Thursday, January 24, 2013

GAPS school lunches

Packing GAPS lunches aren't the easiest, especially making sure it gets eaten. I planned the intro diet to start during break to get through the first detoxing and to have more food options. Here are a few tips on how to get the most out of packed lunch.

1. Talk to the school about incentives.
It's very important to let your child's school know that they are on a specific diet. No candy or sugar treats. I asked the lunch crew to offer tokens for my son if he shows them an empty container.
It's not too much effort for the school if by putting the responsibility on the child to check in.
2. If you can visit durning lunch time. I plan on twice a week on days I send soup. Soup is the hardest for my son to eat.
3. Snacks at school need to be GAPS. I send ground beef, soft vegetables, and later when he is ready, scrambled eggs.
4. Keep communication open with the teachers. When my son has a poor day I get an email about his behavior. This has been important to see how new foods affect him at school. I recently introduced eggs for breakfast. Later that day the teacher emailed me to let me know. I would not have known that eggs should be held off for a week longer with our the detail from the teacher.
5.  Snacks like beef jerky or nuts are great for afternoon on the bus.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

His and Her book signs

Here is a craft I did several months ago and finally getting to posting.  I love books and love using for crafts!

For the wedding I made some His and Her signs.  I chose some white books from the Dollar store and made each sign from my Silhouette. 


Broth is an important part of the GAPS diet and easy to make. Even if its only used for soup base, for making rice or occasional drink, it is a great source for fats and minerals any family needs.

Being on the Gut and Psychology syndrome diet (GAPS) we use a lot of vegetables. During the first few weeks of the diet only the top parts of cauliflower and broccoli can be used. That leaves for a lot of wasted parts we usually eat.

One great way to reuse all those vegetable parts, ends, and peels, that are usually thrown out; save them in the freezer until there are enough to make vegetable broth. They also can be thrown in to bone and meat broths for extra flavor.

Every morning I start a pot of broth.  I pack it full of vegetables and a few pieces of meat.  Dark meats make the best broths with the most flavor.  I pull out the meat and vegetables for breakfast and snacks as the broth continues to simmer for 4-6 hours.  It also makes it easier to serve broth through out the day if it is warm on the stove. 

With using scrape parts and even the bones from meats the family has eaten off of, the broth simmers through out the day and I serve the broth from the pot.  I strain and reuse the stock parts for a second batch of broth.  In some cases I can make 3 or 4 batches with the same bones and vegetables. 

Using what you have to make broth can start saving quite a bit of money. 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Day 4 Detoxing

 GAPS intro diet is designed to give a gentle detox of the body.  There are so many things we introduce to our system that overloads our organs.  Detoxing is also killing bad bacteria and yeast in the gut and through out the body. 

Here are some resources for the Intro Diet

However, when detoxing a Healing crisis can occur and last night it did.  

My 6 year old has been doing great.  He loves eating the food with minor complaints.  Usually I offer a game or activity after he drinks the broth or eats the soup and that works well to motivate him.  He had a  reaction  around 7pm with leg cramps.  He has had severe leg cramps at night since he was one.  The doctor said they were just "Growing pains" but they miraculously went away shortly after we started on GAPS last March.  Last night they came back at the worst he has ever had.  On top of that he also got very itchy all over his body.  Fortunately, I was able to treat him with essential oils and detox baths that helped reduce the reaction and pain.  

Reactions happen for several reasons.  It may be a new food was introduced that they are not  ready for or detoxing is going too fast. I was a little surprised,  I have not added in other detoxing things like pro-biotics, fermented foods, or garlic.  

I did carefully look at our day of food to make sure nothing new was introduced today.  If I had given him garlic, pro-biotic, or fermented foods, I would have decreased them the next day and more slowly introduced themWhen ever introducing a new food like dairy or fresh foods, a sensitive test should be done.

Sensitively testing: 
Mash up food and place a small amount on the inside of the wrist.  Let it dry on the skin at night before bed.  Of the area is red or irritated in the morning, the person is not ready for this food yet.  Try testing again in a few days.  I also use this test on my youngestWhen he was just starting foods at 6 months, I used the test for all new foods added to his diet.  It is a great way to test for sensitivities for infants.

 Drawing out the toxins is important to feel better each day.  Once toxins are being released into the system reactions can occur like sleepiness, skin irritations, cramps, bloated, and even flu like symptom. Helping pull those toxins out of the body can reduce those symptoms and help your body work more efficiently.

Here are some things to do to lessen reactions to detoxing:

 Ginger tea with a little honey between meals.
  Ginger is a great way to help your body eliminate toxins from your body.  Ginger can also be added to bath water with salts or soda.  Ginger makes you sweat out the toxins.

Detox baths
Whether it is a foot soak or full bath, they should be done daily for the first week or so.  When ever my kids have mood swings, I sit them down and soak their feet.
Essential oils 
Essential oils are a great way to help treat pain, and illness with out introducing toxins in the body.   They can also aid in detoxing the body and helping the liver work more efficiently. 
 (More on Essential oils soon)
Baking soda Baths 
Baking soda is great for balancing the ph of the skin and helps to gently pull toxins from the body.  I also use it to wash my youngest boys hair and skin.  No soap is needed.  It also makes thier skin amazingly soft.  It can be purchases at Home improvment stores in very large bags for $7 or so.

Apple Cider Vinegar   
Add in 1/2 cup for a full bath, 1/4cup for foot soak.  Another form of detoxing.  Also relieves pain and aches of the muscles.

Epsom Salt
Epsom salt is good for muscle pain and absorbing magnesium.  It also pulls toxins from the body.

All three should be used in rotation.  Each have different detoxing benefits.  They can be combined.  

Magnetic Clay Baths
  You can find them here:
Clay is a great toxin puller and easy to use.  It is also a bit more detoxifying then the three above.  I use them weekly on my boys.  ( Clay baths on first use can loosen bowels and cause frequent bowel movements the day after.  They can be great for those that have a constipation reaction when on GAPS)


Day 2 & 3 Convenience

Starting the GAPS diet at stage 1 means a lot of kitchen time. It's best to not use the microwave as it damages the nutritional value of foods, pots and pans stack up quickly. The kitchen is a mess and our of clean dishes. Paper plates makes the first few weeks a huge time saver. I still hand wash the pots and pans right away but now I don't have the run the dishwasher 3 times a day.

Some other conveniences are having grass fed hamburgers frozen. They are easy to pull out for a quick snack or easy breakfast. Chicken parts preferably with skin and bones on and pre chopped vegetables.

I am not much of a breakfast person and don't want to make much in the morning so I try to keep it simple.

Today we started with putting broth in a skillet just enough to cover the bottom of the pan and placed the hamburger patties in. I added some chopped cauliflower on top and put the lid on. I additionally heated 2 cups of broth so everyone could have 1/2 cup each with their meal.
 I often will pull out a few peices of frozen chicken place it in a pot of water and make a quick pot of soup.  It is easy to reheat for snack and easy to throw in extra vegetables. 

A few tips:

*Make soup each morning.  It is an easy way to have the broth and the vegetables can be pulled out to eat easily.  That way my kids can decide on soup or just the meat and vegetables with broth on the side.
*Have frozen meats in small portions easy to grab.  One child might be hungry and no one else is.  I can grab one hamburger or chicken piece and heat with broth and chopped vegetables.
*Make broth from the bones.  After you either cook or boil the whole chicken, remove the meat and boil the bones.  This can be done 2 or 3 times.  Clean off the remaining soft meat parts for soups. 

*Pre chop vegatables for the day.  Having the vegetables ready to grab, it is much easier to throw in with water and meat or already made broth. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

30 days on GAPS intro Day 1

Start of the new year and after all the holiday treats, gatherings, and outings, is a great time to start over. GAPS diet is not new to my family, I started my kids last March on GAPS. The more I learn and experience I become more and more committed. My kids are well versed with what to eat and do fairly well with the food; where as, my husband and I not so much. Since we started this last year, we have learned how to treat ourselves out of sight of our kids. Now it's time the while family is on board.

As for my kids running through the stages again. We have all turned to the most convenient foods available on this diet. Yogurt, cheese, eggs, and fruit. I do my best to limit them but they are easy to grab while waiting for that fresh cooked meal. I see that my sons are still having reactions to dairy and sweets ( like fruit and honey). Fruit in the summer is all to available and yogurt is so easy to grab instead of heating up vegi's and meat on the stove.

 Generally we don't go off the diet much, although I have made some decisions on what I accept thy is outside the strict diet. But starting the intro diet is still hard to do.  Our family has been on full GAPS since school let out in June.  I wanted to make sure we could eat salads for the summer.

Over the next month I wanted to post on our experiences, choices we have made, and how to make it easier for your family.  Those who are considering GAPS, Paleo, Caveman, or Traditional, these tips can help save time and know that it can still heal your body even with some mistakes.

Our first day one the Diet:

Today I started with a turkey soup.  Simple and easy to make and lasted for snack and lunch.  Day 1 is very restricted to soup, broth, and about 5 vegetables. Since the holidays were so close, I saved the turkey bones and made 3 batches of broth from just the bones.

Simple turkey broth

After cutting away the meat put bones and drippings in a large stock pot or crock pot and cover with water.
Sea salt
Parsley and any other herbs desired
Bring to a boil and simmer for 4-6 hours.

Strain broth off into a container and start again with bones.  Save any meat and soft parts attached to bones, for soups.

Simple Turkey Soup

Turkey broth
turkey meat
Salt and pepper
half of leek chopped
bring to a boil and simmer 20 minutes

My daughter loves to season our soups, I keep several fresh and frozen herbs around.
I also like to pack the soup with meat and vegetables.  This way it is easy to pull them out for a snack or if the kids just won't eat soup, I can strain a cup of broth out of the soup and pull out the vegetables and meat they can still eat with it not being soup.  For the first week we will be eating soup for breakfast either separated or as soup.  I make sure to make enough for snack.

For the most of the 6 stages of the diet everything needs to be cooked with broth.  Having enough to use in soups and cook other things in is important to have stocked up.  By making a turkey plenty of broth and meat can be used to last a family for several days.   

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Mantel design

After Christmas came down the mantel was bare. All year I have had temporary designs and seasonal decor only because I did not know what to do. Now that I have had some time I put together a new mantel for the new year. ( of course it will change for the holidays but have a back design that stays ).

The clock was a great find, only $14 at Burlington coat factory.

I used spray starch to try to attach the fabric to the wall but to no avail. I did just leave it up with push pins instead ( I like the color and design, breaks up the plain walls).
I love old books, clocks, and owls. I got everything squeezed in for a cohesive design.