Sunday, May 15, 2011

Day 25: Mysteries and theories

I think perhaps the most challenging part of this diet is that it is impossible to know what is going on 100% of the time (or 75% of the time, for that matter!). Is a symptom caused by die-off, meaning the bad bacteria are dying and healing is happening? Or is it a food reaction, meaning your body can't handle the food you just ate and you should back off of it for a while? Or is some other factor that you haven't even considered causing trouble? It's nearly impossible to know and I am struggling with embracing the not knowing. I was a newspaper reporter for a living so I thrive on finding answers and piecing together disparate information into a logical narrative. But this is simply not possible with GAPS - especially with the added complication of doing GAPS with a nursling. I need to work on embracing the not-knowing and find some peace.

Today I had two more attacks of the strange stomach pain I described in yesterday's post. The first was shortly after brunch and the second shortly after dinner. Both were much milder than yesterday's, but still unpleasant for sure. I have lots of theories bouncing around in my head - that I'm struggling tolerating eggs is one. I had soft-boiled eggs with brunch and a raw yolk with dinner. This theory doesn't totally resonate with me because I've been eating eggs for nearly two weeks now, mostly without these pains.

Another theory is that I'm struggling to digest fiber. I don't know a whole lot about fiber, besides that I grew up being told it was healthy and you should eat a lot of it. Dr. Natasha seems to think fiber is difficult for GAPS people to digest particularly at the beginning. Here is an interesting comment from her FAQ page:

If you are reacting badly to certain foods, then avoid them. Limiting fibre in your diet, which means limiting raw plant foods, will reduce food intolerances and reactions. You can have all the benefits of raw fruit and vegetables making juices from them. Eat your vegetables well-cooked as a soup or stew. Concentrate largely on eating animal foods (meat, fat, eggs, organ meats, fish, high-fat dairy), as they are easy to digest, and they provide concentrated amounts of nutrition for you and your baby. 

The idea that fiber and food intolerances/reactions are connected is a new and fascinating concept to me. Especially interesting is that Ellie had a reaction to ghee and subsequently refused to eat anymore soup or stew, which also left her eating very little fiber. She is still eating meat and eggs and not much else (besides lots of nursing, of course). So perhaps this move was actually a wise one for her to make to take care of her body. Again, it's something I'll never be able to know for sure.

Of course another theory behind my strange stomach pains is that this is simply a phase in the healing process and if I am patient it will pass. Thankfully, my past two days have been hard but Ellie's have been good. She has been feeling well and playing actively. She showed no negative reaction to my eating goat milk yogurt last night, which I am so, so grateful for. When she is feeling well I can see what tremendous gains we are experiencing through GAPS. She is more playful, more affectionate and simply more comfortable. Tonight when I was singing her a lullaby she cupped my cheeks with both of her hands and gave me a big kiss on the lips. For that, I would do anything.

1 comment:

  1. ahhh yes a cheek cupping toddler kiss like that is worth it all!! so glad you're seeing improvements for Ellie. Am sure you'll feel tons better soon too.