This phrase showed up on my Facebook stream a few days ago and gave me a good laugh. Do you wonder what he’s saving them for? Or do you already know? (P.S. I did ask Scott’s permission to use his name)
Saving Penises (now Saving Our Sons) is an intactivist organization. Until recently I didn’t even know what an intactivist was. Then Dr. Momma posted one of my articles on her Facebook page and I found myself discussing human rights with a girl who has more piercings than I have pairs of shoes. You know what? She made a lot of sense.
If you’re not familiar with the term, an intactivist is “someone who loves, honors, respects and protects the rights of the child to an intact body. Someone who sees genital mutilation — of girls or boys — as a contradiction to that fundamental human right.”¹
Some intactivists seem to believe that parents who circumcise their sons are knowingly unleashing violence on them. I disagree, vehemently I might add. But that’s the fringe. The majority of intactivists are just regular people from all walks of life: doctors, college students, CEO’s and moms. They see circumcision as a human rights issue, which at first seemed like kind of an extreme perspective. Now . . . not so much.
I wanted to stay neutral, I really did. I wanted to be able to say, “It’s not right for our family, but I support a parent’s choice to do it.” That would have been so much easier . . . but they’ve won me over.
It was an accident, I promise.
Like I said, though, they make some pretty solid points. Here are some myths they broke down for me.
Until 1987, doctors routinely performed open-heart surgery on infants without anesthesia because some guy in 1872 postulated that they couldn’t feel pain.² This is medical egoism at its highest. Babies can’t feel pain because their “their nerves are not completely myelinated?” Please.
Thanks to the “babies can’t feel pain” ruse, countless children have been subjected to circumcision without anesthesia for nothing more than cosmetic purposes.
Scientists have now shown that “newborn babies have a ‘unique’ nervous system that makes them respond differently to pain from adults. In research that has far-reaching implications for the medical and surgical treatment of infants, the experts have found that newborn children feel pain longer and more sensitively. And in premature babies, the mechanism that allows older children and adults to “dampen down” the pain messages does not work properly.”³ It’s so sad that we needed studies to tell us what is just common sense.
So, babies can feel pain. But is that a reason not to circumcise? I mean, we have to subject babies to the PKU test when they’re born. Isn’t this about the same intensity? No, it’s not. When I first saw these images of a newborn being circumcised it erased all doubt in my mind that it’s just a simple snip. Everything in that boys expression says to me that he is traumatized. Many experts agree with me, but there are still many doctors who were educated in the “babies don’t feel pain” era promoting this as a painless procedure. Maybe that’s true for a few boys. I’ve heard some women have org*smic births . . . there could be the same kind of rare instance here. But for the majority of newborns, circumcision is excruciatingly painful.
Some people believe babies can endure all kinds of unpleasant experiences, like crying it out (CIO) or circumcision, with no lasting effect (because they don’t “remember” it). I have a different opinion, which says,
People cannot consciously recall what they “learned” in the first year of life, because the brain structures that store narrative memory are not yet developed. But neuropsychological research has established that human beings have a far more powerful memory system imprinted in their nervous systems called intrinsic memory. Intrinsic memory encodes the emotional aspects of early experience.”
Article by Dr. Gabor Maté, co-author of Hold On To Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter Than Peers
So, they DO remember. But if they didn’t would that make it okay? As one blogger wrote, “is ‘not remembering’ what is supposed to make circumcising healthy children OK? If a man uses a drug to have his way with a woman, does it make it OK if she ‘can’t remember?’ Does this rationale work in any other context? . . . Is stealing from a blind man better than stealing from a man that can see because “what he doesn’t know can’t hurt him?” Or is stealing wrong in principle?”
The foreskin is not some useless piece of flesh. Megan, mother of Anton, had this to say about what she learned after her son was circumcised:
There is an ACTUAL purpose for the foreskin!!! It is an amazing and miraculous purpose, it does exactly what God designed it for. Every male mammal was born with a foreskin, it’s not useless, it’s also not just a piece of skin to clip off. (which is what I thought, I compared it in my head to a skin tag being removed by scissors so NOT the case)
The foreskin is FUSED to the glans (head) of the penis, like your finger nail is fused to your finger, in order to remove the foreskin you literally have to RIP it from the glans. Rip it, those words just play over and over in my head… I didn’t know at the time that the foreskin is fused to keep out all debris, and to help PREVENT children from getting UTI’s and infections as long as the skin is not forcibly retracted ( this is why there is SO much mis information out there, boys were being forcibly retracted, the foreskin pulled back and being ripped from the glans before it naturally retracted which causes a lot of problems such as UTI’s and um PAIN!!) In fact little girls are way more likely to get a UTI than an intact boy.But we just treat them with antibiotics.
There are A LOT more functions of the foreskin, I encourage you to look them up!! This is just the one that struck me the most!!!
Biggest Regret (emphasis mine)
The medical community needs to stop hiding behind myths like “it’s cleaner . . . it prevents transmission of STD’s . . . it prevents penile cancer.” That stuff is bunk and it needs to stop being told to parents in an effort to sell them on circumcision. Cutting off the foreskin is not a risk-free procedure. In an older article from Mothering Magazine these stats were given:
One-month-old Ryleigh Roman Bryan McWillis died in August 2002 after suffering severe hemorrhage from his circumcision. The Canadian-born baby had a normal-term birth, with no complications or problems. In August 2003, a four-week-old Irish infant named Callis Osaghae died of severe blood loss just hours after a routine circumcision. Complications from the circumcision of three-week-old Dustin Evans of Cleveland, Ohio, led his doctors to perform additional surgery to unblock the baby’s urethra. Unfortunately, he never made it to the actual surgery, instead dying as anesthesia was administered.
In a more recently story, Lance’s mom shares what happened when she returned to the clinic that performed a circumcision on her son just a few hours earlier. His diaper was full of blood:
They sent us across the street directly to another surgeon’s office. He called us back, took off Lance”s diaper and said, “Oh no – they’ve cut all the skin off.” He sent us to the emergency department at the hospital where they performed an emergency surgery to stitch the top of Lantz’s penis to the baby fat around the base to stop the bleeding. The doctor had cut all the skin off the shaft of Lantz’s penis. He bled for eight hours.
And of course there’s the story of David Reimer, whose penis was accidentally destroyed during a routine, medically unnecessary circumcision. He was forced to live as a girl throughout his childhood and ultimately committed suicide.
Especially for religious reasons, right? I’ll admit, even after I became convinced that circumcision is painful and unnecessary, it was still difficult for me to say that I am categorically against it. It is STILL difficult for me to say, because as a Christian I have deep respect for my Jewish roots and the traditions associated with it. But five things come to mind. First, modern circumcision is far more brutal than the procedure of the Old Testament.
The circumcision that Abraham and his descendants practiced was something entirely different from modern circumcision. It merely involved cutting the tip of the foreskin, not removing it! This is both a historical and an archaeological fact that can be found in any reference book of ancient culture.
Second, Christians are commanded to refrain from it.
~1 Cor. 7:17 “As God has called each man, in this manner let him walk. And thus I command in all the churches. Was any man called in the circumcision [i.e. Old Covenant]? Let him not try to become uncircumcised. Has anyone been called in the uncircumcision [i.e. New Covenant]? Let him not be circumcised! Circumcision is nothing. And uncircumcision is nothing but the keeping of the commandments of God. Let each man remain in that condition in which he was called.“
My third point can best be summed up by Joseph GI:
When Did We Decide What Is “Tradition” and What Is “Torture?”
This is where female circumcision comes into the picture, because as a nation, we have decided that in no way shape or form will we tolerate female circumcision, or “female genital mutilation” as we so brazenly call it, in this country. In May of 2010, the AAP tried advocate for a “ritual nick” for girls, on the premise that “it might deter parents from taking their daughters to other countries to have more severe procedures done.” This caused an uproar across the globe.
. . . In countries where girls are circumcised, it is thought of as an important religious and/or cultural “custom.” But isn’t it a double-standard to be advocating for “freedom” for one ethnic group and their traditions, but denying it in another?
. . . Male circumcision may be an important religious tradition for some peoples, but if we respect and protect “religion and culture,” why is it we protect only male circumcision on those grounds? When did we decide that cutting the genitals of one sex was “tradition”, but cutting the genitals of the other sex is “mutilation?” It’s a double-standard that I think this country needs to do some soul-searching on.
Fourth, circumcision for religious reasons would be much more meaningful if the individual being “consecrated” were able to do so of his own volition. Why not wait until he is old enough to choose for himself?
And last, how far do parents rights go? What if I want to give my son a tattoo to consecrate him to God? What if I took Katie to Deep Ellum and asked someone to pierce her belly button? Do you think anyone would do THAT? Making irreversible alterations to children’s bodies without their consent just doesn’t make much sense in that context, does it?
Are flashing before my mind right now . . . friends who circumcised and don’t need any more guilt heaped on them. Friends who dread the conversation they will someday have with their boys about why they chose this for them. Many of them have openly expressed their regrets, which in my opinion is one of the most courageous things a parent can do.
I don’t judge anyone for their decision to circumcise. This procedure has been marketed to parents as a cure for bedwetting, clubfoot, epilepsy, a preventative for AIDS, cancer, UTI’s and everything in between. What loving parent wouldn’t want their child to be free from these things?
I am in awe of parents who chose circumcision and are now speaking against it. I have heard them say over and over that they wish they’d been fully informed, and that they’re spreading awareness so that other families don’t have to suffer. Without them I would have walked the same road.
I chose to keep my son intact. Not for religious reasons, or social, or even because I really knew what a foreskin was at the time. It was a choice Daddypotamus and I made because someone had the courage to tell us this was a painful and unnecessary cosmetic procedure. I’m incredibly grateful them for the risk they took in sharing this sensitive info with me, and I’m trying to do the same. I hope you’ve found this post thought provoking and worthwhile. Thanks for sticking through to the end.
Circumcision is a solution in search of a problem.” –Edward Wallerstein
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Daddypotamus here. Or, should I say, there [look up]. That’s me. Or it could be. Because this kitty represents how I’ve felt all weekend. Only not as content. And with less back hair (promise).
Our house feels so very cozy.The grey skies are covered in a light blanket of chilly mist, but that’s not why I feel so sleepy. Credit for that goes to the Introduction Diet, i.e. phase one of the GAPS Diet. The purpose of Phase One is to heal my damaged gut lining before we begin work on changing the ecology in my digestive tract.
All I can confirm at this point is it makes me narcosleepy all day long.
Many of you are closely reading each new GAPS post, wondering whether the GAPS Diet is for you. And I commend you for that. If you decide this is for you, I want you to know what you’re getting into. Down the road I hope to be sharing about all the ways it has improved my life, but for now these first few days are just . . . hard.
We’re sleepy. We’re lethargic. Heather has modified her diet in order to keep up her milk supply. But she was really smart to start us off on a Saturday. That gave us a two day adjustment period before I felt the pressure to perform at work.
If you’re interested, I’ve lost about 10 pounds these past three weeks since I started GAPS. I’ve temporarily stopped doing P90X due to a lack of energy AND the fact that I wake up too relaxed to make it happen.
Do I feel any different mentally? It’s too early to tell. I think there’s a distinct difference since I switched from full GAPS to the formal Introductory Diet. I’m noticing I can breathe easier at night and my sinuses are clearer. There seems to be a bit more mental clarity, but that could simply be the result of the weekend off work. I’ll keep you posted.
Two days into Phase One and I’m hearing the voice of Jack in the Box tempting me, luring me, calling me as I drive past.
Did I mention the biting? This weekend our children decided to attempt a whining chorus. I was not my friendliest self a couple times, which led to additional cuddles and hugs. Heather handled it better than I did… probably she was just so amazed that I was actually following through with this that the rest was no biggie.
Okay, so it’s really NOT that bad, except for between meals. Soups and stews can be hearty and satisfying at meal times, and that’s great. But between meals, when you get the munchies? There are no snacks right now. Just more stew. And tallow. Don’t get me started on the tallow. Trust me. Some things are better just left unsaid. **Gag.**
Maybe you want to reverse the effects of autism in your child, or heal depression, ADD, schizophrenia or any number of things in your own life (or a spouse’s). The stories coming from families experiencing healing through GAPS are amazing, but is it right for you? Only you can decide that.
If you don’t mind, though, I’d like to offer some advice. If you are considering GAPS you have to REALLY want it. Either be SO SURE you’re doing the right thing (reading the book did this for us) or SO DESPERATE for change that you’re ready to commit for at least a few months.
I’m a real peach today, huh?
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Forget six degrees of separation. In my community the ties that bind are umbilical cords. Midwives and doulas are so well-represented at gatherings it’s impossible not to run into someone that’s seen me push out a baby, someone I’ve watched do the same, or something of the sort.
She’s also mother to nine month old Eli, whose morning glory-hued eyes are the inspiration behind her new blog, Intuitive Mothering. What is an intuitive mother? Lots of things, for sure, but in these early days it’s mostly the simple stuff: breastfeeding and babywearing.
“I have loved wearing my son since he was a brand new baby,” she recently wrote. “As he has grown, I have worn many styles of slings and wraps. Sadly, I hear many women say they aren’t into babywearing because they weren’t able to find the right “fit”. As a mother who knows the amazing benefits that accompany babywearing, I strive to help women learn to love and be completely comfortable wearing their babies from infancy to toddler.”
As part of her new site, Hannah opened a babywearing shop, full of comfy, easy-to-use wraps and slings, and to celebrate she’s giving away a FABULOUS Moby gift set to one of YOU!
1. For five entries, help get the word out about Mommypotamus. Simply visit StumbleUpon and create an account (they won’t send you spam email or anything, it’s just a bookmarking tool). Then go to this blog post and give it a thumbs up. Thanks so much! (Please leave a separate comment for all five entries)
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I weaned my first child on the eve of her third birthday. We had been working up to it for months. Originally, my plan had been that she should be the one who decided when she was done, but I ended up finding myself in a place of parenting that I hadn’t anticipated.
For two years my daughter nursed around the clock for up to an hour or more per session. She woke up ten times per night on average to nurse. Just as I fell asleep, she would wake up again. This went on for two years until we transitioned her to her own bed. After that she still woke up 3-4 times per night.
When she was 2 1/2 years old I got pregnant again and she nursed throughout my pregnancy. I was one of those rare women who didn’t experience pain and only minor discomfort during breastfeeding while pregnant. After my second daughter was born she went on to nurse for five months alongside her baby sister. I loved tandem nursing in the early days. My oldest used to stroke her younger sister’s head when they were both on my lap. There was never any jealousy between them, only love.
But soon my body began to have a negative response to my oldest nursing. I became extremely uncomfortable and irritated. I would have to count her down to the point that she could only have ten seconds at a time, unless she had hurt herself, then the mommy-love hormones kicked in and I could handle it for much longer. But we were reaching the end of our breastfeeding relationship. I decided to make a date to stop, and her upcoming birthday seemed like a good date. I started talking to her about it three months in advance. Admittedly, this was to prepare myself as well as her.
The night before her birthday we nursed for the last time. It wasn’t a desperate farewell scene from a black and white movie like I had envisioned. She nursed just as she had nursed in the past. At this point we had talked about it so much, it almost didn’t feel like a big deal. It was, but we coped well.
She proudly told everyone she knew that she wasn’t going to have “annie” anymore (her word for breastfeeding), and for a couple weeks she was “annie-free.” Then one day something happened. I no longer remember what it was, but it was one of those things that happens when a child is not easily consoled. Nothing was working to ease the agony of what she was going through. So I offered to nurse her. It had been awhile, but she still remembered how. All it took was a few seconds and she calmed right down. At first I thought we had just taken a huge step backwards, but the coming days and weeks proved to me that we hadn’t. She probably nursed three more times over the course of three months before she was finally done for good. A year or so later she asked to nurse again – I think it was just to see what I would say – but when I said okay, she couldn’t remember how, and she was fine.
Even though I didn’t practice child-led weaning perfectly, I do still feel good about the way we weaned because it was done gently, with love and respect. I took my child’s needs into consideration and bended the “rules” when it was appropriate.
Now my youngest is 2 months away from her 4th birthday and she is still breastfeeding. She nurses at bedtime for about ten seconds on each side and in the middle of the night when she crawls into bed with me. Sometimes she nurses once in the middle of the day if she is having a really hard time. We are closer to the end of our nursing relationship than we ever have been.
I find myself in the same place as I was three and a half years ago. The yucky physical reaction to breastfeeding has returned. I can’t bear it for more than a few seconds unless she is in crying inconsolably or in pain. I am seriously looking at the calendar wondering if I should implement yet another mommy-led/child-accepted weaning process.
This is my last baby. I look at her sweet face and my mind tells me that child-led weaning is the way to go. Then I hear my body tell me that enough is enough. I am not sure what I will do. I have a trip coming up in a couple of weeks that will separate us for 9 days. We’ve never been apart more than 2 nights, so maybe that will do it.
Melodie is the author of Breastfeeding Moms Unite! She stopped blogging last month so she could start spending more quality time with her daughters but continues to be passionate about breastfeeding, natural parenting and real food. She is currently home schooling and making plans for an organic garden and chickens in her new backyard.
Photo credits: author
Hypocrite or Liar? That was my dilemma today. A couple of weeks ago I promised to post Gigi’s beloved carrot cake recipe, then my husband (and now our whole family) swore off grains. Seems kind of ironic to share now, but a promise is a promise and there is a sweet little girl turning two that needs this cake. Why, THIS CAKE? Because it tastes like hot baked love: fresh shredded carrots, notes of cinnamon and nutmeg, and it’s made with spelt instead of wheat (which is not GAPS friendly). If you’re starting GAPS with us, please forgive me for tempting you so.
*It only takes a few seconds to create the pretty curly carrots using a saladacco!
**I was too busy visiting at the party to take a pic, so here’s one we enjoyed at a local restaurant that is almost identical
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Okay, not crack exactly. More like morphine and alcohol. Not that we have pills and booze laying around . . . they got into his system another way. Confused yet?? Keep reading, I promise I’ll explain by the end.
As you already know, our modern lifestyle is full of influences that damage the ecology of our bodies: antibiotics whether we want them or not (they’re in our food and water), sugar in amounts previously unheard of, chemicals, toxins, stress, and the list goes on.
When someone has schizophrenia, what does the psychiatrist do? Give them a pill. Where does it go? In their gut. We’re well aware of the power of something we put in our bodies to effect our state of mind, but do most of us realize the potential of food to function this way? It thought I did, but after reading this book I realize I really didn’t.
It’s kind of gross to think about, but:
Our digestive system, skin eyes, respiratory and excretory organs are happily co-existing with trillions of invisible lodgers, making one ecosystem of macro and micro-life, living together in harmony. It is a symbiotic relationship, where neither party can live without the other. Let me repeat this: we, humans, cannot live without these tiny micro-organisms, which we carry in our bodies everywhere.
The largest colonies of microbes live in our digestive system . . . All these bacteria are not just chaotic microbial mass, but a highly organized micro-world with certain species predominating and controlling others. The number of functions they fulfill in our bodies are so vital to us, that if our gut got sterilized, we would probably not survive.
Gut & Psychology Syndrome, p. 15 (emphasis mine)
When the upstanding citizens of our digestive tract (such as bifidobacteria) are governing, all is well. Toxins that try to sneak into our bodies are detained and escorted to the exit. The food we eat is broken down and distributed to fulfill vital functions in our bodies. But what happens when the bifidobacteria are not in control? When they’ve been overrun by pathogenic microbes, parasites and fungi?
Long story short, the pathogens start looting. They hijack your food and begin using it to feed their colonies. Now wildly out of control, these once benign colonies produce toxic byproducts that flood the body and cause illness, brain fog, learning disabilities, eczema, fibromyalgia and other problems. And since they’re getting the majority of your food (not you), you end up deprived of the nutrients you need to function properly.
As I read the book, two offenders stood out to me as some of Daddypotamus‘ main antagonists.
Until recently, the candida yeast lived in peaceful coexistence with us. Now, though, it’s considered invasive. What changed? Antibiotics. Antibiotics kill indiscriminately. Bad bacteria? Dead. Good bacteria? Also dead. Unfortunately, candida is unaffected. After a round of antibiotics it has no competition for food and begins to thrive, taking over the digestive tract.
What does candida love to eat? Sugar and carbs. People who have an overgrowth of candida love sugar and carbs, too, because they get a “payoff” when they feed the yeast.
Yeast [such as candida] requires glucose and other sugars as food. Sugars come from the digestion of carbohydrates. In healthy people dietary glucose gets converted into lactic acid, water and energy through a biochemical process called glycolysis. In people with yeast overgrowth candida hijacks the glucose and digests it in a different way, called alcoholic fermentation. In this biochemical process candida and other yeasts convert dietary glucose into alcohol (ethanol) and its byproduct acetaldehyde. This phenomenon was first described in adults, who appeared to be drunk without consuming any alcohol. Later on it was found that these adults had an overgrowth of yeast in their gut, which produced alcohol and made them permanently “drunk”. These people were particularly “drunk” after a carbohydrate meal, because carbohydrates are consumed by candida with the production of alcohol. Despite the fact that these people did not consume alcohol, they developed some typical symptoms of alcoholism.
Dr. Campbell-McBrides research corroborates what Daddypotamus tells me: He experiences a feeling of intense euphoria after consuming carbs. In addition, he also has some symptoms typical of alcoholics: a fatty liver and weight gain, difficulty controlling his blood sugar.
So why not go with the candida diet? First, because the diet’s creators misunderstood a lot about what causes candida to thrive and therefore it doesn’t really work. Second, because there are always other colonies that need to be dealt with . . . way too many to cover in this little post, so I’ll just hit one more.
Improperly digested grains and milk products can act like opiates such as morphine and heroin in the body. Say what? I know it sounds crazy, but I can tell you firsthand that I’ve seen Daddypotamus react to food in this way.
Gluten is a protein present in grains, mainly wheat, rye, oats and barley. Casein is a milk protein, present in cow, goat, sheep, human and all other milk and milk products. In the bodies of GAPS people these proteins do not get digested properly and turn into substances with similar chemical structures to opiates, such as morphine and heroin. There has been quite a substantial amount of research done in this area by Dohan, Reichelt, Shattock, Cade and others, where gluten and casein peptides, called gluteomorphins and casomorphins, were detected in the urine of patients with schizophrenia, autism, ADHD, post-partum psychosis, epilepsy, Downs syndrome, depression and some autoimmune problems, like rheumatoid arthritis.
Gut & Psychology Syndrome, pp. 53-54
I won’t get into other opportunistic pathogens for now, but they’re in the book if you’re interested. What I hope you’ll take away from this that even good, wholesome foods like fermented grains and raw milk are toxic to a damaged gut. If you have digestive symptoms like chronic constipation or diarrhrea, bloating or abdominal pain, symptoms of inflammation like eczema or asthma, or brain dysfunction like ADD, simply “eating organic” may not be enough. We’ve been doing that for years and it hasn’t resolved Daddypotamus‘ health challenges.
The short answer is GAPS is recommended by a lot of people and organizations I respect: The Weston A. Price Foundation, Ann Marie at Cheeseslave, Cara at Health Home Happy, and others. Now that I’ve read the book I understand why. As Cara said in her most recent post, “The Gut and Psychology Syndrome introduction diet is a diet focused on intensive rest and healing for the gut lining, as well as slow introduction of fermented foods to repopulate it with friendly microorganisms.”
The GAPS diet focuses on the restoration of digestive function so that we can be the vital, active, healthy people we are meant to be. I am amazed by the stories of healing I am hearing from GAPS patients, like this before and after video from an autistic boy after just three months on GAPS. His uncontrollable clapping disappears. He’s coherent. He makes eye contact. It’s amazingly sweet.
Other conditions such as autism, schizophrenia and depression are said to benefit from the protocol. Here are some tips from Dr. Campbell-McBride on getting started. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, consider checking out the new GAPS class from Ann Marie of Cheeseslave.
Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and asking good questions yesterday. GAPS is still new to me and I’m thrilled to be able to share our journey with you. I’ll be posting updates as we continue doing this for our family.Read More »
Maybe it’s just me, but I think it’s downright sexy when my man makes healthy choices. Nothing gets me more than watching Daddypotamus stuff a piece of broccoli in his mouth and give me a look that says “I’m eating this so I can be with you tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that.”
I swooned a little just writing that.
Although Daddypotamus has been making “moon eyes” over broccoli, squash and butter for many years now, things have not exactly gone according to plan. His health is declining. Yep, I’m a real food blogger and my husband has some pretty serious health issues, like:
Why am I telling you this? Because I believe I’ve cracked the nut on how to get him well. If you or your husband and/or kids suffer from ADD, ADHD, learning disabilities, autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia, asthma, bed wetting, thrush, finicky eaters, chronic ear infections, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, food allergies, chronic fatigue syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, type-1 diabetes, chronic bladder infection, colic or eczema, I have some things I’d like to share with you.
Do you love carbs, sugar and caffeine? Do you feel tired, have trouble focusing? Do you feel like you’re 90 years old when you wake up in the morning?
I’ll be honest, I’ve known for years that he was headed for trouble. His body has been exposed to toxins from antibiotics, GMO’s, junk food, illegal drugs, etc. And although he makes lots of good choices, he’s given himself quite a bit of wiggle room when it comes to comfort food. There’s only so much that can be said until it becomes nagging, so aside from sharing a few insights here and there, I’ve tried to keep my mouth shut.
Then one day a few weeks ago, he came home from work and told me he was done feeling drained every day and he was ready to make a change. He’d been closely monitoring how different foods affected him, and he was ready to experiment by eliminating from his diet the foods that caused a sense of euphoria and swirling thoughts: all grains, corn, and sugar.
He asked for my help. I was giddy, hopeful, and overwhelmed. Because as much as I wanted to help my husband there is this one thing . . .
Candy diets, Atkins, South Beach, who needs ’em? I don’t count calories or add up points. Until last July I’d never even owned a scale (we bought it for Daddypotamus‘ Standard Process Cleanse). So when I tell you my first act toward helping Daddypotamus was to buy a diet book, be assured it was not a whim.
To be fair, Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride is more than a diet book. It details both the research and diet she used to help her son recover from autism.
Dr. Campbell-McBride graduated with Honours as a Medical Doctor in 1984 from Bashkir Medical University in Russia. In the following years she gained a Postgraduate MMedSci Degree in Neurology.
After practising for five years as a Neurologist and three years as a Neurosurgeon she started a family and moved to the UK. Fairly shortly after that her son was diagnosed autistic, which prompted an intensive study into causes and treatments of autism. It was during this time that Dr. Campbell-McBride developed her theories on the relationship between neurological disorders and nutrition, and completed a second Postgraduate Degree in Human Nutrition at Sheffield University, UK.
Having treated her son off the autistic spectrum, Dr. Campbell-McBride has returned to practice in 2000 and runs the Cambridge Nutrition Clinic. She has specialised in using nutritional approach as a treatment, and has become recognised as one of the world’s leading experts in treating children and adults with learning disabilities and other mental disorders, as well as children and adults with digestive and immune disorders.
GAPS ~ About Dr. Campbell-McBride (emphasis mine)
First of all, I’ve just gotta say you could hand researchers grant after grant and not get the answers this mom found. Why? Because no amount of money can motivate a person like a woman’s love for her family and desire for their well being. I think Dr. Campbell-McBride is amazing, and if you read her website you’ll find out why.
Other than the Weston A. Price Foundation, I have never seen any professional go to such lengths to help desperate families. Sure, her book and some products are for sale, but almost everything you need to know can be found for FREE on her website. I highly recommend the book, though, because you’ll get the logical flow of her ideas much better.
The GAPS diet bills itself as a natural treatment for all the disorders I listed earlier, and you know what?? I’m convinced. This is way more than a candida diet or a gluten-free diet (she goes over the limitations of these approaches in her book) and yet, in most ways it’s less restrictive. The full GAPS diet includes plenty of ghee, butter, meat, fruits and most veggies. We’ve been doing it for a couple of weeks now and although it is different I feel very well-nourished. My sugar cravings are gone. My skin is brighter. My husband is cranky (Obviously not a benefit, but at least it’s a sign that he’s detoxing and good things are ahead!).
Dr. Campbell-McBride’s ability to explain the complexities of our inner-ecosystem with such clarity has created a mini-revolution in how I see food. I knew that certain foods affect mood, but until know I had no idea how deeply what we eat affects whether we are anxious, depressed, distracted, schizophrenic, and more. If my house were on fire and I could only take two cookbooks with me, it would be this book and Nourishing Traditions, hands down.
I have never felt so empowered to heal my family and bring them to optimal health. At any moment I may break out some slow motion kung foo moves . . . I’m that excited! Tomorrow I’m going to tell you more about what the GAPS diet is, who it can help, and how to get started. Oh, and I’ll also be discussing hubby’s brain on opiates. See you then!
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