Category Archives: History

Chiropractic Care – My Early Experience

Have you ever been to a chiropractor? My first visit to one was in 1989, just weeks after my youngest son was born. We went specifically because of the complications of my son's birth.

To digress for a moment, it saddens me that I never had the chance to have a home birth but I had insurance at the time and it wouldn't cover such a thing. We were living from paycheck to paycheck so couldn't come up with additional funds to pay a midwife. So my next best choice was my family practitioner who also delivered babies. He was a pretty cool doctor and one thing I really appreciated was that he was reluctant to prescribe antibiotics except for extreme and necessary situations. In my case, just days before my son was due I had a splitting headache which he diagnosed to be a sinus infection. We tried many natural supplements but nothing helped. Eventually my headache was so bad that I was vomiting from the pain and at that time he prescribed an antibiotic. But back to my story.

Due to meconium (the baby's first bowel movement and an indicator of stress for the infant) in my waters, there was some concern by the hospital staff that my son should maybe come out by c-section. I remember a surgeon and pediatrician standing by while I labored, and at one point my doctor took them into the hallway and had a talk with them, informing them that he was going to give me a chance to birth my son naturally. To help speed things along and I believe to pacify the other doctors, once my son's head was birthed, after suctioning his mouth and nose, my doctor took hold and started to pull and twist in a figure 8. It was very painful for me, I can't even imagine how it felt to my newborn baby to have his head pulled in such a fashion.

We were in the hospital for less than 12 hours and came home. My oldest son Matthew had a cold and my baby caught it. My doctor was worried the fever was due to possibly aspirating meconium into his lungs so back we went into the hospital for several days where he was given antibiotics.

My son was inconsolable from the time he was born. This was shocking to me since Matthew was such a good baby who rarely cried and slept easily. My newborn cried almost constantly and slept only a couple hours at a time. I walked him, I rocked him, he nursed until he threw up. I would sit on the side of the bed and bounce him, in a daze because I was so exhausted from my sleep being interrupted. Nothing helped, he continued to cry and couldn't sleep.

I had a doula with me at his birth (she was actually a lay midwife and had attended my nephew's birth just two months earlier, how I wished we could have been at home birthing my son) and she suggested that we take the little guy to a chiropractor as she was certain he could benefit from an adjustment.

He was such a tiny little thing, and the chiropractor used her thumbnail to carefully press his neck into alignment. My baby slept five hours for the first time in his short life. It was an incredible relief. We settled into a routine of going to the chiropractor three times each week. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday we drove 9 miles there and back. In the beginning, it was definitely necessary. My son was happy throughout the week, but come Sunday – when he hadn't had his every other day adjustment, he started to get very fussy.

I ended up seeing that chiropractor until she moved out of the state. She recommended another chiropractor so we went there once or twice, until my son Matthew was banned. Yes, banned. So, off on a rabbit trail for a minute… apparently Matthew brought in a metal nail file and somehow the chiropractor got the impression Matthew threatened him. He wasn't having any of that, so his staff told me Matthew was not allowed to return to the office.

Matthew was 7 years old at the time. Matthew has Down Syndrome. I was with him in the room the whole time. He did not struggle with the chiropractor, he was accustomed to being adjusted. At any rate, I stopped going to chiropractors at that time.

For the last two decades I have been extremely reluctant to go to a chiropractor. I believe wholeheartedly in chiropractic care but the main reason was because I didn't want to have to commit to going three times a week. I just don't have the time to fit one more commitment into my life.

This post is getting very long so I am going to share my current experience and why I'm now seeing a chiropractor in another post.


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My Son Matthew


Me and my precious baby boy, Matthew (1987)

Today I am going to share with you some about my son Matthew who is 25 years old.

In a previous post I had shared what happened when my husband and I learned our son had Down Syndrome:

It was real hard on me and my husband. The world went black for about three days. We were told it was truly as if our son had died. For the child we had grown to love would be “more normal than not” but he would not achieve the life we may have already imagined and anticipated. He would still run and play, talk and laugh, but he would be limited.

At any rate, I have always appreciated that his condition was concealed from us for three months. You see as a youngster growing up our pastor had instilled a fear into us of people with Down Syndrome. “Mongoloids” she called them. “Serpent seed (i.e. A child of Satan)”. My siblings and I used to call each other stupid retarded idiots. Mongoloid idiots. And I was always afraid of people with Down Syndrome. What a blessing that my child’s condition was not revealed at his birth or it could have affected my bonding with him. I loved him so much I never knew it was possible to love another human being so much.

Erin left this comment to my post Genetic Mutation MTHFR (5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (NADPH) and Down Syndrome:

Starlene, you should conclude how it has been to raise your son. I’m sure you love him so. I love people with Down Syndrome. That is why I went into Special Education because of two boys in high school that I just loved. People with Down Syndrome are as stubborn as I’ll get out, but so, so sweet. I’m sure it's different being their mother. It is probably very frustrating, and life does take a different route because of it, I’m sure. But i would say just the opposite of a child of satan, I always felt like my friends (and students) with Down Syndrome were angels.

Erin, thanks for asking. I'd be glad to share.

Matthew 1987
Very sleepy Matthew, about 10 days old (1987)

When Matthew was three months old at a well baby checkup our pediatrician stated that he would like to have Matthew tested for Down Syndrome.

We were stunned since we had no clue. Matthew did not look like he had Down Syndrome. When I called my sister that night, who had given birth to a daughter with Down Syndrome two years earlier, she told me to refuse the test. She said, “He's just trying to make money off you because he knows about my daughter.”  She couldn't believe it, because the photos I'd sent did not indicate he had anything wrong.

We did allow the doctor to run the tests, and he pointed out the characteristics which had alerted him to Matthew's condition, which indeed he had noted at Matthew's birth, but he wanted to be sure before he said anything.

He pointed out the simian crease in Matthew's palms (which my father in law had – hmmm… now wondering if this is a MTHFR thing as well since father in law was born with Tetralogy of Fallot which is an MTHFR condition), the wider than normal space between his big toe and other toes, his low muscle tone. I had also noticed that Matthew did not smile when the books said he should, but that wasn't such a big deal, children develop at different times. So we basically had no clue whatsoever when we found out.

We had three months of bliss, as I said, I'm glad for that. For one thing, Matthew is my son Matthew. His having Down Syndrome is way down the line. Matthew isn't a “Down's Kid” he's a “Stewart Kid”. I sometimes forget to tell people he has Down Syndrome, and since he does not look so obviously like he has Down Syndrome people don't even realize he has Down Syndrome. They realize he is developmentally delayed, and I soon remember to let them know, but it's like an after thought for me, because he's Matthew.

Just Matthew.

After we learned he had Down Syndrome, I visited with a woman whose daughter has Down Syndrome. She told me to always remember, “He will be more normal than not.” And I have found that to be true all these years.

We got Matthew started in early intervention when he was six months old and the Easter Seals program taught us how to work with Matthew at home. We went in once a week for therapy and continued working with him at home. The speech therapist was thrilled that I was nursing him and she said to continue for as long as I could since it was the best speech therapy Matt could have.

After Easter Seals we found a Montessori program for which Matthew was eligible. He attended for two years, and next we entered the public school system. The school psychologist and principal were on my side in mainstreaming him into a regular classroom. Unfortunately the teacher was not a good fit and she kept nagging at me to put Matthew into school for more hours each day (when he was showing regressive behaviors which told me he was at his limit). The principal kept going to bat for me and then one week he was out having surgery and the teacher pushed too hard by asking the social worker to come by my house to talk to me about the need for Matt to be in school for a full day — at the age of 5, when his mental age was about 4!! I decided to pull him and we homeschooled from that point on.

When Matthew was 14 we were required to take him to a psychologist to have his IQ tested. Because he didn't know common things that people normally know, like the year, the month and the date, and some other common day to day knowlege, his resulting IQ was 40.

Matthew, 10 years old
Matthew, 10 years old (1997)

It was disappointing but you know, if there was a test for figuring out IQ based on the things a person knows and enjoys, I'm sure his IQ would be much higher. He loves to draw and write the letters of the alphabet, and he can write his name from memory, as well as Mom, Dad and his brother's name. He can count to ten, and he knows when it's Friday because of Cartoon Friday. When he's sad, he says he is a little boy and he tells us that he has to get his emotions under control. “My emotions,” he says. He has a wonderful silly sense of humor. He comes up with some pretty funny jokes at times, cracking us up, making us wonder what really goes on inside his head.

He knows how to cook quite well, in the above video he is sharing the spices he uses to season sausage. He is very animated when doing something he loves.

He knows how to make white sauce from scratch. Yes – putting butter in a pan, mix in flour, then whisk in milk and bring to a boil while stirring continuously. And his most famous recipe was Pizza Pasta. A concoction made with noodles, tomato sauce, cheese, pepperoni, ham, black olives and mushrooms.

Although his recipes have had to change since I have him on GAPS so he is learning to cook new recipes.

He can use the Spiralizer – remember he helped me put together a video to review the Spiralizer? He recently learned how to make zucchini spaghetti and when he proudly told his Dad he proclaimed, “I'm a man!”

He often says he is a grown man, especially when I ask him to get into the shower or ask him to take a detox bath. In this house of men, there are certain things men do and don't do. He sets me straight when I don't realize one of the rules. 🙂

Matthew on the Trampoline (1997)
Matthew on the Trampoline (1997)

We have family pictures on the wall. He sometimes stands in front of the pictures and mutters to himself about how he wishes I could be a nice mom like I used to be in the pictures when he was a little boy. You see, taking bread and crackers, flour tortillas, fast food, pasta and all his other favorites away has been hard on him, even though we did it very slowly. He can't reason enough to understand that eating those foods causes him to have acid reflux, and causes him to overeat and gain weight. Sometimes he cries over the foods he misses, and that makes me feel like a mean, mean mother.

He does get angry sometimes, but for the most part he is mild mannered and easy going. He always apologizes and says, “My emotions, my emotions.

Matthew's 20th Birthday
Matthew at his 20th birthday party busting a gut laughing at the huge piece of cake he gave to his brother. (2007)

He can play Nintendo Wii so well it is astounding. His brother and he used to play together when they were younger, and younger brother would say, “Go to the basement” and he would go down the corridor, down the elevator, into the staircase, down the hall and into the basement. I was lost watching on the screen, but he had taken that route so many times he could do it in his sleep.

He knows how to use the remote control for not only the television, but the DVD player. He realizes that his Dad isn't too good with technology and tells him, “You stupid, get Mom.” This makes us laugh at the irony.

We've slowly, slowly transitioned him over to full GAPS. My younger son still brings illegals into the house, so Matthew sometimes gets hold of some things, but for the most part he is off gluten and dairy (except butter). He has lost quite a bit of weight in the last two years, and I'm so very grateful that I found GAPS, because like myself, my son kept gaining weight every year. I was so scared for him, and it's such a relief to see the scale going down.

Matthew, 17 years old (2004)

He is an excellent swimmer, and never had a lesson in his life. We went every day when the boys were young, every day that the public pool was open, we were there. I actually learned how to surface dive by watching him. We don't go swimming hardly at all now, and it really bothers me to have learned how poisonous chlorinated pool water can be for our bodies. I wish we had lakes or the ocean nearby, because I love to see him swimming – he enjoys it so much.

That reminds me of one time we went swimming at a hotel in December 2004. Yes, we can go swimming in Arizona right in the middle of winter, since many places heat their pools. Of course as you know our body floats and he had a great time treading water, swimming, surface diving to the bottom of the 8 foot pool. When it came time to get out he swam over to the stairs and we'd been in the water about an hour. He started out of the pool and he groaned, “Ohhhh, pants wet. So heavy.” 🙂

Most of the time he is upbeat and happy, but he does get grumpy and aggravated and mad sometimes, just like all of us, he has his good days and bad days.

Recently one of my coworkers gave me an article written by George F. Will about his son Jon, who turned 40 this year. His son was born 15 years before Matthew. We were told the life expectancy for people with Down Syndrome was 50, and in this article Mr. Will states it is now 60.

Matthew will always live at home. I am glad I had him at 23, I expect to be alive for Matt's entire life. I wish I could explain to him so that he could understand, that I'm not trying to be mean by taking so many of his favorite foods away from him. I wish he didn't think I'm just being mean. By the way, he also thinks I shaved his head and that's why he doesn't have hair. In fact every time I cut his father or his brother's hair, he starts cackling and laughing saying that they are going to be bald now. One of his personal jokes. 🙂   He started losing his hair at 2 1/2, and I've learned in the past couple of years that alopecia is an autoimmunity condition. I wish I had known all those years ago when the doctors told us there was nothing that could be done.

I can't go back and change anything in the past, but we can press on to the future. I'm glad I found GAPS, and glad I learned about MTHFR. I used to feel so hopeless on how to help Matthew before GAPS, I worried so much about his health. I know GAPS isn't any guarantee, but I feel it will improve Matthew's quality of life to keep him eating real foods, just as it has improved my quality of life.

Thanks for reading.


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Dress For Success

I hear how you should dress how you want to feel, not how you feel. But what if you don't have enough energy to “dress for success”. Thankfully I work at a company that is pretty laid back about our attire.

When I started volunteering there back in 2000, I was a stay at home mom on welfare, and I went through a program that was helping me to get back into the workforce. I was given a voucher to go to Ross Dress for Less, and if I remember correctly it was for $300. I had to spend it all in one shopping trip. I could have gone to Kmart, but I chose Ross because I had found they had more quality items for less. So I spent about four or five hours there shopping. I hate shopping. I detest it.

But I did it because I am also thrifty and there is no way I was going to waste any of that $300.

As a result, I dressed very nicely, in nice office clothing for about the first three years. Then I started getting real tired, and plus I outgrew all my nice outfits.

I just recently donated a lot of them to Goodwill. I had no hopes that I would ever get back into them. That sure sets up some weird conflicts inside me. There is a part of me that hopes I was right, that I would never lose weight again, so I won't lose any weight while doing GAPS. But that's stupid.

And it's not like I have money to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe, besides I hate shopping!! I have a Ross Dress for Less gift card with about $60 on it, and I have had it for over a year.

I hope if I am able to get back more energy that I am able to dress more nicely for work. That is another thing that has just gone by the wayside. I have never been one to wear much makeup and I just throw my hair up in a twisted bun or braid it, and I rarely wear jewelry. I just don't have the energy to put into looking any nicer than I do just naturally.

Well, I will let you know if this changes for me.

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.

Symptoms of Low Thyroid That I Experience

From various sites I've collected all the symptoms of low thyroid. I'll highlight the ones I experience.

1. muscles stiff in morning, need to limber up
2. fail to feel rested, even after sleeping long hours
3. feel “creaky” after sitting still for some time
4. heart seems to miss beats or “flip-flops”
5. nauseated in morning
6. start slow in morning, gain speed in afternoon
7. motion sickness when traveling
8. dizzy in morning or when moving up and down
9. cold hands or feet
10. hair scanty, dry, brittle, dull, lusterless, lifeless
11. hair loss from outer third of eyebrow
12. flaky, dry, rough skin
13. sleeplessness, restlessness, sleep disturbances
14. poor short term memory, forgetfulness
15. impaired cognitive function (brain fog)
16. poor response to exercising
17. hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
18. high cholesterol, cholesterol deposits on eyelids
19. constipation, less than one bowel movement daily
20. “go to pieces” easily, cry easily
21. dislike working under pressure, dislike being watched
22. low libido
23. gain weight easily, fail to lose on diets
24. difficulty concentrating, easily distracted
25. yellowish tint to skin on hands or feet
26. cracks in bottom of heels
27. clogged sinuses
28. low pulse rate
29. low body temperature, especially at bed rest
30. recurrent infections
31. headaches
32. puffiness of face or eyes
33. swelling of hands or ankles
34. irritability, mood swings
35. multiple food allergies/sensitivities
36. lumpy breasts, cystic breasts
37. menstrual irregularity, excess flow, PMS
38. these worse at night: coughing, hoarseness, muscle cramps
39. slowed speech and a hoarse, breaking voice (Deepening of the voice can also be noticed)
40. hives
41. increased sensitivity to heat and cold
42. sluggish reflexes
43. dry puffy skin, especially on the face, and hair loss, especially thinning of the outer third of the eyebrows
44. depression (especially in the elderly)
45. anemia caused by impaired intestinal iron and folate absorption or B12 deficiency from pernicious anemia
46. slowed metabolism
47. fatigue
48. anxiety/panic attacks
49. Choking sensation or difficulty swallowing
50. shortness of breath with a shallow and slow respiratory pattern.
51. muscle cramps and joint pain
52. brittle fingernails
53. osteoporosis
54. paleness
55. irritability
56. yellowing of the skin due to impaired conversion of beta-carotene to vitamin A
57. abnormal menstrual cycles
58. impaired kidney function
59. thin, fragile or absent cuticles
60. infertility or difficulty becoming pregnant
61. elevated serum cholesterol
62. acute psychosis
63. poor muscle tone

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.

People Don’t Understand “I’m Tired”

People don't understand tiredness. They understand, “I'm on chemotherapy for cancer and I'm worn out tired.” They understand, “I have chronic fatigue syndrome.”

But I don't have a diagnosis. It's a good thing I don't have many close friends because that would drain me too much. I have one friend that I used to hang out with, and then I moved, and then she moved, and now we live about sixy miles away from each other. She's visually impaired, so she doesn't drive. And there is no public transportation out here. I feel guilty that I never make the time to go into town and spend time with her. We tried to get together on our birthdays for a few years, but then I got even more tired.

I was talking to my mother-in-law on Sunday morning  just a little bit about this “diet”. She was fairly understanding about, having just recently talked to someone on a diet that will cause “die off”. She told that I should not discount all that I'm doing, working, taking care of Eldest Son. She said taking care of Eldest Son alone is a full time caretaker job, so I should be tired! She asked if I had taken any type of vitamins specifically to help with my energy level. I haven't, but I don't feel like it's going to do any good if my diet has wrong foods in it.

I have thought about that – I should be tired for all that I do.

I have this one friend she lives in an assisted living complex. She and her husband are visually impaired, and they are independent, but they can go downstairs to the dining room and choose from several meals for lunch and dinner. They have no pets. Their place is one bedroom and pretty small, so not a lot of home to keep straightened up. They don't have a car, or the expenses of a car. And I think sometimes, it must be nice to have nothing to do.

And I think… maybe that is the problem. Maybe I just have too much stuff on my plate. But I know how it feels to have a day where I feel like I have some energy to get something done. It's a great feeling to feel alive and energetic and happy.

So when I think it's just that I have too much to do, I find myself thinking well this is just how it's going to be. I'm going to be worn out and tired all the time. It's normal.

When I think it's normal, I'm less inclined to do anything about it, but passively accept the tiredness.

I feel guilty about not going to church. We go to a church that is an hour's drive away. So when I go to church, all I have the energy to do for the day is get dressed, go to church and when I get home, take a nap. And then it's time to start the week all over. So I don't go to church. I used to tell myself, there is this other lady that is tired and worn out like me. But she doesn't have to work. And yes, she has three children and she homeschools, but she has them help her with a great deal of the housework. If I didn't have to work, maybe I could find the energy to go to church. Our pastor will say he knows how it is to be tired, he has to get up at 4:30am, and he still has Bible study in the evenings. But he also doesn't have to drive an hour to get home. He can leave and be home in 15 minutes and asleep within half an hour. He can still get 8 hours sleep and get up by 4:30am.

Anyway, I'm really glad I don't have any friends who want to spend time with me.

My poor family learned years ago that I have no energy to spend with them. I have a niece that is going to be 16, and I'm supposed to hang out with them on her birthday. I don't know if I'll be able to. Especially since I'm on this “diet”.

I need to ask my husband or Youngest Son to glance at the scale so I can get my weight recorded.

Anyway, I just wanted to write about how it's hard when people don't understand how tired I am.

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.

Overcoming Overeating – Body Acceptance

After my one experience with dieting when I was 29 years old, I eventually found Overcoming Overeating: Conquer Your Obsession with Food Forever by Jane R. Hirschmann and Carol H. Hunter, also the authors of When Women Stop Hating Their Bodies: Freeing Yourself from Food and Weight Obsession.

I learned a lot from these ladies, and from all the other body acceptance books that I've read in the past decade.

I can thank Jane and Carol for helping me to make peace with food. Over the years I legalized many foods. I didn't actually have the funds to stock up like they suggest, but I did eat anything I wanted, as much as I wanted until eventually I realized that many of those foods I thought I wanted, I didn't even like that much. Or more importantly, I noticed how poorly I felt after eating them, or how I felt the next day.

I have friends who tell me they can't have ice cream in the house, or they will eat the entire half gallon at one sitting. Ice cream has never held that strong a hold over me, but I do find that if it's in the freezer, I will want some each night. Just a little dish or two. At least I'm not afraid I'll eat the entire thing in one sitting. So it's easier to just not buy ice cream.

Carol and Jane helped me learn the difference between mouth hunger and stomach hunger. Am I really hungry? Or has something happened to upset me, and now I want to eat to make me feel better?

Carol and Jane helped me really understand that body hatred – bad body thoughts – are seldom about our body. In a nutshell, it”s just a convenient way to keep our minds occupied and distracted from the real issues in our lives. The premise of the book When Women Stop Hating Their Bodies is to think about how much women could accomplish if we stopped obsessing about our bodies, and our weight! Just think about how much time the average woman spends worrying about her body and her weight. Too much!

Carol and Jane helped to persuade me to get rid of my scale. I didn't have one in the house for years. I chose to do as they suggest, and monitor my body by the way my clothes it. We do have one in the house now, Youngest Son bought it as he was curious about his own weight. It has been helpful because I feel I need to monitor Eldest Son's weight. But it is not just sitting there on the bathroom floor, goading everyone to step on it, and get their fortune read for the day.

Did you gain weight? Oh dear, you are disgusting. What a fat pig you are. You have GOT to do something. Anything! This has got to stop! Now march into the kitchen and find something to eat to help stuff these feelings of horror at your size.

Or, did you lose a pound or two? Oh, you're good. You're doing something right. Wow, let's go see what we can eat to celebrate!

I know many people who worry when they gain ONE pound. I can't understand how they think that means anything. When I was younger, before I had children, my weight fluctuated between 120 and 125. And I was perfectly happy with that. I was never concerned to see it go up or down. I accepted that as being normal. I am after all a human being, I am going to have some fluctuation in my weight depending on how what kind of food I eat, how much salt I ingest, where I'm at on my cycle, and on and on.

I have tried desperately over the years to accept my body at this size. I have done mirror work and I guess for the most part I've accepted my body for its flaws. After all, it did carry my two children and has been with me all these 46 years. I just hate seeing photos of me and how big I am. Am I really THAT big?!

I can thank Carol and Jane for helping me learn how to feed myself. That was a hard one. I remember being SO impatient. Hungry again! Why you just ate! What's wrong with you!?

Now I know. Many of the things I was learning were very good, but when you put food into your body that doesn't nourish, and is feeding bad bacteria, it is hard to feel satisfied.

I learned about Nourishing Traditions probably around 2003. I was scared to death to even get the book and look at it, because I was scared to death to restrict myself from any foods. I wasn't ready to stop eating anything, and everything. Even though I was observing how some of these foods made me feel.

I've always been good at avoiding some foods, like artificial sweeteners, and foods blatantly laden with MSG. I did find myself trying to avoid certain foods, for I knew how awful I would feel the next day. Like pasta. I love it so much. But I would feel drugged and worn out the next day. So I stopped eating it. I stopped buying it and bringing it into the house. My husband would bring home Doritos and potato chips, and I'd have some, and then keep eating and eating and eating. But if they weren't sitting right there, open, I wouldn't stop at the store and buy them.

That's why I find this all so weird, being able to abstain from all these  foods.

Am I lying to myself?

Will I look back on this period of time in a few years, and say, “I was really feeling deprived. I was totally wanting those off limits foods. It was all a lie.”

Youngest Son just came home with a Frito Pie from Sonic. It smells good. 14 days ago I would have asked for a bite. I know it doesn't taste that good.

I know one very vital thing that is happening is the food I am eating is nutrient dense and nourishing. It's not fake food. It's not fat free, or low fat.

And I also think it's important to realize that we need to eat when our body says it is hungry. It helps to know about “mouth hunger” and “stomach hunger”. I do really believe there is distinct difference between the two, at least for myself. It is very important to keep our body fed when it comes to healing or preventing adrenal fatigue. From the article by James Wilson (this is a very enlightening article, btw):

Hypoglycemia, without proper snack and meal placement, also encourages overeating when food is available. The overeating causes rapid weight gain because the increased insulin is circulating in your blood, ready to usher that excess energy (glucose) from the extra food into your fat cells where it can be stored as fat. Even though you may not like its effects, this is an elegant compensatory mechanism that has helped us survive…If you do not want to gain weight you should avoid those low blood sugar dips that not only make you so hungry you overeat, but, also create a tendency in your body to store energy as fat. This means regular exercise and eating the kinds of meals and foods that control hypoglycemia. It also means not eating those sugary foods and caffeine that send your blood glucose levels on a roller coaster ride and worsen your adrenal fatigue and hypoglycemia.

I have belonged to a list that discusses the theory OO. It is kind of difficult as I want to shout to the members, the reason why you aren't feeling satisfied is because you are putting junk into your body! You've got to eat REAL food!

I guess that's all for now.

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 Feet Stopped Hurting in Less Than 2 Weeks (Plantar Fasciitis gone!)

Today is Day 13 of full GAPS, and I noticed my feet were no longer hurting. This post is going to describe the problems I've been having with my feet for the past few years. After just 13 days on full GAPS I am able to stand for hours in the kitchen, walk barefooted, walk through super size grocery stores and my feet are okay! This is so amazing.

In 2006 I was officially diagnosed with Plantar Fasciitis. Then in July 2008 I pulled something in my foot doing a Taebo workout with Eldest Son. We were using video workout tapes to get more exercise, and one of our favorites was Dancing to the Oldies series by Richard Simmons.

Eldest Son seemed to like the video workouts okay, but I thought he might like doing Taebo because it was a “manly” type workout. Well, doing one of the squats, where you stand with your knees bent and squat halfway down, I felt something pull in my foot.

I was in even more pain after that. I could not bear any weight on that foot when first waking in the morning. It took a very long time to heal and during that time I had to wear a brace every single night (really uncomfortable during the hot summer) for about six months.

It was almost impossible finding shoes that were comfortable, but eventually my husband I found a pair of shoes made by a company called Nevados. It is amazing how shoes do not have good support or cushioning. It may feel good to your fingers, but not when you put the shoe on to test it.

I had been wearing the Nevados since November 2008. They are normally $60, but would go on sale for $20. Even though the cushioning in the sole would still feel good to my fingers, the material would start to break down within a few weeks and my feet would start to hurt again.

In the beginning, I had to wear a new pair about every 4-5 weeks! I would buy several pair when I found them on sale. I had to wear the shoes every waking moment.

I wasn't sure it the GAPS Diet was playing a part.*

But I did wonder. Could it be the gelatin [affiliate link] in the broth having an effect?

I just googled Gluten-Free and plantar fasciitis. Maybe it's because I'm no longer ingesting gluten?

It would be just awesome if I could start wearing regular women's shoes and didn't have to always wear these dorky looking men's shoes.

Men's Casual Wear Nevados

Not to say that I'm a “shoe person”. I have never been much into shoes. But when you find that you can only wear a certain kind of men's casual wear shoes, it really is annoying. I like to look nice going to church, and the men's casual wear shoes don't go well with dresses, ya know?

I used to wear sandals during the summer, or flip-flops. But my feet have been such a mess that I have had to wear the Nevados year round!

I really wonder if the gluten might be affecting my feet. I guess I'll find out eventually, when I try adding gluten back into my diet.

UPDATE May 2016. I made the decision early on to forever avoid gluten. Two main reasons… I have one autoimmune disease which I know of: Hashimoto's Thyroiditis and also have the MTHFR genetic mutation. Both are good reasons to stay off gluten forever.

*UPDATE: October 2019. My feet are still healthy and do not hurt. I walk a lot at my job, and line dance 14 hours each months. I'm so grateful that my feet are healthy and pain-free.

I think I finally figured out what was happening. I have learned that inflammation of the plantar fascia ligament (which runs the length of the bottom  of the foot) is what we have when we are diagnosed with Plantar fasciitis. It makes a lot of sense that the GAPS Diet – which reduces our consumption of foods known to cause inflammation (like gluten) – would be instrumental in reducing inflammation and therefore foot pain. Also I should note for the first few months on GAPS I also avoided dairy products (aside from butter) which are known to be inflammatory to some people.

AND… drinking broth reduces inflammation and supports our bodies.

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Highly Sensitive People

I read the whole series a few years ago…

I thought it all made sense, and just figured I was a highly sensitive person. Since childhood. Here is a quote from one site which shares characteristics of the HSP.

Most highly sensitive people are:

  • Able to process information deeply.
  • Able to concentrate deeply.
  • Good at tasks requiring accuracy, speed, and detail.
  • Highly conscientious.

Physical characteristics of highly sensitive people:

  • Good at fine motor movements.
  • More affected by caffeine.
  • Good at staying still.
  • More “right-brained” thinkers: less linear, more creative.
  • Slower to recover from intense stimuli.

Highly sensitive people are deeply affected by lights, strange odors, clutter, and loud noises. They startle easily and take longer to “come down” from long days, conflicts with friends or family, or stressful days at work. Highly sensitive people can't tolerate as much as other people can. These personality traits are different than the characteristics of introverts.

That's pretty much me in a nutshell.

Then I discovered my basal temperature is rather low much of the month, as low as 96.5°F. So I thought my thyroid was out of whack, which can cause all kinds of problems.

Then I found out about adrenal fatigue. And thought that was the problem, in addition to being highly sensitive, and having a low functioning thyroid.

But I couldn't bring myself to do anything for myself. Except to be diligent about getting enough sleep, and taking naps on the weekend.

Now I am starting to think gut dysbiosis is at the root of all these issues for me.

It would sure be something to figure this all out.

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.