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%.
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.