Sunday, December 30, 2012

Week 12

Well today marks week 12 for this pregnancy. It has been a very up and down experience so far. With the big bleed early in week 7, where I thought I had lost the baby. As it turns out it looks like we have lost one baby. I have had two scans now, to check for a viable baby. Both times we discovered a baby with a heart beat, and moving. On the second scan they were able to see a small crater where the other bleed came from, with the best explanation being that they was a second baby there. During that second scan they were also able to see that the baby was surrounded by some blood in the womb still, but not to worry as the old blood came out. Only to worry if new fresh blood showed up. So for a while I did have some old blood.

Well Christmas day, brought with it many blessings, but also fresh bleeding, not a big bleed like before, but like fresh blood. Then boxing day also brought more light bleeding with some light cramping. Well this was particularly hard because we weren't telling family until after Christmas about the pregnancy, so I couldn't tell anyone but Ben what I was feeling. So that night I came home and had a good cry, which of course made me vomit! Grrr.... one of the many things I dislike about morning sickness.

While on the topic of morning sickness, I would like to say that I do cope some flack for using medication to help me stop vomiting. Ultimately most of those people don't really know what morning sickness is like for me, and don't have to make the choices that I am faced with. Morning sickness (all day sickness) for me, often courses me to vomit blood, loose 10-20 kgs, get dehydrated - to the point that my kidney's have ached and my tongue had been very sore because of it. As well as having to go to hospital to have fluid put back in, all of which work together to put my babies at risk, especially if not treated. The medication I use doesn't stop those things, but helps ease them to a point to being a bit more manageable. So while it doesn't stop me vomiting, it does help to reduce it so that I can hold down fluids 70% of the time, if I have small sip all day. So my choice is to use medication when I must. I don't use it all day, everyday, but during the worst patches of sickness.


I think it will be a few more weeks before we will look at getting back onto gaps, as I slowly getting back into the kitchen, making a meal or two here and there, when I'm able too. Normally morning sickness easies at around week 16. I think both Ben and I are hoping that it will be earlier this time round. The family are all really keen on getting back onto GAPS. So we will see how that goes.

So that is all for today.... Ben might write a blod post soon, so keep an eye out for that one.

Bye for now. :0)




Friday, November 30, 2012

The wait is over.

Well today was the day that I have been waiting for since last friday. I had a scan today. I saw baby straight away, and baby has a heart beat. Yay! All good news. I'm still not sure what caused the bleeding, and the clot, but I do suspect that it might have something to do my lastest c-section, as the Ultra sound tech asked lots of questions about it, and took lots of pics for the report. I'll go back to the doctors next week which might give me some answers to those questions. Until then, we are happy with the news that baby is still alright.

On another note, the sickness is starting to set in. Oh I hate vomiting. It's my least favourite part about pregnancy. The GAPS diet has gone out the window this week, with the emotional ride and stress I just haven't managed to do hardly any cooking. Ben only has about two gaps dishes he knows how to make, and the children are very much over those. So for this fortnight we will do the best we can with what we can, but it will most likely not be 100% gaps. With me feeling sick it might actually be a while before we get fully back on board with it. I will definitely be doing it once the morning (all day) sickness leaves or eases.

Ben will write a post soon about how this has effected him. Which is a lot.

Anyway, thanks so much for all your support and encouragement. :0)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Waiting game.

It's now been 4 days since the bleeding started. It mostly stopped a few hours after it began. I now only have VERY light old blood. I still have no pain, and am still feeling morning sickness, which is increasing by the days. I'm very tired, and have little energy most of the day. I totally need a motivation and energy boost to get on top of the house stuff. The children are a great help in that, but there are somethings that they can't do yet. So I need to get on top of that. I went to see the doctor today, she gave me a referral to have a viability scan done. I can get in to that on Friday. So for now it's a waiting game, to see what is happening. It was an interesting appointment, because my doctor is clearly very pregnant, so it was a little weird. But such is life. I'm pretty calm at the moment, because of the sickness I'm feeling a bit on the confident side that things are ok. However I really can't be sure at all. Also there isn't a lot I can do, so remaining a peaceful as possible is the best that I can do right now, until I know anything else.

Thanks so much for all your prayers and kind thoughts, it's encouraging knowing there are people out there that care. :0)

Thanks again
Christina

Friday, November 23, 2012

Big day.

Well today has been a big tiring day. I woke this morning at 6pm, was giving my son some food, and felt a small gush. At first I thought I had wet myself, but I had already been to the toilet, so I went to check. When I got to the bathroom I discovered blood, and what seemed like lots of it. This is how my morning began. Today is my daughters birthday as well. Shortly after I went on to pass a golf ball size clot. Thinking that I had lost my baby, I decided I needed to go the hospital, as I'm O- and needed to get an anti D shot. Before going we decided to break the diet for the day, and took the children to MacDonalds for breakfast, being a birthday and not wanting the whole day to be ruined for her, we thought it would be fun. Wow, the food wasn't as satisfying as one might imagine after not eating for 8 months. And boy did I feel sick afterwards. Anyway after spending most of the day at the hospital, we don't have a lot of news. The bleeding stopped after about 2.5 hours, and my pregnancy hormones are still high, my bloods got messed up so there wasn't a lot more they could tell me. At the moment we are not sure if I am still pregnant, or not, or what has happened. Due to it being the weekend tomorrow they weren't able to get me into a scan, or pregnancy assessment. The doctors at the er weren't sure if I lost the baby, or if I had twins and lost one of those babies, or if the pregnancy had emplanted in a bad position, like over the cervix or over my c-section scar. It could also be that the baby has died and my body is holding on to most of it, which then we will need to make a decision about waiting to see if my body will release it or whether we need to do something about it. On a positive not I still have morning sickness which is not fun but a good sign. Also I've had no pain at all, which is another good sign. So will have to go to the gps this week, and organise a scan, and get checked out. Will hopefully know more after the scan, and will no doubt keep you updates.

Oh and to top the day off completely, we left in a hurry and left our back door open, so when we got home we discovered a few of the chickens had been in the house and pooped on the floor. Grrrr. Just what we needed.


Thanks Christina

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Week 6 Blog.

Well this week I haven't been exercising. Exhaustion has hit big time this week, I can't believe how tired I am. Last week I was fine, this week I would have a day sleep at any moment. Nausea is starting as well. Thankfully so far I haven't vomited, but waves of feeling sick are starting to come through out the day at different times. So far my blood sugars have been good. I'm actually a bit of a monitoring addict. I can easily test 6 times a day, because I'm really interested in what my blood sugar is doing.

In regards to morning sickness, I'm having a love hate relationship with it. On one hand I really really don't want to be sick, it's not nice, it's not fun, and it effects everyone in my family. However it always makes me loss weight, which is something I really need to help this be a healthy pregnancy, also I means that my baby is doing alright at the moment so that is positive. While I haven't physically been sick yet, I am feeling it harder and harder to swallow my probiotics and Cod liver oil at the moment. a week a go I would take them all in one go, now this week I have to take the in two or three goes. So any advice for increase energy in the first trimester? I still have heaps to do, and just feeling sapped.

We are trying to get much of our seeds and seedlings planted over the next 4 weeks, so that we get a good harvest. So I just have to push through the lack of energy and get it done.

pregnancy

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Another Kg bits the dust. :0)

Yay! Another kg down. That makes me feel happy. I'm hoping to loss between 15-20 kgs in this first trimester. I'm not concerned about doing harm to my baby by doing this, because I know that all the food that I am eating at the moment is nourishing foods, there are no wasted or empty foods, so my baby and body are well nourished. I'm not changing anything diet wise, just eating what I can, when I can of GAPS legal foods. And adding walking to my daily exercises ( if not raining) and maybe some pregnancy Yoga on days when it is. I'll probably do the video a few times and then modify it's to suit myself, but we will see. A friend has been kind enough to lend me her dvd, so I'm looking forward to doing that with the children.

On the positive news front one of the midwives from the Birth Centre have suggested that I come in and talk with them about the possibility of birth there, which is so exciting for me, so I would love some prayer surrounding that. I have dreamed of birth there since baby number 3. I'll keep you updated on how that goes.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Exercise :0)

Well part of my plan to have a good healthy pregnancy is Exercise. So today is day two of exercising. My children have been doing little Athletics. They aren't the fastest children in club by any means. So they would like to get better, and I want to exercise. So that is what we are doing. Yesterday I took the family to the near by oval where they actually do athletics, and we all did 800 mitres 2 laps. Today we went there again, this time we did 5 laps, 2000 metres. Yay for us. Ben was really surprised at how easily he was able to run/walk it, compared to times gone by. I feel good and plan to build up speed and length over time. Our goal at the moment is to go every day that it isn't raining. Looking forward to seeing improvements in both the children, and myself. Will keep you updated on how we go. :)

Oh and a note to myself, wear sneakers/runners tomorrow, those blister will remind you if you brain doesn't.



Sunday, November 11, 2012

Our Latest News....




For those of you that have been reading my blog recently you will know that some of the reason I have been doing the GAPS Diet with my husband is to heal my body in the hope that I will be able to have healthy pregnancies in the Future. I have had 2 c-sections, and hope to be able to have Vba2c, I have also had gestational diabetes with all my pregnancies. So the hope was that I would be about bring my body back into order, loss the extra weight, and go on to have a healthy pregnancy. I've currently lost 23kgs, an feeling pretty good, but I do still have a long way to go on the weight front.

We we recently found out that we are 5 weeks pregnant. I have started monitoring my blood sugars just to check what they are doing. So far my after eating blood sugars are perfect. However my fasting blood sugars while still in the normal range are on the higher side than the lower side, which doesn't give me much breathing room as the pregnancy progresses. So what does this mean. Well it means that my liver is still releasing glucose stores, when I'm not eating. So I'm aiming to try and do something about this while I still can. My goal at the moment will be to have kefir smoothing, morning and night, as Kefir has shown over and over again to normalise blood sugar and keep it on an even level, for both high and low blood sugars. I am also going to start walk after my evening meal. I'm hoping this is something the children and I can do together, they are doing little athletics and want to get better and I want to get fitter as well for this pregnancy, so we are planning on training together.

I'm a christian that believes that God speaks to us to day, and one thing that I have been hearing from him over and over, the last weeks is "Huff and Puff". So that is what I plan to do, starting today. I hope to use this blog as a bit of an accountability journal for this as well as for our GAPS Journey. I have no plans of leaving the GAPS Diet I believe it can give me the best chance of having a healing pregnancy.

So I'll keep you updated on how I go.
Thanks
Christina

And the winner is.....



Hi thanks to all those that took the time to enter my competition. I love reading you comments, which help inspire me to keep going and sharing our journey with you all.
So the winner has be draw using ramdom.org which randomly pick out a number for me. The Number was 4, which means that Mia is our winner. Mia I will be contact soon to get your bottle of feronix out to you :)


Thanks again Christina

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Husbands G.B. Quietly Confident.

I've learned something this week. Or rather, I am in the process of learning something. To be unfailingly confident. I have to tell you that this is clearly a problem for me in general. For one reason or another, I find it difficult to be confident all of the time, In fact, because of my constantly being sick, I tend to be on the 'glass-half-empty-until-some-numbnut-knocked-the-whole-thing-over' part of the scale. I married someone who is positive, or at least much more positive than my negative; and she is good at seeing the good in all sorts of things. I have really needed that the last month or so.

Although generally speaking the GAPS diet allows the body to get better and better, sometimes you can get worse. This has been the case the last 3 or 4 weeks. I have been feeling run-down, nasty and really tired. I have been having day sleeps again, but I am aware that my descent backwards is not terminal. I put this backwards spiral down to a number of different factors: 1. My stomach is not fully healed so really I need to take Biokult every day to help kick it into gear a bit. Unfortunately I have been forgetting. 2. Sugar- I don't eat any sugar, but I do put an exceeding amount of honey in my cups of tea. This is not a good idea, because it feeds the bad bugs in your stomach, and makes your wife say "Do you want some tea with your honey" which causes general grumpiness and unhappiness. 3. I've been adding food too quickly and an excess of it. If I can have something sweet I will eat more than my share of it. 4. My children wake up 2 hours earlier for some reason due to daylight savings and we have inherited a juvenile dog that licks ears at 6:00.

But I have noticed something interesting in my journey these last few weeks, something that children have been teaching me. To be quietly confident. The first instance is my youngest who is learning how to walk. For the last couple of weeks he has been hanging on to everything, taking a step or two towards something else to hang on to. When He feels like he is going to fall over, he bends his little legs to sit down and crawl. He is entirely capable of walking but he doesn't trust his own abilities. His little tentative steps are met with thunderous applause from siblings and parents alike! It has lead him to a point where today he was about to sit down when we clapped and shouted for joy at his walking! Instead of sitting down, he took another two or three brave steps over to a convenient ledge and gave an enormous grin! It's heartening to see his confidence growing so quickly. The other instance was today at little athletics. We have just started doing little athletics (The children, not me. I would rather eat a bucket full of hair). and we have given each of them little encouraging claps and high fives when they do the right thing. But today I saw something which made me smile. One of the more experienced boys stepped up to the middle of the shotput ring. He strode up to the ring like he owned it and you could virtually see his little mind thinking 'this is going OUT OF THE PARK' It didn't. But it was a very good throw and it made me think about quiet confidence again.

Most of the time when I do something good, my wife gives me a compliment, or a thank you, but if I don't get it, I (being silly) compliment myself (e.g. 'I just washed the dishes! Go Me!, or 'I just put the washing on the line, Good on Me!'). I figure if no-ones going to affirm me I may as well do it myself! Yes it's a bit silly but how else is confidence formed? If we can't reward ourselves for the good that we have done, and we can't remind ourselves how far we have progressed, how can we be happy to progress further?

Because of us feeling run down we will have to probably go back to stage 1 for a little while, and stop eating nuts. This will be a challenge, because I like nuts and I will have to give up tea. However I have progressed far enough that I know that I can give up Mr Dilmah for a little while without having homicidal urges.I know that if I have done it once. I can do it again. That's quiet confidence.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

GAPS Coconut cinnamon custard.

When we first brought our thermomix we weren't on GAPS, and one of our favorite recipes was Custard. So when we came to GAPS I really wanted a recipe so that we could still have custard. I have found a few recipes online, but they were more complicated than I wanted, so I thought I would simply have a go at making up my own recipe. So here it is.

Ingredients
5 eggs
400mls of coconut cream
1 tbs of cinnamon
1/3 cup of honey
2 vanilla beans (scrap the insides)


Add all ingredients to the thermomix bowl, on temp 90 degrees, for 8 mins, speed 4. Enjoy!

Now for those of you that don't have a thermomix don't dispare, you can still make this recipe. Combine all the ingredients in a heat proof bowl, and whisk over a sauce pan of water until your custard is firming up.

It will be more firm on standing. :)

p.s. when I work out how to up load pictures on this computer I will post a photo to go along with all my recipes.

If you try it tell me what you think :)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Give Away TIme

Hi all, I have been blogging for quiet a while now, so I think it's about time I have a giveaway. Sorry to say but this give away is only open to Australian readers. I will be giving away I 500ml bottle of Neways Feroxin valued at 52.90 RRP.




Feroxin is a naturally occurring mineral drink. The Neydharting Moor is located within a fertile valley in a remote region of Austria. Encased by non-porous, glacial rock this unique and unspoiled environment has long been praised for the beneficial properties of its biomass.

The ‘Alpine Moor Biomass’ is the result of a complex biological process, uninterrupted since the last ice age, as the hundreds of various types of herbs which flourish along the Austrian alpine lakes are washed into the moor along pristine streams. This plant material combines with the minerals deposited on to the lake floor over thousands of years to produce the rich natural mix of essential nutrients, minerals and trace elements you’ll find in Feroxin.

Feroxin is one of the mineral supplements that I use for my families health. If you have read on of my blog meal plans you will see that we start our day with mineral water. Their are three types I use. Changing habits, changing lives colloidal minerals, King Island colloidal minerals , and Feroxin.

So here is your change to own a bottle and give it a try. All you have to do win is, subscribe to my blog, and leave a comment below to let me know you want to win :)


The winner will be draw at random on the 10th of November.

If your on facebook and want to like my pages, The joy of the home and Mathewson's Cultures Follow the links, Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Week 7 - Stage 5 and 6

Hi all I hope you are going well, and have lots of success as you move through the diet. I would like to remind readers Ben is still having issues with nuts, so are moving forward with out including nuts, or having them within limits. So if you have no problems with them, don't forget you can include them now, and make nut bread, and pancakes.

We are also hoping to move through stages 5 and 6 this week. Stage 5 includes cooked peeled apples in fat, adding fruit to your juices (no more than 40% fruit) and starting with Raw veggies and salads. Stage 6 includes peeled raw apples, other raw fruits, more honey, and adding baked goods.

This week our local health food shop has got in top quality Gelatine. Which we will use to make jelly, which everyone is looking forward to trying out. :) if you want a recipe for making nourishing jelly cheeseslave has a great recipe for making it.

This weeks meal plan

So we will aim to get juicing in every morning this week, adding our minerals and lemon juice to it, we may even include beet kvass.

Snacks for the week: Activated nuts, Yoghurt with some honey, boiled eggs, pickled eggs, any left overs, sour cream, milk kefir, jelly and ferments.

Monday
Breakfast: Meat Balls, with fried eggs and Sauerkraut.
Lunch: Celeriac Soup and homemade sour cream.
Dinner: Roast Chicken Served with boiled veggies, ghee, gravy and Sauerkraut.


Tuesday
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with fresh herbs and Fermented Tomato sauce.
Lunch: Chicken soup with sour cream.
Dinner: Honey mustard chicken pieces, with boiled veggies, sauerkraut.
Dessert: Cooked apples in Ghee with yoghurt.

Wednesday
Breakfast: Omelete, served with a salad of cucumbers and tomatoes with cherry chutney.
Lunch: Pumpkin soup with Sour cream.
Dinner: grilled steaks with gravy, boiled veggies, ghee, and sauerkraut.
Dessert: cooked apples in ghee with sour cream.

Thursday
Breakfast : Omelete, with mashed avocado, fried onion in ghee, fermented salsa, kefir cheese and Sauerkraut.
Lunch: Leek Soup with yoghurt.
Dinner: Poached fish, in fish stock and lemon. Served with salad, and Sauerkraut.
Dessert: cooked apples with kefir

Friday
Breakfast: Meat Balls with Veggie and Onion Gravy and fresh herbs and Avocado Mash.
Lunch: Onion and leek soup, with salad and sauerkraut.
Dinner: Lamb roast, with boiled veggies, and baked pumpkin gravy and sauerkraut. (I'll do extra pumpkin for pancakes in the morning)
Dessert: Raw peeled apple.

Saturday
Breakfast:Pumpkin pancakes, with fermented raspberry mint sauce and sour cream. Side plate of left over lamb and gravy.
Lunch: Onion and Leek Soup with fermented chutney.
Dinner: Roasted chicken, with baked veggies, gravy and sauerkraut.
Snack: a raw piece of fruit.

Sunday
Breakfast: Meat Balls with Veggie and Onion Gravy and fresh herbs and Avocado Mash.
Lunch: Pumpkin soup with salad and sauerkraut.
Dinner: Butter chicken, with salad and sauerkraut.

Again this is my meal plan, so please adjust the meals to ones that your family will enjoy. Giving new soups a try, like beetroot soup, carrot soup, cauliflower soup, Zucchini soup etc. We really love lamb more than we do beef, so if you like beef casserole, or steaks change to them. :)


Love to hear from you some time about what it working for your family. :)

Fermented Tomato sauce

15 Tomatoes
3 Onions
3 cloves of Garlic
2 tsp of salt
2Tbs of Sage or Basil
½ tsp of chilli powder
2 tsp of sweet paprika
⅓ cup of whey

Blend all together in a thermomix, and then set to cook 100 for 40 mins, on speed 1.
Check for salt, let cool. When finger cool add ⅓ cup of whey and bottle. Leaving to ferment for two days on the counter and then move to cool storage.

Non Thermomix instructions, Put all the ingredients into a blender or food processor, blend well. Transfer to a large pot, and slow boil for around 40 mins. leave to cook, add whey and bottle. Leave to ferment for 2 days on the counter and then transfer to cool storage/fridge.

Husband's G.B. 7: Dealing with Feelings.

My wife hates swearing.

She grew up in a family where swearing was part of her culture. My story is slightly different. My parents rarely swore, but my problem was growing up, through one reason or another, that I found it extremely difficult to express negative emotions.

That's changed now. Sort of.

I think as we had each child, I have realised how weak and emotionally unstable I actually am. Many might say to us "well, don't have any more children then if you can't handle them", but as we have had more children I have seen that I can be a very decent father as well, and my heart has room for more children. I cannot blame anyone but me for my behaviour, but I do think some if not most of the issues I have had with feeling out of control are to do with diet. See, what I think many doctors, and even non- medical people tend to misunderstand is that diet can seriously affect mental stability, and as my sweet wife pointed out this morning 'If your bowels are irritated, why wouldn't the rest of you be?' Quite so. In some cases in America, they have even defended killers based on diet.

Look at this link for example:
http://www.livestrong.com/article/502008-diet-and-criminal-behavior/

In another study (and I will find out who did it if you are interested enough to ask), researchers tried changing the diets in prison from high empty calorie, high transfatty, high carb foods to low carb foods, closer to the natural diet. The change was remarkable. Their aggression levels totally changed. Some admitted that they wanted to pick flowers, while others said they considered entering into social work, and there were a few who wanted to play Kum Ba Yah on their guitars and take up interior decorating (no, not really, I just made that up); but the study did show remarkable results on behaviour.

In point of fact I asked my children when we were sitting at the table whether they thought I was more angry with them before we started the diet or after. They all said "before", after a bit of thinking. In the last couple of months I have seen little flashes of calm emerging, and my patience level becoming higher. I do not endorse swearing but often swearing is a shorthand and ineffective way of saying how we really feel. I am studying counselling right now and according to my book there are right ways and wrong ways of adequately expressing anger. For those not studying counselling let me demonstrate:

Wrong way: You little sh@# What the f@*k are you smashing that jar for you idiot!
Right way: I feel angry when you smash my jar, because I've already asked you to look after it.

For men who like words, here are other ones that can describe your feelings:

affronted, annoyed, antagonized, bitter, chafed, choleric, convulsed, cross, displeased, enraged, exacerbated, exasperated, ferocious, fierce, fiery, fuming, furious, galled, hateful, heated, hot, huffy, ill-tempered, impassioned, incensed, indignant, inflamed, infuriated, irascible, irate, ireful, irritable, irritated, maddened, nettled, offended, outraged, piqued, provoked, raging, resentful, riled, sore, splenetic, storming, sulky, sullen, tumultous/tumultuous, turbulent, uptight, vexed, wrathful

Personally I would use the more common ones as you don't want your wife and children laughing at you when you say you feel "nettled", which by the way will make you feel even more nettled at them laughing at you. A better question is "why are you angry?" are you insecure? Are you sad about something? are you overwhelmed? (which was definately the case for me some of the time) or to misquote Kirstie Alley in 'Look Whose Talking' are you "going through a selfish phase right now". Try that one on your wife. Might be fun. (or not!).

Fermented Cherry Chutney

1200grams of fresh or frozen Cherries
8 peeled and diced apples
3 Diced onions
1 TBS of Chinese 5 spices
¼ cup of honey
½ cup of whey.

Put apples and onion in a frying pan with enough water to stop them burning. On medium heat cooked until soft, add in cherries, honey, and spice, and cook until the cherries are breaking down. Take off the heat and let cool. The mixture needs to be cool enough so that when you put your finger in it isn’t too hot. At this point you can add the whey, and stir through. Put into jars and let ferment for 2 days on the bench then transfer to cool store/fridge.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Fermented Tomato Salsa

Fermented tomato salsa,is just like normal salsa only on steroids! The flavour is amazing with a touch of Zing. My family love it and if your family likes salsa I'm sure they will too :)


5 tomatoes, diced
1 cucumber, diced and peeled if skin is rough
1 capsicum, diced
1 bunch spring onions, sliced
1 bunch fresh basil leaves, chopped

¼ cup whey
salt to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl; spoon into sterile jars and push down until juices cover the top. Add a splash of filtered water if necessary to cover contents. Leave a little head space. Let sit on the bench for 1 day, then refrigerate and enjoy!

Fermented Raspberry Mint Sauce

1 Kg of Frozen or fresh Raspberries
½ cup of Raw Honey
30 Mint leaves, more if you like.
½ cup of whey.

Mix all together, mashing the raspberries to break them down a bit. Bottle and ferment on the counter for 2 days, then move to cool storage, fridge. Will Keep for 1 month.

Very tasty over ice cream, in yoghurt, in smoothies, etc

Kimchi Recipe



1 Chinese cabbage, sliced to a crunchy thickness
5 carrots, shredded
2 chillies, or to taste
1 fat thumb-sized ginger, diced very small
6 cloves garlic, diced very small

¼ cup whey
salt to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl; mash together with hands, meat hammer, or similar until juices are flowing. Spoon into sterile jars and push down repeatedly so that it packs tightly in, until juices cover the top. Add a splash of whey and filtered water if necessary to cover contents. Leave a little head space. Let sit on the bench for 5 days, then refrigerate and enjoy!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Week 6 stage 4 for another week

Busy busy week. As you may have read, this weekend Ben and I held a GAPS information day. So this week has been a little messed up for us. We were on stage 4 until friday, when I cooked some tasty full GAPS treats for people to try, and we just couldn't serve people YUMMY food without trying some of it..... Well we could have but we REALLY didn't want too. So we have over indulged in full gaps food this weekend. Also during the week we haven't added many of the stage 4 elements that we were aiming to, like juicing. So for those reasons this week we will be staying on stage 4.

Foods allowed on stage 4

* Meat stock
* Fish stock
* Organ meat - liver should be included at least once a week.
* Well boiled veggies, onions, garlic, carrots, broccoli, leeks, cauliflower, courgettes, zucchini, squash, pumpkin, Asparagus, beetroot, Eggplant, Kale, Spinach, Tomatoes, anything on the allowed list that is not too fiberous.
* Boiled meats
* Mineral Salt and Pepper
* sauerkraut juice
* Ginger root - for fresh herbal tea
* Honey - Raw, only a small amount in herbal tea.
* Lemon - only a small piece in warm water as morning drink
* Apple Cider Vinegar for bone broth, and in the morning glass of water to aid in digestion.
* homemade Ghee
* Homemade Yoghurt - if tolerated
* Egg yokes, soft boiled eggs, pouched eggs.
* Fermented veggies.
* Fermented fish.
* Fresh herbs.
* Scrambled eggs
* Activated Nuts
* Nut Pancakes
* Start adding Olive oil
* Grilled and roasted Meats.
* Introducing freshly pressed juices, starting with Carrot juice, then try celery, cabbage, lettuce, and fresh mint leaves.
* A GAPS milk shake - but adding yoghurt to juice.
* Baking Bread with Nuts and or seeds.


So we will aim to get juicing in every morning this week, adding our minerals and lemon juice to it.

Snacks for the week: Activated nuts, Yoghurt with some honey, any left overs, and ferments.

Monday
Breakfast: Salmon Pancakes,lemon sour cream and Sauerkraut. ( I use fish broth as some of my liquid for the pancakes.
Lunch: Pumpkin Soup and fermented Kimchi.
Dinner: Roast Chicken Served with boiled veggies, ghee, gravy and Sauerkraut.


Tuesday
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with fresh herbs and Sauerkraut.
Lunch: Chicken soup with fermented tomato sauce.
Dinner: Roasted chicken with boiled veggies, ghee, gravy and sauerkraut.

Wednesday
Breakfast: Omelete, left over lamb and gravy with cherry chutney.
Lunch: Chicken soup with fermented tomato sauce or chutney.
Dinner: grilled steaks with gravy, boiled veggies, ghee, and sauerkraut.

Thursday
Breakfast : Omelete, with mashed avocado, fermented salsa, kefir cheese and Sauerkraut.
Lunch: Leek Soup with fermented chutney.
Dinner: Poached fish, in fish stock and lemon. Served with Julienned boiled veggies, and Sauerkraut.
Snack : Activated pecans.

Friday
Breakfast: Meat Balls with Veggie and Onion Gravy and fresh herbs and Avocado Mash.
Lunch: Onion and leek soup and sauerkraut.
Dinner: Lamb roast, with boiled veggies, and baked pumpkin gravy and sauerkraut. (I did extra pumpkin for pancakes in the morning)

Saturday
Breakfast:Pumpkin pancakes, with honey and sour cream. Side plate of left over lamb and gravy.
Lunch: Onion and Leek Soup with fermented chutney.
Dinner: Roasted chicken, with baked veggies, gravy and sauerkraut.

Sunday
Breakfast: Meat Balls with Veggie and Onion Gravy and fresh herbs and Avocado Mash.
Lunch: Pumpkin soup with egg yoke and ghee
Dinner: Slow Roasted lamb with boiled veggies and Onion Gravy.

Again this is my meal plan, so please adjust the meals to ones that your family will enjoy. Giving new soups a try, like beetroot soup, carrot soup, cauliflower soup, Zucchini soup etc. We really love lamb more than we do beef, so if you like beef casserole, or steaks change to them. :)


Love to hear from you some time about what it working for your family. :)

GAPS Info day.

Yesterday I had the an awesome opportunity to share GAPS with a group of people looking for information and answers. There was a lot of work in the prep for it, but I really feel like to was God desire, because it all came together well. Normally in the past I would have been running around like a chicken with my head cut off. This last week was different my timing feel into place, I was able to get were I wanted to be with out too much stress. I was nervous to begin with but once I got into it, I totally forgot about being nervous and really got into sharing the information that I am passionate about. I hope that I was able to help someone get closer to there GAPS Healing. :)

Looking forward to doing it again.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

My Meal Plan for Stage 4

Hi all I hope you have had a good week, and all well and making your way through intro. This week for us we will be moving to stage 4. We haven't included a lot of nuts so far, we may do more this week. We know that Ben has had a bit of a problem with nuts so we are aiming to take it slow with that one. However I am really looking forward to adding Juice to menu.


Foods allowed on stage 4

* Meat stock
* Fish stock
* Organ meat - liver should be included at least once a week.
* Well boiled veggies, onions, garlic, carrots, broccoli, leeks, cauliflower, courgettes, zucchini, squash, pumpkin, Asparagus, beetroot, Eggplant, Kale, Spinach, Tomatoes, anything on the allowed list that is not too fiberous.
* Boiled meats
* Mineral Salt and Pepper
* sauerkraut juice
* Ginger root - for fresh herbal tea
* Honey - Raw, only a small amount in herbal tea.
* Lemon - only a small piece in warm water as morning drink
* Apple Cider Vinegar for bone broth, and in the morning glass of water to aid in digestion.
* homemade Ghee
* Homemade Yoghurt - if tolerated
* Egg yokes, soft boiled eggs, pouched eggs.
* Fermented veggies.
* Fermented fish.
* Fresh herbs.
* Scrambled eggs
* Activated Nuts
* Nut Pancakes
* Start adding Olive oil
* Grilled and roasted Meats.
* Introducing freshly pressed juices, starting with Carrot juice, then try celery, cabbage, lettuce, and fresh mint leaves.
* A GAPS milk shake - but adding yoghurt to juice.
* Baking Bread with Nuts and or seeds.


My plan for this week will be to start the morning with Veggie juice, and add some minerals to it. Starting with Carrot juice and building up to including more veggies. Next week we will aim to add a little fruit. The plan is also to maintain the good habits that we have been building into our lives, like having adding ferments to each meal, and making sure that we are still having broth with each meal. Both of these tend to be the first to go when times get stressed or busy, but they are some of the most important parts of the diet. So make sure to keep them up.


Snacks for the week: Activated nuts, Yoghurt with a little honey, any left overs, and ferments.

Monday
Breakfast: Meat Balls with veggie and onion gravy and fresh herbs, sour cream and Sauerkraut.
Lunch: Pumpkin Soup and fermented Kimchi.
Dinner: Grilled lamb chops Served with boiled veggies, ghee, gravy and Sauerkraut.


Tuesday
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with fresh herbs and Sauerkraut.
Lunch: Pumpkin Soup with fermented chutney.
Dinner: Roasted chicken with boiled veggies, ghee, gravy and sauerkraut.

Wednesday
Breakfast: Meat Balls with veggie and Onion gravy and fresh herbs and Sauerkraut.
Lunch: Chicken soup with fermented tomato sauce or chutney.
Dinner: grilled steaks with gravy, boiled veggies, ghee, and sauerkraut.

Thursday
Breakfast : Scrambled eggs and fresh herbs and Sauerkraut.
Lunch: Leek Soup with fermented chutney.
Dinner: Poached fish, in fish stock and lemon. Served with Julienned boiled veggies, and Sauerkraut.
Snack : Activated pecans.

Friday
Breakfast: Meat Balls with Veggie and Onion Gravy and fresh herbs and Avocado Mash.
Lunch: Onion and leek soup and sauerkraut.
Dinner: Slow cooker Lamb roast, with boiled veggies, gravy and sauerkraut.

Saturday
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs and fresh herbs and fermented salsa, and fried onions in Ghee.
Lunch: Onion and Leek Soup with fermented chutney.
Dinner: Lamb casserole (with the left over lamb from the night before) with boiled veggies,ghee and sauerkraut.

Sunday
Breakfast: Meat Balls with Veggie and Onion Gravy and fresh herbs and Avocado Mash.
Lunch: Pumpkin soup with egg yoke and ghee
Dinner: Slow Roasted lamb with boiled veggies and Onion Gravy.

The meals are pretty much that same. A special not for those that need to continue to loose weight. The closer to stay to the first two - three stages the more you will continue to loose a faster rate. You will still continue to loose (if needed) as you move forward but it will be slower.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

My meal plan for intro stage 3

We have had a good week with several successes. This week Ben has a full day with low pain levels, and a full nights sleep which he has had for a really long time. Lets hope that this is a sign of things to come. So with this we are moving forward to stage 3. SO what can we now look forward to? Avocado, activated nuts, Nut pancakes, Scrambled eggs.






Foods allowed on stage 2.

* Meat stock
* Fish stock
* Organ meat - liver should be included at least once a week.
* Well boiled veggies, onions, garlic, carrots, broccoli, leeks, cauliflower, courgettes, zucchini, squash, pumpkin, Asparagus, beetroot, Eggplant, Kale, Spinach, Tomatoes, anything on the allowed list that is not too fiberous.
* Boiled meats
* Mineral Salt and Pepper
* sauerkraut juice
* Ginger root - for fresh herbal tea
* Honey - Raw, only a small amount in herbal tea.
* Lemon - only a small piece in warm water as morning drink
* Apple Cider Vinegar for bone broth, and in the morning glass of water to aid in digestion.
* homemade Ghee
* Homemade Yoghurt - if tolerated
* Egg yokes, soft boiled eggs, pouched eggs.
* Fermented veggies.
* Fermented fish.
* Fresh herbs.
* Scrambled eggs
* Activated Nuts
* Nut Pancakes

My Plan this week is alternate meat balls and scrambled eggs. SO that we don't need to drink bone broth on the days that we have scrambled eggs, I will be using bone broth in the scrambled eggs. Instead of making them with milk, you simply replace it with bone broth. All mornings will start with room temp mineral water, with ACV or lemon juice.

Monday
Breakfast: Meat Balls with veggie and onion gravy and fresh herbs and Sauerkraut.
Lunch: Pumpkin Soup and fermented Kimchi.
Dinner: Boiled lamb chops Served with boiled veggies, ghee and Sauerkraut.
Snack : Activated Walnuts.

Tuesday
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with fresh herbs and Sauerkraut.
Lunch: Pumpkin Soup with fermented chutney.
Dinner: Boiled chicken with boiled veggies, ghee, and sauerkraut.

Wednesday
Breakfast: Meat Balls with veggie and Onion gravy and fresh herbs and Sauerkraut.
Lunch: Chicken soup with fermented tomato sauce or chutney.
Dinner: slow cooked steaks with gravy, boiled veggies, ghee, and sauerkraut.

Thursday
Breakfast : Scrambled eggs and fresh herbs and Sauerkraut.
Lunch: Leek Soup with fermented chutney.
Dinner: Poached fish, in fish stock and lemon. Served with Julienned boiled veggies, and Sauerkraut.
Snack : Activated pecans.

Friday
Breakfast: Meat Balls with Veggie and Onion Gravy and fresh herbs and Avocado Mash.
Lunch: Onion and leek soup and sauerkraut.
Dinner: Slow cooker Lamb roast, with boiled veggies, gravy and sauerkraut.

Saturday
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs and fresh herbs and fermented salsa, and fried onions in Ghee.
Lunch: Onion and Leek Soup with fermented chutney.
Dinner: Lamb casserole (with the left over lamb from the night before) with boiled veggies,ghee and sauerkraut.

Sunday
Breakfast: Meat Balls with Veggie and Onion Gravy and fresh herbs and Avocado Mash.
Lunch: Pumpkin soup with egg yoke and ghee
Dinner: Slow Roasted lamb with boiled veggies and Onion Gravy.


Sunday, September 2, 2012

My Meal Plan For stage 2 - week 3

Hi, I hope if you are following along that you too have had a great week. If you totally new to GAPS that you are starting to settle in, and find your way. For us this week we have decided to stay on stage 2. My reason for this is because we haven't yet, included a ferment at every meal, which is our personal goal, and we haven't included eggs. The plan was to add an egg yoke to every soup, well that didn't happen. I added if for one day mid week, so that will be a goal this week. However today we had scrambled eggs for breakfast, we forgot to get mince out last night for breakfast, so far we haven't had any reaction. So this week we will be looking more at add soft boiled eggs.



Foods allowed on stage 2.

* Meat stock
* Fish stock
* Organ meat - liver should be included at least once a week.
* Well boiled veggies, onions, garlic, carrots, broccoli, leeks, cauliflower, courgettes, zucchini, squash, pumpkin, Asparagus, beetroot, Eggplant, Kale, Spinach, Tomatoes, anything on the allowed list that is not too fiberous.
* Boiled meats
* Mineral Salt and Pepper
* sauerkraut juice
* Ginger root - for fresh herbal tea
* Honey - Raw, only a small amount in herbal tea.
* Lemon - only a small piece in warm water as morning drink
* Apple Cider Vinegar for bone broth, and in the morning glass of water to aid in digestion.
* homemade Ghee
* Homemade Yoghurt - if tolerated
* Egg yokes, soft boiled eggs, pouched eggs.
* Fermented veggies.
* Fermented fish.
* Fresh herbs.

So my plan for this week will be simliar to my one from last week, with breakfast balls, soups and soft boiled eggs for lunch, and an evening meal. All mornings will start with room temp mineral water, with ACV or lemon juice.

Monday
Breakfast: Meat Balls with veggie and onion gravy and fresh herbs and Sauerkraut.
Lunch: Pumpkin Soup with egg yoke and fermented Kimchi.
Dinner: Boiled lamb chops Served with boiled veggies, ghee and Sauerkraut.

Tuesday
Breakfast: Meat Balls with veggie and onion gravy and fresh herbs and Sauerkraut.
Lunch: Pumpkin Soup with soft boiled eggs, and fermented tomato sauce or chutney.
Dinner: Boiled chicken with boiled veggies, ghee, and sauerkraut.

Wednesday
Breakfast: Meat Balls with veggie and Onion gravy and fresh herbs and Sauerkraut.
Lunch: Chicken soup with Soft boiled egg, and fermented tomato sauce or chutney.
Dinner: slow cooked steaks with gravy, boiled veggies, ghee, and sauerkraut.

Thursday
Breakfast : Meat Balls with veggie and Onion gravy and fresh herbs and Sauerkraut.
Lunch: Leek Soup with Soft boiled egg, and fermented tomato sauce or chutney.
Dinner: Poached fish, in fish stock and lemon. Served with Julienned boiled veggies, and Sauerkraut.

Friday
Breakfast: Boiled eggs and Fermented tomato sauce, or Chutney and a cup of Broth.
Lunch: Onion and leek soup and sauerkraut.
Dinner: Slow cooker Lamb roast, with boiled veggies, gravy and sauerkraut.

Saturday
Breakfast: Meat Balls with veggies and onion gravy and fresh herbs.
Lunch: Onion and Leek Soup with egg yoke.
Dinner: Lamb casserole (with the left over lamb from the night before) with boiled veggies,ghee and sauerkraut.

Sunday
Breakfast: Meat Balls with Veggie and Onion Gravy and fresh herbs and soft boiled egg.
Lunch: Pumpkin soup with egg yoke and ghee
Dinner: Slow Roasted lamb with boiled veggies and Onion Gravy.


Now if you are following along, Please remember this My meal plan, so what my family might like your might not. My family has never really been a big soup family so they don't really like many different types of soup. So please feel free to change those for soups that your family likes, but I do encourage you to try and make double what your family needs for one meal, so that you can use it for two days, and save yourself some cooking and cleaning. Also having extra soup means that if someone if hungry at other times in the day you can always offer soup.

Also you will notice that Friday we are having boiled eggs instead of meat balls. For us fridays is a busy day, so having eggs is a little quicker than meatballs. You may also notice that we are having a cup of broth that day. There is no broth in the meal so to make sure that we have enough we will be having a cup of it. Any meal that doesn't contain broth, should have broth on the side. However if you are happy to you can have broth in the meal and on the side. The more broth and fats you consume the quicker the healing.

If you are happy to move on to stage three, things that you can add this week are scrambled eggs, and avocados. Looking for a full list of foods allowed on each stage, here is another great blog.

I hope you have a good week, and are seeing progress. Please leave a comment if their is anything you would like to see, or need me to explain more.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

My meal plan for Stage 2 - week 2

Ok so after much debate and thought we have decided to move on to stage 2. I am quiet happy here in stage one, Ben however wants to move forward, I however would like to see more healing before we move on, so I was thinking of doing another week in stage one, however we are moving on. We will however be avoiding most dairy this week as well. If you are fine with dairy you can feel free to add ghee, whey, 24 hour yoghurt, sour cream, kefir.

So moving to stage two, what is different, or what are the goals.
1. We will aim to add eggs, starting with adding the egg yolks to soups, then moving to having soft boil eggs, and pouched eggs.
2. Moving from adding the ferment juice to soups and gravy, to now adding fermented veggies, like krauts and pickles. The aim to get up to a few tablespoons on with each meal.
3. We are will be adding ghee this week - if you have issues with dairy you might like to try adding some home made ghee, but first do a skin test to check that the body is having no major reactions first.
4. Fermented fish - we choose not the have this one yet, maybe some time in the future. However to make up for it, we will start taking our Fermented Cod Liver Oil, at this point.

Foods allowed on stage 2.

* Meat stock
* Fish stock
* Organ meat - liver should be included at least once a week.
* Well boiled veggies, onions, garlic, carrots, broccoli, leeks, cauliflower, courgettes, zucchini, squash, pumpkin, Asparagus, beetroot, Eggplant, Kale, Spinach, Tomatoes, anything on the allowed list that is not too fiberous.
* Boiled meats
* Mineral Salt and Pepper
* sauerkraut juice
* Ginger root - for fresh herbal tea
* Honey - Raw, only a small amount in herbal tea.
* Lemon - only a small piece in warm water as morning drink
* Apple Cider Vinegar for bone broth, and in the morning glass of water to aid in digestion.
* homemade Ghee
* Homemade Yoghurt - if tolerated
* Egg yokes, soft boiled eggs, pouched eggs.
* Fermented veggies.
* Fermented fish.
* Fresh herbs.

So my plan for this week will be simliar to my one from last week, with breakfast balls, soups, and an evening meal. All mornings will start with room temp mineral water, with ACV or lemon juice.

Monday
Breakfast: Meat Balls with veggie and onion gravy and fresh herbs.
Lunch: Pumpkin Soup with egg yoke.
Dinner: Boiled chicken drumsticks, with garlic and lemon. Served with boiled veggies.

Tuesday
Breakfast: Meat Balls with veggie and onion gravy and fresh herbs.
Lunch: Pumpkin Soup with egg yoke.
Dinner: Slow cooker steaks, with onion and tomato gravy, boiled veggies with ghee.

Wednesday
Breakfast: Meat Balls with veggie and Onion gravy and fresh herbs.
Lunch: Chicken soup with egg yoke.
Dinner: boiled chicken pieces in bone broth, with onions and tomatoes. Served with boiled veggies and ghee.

Thurday
Breakfast : Meat Balls with veggie and Onion gravy and fresh herbs.
Lunch: Chicken soup with egg yoke.
Dinner: Poached fish, with lemon and veggies.

Friday
Breakfast: Meat Balls with Veggie and Onion Gravy and fresh herbs.
Lunch: Onion and leek soup with egg yoke.
Dinner: Slow cooker pork roast, with boiled veggies and gravy.

Saturday
Breakfast: Meat Balls with veggies and onion gravy and fresh herbs.
Lunch: Onion and Leek Soup with egg yoke.
Dinner: Lamb casserole with boiled veggies and ghee.

Sunday
Breakfast: Meat Balls with Veggie and Onion Gravy and fresh herbs and soft boiled egg.
Lunch: Pumpkin soup with egg yoke and ghee
Dinner: Slow Roasted lamb with boiled veggies and Onion Gravy.


I will also be adding fermented foods to each of the meals. The ferments that I currently have are sauerkraut, pickled cucumbers, fermented salsa, fermented ginger carrots, and fermented tomato sauce. So I will give the family the choice of these to add to their meal. Now if you happen to have food allergies and some of foods are on your list, you can either choice to do a skin test, if that is fine give it a try, if not give it longer for healing. However if you do need more time for healing there a few things that you can still add, ie herbs, if not already added, FCLO, Ferments, get all those added in well, and then retry you allergy foods. The journey to healing is individual and it may take you longer for some things than others. For us the first time round on intro it took us 4 weeks to get eggs in to where they were not a problem.

Ghee
There are many ways to make ghee, but here is the way Dr Natasha shares in her book Gut and Psychology Syndrome.

Preheat the oven to around 60-120c (140-250oF) Put a large block of organic, preferably unsalted butter into a metal dish or pan. Leave it in the oven for 45-60 minutes. Take out and carefully pour the golden fat from the top (ghee), making sure that the white liquid at the bottom stays in the pan. Discard the white liquid. Keep in glass jars and refrigerate. With some varieties of butter the white liquid accumulates at the top. In that case put the dish in the fridge. As it cools down the ghee will become solid, and you will be able to pour the liquid off and wipe the rest off it with paper towel.

I would love to hear how you are going on your journey, so please leave a comment. :0)


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Xavier's Birth Story


A year and 6 months after giving birth to Isaac I found myself pregnant again, and Yes! again we were very excited to be expecting baby number 6 for our family. Like every pregnancy I have had so far, I was sick. I probably was able to manage it better than in other pregnancies, I think each time I have gotten better and better at managing it. Also some things have changed to make things easier, now the supermarket delivers to us, so I didn't have to battle the urge to vomit while walking around the supermarket to get our daily things. :0) We also had a great group of friends that lovingly brought us some meals to help make life easier. The pregnancy was filled with many ups and downs. We were excited to find out that we were having another son, 3 and 3. 3 girls and 3 boys, even bedrooms for while. I avoided the doctors for mosts of the pregnancy and I had consider having my baby to home in bath, if the pregnancy was going well. However that wasn't meant to be.

During the pregnancy I had been monitoring my blood sugars and I knew that I had developed Gestational Diabetes again, and with cutting out sugar and grains from my diet I was able to control it. However when I was 31 -32 weeks we moved house, which was very tiring for me. We moved on the Saturday, unpacked some and settled in a bit on the Sunday, and Monday I was back at the house with all the children cleaning. Oh gosh I was so spent. I had some lovely ladies come over and help me clean some of the house. Even though I was very tired I felt bad just sitting while they cleaned, So I pushed myself to work more than I really should have. That night while using the toilet I discovered blooding. I was so tired I seriously considered ignoring it. I did however know better than that, so I called a friend who was kind enough to take me into the hospital.

While at the hospital I had to answer all the hard questions, like why I hadn't been back to the doctor in a while?, why didn't I have the anti - D injection and so on. Anyhow they hooked me up to the monitor, I was having contractions, thankfully the bleeding had stopped, but it looked like baby could be born anytime, so they gave a dose of steroids, and I had another dose the same time the next day. I was in hospital for 2 nights, and then was able to go home. Lots of doctors appointments and tests for the next week.

Well little did anyone know that I would have a reaction to those steroid injections. My reactions pretty much stopped my pancreas from working. My blood sugars went through the roof, no matter what I eat. SO I found myself on insulin within a few days. Then at my next check up to 34 weeks my babies heart rate would not come down, it was staying high, showing that baby was stressed. So I wouldn't be leaving the hospital that day. As it turned out they check my bloods and my body was in high ketosis, and we were very close to lossing him. That probably was one of the worst nights during my pregnancy. That night they keep me in Labour and Delivery incase they had to rush me off to deliver him. Once they took me upstairs to labour and delivery they hooked me up to the fetal monitor, put in a drip of glucose, and finger pricked me every hour for 24 hours, and injected me with insulin every 4 hours. I had so many needles that night. It really was like torture. Every time I would fall asleep I would be woken about ten minutes later to be given another needle. Then it would take me a while to get back off to sleep, only to have it happen again. Thankfully they were able to get everything under control, and about week later I was able to go home. I then had weekly checks of my blood sugar and babies heart rate. At 35 weeks the doctors order a ultra sound scan to check for size and fluid. During the scan they estimated that baby was around 9lb with 5 weeks left to go. Another big bub. After the scan the technician said, just wait while I check if they want to send you home or check you first. A few minutes later she came back and said yes they would like to check you me first. So off I went back to labour and delivery. Well when I got there the doctor explained to me that on the ultra sound it looked like the baby had fluid under his skin, which could mean so many things, from an infection, to water on the brain. He then went on to say that they couldn't be 100% sure with that scanning equipment and they wouldn't be able to get me into better scanning equipment until monday (it was thursday) and they thought that if it was what fluid under the skin, that my baby wouldn't last the weekend... So the best bet was to deliver him tomorrow. Wow that was a lot to take in on my own.

I can't say how thankful I was to have supportive friends, and a church family. I wasn't allowed to go home. So a lovely couple from our church came and drove my van home. Other friends helped Ben with a meal. The next morning they weren't sure when I would be taken for my c-section so were not able to give me a time for Ben. Mean while Ben was at home trying to organise someone to come and look after the children and drive him in to hospital so that he could be there for birth. Again very thankful to friends that came and looked after the children, and one friend that took some the homeschool event for that day, and brought Ben in. In the end Ben arrived 10 minutes before they came to take me for the op. I was so glad he made it in time. It was made so much easier to go through having him there.

At 10.49 Xavier Gabriel was born 5 weeks early weighting 9lbs 2 oz. So at 5 weeks early he was still bigger than that average new born. He was born with a infection in his blood and holes in his lungs. I was able to see him for a few minutes before they rushed him off to have cpap machine on and iv's put in.

Next came the whirl wind of emotions.

I felt extreme disappointed. People would say things like congratulations on having him, or you did well and I would almost burst into tears, because "I didn't have him. He was cut out of me", " and I didn't do well" I knew full well that I hadn't respected his or my body enough during and before the pregnancy. I didn't do everything with in my power to grow a healthy bub and be a healthy mum. Yes I did things towards the end of the pregnancy to look after myself, but by that time it was not enough and too late. I was reminded of this fact every time I went to see my baby in NICU department. Seeing him with breathing equipment, not being able to hold him. All I could really do for him was hold his hand, sit next to him and express milk.


Over the next 5 days, I was slowly healing, and at day 5 the hospital discharged me as a patient, however I was still able to keep my bed, and stay in the hospital with him. Which was both a blessing and an emotional ride at the same time. I was no longer a patient, so I didn't really belong at the hospital, but at the same time, my baby was a patient so I didn't really belong at home without him, either. I wasn't really concerned about my children at home, because Ben is an awesome father, and I knew they would be well cared for, and we had a team of friends that dropped around meals, did some washing, baby sat so Ben could come and visit me, or pay the bills.

I guess I'm also thankful for what the Lord has put in me as well. While I was having these strong feelings of guilt, I also knew that spending a lot of time crying over it wasn't going to make anything better, wasn't going to change anything, wasn't helping my little man, who was fighting for survival. So I stucked it up and got on with the job of advocating, and caring for him the best I could, in any way that I could. What was happening to him was not nice, and I wasn't going to let him go through any of it alone.

One of things that I had to keep advocating for him on was his size. He was a prem baby in a big babies body. So the nurses and medical staff even friends and family that visited had to be reminded that he is prem. The things that normal full term babies can do, he can't because is isn't ment to doing them yet. Also because of his size putting in iv's that he needed were actually harder. His chubbiness stopped them from being able to see or feel the veins, so they often had to be put them in blind. I remember one doctor having a least 7 goes before finally giving up and asking someone else to have a go. One doctor had to make a small cut in is arm to get at the vein, all without pain relief, because at that stage they couldn't give him anything else. Thankfully I had my wits about me, and was covering his dummy in breast milk, and giving it him over and over, which helped keep him calm.

At a two weeks old Xavier was able to come off the Cpap machine and on to oxygen. He seemed to be doing so well. The hospital then had an emergency deliver of very prem. twins, so Xavier had to move out of his Intensive care bed and moved to another room, to accomodate them. He was in the new room for two days, when on the second day he developed pneumonia, and the test results came back from is blood infection. The bacteria causing the infection were resistant to most common antibiotics, which is what they were using for him. So he had to moved back to intensive care, and put on higher strength antibiotics, with his oxygen turned back up. The life of having a prem. Involves many times when you think you are making progress and then all of a sudden it is turned around, and things are not looking so good. Knowing this information would worry a lot of people. Ben and I keep it mostly between ourselves and those that were praying for us and Xavier.

Going through this was a very isolating experience. I didn't have access to a computer or any of the social networking that I had at home. I only had my mobile that I never had it on when I was with Xavier, and didn't really have the money to call anyone any how. The nurses were mostly very nice, and understanding, but of course you had the occasional one the would be a bit ruff and so on. However mostly I found that very lovely ladies that were there to help and support as much as they could.

Feeding was our next issue. It was very difficult to breastfeed Xavier with all his gear on, so we never had our first breastfeed experience until he was 4 weeks old. It really was hopeless trying while he had his breathing equipment on. So he was finally well enough to come off that at 4 and bit weeks. He finished his antibiotics shortly after that, and the next goal was to get him feeding. I was really thankful that it only took a week to get his trying at every second feed. Every feed was too much. Then finally our senior doctor said, with help of the lactation consultant to just let him go for 24 hours demand feeding. Oh I was so excited, the chance to finally having a some what normal relationship with my son. Over the next few days his weight dropped, and every time I saw his weight had dropped my heart sank. However on say 3 of demand feeding he stopped dropping, he hadn't gained but he hadn't dropped. At that point the doctor decided to let us go home, with the proviso that I would bring him back for another weight check after the week end. I was over the moon. I was so excited, I arranged for a friend to come and take us home, and I didn't call Ben. I though I would surprise him. So we did. We drove home and knocked on the door, the whole family was delighted to see us. The children couldn't believe their eyes. Isaac wouldn't stop hugging and kissing me. It was so sweet. During the 6 weeks I was away I was only able to see all my children together twice, and some of them a few more times, when Ben came in for his weekly visit.


Now a 14 months on, I have a gorgeous little boy, who will be walking soon, that I cherish very much. But also a determination to take control of my health, and change the health of my family for the future. I think this pregnancy and birth experience was one of the many reasons that help me make the leap into starting our GAPS journey.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Husbands Guest Blog 7 Starting again.

For those that really enjoy my occasional contribution to this blog, I am very sorry to have taken so long to contribute again. I have not done so because I was pretty sure I didn't have anything to say. Now I do.

About 4 days ago now, we decided to do the intro to GAPS again. There were a number of reasons for this, but one of which is that I had put myself on a 30 day detoxification plan. (I had a herbal chelating supplement which is called humet-r I think), and my pain level at night was considerable. So we are started again. The interesting thing about starting again is that I noticed my sugar cravings had not been killed off. Since on full gaps we are allowed honey and berries as a natural sweetener, I found myself thinking "If this is going to be miserable again I'm drinking my tea WITH TWO TEASPOONS of honey in it, and eating a WHOLE ROW OF BUTTER FUDGE DAMMIT!" This type of attitude made me think I hadn't quite gotten over the hump of the sugar addiction.

The last three days have been unpleasant. I have had a headache for the majority of those three days, but I have learned to welcome it to a degree, because when I have a "foggy" headache, it is usually clearing my mind up some more. and today I felt a bit better than the last three days. I am looking forward to more healing and I believe I will see results by the end of the week.

I am a shy person sometimes, but my illness made it even harder to talk to people. People would speak to me, and I would struggle, because my head was all foggy, to understand them. Today I can honestly say that my understanding has changed in leaps and bounds. It is a gruelling, sometimes rewardless journey, but if you continue to see progress as I have, it heartens you to keep on going. For men who have severe issues that need to do the GAPS diet, can I suggest again that you go for it, especially if you have a supportive wife or partner, and consider the benefits-

your rashes (if you have them) will subside
if you have to use your brain at work, you will think much clearer.
if you think much clearer, maybe you'll work harder, or earn more money
physically, you will be able to do things you didn't have the energy to do before. In the garden, at work, (maybe even in the bedroom!?)
and this I think is key- when you are being healed through the GAPS journey, you have much more of a peace- Patience is developed because your body doesn't automatically react with irritation to food.
and last but not least, finally you can have the type of life that you want, all you need is the courage to go and grab it.

So grab life. Whatever sugars and starches you miss out on temporarily is worth it in the long run. There is always so much more to gain than there is to lose.

Blessings,
Ben.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

My meal plan for week 1 GAPS Intro

My meal plan for week 1 of intro. I plan to do stage 1 for one week, then next week we will do stage 2. Ben and I have both agreed to leave Dairy out for at least the first week.

Ok, so what is allowed on stage one
* Meat stock
* Fish stock
* Organ meat - liver should be included at least once a week.
* Well boiled veggies, onions, garlic, carrots, broccoli, leeks, cauliflower, courgettes, zucchini, squash, pumpkin, Asparagus, beetroot, Eggplant, Kale, Spinach, Tomatoes,
* Boiled meats
* Mineral Salt and Pepper
* sauerkraut juice
* Ginger root - for fresh herbal tea
* Honey - Raw, only a small amount in herbal tea.
* Lemon - only a small piece in warm water as morning drink
* Apple Cider Vinegar for bone broth, and in the morning glass of water to aid in digestion.
* homemade Ghee
* Homemade Yoghurt - if tolerated


So here is our meal plan for the week. I have found that my family loves breakfast meat balls, and having soup for our lunch meal works best for us. All mornings will start with room temp mineral water, with ACV or lemon juice. I will also add some kraut juice to each meal.

Monday
Breakfast: Meat Balls with veggie and onion gravy
Lunch: Pumpkin Soup
Dinner: Poached Fish with boiled veggies, and fish gravy

Tuesday
Breakfast: Meat Balls with veggie and onion gravy
Lunch: Pumpkin Soup
Dinner: Slow cooked Lamb chops with boiled veggies and Lamb Gravy

Wednesday
Breakfast: Meat Balls with veggie and Onion gravy
Lunch: Leek soup
Dinner: Beef casserole, thickened with cauliflower.

Thurday
Breakfast : Meat Balls with veggie and Onion gravy
Lunch: Leek Soup
Dinner: Slow cooked chicken, with boiled veggies, and chicken gravy

Friday
Breakfast: Meat Balls with Veggie and Onion Gravy.
Lunch: Chicken soup
Dinner: Slow cooked pork roast, with boiled veggies and gravy.

Saturday
Breakfast: Meat Balls with Veggie and Onion Gravy.
Lunch: Chicken soup
Dinner: Lamb casserole

Sunday
Breakfast: Meat Balls with Veggie and Onion Gravy
Lunch: Pumpkin soup
Dinner: Slow Roasted lamb with boiled veggies and Onion Gravy.


Now you may have noticed that we are having meat balls every morning. My children love them, so I have no arguments getting the children to eat them, they normally ask for more- so if you have something like that, simple to make, no fighting, then use it! Ok so how do I make them. Well for us we need 1 kg of mince- I have used all types of mince and they all work well, or favourite is a mix of beef and pork, however I don't have any pork at the moment so beef will be it. I 1/2 fill an electric frying pan with bone or meat broth. Then I roughly chop 2 onions, 4 garlic cloves, 4 carrots and put them in the pan with the broth. I then mix the mince with pepper, salt, and herbs when they are allowed, mixing them very well, and forming palm size patties with the mince and putting on top of the veggies into the broth. Boil the whole lot until the patties are cooked through, turning once, and the veggies are soft. Remove the Patties, then with slotted spoon, scoop out all the veggies, and put into a tall jug or jar, and blend with a stick blender to make gravy.

You can use whatever Gaps veggies you have to make this gravy. You can also make your patties in any shape you want, small balls, sausage shape, heart shape for fun. :0)

You may also have noticed that I have used the same soup for two days each time. This is a time saver. As a gaps cook I already have heaps of things to do in the kitchen so saving myself some time is a bonus, so I make enough for two days. Also, since I have soup in the middle of the day and my children don't always eat much soup, so if I put it in the middle of the day and they have a big breakfast, it's not too long before dinner if they choose to miss out.

And yes I use my slow cooker a lot. When you have to boil all the meat and veggies you eat, use the tools you have on hand.

If you have any questions or want to know about any of the meals please let me know, I would be happy to help.

Thanks,
Christina









Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Shopping List for Week 1 and 2 Intro

So you may have read that we are going to redo intro, Starting Monday. So to prepare for that I'm writing my shopping list, which may help you when you consider doing it. So here goes. Please remember was are a family of two adults and 6 children - 8 years and younger.

Meat
10kgs of Mince - For breakfast balls.
half a side of Lamb. - out of the red meats this is our families favourite.
4 free range chickens
$160

about $10's worth of meat and marrow bones.

Veggies
5kgs of Carrots - $5.00
14 Zucchinis - one for each day of the fortnight
14 heads of Broccoli - one for each day of the fortnight
20 tomatoes - 10 for fermented salsa, and 10 for fermented tomatoes sauce.
6 butternut pumkins - out of all the soups you can have, my family like pumpkin and chicken.
10 kgs of onions - onions are a staple.
5 clovers of garlic
4 packets of mushrooms, a variety or kinds.
a bunch of celery
7 heads of cauliflower
2 Swedes/turnips
2 bunches of Asparagus - for fermenting
4 leeks - for leek a beef and leek soup

Dairy
20 litres of Raw milk - $ 10
3 kgs of butter.

5 dozen eggs. - some of which will be from our own chickens.
Probably about 8 kgs of apples - for my children and in case of needing a boost.

So this is our working list and will be adding to it over the next couple of days. :0)

Blessings Christina

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Redoing Intro

SO here is an update on where we are health wise at the moment. So far on GAPS we have seen a lot of improvements in our health. Ben still has stomach pain, and finding it hard to sleep at times, but his energy has increased to the point that even if he doesn't sleep well at night, be rarely needs a day sleep to make up for it. His brain fog is much clearer, and I have noticed a marked difference in his ability to remember and think well. He has also lost 19kgs. I have lost 18kgs, improved eye sight, clearer thinking, less headaches, more energy, and I'm sure much much more that aren't at the front of my mind at the moment.

So now for many reason we have decided that we will do Intro again. One reason is we have been a little slack on having fermented foods, particularly veggies. Having enough broth, there are been a times when we forget to have broth, and really want to get on top of that. While Ben has had lots of improvements we want to try and get on top of the pain, so would like more healing. I also haven't had a working blood sugar machine for while, and I really want to test and know what my body is doing in that regard. We have introduced juicing everyday, and I would like to see what effect that is having on my blood sugar. As that is one the main reason that I am doing this diet, to heal and prevent diabetes, and gestational diabetes in pregnancy. So for those reason and a few more we are planning to start again.

I would like to say that you can get healing on full gaps however the healing is slower and we would both like to see more results quicker. Particularly me as I would like as much healing if not full healing before we get pregnant again. Which could be any time.

Our start date for a second round of intro is the 20th of August. So anyone interested in starting with us?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Raspberry Cashew, Raw Butter Fudge.


As a treat for my family this week I made this delightful fudge, that is not only tasty but delicious, and a great way to get butter into your family. Yes I said get some butter into your family. Butter is full of vitamins and minerals that are great for our body's, nourishing and helping them to repair and grow.




Recipe
500grams of the best butter you can get. I choice some cultured Danish butter.
1 cup of Cashew butter, or some other nut butter. I made mine at home in the food processor.
1 1/2 cups of local Raw honey
1 tsp of mineral salt.
1 vanilla bean, the inside scrappings.
2 cups of fresh or frozen Raspberries.

Mix all together well. Pour out into a lined slice tray,Sprinkle flaked coconut and put into the freezer. Slice into squares with hard enough, and enjoy. Keep stored in the freezer until your ready to eat.

Hope you enjoy these as much as we have. :0)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Peanut Butter Banana Waffles - GAPS legal

Hi all, I have been on the look out for a waffle maker for a little while now. Today I was walking past chickenfeed, a discount shop we have here, and they had one for sale, so Yay! I now have a waffle maker! So what better way to start my waffle making journey than to make up a recipe for some grain free, peanut butter ones. So here is the recipe so that you can join me on this waffling journey!


Recipe
500 grams of peanuts, turned into peanut butter.
(I just whiz them in the thermomix, you could use a processor or buy good peanut butter)
4 Bananas
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp of bi carb.
6 eggs
1 TB vanilla essences
1/4 - 1/2 cup of honey (depending on the sweetness you want and what your going to top it with).

Blend all together, and pour 1/3 cup of batter for each waffle, and cook for around 3 mins.
Top and enjoy. These waffles can also be used to make sandwiches, or anything else you could imagine.

Don't forget to post a comment and share your ideas.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Isaac's Birth Story.




While living in Qld we found out that we were expecting our fifth child. We were thrilled! However since our great news wouldn't be great news for everyone we were very selective of who we told about it. We were also unsure at that time if we were going to continue living in Qld, or what we were going to do. Ben was very unhappy in his job, and it was really wearing on him. Prior to working at the College were he was working a disciplinary officer, he was working as chaplain, where he took a real interest in students and was there as a support person. However in this new role he was only there to punish them for wrong behaviour, but when he would listen to the students the question wasn't "why did you do that", but "no wonder you did that, and why didn't you do more?" SO for him, not being able to help these students was really difficult. We also didn't really want to tell too many people about our exciting news until we knew what we were going to do, stay or go. As the pregnancy progressed, I felt the normal- for-me all day sickness. At 4 months pregnant we made the decision that we would move back to Tassie.

However we didn't just want to move back and fall straight in to ordinary life, we wanted a bit of an adventure. We had both lived in Tasmania for 20 odd years, but had never really explored much of it. So we thought "why don't we spend some time doing that?" So at 5 1/2 months pregnant we brought a trailer, packed up our life in QLD, brought a tent and moved back to Tasmania. We were able to leave some of our things with Ben's family while we tented around the state. The big plan was to see as much of it as we could and wanted to. Thw realities of money limitations, and growing belly and the weather meant the journey was not as easy as we thought it would be. So while we had some great adventures and took our children places that they haven't been to before, we didn't go to as many places as we though we would. However it gave us some great stories, and great insight if we ever plan to do anything like that again, which I'm sure we will. Maybe just for the summer holidays.

So during that time the pregnancy progressed as pregnancies do, I got bigger and slower which made putting a tent up and down more tiring. So we decided to settle back in Launceston. The mission to find a house was on! While waiting for a house we put our tent up in a nearby caravan park were we lived for about three weeks. At 34 weeks pregnant we finally found a house to move into, and we were donated some furniture. At this time we decided that we really needed to tell our families that we were expecting number 5, or baby would tell them with his arival. ;0)

We also had some friends that were moving from NZ two weeks later and needed a place to stay while they go settled and found a house, so we offered our house. The last 4 weeks of the pregnancy went by in a full house and I got slower and slower, and bigger and bigger. I had been testing my blood sugar off and on, and I knew that I had gestational diabetes. I mentioned to my husband several times that I was having a elephant, this was the first pregancy that I really looked pregnant. At 36weeks I had my first real antenatal visit at the LGH, they ordered a scan to check on baby, and booked me in for my birth. I had my scan that 39 weeks where baby was thought to be around 8lbs, so were happy for the pregnancy to continue naturally. At 40 weeks the doctor decided to preform a sweep of the cervix to try and get things going. Which at the time I was really happy with, because of the way baby was sitting and pressing on my stomach and my poor gag reflex that I have during pregnancy; I was often vomiting. One evening I even started vomiting in my sleep and woke to almost breathing it in. I had to throw myself out of the bed and on to the floor, on my hands and knees to avoid it. So felling tired, very sore, vomiting lots, and generally over it I was more than happy for the end to be near.

Well the sweep worked! That night I had very light contractions ten minutes a part, so continued doing what needed to be done, dinner and getting children ready for bed and so on. After they were in bed I rested on the floor watching tv. Once I was lying down they stopped and didn't start again. So I end up going off to bed, and had a pretty good sleep until about 5.30 the next morning when I awoke with contractions. I knew this was it. We woke the our house guests to drove us into the hospital.

Once in the hospital the labour progress pretty quickly. I was put on the bed and had a monitor attached to check the contractions and the baby. Within 40 mins I had a pushing sensation so I went with it. At this point my waters hadn't broken and the midwife decided to check me, well she wasn't really prepared for what happened next, thankfully for her she managed to get her apron and glasses on before my waters burst all over her. After that the push sensation eased off a bit.

The pain of the contractions eased also, and I continued labouring for a while. Then soon after the pushing sensation came again and started pushing, I pushed and pushed, and brought his head down the birth canal, but then my contractions stopped, and the birthing team were yelling at me to keep pushing but there was nothing to push with, I just wanted to move into a different position, but I couldn't communicate with them very well, and they just kept telling me to "push". After this, one of the midwives pushed the emergency button, and within seconds the room was full of nurses. They layed my bed down pulled my legs in the air,(the McRoberts Maneuver) and one midwife pushed her hand inside while another pulled on the babies head, to get his shoulder unstuck. Once the shoulder was unstuck from my pelvis Isaac was born in seconds.

I remember the moment he came out, I had my eyes closed and they took him away to check him out, one of the midwives said "WOW that is a big baby". I remember thinking they said that will my 8lb babies, he can't be that big. However once the doctor had finished checking him over she then explained to me that Isaac had shoulder dystosia and had no movement in his right arm and we wouldn't know if he will ever get it back. After that they passed him to me and my husband, and we actually saw how big he was. 12pounds 2 oz. 5.4Kgs!. Yes he was a big boy!. He was so fat his face was squashed and looked like the sumo, and he did look asian. Ben even turned to me and asked, are you sure his mine? Half joking I'm sure.

Over the next week Isaac was in the NICU were I learnt to care for him, feeding him one side normal and the other side football style, because he didn't like any pressure on his arm, doing his phsyio, and helping manage his pain from the shoulder. He couldn't be dressed in his clothes properly because putting his arm through the cloths caused unneccessary pain, so didn't bother. I think he also got used to me holding him and would get upset if anyone else did. Which was a little sad for Ben and friends but his pain levels were the most important thing.

Thankfully after 16 weeks he began getting sensation and movement back in his arm, and by 4-5 months you wouldn't have guessed that he had suffered from a birth injury.

All things being said and done; even with the intervention, Isaac was my easiest birth, being born at 7am in the morning, 1 1/2 hours after being woken by contractions. 1 hour after arriving at the hospital. He is now three years old and a very robust, loving, strong little boy. :0)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

100 days on GAPS - Banana, Date and Almond cake.


What better way to celebrate our first 100 days on GAPS than with a Cake like this!

Today our internet access was out and I wanted to make the family a treat. I was planning on make banana bread that we have made a few times, but I never wrote the recipe down,I just always looked it up. So today I though well I'll make my own up. So here is my version, and oh it is so tasty! I would have this cake over any non gaps treat on the market.

Recipe
2 cups of Almond flour/ meal.
5 eggs
1 tsp of Vanilla Essence
1 tsp Bi carbs soda.
4 ripe bananas
1/2 cup dates
1/2 cup of Honey.

Put it all in a food processor, whiz it together. Pour into a greased tin. Bake in the oven for 1 hour on 160oC.

Decorate with homemade sour cream and mixed berries.

ENJOY!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Day 89 - Update.

Day 89, I'm so excited to be able to say that. SO close to three months. When we first started this journey we just took the leap and didn't know when we would land or finish the race. Well we haven't finished the race yet and we are still a long way off, but I feel so confident now that we actually can. I didn't think we could when we first started. I thought we would give it a good shot, but I wasn't really very confident that we wouldn't cheat or fail along the way. But I can honestly say that we haven't.

We have both had many good results, we still have a lot to come, but I'm feel confident that they will. Something that I haven't mentioned yet is that my eyes are so much better. Over the last few months before starting the diet I would get headaches a fair bit, and would need to wear my glasses to help see and relieve the pain. Over the last few months I have not needed them at all. Head aches are much rarer, and my eye sights has been good!

We are starting to fall into routine with our cooking. I'm aim to do the bulk of my cooking and making on Saturdays. Making 4 Litres of Yoghurt, cook beans and freezing them, make sour cream, Kefir cheese, and some special treats for the week. I currently have bone broth continually going in the slow cooker, my latest batch is chicken and pork mixed together, I like how the the flavours keep getting better and better.

I'm also very confident that after finishing this diet I won't go back to cooking with sugar. I think I would just rather leave it out. In saying that I will probably relax for social occasions like shared lunches, but I'm finding life very satisfying with out it. I'm enjoying the experimentation that I'm doing more and more of at the moment. Because you have less ingredients at your disposal, you find interesting things to do with them, and I love creating "Treats" like cheesecake with healthy ingredients so I know when I'm serving them that they are all of good stuff. I am also really enjoying trying to serve up food that looks gourmet, even though the ingredients are simple, making food look tasty makes all the difference about how you feeling. I don't feel deprived at all when I look at my plate of vibrant salad with a tasty dressing, and nicely placed meats with a delish bone broth and red wine sauce. Will have to take a pic of that one soon and share a recipe. :0)


I'm soon going to do a blog of the supplements that we take to help with this journey, as well as one on the kitchen tools that I use all the time. So keep an eye out for those two blog posts soon to come your way. Also don't forget if there is something that you would like us to write on, drop us a comment and we will endeavour to write on it. Bye for now Christina

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Husband's G. Blog 6# Being amazed at what we CAN eat!

Life on GAPS has its ups and downs. Some days you feel really happy and have self control, and other days you feel like you could eat the plastic wrappers if you thought they contained chocolate! but something hit me yesterday, that we have lost the joy of the simple things we can eat. I walked into my local takeaway / general store yesterday and I was looking at all of the things they sell. Maybe about 10% at the very most are things I am able to eat. The other 90% are processed, highly sweetened, MSG laden, chemical laden things which are often quite hazardous to your health, so it got me thinking:
Where has our joy gone for things that we CAN eat?
Why aren't we amazed at the simple things anymore?

The first and most obvious reason is that familiarity breeds boredom. When was the last time you or your children got excited about eating a carrot? At best you can't remember, at worst you never got excited about them!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bhq_NL6jL0
and
http://www.babycarrots.com/
check these guys out. They might be an exception.

Yet the food around us, or better still, food that we dig up from our garden is extraordinary in so many ways. When I was pondering this, it made me think about Tomatoes of all things. Firstly, as a gardener, I found tomatoes to be ridiculously easy to grow. apart from remembering to water them and staking them up, they grow very easily, even in poor soil. Other benefits of tomatoes are that:
*they are high in calcium
* They are high in potassium
* They are high in phosphorous.
* They are rich in beta carotene, which is great for the eyes.
* They are high in vitamin C
* Tomatoes are rich in several phytochemicals believed to have anticancer properties. More specifically, a diet rich in tomatoes can prevent the growth of prostate, cervical, breast and lung cancers.
* Lycopene, which is quite prevalent in tomatoes,inhibits heart disease.
* Tomatoes are a natural sunsceeen - Foods rich in cooked tomatoes may boost your body's ability to ward off skin damage from the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays
* Cooked tomatoes can stave off the effects of aging.
* Tomatoes are versatile. Have them in salsa, soups, sauces, added to omelettes and scrambled eggs. Put them in salad and with other vegtables. They are beautiful with cheese too!

In ages gone by we didn't have such a wide variety of processed, MSG laden, salt enriched, chemical laced foods to choose from. My suggestion is that we regain the joy of eating simple foods, and rediscover the wonder of the humble. Doing this will create in us a desire for truly rich foods and turn the ordinary into extraordinary once more.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Husband's Guest blog 5- Ups and Downs

My dear wife has badgered me to write another post, and to be honest, I have no idea what to say. Twice she had suggested that I record my progress, and I actually realise now, sitting here writing this blog that that isn't something I have done yet. Facebook friends whom I have bored to tears with my constant status updates would know how my health is going, and no doubt they think things like "wow, you're health is getting better! Woohoo, that status update just rocked my world". I do believe however, that marking time is an important part of getting well. So let me start at the start.

When I started this diet I was 26 kilograms heavier than the upper limit for a male my age, I suffered from back pain often at night and I often suffered from headaches. I regularly had mouth ulcers, I had a constant band of pain in my stomach both day and night. I also had immunity problems. In the six to nine months before the GAPS diet there was seldom a week where I wasn't sniffling, had a cold or was just feeling tired and rundown. In addition to this, my head was in a bad space. Not only from being chronically tired, I seemed to have a brain fog, and a sensitivity in my ears. Often when someone would try and speak to me, or when someone was trying to teach me something new, I would struggle to understand. I was often in a daze, and I had to strain to understand difficult concepts. This lack of concentration also had a deadly edge. twice in recent history I was nearly run over by cars because of my head being in a fog-like condition. Some days the brain fog was so bad that I had a job to understand basic things and I would worry that I would not understand at all. Being tired all of the time means that it was difficult to not be grumpy, and grumpy I was!

This is a picture of me, during the weightiest times.


I always remember visits to the doctor for one thing or another as a child, and I was the sickly one in our family. I can't remember a time when there was nothing wrong with me. Only in the last 10 or 12 years has the problem been really bad. And we went to oh-so-many doctors about it too! One doctor, a flamboyant russian one said. "You're constipated... you need more fibre in your diet- you eat this bran for breakfast! One week of this and you'll be shitting like a rocket!". I could see where he is coming from, but the bran didn't help. Another doctor we went to looked at my bloodshot eyes after I'd explained my situation and she said as if struck by some amazing revelation "I think you are depressed..." I felt like saying "OF COURSE I AM FLIPPING DEPRESSED! I CAN'T SLEEP BECAUSE OF MY ACHING STOMACH YOU SILLY WOMAN!" She was kind enough to go through a short mental illness test with me asking things like "if I felt sad often", and whether i'd been "seeing things that weren't there". I aced the test, but only because the voices in my head told me the answers! But in all seriousness, something inside me knew that this was another thing causing the problem. I do realise that a mental illness could actually cause other problems in the body, but I knew somehow that it was the other way around for me, and I had to get my stomach somehow straightened out. One doctor even sent me to an ultrasound to check if I had a hernia. Not only did I not have a hernia, but I also found out that I was just fat, and not pregnant at all.

In light of all of this, what has changed in 72 days?
Once I had lost ten kilograms, my back pain completely ceased. Also, instead of sniffling most weeks, I had my first cold last week. We got through the vast majority of autumn without a sniffle. I very rarely get headaches now (maybe one in 3-4 weeks), and if I do, it is usually just tired headaches to remind me to go to bed. My weight loss has slowed considerably, but I have lost 16 kilograms and feel better about my weight. I had an amazing breakthrough two days ago when my stomach felt about 60-70% less pain during the day. I think I may have been detoxing, because the pain level went back up during the night. My stomach pain hasn't stopped, but is generally 20-40% better than when I was eating rubbish often. I think I have had one mouth ulcer since the GAPS diet, and it seemed to go within a day, not a week as they usually did, but I think one of the biggest transformations has been in my energy levels. I would sleep during the day nearly every day before the GAPS diet. Now it is very rare that I do that. I find I can get through the day and tiredness only happens every now and then. The brain fog is almost completely cleared up. I don't find conversations nearly as difficult to follow now, and I don't get confused as easily. I am still grumpy, but I live on a more even emotional keel now. Things that were impossibly frustrating to deal with, especially with my children are now a lot simpler, since I am thinking straight. I never thought I would be speaking about health in a positive sense so now, I feel the need to encourage people that it works, and that especially men should do it, because there really is no greater gift than feeling well.

In saying that, I am not out of the woods yet. Yesterday we visited my mother in law and she cooked us a casserole, and she told me "You can take the casserole in the container home, or you could put it in a plastic bag..." (of course meaning that I should put the container in the bag). I proceeded to scoop the contents of the casserole into the plastic bag, obviously thinking it was 'a bit of a strange request, but Okay' No. I don't have autism... but sometimes I wonder.

Oh, well...I am getting better. slowly.
Anyway, blessings.
Ben.

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