have the time (sort of) and then money (sort of) to make this investment in our health at this point in our lives.

 

 

 

 


Mini coconut-brownie bites

Mini coconut-brownie bites

Yum! I was inspired by an item that I saw at a natural food store (for WAY too much!), so tonight I whipped up these little guys:

 

  • 1.5 C. almond flour (can chop them yourself in food processor)
  • 2 T. cacoa
  • 3 T. 100% real maple syrup
  • 3 T. coconut oil
  • ½ C. unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/4 t. sea salt
  • ½ T. real vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in food processor until a wet dough forms. (If it’s too wet, add more flour. Too dry, more coconut oil.) Roll into little 1 inch balls, and roll in additional coconut flakes. Freeze on plate 1 inch apart. Put in container in freezer or fridge to harden. Eat cold.

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