.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

DIY pickl-it

So there is this huge debate going on in the states about anaerobic fermentation and whether or not mason jars are really an acceptable way to make your own probiotic ferments, and the more I read about it the more I'm convinced I want to try making my probiotic foods in a more 'sealed' environment.

A month or two ago I would have happily paid an extortionate amount to get my hands on a set of pickl-it jars, but nobody would sell me any. Turns out lack of sunlight isn't the only draw back to living in the uk!

In the last week or so, I've stumbled across some rather enlightening posts on Pinterest. My favourite being how to hack a recap mason jar into a DIY pickl-it.

Unfortunately you can't buy recap in the UK either.

It did give me a bit of an idea though, so today the kids and I went to our local home brewing retailer and bought some airlocks and bungs. Total cost for four = £5.20

It turns out kilner jar lids are actually really thin and easy to cut through. So thin in fact, that the lid scrunched up like tin foil when I first tried to drill a hole in the top.

I refined my technique though, so here is my step by step guide to making your own pickl-it (or as dang close as you can get in England) jar.

First draw around the base of your rubber bung (the thinnest end) onto the lid.
Take the lid off the kilner jar and place it on some burned old oven gloves (to protect your work surface).
Next take the smallest flat screw driver you have (we want it to be sharp) and hammer and punch holes around the circle you traced. It's important that you punch holes on opposite sides of the circle, then at the quarter points, then between each of those... Etc... Making sure you don't do all of one side before the other. The idea is to keep the structure as stable as possible whilst you are working so that it doesn't start tearing.
Once you've punched all the way around, keep filling in gaps until you've actually punched out a circle.
It should look very rangy and something like this.
Don't worry if its a bit too small for the bung, we're going to make it bigger when we file and you want a snug fit.
Turn the lid over and hammer any sharp bits flat.
Next take a rounded file (I asked my friendly neighbourhood Design Technology teacher. Maybe you have one in your garage? If not, you might need to buy one for this. I can't think of an alternative) and file the edges smooth.
Keep checking if your bung fits, as soon as it fits half way, you can stop filing and just twist/force it in to place.
If you have any gaps, you can fill it with some silicone sealant (I got aquarium sealer from amazon. According to pets at home the silicone does not degrade in water and is non-toxic to all species).

Ta da! My finished, anaerobic fermentation jars!

It was a little time consuming, I'll be honest, but once I got started it was not as hard as I'd imagined it would be. It also provided a great opportunity for Will to have a go with the hammer, and talk about bacteria and the difference between 'aerobic' and 'anaerobic' fermentation. Everyday is a school day!

 Now to try and make some ferments...

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

GAPS and High Cholesterol Part Two

If you haven't read part one, you can - it's right here.

So first of all, I want to talk a bit about what exactly this 'bad' LDL cholesterol really is.
Cholesterol is actually really important in our bodies - it's an antioxidant; it protects cell membrane structure; preserves cell membrane function; it's the building block of most hormones; it protects neurons and reduces risk of depression, suicide and neurodegenerative disorders; protects heart and arteries; protects muscle cells and prevents chronic fatigue; protects liver cells and prevents liver injury.

photo credit
The  LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol is not really a different type of cholesterol from that in the HDL (high- density lipoprotein). The difference between LDL and HDL cholesterols is how many proteins are attached to the cholesterol molecule; HDL has more of proteins and LDL has less. The actual cholesterol in both is identical. So, in reality whether cholesterol is bound to more proteins or less of them depends on the metabolism of proteins which, in turn, depends on the metabolism of oxygen, free radicals, and acidity in the body.

And so we come to my plan of attack. Obviously, as I mentioned yesterday the plan is going to include more low level exercise and some light weight training, but I need to attack this a little more aggressively if I'm going to avoid taking statins. Which brings me to liposomal vitamin C.

I heard of using large doses of vitamin C to treat cancer (usually IV by the NHS, but the real success stories are people who take a liposomal version orally and really dose up). 

It turns out, the benefits of liposomal vitamin C include lowering LDL cholesterol; raising HDL cholesterol; improving blood flow and circulation; scrubbing plaque from veins and arteries and making blood cells less 'sticky' (clot forming). 

It all sounds good, and it's GAPS legal. 

I'm going to be a guinea pig and test this out for the next 3-6 months, and I'll let you know the results of my next scheduled blood tests. 

If you are interested in making your own liposomal vitamin C at home (it works out much cheaper than buying it) here's a video to show you how. 

Monday, 26 November 2012

GAPS and High Cholesterol




For many people switching to 'real food' significantly lowers their cholesterol.

I am not one of those people.

In fact my blood analysis this week came back stating that my LDL cholesterol levels (the 'bad' cholesterol - I'll talk about that more in part 2) was 7.9, when it should be less than 2. Eeek!

There are however several good reasons why your cholesterol levels might be temporarily high if you are working through the GAPS diet, and a few things you can do about it too.

Firstly, rapid weight loss. I have dropped from over 13st to 8st 12lb in the last nine months. So long as your weight loss is healthy i.e. you are losing fat and not muscle or water, you should see an increase in the amount of free flowing cholesterol temporarily in your blood whilst your body processes it.

For example, if you are losing 1 lb a week, you are releasing a steady stream of 3500 calories of saturated animal fat in to your blood stream as trigycerides and fatty acid.

The solution is obviously not to halt weight loss, as obesity is more of a health risk than raised cholesterol, but simply to re-check your cholesterol levels once weight loss has stabilised. Don't worry, it will stabilise - nobody loses weight on GAPS if they don't need to.

Secondly, you may be doing more intense activity than you should be on a low-carb diet. My doctor has chastised me for going on a big run every couple of weeks and doing nothing in between. Apparently I should be doing at least an hours brisk walk every couple of days, but ideally 20-30 minutes daily.

What has this got to do with GAPS? Well, most of the functions of our body on GAPS are provided energy from fat. This is called a ketogenic diet. Our bodies are actually very happy running mainly on fats and do a very efficient job of it. There are however some key brain functions that require glucose and simply cannot be replaced by fats.

Don't worry though, your body can produce glucose from proteins through a process called Gluconeogenesis.  When we are exerting ourselves more than our body thinks it can handle, it reduces production of a hormone called T3. Normally T3 helps us use up glucose, so that we don't have excess in our blood, but your body drops the levels to try and conserve glucose for essential brain function.

What does this have to do with cholesterol? Well, the drop in T3 also has the effect of meaning that LDL receptors drop some of their activity. These receptors have the job of feeding back to the brain how much LDL is in your blood, and with them temporarily out of action, your brain doesn't bother doing anything about the LDLs present, hence the levels are higher.

women weight training
photo credit
Thirdly, you aren't lifting anything heavy. Yep, even ladies, weight training is important. You don't have to beef up massively, but a little lifting a couple of times a week can rapidly reduce your cholesterol. In fact, one study says that it reduces your cholesterol for 72 hours after a single weights session.

Lifting weights breaks down muscle, which the body then repairs and makes stronger. Cholesterol is required in this repair process. If you have high cholesterol, use the opportunity to build some lean muscle mass - it will help you look more toned and generally feel fitter and healthier.
Whilst all of these things explain my elevated cholesterol levels, none of them are good enough solutions for someone as far out of the 'normal' range as I am - but that's okay, because I have a treatment plan, and it doesn't involve statins.

Check back tomorrow for part 2!

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Sanctification

I'm the kind of person who loves celebrations. Any excuse.
photo credit

We celebrate Christmas, birthdays and Easter in my extended family in a BIG way, not just immediate family, cousins and second cousins and anyone else we can cram under one roof.
We also celebrate hebrew festivals  in our nuclear family, along with valentines day, 'back to school' and anything else I fancy making into an event. The kids LOVE it.

We also celebrate thanksgiving, ever since I lived with an american family whilst I was studying, and invite friends to come and celebrate with us.

In fact, it's one of my favourite celebrations because
a) It involves inviting all our friends
b) I always host (I have only ever hosted Christmas once) which is fun
c) Gratitude is something I think we could all use a little work on

As I'm writing this, and I'm sure I won't get around to posting until much later, I feel like cancelling it. I'm absolutely wiped out and I can't see how I will possibly get everything I need to done by tomorrow.

Events this weekend have left me totally exhausted, and my washing machine is damaged (my own fault) with a huge back log of laundry, there are tiny white polystyrene balls EVERYWHERE (long story), one of our fridges has broken (yes, we have two, both small, one is to store all our raw milk so that we don't have to drive to the farm more than once a week), it's the first year I'll be making it GAPS legal (so all new recipes) and our dining room table is currently covered in sewing projects, boxes for operation Christmas Child and mail for various previous tenants that we haven't got around to redelivering yet.

Phew.

I guess God must have decided it's time to put me through another one of those 'refining fires' that will eventually improve my character, but right now it's hard to see how. As someone who generally dislikes change (I'm a routine based person) I genuinely fear the sanctification processes God uses to create more Christ-likeness.

I'm reading Psalm 66 right now and realising that God uses all of life (the sickness, the broken appliances, the nap-refusing children) to test us, try, us and crush us. He lets men ride over us and brings us through fire and water; now why was that never in my word for today?

So in these situations there is only one thing to do; well two things actually.

1) Try to find out what God is doing. Hint - It will involve asking Him. Usually my prayers in this situation go something like this 'Why are you doing this to me?' and end with the realisation that He is not doing something to me, He is doing something for me. My fragility helps me to realise my need for him. God loves me through His refining of me (2 Cor 3:18)

Sometimes this realisation comes a looooooong time after the event. It's something I'm working on.

2) Recognize who you are - are you a helpless victim who suffers whatever comes her way? or are you the beloved daughter of the King of the universe? I have received grace, not punishment. Everything I go through is for my good and His glory. (Heb 12, 2 Cor 4, Rom 8:6).

So I'm choosing to recognise again that >hospitality and entertaining< are not the same thing, and that I have only offered hospitality to my friends, I don't need to impress them. So we will humbly go ahead, serving as best we can, and recognising that there may still be tiny polystyrene balls attached to everything, but that we can still praise God and thank him for one another, and for all our blessings.

Happy Thanksgiving.
xxx

Photo Credit


Monday, 19 November 2012

Stockings

Christmas is coming and I'm starting to get so excited!!

We don't do Santa Claus in our house, mainly because the idea of him terrifies my son - despite being told he doesn't exist! Even so, we still do stockings. My kids know that mum and dad fill their stockings with little gifts and they have been looking forward to it since the christmas decorations started appearing in stores (so around about september time)!

I'm looking for ideas that are frugal to fill their stockings with, that aren't plastic junk which will end up in a bin by the end of the month.

Here are my ideas so far, I'd love any more suggestions you can come up with.

Each child will receive:


  • A small batch of Watermelon Candy - This is literally just slices of watermelon, dehydrated. My kids go wild for it though, it's the highlight of my pantry for them! 
  • A home made 'Tilda' bunny toy. I only just discovered these darling dolls, and they are so easily made from mummy's old T-shirts and bed linen. If you are looking for inspiration, check out my Tilda board on pinterest. 
  • Some Stacking Turtles filled with rice to make microwaveable snugglies. Again, easily made from scraps. I made up my own pattern for these, and if you are lucky I may get around to posting it some day, but in the mean time, it's pretty easy to work out for yourself!
  • Some homemade bubble mixture (It's classic and my kids love it).
  • Some crispy nuts
  • A clementine
So, anymore great ideas out there?



Thursday, 15 November 2012

Expectations vs Ability

So, I recently got myself into another one of >these< situations again, only this time it was with the girl. I stupidly decided that she was not going to be let off my lap until she apologised for something.

Of course we sat for a long time, whilst she stared at me blankly.

'This has gone on long enough!' I fumed in my mind, 'She is old enough to say sorry!'

It's a familiar situation. I love that fact that my son is old enough to reason with, and we can take our 'Plants Grown Up' book and talk through what the bible says about his actions and how he can work on that particular behaviour. My daughter is just not ready for these kinds of conversations yet.

'It's one word!' I thought, 'how hard can it be! Just say it you stubborn baby!'

And that's when it dawned on me, that I don't think I've ever heard her say a word with an 's' sound  in it. Her brother taught her the alphabet and she still says 'nayk' for 'S' ('S is for Snake') whilst correctly using phonics for most of the other letters. I realised that maybe she couldn't say sorry, and was embarrassed to try.

So I taught her the sign language for sorry instead. In under 30 seconds she had shown me the sign multiple times and hugged and kissed me.

She's still stubborn, and it's hit and miss whether she wants to apologise, but now I know she is able.

Sometimes I set the bar too high for my children, and I need to remember:

They're just kids.

If we want our kids to come to us, if we want to be approachable as parents, we need to making it easy for our children to come to us, and sometimes that might mean communicating on their level, in a way that is inclusive.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Dove Colour Radiance

Since we've been trying to cut out harmful chemicals in our lives (for the GAPS protocol) one of the things I've been guiltily still using is SLS. I can give it up in my toothpaste, but not my hair products.

The thing is, I naturally have pretty dark hair, not only do I (and Matt) prefer blonde, but I like to experiment with various colour options. This has taken quite a toll on my hair. Despite having paid out for organic chemical free shampoo and conditioners, I currently only use them on my kids, because my hair is literally snapping and breaking off if I try to use it. 
In fact, I can't use a normal shampoo and conditioner, I usually have to use a hair mask EVERY time I wash my hair, just to be able to get a comb through it.

So when I was asked to review Dove colour radiance shampoo and conditioner, I was skeptical. That said, I was excited about the claim of being their 'lowest ever SLS' products. A reduction felt like a good compromise. Maybe I can wean myself off using them slowly, without ending up looking like this:

I've been using the shampoo and conditioner exclusively for the last two months(ish) and I like it!  The conditioner is much thicker consistency than most, and it has a fun pink stripe which reminded me of the 90s Aquafresh (do they still make that?)

I Can't honestly say there is a discernible difference to look at my hair, but I've been able to brush (and not break) it, without using a hair mask in all that time. 

Thumbs up from me, and thanks BzzAgent for the campaign invite!

Monday, 12 November 2012

Bible Study for Busy Mamas

I love a pretty, organised set of notes. Something about a colour coded filing system just begs me to get involved. Is there anyone else out there who feels like this too?

My problem is I love developing new systems, but I quickly get bored and start looking for a new way to arrange things, that's why I have Evernote and Springpad as well as notes on my ipad, but also  Minds, Wunderlist, Things and Pinterest. I just love new ways to organise!

Well the fantastic people over at doorposts (who produce the 'Training in Righteousness' and 'Plants Grown Up' books that I LOVE) have been doing a daily bible study for 'busy moms'  on Colossians 3 over on their blog. Each task will take you just five minutes each day, so you can squeeze it in around even the busiest of schedules.

I've joined them, mostly to try a new bible study technique, and it's fantastic! Not only is it a great personal study on the passage, it's a beautiful way to keep notes in your bible in an organised and visually pleasing way. I raided the children's art supplies for coloured pencils, but you could splash out on your own set of 'special pens' for bible study if you wanted even more motivation.

One of the most beautiful bible's I've ever seen
This is a genuinely great study, so I'll link up what they have so far, but feel free to check back each day as I'll try and keep updating (or just bookmark the doorposts blog, it's really worth it!)

Day one - Getting Started 
Day two - Getting Context
Day three - If's and Then's
Day four - Contrasts
Day five - Putting to death
Day Six - Putting on
Day Seven - Extra Study which uses biblestudytools.com. I've been using these to store my notes for years and highly recommend it. A fantastic resource along with BlueLetterBible for access to commentaries etc..
Day eight - Jesus plus a bonus project to do with your little ones
Day nine - Death and Resurrection
Day ten - Why?
Day eleven - But...
Day twelve - As and So
Day thirteen - God
Day fourteen - catch up
Day fifteen - verse 11
Day sixteen - Holy Living
Day seventeen - word studies
Day eighteen - everything
Day nineteen - paraphrasing
Day Twenty - Catch Up
Day Twenty-one - meditating
Day Twenty- two - Thanksgiving
Day Twenty-three - obedience
Day Twenty-four - translations
Day Twenty-five - verbs
Day Twenty-six - past, present and future
Day Twenty-seven - organise and summarise
Day Twenty-eight - Catch Up
Day Twenty-nine - Children
Day Thirty - Doing




Sunday, 11 November 2012

The Grace Effect

"The judeo-Christian tradition has formed us in the west; we are bound to it by ties which may often be invisible, but which are there nonetheless. It has formed the shape of our secularism; it has formed even the shape of modern atheism"
                                            - Flannery O'Connor in Mystery and Manners

It's rare that I give a book 10/10 but along with 'Why God Won't Go Away' this is one of my new favourite books.

The Grace Effect by christian apologist Larry Taunton, is a fantastic story contrasting the very Christian influenced 'west' (most specifically America) with the historically secular society of the former Soviet Union.

I love the Flannery O'Connor quote above, which Larry explores in the final chapter of the book, pointing out that the 'new atheists' benefit largely from a common grace which is found in historically Christian societies, which is why you never find the likes of Dawkins living in a Muslim country, or a communist regime - they wouldn't last long!

But this book is much more than just an apology for the Christian faith. It's the journey of a family as they adopt one of the 'besprizornye' ('ones without oversight') from Ukrainian orphanage #17.
photo credit
"Two competing policies on adoption, both bad, within the same government. At the national level, the government, trying to make Ukraine look as attractive as possible to the EU, wants to hide the plight of their vast orphan population rather than solve it; at a municipal and regional level, a corrupt bureaucracy seeks to parlay foreign interest in Ukrainian orphans into a profitable industry. Conveniently, the propaganda about international adoptions is used (generated?) to the advantage of both - by one to deny adoptions, by the other as leverage for more money from those who want to adopt."

This book is a must read for anyone considering international adoption, specifically from Russia or Ukraine. Despite having read about the Russian adoption process before, following each step in chronological order as the Taunton's go through it really helped me get my head around the legal system there in a much clearer way.

Prepare yourself for long waits, fruitless bribes, indifference and condescension, but to be astounded that it is 100% worth it, to bring one of the world's "least" into a loving family, a society of common grace, and most importantly a place of hearing and seeing the gospel.


Here's what the author had to say about the book:

Friday, 9 November 2012

Crockpot cheesecake

This is another incredible slow-cooker recipe, but this time it's dessert.
I saw a recipe on Pinterest and I just had to try it out.

I could eat the batter raw. It's like the creamiest most delicious melted ice cream. The hardest part about this recipe is waiting the two hours for it to cook.

I've made a GAPS legal version and it was delicious, so here's the how:-

You will need:
- 3 eggs
- 16oz of cream cheese (bonus points if you make your own)
- 1 cup of crispy almonds
- 1/2 cup of honey
- 4 tbsp double cream
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp coconut flour
- 1 tbsp vanilla essence (here's how to make it)

Blitz the almonds in a blender with one egg and the butter until smooth and then spread in a cake pan (make sure it's small enough to fit in your slow cooker!)
Next take all the other ingredients and blend together well.
Pour over the cake pan and place in the slow cooker.
Pour two cups of water into the cooker around the pan, being careful not to get any in there.
Place the lid on, turn on to high and leave for three hours.




Three long hours.


When it's done it will look slightly golden and split in the middle.

Remove it from the slow cooker to cool on the side. It will sink down and then, once it's reached room temperature you can fridge it to chill.

This is great on its own, but also incredible smothered in ganache (keep it GAPs legal by using cocoa, coconut oil, honey and double cream) and I imagine it would be great with raspberries or blueberries on top.

I've seen a spate of pumpkin flavoured cheesecakes on Pinterest recently which I'd also like to try. I'll let you know if it works out.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Lasagne soup

I love my slow cooker, especially at this time of year. A short amount of prep in the morning means I don't have to rush the kids home from an activity to start making dinner, which in any 'real food' home is a massive blessing.

Today we had lasagne soup, which I've only made once before, and I'm not sure why because it is honestly delicious and only took a small amount of tweaking to become GAPS legal.

It's also a hit with the kids (it contains cheese, so obviously they love it) and a great way to get them to eat their broth.

I'm lucky enough to have a food processor, which means the prep took me all of three minutes this morning, if you don't have one, it takes a little while to chop all the veggies, but it's totally worth it.

You will need:
6-8 cups of beef broth (I did half chicken because I didn't have enough and it does not impair the flavour!)
350g ground beef (optional, but more authentic)
1 butternut squash
6 carrots
4 leeks
2 onions
1 whole bulb of garlic (yeah, all of it!)
2 cups passata (I subbed one cup for fresh tomatoes from the garden)
Rind from a hard cheese, like Parmesan (I keep them in the freezer whenever we finish a block, just for stuff like this)
Whatever Italian style herbs you have to hand. I threw in a tonne of oregano, thyme, basil and rosemary. Go telly heavy because the slow cooking mellow out all the flavours.
And finally 1.5 cups medium grated cheddar.

Dump the broth, meat, passata, finely shredded veggies, herbs and cheese rind in your slow cooker and put it in low. Leave it all day.

Come home to house that smells amazing and stir in the cheddar cheese.

That's it.

It also tastes amazing with a dollop of sour cream, but that's totally optional.

Enjoy x

Monday, 5 November 2012

My Addiction

Sometimes I catch myself having some really odd conversations about food. For example, a few days ago I found myself talking to Sarah about how I wasn't too worried about eating too many nuts in the original phase of weaning myself off grains for GAPS because nuts aren't addicting in the same way that gluten is.

Really? Am I really talking using nuts to wean myself off of grains in the same way that a heroin addict uses methadone?

I'm not suggesting anyone who eats wheat or sugar has an addiction to it, in the same way that if you drink a glass of wine I wouldn't assume you are an alcoholic, but some people have addictive personalities. Alcoholism is real and devastating, but it doesn't affect everybody who has a beer. Sugar and wheat addictions are real, they just don't affect everyone in the same way.

I have an addictive personality. I've prayed about, I'm working on it, Jesus is working on me too. Throughout my life there have been periods of literally months where I have lived on just haribo, redbull and gin, with a McDonalds thrown in once every couple of days. Needless to say this has played havoc with my body, and it's little surprise the I got very ill.

I'm not telling you this because I'm proud of it, but because I want you to have some context for my posts. If I sometimes get a little enthusiastic about nutrition, I want you to understand where I've come from and not feel like I'm the food police, or that I'll judge you if you eat a cake in my presence.

This photo was taken at my little sister's birthday about six years ago. Despite remaining slim on my ridiculous diet (only through calorie restriction) you can see I didn't look great. Even though I'm wearing copious amounts of make-up you can see dark shadows under my eyes, my skin always had a yellow tone and my lips were covered in fever blisters. What you can't see is that I also suffered with insomnia, chronic dysmenorrhea that regularly had me hospitalised and/or on morphine and diclofenac, I had phobias that meant I couldn't be alone in a house after dark and that hair grip is carefully placed to hide my thinning hair.

I was also convinced that I was morbidly obese.

The next photo was taken at about the same time. My hair is once again carefully placed in a messy style to hide the fact that it's falling out (it's fashionable now, but it really wasn't then), you can see fever blisters around my lips, dark circles under the eyes.

Despite being slimmer than I am now, I remember crying that day because I felt like I had nothing to wear to cover how fat I was.

I also had the body of a child. Even the 32AA (smallest bra that wonderbra make in the uk) gaped on my chest and made me feel ridiculous and ashamed.

I suffered unexplained migraines, absence seizures (rare, but concerning) and mood swings. I really can't think why Matt wanted to date me!

Feeling like I didn't have enough energy to do all the things I wanted to do I started to train really hard. I would be in the gym 2-3 hours everyday, then swim for an hour. I used to buy meal replacement bars so that people would see me increasing me calorie intake to cope with the demand, but then secretly bin them and keep the wrappers for my car to give the illusion that I'd eaten them. I even started using ephedrine to suppress my appetite and keep me focused enough to work.

No surprise I became ill, and after having glandular fever and meningitis I was forced to drop out of university in my final year. I spent hours every day sleeping - not just the odd nap here and there, but sometimes 20 out of 24 hours, waking up for 20 minutes at a time to drink, get help going to the bathroom etc... and was eventually diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or ME. By body was in constant pain. Some days were worse than others, but even addiction to pain killers wouldn't help. Paracetamol wouldn't touch it and once I was on the maximum doses of codeine and voltarol the GP ran out of things he was allowed to prescribe for me (I had a lovely sympathetic GP who'd had glandular fever himself 35 years earlier and still felt the effects).

Slowly I learned to manage pain and sleep (I still needed much more than most people and had to wean off the painkillers slowly) and start to have a life again. My lovely husband had to support us, because I was never able to hold a full time job again. In fact even part time jobs never lasted more than a few weeks.

We were excited to fall pregnant, only to have the university GP tell me that we should abort due to my health. Believing that God would not give me more than I could handle we continued with the pregnancy and had our beautiful baby boy. After his birth I had mental health issues and was under psychiatric review for the next four years, during which time we had our little girl. As you can see I was stacking on weight at this point. Being unable to exercise without setting back my ME and still being addicted to grains and sugars meant that even with calorie restriction I was unable to lose weight. This photo is not me at my biggest, but I deleted pretty much all photos of me during this period because I hated to look at them.

When I was first told about GAPS I couldn't believe it. It sounded so ridiculously hard, and as it was being promoted to me as a way to help with my sons autism, I felt it was unnecessary. He didn't seem very severe to me. It wasn't until his behaviour started to deteriorate and the paediatrician was telling me this was 'normal' that I even started to consider it. I bit the bullet, bought the book, and was in shock.

It was like reading my medical history. I honestly couldn't believe what I was seeing on the page. We started to GAPS diet to help with William's behaviour, but it has completely changed my life. I'm now a happy, healthy mummy, with the energy to look after her children and still enjoy serving in our church and pursuing my own interests.

The diet has become easier and easier to maintain, it was hard at first, but as I stuck with it and saw results, I was motivated to continue, to a point where it is now second nature.

I'm not as slim as I have been in my younger years, but I honestly don't care and I also don't bruise as easily, which is a big bonus.

I know GAPS isn't for everyone, but for some of us food really is medicine. I'd encourage you to look into dealing with health issues nutritionally, before resorting to man-made chemicals.

So if I seem a little obsessed, a little evangelical or over-enthusiastic; forgive me. Now you know a little about where I've come from, you'll hopefully understand.


For those who don't know me, this is what I look like now.



 
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