Friday, January 24, 2014

GAPS intro diet days 1-4!

So after putting it off and putting it off and preparing and preparing, we FINALLY started the introduction GAPS diet.  Man have I been dreading this.  The idea of making my almost 4 year old eat nothing but homemade meat broth for 3 days literally gave me nightmares.

But after two months of Claire going back to her old ways of waking up 4 hours into sleep and staying up all night, all day, and still having trouble going to bed, her lack of speech, and her swollen belly, we finally decided that it was time to bite the bullet and do this!

When we first went to visit the GAPS specialist/nutritionist, she recommended we start the full GAPS diet since Claire had been doing so well already with just the gluten and dairy free diet.  But if after a few months she stopped progressing, that would be a clear indicator that we needed to do the introduction diet.

First of all, please understand that this GAPS diet is not your typical "diet".  I am not putting Claire through this (or myself for that matter since I too am currently on this diet) to help her lose weight or anything like that.  It's not one of "those" diets!  So please don't think I'm neglecting my child or malnourishing her.  I am, in fact, doing the complete opposite!!  

To be honest, 150 years ago this diet wouldn't have been considered a diet at all! It would have been the normal diet that people consume day to day!  Homemade meat broth made from the bones of their own organically grown cows that ate only rich green grass, fresh raw veggies grown straight from the garden they had plowed and planted in their own back yard, and eggs that were raised from cage-free, antibiotic-free, free range chickens.

If you take a look back into history you will see how very few cases of cancer, diabetes, autism, and even obesity there were when people ate like this.  

So, I hope you can understand how much thought and studying I have put into my decision to start my darling daughter on this diet.

Now, onto the progress!!!

Pre-diet, we had been dealing with Claire's inability to sleep through the night, swollen tummy, digestive issues, and her autism characteristics starting to come back a little strong.

Needless to say, Dietrich, Claire, and Me were exhausted.   At first it was once a week.  Claire would wake up 3-5 hours after falling asleep wide awake laughing and singing.  She was exhausted but it was like her brain wouldn't shut off.  She would keep us awake all night.   This quickly escalated to twice a week, then, every other day, and some weeks, EVERY NIGHT she would wake up and stay up all night and then all day.  We couldn't understand why this girl was able to function on so little sleep.  Her dark circles under her eyes also returned.     This had to stop.

Day 1:  Claire begs me for fruit.  But I am determined to get this girl healthy one way or another.  I fix her and myself a nice big bowl of homemade chicken broth that I had made the day before.  It's full of carrots, cauliflower, onion, and garlic.  The smell is heavenly. But of course, Claire hates it.  I refuse to let her refuse and use a turkey baster to feed her.  After fighting me for the first few basters full, she is happy to drink the broth realizing how delicious it is.  She even eats the veggies by herself with a spoon.  We drink our freshly made ginger root/honey tea between broth.  Claire enjoys that part and so do I.  That night, we gave her a very warm bath with epsom salt and put her into bed, fully expecting her to wake up around 2 am.  She did.  But only because her diaper was full and she wanted it changed (you would be surprised how much you go pee when your diet consists only of fluids!).  We changed her, put her back to bed, and waited for her to come back into our room (which is what she does every night over and over again until we finally give up and get up with her).  To our surprise, she went right back to sleep and slept until 8:15 the next morning.

This is a mid-song picture I got of Claire singing one of her favorite songs "Love Song" by Sara Bareilles.  In just the last few days alone, we have noticed Claire's enunciation improving, especially when she sings. 

Reading happily on Day 2

Day 2:  Claire still begs me for fruit.  This day was harder on both of us.  I was starving for something that I could chew but still managed to stay strong for claire.  We drank our broth and then had our ginger honey tea. The tea helped more than I expected it to.  We gave her a long warm bath with baking soda mixed in. This night, Claire fell asleep quickly and slept all night without waking up once.

Day 3:  Broth for breakfast.  I remembered that my homemade sauerkraut was finished and put a few tablespoons in our broth. Claire and I both liked the taste.  Once again, Claire slept ALL night.  This was a 3 night streak for her.  The first streak in more than a month.

Listening to music through headphones.  She's never been able to do this before!
Day 4 (present):  Broth for breakfast, but now we are entering into stage II of the diet! So, we got to add one raw egg yolk into each of our bowls of broth along with two tablespoons each of sauerkraut juice.  This is probably my favorite flavor yet.  Tonight, I will add another yolk to our bowl and tomorrow also.

TOMORROW:  We continue the broth and get to add some meat casseroles!  Claire will be so happy!! Hopefully she will continue to make progress and not go back.  If she starts regressing after the meat, it just means her body will need to go back to the broth only and heal a little more, which I'm prepared for just in case.

Supplements:  I absentmindedly forgot about the supplements that I was supposed to put Claire on once I started this diet.  The first was BioKult probiotics and the second is Cod Liver Oil.  I should be getting them both in the mail today (thanks to our always helpful parents Sanna and Don).  These supplements are not cheap but are top of the line quality and Claire deserves nothing but the best.  I am anticipating many more amazing things to occur in Claire's little body once we start the supplements.  We are also applying topical Lugol's iodine every day on her skin and that too has helped her tremendously!

As for me, well, since starting this introduction diet, I've lost 8 lbs (most probably water retention), my kidney pain is completely gone (not even any residual tenderness at all), my stomach is no longer bloated, and my stomach issues have abated.  

Will update after stage II is over!  For now, gotta get back to making broth!!!  

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