Yesterday Katie pulled a half empty bottle of ketchup from the fridge and asked what it was. One of her favorite games – and my least – is to ask questions she already knows the answer to, so I gave a quick sideways glance to check her expression. Yup, the girl has completely forgotten about ketchup.***
Now, if your child -who happens to have been a ketchup enthusiast – can no longer name the condiment of tomatoey goodness, it means one of three things:
A) This is not your child. Go back to the last place you were . . . grocery store, park, craft store, wherever. A parent whose child is undoubtedly wearing the exact. same. outfit. as yours will inevitably wave you down. Exchange.
B) An interstellar worm has wriggled it’s way into your child’s brain. It’s only food is the cellular memory of ketchup, which makes for a very short lifespan. In other words, your child was infected with an alien parasite for about three minutes.
C) Your child is on GAPS
Fortunately, in my situation the answer is C . It’s been six months since we became a GAPS family and three months since I told you about my bucket list and confessed that my husband has no pants (and as we discovered on vacation, no swim trunks either). Which means . . . it’s time for an update!
Mommy, Can I Watch The Adult Movie, Too?
Oy, of all the things Katie’s said, that one max’s out on the heebie jeebie scale. Fortunately, the only “education” she is getting around here is a little – okay, A LOT – of extra flirting between mommy and daddy.The movie she wanted to watch was What About Bob, which we have emphatically explained is a “Grown-Up Movie”.
I’m serious about the flirting, though. Daddypotamus feels better, and for some reason that compels him to buy me wine and flowers. Have I mentioned how much I LOVE that wine is GAPS legal??
. . . and that’s good! As the spontaneous clearing of his weird, crusty, flaky scalp condition (that he had for YEARS) proves, his internal ecosystem is shifting. Unfortunately, focusing at work is still a semi-epic battle, so we’re in the process of adding supplements to support cognitive function -L-tyrosine, Ginkgo biloba, Brahmi (an Ayurvedic herb), or Gotu Kola – I’ll let you know how it goes. But for now, let’s move on to Katie!
Katie Is On GAPS Because . . .
Silly me! Katie is on GAPS because we are – it’s purely by default. So why, after four months on a gut healing diet, did my HEALTHY daughter decide to begin displaying symptoms of digestive distress???
This no-good, very bad, horrible rash appeared on her face . . . and stayed, and stayed, and STAYED. I did everything I would tell another mama to do (and then some), but the darn thing unpacked it’s suitcase and started collecting takeout menu’s from neighborhood restaurants. Evicting this thing was not going to be easy . . .
I thought it might be eczema, which as we all know is related to gut dysbiosis. But because it’s hard to be objective in circumstances like this – and because I have a tendency to royally freak out – I consulted Katja. She reminded me that microbes are like tiny, invisible gunslingers with a penchant for gun blazing, symptom flaring last stands. In other words, though Katie had no symptoms, chances are that a pathogenic yeast was taking hold in her gut before we started GAPS (I had no idea about establishing good gut microbes when Katie was born). So when it started losing it’s grip it got kind of , er, ticked and went all Billy the Kid on my daughter’s face.
We treated the yeast with a topical calendula tincture and held our ground with the diet, and by our vacation two months later she looked like this.
When symptoms return (or get WORSE) on a healing diet it can be really discouraging. But sometimes, just when we think we have utterly failed, it turns out we are actually winning! (Note: I’m declaring victory against Billy the Rogue Yeast just yet. He may have a last stand or two left.)
Did this yeasty revolt surprise me? Absolutely. Katie is not a typical GAPS kid, and yet this diet is clearly having a positive impact on her health. I’m more committed than ever! Now for a quick little story about . . .
Fried Eggs And Mustard
Did you know that mustard contains iron? Late one night when my body screamed “Steak! Steak! STEAK!” at me for over an hour, I politely informed it that the steak was in the freezer. “Fried eggs and mustard then, please,” it replied – and then I knew.
A quick consult from Google and everything added up: Eggs (protein) + mustard (iron) = steak. Only, they don’t actually, so I rummaged around and found my whole food based iron supplements from way back when and set the steak out to thaw before bed.
And then, puke fest. Puke puke puke puke puke. Did I mention the puking? Seriously, this is turning out to be quite a bucket list. So there I am heaving into the toilet (in the dark, which I don’t recommend) and wondering WHY, when this passage comes rushing back:
Most people with abnormal gut flora have various stages of anemia. It is not surprising. They not only can’t absorb essential-for-blood vitamins and minerals from food, but their own production of these vitamins is damaged. On top of that, people with abnormal gut flora often have a particular group of pathogenic bacteria growing in their gut, which are iron-loving bacteria (Actinomyces spp., Mycobacteriam spp., pathogenic strains of E.coli, Corynebacterium spp., and many others). They consume whatever iron the person gets from the diet, leaving that person deficient in iron. Unfortunately, supplementing iron makes these bacteria grow stronger and does not remedy anemia.”
Gut & Psychology Syndrome, p. 24
So uh, apparently, I have improved my gut flora and therefore my ability to absorb iron (I have always been borderline anemic), and now half of my normal dose of iron supplements raises the DEFCON 5 alert. Good to know.
So that’s us, six months in! If you’re interested in starting GAPS, stay tuned. I have a giveaway just for YOU!!!
*** If you’re working up the nerve to start GAPS and can’t live without ketchup, don’t worry. It’s allowed, you just have to make it yourself. I tried a couple recipes and they were just meh, so we stick with rockstar condiments like homemade mayo and pickled jalapenos (a lot of storebought mustard’s are GAPS legal, too). I’m sure you’ll find one that works for you.