Well, let’s just skip past the fact that I haven’t posted in ages.
*pause to allow you to skip past*
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.
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.
Kimchi, y’all! I made it myself!