The body is an amazing machine with it's ability to produce miracles and heal itself. Everything we do whether it's mental or physical relies on the functions of our body. Although, sometimes it gives warning signs of being overworked and malnourished. This is just what has been happening to me after many life changes
I've noticed that my blood circulation is not great and my stomach has pains after everything I eat. I looked further into my possible food allergy or sensitivity, by visiting a specialist in Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture. Before the allergy test is submitted, she can see that my gut is blocked, which can be causing the poor circulation and stomach pains. My test showed a medium sensitivity to wheat and yeast and mild sensitivities to dairy, onions, pollen and fructose.
So, I took it upon myself with my attained knowledge of dietary theories and nutrition, to refresh my gut using the GAPS diet programme. I've studied this diet somewhat, but the best way to understand it's healing process is to experience it. And that's just what I am doing.
The GAPS diet offers digestive healing through food and reduces inflammation in the gut. The introduction diet includes 6 stages for those that suffer from severe digestive issues and it also serves as a preview to the full GAPS diet. The intro diet helps to clear up some of the symptoms before entering the full diet. I must admit that it's not an easy diet for someone that is vegetarian, vegan or relies primarily on gluten and grains. Luckily, this diet is very low in carbohydrates (similar to the Paleo diet) and includes low glycemic food items, which helps to regulate blood sugars and better manage a diabetes diet.
The foundation of the diet is homemade stocks, which should be drank every day. The first stage of the introduction diet primarily relies on the stock and then gradually introduces eggs, kefir/homemade yogurt and fermented foods. I combined stage 1 and 2 for the first week, which a sample menu looked like this:
Morning: Glass of water first thing in the morning (the first 2 days I didn't eat anything until 10am to allow my system to completely clear)
Breakfast: Soft scrambled eggs in coconut oil and gradually adding in sautéed onions and peeled courgette
Lunch: homemade soup with chicken and vegetables
Dinner: Creamed carrot ginger soup made with homemade stock or stewed chicken or meat with vegetables
Snacks: veggie pancakes, egg fu young, turkey burgers, hard boiled eggs
Drinks In-between: hot water with fresh lemon, ginger and honey
Homemade stock drank with meals or in-between meals
Here is my easy stock recipe, which can be turned into chicken soup:
1 whole chicken
2 celery ribs
2 bay leaves
several sprigs of fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, parsley)
2 garlic cloves
sea salt and pepper to taste
Heat coconut oil in a large pot and lightly brown the whole chicken. Chop up all the vegetables - feel free to add in more like a parsnip or turnip (no potatoes) - and add them to the pot. Fill the pot with enough water that it covers the chicken. Add bay leaves, herbs, salt and pepper. Bring to boil and then simmer for 1 hour or until chicken is tender. Strain the broth or alternatively, pick off the chicken and add back to the broth for chicken soup. For creamed soup - cream together vegetables, garlic, 1/4 of chicken, stock and add some kefir/homemade yogurt.
The next few stages of the introduction diet adds in nuts, avocado, pressed juices, raw fruits and vegetables and roasted/grilled meats. The full diet is free from corn, soy, grains, commercial dairy, beans, potatoes, yeast, rice, sugar, alcohol, artificial additives and processed foods - Phew. I'm committing to the diet for a month to rebuild my gut and an awareness of the triggers. I'm ready to heal myself from the inside out and share my experiences with others suffering from gut issues.