Thursday, June 2, 2011

I am declaring Intro over (!!!)

Day 43

Today Ellie and I had our first raw apple and our first almond flour baked good, which are both in Stage 6 of Intro. Since nobody died or doubled over immediately with stomach cramps, I am declaring Intro officially over!!!

We didn't do every step of Intro and we didn't do every stage in order. God knows we did not do it perfectly. But we did it! We survived, and I think a lot of healing was accomplished.

Here are some things we've yet to do, or things we've tried and failed:
  • Juicing. The first time I tried carrot juice Ellie and I both reacted terribly. I with debilitating fatigue and she with some symptom I can no longer recall :) The second time I tried cucumber juice and Ellie was up for an hour in the night with a tummy ache. So juice will have to be postponed for now.
  • Fermented cod liver oil. Need I say more? Haven't mustered the courage for this one yet.
  • Fermented fish. Ditto. 
  • Scrambled eggs. Terrible, horrible stomach cramps. Go figure - I've never had a problem eating eggs prior to this. 
  • Cooked apple puree. Oops. Skipped this step. 
  • Ghee, yogurt, kefir, sour cream, et al. We trialed ghee and yogurt and both flunked big time. This has been confusing because Ellie was eating goat milk yogurt fine when we were on the SCD. But I suppose her system has just been too sensitive to re-introduce it so far. Her reaction to ghee looked much more like a true allergic reaction, which is concerning. That will be postponed for a good long time.
So what does finishing Intro look like? What are we able to eat now that we couldn't eat before? Well, at the beginning we were only eating soup. Seriously. That's it. And now our diet is much more expansive. We are eating:
  • Soup. You can't get away from it entirely :) 
  • Roasted meats like pork roast, lamb shanks, chicken and duck
  • Fish!
  • Sauteed meats like chicken fajitas (sans tortillas, obviously) 
  • Raw egg yolks, soft-boiled eggs and poached eggs (duck eggs) 
  • meat patties (I make a killer pork-lamb patty)
  • Sauerkraut (Ellie is still only having the juice)
  • sausage (happily we have a health food store that makes sugar-free sausages!)
  • salad with olive oil and apple cider vinegar drizzled on top
  • avocados!
  • nut butter pancakes
  • apple slices with nut butter
  • almond flour muffins 
  • berries
  • Probiotics
To a lay person, this might look like an insanely restrictive list. But this list is far more expanded than what we were able to eat prior to Intro. We have added fish, eggs, avocados, sausage and berries to our repertoire. These are all nutrient-dense foods that we weren't able to eat for months at a time, and I am so happy to have them back.

There is a lot more left in GAPS for us to try as time goes on. Just because Intro is over doesn't mean we're done trialing foods. Foods allowed on the full GAPS diet that we've yet to try or will try again include: dairy, honey, whole nuts, coconut, seeds, GAPS-allowed legumes, shellfish, citrus, wine, coffee and tea (for me) and juicing.

I think it's important to say that Ellie is not symptom-free and I realize now that perhaps that's not the point of going through Intro. I kind of thought her symptoms would go away in Stage 1 and only come back if we trialed a problem food. But it's been much more hit-or-miss than that. She's having good days and bad days and we are marching forward in spite of all that. I try to step back now and again and take the long view and when I do, I see that overall she is in much better shape than when we started. And so am I.


  1. Oh Annie!! Great job, Mama!!! This looks fantastic! And yes, the healing takes a good two years, far longer than intro. With a beautifully expanded list of digestibles, you're totally on track. Symptoms will come and go, and they won't always be due to a specific food. I'll post more about that one day soon. I just wanted to send a huge kudos your way!!! Congrats!!!

  2. hi annie - i've only ever done full gaps so can't imagine intro! (will do it sometime in the future) even so it really does feel to me that its a wide range of food and i've never felt deprived on it (a few little baked good with almond flour etc sometimes really saves the day!)it feels like a slow steady healing for us over all. it's great to read your posts and that you're getting there with it all. slow and sure. enjoy your new goodies!

  3. just to clarify its full gaps that feels like a wide range of course not intro (as it might read)!!

  4. Hi Annie, I just stumbled upon your great blog through Baden's GapGuide site. I wanted to tell you that I, too, am nursing a toddler and my family has started our GAPS journey because all three of my children (aged 11 yrs. to 20 months) are allergic/intolerant, and mama is worst of all, LOL! Hubby has candida issues, so we're all committed.

    I've been teaching and consulting in the holistic health/herbal/birth realm for years, and have done other detox diets, but this is the first time I've put my kids on one and GAPS is the best option I've found thus far. We have been struggling with hunger and die off (which I didn't expect to suffer as aggressively because we've eaten real food a la WAPF and used probiotics for years). But my most allergic child is improving slowly, even on day 8 and stage two.

    I'm tired but encouraged, and only a little confused, LOL. Thanks for sharing your experiences and just know that there is another nursing mama with exceedingly sensitive kids who have been unwell since the day they were born. I've learned so much and have been able to nurture much healing in them, but this is one roller coaster that I know we need to ride to completion! Cheers!! Gabi (

  5. Sorry, duh, me again...just wanted to clarify that we launched in with GAPS Intro as you did. Not the easiest course, for sure, but I definitely want to do it right the first time. I look forward to hearing more on your progress!

  6. Julia - Yes, a few almond flour goodies do save the day. Now that they're back in our rotation, I'm trying not to overdo it! They are helping me gain a bit of weight back, though, so that's a welcome change.

    Herbalistmama - So glad you found the blog! I'm always happy to hear from another nursing mama doing GAPS. I love what you said - it is a roller coaster that we need to ride to completion. So true! I shared your feeling that if I was going to do it, I wanted to do it right. I look forward to reading about your progress too!