Tag Archives: Gaps Intro

A Bit of Randomness (Stomach Update + An Award!)

Thanks so much for everyone’s comments on my last WIAW: What You Need to Know About Your Produce. There was some great discussion and questions going on. Lots of learning all around!

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————

So today was supposed to be a good day (Thursday). Both of my classes were cancelled for tomorrow due to final exams next week, and I had the highly ambitious plan to pack up after my last class today and drive home for a three day weekend.

Then I had lunch.

Hold up. Let’s rewind a bit. So, I haven’t been doing a very good job of keeping you all updated with how GAPS is going for me and what the status is on my stomach healing protocol. The main reason is that not much has changed. I am still only eating meat and a very minimal selection of vegetables. Soup is still on the menu for every meal of the day.

wiaw-chicken-veggie-soup-edited

Like I said last time though, I am better. My stomach is not always as bloated as it once was.

But that is about as far as the results have gone.

The biggest problem is that I just can’t tolerate probiotics. Not the pill form nor the naturally occurring probiotics that you find in food like sauerkraut. For awhile I thought that I might be able to, but then when I kept on getting worse I had to cut them out again. Recently I’ve been taking small amounts of beet kvass along with ox bile for fat digestion because that’s not going so well either.

A lot of words and not much to report. In past posts though I’ve held back a little bit with what my symptoms are. The main reason is because I don’t want to complain. I still don’t want to complain and I’m trying to keep this post as sarcastic-free as possible. However, I did say awhile back that I was going to be more honest and right now with my stomach feeling terrible (from the aformentioned quote of “And then I ate lunch.”), I guess there isn’t any better time than now.

I don’t know a good way to go about this so I am just going to ramble on a bit more. Here it goes, my symptoms for the breakdown: bloating caused by anything from no identifiable causes to perhaps eating too many vegetables or “too large” of meals (think of a full soup bowl as “too large”… 🙁 ), stomach pain if my meals are “too large” or again from hidden causes, alternating extreme bowel issues (severe pain from either side of the spectrum that may last a few days on end and wake me up in the middle of the night), acid reflux/burning feeling, the feeling of a heavy stomach, nausea, trouble staying asleep occasionally, irregular periods now persisting for about 15 months (I think I’ve had maybe four since then with one induced by artificial hormones from an OBGYN…. never again!), brain fog and trouble concentrating (<< these have both decreased significantly though since eliminating my allergies), mood swings, stomach cramps….

I’m probably forgetting a few but these are the only ones that I can remember right now. On a good day I only experience a few of these things. However on an extremely bad day all of these symptoms may plague me.

That does not mean that I am giving up GAPS. I still believe that it is the only thing that is helping me right now stay away from everyday being an “extremely bad day.”

It was 15 months ago that all of my problems started. I’ve seen 2 GI doctors, an allergist, a pediatrician,  a chiropractor (my GAPS practitioner right now), a holistic nurse, and an OBGYN. I was prescribed multiple medicines by the first GI doctor, none of which worked. I had several blood tests run along with other common procedures like two ultrasounds and a colonoscopy/endoscopy (with mild gastritis diagnosis). I’ve taken dozens of supplements. I’ve eliminated about 90% of the food I used to eat including all of my allergens (wheat, rye, peanut, egg, dairy, tomato, celery).

I feel like I’ve done everything under the sun with still no answers. I feel like no one understands.

But that isn’t true, is it? There are many out there that have it worse off than me. They truly have no one around that understands or cares.

And that’s why I know that I’m not giving up. Not even close.

Actually, I have another possible test coming up soon and I’m going to schedule another GI appointment if nothing shows up with that.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

With that done I don’t really have anything left to say as far as my stomach goes. If you read through all of that above, I’m sorry because I think I failed at my attempt to not complain. I’m also sorry because more than once I probably provided you with too much information (And despite what some people may say, there is totally a thing such as TMI!).

I digress though, and not so subtly I will move onto another topic entirely.

Because that’s what I do. I randomize the heck out of my blog posts.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

I think the first half of my Friday post was a teensy bit depressing. Okay, maybe a lot. So to balance it all out, I’m going to share something super fun!

A survey! 

This actually came at the perfect time in my opinion because nothing can brighten a dreary day like a good old-fashioned survey. This survey comes from Holly at Eat Great Be Great who nominated me for the Liebster Award. I’ve already been nominated for this before; however, that’s not going to stop me from doing it again 😉 You can read more about the origins of this highly prestigious award on one of my previous posts.

In case you don’t click over though, these are the rules:

  1. Acknowledge the nominating blogger.
  2. Share 11 random facts about yourself.
  3. Answer 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
  4. List 11 bloggers who have less than 200 followers (as best as you can tell based on the info provided!). They should be bloggers that you believe deserve some recognition and a little blogging love!
  5. Post 11 questions for the bloggers that you nominated to answer.
  6. Let all of the bloggers know that they’ve been nominated.  You cannot nominate the blogger that nominated you.

#1 Completed above, but in case you haven’t already, go check out Holly’s blog! I dug around on her blog a bit today and discovered two awesome posts explaining the health benefits of avocado and ginger. Very informative.

#2 I would say that I shared way more than 11 random facts about me above so I will save myself from overstaying my welcome and just count those 🙂

#3- My favorite part- The Questions!

1. Are you a city girl or a country girl? I think I may have mentioned this on the blog before, but I am a total country girl. I live down a long gravel driveway surrounded by acres of cornfields, my backyard is comprised of a nice thick woods complete with creek, and in high school I was involved with FFA (Future Farmers of America). Also, my high school had drive your tractor to school day which is quite the sight to see and as a member of FFA we got to vote on the best ones!

liebster-country-girl

2. What’s your favorite movie? I really dislike this question as it is SO hard to pick a favorite. So instead I am going to just go with the last movie I watched- Olympus Has Fallen starring Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, and Morgan Freeman. Loved it!

liebster-olympus-has-fallen

3. What’s your favorite color? Pink.

liebster-pink

4. If you’re stranded on a desert island, what are your 3 MUST have items?

  • A flint striker to start a fire.
  • A knife to crack open all of those coconuts and dig into the gourmet fish that I would cook over the fire every night…
  • And a water filter. You may laugh, but try drinking sea water for days straight and see how you feel then!

liebster-island

5. What’s your favorite food? Heh. I feel like because I haven’t had real food in so long I can cheat on this and list a few things: peanut butter, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream (bet you didn’t see that one coming…), bananas, baked sweet potatoes, and shrimp.

liebster-ice-cream

(Source)

6. What’s your favorite destination vacation? Just in the United States I would love to go to California again. Globally though I think it would be so much fun to visit China- the fresh food, the culture, just everything about China fascinates me.

liebster-china

7. Do you have any siblings? Yes. A younger brother.

liebster-brother

8. Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla, especially if we are talking cake and ice cream.

liebster-vanilla

(Source)

9. Who is the most important person in your life? Of course I would say my parents and brother. But I would also have to include my best friend who I just got off the phone with. A nice long phone call is just what I needed.

liebster-phone

10. Are you a morning person or a night owl? Morning person as in a perfect world I would be able to go to sleep at 9:00 every night.

liebster-early

11. What’s your favorite day of the week and why? Fridays. There is just so much promise for the weekend. I was always one of those people who preferred the long car rides before and after vacations more than the vacation itself. Weird. I know.

liebster-friday

#4: 11 Blogs That I Love (Yes I have already tagged most of you. However, this doesn’t make me feel guilty in the slighetst because I think you totally deserved this award AGAIN)-

  1. Meghan @ Clean Eats Fast Feets
  2. Meghan @ After the Ivy League
  3. Caitlin @ Chasing Chels
  4. Jessie @ Jessie Bear What Will You Wear
  5. Sarah @ Picky Runner
  6. Alex @ The Run Within
  7. Hannah @ Clean Eating Veggie Girl
  8. Olivia @ Liv Lives Life
  9. Claire @ Flake and Cake
  10. Anna @ Anna the Apple
  11. Rebecca @ Half-Baked Bec
  12. Edited to add Taylor…How could I forget this awesome new blogger @ Moves and Movies?
  13. If I didn’t nominate you, please do this anyways because you all deserve it!

#5: Now my list of questions… Muahaha!

  1. What time zone do you live in? Eastern Standard Time.
  2. Who is your favorite superhero? Batman.
  3. Is is hot or cold where you live now? Getting warmer!
  4. What is your favorite kind of chip? Sour Cream and Onion or Sour Cream and Cheddar.
  5. If you could invent a new kind of jelly bean flavor, what would it be? Peanut butter and jelly.
  6. Do you prefer swimming in the ocean or swimming in lakes? Ocean!
  7. What book have you reread the most times? The last Harry Potter installation.
  8. What is your dream car? A VW Bug.
  9. If you were given 1 million dollars right now, what kind of business would you start? An allergy-free bakery.
  10. If you could have a miniature version of any animal for a pet, what would you pick? I would want a mini elephant!
  11. What is your least favorite color? Red.

——————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Comment on anything you like! Answer one of the multiple questions above, or share a little bit of randomness!

Peas Please! (WIAW)

You guys are fantastic, do you know that? There have been literally so many comments in the past few days that I just haven’t been able to answer them all! Plus, I have “life overload” right now. School work, internship applications, summer job applications (What?! There is still snow on the ground for crying out loud!), and lots of things to do when I’m home on the weekends…

Like going to basketball games. And working in the concession stand during varsity basketball games— Let me tell you: it’s crazy! My weekends also involve a lot of fun food stuff:

2013-02-12_15.43.08[1]

Look for a future post on this gluten-free bread sometime soon! My mom and dad cannot say enough good things about it, so I’ll just take their word that it’s amazing 🙂

This WIAW month however is not about bread. It’s about vegetables!

For starters, let’s talk about how amazing peas are.

wiaw-sweet-peas-close

Peas Please!

Just a few fun facts that I found interesting regarding these lovely green seeds (Source): 

  • Peas are relatively high in protein compared to other vegetables (5.4 grams per serving).
  • Two of the most popular types are sugar snap and snow peas.
  • Peas have been around for a very long time. The oldest was found in a cave in Burma dating back 9750 years.

Here are a few of the ways that I have been enjoying this awesome vegetable lately:

Shepherd’s Pie

wiaw-squash-shepherds-pie

Cooked Peas and Beef Pot Roast

2013-02-12_20.57.01[2]

Cauliflower “Rice” Risotto

wiaw-souper-weekend-risotto-chicken-peas

——————————————————————————————

I have been eating a lot of other vegetables as well, in the form of Chicken, Carrot and Yellow Squash Soup (with Coconut Oil)

2013-02-12_15.41.09[1]

2013-02-12_15.42.21[1]

And Spaghetti!

2013-02-11_18.07.20[1]

I can’t even remember the last time that I had spaghetti. It has probably been almost a year. With wheat allergies and grain sensitives, regular pasta is out. And with an allergy to tomatoes, traditional spaghetti sauce is also not an option. So, I had to get a little creative in the kitchen. It ended up turning out pretty tasty, despite the nontraditional colors!

Tomato and Grain-Free Spaghetti and Meat Sauce

Allergy-free, Tomato-Free, Grain/Gluten/Wheat-Free, Egg-Free, Milk-Free, Nut-Free, Low Carb, Paleo, GAPS Diet Friendly

1 serving

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups spaghetti squash (cooked using the oven method)
  • 1 cup grass-fed ground beef (cooked in beef broth)
  • 2 cups broth (I used beef broth)
  • 1 zucchini, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2-2/3 cup squash, raw or cooked (I used butternut squash, but any kind would work)
  • sea salt and other seasonings to taste (black pepper, Italian seasoning, garlic/onion powder, parsley, etc.)

Directions:

  1. Prepare the spaghetti squash and ground beef.
  2. In a medium-sized pan add the broth, zucchini and squash puree. Bring to a boil and cook about 10 minutes or until zucchini is tender (cook longer if the squash is raw as well).
  3. Drain the vegetables and place in a food processor. Blend until well combined and smooth. Mix in the ground beef.
  4. In a serving bowl measure out the cooked spaghetti squash, then top with the meat sauce. Season with sea salt and any other desired seasonings. Enjoy!

Note: After baking the spaghetti squash I like to cook a single serving in more broth to make it tender and more flavorful!

————————————————————————————–

So far this is as close as I have been able to come in replicating the taste of spaghetti and meat sauce with the restrictions that I have. I’ve heard that carrots can also be a great substitute for tomato in recipes, so I’ll have to try that out next.

I have to say though, that for those without food allergies, this probably seems like a pretty odd recipe. Some may even call it strange.

Yep, that’s right! This spaghetti recipe is going to join the ranks of others in Sprint 2 the Table’s Strange But Good recipe link-up this Friday!

Sprint 2 the Table

And now I must say farewell my blogging friends! I’m off to study some MIS vocabulary for an exam tomorrow. Wish me luck!

————————————————————————————–

Do you ever get a “life overload”?

Have you eaten any peas lately? What fact surprised you the most about them?

What is your favorite Strange But Good combo for the week?