Life never slows down, does it. Since we moved to the farm, our “To-Do” list has never been longer and things are continually added to the list by the day. Yet despite the chaos of life, we are still doing GAPs. And I’ve gotta say that I’m genuinely thankful that we’re doing it for the boys. I’ve spent so much time balking at the notion of eating differently and standing out. I’ve felt conflicted between wanting to do what I believe is right and wanting to fit in. Yet today I finally acknowledged that I am so grateful for GAPs. My boys are thriving. They’re eating wholesome foods. This is the way I’ve always wanted to feed my family. Yet, the temptation of convenience always won the battle in times past. Had I not gotten a wake-up call with my boys, we wouldn’t be eating this way. And the truth is, it’s not that hard!! All it takes is a little bit of planning and meal time is generally pretty smooth. My thought process has changed too. Breakfast used to be cereal and milk. Lunch was a sandwich, chips, and a fruit. Dinner was often very carb-heavy with a side of veggies. As I’ve developed a routine, I don’t feel like meals are that much harder, just different. Sure there’s more cooking involved but I’ve gotten used to the cooking. Even on my groggiest mornings we still start the day with juice. Breakfast has been eggs, squash pancakes, or yogurt with a fermented veggie on the side. Our other meals are comprised of a fermented vegetable, a fresh vegetable (raw or cooked), and a meat. It’s pretty simple. We have a freezer full of grass-fed organic meat. When I go to the grocery store I rarely plan ahead and pick up enough produce to get us through the next few days. I choose whatever is on sale or catches my eye in the moment. If we don’t eat it, we juice it. Any scraps either get composted or get fed to the animals. I make sure that we always have fermented vegetables, yogurt, sour cream, kefir, and broth on hand. It’s been a steep learning curve but I’m finally feeling like I’m on top of things. There’s something very fulfilling about feeding my family nourishing food. GAPs is a lot of work but it’s also very rewarding. So today I’m thankful.
Summer has arrived and the boys have graduated to Full GAPs. In my gut I felt like I needed to push them through the stages so they could enjoy the fruits of our orchard. As disciplined as they were in not eating the blackberries, there’s only so much temptation two little boys can take. For a few days they were satisfied with picking them for us. I would praise them for serving their family members. Boo would light up at the praise but it broke my heart that he couldn’t partake. Munchkin snuck a few berries when no one was looking. So during a trip to the farmer’s market, the Hubs and I decided to let them eat a peach and some strawberries. After all, summer is the time to indulge in fruit. I’m a big proponent of eating what’s in season and what your body is craving. It’s hard to make them drink a cup of hot broth when it’s 90 degrees outside. So we’ve been a little more flexible in allowing them to have more fruit than is encouraged in the GAPs diet. Even if it slows down their healing, I’m reminded that this is a marathon and not a sprint. They’re still drinking broth but I’m trying to hide it in more palatable things. I’ve been blending it up in their smoothies, mixing it with kefir, making broth gummies/jello as well as popsicles. I’m also cooking their veggies in broth and giving them at least one mug full a day.
A few things that have been encouraging….we’re juicing!! This is part of the healing protocol but I never could get them to drink juice last time. They didn’t even like straight carrot juice. Now every morning we’re juicing lettuce or kale, celery, carrots, an apple, and half a lemon. The boys love it and look forward to it. Another thing is that the heat doesn’t seem to be affecting Boo as much. Early in the summer during an 80 degree day, Boo would complain about how it was too hot to be outside. Now when the temperature is in the upper 90’s, he’s cool as a cucumber and loves playing outside. He’s also eating salad and enjoying sauces. He used to never touch a sauce. Texture issue. Now he LOVES homemade mayo and this honey mustard dressing recipe. Last night for dinner he had 5 helpings of salad!! I had to make more salad and dressing to accommodate him. And he was even eating the lettuce!!
A side note on Munch. He’s been sneaking some food whenever he gets a chance. He’ll feel guilty and I can read it all over his face instantly. That’s been a challenge but we’re trying to encourage him and offer things that he enjoys eating.
Baby Face isn’t doing the diet. However he LOVES broth. If only it were that easy to get the other two boys to drink it. He’s sweet and our comic relief.
It’s day 4 and things are moving along relatively smoothly. We’re having a few hiccups along the way, however I feel more on top of things. The boys haven’t gone through major detox like last time. Other than a little lethargy, they’ve been well enough to resume normal activity.
Let’s talk about Boo. He’s doing so well!!! He’s drinking his broth like a champ. He’s much less hyperactive and calm. He has his moments of rage that I’ve come to associate with detox, however he’s much more level headed. He had an “ah ha” moment earlier today. I was asking him to come and he wanted to go the round-about-way to get to me instead of the direct way. I insisted that he obey me and he thought about it for a second, took a step in the wrong direction, then turned around and said, “Yes Ma’am. I’m obeying.” I don’t know if it’s ever clicked in the moment that he has a choice either to obey or disobey. He usually gets caught up in doing what he wants to do or justifying his actions. It’s just a small thing but it made an impression on me. Another thing that was exciting is that his mood seems to be lifting. He was so happy today!! I noticed it in the evening when he said, “today is the happiest day I’ve ever had on the farm.” He also kept telling us how much he loves our animals. Then at dinner time he said, “let’s go around and say what we’re thankful for.” WHAT in the world?!? Who is this kid? This, my friends, is why we do GAPs. This is what makes all the work worth it. Thank you Jesus for the encouragement. My heart is so happy and my cup is full!
Okay okay I know I’m probably the most inconsistent blogger ever. But since this is primarily for myself and my parents I think they’ll forgive me. Quick update. Since the last blog entry the Hubs and I decided to put our house on the market in search of a smaller house with more land. It’s been a dream of ours for a while now and the Lord prompted the Hubs to lead our family in that direction. And boy am I thankful that we followed that lead. The next three months were a whirlwind (where we were very much not eating according to the GAPs diet) but God remained so so faithful. Our house sold quickly and God led us to another home. We are now living in our dream home. It’s a little 7 acre paradise with a quaint and charming 1300 sq ft house. You may be wondering why we wanted to downsize. This article really made an impression on me which led to this decision. We are so happy here. Our boys love it! After dragging my feet for a little bit, we have gotten them back onto the GAPs bandwagon. Today was day 1 of intro.
Surprisingly it was better than I expected. Initially the boys weren’t interested in the beef stew that I was serving for breakfast. However, I was pleasantly surprised when they ate the chicken soup that I served mid-morning. Boo drank the whole bowl and asked for seconds declaring it “the best soup ever.” Unfortunately it was downhill for him after that point. He grew bored of soup and kept asking for other foods. Munchkin didn’t drink as much of the chicken soup. But he was a bit more consistent throughout the day in eating. For dinner we had beef and brussell sprouts boiled in broth with a gravy sauce. Munch’s highlight for the day was eating the brussell sprouts for dinner. Baby Face ate what his brothers ate with the addition of some fruit. He’ll eat Full GAPs while the older brothers are going through the stages of intro again. The benefit to him starting out eating this way is that he pretty much likes everything we’ve given him. He loves drinking broth with a straw and says, “mmmm” with enthusiasm.
A couple things that were different from last time. First of all just the boys are doing it. The Hubs and I are eating with them some but not solely GAPs foods. We just felt that we needed to focus our attention and resources on healing the boys. It actually makes my job a lot easier because a pot of soup stretches a lot farther when it’s just for them. Another difference is when I picked the meat off the chicken to make soup, I pulled off the soft joints/cartilage around the bone as well as the skin. I blended it up with some onions and added it to the soup. The boys didn’t notice that it was in there which was encouraging. This is really what GAPs is all about. The soft gelatinous tissue is where healing is at. I didn’t incorporate that as much as I should have into their diets before. Also I made gravy by reducing some broth down. Then I blended up some cooked onions and added a tablespoon of gelatin to the mix. With a dash of salt, it was a delicious dipping sauce for the meat and veggies. The boys weren’t as crazy about it as I was. But I’m hopeful that if I continue making this gravy that they’ll start to like it. Today I felt less overwhelmed than last time. There’s something to be said about having a smaller house to take care of. Before I was in a chronic state of stress while doing GAPs. I think that was part of the reason I didn’t go the extra step in blending up the cartilage/joints. I just felt downright overwhelmed. Being in a smaller space helps with not feeling like my life is chaotic. Really the Lord ministered to me today and I give him the glory.