My suspicions were right! (I'm pretty sure!)
After Ellie suddenly did worse last night and I studied our food journal I came to the conclusion that beef had been causing her problems. This conclusion didn't make a ton of sense, since I had introduced ghee yesterday and it made much more sense to suspect the ghee. But my food journal and my mama's instinct told me to pull the beef. Whenever Ellie gets sick and there are several foods in question, I pull the food I'm most suspicious of out of her diet and keep everything else the same. This is critical. If you make any other variations it will be impossible to know what's what.
After yesterday my main suspects were beef, ghee and fennel. So today I made sure to feed Ellie more of the soup with fennel in it, as well as ghee. The ghee didn't go perfectly. Ellie had it twice today in very small amounts and both times she became very fussy and kind of red in the face. So I'm not sure what to make of that, and I'll continue to keep a close eye on the ghee for several more days and not introduce anything new.
But ... as for what made Ellie sick last night? It was totally the beef. I put her down for bed tonight and she silently, peacefully went to sleep. Anybody who's been reading this blog (and certainly those who know me personally) likely think I'm obsessed with Ellie's sleep. That's probably because I am. But that's because her sleep behavior is the earliest indicator that something has gone wrong. Sleep gets messed up long before the reflux or the stomach cramping or the vomiting show up. So the fact that I'm obsessing over sleep is actually an amazing thing because it means that - for the most part - those other symptoms haven't reared their ugly heads since being on GAPS. Anyway, as I walked out of her room tonight and listened to the beautiful silence my heart wanted to explode with happiness and I wanted to high five myself! I was so, so pleased to have figured this mystery out.
Speaking of vomiting, Ellie actually did vomit today. It was a really weird fluke thing. She ate a huge dinner with lots of (duck) fat in it and then spent some time laying down drawing with daddy. She crawled over to me to ask to nurse and - BLECH! - threw up on me. She was shocked and I was shocked and then she got sad and told me her "spit" was an "akisent" (accident). What a sweetheart. My initial reaction was - "Oh no! Not the ghee! It is so tasty!" - but then I thought about the big meal and the laying down and the extra fat and decided to just chalk it up to that.
So we will see how the next couple of days go. I plan to take it easy and pray we can keep ghee. In the meantime I'll be pondering what to do about the fact that I recently put down a deposit for a quarter of a pastured cow. :)