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Monday, 23 April 2012

Surprising things I've learned on GAPS

So we've been doing the GAPS diet for a while now and I've been surprised by so many things on the diet that I thought I'd share.

Firstly, and most surprisingly, I've found that we can afford to buy free range, organic food on a regular basis, and not only that - our grocery budget has gone DOWN. Crazy right? For so long I have put off buying free range meats and organic vegetables because it was too expensive. The reality is, that since we started eating these foods, the children (and myself) have been snacking a lot less between meals, and those snacks really added up. So whilst I spend a lot more on fruit, veg, meat and eggs than I ever did, we now spend nothing on crisps, bread, cordial/juice, biscuits, chocolate bars, and sweets. The net effect being that on the first month of GAPS our groceries cost only slightly more than normal. By month two, our grocery bill had dropped by nearly 15%.
Which brings me neatly to my next surprising discovery; I can lose weight on a high fat diet. I guess I hadn't been very honest with how much snacking I was doing, because not only has our grocery bill gone down, so has my weight. In fact I've lost nearly three stone now, in two weeks I lost so much that someone from church thought I was new, despite having spent weeks doing small group leader training with me! I am now steadily losing 1-1.5lbs a week - even though I eat full fat everything and don't hold back on the butter when cooking our vegetables (having cut out complex carbohydrates the children need the fats for energy).

My third surprising revelation was how fast we saw results. I know it's different for different people, but I was to see measurable results in myself and the children within just a few days. The detox period wasn't fun, but it only lasted two weeks (for me) and the children didn't seem to notice it (we haven't done intro, we just slowly weaned them onto the full diet). I had expected a lot of drama when we took away foods that weren't GAPS 'legal', but so long as I provided plenty of fresh fruit my children were happy to eat that and not complain about the lack of biscuits. We did have one incident at a toddler group when Lila lost it after someone gave her a biscuit and I took it away, but we had a picnic yesterday with friends from church who all ate crisps, biscuits and sandwiches in front of us and the children didn't bat an eye lid. They were happy to choose the healthier snacks.


Fourthly I've discovered how easy it is for me to cut out carbohydrates. No more getting up at 5:30am to bake bread (I can now spend that time studying or praying with my husband), no waiting for things to prove and I even got rid of the toaster, which has freed up enough space on my kitchen work surface to keep my tea chest out with all my lovely herbal teas in it. My children love the 'soup' I make (broth with some veg and chicken thrown in) and I generally don't have to think about meals any more. It's pretty much always meat and some vegetables. In fact breakfast is the most complicated meal of the day, because I use the juicer, which is a pain to clean. But often the kids are happy with water to go with their eggs or yoghurt, so I don't even have to do juice if I don't feel like it.

Finally I have been totally floored by how easy it was to explain to my four year old what we were doing and why. He has a keen interest in biology - especially anatomy and physiology. Having looked through some book and talked about bacteria that lives in our bodies and helps us break down food, he quickly accepted that some of his bacteria weren't the same as other peoples, and that meant that he couldn't eat some foods that other people managed quite happily. Previously he had been introduced to the idea of bacteria by the 'How My Body Works' series, which led to a phase of not letting people touch him (in case he got germs from them) but this time round he was much more balanced about it and could easily accept that not all bacteria are bad for him. He is particularly fond of homemade yoghurt now as it has 'yummy bacteria' in it.

And there's so much more to tell you all, but I'll save it for another post, another day.

3 comments:

keastfamily said...

Brilliant, although quite how your food budget has gone down I have no idea!! Ours has gone up MASSIVELY! Maybe we were well stingy beforehand though... xx

Katie-jo Gracie said...

I couldn't say for sure, but I suspect a late portion of our budget went on Ribena and StarBars...

In all honesty we make a considerable saving on making our own yoghurt (we eat tonnes of it) and drying our own fruit and jerky for snacks. Maybe that's where we make more savings?

Smaller portion sizes too. My kids just don't finish giant meals like they used to (thank goodness!)

katie said...

Hi KJ
I am curius do you now not have any flour based products in your diet? It all sounds really interesting, I might have to borrow a book or two!!! Also is an argument that a child's stomach is only the size of the the palm of their hand and should have meals that size.
Speak soon.
Katie x

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