It’s been 3 and a half weeks since I started on my gut health journey and the GAPS Intro diet. You can read why I am doing it HERE. First of all, I wanted to say thank you to all those people that sent me such positive feedback about what I wrote. You never know if what you are putting out there is a good idea or not, but I’m glad it resonated with so many people. Secondly, I want to say that so far the journey has been not all smooth sailing, which has kind of thrown me, but I’m resilient and once I start something, I need to finish it! If you would like to hear more then read on.
The first week was Stage 1 of the diet and consisted of bone broths and soups. As my body got rid of all the toxins my energy levels were in my boots. I just needed to listen to my body and rest as much as I could. I needed to get my digestive system working properly before I could move on to the next stage so I was super stoked when I did my first solid poop, after a long time of not doing solid poops (you have no idea how much poop comes into your thoughts on this diet!). Although I was exhausted my mood seemed a lot calmer too.
I was so excited to reach stage 2 and be able to introduce Ghee (clarified butter) into my diet with no issues. Then I added in one egg yolk to my soup one morning and oh my goodness, the reaction I had was really noticeable. Not only did my anxiety go through the roof but I had bad diarrhoea for day. I felt like I had gone back to the beginning and was so disheartened. At this point I was getting sick of just bone broth, soup and casserole.
After I let my stomach settle down again, I felt much better both emotionally and physically. I decided to introduce some homemade yoghurt. For the first couple of days I was fine, then came the upset stomach again. At this point, I was ready to give up on the whole diet. I was getting completely over soup, stews and broth. I just wanted a Big Mac, fries and coke – upsized please!
Funnily enough at the same time as my upset stomach, my son came down with Hand, Foot and Mouth disease and then passed it on to me. One of the symptoms of HFM is diarrhea, so needless to say, I’m a bit excited to think that maybe I actually don’t have an intolerance to yoghurt (woohoo there is hope!). So again, I have had to really listen to my body and rest with the HFM symptoms. I think there might be a lesson here somewhere 😉.
Now as my digestive system is settling down again, I’ve introduced avocado yesterday and so far, so good. I’m looking forward to adding more in over the next week or two (including trying egg again) for some more variety. At the same time though, I’m trying to not get too ahead if myself, in case my gut doesn’t want to play the GAPs game so easily.
The last few weeks have seen lots of ups and downs both mentally and physically. Mentally, I have been waking up at about 4am most mornings with the most intense fear and anxiety. This will usually last until about 10 in the morning and then subsides. I have noticed in the last week however, that the 4am anxiety has really reduced. Apart from wanting more variety in my diet and the disappointment when something doesn’t go well with my gut, I do feel my mental health has improved somewhat, and that is a great sign. I just need to remember, to be patient with the whole process and realise that it’s not a magic bullet. It’s about the journey and not the destination.