Category Archives: Musings

Meditation Calm Lake

Why I Finally Started Meditating and How It Helps

Meditation Calm Lake

I avoided meditating or even the idea of meditating for a long, long time. Decades.

Then in January one of my son's mentors recommended that he implement meditation to help manage work-related stress.

I encounter a great deal of stress in my job as well, and January and February were packed with stress in my home life. I won't go into the details, except to share that I got sick and my asthma symptoms came back in full force, my husband got sick (he rarely gets sick), our elderly (“heart”) dog started to fail and eventually passed, and I had a dental cleaning scheduled. Don't laugh, going to the dentist has become a very difficult task and I was determined to follow through with this recent appointment since I'd made and cancelled several during 2017.

When my son told me he was going to start meditating, I decided to take a closer look. One of the reasons I've avoided meditating is because of my faith in Jesus Christ. My understanding is that meditation derives from Eastern religions and should be avoided. I have spent the last thirty years working to unlearn the damaging beliefs I was taught in the Pentecostal religion for the first two decades of my life. My son is also a believer but he was not exposed to the cult-like churches that I was as a child, so he is in a much better place with regards to religion. By the way, our family considers ourselves to be mid-Acts Dispensationalists, if you are curious.

I decided to mention the religious aspect in this post because I shared a simple breathing technique with my mother. She experiences a lot of anxiety from projecting worst case scenarios and I felt it could help her to quiet her mind since it has worked well for me. Not five minutes later she met up with a friend of hers and asked me to share. The friend shot the technique down while looking me in the eye and said, “I used to meditate 20 years ago, but then I became a Christian.”

Ugh. Thankfully I was able to respond that I was also using an app called Abide, which is specifically for Christians. Still, that got me all nervous that I was doing something “wrong”. Uh-oh, gonna get struck down!

So I had a conversation with my sister, who told me about Calm, the app which she has been using for the last year. Obviously being raised in the same home, she was exposed to the same damaging control issues surrounding religion. She pointed out that the Calm app is not oriented to any religion and due to the 7-Day programs it is very similar to having a brief cognitive therapy session each day.

I've been meditating every day using the Calm app for 48 days. I started on January 30th and have gone through several of the 7-Day programs. I usually meditate first thing in the morning, I don't even get out of bed, I just lay on my back with my earbuds and listen and breathe. The sessions run from 11-13 minutes and I find Tamara Levitt's voice to be extremely soothing. Tamara had a rough start in life, and meditation helped her turn things around. You can read her story here at the Calm blog: Tamara Levitt – Head of Mindfulness.

By the way, much of the Calm app is locked unless you pay for a subscription but I like the 7-Day programs so much that I feel it is a valuable investment. I pay for the annual subscription which is currently $59.99. I can't really recommend any other meditation apps as this is the only one I've used regularly. 

I am feeling a great deal calmer, and more in control of my life. Things don't seem so bad. Honestly, they weren't that bad to start with! My life is good, but when my mind is racing from one negative issue to the next or I can't get to sleep because of thoughts (THOUGHTS… just mere thoughts, not reality!!) or I feel anxious because of the worry it is hard to realize how good my life truly is.

Here are some of the ways that meditation has helped me in the past few weeks.

How Meditation Helps

Stop the mind from racing

It is normal for our minds to project the worst so focus on the process of breathing in and out to stop thoughts.

In one of the 7-Day programs – I think it was the 7 Days of Calming Anxiety – Tamara says that we tend to imagine every worst case scenario because we think we can control the future by projecting. But a great deal of the time, those terrible things we imagine rarely or in many cases never happen so we spend a lot of time playing this sinister “what-if” game which tends to create a great deal of fear and negativity which leads to anxiety.

I have learned it is very effective to focus on breathing. In and out. In and out. I know it sounds too simple, it did to me also. It is harder than you would think to just focus on your breathing and it does take practice to master this simple technique. It is very much like exercising a muscle. Sometimes as I breathe in and out, I think with each inhalation and exhalation: “In. Out. In. Out.” Sometimes I think, “Thank you. Jesus. Thank you. Jesus.”

Understand that it is normal for the mind to wander onto other topics, while focusing on breathing. During the meditation session, Tamara reminds us that this is normal and to not be hard on yourself, but gently pull your mind back to focusing on your breathing every time you realize it's happened.

It takes a practice to master and it's worth the effort. I was very glad to learn that it is normal for the mind to wander because I thought I was doing something wrong, or that my mind is different than anyone else.

Helps with Getting to Sleep

Does your mind decide it's time to worry about everything when you're trying to fall to sleep?

Maybe your mind awakes you in the middle of the night, like mine tends to do.

“Oh, were you sleeping? Wake up! It's time to worry about that upcoming appointment or how to get everything done at work, or maybe the roof needs repair because it might rain, or I'm AWAKE, not sleeping, tomorrow is going to be so hard without enough sleep” and on and on and on.

It has been a game-changer for me to start to focus on my breathing as soon as I realize my mind wants to race from one stressful thought to the next.

It really works! My husband is one that if he can't sleep he'll just get up and stay up until the next night. One night he was restless and moving about and I told him about focusing on his breath and he fell asleep shortly after. The next morning he told me he'd never known that just focusing on one's breath could help you fall asleep.

Time Slows Down

Does it seem like time is racing by for you? The weekdays zoom by and then it's the weekend. Saturday and Sunday are over so fast, did you get anything done?

This has been a complaint of mine in the past few years. It seems like my life is racing by so fast that I don't know where the time has gone. Everyone says this is normal, this speeding up of time but I think I've figured out how to slow things down.

After about five weeks of meditating, plus the use of another app called Fabulous it feels like my time has slowed, or at least my perception of time has slowed down.

The weekends are now enjoyable as it feels like they leisurely drift along. Before it felt like hours would pass without my knowledge and I was scrambling every minute struggling to stay on top of things, but not really getting much done.

That's just a few of the benefits I've personally noticed from meditating. Do you meditate? What are your thoughts and what benefits have you noticed? I would love to hear from you in the comments. 

 

 

 

 

 

GAPS DIET JOURNEY is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to AMAZON.COM. GAPS DIET JOURNEY is an affiliate for several companies and may be compensated through advertising and marketing channels. Therefore, this post may contain affiliate links.

Starlene Stewart from GAPS Diet Journey Before and After Photos

Health Update February 2016

starlene-b4-after-2012

So… it's been awhile since I updated. I started to transition off GAPS in late 2014, but have remained gluten-free. It's been a time of learning for me. Over the five years I stuck with GAPS, I had hoped I would be one of those people who could take or leave or maybe not even like previous favorites.

I had heard people talk about how they stayed off potatoes for two years and “Now I don't even like them. I prefer Faux-tatoes.” Well, that was not the case for me. Not by a mile. I started out with baby red potatoes. They are really expensive, so I progressed to regular white potatoes. They are delicious. I ate them fried, baked, mashed. Still delicious. I salivate thinking about them. I started eating potato chips. Just a handful. Then by the bagful.

Rice. I could eat 4 cups of rice in one sitting. I love rice. We get along perfectly fine. Except that I binge when eating rice. I've tried cooking just a “serving” worth of rice. That's 1/2 cup, just FYI. And 1/2 cup is 8 level tablespoons or 4 heaping tablespoons. That's four bites. What is the point of eating four bites of rice?

Corn. The worst is popcorn. My husband was on a popcorn jag. He would make popcorn every day. He never thinks twice about anything he eats. He doesn't care if his pants get bigger. He is one of those people who naturally just do not get very big. He's 5'10” and has weighed as much as 225, but that's about as big as he's ever gotten. He has a hard time understanding my compulsions with food. So he makes popcorn. He would leave the bowl sitting around the house. I would get home from work. There's the popcorn, shouting at me. I finish the bowl. Even though it's cold. And stale from sitting. I could eat a huge bowl of popcorn three times a day. I love the stuff. And then there are the corn tortillas, and the tortillas chips. And the corn on the cob.

Obviously, eating huge amounts of these starch foods is going to cause weight gain. And indeed, I gained weight.

When I visited my asthma-allergy specialist in January (who is still impressed that I do not need to use asthma medication except for on very rare occasions), with my shoes and clothes on, I weighed in at 203. I knew I was getting up there since my pants were getting uncomfortably tight. I'm wearing size 12 in Lee's. When I moved from the 10s, it was supposed to be temporary. I was going to do something. I did something all right. I kept on eating high starch, high carbohydrate foods. But when my 12s started to get tight, I panicked a little. I do not want to keep gaining weight and end up as big as I was when I started on GAPS. For one thing, then I would be “one of those people” who lost weight and gained it all back. I know, it happens to a lot of us, but I can't go there again. I just can't.

So… finally last Thursday I was ready. Sometimes you just have to wait until it's time, you know what I mean? I woke up that morning and stepped on the scale (I'd been scared to do so)… I weigh 195 pounds. At least it wasn't over 200! 🙂 Yikes!

And I know the number shouldn't count! But the fact remains, my pants are tight, and I don't want to buy a bigger pair!

Something I'll do every so often is to get hooked up with My Fitness Pal and start counting my calories. It actually helps me to stay on track with my eating habits. For example, I find myself mindlessly eating on the weekend days. I'll grab a handful of chocolate chips, or nuts, or eat yogurt or popcorn, or any number of other things. But if I know I need to log the foods I'm eating, it helps me to stick to my guns.

So… it's been a week, and I have not lost any weight. However, I have maintained at 195. And interestingly enough, my pants are fitting better.

To get started, I have allowed myself to have some of the foods I was having, I'm just attempting to keep to the number of calories allotted.

Oh, something funny I want to share. I had downloaded the app to my phone, which is a Samsung Galaxy II. It's old. And slow. I was putting in my settings on My Fitness Pal, my energy level, how many pounds I'd like to lose, etc. And it said I could have 2,300 calorie a day! I was like, wow! I know that's a lot. I can do that! But when I was trying to put the foods I'd eaten for breakfast, it was taking such a long time that I gave up using my phone and went to the computer.

I logged in and good grief! I laughed because I realized somehow I'd set the app up to say I wanted to GAIN one pound every week! That was not right. Definitely no.

Anyway… I did want to talk a little bit about where I'm at health-wise. It's not all about food and weight. Definitely not.

I continue to support my adrenals and thyroid. I feel like I'm doing very well energy-wise. I get in from 1 to 4 miles walking every day at my job. I started line dancing several months ago. It is one of the great joys in my life and I look forward to my weekly class.

My mood is also fairly even. Prior to GAPS I was exhausted a lot, I couldn't handle much stress and felt depressed often. Now I handle a great deal of stress, and can do so even when I only get five hours sleep at night. And I'm happy often. I wish I had more time to do the things I love to do, but I guess most of us have that wish.

I still occasionally have insomnia. I have learned for myself it is a blood sugar issue, and if I go too low on my carbohydrates I am sure to have insomnia. Which I really dislike waking in the middle of the night and then just lying there trying to go back to sleep. I'm hoping by tracking my food I will be able to figure out if there is a connection to what I'm eating.

I'm going to be doing some experimenting with the foods I'm eating. I am pretty sure that I am sensitive to dairy products, and I suspect they cause me to have inflammation, which would cause weight gain. I stopped buying butter and am trying to learn how to enjoy vegetables without butter. I like raw vegetables plain just fine, but I don't like naked cooked vegetables as much as I like them slathered with butter. But I think I eat too much when I eat butter. I think it is possibly a food that causes me to binge eat.

I am planning to eliminate dairy – I don't eat it all that much, but I have had yogurt on hand, sour cream, etc. I suspect it is a food that I don't tolerate well, simply because of the “love” I feel toward it.

I have also learned, I think, to distinguish between foods that are possibly allergens because I find they are foods I want to binge on. I have learned there is a difference between “loving” a food and being “psychotically in love” with it. Do you know what I mean?

I'm going to be sticking with mostly the GAPS legal food list, but also some other things like sweet potatoes. They are a safe source of starches for me. Speaking of safe starches… the Paleo Diet matches up pretty closely with GAPS and I will be using some of the foods on the Paleo list, too.

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GAPS DIET JOURNEY is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to AMAZON.COM. GAPS DIET JOURNEY is an affiliate for several companies and may be compensated through advertising and marketing channels. Therefore, this post may contain affiliate links.

My 2 year old nursling

Nursing Your Baby is One of the Best Things You Can Do

My 2 year old nursling
I'm 5 months pregnant here. Matthew is actually sucking his thumb because my milk has already dried up. But he still loved snuggling with mommy, touching my eyelashes. 🙂 He began nursing again regularly once his baby brother was born and my milk came back in.

It was 1970, I was 9 years old and my mother married my stepfather. A year later their first child was born. One thing I will never forget is seeing the look of love and pure adoration on my baby sister's face as she peered up at my mother, her little mouth attached to my mother's breast. Sometimes she would pull off and break out in this huge milky grin looking right at my mom. I knew that I wanted to experience that when I had my own children.

My mother nursed me but did so on a very rigid schedule. She tells me how she would sit in her room and cry and cry while I laid in my crib screaming. The doctor told her that she must only nurse me for ten minutes on each side and then every four hours. He said that I must be allowed to cry to strengthen my lungs. As a young mother attending La Leche League I learned about foremilk and hindmilk, and that lungs did not need to be strengthened by crying. It is likely I rarely had hindmilk due to the way I was nursed. My mother weaned me at six months, onto powdered skimmed milk because regular milk caused me to projectile vomit. I think I probably spent the first year of my life starving.

When I was 22 months old my baby sister was born. My father told my mom she could not nurse their newest child. Mom was ten pounds overweight and my father wanted her to drop those pounds as soon as possible. I learned in La Leche League that nursing mothers need a few extra pounds – nature has provided that weight for a reason. And since nursing uses extra calories, moms quite often naturally lose those extra pounds.

My mom nursed all of her children, except for my one sister. And it just so happens my mom has always had a terrible time with resentment towards my sister. Mom used to go to prayer meetings and ask for special prayer, so that she could love her daughter and not feel so resentful toward her. My sister and I were determined to nurse our children, for we did not want to risk not bonding as it appeared happened with our mother. I was scared out of my wits to have a second child! I was so scared I would not love my second born child. My mom has six children. She is close to five of them, but the one she clashes with and has resentment towards, she did not nurse. Of all the children she should have nursed, it certainly should have been my sister, I believe she would have been able to overcome the feelings of resentment.

When my first child was born in 1986, my plan was to nurse him for at least six months, because that's what my mother had done. Matthew and I had a rough time of it immediately after he was born. First of all, because he had Down Syndrome he had low muscle tone, and he was a very sleepy baby. I feel fortunate that the hospital encouraged me to keep him in the hospital bed with me  and they were very pro-breastfeeding. Matthew was 24 hours old before I was able to successfully nurse him with the aid of the hospital's lactation consultant.

I had to return to work when Matthew was nine weeks old, and I thought my heart would break. I was so glad I was nursing him, so that we had that special closeness. We would have a nursing session just before I left for work, and the minute I walked in the door at the end of the day. His father was the stay at home dad.

My job was not too encouraging when it came to nursing. Both of my supervisors kept telling me to feed cereal to my infant to “fill him up”. They told me my milk would dry up around four months of age because that is when their milk dried up. Later attending LLL I learned that two things happen around the time a baby reaches four months of age: baby has a growth spurt and the breasts finally get in the groove of making milk. I learned the baby has to spend a good deal of time at the breast to increase supply. It can be frightening to a new mom to have empty sagging breasts with a baby that only wants to nurse, nurse, nurse and nurse some more! Without the proper information, one might think the baby is starving. But the baby is only doing what he or she has been programmed to do. Nurse, nurse and nurse some more to build up the milk supply!

When I first went back to work I pumped at lunch time. Sadly the only place for me to express my milk was in a restroom stall. And for the icing on the cake, I only had half an hour lunch so I had to express my milk and eat lunch sitting on a toilet. “Good times,” as Matt would say. As it turns out, Matthew refused to drink from a bottle and eventually I stopped gathering milk for him at noon. Matthew made his own schedule. Thank goodness we practiced the family bed! He nursed most of each night, and thankfully I slept through most of the night. I basically turned from one side to the next, latching him from one breast the other throughout the night. On weekends we had marathon nursing sessions and by Monday lunch I was painfully engorged. But eventually my body settled into the routine.

We didn't learn that Matthew had Down Syndrome until he was three months old which was a terrible shock. It felt like the world went black for about three days. We were told it was in a sense as if our baby had died. But I'll never forget the wonderful woman who told me that Matthew would always be more normal than not. I hung onto that for dear life.

We took Matthew for therapy at Easter Seals from the time he was about six months old, and our speech therapist was very happy that I was nursing. She encouraged me to nurse Matthew for as long as I could. She said it was “hands down, THE BEST speech therapy that a child could have” because of the mechanics involved for the tongue and mouth in breastfeeding.

My bosses were wrong. My baby thrived on my breast milk alone (until he was 13 months old). And I was a well rested mama, even though my baby nursed only at night. I had two coworkers with young babies who were nodding off at their computer terminals because they were bottle feeding and of course that meant several night feedings. I was so thankful that I was nursing my baby.

I didn't think much about my diet. I felt I was eating healthy since I didn't eat a lot of candy and soda, plus I cooked a lot of meals from scratch. But sad to say, my diet was definitely Standard American at the time with plenty of sugar, white flour, pasta and margarine, etc.

We were on a tight budget and I didn't make a ton of money, I was only 23 years old with no college education or degree, I barely had a GED. As I mentioned earlier, my husband stayed at home with our child. We could not have afforded formula of any kind, store bought or homemade.

I found a La Leche League group that met in the evening for working moms. I learned so much about the wonderful benefits of nursing my child. Not only did I have that wonderful closeness, but my breastmilk was protecting my child. One of the things I learned that blew my mind was that the breast manufactures antibodies to anything the child has been exposed to, and I still find myself in awe at the miraculous business of breastfeeding.

When Matthew was 2 and a half years old, his little brother was born. I had of course learned about tandem nursing and planned to nurse my toddler and my newborn.

Matthew nursed one time at the hospital while I was in the labor and my not so nice labor nurse complained that he was drinking up all the colostrum. I knew that was not true, and thankfully my doctor at the time agreed, and set the nurse straight.

I can tell you one thing, there were no engorgement problems the second time around because my toddler was a very happy little boy to discover there was plenty of mommy milk again. I went on to tandem nurse for the next 2.5 years and Matthew weaned when he was around 5 years old.

Fast forward to 2003. We bought our first milking goat. In the process of learning about dairy goats, milking, and the wonders of raw milk, I learned about the Weston A. Price Foundation. It took me some time to get a copy of Nourishing Traditions because I had done the low fat diet in my early 30s and was completely against any kind of diet. “Diet” to me meant restriction, and restriction meant deprivation and cravings. When I finally got around to reading Nourishing Traditions, I was surprised to find that the book and WAPF did not seem to promote breastfeeding as strongly as I would have thought. I knew how important breast milk was for baby humans, and I was acutely aware of the importance for facial development and for speech therapy.

Here is a snippet from the article I linked to earlier from Katy who writes at Aligned and Well where she describes how it works:

The milking baby has to use the muscles in the tongue to create and maintain a U shape, cradling the nipple. {For those of you think you genetically cannot U, read this (click).} Then the tongue has to do a crazy amount of work (as in W=F x d) that changes based on where their tongue is on the nipple, but never decreasing to the point of losing a muscular vacuum. Which is why you need calculus to model the forces of breast feeding. It’s hugely complicated. And FYI, so it eating. I mean, eating is easy. But the muscular forces involved in getting food to your mouth, chewing it and then swallowing are numerous. Which is why they have you get a Master’s Degree to do oral/swallow/speech therapy (or any physical therapy). It’s not as simple as a month-long (or a year-long) course makes it appear.

Bottle nipples differ (mechanically speaking) from human nipples in that you don’t milk them, you suck on them. And the synthetic nipple does not deform as the breastfeeding nipple does, nor does an artificial nipple adapt to the growing mouth of the growing child. Meaning, the baby’s mouth sets the geometry of the breast’s nipple, and not the other way around.

During the years that we had our goats I was approached by a woman who wanted to purchase our goat's milk for the purpose of making baby formula ala Weston A. Price Foundation. I was surprised to learn that this mama had been weighing her baby before and after each nursing session and was convinced she was not making enough milk and so she wanted to make her own homemade formula with part of that recipe being our raw goat's milk.

I can't help but wonder if she had had more support, would she have been able to nurse her child with only her breastmilk?

I believe that nursing one's baby is extremely important, even vitally important to the healthy development of one's child. Breastfeeding comes easy to some mothers, while for others it is more difficult. Even if your diet is not perfect, I believe the child still benefits hugely. There are components to breast milk that can never be recreated with an artificial or homemade formula. I realize that there are situations where a mother absolutely cannot nurse her child, but I think if there are too many easy solutions available it is easier to not take the time, or put in the effort. For example, we learned in La Leche League that moms who had hospital births should refuse the samples of formula to avoid temptation. In the cases where a woman truly cannot nurse her child, I think the best solution is as Dr. Natasha suggests, to find human breast milk. But I truly think these cases are far and few between, and education is vitally important. There are problems that can be addressed and fixed, like tongue tie or lip tie (a condition common to those with MTHFR genetic mutations), improper latching, thrush, just to name a few. Or maybe you have low supply but something as simple as drinking more water would increase your supply. Nutrition certainly factors in as well, some new mothers are obsessed with losing those last pounds of “baby fat” not realizing it is normal and will eventually resolve itself. Believe it or not I learned a whole other side to “breastfeeding” when we had our goats. Little things as I mentioned above like not drinking enough water affecting supply. Our goats thought rain was poison and would stay in the barn all day long if it was raining. It never failed the next day everyone's milk production was down, even though we'd placed water in the barn for them.

Since learning about GAPS, I am even more convinced of the importance of breastfeeding. If the mother (and the father) have gut dysbiosis (each generation seems to have worse gut dysbiosis than the last), the child will have gut dysbiosis. There are many cases of children becoming autistic soon after being weaned and this is because the mother's milk was providing protection to the child against his abnormal gut flora. There are telltale signs of gut dysbiosis, click here to learn the conditions which stem from it listed at Dr. Natasha's blog.

I'll end with a quote from Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride from her New Baby page at her website:

I cannot emphasize strongly enough, how important it is to breastfeed your baby! Particularly in those first few days, when colostrum is produced.

If you cannot do it yourself, try to find a wet nurse or a breast milk donor: a good place to start looking for one is in your maternity ward before giving birth (if you arrived to the hospital in a planned fashion) or straight after giving birth. In order to insure good supply of breast milk for your baby, it is practical to look for 2-4 wet nurses or breast milk donors. Look for healthy women who live not too far away from you. Even in the case of formula feeding supplementing your baby’s diet with some breast milk (even occasional) will do wonders for your baby’s development and overall health. No commercial formula will ever get close to the quality of breast milk!

If you are looking for support in nursing your baby, please contact La Leche League International. They are a wonderful organization who can help you be successful at nursing your baby. I learned so much from my La Leche League group and will be forever grateful to the wonderful women who were there to teach me and support me to be the best mother I could be for my children. I believe I learned to parent my own inner child at the same time. Thanks for reading!

This post is included at the Breastfeeding Support Blog Party. Visit Hybrid Rasta Mama's site to read more powerful posts in support of breastfeeding.

GAPS DIET JOURNEY is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to AMAZON.COM. GAPS DIET JOURNEY is an affiliate for several companies and may be compensated through advertising and marketing channels. Therefore, this post may contain affiliate links.

Day 6 HealThy Mouth Summit Preview

HealThy Mouth World Summit

The HealThy Mouth Summit is live. The new session begins at midnight each night. Tomorrow (Friday January 18th) is Day 6. Each day's speakers can be listened to one day only, I missed the first 5 days so I am considering the upgrade. Sometimes having a “real” job can really cut into the things I want to do. My friend Patty from Loving Our Guts told me about the upcoming HealThy Mouth Summit (nice play on words there “Healthy” and “Heal Thy”) and I looked into it and signed up but wasn't really able to pay attention to the sessions. Tomorrow is my day off so I will be watching and listening throughout the day.

I have talked before here at the blog about my amalgams. I really want to get them out and I'm very lucky to have found a holistic dentist. This summit going to share some information which I think I will find very helpful in deciding how to proceed with having my amalgams removed. It is confusing trying to figure out what to do.

Here is a summary of the speakers for Day 6 (Friday January 18th). I'm especially interested in hearing Dr. Cate Shanahan's science based argument against flossing!

And Dr. Mike Godfrey is going to share alternatives to mammograms. One of my younger sisters recently told me she really wished I would get mammograms. I had one set and then I decided I wasn't going to do that to myself. It worries my sister since our maternal grandmother lost a breast to cancer in the 50s.

Dr. Paul Rubin is going to share how to safely remove mercury fillings. The “regular” dentist I've seen for years does not believe there is any problem with mercury fillings and takes no precautions whatsoever in removing them for anyone: not himself, the patient, his staff, the office is wide open and I would think even patients in the waiting room are exposed.

Day 6 (January 18)

Dr. Paul Rubin

Dr Paul Rubin

Cofounder of New Directions Dentistry – a group who educates dentists how to be mercury safe
“Is Your Dentist Mercury Safe?”

Dr Paul Rubin offers us an excellent interview focused on the protocols of how to safely remove mercury fillings. Dr Rubin draws from his decades of experience as a mercury safe dentist to explain to us exactly what actions must be taken by a dentist during the removal of an amalgam filling to minimize the exposure to mercury. He goes on to go explain the difference between mercury free dentistry and mercury safe dentistry. This presentation is a must for anyone who is planning to have mercury fillings removed. Dr Rubin discusses questions to ask your dentist to determine if they are mercury safe.

Dr. Cate Shanahan

Dr Cate Shanahan

author of Deep Nutrition and Food Rules
“Walking on Both Sides – How to Eat to Support Greater Oral Health & What Each of Us Can Do in the Mouth to Create Positive Change”

Have you ever dreamed of having a medical doctor patiently explain to you exactly why you should be eating healthy food (not just the food pyramid)? You are in for a treat to hear Dr Cate expertly school us on exactly why certain foods cause a breakdown in our health and immunity and what foods we can eat to navigate back to greater oral and whole being health. Drawing from her background in biochemistry and medicine, Dr Cate offers several gems from which even the veteran real foodie will gain insight. Dr Cate also shares with us her science based argument against flossing!

Dr. Mike Godfrey

Dr Mike Godfrey

semi retired medical doctor
“Doctors Are Not Taught to Look at Teeth – the connection between cancer, particularly breast cancer and oral health”

Dr Mike Godfrey offers us a no nonsense, detailed interview sharing the connection between cancer, particularly breast cancer, and oral health. Dr Godfrey draws from his over 40 years of clinical experience to explain to us how 97% of breast cancers have an oral implication! If it’s true that the information we grasp impacts the decisions we make, then you owe it to yourself and your loved ones to grasp the significance of oral health in the cause of breast cancer. Questions Dr Godfrey addresses include: What impact do oral metals play in cancer? What can folks who are less than ideal health do? and What other tools are available to more effectively screen for breast cancer than mammography?

Join me at the summit!

GAPS DIET JOURNEY is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to AMAZON.COM. GAPS DIET JOURNEY is an affiliate for several companies and may be compensated through advertising and marketing channels. Therefore, this post may contain affiliate links.

Raw Cheesecake and Chocolate Cake with Butter Cream Frosting

Are You A Fat Burner or a Sugar Burner?

Raw Cheesecake and Chocolate Cake with Butter Cream Frosting

I enjoyed reading this article at Mark's Daily Apple: What Does it Mean to Be Fat Adapted? Mark goes into detail answering the question, and then he says to ask yourself a few basic questions:

  1. Can you go three hours without eating? Is skipping a meal an exercise in futility and misery?
  2. Do you enjoy steady, even energy throughout the day?
  3. Are midday naps pleasurable indulgences, rather than necessary staples?
  4. Can you exercise without carb-loading? Have the headaches and brain fuzziness passed?

I thought it was pretty cool that I seem to be a fat adapted… I can easily go 3 hours without eating. Nowadays I have my big protein breakfast, then bring a tin of sardines with me to have for lunch at work. Then I'm good until I get home, and that might be 7 or 8pm at night before I arrive home.

I can easily skip a meal, which is amazing. I remember it was i.m.p.o.s.s.i.b.l.e. for me to skip a meal. I couldn't even fathom or consider skipping a meal because I would get cranky, shaky and brain fogged.

I do pretty much have steady energy throughout the day. I was thinking the other day how I don't even consider getting coffee [affiliate link]. I have never really been able to drink coffee, but I would drink four ounces if I needed an energy boost, or if I didn't get a good night's sleep. I would also have times where I would almost fall asleep while driving. That was awful. I'd clap my hands in front of my face to try to wake myself up. I'd slap my cheeks in an effort to wake myself up. It is not safe driving at 70mph while nodding off!

I used to have to take at least one and sometimes two naps on the days I'm at home. I don't have to any longer.

I never really did anything special before exercising, and I currently am not exercising since I'm trying to heal my adrenals. I don't have brain fuzziness any longer.

Food used to be a lot more important to me than it is now. I had to bring a food bag with me wherever I went. I used to bring leftovers from dinner, and I had to use the kitchen stove to heat my food, which took 5-10 minutes. Now I just pop my tin of sardines open, or open a package of nuts. It takes so much less time now.

This is how it used to be for me:

  • Breakfast:  Yogurt or kefir shake, or two scrambled eggs [affiliate link], or broth with vegetables blended into a cream soup with a couple egg yolks.
  • Mid-morning snack:  Hunk of cheese, or nuts and a piece of fruit, or maybe a cup of yogurt.
  • Lunch: Leftovers from last night's meal
  • Mid-afternoon snack for on the way home from work:  Piece of fruit, or nuts.

Heaven help me if I got caught in traffic on the way home. Oh dear. I would be so ravenously hungry by the time I got home I would just stand at the stove and shovel food into my mouth. My husband used to cook dinner and it was always a buffet of carbohydrates… homemade baked macaroni and cheese, cornbread, peas, home baked bread, mashed potatoes and gravy, biscuits. I loved those foods, and he loved cooking them for me, because he knows how much I loved them.

So now this is what it looks like for me:

  • 50 grams protein for breakfast. This might be 8 ounces of beef with a couple tablespoons butter, or chicken breast, chicken thighs, hamburger, pork chops or bacon. I try to remember to have a cup of broth with breakfast.
  • Lunch = 1 tin of sardines most often, sometimes I'll have 1 ounce of sunflower seeds, cashews or almonds [affiliate link] (this is when I'm in a super hurry and forget to grab my tin of sardines, so have to go to the corner convenience store and buy something – I should just bring those tins of sardines with me and stash in my desk)
  • Dinner – whenever I get home, ideally before 7pm. I usually have about 6 ounces of meat with dinner, salad or vegetables on the side, ferments.

Yesterday was a great demonstration of how it's changed for me. I promised one of my coworkers that I would make to allergy-friendly desserts, which were both GAPS legal, for her birthday party. I don't usually leave home on the weekends, if I can help it, but I wanted to attend her birthday party so I left home around 11am to head into town for the party.

For breakfast around 6am I had half of a hot pork sausage link (about 4 ounces) and 5 slices of bacon. On the way out the door to the party I took 5 more pieces of bacon with me that were left from breakfast. When I got to the party I helped to set up, and got the desserts I'd brought cut and into the pretty little paper cups.

While at the party, there were vegetables and fruit that I could have eaten, but instead I decided to eat some of the desserts I'd brought – I ate those around 2pm. After the party I did some grocery shopping for my youngest sister, who my mom told me was running short on food. I dropped by and dropped off the food, then headed to my mom's house. I was only there a few minutes and then headed out to another errand. Then I decided to visit another sister.

By the time we met up it was almost 9pm and she was going to Wet and Wild in north Phoenix. I used to go there every summer with my boys when they were younger and we lived in town. I would save money every month all year long to buy passes because it is actually affordable to visit those water parks when you do it that way. My last “meal” had been the desserts and I wasn't really hungry. But I had my tin of sardines with me and I decided to eat them before we went into the water park. I did eat my sardines and I was fine with that for the rest of the night. My sister had brought salad with her and she ate salad before we went into the park, an hour later after we got out of the park, and around midnight when I was planning to leave she offered me a piece of grilled chicken breast. I wasn't a bit hungry though, and I got home around 1:30am and still wasn't hungry. I went to bed and I was fine.

I was a little bit freaked out about being in the heavily chlorinated water, and the smell of chlorine was overpowering while in the water. I know it causes a toxic load on our bodies to be in swimming pools, but I go swimming about once a year if that, and I wanted to spend time with my sister and niece and grand nephew and it was fun playing and floating in the wave pool. Since I am on adrenal support I gave myself a “stress dose” before we went into the park, and then I felt a little sick to my stomach after we left so I administered another “stress dose”. The stomachache dissipated after about 15 minutes.

I haven't felt too bad today. I got a good night's sleep and slept well.

So what about you? Would you say you are fat adapted?

 

 

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7 Reasons I Wish I’d Been Willing to Change

I Heart GAPS

 

In the first two decades of my life I never worried about what I ate. I was lucky enough to be able to eat what I wanted, while easily maintaining a healthy weight. After I had my children I had a hard time getting down to my pre-pregnancy weight and I did eventually succeed by trying the low fat diet. It was all the rage when I was 30. But it was impossible to sustain and as with most diets I grew steadily more hungry and eventually gave up. After that I embraced size acceptance and vowed to never diet or restrict any foods. Forever. I was determined. Even as my clothes grew tighter and I began to develop health issues I was not willing to make any changes.

Fifteen years went by… I was determined to love the super-sized me. Fast forward to December 2009… in an attempt to help my husband heal from Ulcerative Colitis, I began to research the Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet. I'd heard of it a few years earlier, but mostly in context to children and autism. The “psychology” part did not impact me at all. But in reading the book the psychology part began to make more sense… I was feeling depressed – that could definitely be psychological… and I was so tired all the time, plus I had all sorts of weird little aches and pains. I decided to give it a chance, and now I wish I had not wasted fifteen years of my life. Years I can never get back.

Too bad I wasn't ready to make a change years ago. But, since I don't have a time machine, there's not much I can do. Regretting past choices serves no good purpose and is a waste of precious time. All I can do is press forward and be glad for what I have learned today.

Let me share the reasons with you why I wish I had been willing to change much earlier. I hope you will share with me in the comments what you wish you would have been willing to change years ago.  Hindsight is a great thing, isn't it? 🙂

  1. Less Eating, Less Hunger. In addition to being on GAPS, I am also doing Dr. Jack Kruse's Leptin Reset. One of the “rules” is to eat a big protein breakfast consisting of at least 50 grams of protein. I love that this little trick leaves me satisfied and not hungry for four or five hours. Before starting GAPS I had to bring food with me and eat every 2.5 to 3 hours. After being on GAPS I was able to eat less often, but I still had to bring food with me. Now since the leptin reset I have my breakfast at home within thirty minutes of waking, and lunch is more like a snack – some days I don't eat lunch at all because I'm just not hungry. I might bring an ounce of almonds [affiliate link] or a tin of sardines with me. I love this because I don't have to spend a bunch of time heating my food and sitting down and eating. I can take a ten minute break and get back to work and since I don't take lunch I can leave half an hour earlier.
  2. No Desire for that Afternoon Siesta. I love that I'm not tired after I eat a meal. Before GAPS I used to feel sleepy every afternoon after eating lunch (which often consisted of plenty of carbohydrates). When I'd eat spaghetti for dinner I would feel lethargic the next day, for the entire day! It is nice not to have to need to find a way to combat that tired feeling.
  3. No More Overeating. I love that I don't overeat anymore. When I was doing body acceptance I battled myself for years, trying to get myself to eat smaller portions, trying to stop when I felt satisfied. I tried and tried to not overeat! I couldn't seem to stop myself from eating too much. The food tasted so delicious and I felt like I ate obsessively and could not stop myself. Especially if I got too hungry. I could eat the house then! I've since learned that foods that I love to that depth are probably foods to which I am allergic! I used to say that I loved pasta than my own mother! That is a truly addictive statement, wouldn't you agree?
  4. Off My Asthma Medication. I love that I was able to stop taking asthma medication, which I was on for eight years. It was such a hassle having to use it every day, getting the prescription filled, having to go to the doctor to get a new prescription every year or six months – for eight years! It's awesome being able to sleep at night with clear sinuses, and not being woke up because I can't breathe through my nose.
  5. Not Tempted To Eat Fast Food. I love that I am no longer tempted by fast food establishments. This is truly wonderful. My biggest temptation used to come when I'd have a run an errand at my job. For some reason I felt like I deserved a reward for having to leave the building so I would stop by Jack in the Box and get two tacos and a french fry, and sometimes a cheeseburger and chocolate shake. And then I would feel sooooo guilty for eating junk food. But the siren calls were more than I could bear, and I would find myself succumbing to the temptation. That is completely a thing of the past. One I stopped eating those foods that I am allergic to, I stopped having those wild desires for them.
  6. No More Aching Feet. My feet used to hurt me so bad. I'd been diagnosed with Plantar fasciitis and had been given some inserts to wear in my shoes. Not much could be done for this condition, I'd been told. I figured it was my lot in life because I can still remember my Grandpa hobbling around his restaurant and you could tell his feet were causing him great pain. My feet hurt so bad that I could only wear this one brand of men's casual wear shoes. They were black, and ugly and I felt like an old hag wearing them. I felt embarrassed in them, but I couldn't even stand to bear weight on my feet when they were bare. I heard myself one night in the middle of the night, groaning and leaning on the bed, it was pretty awful. Within two weeks of doing GAPS my feet stopped hurting and now I can even tolerate 3 inch heels! I've become one of those women who love shoes. Whoohoo!! 🙂
  7. Sustained Weight Loss. I love that I've lost weight, fairly effortlessly, and I've kept it off. I did not embark on GAPS to lose weight. Diets don't work, after all! Remember, I'd sworn off diets for 15 years! Although deep down inside I was scared to death that I would keep gaining weight every year. Most people who go on diets gain the weight back, we hear that all the time. But when I read Gut and Psychology Syndromeby Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride I felt hope that maybe I could get past the depression and fatigue, and I admit, I also secretly hoped I'd lose weight, but I wasn't counting on it. I was SO determined to never diet again!! I was a hard core body acceptance person, and I am extremely grateful that I finally became willing to make changes toward better health.

Your turn. Please leave a comment and let me know:

Do you pay attention to what you eat?

Do you think it matters?

Have you found success by changing your diet?

What are the changes you've seen?

What do YOU wish you had changed years ago?

GAPS DIET JOURNEY is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to AMAZON.COM. GAPS DIET JOURNEY is an affiliate for several companies and may be compensated through advertising and marketing channels. Therefore, this post may contain affiliate links.

Feelings of Depression or Nobody Likes a Sad Sack

First of all, let me warn you that I had some depression last week, and I wrote this post back then. I'm now feeling much better, the depression has lifted, and I think I know what happened and why I was depressed. But I'll share that in another post… it may have been die off, but there was another factor that I didn't add in until the depression started to lift… on with my tale of woe… 

It has been a rough couple of weeks. If you get queasy reading about other people's sorry lives and depression, come back tomorrow, this might get uncomfortable. Or go on and jump down to the quotation, it's safe from that point on.

I may be experiencing die off… on the list there has been a little bit of conversation about having die off occur at the four week mark and causing depression, and it seems to have hit me pretty hard. I do know that stepping on the scale to see that I'd gained weight started me into a tailspin. It was definitely one of the last straw's on the camel's back.

The depression I was feeling escalated on Sunday the 8th (Mother's Day), and I spend some time during the day in tears. This is unusual for me since starting on GAPS. I used to be weepy and sad and anxious and depressed fairly regularly before GAPS. Now, I'm not the happiest person all the time, but I am nowhere near as depressed as I felt prior to GAPS. I would say on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being “needs medication” — before GAPS I was up to at least an 8. Now I would say I probably hover around 2 as a general rule, and Sunday was more like a 6. So, not so bad, but uncomfortable just the same.

I got to thinking on Monday about depression, and rejection and how people tire quickly of a depressed person – at least that has been my experience in my life. In mulling over that, it occurred to me that I have had bouts with depression throughout my life. Being a highly sensitive person, I can sense when people are getting to their tolerance point with the depression I'm experiencing. It even happens in my own household where I can't sink too low into the depths or it affects my husband. So for his sake I have to try to maintain some semblance of happiness. I have been doing that for years; my sister first pointed it out to me many years ago that my tone would change while we were on the phone if he walked into the room. I have actually had friends tell me they didn't want to talk to me unless I was talking about pleasant things (not in those exact words) and my own mother finds a reason to get off the phone to the point where I find myself unable to talk to her and have a regular conversation since I know she will need to go if I accidentally start talking about negative stuff. Feeling rejected like this can cause me to plunge even further into the sinkhole of depression, unfortunately. 

I tend to cloak my true mood and feelings around most people, in public and in the workplace, and only once I know people well do I share the depths of sadness that sometimes overcomes me. It's very difficult for me to speak to a counselor or therapist because I cannot be completely honest with them until I find where they stand. Will they truly accept me for who I am? Or am I going to find myself backpedaling my way out of something I said that has caused them to not want to deal with me? I once saw a counselor who fell asleep during our afternoon visits <!!> and one of the reasons I was seeing her was for body acceptance and she revealed to me that she was on a diet to lose weight for her upcoming wedding. I never felt comfortable sharing my inner thoughts and feelings to her. I have one person in my life I know to steer clear of when I'm upset because she will verbally attack me when I'm depressed, which of course can send me into a fit of tears. This hasn't happened in quite a long time, thankfully, and that is mostly because I am not depressed enough any more, and I learned to keep away from her if I am feeling morose.

I remember as a 15 year old, yes, I know we all have teenage angst… but I remember sitting outside in the dark, wishing I was dead. My stepfather was a horrible mean man. He was very verbally abusive and physically abusive and I vowed from the age of 10 that I would raise my children differently. I refused to believe that I had to be like my parents or to follow in their footsteps. I tried to be perfect as a child, as perfect as I could be whilst feeling like I had no energy or desire to do much of anything.

The worst depression came when my mother gave me away to our woman pastor when I was 16. The pastor had convinced my mother that I had anorexia and was starving myself. I did not, and was not. At any rate, once I got to the pastor's house she tried to fatten me up by serving me huge amounts of plain white spaghetti. Now granted, I can eat just about anyone under the table when it comes to spaghetti, but this nutty woman found it offensive if you felt you needed more salt on your food. I've always been one to need more salt on my food (adrenal fatigue anyone?). So while I can eat anyone under the table with buttered spaghetti salted to my taste, I cannot do the same with plain spaghetti and no salt. AGH. Of course it wasn't only spaghetti, but other foods, and another item she made me eat was four candy bars every single day (that I worked), and told me they had to contain glucose in the ingredient list because I had low blood sugar (so she said). I believed her for a long time. I was scared of her, and I didn't like living there. The only candy bars with GLUCOSE on the ingredient list were Baby Ruth's. Those are some nasty candy bars. 

One time I was so despondent living there with her that I crawled into her walk in closet, where her grandson's baby crib was kept. I crawled under the crib and backed into the corner. She got really, really angry at me for hiding under that crib “like a dog”. She was so hateful. She blamed any bad thing on me, and tried to make me feel guilty. One time one of her grandsons slipped and fell on a glass bottle that had just broken and he was seriously injured and needed to actually have his leg put in a cast. That was blamed on me, because I'd been going through a depression at that time. She also told me later that night that one day I would feel obligated to pay the boy money (once he became an adult) to make up for injuring his leg. Another time, their elderly dog was having a stroke, and I walked in and found the dog, of course that was blamed on me as well.

Things got so bad living there, that I begged God to take me home. I thought about suicide a lot, but then I would feel broken-hearted and cry and cry because I knew my mother would be so broken up and sad over losing me. Within a few months, I almost got my wish when my appendix almost burst inside me. I had never experienced such pain and nausea in my life, and I felt sure God was giving  me a taste for which I had begged. Obvioulsly I lived through it, and that was the last time I wished to die, and had suicidal thoughts.

But I continued to feel depressed throughout my life and there was always that smack down from someone to let me know this wasn't acceptable behavior. I feel crushed when that happens, so I try to keep to myself when hurting. Still, I reach out every now and then.

My feelings of depression grew progressively worse as I entered my mid-forties. In the months before I started GAPS, I was beginning to have – along with what I considered to be mild depression – lots of anxiety and anxiety attacks. I was taking Kava Kava almost every single day, and sometimes more than one time a day, just to take the edge off the anxiety.

While mulling over my experience with deression, something else I realized was that expectation I keep mentioning, that I need to keep up appearances? I realized what it was. I don't want people interested in GAPS, to come here looking for information and find nothing but depressing, sad posts. But you know, unfortunately that is just how it goes sometimes. I wish I had complete healing at 17 months on GAPS, but I don't. I'm not giving up. And I'm so happy that I don't have any desire to give up. I don't have any feelings of thinking “I just want to eat an entire cake” it's more like “I just want to eat some grapes” lol or “an entire almond flour [affiliate link] chocolate cake with peanut butter [affiliate link] chocolate frosting” all perfectly GAPS legal. 🙂

You know, this food is real food. It was created and designed by God, not man. Everything is so nourishing and tastes so delicious.

I started to feel better in leaps and bounds on Monday afternoon, when I read Dr. Natasha's newest post to her blog titled, “One Man's Meat Is Another Man's Poison“.

The first area where it made me feel better is I realized I'm okay for “cheating” on intro. I didn't cheat with Ding Dongs or Dr. Pepper, after all. At the moment I can't even remember what I cheated and ate that wasn't on the stage I was on, but it's okay, I'm okay! I'm not a failure!

Dr. Natasha says:

If you were following the GAPS Introduction Diet to a letter and felt well, but then one day you get a strong desire for, let's say, raw tomatoes (which are not included into the plan), then listen to this desire! This is your body telling you that it needs particular nutrients at this particular time, and raw tomatoes will provide them. If you deny your body that need, you may get yourself into trouble: your electrolyte balance may get upset or your hormones may not work well, or something else will not work. Yes, you would have ‘cheated' on the diet by eating tomatoes, but once that particular need of your body has been satisfied, you can continue with your programme. Any progress goes through two steps forward then one step back, and healing is no exception. So, don't worry about ‘cheating' on the diet sometimes if your body has really asked for it. This is not cheating; this is working with your body and respecting it. Remember, your body knows infinitely more about itself than we will ever know with all our intelligence and science!

That is just beautiful.

It has inspired me to try harder to work with my body and to give it the respect it deserves. It has housed my soul for forty-seven years, it has carried and created my children, it has been here for me, now it's time for me to try and listen more closely to what it needs and desires.

Instead of being angry and hateful at my body for gaining weight, I'm going to try and listen more carefully. I'm going to try to follow this from Dr. Natasha:

However, if you listen to your sense of pleasure from food, then you will not overeat because you would stop eating as soon as the food stops being pleasurable. Pleasure on / pleasure off are the signals your body gives you to let you know about its needs. Your sense of pleasure will keep you eating as long as your body still needs the nutrients from that particular food; as soon as your body had enough of those nutrients, the food will stop giving you pleasure.

I'm going to try my best to eat only when I'm hungry. The biggest question I have about that is do I need to wait until my stomach actually growls?

I'm going to be more mindful of what my body is hungry for. I am going to try and be more attentive while I eat, and mindful of cues. Am I just eating what's left on my plate because it's there? How did I know that's how much my body wanted? I may be able to figure that out by carefully observing the way I feel with each bite. Set the utensil down, chew. Does the food still taste wonderful?

I have tried to practice this mindfulness in the past – prior to GAPS. It was a disappointment but now that I am eating good nutritious foods, maybe it will be easier.

Thank you for sticking around to the end whether you skipped over the depressed parts or not.

Hugs,

Starlene

GAPS DIET JOURNEY is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to AMAZON.COM. GAPS DIET JOURNEY is an affiliate for several companies and may be compensated through advertising and marketing channels. Therefore, this post may contain affiliate links.

Quick Food Ideas for Traveling on the GAPS Diet

Traveling on the GAPS Diet

I asked for ideas on the GAPS Yahoo list of what a person could do while on vacation and still stay on GAPS. If you are flying, you may not be able to bring your food on board with you. Double check with the airlines to make sure.

Here are the ideas:

  • Grilled chicken/steak/pork chop option with vegetables or salad from a “decent” restaurant
  • Larabars (most of these are GAPS legal, double check ingredients to be sure)
  • Peanut butter [affiliate link]
  • Cut up apples
  • Carrot and celery sticks
  • Apples, carrot and celery sticks dipped in nut butter
  • Freeze meat and remove from freezer just before heading to the airport. Include butter, ghee, coconut oil [affiliate link] or other healthy fats in a container and carry it along with the meat.
  • Beef jerky
  • Hard boiled eggs [affiliate link]
  • Raw zucchini
  • Liver
  • Properly soaked nuts
  • Avocado – cut in half, put back together
  • Find the nearest Whole Foods, Sprouts or other “natural” type store. Also, more regular grocery stores have a “natural” foods department
  • Many restaurants will also work with special orders if you tell them you have food allergies.
  • Houlihan's Restaurant and Bar
  • Outback (Order the meat without the special seasoning and substitute additional steamed veggies, again without seasoning). Also, steak and seafood restaurants generally work.
  • Chipotle – Order a carnitas bowl (no rice or beans) with the tomato salsa, lettuce, and guacamole.
  • Jamba Juice – They have a few all fruit smoothies that are legal.
  • Hamburgers with just lettuce and tomato. In-n-Out would probably be the safest of the fast foods. Make sure to tell them no seasoning.
  • Order foods without spices and without butter if not currently on butter. Most restaurants are pretty accommodating.
  • Cooking up some meat, chicken, etc., freezing it, bringing it in your suitcase and when you go out just order a plain salad, bring some olive oil, and throw on your own protein
  • Hamburgers, e.g. McDonald’s ¼ pounder is 100% beef.
  • Five Guys Burgers also has 100% beef patties.
  • It's typically easier to eat at “real” restaurants (i.e., not chains, not fast food). The chains get their food shipped to them already semi-prepared so it's tough for them to take sauces and ingredients away.

I think I am going to be okay, especially with the suggestions for the hamburgers with lettuce if we get in a desperate situation to eat.

Thank you to all the people who shared great suggestions. I am feeling much less apprehensive about taking this trip and staying on GAPS!! Yeah!

UPDATE:  As it turns out our room had a “full kitchen” which I had presumed meant tiny fridge, microwave and coffee [affiliate link] maker when I booked the room. Boy, was I wrong! It was a real full sized kitchen with a regular sized fridge and 2 burner gas stove so we were able to shop at a local grocery store and were able to stay on GAPS very easily.

GAPS DIET JOURNEY is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to AMAZON.COM. GAPS DIET JOURNEY is an affiliate for several companies and may be compensated through advertising and marketing channels. Therefore, this post may contain affiliate links.