Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Creamy Carrot Soup with Pumpkin Seeds (GAPS friendly)

Creamy Carrot Soup with Pumpkin Seeds (GAPS friendly)


2 Tbs unsalted butter
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1 quart chicken stock (preferably homemade)
1 quart filtered water
2 lbs carrots, roughly chopped
1/4 c pumpkin seeds (soaked and dehydrated)
1 c sour cream (homemade)
Salt and freshly ground pepper


Melt butter in stock pot over moderate heat.  Add chopped onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened and lightly browned.  Add chicken stock, filtered water, and chopped carrots and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and let cook until carrots are tender, about 30 minutes.  When carrots are tender, puree soup in batches in blender or use immersion blender to puree the soup in the pot.  Let the soup cool slightly until it is a good temperature for eating and then mix in sour cream.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Garnish with a small handful of pumpkin seeds.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Garden + Fermentation

Michael and I worked in the garden yesterday.  There is nothing better than digging your fingers into the warm earth and working the way that we're meant to.  We weeded, thinned out the cabbages and bok choy, and planted turnips.  My back is definitely feeling it today! I can barely wait for the bok choy to be ready.  Perhaps we'll cook with some of it, but the rest is going to be fermented with spices, peppers, and other veggies to make kimchi! Fermented foods are so good for you, and there's something very nice about fermenting your own vegetables to preserve them.  We've been steadily eating our way through our stash of sauerkraut, so it will soon be necessary to replace the kraut with more ferments.  ...and the turnips, well, they'll be turned into sauerruben!

Happy gardening!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Days 8,9,10, & 11 on GAPS intro

Feeling good here! It's amazing the difference that I can already feel just from being on stage 6 of intro.  I can see that all of the food that I'm eating is being fully digested, and interestingly enough, I am sleeping a lot more soundly, too.

With each new introduction of food, we've waited until we had a bowel movement in order to see how it affected us.  If all went well, we would introduce another.  It's hard to say which particular stage we are on right now, though technically we're on stage 6.  We are slowly introducing in full GAPS legal foods and seeing  how we feel with them.

 I can't wait to introduce cheese! That is one food that I've really been missing.  However, cheese can sometimes be difficult to digest, so we're going to wait another week or so before we introduce it.  We're just going to go back to eating our usual raw milk cheese from Grassfields that we enjoy so much.

A word on coconut -- it isn't technically allowed on intro because it has many antimicrobial/antibacterial properties that may cause dieoff reactions.  However, we introduced it fairly early on (stage 5) with no problems, so we are continuing to consume it.  It is important that we give ourselves a fair amount of time to heal, however, so perhaps introducing non-intro allowed foods is to our own detriment. So far so good though, so we're just going to keep rolling along!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Garden Update!

We got some nice rain last night and the plants are LOVING it!

First of all, my filthy hand!

green cabbage

baby choi (this will all be kimchi soon!)

Bull's blood beets


purple mustard






kale buds

collard buds



cabbage buds

broccoli flowers

. . . AND . . . KLAUS!!! :)

Days 6-7 on GAPS intro (stage 3 and transitioning to stage 4)

I can't wait for full GAPS, I can't wait for full GAPS!!! Day six was good. We were fully on stage 3, so we were enjoying lots of avocado and yogurt without any reactions! We also decided to make the squash/nut butter/egg/tolerated fat pancakes, which were AMAZING. We found this great recipe for the pancakes, and we went a little overboard. When I mean a little overboard, we went way too far overboard! For stage 3, we were supposed to start with one pancake a day. I was so hungry and anxious to try something new, however, that we ended up splitting and eating the entire batch! My stomach was pretty upset afterward, so I took a nap and that cleared things up.  I highly recommend the slow introduction of foods, because for the instant gratification you do get by eating tons of food, overall it's just not worth it!

Today being day 7, we are transitioning to stage four of GAPS intro. This morning I introduced some freshly pressed carrot juice and this evening we are introducing some grilled meat. Other than that, we're still following the protocol of probiotic foods, broth, soup, boiled veggies, etc. I can't wait to eat a big salad again! :)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Days 4-5 on GAPS intro (stage 2 and transitioning to 3)

Whew! I'll be honest here. I've never been so tired of eating soup and meat! We made a chicken casserole (recipe in Gut and Psychology Syndrome book) which was amazing. The meat was so moist and unlike eating boiled meat! We introduced a little yogurt yesterday, which was also heavenly. I never knew how much I liked yogurt until it got removed from my diet and then reintroduced! We also each ate half of an avocado last night, which was a real treat.

This morning went well, so we decided to have some scrambled eggs added to our list of things we could eat. I had two eggs scrambled in about a tablespoon of ghee, 1/4 c. of yogurt, and 1/2 an avocado in addition to a bowl of soup and a spoonful of sauerkraut for breakfast. The rest of the day will follow as usual with raw egg yolks in my soup, sauerkraut, a little leftover chicken casserole, and some tea. Tomorrow (day 6) I am going to introduce the squash/nut butter pancakes that we're allowed on stage 3.

I should mention here also that we've been doing castor oil hot packs every night since the beginning of this to help ease constipation.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wild Edibles

There are lots of yummy edibles popping up all over the place since it's spring.  Of course, I haven't (yet) had any luck with finding morels.  However, I did find a couple of things today in the woods.  

Wild Ginger

I am going to chop the ginger rhizomes into pieces and dehydrate them so that I can turn them into ginger powder for adding to different foods. In addition to the ginger, I also found some wild leeks or "ramps" as they're commonly called. They have little bulbs at the bottom and the entire thing is completely edible! I am going to set them up in some brine and pickle them, as I am guessing that pickled leeks will be super tasty. 

Though this next picture isn't an edible, it is a medicinal plant, plus it's got just gorgeously shaped leaves. 

Transitioning to Stage 2 of GAPS intro (day 3)

We're working on weaning our way out of stage one and introducing new foods to keep the process moving along.  We haven't had any set backs thus far aside from light constipation, so we decided to slowly transition into stage two.

In addition to our perpetual soup, we also had 1 raw egg yolk, 1/2 Tbsp sauerkraut (I am hoping that a little roughage will help with the constipation), and 1/2 tsp ghee. We did the sensitivity test last night for ghee and woke up with no reactions, so it was a go.

We're hoping to introduce fresh herbs, more raw egg yolks, and Swedish gravlax tomorrow.  If our bodies allow it, we'll then officially be on stage 2! Yippee! I've been having some pretty intense cravings for sweets today -- it's those damned pathogenic bacteria begging for one last bite before they kick the bucket! I'm stronger than they are, though, so I'm sticking to my guns and only eating what I'm allowed. I'll tell you, it takes some WILLPOWER when you've got those cravings!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Day 2 on GAPS intro (stage 1)

Woohoo!! Finished with the second day! Now that I've gotten through the second day, I know I can do anything! Ha, that's not really true, but darn it I feel good! However, I am definitely craving a little variety in my life already. Mike and I were dreaming about how amazing it will be to be on full GAPS and no longer on the intro stages. Heck, I'd even take stage 6 of intro! ;)

If you don't want to read about poop, please don't read the following paragraph. 
There. You've been warned! 

Mike and I woke up this morning and each had a decent morning elimination.  Our stools were a little more firm than usual and there wasn't a trace of undigested food.  This is very unlike our pre-GAPS intro stools, as there was always some food that I could recognize.  Mike was lucky enough to have a second elimination today, which was fantastic.  Other than that, we've both had a fair amount of gas which indicates pathogenic bacteria die-off. Yay! This diet is doing its job! 

If all goes well tomorrow, I am going to have us start stage 2 of intro on Thursday where we'll introduce ghee (if there isn't any sensitivity which we'll find out using the sensitivity test), fresh herbs, and raw egg yolk. It may not seem like a lot of variety yet, but I am so excited to have raw egg yolk and fresh herbs!  I am especially excited about the raw egg yolk because that will help a lot with how long we can go between meals. I haven't been especially hungry, but when I am, I've got to have food RIGHT at that moment.

**I should say, too, for anyone looking to start GAPS intro that it may be important for you to have two crockpots for making stock with.  We thought that one would be fine, but eating upwards of 6 quarts of stock per day really puts a dent in your stock stash! 

Looking forward to tomorrow! 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Day 1 on GAPS intro

Day one is finished. It has been an interesting day, that's for sure! We started with a breakfast of chicken stock with boiled cauliflower, carrots, onions, and butternut squash. In addition to our breakfast soup, we also chewed some meat leftover on some turkey bones that we made stock with. We were full for all of two hours and then ready to eat again.  For lunch we had the same thing.  For dinner we had our soup made of beef stock and a little leftover chicken stock.  To that we added butternut squash, leeks, onions, broccoli, and cauliflower and boiled it well. Lastly, we added some chopped garlic and sea salt. For our meat we had boiled turkey breast and sea salt.  We both ate two huge bowls. We were so hungry! It's interesting how much soup we have to consume in order to feel satisfied.  It's a lot different than eating our eggs in the morning and big salad for lunch!

In terms of feeling weird, we've both been experiencing a light "come and go" headache all day and a strange lightheaded-ness. For me it's as if my vision is almost tunnel-like but not quite. Everything seems to move too quickly for me to focus on.  All of our weird sensations we've been experiencing are due to the fact that we're eating so few carbohydrates.  Removing the majority of carbohydrates is important to starve the pathogens in our guts, however, so it's just something we have to do.  If it gets any worse (nausea or vomiting) I will consider adding in a higher-in-carbs item from later on in the intro diet like cooked apple to alleviate the symptoms.  Going too low carb too quickly can have some ill effects indeed!

I am crossing my fingers for a nice stool tomorrow for both of us-- that is important if we wish to proceed to the next stage!

I rounded out the evening with a nice, relaxing magnesium chloride bath. It put me right to sleep!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Getting ready for GAPS

Tomorrow we start GAPS intro. Mike and I have really been dragging our feet when it comes to finding a diet for healing our guts and actually sticking hard and fast to it. For the most part we've been following full GAPS principles, but we would occasionally eat sweet potatoes, indulge in some chocolate, etc. Well, we're ready to make the big leap and actually do full GAPS with the intro diet.  In other words, we're ready to heal.

Stage one of GAPS intro is pretty basic. We're allowed to eat the following:

  • homemade meat or fish stock with marrow from bones used in making stock
  • well-boiled broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, onions, and leeks (no fibrous parts)
  • winter and summer squash (all seeds removed)
  • boiled meat
  • sea salt
  • 1-2 tsp/day of sauerkraut juice
  • chopped garlic added to soup meals
In addition to eating this meal, it is important that we also drink lots of warm stock throughout the day to help heal and soothe our gut linings. We'll also be taking therapeutic grade probiotics and cod liver oil in addition to this daily meal.  I am expecting some symptoms to flare up during stage one of intro, particularly constipation.  Enemas will be used for alleviating constipation in this situation as well as spinal twists and gut massages. Once constipation clears, we will move to the next stage which adds a little more fiber into the diet. 

I'll be writing regularly on the topic of gut healing, so prepare for some inspiration to do it for yourself! 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Choconana Maca Smoothie


1 ripe banana
1 c. raw milk
1.5 tsp maca powder
1.5 tsp cocoa powder
2 egg yolks
pinch vanilla powder
pinch sea salt


Mix all ingredients in blender and enjoy!