Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Adding some tools to the toolbox

Today was our first meeting with our new nutritional counselor. I was very impressed with her and really touched by how much she got what we were going through. I felt very believed, which is not a feeling I come away with after a doctor's visit. So that is a good starting point for a new relationship.

I believe this is Ellie 13th or 14th health care practitioner and retelling her health history has become an incredibly emotionally exhausting experience for me. After the meeting I just wanted to crawl into a corner to get over the emotional process of laying out all that's happened over the past two years. And in fact I did go home and had a really deep sleep during Ellie's nap.

Our counselor doesn't subscribe to one diet or another, but is instead incredibly well-versed in many healing diets and listened to our individual issues and story and will be recommending an individualized approach. Sensing that I am very terrified to move off the GAPS protocol, she did not push changing our dietary regimen right now. I am open to venturing away from GAPS someday, because I honestly have not been very happy with the experience thus far. But that day is definitely not today. Things aren't what I'd call great right now, but I certainly don't want them to get worse.

So instead our appointment focused on non-food things we can do to help Ellie feel better. She recommended:
  • Supplementing magnesium. Magnesium is a muscle relaxant and supposedly helps both with sleep and pooping - two departments Ellie sorely needs help in. I bought something called Natural Calm at the health food store. 
  • Taking the S. Boulardii out of her supplement regimen. She said we should be focusing on increasing her probiotics right now. So instead of the S. Boulardi I'm going to be rubbing Oil of Oregano on Ellie's feet before bedtime to address Candida concerns. 
  • Making a tea out of Pau d'Arco, nettles, mint and goji berries. My brain is a little fuzzy on recalling the "why's" behind this one, but it made sense at the time. :) 
  • Feeding Ellie (and myself) apple cider vinegar first thing in the morning. 
This last item was really fascinating. Our counselor told us that the vast majority of reflux cases are caused by too little stomach acidity, not too much. (Making our nation's consumption of antacids seem a little silly.) So by drinking a small amount of apple cider vinegar first thing in the morning, we will be kickstarting the stomach acid production and hopefully helping our tummies digest our food better.

I am feeling really optimistic at the moment. I know a lot of moms are doing this GAPS thing alone and as I went through some genuinely scary times during Intro Ian and I realized we did not want to do this without some type of support. For a while I thought that support had to come in the form of a doctor (Western or naturopath) but that didn't work out. I think having someone who is educated on these issues and can address my concerns as they come up is going to be so incredibly helpful. After all, we are all individuals on our own healing paths, and all the answers to our unique challenges can't be found in one small book.


  1. Hey Annie! One other question... Are you taking oil of oregano orally yourself? Is your daughter? Could you tell me a little more about that?


  2. Analise - We are both applying it to our feet. Apparently it gets absorbed through our skin and does the same amount of good as if we were consuming it orally. And that stuff tastes nasty, so I was so happy to hear we could apply it to our skin! Hope that helps!

  3. Hi Annie,

    I'm excited about your practitioner's recommendations! They match my own: no boulardii this early in the program, ACV in the morning (I also suggest before each meal). Magnesium -especially Natural Calm- is very commonly used in intro, especially for kids.

    Personally, I would be reluctant to use yeast killers on top of the diet at this point, but I certainly trust your wisdom with Ellie.

    Here's to better days ahead!!

    All my best,

  4. Hey Baden, Thanks for the feedback on the yeast killers. We've had a bad couple nights. I think it might be teething, but if tomorrow night doesn't improve I'll be re-evaluating our new protocol for sure. Thanks!!!