Doctor’s Orders

I had an appointment with my doctor this week, just a checkup – no biggie. I told him how I have been so tired and how I’ve been gaining weight (18 pounds now. yikes.) He knows our whole background, including our stint on the GAPS/Paleo diet. Just two weeks ago, he recommended that Radio Dad go back to that style of eating. After hearing my symptoms, he told me the same thing. That’s right, my doctor told me that we need to eat Paleo! Can I get a prescription for that? Do you think my insurance will cover it? I’m totally kidding. ūüėČ

Have I mentioned how much I love our doctor?!

He also told me to supplement with B vitamins. According to him, everyone going gluten free should supplement with B, especially B-12. He may have told us that years back but I completely forgot. I’m going to research ways to get extra B through food, because food is generally the ideal way to get the nutrients you need. But in the meantime, I will probably add a B-complex supplement.

A doctor’s recommendation still doesn’t solve the problem of our food budget. We can’t go back to full Paleo for all 7 of us. Some say that “Paleo is more expensive” is a myth, that it really doesn’t cost much more. That’s baloney. I guess if you are going from the Standard American Diet (SAD) of processed food and many meals out to eat, to the Paleo diet of meat, veggies, and fruits prepared at home, then the Paleo diet and the SAD might be about the same. But we don’t eat like that. We didn’t eat like that even before GAPS. We eat mostly homemade foods. There have always been some convenience foods, but it hasn’t been the majority of our diet for a very long time. For us, Paleo is quite a bit more expensive. There has to be a compromise.

We’re working it out as we go, but the plan looks something like this: Radio Dad and myself will return to Paleo as much as possible. The children will eat more normally, with grains, sugars, dairy, etc. Curly Girl will remain gluten-free and dairy-free (for the most part) with excess sugar discouraged but I’m not going to be the food police either. Any grains prepared at home will be gluten-free and soaked or soured. I will continue to use healthy sweeteners at home: honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, and fruit. Healthy oils will be the only ones we buy. No canola, soy, or corn oil! I will still make potatoes, though I will likely substitute sweet potatoes or cauliflower for us doing Paleo. I’m going to have to double-cook some meals. I hate to do it, but we can’t keep eating what we are eating now. This family needs parents that are healthy and have energy to care for everyone!

I’m also seriously considering the 21-Day Sugar Detox. I’ve had my eye on it for awhile but haven’t taken the plunge. Would anyone like to do it with me?
The 21-Day Sugar Detox

French Toast with a side of Guilt

I ended last time describing the no man’s land that we’ve found ourselves in. Stuck between ideologies, we toggle back and forth between “we need to eat Paleo so we can feel better” and “who cares, just get something on the table”.

Since we’ve been throwing caution to the wind and “eating the food”, I decided to make French toast. I haven’t had French toast in over two years. I saw a loaf of cinnamon bread on the day old rack at the grocery store. It was just begging me to buy it and make French toast. The croissants also begged me to buy them and make chicken salad. I think I need to stop having conversations with bread!

Anyway, yesterday I made the most delicious French toast for breakfast. Cooked to crispy tastiness in lots if coconut oil, slathered with butter and covered in real maple syrup, it was like toasty angels dancing on my tongue! That is to say, it was yummy and I enjoyed eating it. I didn’t worry about its nutritional value or what it might do to me. I felt fine after eating it. All is well.

Riiiight. I guess ignorance really is bliss.

A short while later, I stepped on the scale. I don’t weigh myself every day, usually just once or twice a week. It did not have good news. I have now surpassed 15 pounds gained since March 1. I’m also up 2-3 pant sizes. I had to dig jeans out of my craft project bucket to wear yesterday. Why the craft bucket, you ask? Well, they were so ridiculously big a year ago that I was going to make a big tote bag out of them! Isn’t that hilarious?!

Not funny anymore.

It gets better! Radio Dad also had trouble fitting into his jeans and a doctors office scale revealed a new highest weight ever! Years ago, he struggled to put weight on. Now, not so much.

We have a problem. Even the doctor suggested we return to Paleo. I’m guessing there won’t be anymore French toast any time soon.

Confusing and Contradictory

confused

Last time, I told you that I had done a lot of reading and researching in my blogging absence.¬† I also mentioned that a lot of what I was reading conflicted with the knowledge I had previously accumulated.¬† Let me expound on this…

Shortly after we went on GAPS, I began to see a lot of articles in the blogosphere about the Paleo diet.  This was awesome, because GAPS and Paleo are very similar.  The Paleo diet suggests no grains, dairy, legumes, or refined sugars.  GAPS allows certain legumes and some dairy, but is more strict about sweeteners.  Still, most recipes coming across the Paleo blogs were GAPS legal.  As the Paleo movement has continued to grow, more and more science has come in to back it up.  More and more people have success with it.  And more and more, it aligns with GAPS, especially something called Autoimmune Paleo, which is another healing diet specifically for people with autoimmune disorders.

I also began to read more blogs promoting “Traditional” diets such as are described in the book Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats
and promoted by the Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF).¬† These often crossed circles with Paleo and GAPS, because all of them endorse REAL food.¬† The major difference is that most WAPF’ers eat grains, especially if they are soaked or fermented (think sourdough).¬† Still, a lot of helpful information.¬† I knew GAPS was a temporary diet, so learning about proper preparation of grains is something I wanted to do.

So far, so good, right?¬† And then came Matt Stone.¬† And you’re thinking, who is he and why do we care?¬† I thought the same thing at first.¬† But he kept showing up.¬† Seemingly everywhere I turned, there was someone talking about Matt Stone and his wonderful ideas.¬† So I followed the rabbit trail…

Matt Stone has a blog called 180 Degree Health, which I am not linking because I find his writing to be brash, rude, and sometimes foul-mouthed.¬† I don’t care how good your ideas are,¬†there’s no need for that.¬† Google at your own risk.¬† However, there are a whole lot of other ways to find out what he is all about.¬† One of the WAPF blogs I follow, Cheeseslave, embraced his teachings early on and has since been very vocal about his ideaology.¬† Here it is in a nutshell: Health is all about metabolism, at the cellular level.¬† The best way to track metabolic health is to track your body temperature.¬† If it averages less than 98.6, you are not in good metabolic¬†health.¬† To raise your body temperature, you need more carbs, more calories,¬†more salt, more sleep,¬†less water, and less strenuous exercise (cardio).¬† The advice being thrown around the blogosphere is this: JUST EAT THE FOOD.¬† Whatever it is, whatever you want, just eat it.¬† No restrictions.¬† No special diets.¬† No calorie counting.¬† Just eat whatever you want to get that body temperature up.¬† Bloggers started latching on to this, shouting it from the rooftops.¬† Gladly proclaiming that they have gained 10, 20, 50 pounds but it didn’t matter because they had raised their body temperature and felt really great!¬† Those same bloggers saying that Paleo is terrible and GAPS should be dumped.

Now, I’m not saying that he’s completely wrong.¬† Most of what he says makes a lot of sense.¬† I get what he is saying about metabolic health, at the cellular level.¬† I understand the science.¬† We do need carbs, salt, sleep.¬† We probably don’t need as much water as society tells us we need.¬† Maybe there are other ways to exercise that are easier on our body.¬† But I really take issue with “eat whatever you want”.¬† It’s not that simple.

Then I started second guessing myself.  What if it is that simple??  As I began to get tired of cooking, tired of restricting food, I thought maybe we would test his little theory.  We brought back grains, potatoes.  We eat cake and ice cream at parties (and sometimes in between).  We ate whatever we wanted on vacation.  We get frozen pizzas.  Very non-GAPS!

The result of all this “just eating the food”?¬† My body temperature has not gone up.¬† Not one iota.¬† My joints hurt.¬† I’ve gained over 10 pounds.¬† I’m tired.¬† I think it’s not that simple.

So here we are, in a no man’s land of sorts, trying to sift through a whole lot of conflicting information.¬† Almost all of it makes perfect sense in theory.¬† But in practice, for me, it doesn’t seem to work.¬† My body does not approve.¬† Even though I have many of the symptoms of an out of whack metabolism, “just eating the food” isn’t helping.¬† I’m obviously missing something here.¬† I’m going to keep digging, try to find out what my body needs (or doesn’t need) to be happy again.

 

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Long time, no post – a 2 year update in a nutshell

Hey everyone!¬† I’m baaaack!

I started this blog two years ago, fully intending to track our progress with the GAPS diet.¬† I spent too long trying to write back story, then got caught up in the massive amount of food prep that comes with GAPS.¬† Thus, the ol’ blog got pushed to the back burner and eventually fell of the stove all together.

For the record, I regret not tracking our GAPS journey.  We saw amazing improvement in everyone!  I lost weight and stopped having problems with inflammation.  My husband had a major decrease in his pain levels, gained energy, and lost a little bit of weight.  CurlyGirl made great strides in communication and focus.  She also stopped getting sick all the time!  My other kiddos also had improvements in anxiety and behavior.  We all enjoyed relatively good health.  It was great.

But, here’s the thing, GAPS really burnt me out.¬† I got tired of cooking, tired of trying to make the same old foods look appealing, tired of being the “food nazi”.¬† I’m sick to death of eggs.¬† I can hardly eat them anymore.¬† My kids all groan at the word “soup”.¬† We wanted to eat cake at birthday parties and not let food and food fear control our lives.¬† In addition, GAPS eating was¬†getting very expensive.¬† If you haven’t noticed, food costs are on the rise in a big way.¬† Feeding a family of seven without¬†grains is¬†very expensive, especially when you are on a fixed income with a small budget to work with.

GAPS is not meant to be a permanent diet, just a healing diet to be used for a time.  We decided it was time to try introducing grains, potatoes, and more regular foods back into our diet.  We started with soaked oats and white rice.  Those seemed to be okay so we gradually added more and more back in.

At the moment, we are mostly gluten-free and we eat grains almost every day, some days more than once.  Potatoes are back in regular rotation, as well as sweet potatoes.  Beans of all kinds are back, helping to stretch the food dollars.  Dairy is back in the form of milk kefir, cheese, butter, and sour cream.  (CurlyGirl remains mostly dairy-free, though we do allow some butter and cheese on occasion.)  We eat cake and ice cream at birthday parties and even eat out once in a very great while.  Everyone is very pleased with these new developments.

But going back hasn’t been all sunshine and roses.¬† There were legitimate reasons that we were on such a restrictive diet, and those things have not completely healed and gone away.¬† We are feeling the repercussions of our dietary changes.¬† RadioDad has had more pain again, CurlyGirl has been a little spacey, and I am not doing well at all.¬† I’ve gained 10+ pounds since we added grains back into our diet, and inflammation has again reared it’s ugly head all over my body.¬† Most notably, my hands feel swollen and arthritic every morning and I’m once again having pain & swelling in my SI joint.¬† My moods are up¬†& down.¬† I frequently feel not just tired, but utterly exhausted, even though I haven’t really done anything to warrant such feelings.¬† My body doesn’t like the way I’ve been eating.

What we are going to do about all this remains to be seen.¬† I’ve read a lot of new information in my blog absence.¬† A lot of it makes sense, but a lot of it conflicts.¬† It’s difficult to figure out which direction to go.¬† I’ll try and detail more of that another day.¬† But I am going to try and keep track of whatever it is I end up doing, partly for my benefit to have a record, and partly as a way to help others through this journey.

Thanks for reading and hope to talk to you again soon!