We have begun the GAPS diet this week. Since Mirin was very young he has had mood behavior issues that are directly related to things he eats. Last fall he had some cake at a friend's wedding, and was miserable for weeks afterwards. We tried to do this for him when he was very young, but it was impossible not having all of our extended family on board. Also, back then I was going on just the GAPS book, and there's so much more to it now!
We finally decided it was something we had to try again, and we have everyone on board this time. That means he can't run next door after refusing a nourishing meal and eat six pieces of toast with jelly like last time. Really this is something we ALL need. Ethan and I are of the generation where you got antibiotics for any sort of sniffles--and we were both in daycare and sick constantly with multiple ear infections. We've both had countless rounds of antibiotics during our life.
(GAPS is a diet that helps to kill off unhealthy bacteria, yeasts and parasites by depriving them of the foods they thrive on, while taking in very nutrient dense foods, digestive enzymes and strong soil-based probiotics. If you have digestive problems, allergies, immune problems, absorption problems or mental health problems, you should totally look into it!!)
The first day, I had made a delicious and rich pork stew with onion, tomatoes and carrots. Right after breakfast, everyone's reaction was pretty much the same:
No one was happy, except Ethan, who was at work and didn't hear all the screaming. Mirin took refuge in Calvin and Hobbes, although there was a little whining about not having chocolate frosted sugar bombs or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
I myself felt the same way--horrible. It was only one meal, but I felt like I would die if I didn't have my customary glass of milk. The rest of that morning felt otherworldly. I was not myself. I didn't realize I couldn't make it through ONE meal without these foods!
After lunch my stomach began to really hurt, and I laid down with Clothilde during her nap, with the same feeling that I might die if I didn't go eat a spoonful of honey or a cracker or something sweet or starchy. It felt like a collapse of civilization, really uncomfortable and unhappy. I was amazed at how much it affected my emotions.
After I got up, I felt so much better, but not quite myself. That night, too, I felt so relaxed going to bed that I thought there must be something wrong with me. But yesterday I woke up and felt incredibly peaceful, grounded and happy. Of course my kids were at the point where they felt like they would die if they didn't have the foods they are used to, so there was still lots of screaming, but I was shocked at how calm I felt. I guess I had always gone through my days with horrible near-panic-attack anxiety, and never realized it before.
This morning I feel even better, although really fundamentally different. I've spent years trying to get to this place of calm and peacefulness through emotional/spiritual work, and all I needed was a change in diet!
The children are better today, even. So far so good, it has been so worth all the change.