Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Settling In

I love eggs.  Still.  Even after living on them for more than a week.  I am so grateful that we have an unlimited supply of backyard eggs right now for a mere dollar per dozen.  In the winter, I pay three dollars a dozen.  Chicken's don't lay eggs when the days grow shorter than 12 hours and few backyard farmers do artificial lights regularly to keep them laying, which isn't all that natural anyway.

Once we entered stage three of the GAPS introduction diet, we had turned the corner.  Scrambled eggs with cooked onions and zucchini...mmm.  I felt normal again, like we could leave the house and not be starving for food an hour later.  Coming up with take and go snacks eluded me those first days.  I did learn that although canned foods are a no, no on GAPS, if you canned it yourself and the ingredients are legal  it is fine.  So now I throw in a quart of canned carrots when we head out.

So with my super-egg-energy, I have gotten back to playing strenuous racquetball, caught up on the dishes and have put together some pretty tasty meals.  At least they are tasty to us.  I am frightened to cook for others at this point.  Day 6 (stage 3) my sister calls and is coming for dinner.  This freaked me out a little, but we are tight and I knew she would understand if the meal wasn't up to par.  She had dined with us our first night of the diet when we had chicken vegetable soup.  I made sure she had a nice piece of breast meat and not chunks of skin and liver in her bowl.  Besides the 110 degree weather we were sporting, it wasn't too weird.  Here is what she thought, in her own words;

"When I visit my sister, I usually get to partake in the gourmet dinners she serves her family on a regular basis (they are SO lucky). Because I'm used to eating junk from my dorm's dining hall, eating with my sister is like heaven. So after she told me about this new "GAP" diet, where she was making nothing but soup for breakfast, lunch and dinner, I died a little inside. 

I didn't doubt my big sis and her crazy new diet plan, but I knew it would be a challenge for a family that loves their grains and fruits. As a participant in the very first GAPS meal, I was pleasantly surprised that Kara pulled off the soup thing extremely well, and I was fully satisfied with a large helping of chicken, broth and veggies. 

For the next "GAPS" meal I had (about a week later), Kara got a bit creative and whipped up some "zucchini spaghetti and meatballs." Honestly, if I hadn't known about her nutso diet plan, I wouldn't have thought any differently about the low-carb meal. Other than replacing the noodles with strips of zucchini, nothing about the dinner seemed too out of the ordinary. It tasted like just another one of my sister's wonderfully creative and delectable dinners, and I didn't even crave carbs when I was finished. The kids and I gobbled up our spaghetti in record time, leaving behind only a couple of meatballs for her poor husband!"

So it is not all doom and gloom. My oldest even told me he likes this diet a little bit one day while eating carrot ginger soup.  I try to keep this soup in the fridge as an alternative at all times.  It is much like the old one I posted, but I don't saute, just boil everything together.  I usually add a small butternut squash and sometimes half a head of cauliflower.  I leave out the coconut milk, oil and cayenne pepper right now.

I did miss the carbs at first.  I felt like I could never get full and I needed some starch to feel satisfied.  That has gone away and I am satisfied most every meal provided I cooked enough.  I have used grains to stretch my meals for so long that when I remove them from my recipe we end up with half the food on the table than before.  I am finding that many GAPS recipes online are for 1-2 people not full families.  I am starting to get in the groove and next time I will remember to use 2 cauliflower to make those "mashed potatoes" instead of half a head.

Another problem that contributes to my skimpy meals is that I am afraid my kids are not going to like the new meal and I am going to end up eating it all myself.  This has yet to happen.  The kids are surprising me everyday with what they will eat.  Cauliflower for one.  I admit, I never liked it, but I have thrown it in pureed and non-pureed soups as well as the base for mock mashed potatoes and mock rice pilaf, all of which were gobbled up without complaints.  The first time I pulled out the fermented cucumbers, the kids could not get enough.  Number 3 requests pickled beets for a snack!

The biggest obstacle has been getting in a cup of broth at every meal.  When there is no soup, it is hard for the kids to choke down.  I have been working on just 1/4 cup at a time for now.  The older two have to have it gone to get their meal (caught Number 1 dumping it down the sink).  Number three, I coax between bites.  I have found that if I boil carrots in the broth first, the flavor is more palatable to them and they end up eating the carrots for snacks.  Any other ideas for me to get the broth down the hatch?


  1. I am loving all of these updates. You are doing amazingly well! I will for sure be coming back to these when/if we do the Intro diet. I want to do the Intro for Max but I need to be able to do it with him too and I'm just not sure yet when that will be. I may consider starting the Full diet again, without the Intro, in a little bit. Thanks again for sharing all of this...I've loved every minute!

  2. I am a new reader (I think I found you through I Heart Mesa?) Anyway, I'm enjoying reading about your GAPS experience. I've been wanting to get started on it for a while, just keep on putting it off for one reason or another. Sounds like you are doing great.

  3. PS, I wanted to ask - have you seen any noticeable health improvements so far?

  4. We have had no improvements with behavior, but it is said to get worse before better, so we are still hopeful. Number Two is far less gassy, which was one of things we were hoping to overcome.

  5. That is always nice to see a little improvement. I have heard the worse before it gets better thing is true. I am really thinking we're going to go ahead and start the diet probably at the end of August. I have been putting off doing the Intro because I'm technically not able but I will just find a way to sneak myself some other foods without the kids knowing. But I have to be honest, I am scared to death! I might be contacting you for tips...

  6. Kami, get everyone used to soup for breakfast. My kids ask for it now, but it was a tough thing for them to handle along with all the other restrictions.

  7. Thanks for the updates! We just started GAPS on Sunday (for my toddler with allergies) and it's been a struggle to get him to eat soup all day. Whenever he sees a bowl of soup he cries! His tantrums have been off the charts lately! Hopefully it does get better soon. But your recipes and experience has been such a help for me. I read them like 3xday to get ideas and realize that I'm not crazy and your kids didn't like it either. Thanks! I'd love more recipes (you know, when you're busy cooking and cleaning your kitchen....feels like all I do). Made your carrot ginger soup for stage 2 intro and my son ate 2 bowls! I almost cried tears of joy!!! Thanks!

  8. I told my 7 and 5yr olds there were bad bugs in their guts and the broth helps to defeat them because they hate broth and love bread and sweet things. So when they are unhappy about drinking their broth I put on a funny deep voice and say things like, "hahahahaaaaa Pixi isn't going to drink his broth...excellent.... he will NEVER defeat us!!! hahahahaaaaa" and then he laughs and starts drinking as I'm going "NOOOOOOOO!!!!! STOOOOOOOOP!!!! DON'T DRINK THE BROTH!! glug glug glug...WE'RE MEEEELTING!!!!" and pretty soon the broth is gone and they are feeling very proud that they are defeating those bad bugs! It works brilliantly! I also serve it in a small espresso cup with a saucer and a straw so they like that too.


It's rude to eat and run. Humor me with conversation please!

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