GAPS Days 2 and 3: Starting to see the suckage

Okay…so we started to see “die-off” symptoms right away on Day 2. For those who don’t know, when the “tummy baddies” (bad bacteria like the yeast Candida Albicans) die as a result of the diet, they release toxins. The toxins cause a number of complications: headache, irritability, anxiousness, etc.

Tummy buddy vs. tummy baddy

(Image from http://www.childrensprobiotics.co.uk)

Wickett had a really hard time and was bouncing off the walls on Monday afternoon (Day 2). He was chattering away, sometimes gibberish stuff, almost like he was reverting to echolalia. Boba, Tim, and I were better off, but still not great. I have had a WICKED headache since Sunday.

Fixing meals that the kids like has been a real challenge. Unfortunately we sort of have to go with the “if they get hungry enough, they’ll eat” attitude. We’re letting them eat pretty much what they want from the Intro Diet Stage 1 list, so sometimes it’s not particularly balanced. But it’s temporary, so they’ll be okay.

Some foods/dishes from days 2 and 3:
Beef roast with onions, carrots, and cauliflower
Chicken thighs with onions, carrots, and broccoli
More soups (butternut squash, chicken and broccoli, beef and vegetables, etc.)

It’s not easy, folks. But we’re sticking with it.

Namaste.

Dun dun DUUUUUNNNNNNNN!

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Well, let’s just skip past the fact that I haven’t posted in ages.

*pause to allow you to skip past*

Thanks.


 

Our whole family is soon embarking on a dietary adventure that will no doubt be incredibly challenging. I figure that the opportunity to blog about it will allow me to 1) process the journey through writing and 2) keep friends and family (and total strangers…hi!) up-to-date on what’s going on in our crazy world.

The short version: The GAPS diet. Stands for “Gut And Psychology Syndrome.” Read more about it here.

ImageThe longer version, for those who are still with me:

Essentially, Wicket needs a gut “reset.” He has what is sometimes referred to as “leaky gut” syndrome, meaning that there are microscopic perforations in his intestines that let things out that are supposed to stay in, and let things in that are supposed to stay out. It is often caused by systemic inflammation and dysfunctional immune response, but it brilliantly also *causes* systemic inflammation and dysfunctional immune response. Neat-o! He also has intestinal yeast overgrowth (also neat) and a list-so-long-it-is-vomit-inducing of foods that he has mild to severe intolerances to. Neat thing #3.

So the GAPS diet is a way to help heal his gut and get all of his systems playing nicely together. There is a strong “gut-brain” connection, essentially meaning that we see behavioral manifestations of his GI dysfunction. He doesn’t have traditional food allergies (like peanuts or tree nuts where people immediately get hives and trouble breathing, etc.). Food intolerances or sensitivities have a delayed immune response of anywhere from a few hours to literally days or weeks, which makes it hard to pinpoint what the offending foods are.

The GAPS intro diet is a few weeks of intensely boring yet necessary dietary changes that will lay the foundation for the healing to take place. We’ll make a lot of homemade bone broth, soups from that broth, fermented vegetables, and boiled meat (*sigh*). We add easily-digestible vegetables like butternut squash, cauliflower, broccoli, and onions. The stages following slowly start to add in foods that are harder to digest, introducing them carefully so that offending foods can easily be identified. There’s a very specific list of foods that you can and can’t have on the GAPS diet.

The kicker? We’re ALL doing it. Wicket, Boba, Tim, and I. Part of it is solidarity with Wicket to show him that we love him and support him; part of it is to make it easier on all of us (it seems pretty crappy for us to pig out on pizza, Indian food, etc.while Wicket is eating boiled meat and bone broth…couldn’t blame him if he went Al-Pacino-at-the-end-of-Scarface on us); but part of it is also to give all of us that same “reset.” I have gained weight (a topic that is a billion posts in itself), we all feel sluggish, and we suspect that Boba also has some undiagnosed dietary issues. Heck, maybe Tim and I do, too.

To tell you the truth, I am excited. And scared. Well, excited AND scared (thanks, Sondheim!). This diet is INTENSE, y’all. The prospect of having to get a challenging 4 yo and 6 yo to eat kimchi makes me want to stick a fork in my eye. BUT. But. The stories I’ve read, you guys. The stories of healing, of lightbulbs going off, of relationships being repaired, of progress made…well…I’m excited. And scared.

Thanks to all of you for your support! If you’re not already following the blog, be sure to subscribe and you’ll get an email when I’ve posted.

Cheers,

~Lisa~

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Kimchi, y’all! I made it myself!

Desiderata

I am blue tonight. Won’t go into why right now (later post, perhaps), but I just am. When I feel blue, one thing I like to do is to read Max Ehrmann’s 1927 poem “Desiderata.” I have a copy of it on the wall in my office; I try to read it daily. I thought I’d share it with my blog world in case you might find it helpful, too. XOXO

Desiderata, by Max Ehrmann

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be critical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.

The Reformation Project is here!!!

Morning, friends! I leave today for Kansas City, where I will finally meet my fellow reformers and leaders for The Reformation Project. We have been prepping for over 3 months, reading and digging into Scripture, translations, history, and more in order to work towards full acceptance and equality of the LGBTQ+ community within the Christian church. It’s been an amazing journey so far and I know that this weekend will continue on that path. I appreciate any prayers, energy, thoughts, and intentions you feel inclined to offer for safe travels for all involved, for us to connect and share in fellowship, and for us to be open to the work that awaits us. Thank you all for your support! If you’re a tweeter, you can follow the conference via the hashtag #TRP13.

Three Years an Optimist

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Wicket and I went to the playground by the fire station this morning. Boba was still grouchy and not feeling well, so he stayed home. It’s been awhile since just Wicket and I had time together, by ourselves. When Tim and I “divide and conquer,” our typical weekend plan of action where he takes one child and I take the other and we go our separate ways to try and get them to chill the eff out, Tim usually takes Wicket and I take Boba. So it was nice, just the two of us.

The playground was funded by the Jonesboro Optimist Club, so it’s called Optimist Park. I like that. I like to think of myself as an optimist. It was abandoned this morning; we had it to ourselves. “Why do we have it to ourselves?” he asked. “Because no one else is here, babe.” “Why is no one here?” “I don’t know. But we have the whole place to ourselves.”

There’s a paved path that goes around the outside of the playground, around the fire station, and back to the parking lot. A nice, big circle. When we go, the boys bring their scooters and love to scoot around and around the big circle. I follow on foot, hoofing it a bit to get some exercise and to try my best to keep up. There are some places where the path crosses the parking lot, and my impulsive boys don’t always stop when they’re supposed to.

Today, Wicket was FAST. Scooting his little booty off. We did three laps together, and each time he got further and further ahead of me until finally I was on one side of the fire station and he was on the other, where I couldn’t see him. He was on the side where the path crosses the parking lots and goes awfully close to the street. I had a moment of near-panic, but reined it back in and trusted that the countless lessons of “Stop and look for cars when you see the yellow lines” would pay off. I sat down on a picnic bench near the playground and just…waited. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t poised to hear brakes screeching, a child’s voice yelling, etc. But in a minute (that seemed like longer), he came scooting around the corner of the building.

He came over to where I was sitting and wanted to know why I stopped. “It’s so hot, little man. I’m going to drink some water and do some work.” “Do I have to stop?” “No, hon. You go ahead.” He decided he wanted to run this time, so he proceeded to run around the big circle twice, his little arms pumping like crazy, a determined look on his face. I didn’t follow him, just did some reading (Reformation Project!), and…waited. And he was fine. Two times around running, and he came running back to me, sweaty and grinning.

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And then it hit me…today is August 25. Three years ago, on August 25, we received Wicket’s autism diagnosis.

I remember the day in vivid detail–the various steps and tests along the way, resisting the urge to reach out and help him when they asked him to do something he couldn’t do, carrying 4 month-old Boba in the Ergo carrier all day, the prickly feeling in my skin when they finally said the word out loud, the silence in the car ride on the way home as Wicket finally napped out of exhaustion and Tim and I tried to allow things to sink in.

GOOD LORD, we have come a long way in three years. All of us. Wicket, in his skills and adaptations, his personality, strength, courage, curiosity, affection; us in our ability to handle the challenges. And while we still have many, while we still doubt and question and shake our fists at the sky occasionally, we are growing and adapting along with him.

Wicket’s little voice calling across the playground snapped me back into my connection with him, and he asked if I could come play with him for awhile. “Of course, sweetness. Let me just finish up here.” But I didn’t ever get back to my reading, because I got caught up in watching him play, watching him PRETEND to put out a fire on the playground (suck it, “no pretend play skills”). In the pic below, he’s holding the “hose” in his hand.

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And a few weeks ago, on this same playground, I watched him run and play with a new friend, a total stranger he met…he asked this little boy his name, told him his own, and then proceeded to chase him around like a maniac. They laughed and squealed and I smiled, thinking how one day not too long ago we wondered if it’d be difficult for him to make friends.

So…while this anniversary leaves me with mixed emotions, today I am choosing the positive. Choosing to be an optimist. He’s come so far and grown so much. He is an incredibly bright, adventurous, affectionate boy with so much potential.

Optimist Park indeed.

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