Category Archives: Musings

Wash Those Recyclable Bags!

This link was passed on to me from a list I'm on. Apparently the recyclable bags can collect quite a bit of bad bacteria so they need to be washed regularly.

Re-usable bag advice: Wash or risk illness from Arizona Daily Star.

We don't use these bags, maybe if I could retire and was the only one doing the grocery shopping I could work out a system to use them. In the meantime, we just recycle the plastic bags.

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Praying Hands Flickr Mulmatsherm

GAPS A Real Answer to Prayer

Praying Hands Flickr Mulmatsherm

So far, GAPS has been a real answer to prayer for me. For many years when I was studying body acceptance, so many of the books said all you have to do is learn to eat only when you're hungry. Don't eat from mouth hunger. Learn to detect when you feel satisfied, don't eat past fullness.

For years and years, I tried. I mean, for more than a decade I've tried. I managed to legalize all foods, I used to have a fat phobia like you wouldn't believe. I totally believed that all fats would kill me if I ate them. I didn't eat butter for years. I remember trying some brown rice that my sister had prepared and it had butter on it, and the butter tasted rancid to me. My sister didn't taste a rancid taste, so I thought all butter must taste rancid once we don't eat it for a long time.

I legalized fats first. About ten years ago my husband wanted us to stop eating margarine, so we started using butter. Next I legalized white flour and white sugar, and regular (as opposed to whole grain) pasta. A lot of good it did me. I kept gaining weight every year.

I did learn that I ate from mouth hunger sometimes when I was stressed out or nervous about something, and was able to learn to control and stop that behavior.

But I never could succeed at eating only until I was satisfied. I tried and tried and tried. I kept failing, and feeling like a loser. I tried to keep myself fed, but watch out, if I got too hungry, I was like a starved dog. Gobbling my food, chewing it two-three-four times and swallowing it whole.

I never thought I could diet again. Diets don't work. I found that out myself. I ended up feeling like I had an eating disorder after doing the low fat dieting. I started craving foods I'd never really liked that much before. Like donuts and potato chips. I assumed it was the sugar, but later on I realized it was probably the fats since my diet was so low in fat during the low fat dieting.

Then I found Nourishing Traditions and just the thought of restricting any foods put me in a panic. I couldn't do it. I couldn't even bring myself to read the book until about a year after I heard about it (on one of my goats lists).

I learned how to do all the NT stuff, sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha. And we milked our goats for their raw white gold, I mean milk. I loosely did NT for oh, about five years?

But I was still eating anything I wanted. If I wanted a candy bar, I'd get one. Now I wasn't eating more than a candy bar or two a month, but I'd have one if I wanted one. While eating anything I wanted, I also started taking note along the way of the foods that made me feel crappy. I simply adore semolina spaghetti with butter and fresh squeezed garlic. But it made me feel like I was going into a coma after eating it, I would be so exhausted. The exhaustion would extend into the next day. Eventually I stopped having it but once a month or so, just because I felt so yucky. Plus, I gorged myself on it. There was absolutely no way to just eat a little bit or stop when I felt satisfied. I'd cook a maximum of two dry ounces, just because I knew I'd eat a whole pound if I made an entire pound.

At work, we get these danish and breakfast muffins and bagels. I allowed myself to have those when I wanted, and since they are two-three days old by the time we get them, then we bag and freeze them, they don't really taste all that good. Even fresh they were never THAT good. I did learn how to spit out something I'd started eating if I didn't like it. Why eat it, if it's not even good for me in the first place, and on top of that, it tastes bad? That's just stupid clean plate club mentality.

Then I read the GAPS books.

I already knew along with eating everything I wanted, I was consistently gaining weight. I feared that I would continue gaining weight every year, even a few pounds, until I weighed 300 pounds.

I just asked my son to reveal my weight from the first time I stepped on the scale in December 13th, on Day 9 of GAPS. He says I was at 232.

On March 5th, Day 2 of Intro, I weighed 226.

Yesterday I weighed 206. My son said that couldn't be right. That would mean I've lost twenty pounds in one month. It's interesting to me that my pants have just begun to loosen up some more in the last week. I have lost about three inches in my waistline.

Anyway, I had a real fear that I would continue gaining weight. Now, since I've been doing GAPS, it feels like my body is getting a break. Getting some much needed rest and relaxation for all the crap I've been putting into it.

In March I visited one of my sisters and ate at her house. I'd brought my own food along with me. She remarked to her daughter that I was having a small portion like they were having. That's the thing that has been so great for me with GAPS. I have not had to worry about PORTION CONTROL. Since I'm not eating foods that cause me to mindlessly overeat, it's very easy to stop eating when I feel satisfied. Smaller portions automatically satisfy me.

Like last night, when I had the pineapple burgers… after I had my one burger, I had some pineapple, tomato, onion and jalapeno peppers and Avocado Mayo Dressing on another leaf of lettuce. It was so good, I planned to have another. But I realized, I already feel pretty close to being full. So I will probably need to be careful about having too much fruit, as it could cause me to eat more than I really need to.

Throughout the month of being on intro, I was careful to stay well fed. At times I would get busy and not feed myself, but for the most part I ate plenty of coconut oil [affiliate link], and avocados were one of my main standbys once I got that far into intro.

My point is, I ate when I was hungry, and I naturally lost weight. I didn't have to portion out and count my calories. Yes, I removed certain and whole food groups. Is it worth avoiding certain foods to be able to eat to satiation when hungry?

I say yes. I have been looking for this for the last quarter century. I longed to go back to how it used to be when I was in my early twenties. Just don't worry about it, eat anything, however much I wanted, when and how often I wanted. Except back then I ate anything and everything. I was also younger, with a digestive system that had never been exposed to antibiotics.

I used to think having my babies changed my metabolism and maybe that helped, but I did have four courses of antibiotics in the year before my oldest son was born. I think that had a lot more to do with it.

Anyway. I hope I continue to see my weight go down. Although this never started out to be about weight loss, now I understand that being overweight is a sign of dis-ease. My poor body. No wonder I don't have much energy. Yet.

I've only been on GAPS for 122 days. That's four months. I believe I've heard testimonials that energy started to be regained at six months. I'm definitely in this for the long haul.

I am so grateful I found GAPS.

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.

I Could NEVER Do The GAPS Diet

People are really scared to give up grains. Terrified in fact.

Hey, I understand it. I used to say “I love pasta more than my own mother” and I believed that to be the gospel truth. But I think what I've learned is that if you love something that much, then your body is likely addicted to it (which is usually not a good thing), and unfortunately you probably need to remove it from your diet. At least for awhile.

A friend of mine keeps telling me, “I could NEVER do this diet.” And she has various comments that go along with this, but her main reason is because she couldn't give up gravy. This friend has IBS, and could likely be healed from it if she was only willing to try GAPS.

People who believe in Nourishing Traditions think they could never give up grains… but the list I'm on, there are digestive complaints that tell me these folks are on the right track… the traditional foods are great, but they might need to step it up for a couple of years, and try GAPS. But they are very reluctant to the mere suggestion, to the point where I have pretty much stopped reading the list, because it's hard to keep my mouth shut when people are talking about problems they have that could be addressed by doing GAPS, and healing their gut dysbiosis. Once your gut is healed, you can most likely go back to eating your precious grains, provided you've prepared them properly.

I tried to do Nourishing Traditions. But I just couldn't control my eating. And apparently, pouring on all that butter and fat, along with eating carbohydrates and grains, just makes you gain weight. At least it did that for me.

I want to ask my friend, “What if you weighed twice as much as you should weigh? What if you kept gaining weight? What if you thought you would keep gaining weight until you weighed 300 pounds? What if you found something that would heal your gut, so that you would get back to a normal weight? Could you do it then? Would you do it then?”

I think she might.

Click here to read about the changes I experienced on GAPS by six months.

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 59

I am very tired this evening. This is because I went to bed at 9pm last night, which is late for having to get up at 4am. That wouldn't have been so bad, except I woke up at 1:30am and couldn't get back to sleep.

I finally got out of bed at 4:15am in a very foul mood. I snapped at my husband complaining about the television being on all night long. I know that sleep patterns are disturbed when you don't sleep in the dark. I even cried this morning as I took my shower, getting ready for work.

It reminded me that I used to be in a sorry mood much of the time, prior to starting GAPS. I used to mutter to myself, “I hate my life, I hate my life.”

I haven't been feeling that way, which I take as improvement and success.

Another thing is before GAPS when I didn't get enough sleep, I would have had to drink four ounces of coffee [affiliate link] (more than four ounces would make me shaky). On GAPS, I am tired, but I can tolerate the tiredness.

Also, yesterday I worked on closing the previous month's books and I was able to think clearly about what I was doing whereas in past months I have felt befuddled. It could just be that I am finally learning what I'm supposed to be doing, but it seems like the brain fog has lifted significantly.

Let's see, I had my broth this morning. I left two cups heating and reduced it down to one cup accidentally. Thankfully it doesn't seem like I am sensitive to freed glutamates from broth. I brought leftovers with me for lunch; half of a grilled chicken breast, about 20 pieces of asparagus, an avocado, leftover salad, about 15 grapes and about 20 almonds [affiliate link].

Hubby baked a chicken so I ate off of that when I got home. The skin had cooked until it was crispy, so I ate about a six inch square of that. I thought that was all I wanted for dinner, but now it seems like I'm feeling hungry again. But now I'm hungry for some vegetables. Except I was planning to take my detox bath which I missed last night. And I need to get to bed early tonight so I can have a successful day tomorrow.

Tomorrow is Day 60.

I forgot to mention on Saturday I decided to have a little bit of honey [affiliate link] on my pancakes. I mixed about 1/4 cup of butter with about a tablespoon of honey and dipped my pancake in that. Ohhhhh… nectar of the Gods. Sooooo delicious. So divine. I don't quite remember loving honey quite so much.

Almond pancakes, sausage, eggs and Cortido

All right I had better get off this computer.

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.

On Having More Energy

I was wondering when I would start feeling better and having more energy. I guess I'd hoped to see results from doing full GAPS within a couple of weeks. It has been an ongoing complaint for years that I'm tired and worn out. Many, many emails to friend have ended with me saying I'm just exhausted and have to go to bed. So much to the point where I am sure people got sick of hearing how tired I was. It got so bad that I had to give up doing any grocery shopping and thank God my husband was willing to take on that task.

But after this weekend, and not having to take extra naps, I realized something, which made perfect sense! I would need to be feeling good enough throughout the day, day after day, without naps, before my energy levels would increase. I mean, that doesn't make a lot of sense, to need a two hour nap, after having slept for 8-9 hours straight through at night, to expect to be bursting with energy.

I remember when I started GAPS, I was even tireder than normal. I remember some weekends I was taking 3 to 5 hours naps, instead of the customary 2 hour naps, and this was when I was able to sleep 9 hours the previous night!

I believe sleeping is very healing to our bodies, and if we need to sleep 8 or 9 hours, we should make a point to get to bed early so that our bodies can get the sleep they need. I have had people over the years make fun of me because I was “only” able to sleep 7 hours a night. They acted like I was a wimp, because they regularly only sleep 6 or less hours a night! They also drank several pots of coffee [affiliate link] a day, which I could never do (more than 4 ounces at a time would make me shaky and nervous).

Having more energy is one of my prime objectives for remaining focused on doing GAPS, and it is one of the reasons why I am finding myself anxious to begin the Introduction diet.

I am looking forward to giving my body even more of a break, and jump start on healing.

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.

Banana Slipping on a Banana Peel Stock Unlimited Image

What To Do When You Have a Slip

Managing a "Slip" (Stock Unlimited Photo)You had a “slip”…

Okay… get up, dust yourself off and keep going.

Here are the steps I try to follow when I've made a mistake and ate something I shouldn't have.

Step 1: Forgive

First thing you have to do is forgive yourself. I know it's sometimes hard to do, but if you slipped and ate something that make you feel miserable, you're already feeling bad enough physically without adding anger and annoyance in the mix.

Step 2: Inventory

Take a moment and assess the situation. If you keep a diary or blog, you might want to write down how you're feeling. Keep this in your mental arsenal for the next time you're tempted. If you have a headache and can't stay off the loo because you ate a doughnut and had a cup of coffee [affiliate link] from Starbucks, the next time you're tempted, remind yourself gently what happened last time. Maybe next time you'll find it worth the slip, and do the same thing again. But if you do, go back to step 1.

Step 3: What Happened

What happened to cause this slip? Remember to be gentle with yourself as you examine the situation.

  • Did you go someplace without bringing a food bag along?
  • Did you bring too little food?
  • Did you let yourself get too hungry?
  • Did you simply get caught off guard?
  • Do you have candida (this can cause strong cravings)?
  • Are you getting plenty of good fats in your diet?
  • Are you getting your broth every day? Broth helps with healing and can help alleviate cravings.

In the big scheme of things, this is only one tiny blip – it's not the end of the world! Always be kind and loving to yourself.

Step 4: Counterattack

Is there anything you can do now to help yourself feel better?

  • Detox bath?
  • Charcoal?
  • Take a walk?
  • Get some sunshine?
  • Take a nap?
  • Listen to your favorite music?
  • Read your favorite book?
  • Watch your favorite show?

Step 5: Next Time

While you are relaxing, make plans now for what you will do the next time. How can you help yourself to avoid this pain and misery you are in right now?

  • Next time you'll bring food with you.
  • Next time you'll eat a good healthy meal before you go grocery shopping.

It might take a few slips to assure that you have established the new method of coping. But remember that each time you slip, this is an opportunity for learning what works for you.

If you have a spouse and/or children, be sure to verbalize what is going on. It is especially important for our children, that we model good behavior for them. If they see us making a mistake, apologizing for our behavior,  they will naturally be more inclined to do the same when they mess up. Also, share with your family what they can do to help you (or themselves) feel better. If you need quiet in the house because your head is aching, ask them to find a quiet activity while you rest for a while. This is good caretaking for you, and also helps your children learn to take good care of themselves.

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.

I Eat Just Like a Goat

I have come to the realization over the past few years, since we've had goats, that I eat like a goat. Now first you must understand that goats do not eat everything, as is commonly believed. In fact, goats are very picky about what they eat. Instead, the reason why you see goats with things in their mouths like tin cans, etc., is because they are very curious. Now granted, they do like eating cardboard, because their natural diet is dry and fibrous. Goats are also browsers, not grazers. They love to reach up and eat leaves and branches from trees. They are more like deer (browsers) than cattle (grazers). So when people buy goats to keep their lawn mowed, they will do it, but it's not their favorite food.

Anyway, back to me and how I eat like a goat. Well, the thing is, when goats eat, they don't take a small bite and chew and chew and chew on it. That comes much later. When they have brought up their food from their rumen and are chewing it as cud.

People are supposed to take small bites and chew and chew and chew the food, since digestion begins its process in the mouth with saliva.

When I eat pasta, my favorite way to eat it is get a huge amount on a spoon or wound around a fork, put it into my mouth, chew it two or three times, and swallow it whole. I do not know why. But this is how goats eat their hay or grain. They literally swallow everything whole. Until later.

But the problem with me doing that, is I don't hawk up my food later and rechew it.

I am finding with the foods I am eating now, I am less apt to swallow my food whole. Thereby being less goat-like. This I consider a success. It is coming naturally, also. I do not have to think much about it. I wonder if the bacteria in my intestines preferred the food whole. Could it be that my body knew I would feel better by swallowing my food nearly whole?

That's my little gem for the day. I thought you'd want to know.

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.

An Analogy for GAPS

My mom is so close to doing GAPS, but I don't know if she would ever embark on it because she is determined and committed to staying on a very low fat diet. She is already off grains, sugars, starchy vegetables, and probably most dairy products. But she uses margarine, and artificial sweeteners.

She is experiencing similar symptoms to mine, mainly being tired, worn out and depressed much of the time.

One of my sisters found a naturopathic doctor who consults by phone, and my mom has bought a bottle of something from him that is supposed to help her thyroid.

And she's pretty excited about it, and hope it works for her, so maybe I can try it.

So I was thinking of an analogy.

Let's say you've got a car with engine problems. It's running rough, big puffs of black smoke are coming out of it.

So you decide to give it a wax job. That doesn't work, so you get the seats re-upholstered with leather. That doesn't work either, so next you replace the windshield.

When the core of the problem is the gut, you have to address the gut issues. Otherwise you're just going to throw money at the problem and waste it.

I am wondering if what I'm doing is going to help at all, since I'm not doing organic foods.

UPDATE: 12-28-09. I talked to my mom about GAPS last week, I think on Tuesday the 22nd. She was interested! But mostly for our uncle that lives with her and her husband. So I ordered the books and she got them today. She was naming off all the people in our family who suffer from asthma, depression, all kinds of “GAPS” problems. My mom was worried about having to give up her one staple bread food item, buckwheat pancakes. Buckwheat is on the non-approved list. Oops! Well, I hope she is able to read the books, I know she will learn from them. I recommended she read the GAPS Guide first. This is wonderful!

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.