I can only describe this first week on the diet as rough. Debilitating. Depressing.
Whenever a person starves the bad bacteria in his or her body, the resulting "die-off" of these bacteria results in symptoms we often refer to as detoxing. Detoxing is actually the process of removing toxins- including the dead bacteria - from the body. Die-off floods the body with death pathogenic bacteria, causing sometimes extremely pronounced discomfort - including fatigue, nausea, irritability, headache, intense cravings, depression, and various other maladies.
Yeah, my week was kinda like ALL that. On top of it, my son is participating in this diet too - for mood stability, control of ADHD symptoms, and alleviation of digestive issues. He was cranky and complaining from day one. He threw up his second night. He told me every fifteen minutes almost every day that he was not doing this anymore.
But, there was one bright light in this otherwise awful week. I can breathe again. For a very long time, I have been unable to breathe through my nose at night, and always had sinus pressure during the day. I figured I was allergic to something. Apparently it was something I was eating, because after just one week on this diet, my nasal passages are open! I didn't even realize how bad it had gotten until it was better. So praise God for that - it gave me a little glimmer of hope that things would get better.
So what did I eat this week?
The GAPS introduction diet has six stages. A person moves through them as fast or slow as their digestive symptoms will allow. I got through stage three, moving into four this week. The first stage is basically bone broths, meat stocks, and soups made with meats and low-starch vegetables. My typical meal would be soup with carrots and onions boiled in broth until soft. Then right at the end, I'd add chopped garlic and let it sit for a few minutes. I'd add chicken or beef to the soups. I have also been drinking lots of organic herbal detox tea from Lost River Naturals and taking a digestive enzyme and a powerful probiotic.
The next couple of stages, I added raw egg yolks (into the soups), homemade yogurt with raw, unfiltered honey, and avocado. A key component of the meals is a high fat content. I cooked eggs in lots of butter and/or coconut oil. I'd put a couple tablespoons of butter with chopped onions and mushrooms and cook on low for 20 minutes.
Other than the detox symptoms, the hardest part of week 1 was giving up the coffee. I did, however, discover an energy booster (recommended by GAPS protocol) for an energy boost when a person can't have caffeine. See Fat and Honey on my blog Food in the Garden.