Thursday, October 20, 2011

Quinoa! A big departure off GAPS

Last night was a big moment. Our family dined on quinoa for the first time in ten and a half months! For  those of you who don't know, quinoa is often treated like a grain (it's prepared and served like other grains) but is actually a seed (along with amaranth, buckwheat and millet). While these grain-like seeds aren't allowed on GAPS, they are allowed on another healing diet called the Body Ecology Diet, which also treats gut disbyosis and candida. This is just another step away from GAPS and toward something that is working better for my family.

Ellie did fantastic. She actually really enjoyed eating the quinoa, which I was dubious about because we've recently introduced lentils and adzuki beans and she isn't a huge fan of the texture of either of these foods. ("I don't like duki beans.") But she declared she likes quinoa and ate up a bowlful of the quinoa-veggie salad I prepared. Yay! She slept through the night, woke up happy and has had healthy poops.

I am so excited about this. I feel like we are slowly but surely moving to a diet that feels more balanced and more true to what Ellie's and my body needs. This is a post for another day, but GAPS did not feel right for us. But once we were on it I had no idea how to get off, because Ellie still wasn't doing well and I didn't know how to find balance. I hated eating so much meat. Believe me, I enjoy a good hunk of meat, but eating meat two to three times a day made me feel disgusting, sluggish, stuck. So I have been extremely happy lately to enjoy a meatless meal like lentil soup, a bowl of adzuki beans with cashew cheese or - now - some quinoa salad!

Ellie thrives as we head in this new direction too. The addition of lentil was a huge milestone that only a mother could appreciate. For years Ellie has woken up every single morning and from every single nap crying. Not like "whoa I'm disoriented because I just woke up" kind of crying, but crying, like "I'm in pain and when I'm awake I can deal with it but right now I just can't" kind of crying. As soon as we introduced lentils, which naturally cut back on the amount of meat and fat Ellie was eating, she started waking up happy! Now I absolutely delight in the sound of her - every morning and afternoon - shouting "MAMA! COME HERE!" as her announcement that she's awake.

I'm thrilled to have this addition of this nutritious and versatile food just as we finish up nursing. The more food choices, the better!


  1. Hi Annie, I have read over your blog with much interest. I am thinking about starting GAPS with my 2 year old, Oscar, who has multiple allergies and has recently taken a severe change for the worse after months of being stable. Many of the things you mention with Ellie are present in Oscar. I am very new to all the terminology and would like to ask if you mind if I PM you to discuss a few things. I am in a desperate situation, as I see you are familiar with and am so grateful there are mothers like you, online, willing to share you journey with complete strangers in the hope that we might glean help from somewhere. My head is just above water level, your blog is keeping me afloat, thank you. Lisa, Max, and Oscar

  2. Hi Lisa,

    I am so sorry I didn't see this message for a few days! We are traveling. You are welcome to PM me at I would be happy to offer any assistance, mama!