Wednesday, October 26, 2011

GAPS {Stage 2 Information} and When to Move On

Now, I don't claim to be very experienced at doing GAPS intro slowly or at doing it with trying to deal with difficult issues.  We did this intro diet to reset our guts, to help clear out bad stuff, and to try and heal some digestive and skin issues with our boys.  I also wanted to do this to help my body for any kids we may have in the future - to give them a better start with health.  Hubby has allergies and asthma, and I know my gut isn't where it should be after years of eating how the government said we 'should' and also eating junk food, tons of sugar, more sugar, and even more sugar.

So when I share my thoughts on moving on stages, it is mainly from what I have learned from reading other people's journeys and our easy experience.  Just keep that in mind.

Never in my life did I feel so excited about egg yolks as I did after a couple days on Stage 1!  We decided to move into Stage 2 pretty quickly.  We were all feeling pretty decent and felt like it was time to move on.  So we added 1 egg yolk in 1 bowl of soup.  Made me so happy :-).  You can read about our Stage 2 days here. 

Here are my 'cheat sheet' notes for Stage 2 that lived (still live actually) in my kitchen.

Stage 2 Introduction
  • Same as stage 1 but add: 
  • FCLO (the what and why) (this brand)
  • 1 raw egg yolk to soup per day, increase until 1 raw egg yolk in each bowl of soup
  • When the egg yolks are tolerated well, add soft boiled egg to soup (white cooked, yolk still runny)
  • Include as much animal fat as possible
  • Add stews/casseroles with fresh herbs
  • Probiotic food in every serving of food (sauerkraut or 24 hr yogurt)
  • Introduce Ghee, starting with 1 tsp a day and increasing
Read the GAPS Dr's guide to Stage 2 here (scroll down to stage 2)

With us, we added egg yolks in and within 3 days were putting an egg yolk in every bowl of soup we had.  I added herbs into soups on day 2 of Stage 2 (so only day 4 of the intro).  I never noticed any difficulty with herbs.  The diet says to only use fresh herbs, but I pretty much only buy parsley and cilantro fresh.  So I used my dried herbs...I figure they are boiled in soups, so they shouldn't be too bad, right?  I have heard of others doing this as well.  Some herbs make a big difference, especially cilantro!

Also, after a couple of days of egg yolks, I added in hard boiled eggs.  I never got around to trying soft boiled eggs (yolk runny).  I liked the idea but just never got around to it.

I will do another post soon with a few recipes for Stage 2 (casseroles and 'stews').  But really, it is fairly simple to move into this stage just by adding the above things and increasing the amounts.  Adding ghee is exciting, too, and is a way to get more fat into people and add a little new taste to soups.  This also provides to ability to mix some honey in with ghee for a 'snack' for energy and fat!

So how do you know when to move on? 
This is going to sound so annoying...if you like easy formulas for answers (I do!).
  1. Listen to your body and your instinct and...
  2. Pray! 
You will probably need to go through Intro more slowly if you are trying to heal severe digestive issues or food intolerance.  Read here from the GAPS Dr about the introduction diet and going through intro.

But really, I think the biggest key is seeking God for wisdom and peace about how to pace through this thing.  The only thing I have read (that I remember clearly) in the GAPS book about when NOT to move to a new stage is if you are having diarrhea.  You should wait till that clears to move on.

Here are some tidbits of thoughts and what I have heard from others about this process... 
  • Even if you only do each stage of introduction for a short time (even just 1 day), it WILL help heal you!  So truly you can move through intro pretty quickly (a week if you do 1 day per stage) if you aren't dealing with really huge issues.  And that is assuming everything that is introduced is tolerated well.  Remember that if you are dealing with severe digestive issues or food intolerance, it will take longer.  
  • You could just make a plan and go through it.  You could do 1 day on stage 1, 2 days on stage 2, 3 days on stage 3, and so on.  Sounds fun, huh?!  That is random, but my point is that you can move through it at a pace that is comfortable to you with whatever issues you are healing from and how it best works for your family!  You can ALWAYS go back and do intro again and at a slower pace.  You can always pause on a stage or go backwards a stage if you feel you went through it too fast.  Don't feel like you have to do it 'perfectly'.  There is no 'standard' way to do it!  Each person is different, and with this lifestyle and diet, you must figure out what works!  That sounds hard, and it can be.  But true healing takes work and time.  And it's worth it.  
  • Healing foods - broth, egg yolk, probiotic/fermented foods - can cause BIG reactions of die off!  This can seem like intolerance or that you 'weren't ready' for a new food.  That doesn't mean you are doing something wrong, moving forward too quickly, or should move back.  I have read over and over that sometimes you just have to push through those kinds of things.  HOWEVER, you also must be wise and back off on certain foods or the amounts of foods if reactions are something you or a child cannot handle.  Move slowly if needed! 
  • If your kids are refusing to eat or feeling awful because of die-off and not eating, it's okay to just move forward and methodically introduce things.  Again, you can always go backwards and re-do a stage!  I have read of people giving kids fresh juices or cooked apple to keep blood sugar up and slow the die-off process down.  At the same time, when problems like Candida overgrowth are determined, parents often have to fight through this and not give their child any fruit.  Again, seek God for wisdom and ask people for help and wisdom in a GAPS community
  • Read through Dr Natasha's FAQ's here!  There is a wealth of information here that could help you dramatically!
I am in no way an expert on this.  Please do your own research, seek help, read others' experiences that are dealing with the specific thing you are dealing with, and seek the Lord for wisdom.  But I wanted to share my thoughts, and I also want to encourage anyone that this is doable.  Even if you have no 'problems', going through something like this heals things you didn't even know you had wrong with you and just makes your gut and therefore immune system stronger.  It can also truly free you from food addictions (sugar, anyone?!).

I will share Stage 2 recipes next!

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