Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Cashew Cookies

Just the thing to eat when you want a treat and... err. There are no cookies in the house anymore. These are soft, chewy, and wonderful, without being cakey. And so yummy.

3 c finely ground cashews/cashew butter
2 eggs
1/2 c honey

Blend cashews in a food processor as long as you can stand. The smoother they are, the better the cookies. Transfer to a bowl and mix in eggs and honey. Batter will be soupy/gloppy. A little time in the fridge helps. Drop in gloppy spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet and bake at 350º for 10-12 minutes. They will spread, fluff up, and finally turn golden brown. Allow to cool on the pan before transfering to a cooling rack. Or your mouth. Makes 2 dozen large cookies, or 3 dozen smaller ones.

idea from: Premeditated Leftovers

Notes: I could easily see this working with 1 egg per two cups cashews. You could also use less honey if you like since cashews are naturally sweet.

I'm anxious to try this with other nuts when they come in. Mmm....

Cauliflower "Popcorn"

This was the dish that convinced my husband and I that cauliflower does *not* have to taste like cardboard. The two of us ate an entire head of cauliflower in one sitting. Mmmm.... it was so good. Now my husband requests this. I get excited when cauliflower is on sale. Really. We never liked this white vegetable before!

Now why is it called "popcorn"? Well, forgive me for losing the link to the original recipe that I base this off of, but that person found it from someone else, who found it in a newspaper, and even though long ago it was determined this wasn't really popcorn-like, nobody came up with a better name. And perhaps there is no need to, because this is so addictive that you eat it as you would popcorn. Down to the last little bit in the bottom of the bowl :)

Cauliflower "Popcorn"

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning blend
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 c parmesan

Preheat oven to 425F, Cut out and put in compost cauliflower core and thick stems.
Break the cauliflower into bite size pieces. I find this easier to do with my hands initially, then I use a knife on the final chunks. In a large bowl, add cauliflower, and other ingredients. Toss thoroughly. If it looks like it needs more of any seasonings or you're feeling adventurous, throw it in. I never measure with this, I just see how it looks. Spread in a flat layer on a baking sheet or stone and bake for one hour, turning at least once or twice while roasting. Allow to cool for a minute so you don't burn yourself, and then dive in.

Time saving option: Clean and trim cauliflower and then place whole head in a pot to steam for 5-7 minutes until looking somewhat clear. Drain and run under cold water briefly. Then follow the rest of the steps, but bake only 20 minutes in a 450º oven. You could also steam them before roasting on the grill.

On the Menu

Week 5

One month just about completed! I will confess that we went out and had some completely illegal food a couple days before the month was up, but it was the right time, and Hubby & I had some very good conversation. I could tell I had a sugar headache, but otherwise not too bad.

I’m working toward really incorporating all of the GAPS protocol:  eating lots of fermented probiotic laden foods, taking cod liver oil and essential fatty acids daily, and getting lots of good stock. Not having a vegetable juicer, and not being able to use any of the sweeter vegetables to make that tolerable, I’m not doing the recommended juicing, but I shouldn’t detox too quickly anyway with a very dependent nursling. I have cravings occasionally still, but it is more the memory of the taste, (for which I try to find a substitute) than a craving for that particular item. I do miss bread and dark chocolate, but it isn’t that hard to pass such items by so I can continue making progress.

The most fascinating thing for me is how many vegetables I’ve learned to like and use since changing my diet. I’ve discovered squash, radishes, bitter greens such as kale, chard, etc., brussell sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, leeks, and no longer shy away from buying or receiving a vegetable that looks weird and I’ve never heard of. All this wonderful greenery needs is the right seasoning and a little fat. Some are best baked, or pan fried, or raw, or crisped in the oven, and a little experimenting and google searching will easily reveal that. Had I not decided to radically change my diet, I may have tried some new ones eventually, but it would be slow, and I would probably stick to classics that I know - it is much more fun to be adventurous. It’s more nutritious too - different vegetables have different blends of nutrients, and eating what is in season means you get the most nutritionally dense item available.

Meanwhile, I have to plan some good GAPs packable meals for the 4th. Any ideas?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Tiptoeing toward ferments

I finally felt daring enough to try the fermented salsa I made. I was a little apprehensive - not only because I don’t really like the ferment flavor (though with the diet change I’m learning to!) - but it had gotten a little mold on it because I didn’t keep all the stuff down below the liquid. I now know the cabbage end trick (using a cabbage chunk to push down all the chunky pieces.) But given the assurance that what was in the liquid should be fine, I scraped off the moldy bits and put it in the fridge. There is nothing hard about fermenting. For this salsa I merely dumped in a glass jar a little bit of salsa I had made, screwed the lid on tight, and let it sit at room temperature for 3 days. I didn’t even add any whey since there was already plenty of acid from the lemon juice, jalepeños, and tomatoes, and salt for flavor. And finally, after a week of it looking at me from the fridge door, I pulled it out and tasted a little bit on a cheese chip.


It wasn’t too bad actually. It tasted like salsa, just with more of a buzz and a tang and less of a burning jalepeño aftertaste. Different, but not so terrible that I couldn’t get used to it. I figure I'll dump a bunch on taco salad tomorrow.

I also ate a little of my sauerkraut. That almost tasted good! I learned from a friend of mine that if you put it thru the processor (which is MUCH faster!) it also gives it a better flavor. Seasonings help too. I tried out garlic and oregano in this batch. I think I’ll be able to get used to it and learn to really enjoy it. And eat my probiotics!

What are you fermenting?

Mmmm.... Sausage

Oh sausage. I didn't eat sausage for many years, because between the pepper and the commercial pork, I would feel pretty sick after eating it. I would feel sick with it just cooking actually. But now, I have found a source for pork that is raised properly, allowed to root around on the ground and be happy. So I buy ground pork and make my own sausage. Mmmm...

Here is my recipe for polish (?) sausage.
1/2 lb ground pork
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp garlic
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 cayenne
couple pinches ginger
couple pinches pepper

Mix all thoroughly with a heavy spoon. (Not the easiest to blend, but so worth it!) Shape into patties (if you make them a little thinner in the center that helps them cook flat instead of football shaped.) Cook on medium heat on cast iron until starting to look cooked through, then flip over to brown on other side. You could probably also cook it in the oven.

For italian sausage, use your italian seasoning blend - Margoram, basil, thyme, oregano, rosemary - along with salt and pepper. Use a liberal amount, these are not quite as overpowering as cayenne and cumin can be.

You may also like a lot more ginger and pepper than I use - my body just doesn't tolerate more at this point.

Serve up with eggs and squash cakes and lots of butter :)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Grilled Zucchini Boats

I got this idea from a friend and tried them out last night - yummy! Best of all, I only used one pan (though I had to do this in two rounds). Yay for cast iron!

2 gigantic zucchini, or 3 smaller ones
half bulb garlic, minced (I love garlic, you may want less)
1 medium onion
1 huge tomato or a couple small ones
lots of cheese
little salt to taste

Chop up onion and garlic, and cook until onions are almost translucent with a little bacon fat, ghee, or other fat. While those are cooking, dice tomato, set aside. Cut zucchini in half-lengthwise, scoop out the soft flesh and chop up. Add zucchini guts and tomato to pan and cook on medium to low heat for another five minutes, until everything is soft, and a lot of the liquid has evaporated. Salt to taste and add other seasonings as desired. (Basil, oregano, thyme, marjoram... any would have been a good addition, I was just in a hurry and didn't have time to experiment.) When the filling is ready, use a spoon to fill your hollowed out zucchini “boats” and top with a thick slice of cheese. (I use cheddar and colby jack - you cheese fanatics might like an enjoy a nice goat cheese.) After you’ve scraped out the last bit of filling into your boats, throw some more fat into your pan and carefully put the zucchini in. If you have an actually grill fired up, this is the time to put them on. Next time my hubby has the grill going I’ll do these that way. Put a lid on to help contain the heat and melt the cheese, and cook till the cheese is melty - but not oozing everywhere!

Top with a sail and eat up - these were quite filling, yummy, and messy :)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Ranch Dressing

Remember how terrible it is that people would pile on dressing on their salad and turn something otherwise healthy into a calorie laden bowl of fat? I used to eat my salads plain.... but then I learned that fat it good for you!

However, I don't care for the toxic soybean oil and preservatives (which GAPS has you avoid) so I learned to make my own dressing!

First, you'll need to make mayo. I assure you, it's not hard. Just pour the oil, really, really, slowly.

Then, here's the ingredients for good ol' ranch dressing:

1 cup mayo (homemade)
1/2 cup yogurt (plain)
  (or you can use sour cream for non-GAPS)
1/2 tsp (or more) garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried onion (powder or bits)

1/2 tsp dried parsley

1/8 tsp salt

few sprinkles pepper

Mix up, dump on greenery! Fits very well in peanut butter container. You can add plenty of other seasonings if you like, this is just the basic recipe. Let sit for a little while so flavors meld.

For a buttermilk version, just add 1/4 - 1/2 c buttermilk, depending on your preferred creaminess,(and you may want to increase seasonings.) Buttermilk is not GAPS legal, though I'm allowing raw milk, and therefore raw buttermilk, but I didn't have any, so I didn't use it. 

Much thanks to the author of the original recipe.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Homemade Nutella for Father's Day

Daddy loooooves Nutella. So do I. And I have a brand new 525 watt food processor.

Homemade Nutella
(Modified from http://www.sugoodsweets.com/blog/2005/12/nutella/)

  • 1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup raw milk 
2 cups whole raw hazelnuts (soaked for 8-24hr in salt water)
  • 2 oz. unsweetened chocolate

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1/8 tsp salt
    1.    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place hazelnuts in a single layer on a shallow baking pan. Toast until the skins are almost black and the meat is dark brown, about 25 minutes. Stir the nuts halfway through baking to ensure an even color.
    2.    Since the skin is bitter, you’ll want to discard them. Wrap the cooled hazelnuts in a clean kitchen towel or paper towel, and rub until most of the skins have come off. Don’t fret if you can’t get off all the skins.
    3.    Process nuts in a food processor, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally, until they have liquefied, about 5 minutes. First, you will get coarsely chopped nuts, then a fine meal. After a little while, the nuts will form a ball around the blade, and it will seem like you only have a solid mass. Keep processing. The heat and friction will extract the natural oils, and you will get hazelnut butter!
    4.   Melt chocolate with honey in a double boiler, (see picture) stir while melting, and then remove from heat. Add liquefied nuts, and rest of ingredients, and whisk vigorously.
    5.    Transfer the spread to an airtight container, and store in the refrigerator for 1-2 months. For best results, stir the chocolate-hazelnut spread before using.

Additional notes:
I used half as much honey and thought it quite good, but I like pretty bitter chocolate. Hubby thought the flavor was perfect. 
Could possibly use some more milk/butter, as it was fairly firm even when room temperature. 
The nuts really do liquefy. I stopped the processor, thinking they were done, but decided to process more, and could have done more than that. 

Now cook up some pastured bacon, some super thin GAPS legal crepes (just egg and little water), and pull out some blueberries.

Happy Father's day!

(shared on Fight Back Friday)

On the Menu

Father's day is this week!
I took a break from GAPS and made Nutella for daddy.
Father's day dinner included shrimp, marinated and grilled steak, and broccoli with leeks.

For the rest of the week we'll have:

And the when-in-doubt meal of the week is:

Sautéd green pepper and onions with leftover chicken or fish.

Week Four

It has occurred to me, that in this short time of eating this way (and having some honey sweetened treats in there) I have improved quite a bit. I’m not getting sunshine migraines. My chemical sensitivity is much improved. My skin is getting better again (though I expect that to go up and down with die-off), hair loss is almost none, no nausea issues aside from avocado, and best of all, my mental clarity is much improved. I also don’t feel horrendously awful if a meal is delayed. I felt weak the other evening and couldn’t figure out why - I realized after a while I just needed to eat more! I’m really excited about this progress, especially considering the fact that I haven't really dove in to full GAPS protocol - I’m only taking regular cod liver oil starting this week, I’m not consistent about having stock every day, I haven’t started much of probiotics or probiotic foods, etc. I am simply following the diet. Sunday was a hard day with all the treats (and all my favorite kinds!) and having to look at them and not eat any. But it was a good sacrifice. This is for me and my children after all. And then I made some cashew cookies today. Mmm....

Dal (Indian Lentil Dip)

Tumeric is fun to play with. It has a nice aroma, and stains everything in the nearby vicinity yellow.


1 cup lentils, sprouted for a day or two
1 cup or more chicken stock
1 onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp butter or lard or some other fat
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
several sprigs cilantro, chopped finely
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp tumeric
1/4 tsp cayenne
salt  to taste, about a tsp

To sprout lentils, soak overnight in a jar with at least 3-4 cups filtered water. Drain, rinse, and keep in jar for a day or two with a cheese cloth or similar over the opening, and tilted so no water collects at the bottom. If you have a sprouting contraption, beautiful. Make sure to rinse once or twice a day.

Sauté onions and garlic in fat until onions are almost clear, a few minutes. Add stock and lentils and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until there is no more liquid, stirring regularly. (I used too much liquid when I made this before, so I’m approximating.) Add seasonings (taste along the way, cayenne makes it spicey really quick!) and add cilantro. Put everything in a food processor and puree until it is the consistency you like. This last step is not essential, but it does make it more of a “dip.”

Tomatoes are sometimes added as well, depending on the recipe, but I enjoyed this a lot without tomato.

Goes wonderfully with kholrabi chips, green pepper wedges, and other cool veggies.

Salmon "Cous Cous" Salad

Very refreshing on a hot day, and quite yummy. I was happily surprised at how well the flavors blended.

cauliflower - grated, steam a few minutes (set about half aside for other recipes)
3 salmon pieces, cooked, torn into shreds with fork
little olive oil
1 tomato - chopped
lemon juice (1-2 lemons)
parsley - good handful
salt to taste

Mix all ingredients and allow to sit for a little while so flavors can blend. Eat cold.
(idea from http://gapsguide.com)

This is also a great dish to throw in extra grated/finely chopped zucchini leftover from making bread, or a place to hide sauerkraut without anyone fussing too much. Yay!

Roasted Vegetables

One of the secrets I've learned in my food journey is that all veggies really need is a little seasoning, and a little fat. Whether that means just putting on some ranch dressing, or tossing in some butter and salt after steaming, many of the herbs we use all the time for making food flavorful are not only yummy, but medicinal, and a healthy addition of fat to your veggies makes them more digestible too.

When I want to make a huge batch of delicious comforting veggies, but don't feel like soup, this goes wonderfully with baked chicken, pork or steak.

Roasted Veggies : 8 servings    

1 cauliflower    
1 large zucchini
half bulb garlic  
half lb brussel sprouts 
1 lrg B squash  
handful radishes
couple onions   
few kale leaves

Carrots, green peppers, or peas could be good additions as well.
 Cut everything into chunks or bite-sized pieces. Have a bowl for longer cooking veggies (cauliflower, squash, garlic, radishes, onions, carrots, celery) and another bowl for quicker cooking veggies (brussell sprouts, green pepper, zucchini, kale, etc.). Toss in olive oil, red wine vinegar, good amount of salt, pepper, and dried herbs. I like a house seasoning blend, but sometimes just use basil, oregano, thyme, and anything else that sounds good.

Bake longer cooking veggies for 20 minutes in 400º oven, then take out and add quicker cooking veggies. Stir everything together and return to oven for another 30 minutes.

You can use any blend of veggies you like - I love having some sweeter veggies, such as squash, onions, carrots to balance out more bitter ones like green pepper, brussel sprouts, etc.

Chicken "Noodle" Soup

Should have posted this recipe earlier...

3-4 c chicken stock
additional filtered water
1 lb chicken, cut into peices
3 ribs celery
2 onions, finely chopped
other veggies as desired, such as carrots, peas, leeks
salt, pepper, as desired

and now the secret of the noodles....

Spaghetti squash!

Simply cut in half length wise, bake for an hour at 400º, and then scrape with a fork to extract your "noodles". Just throw them into the soup at the end, and enjoy!

On the Menu

More experimenting this week.

Week Three

It’s thursday so a good time for an update...
The sugar cravings came back again a little bit more this week - but they are easily tamed with a little almost-has-some-sweetness-tangy-yogurt. I think my body is doing more detoxing, as my skin has turned a little sour again and I’m needing more sleep, but otherwise I feel energetic and my BRAIN HAS COME BACK! I’ve gotten so much done the past couple days because I’ve been able to think about 5 things at one time and remember all the tid bits on my to do list. I’m also not super hungry at all anymore. It is so nice to live on so little after having the hungries so bad the first couple weeks.

Pesto Crackers

The CSA I am involved in gave me a bunch of basil this week. That can only mean one thing : Pesto!

 Recipe modified from Simply Recipes
    •    2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
    •    1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
    •    1/3 to 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
    •    1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
    •    1-3 garlic cloves (1large is fine)
    •    Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Update - you can also add a TBS of whey to lacto-ferment it and help it keep longer without changing the taste.

Combine the basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor. (If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, before adding the basil.) Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.
 Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Makes 1 cup.

Leftover almond crackers with a little fresh pesto and raw parmesan...

Toasted until just slightly melty and savored down to the last bite. Mmm....

Crackers for Soup

Soup just needs crackers sometimes. GAPS doesn't allow even a lot of the alternative flours, (though many take advantage of coconut flour) but I thought these turned out pretty well. My husband enjoyed crumbling them on top of his soup.

Cheese Crackers (SCD) makes 15-18

4oz Ground Almonds
2 oz Grated Parmesan or Gran Padano
Large Pinch Sea Salt
1/2oz Butter or Coconut Oil
2 tbs Yogurt
Pepper to taste

Cayenne, Garlic, Onion, Sage, Thyme as desired

Preheat the oven to 150C fan assisted (or 160C without fan). about 300ºF

Put everything except the yogurt into a food processor and process until it looks like dry breadcrumbs.

Add yogurt a tablespoon at a time and pulse until the mixture forms a loose crumbly dough. Don't process too much or the oil will start to come out of the nuts.

Tip onto a large piece of baking paper (to fit your largest cookie sheet) or a silpat, form into a rough square with your hands and cover with another sheet of baking paper or some cling film.

Roll to a thickness of about 3mm or quarter of an inch between the two sheets and don't worry if the edges look a little rough - they will still taste great.

Mark into crackers with a sharp knife and bake for 8-10 minutes until just starting to turn golden. Turn the oven down to 110C (250ºF) fan assisted (or 120C without fan) . Leave crackers to cool on the tray in one piece.

When cool, cut into pieces where you marked them before and put back onto the tray spaced apart. Bake for 10-20 minutes until golden brown, but not nut brown or they may taste burnt - they should snap when you break a bit off, but they will crisp up on cooling.

Cool on a rack and store in an airtight container for up to three days. If they go a little soft, just put them back in a low oven for 10 minutes and cool again.

From the SCD website

ps. This recipe looks really complicated, but it isn't really. I just tripled the recipe, mushed everything together, rolled it out, cut into squares, baked it, and carefully broke apart into crackers once cooled.

Peanut Butter Brownies

Dessert! Dessert! Helping to chase those cravings away....

by Nancy

1 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
1/2 cup cooked butternut squash (overcooked is best)

Mash squash, add rest of ingredients and mix thoroughly. A double batch will make thick brownies in a 9x9 pan, or you can do thinner brownies (single batch) in an 8x8.
Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

 Credit where credit is due: http://sanjayamma.blogspot.com/2007/11/peanut-butter-squash-brownies.html
(I use less honey - more PB flavor)

(And no, there is no chocolate in these, but it certainly wouldn't be bad with some!)

How to Prepare a Butternut Squash

I use butternut squash a lot. It is yummy, versatile, adds some carbs to my meals, and looks pretty :)

Winter squash isn’t easy to prepare, however. The usual recommendation is to cut in half lengthwise and bake, and then, after baking, scoop out the softened flesh. I did this a couple times, but it is so hard to cut it that way, and there as all the effort of scooping it out afterward. The method below seems much easier.

First, peel of the thick outer skin. A regular peeler will do fine.

Discard the stem into your compost as well, then cut width-wise into chunks. Rocking the knife back and forth along with the squash seems to work well. Sometimes it requires a bit of pounding too. Use your biggest knife and enjoy it!

Scoop out seeds with a grapefruit spoon (the kind with ridges) and put the mushy stuff in your compost. The seeds go into a bowl to soak overnight before toasting.

Put all the chunks into a baking dish, fill with an inch of filtered water and cover with foil. Bake at 450º for 45 minutes to an hour. Longer makes it softer and sweeter, but you may want it less cooked for adding to soup or just your taste preference.

You can also eat it raw - shredded on salads is yummy!

Update 8/2/10: You can also just boil it it on the stove - add enough filtered water to almost cover it, and simmer for about 20 minutes, until soft, stirring once or twice. Then drain off the liquid carefully in a fine mesh strainer or some other method and use in your recipes.

On the Menu

Breakfast and lunch will be egg drop soup or leftovers this week. Here are dinners I have planned:

Week Two

I’m pretty content on the diet this week. Still pretty hungry, but I think baby is eating more. And I made GAPS yogurt, added a dash of honey to tame the tangy-ness, froze it, and voila! Frozen tangy goodness! It is Soooo! good and satisfies any cravings for sweetness. It is also very filling. I had frozen yogurt for lunch one day when I was distracted. I've never been a big yogurt fan, but culturing it for the full 24 hours that GAPS recommends eliminates that yogurt aftertaste that I despise and leaves you with a wonderful sourness. Mmm...

Gaucamole & Cheese Chips

So, what are you to do when you make dips, and get tired of dipping raw veggies?

Cheese chips!

Pull out well used stone, (less likely to stick, you may want to grease lightly a less-loved pan.)

Dump odd chunks/shreds/tid bits of cheese on pan, while oven is heating to 400º.

Once cheese is all bubbly, remove from oven and allow to cool.

Use spatula to remove from pan and cut large sections into chip sized pieces.

Dip in and enjoy!

My gaucamole recipe:
1 avacado
1 small clove garlic, mashed, finely chopped
little cilantro
little salt tsp or so
half onion if desired or onion powder

lime juice to taste ( lemon works)

tomato if desired
jalepeno if desired

Egg Drop Soup for Breakfast

Stock is a wonderful substance - not only is it good for amazing base for soup - but the gelatin helps heal the gut, the minerals and protein from the bones is made more bio-available, and it aids digestion. There is a reason why chicken noodle became a traditional healing food. The power is in the broth!

I won’t go into how to make stock here, though I will assure you, it is really easy. It freezes well, and keeps for a week in the fridge. Here are a source to get you started.

Since it is summer time, I'm not as excited to eat soup very often, but I do love egg drop soup for breakfast. Eggs are wonderfully nutritious and also easily digested, and throwing in an onion is also healing and yummy. If you really want to be fancy, add some fish sauce or tamari. Yum!

Here’s how to make:
1.5 c good stock
2 eggs

2 green onions
Salt to taste
Optional: (but we really like it this way)
Fresh cilantro leaves
a tiny bit of garlic

(Update: I also like to add a splash of fish sauce, as well as some coriander, mustard, and dill. Mmm..)

Heat broth on the stove on a med/high fire. While it is heating, add the chopped onion and stir.

Now at this point there is two ways to make it:

The GAPS inspired way is to cook it such that the egg yolk is partially raw when finished. This method allows the yolk to be cooked less, since it is more nutritious when it is raw or nearly raw. To do this, you add your eggs into the simmering broth (gently!) and then swish your spoon back and forth a little to incorporate (and cook) the whites. The yolks you leave intact. Once the white part is cooked, turn off the fire, stir the yolk in, and add your seasonings.

For a more traditional egg drop soup, beat the eggs before dropping in hot broth, a little at a time, stirring slowly all the while. Turn the fire off as soon as you have added all the egg.

You could also double or triple or quadruple this recipe so you have a quick breakfast all week. Just get the broth closer to a boil the more eggs you are going to be adding in it.  It even tastes good cold, but if you have a good stock, it will probably be really jiggly fresh out of the fridge!

Meal plan for this first week:

Breakfast: egg drop soup with onion and chix broth, possibly some reheated butternut squash with butter or bacon fat

  • Chicken salad with parmesan and almonds - could have made GAPS legal ranch drsg, but didn’t have ingredients
  • Celery and PB
  • Chicken avacado salad (Tomato, cilantro, cheddar.) ( See picture above.)


Day 1
     Lemon yellow squash (3 sliced, steamed, drowned in the juice of 1 lemon.)
    shrimp with red onion and toasted garlic

Day 2
    Steak, multi-green salad with raw parmesan cheese, and slivered almonds
    snack - whip cream with honey (cream not legal but I’m including it in limited amounts since raw)

Day 3
    Cheese soufflé with spinach and onion

Day 4
    Roasted vegetables and fish

Day 5

Week One

This has been the transition week. First couple days still had lingering leftovers from birthday sugariness and other items that hadn’t made it out the house. I’m super hungry, and think I’m mentally going nuts just craving chocolate!

Why Gaps?

Ok, so why am I doing GAPS and not one of the hundreds of other diets out there? I’m not dealing with autism or psychotic issues. Well, but I have all the signs of malnourishment, despite eating a fairly nutritious diet, I have bad reactions to a wide variety of foods and airborne items, and I still struggle with chronic troubles that no one can explain. Why not go to the source of most issues - the gut?

 Here is my own summary and a few online resources that I found helpful and explanatory.

Gut and Psychology Syndrome is authored by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. The basic theory behind GAPS is that chronic diseases and ailments start in the gut - I came to it in searching for healing of my long time allergies, skin problems, headaches, and chronic feelings of lousy-ness and mal-nutrtion despite a fairly healthy diet. Many people have sought the author’s help in healing Autism, ADD/ADHD, schizophrenia, etc. Her own son was diagnosed with autism, and that is what began her own study and subsequent writing of this book and treating patients with this diet. She builds on the research by people who authored the “The Yeast Connection,” “Selective Carbohydrate Diet,” and “Breaking the Vicious Cycle” as well as looking at what has traditionally healed people for hundreds of years. She addresses the complex issues created by vaccines, frequent use of anti-biotics, anti-fungal treatments, and poor diets and explains how they alter the gut flora and then lead to psychiatric disorders, asthma, allergies, hormone problems, etc. She then lays out how to heal the body by repairing the gut lining and reestablishing good gut flora. This is done by use of diet, supplementation with probiotics, fermented foods, and other supplements, and reducing the toxic load in the environment.

The diet itself is not easy, as it clears out all starches, including starchy vegetables and most beans, complex carbs, sugars, and dairy initially. She emphasizes good homemade meat and fish stocks, vit. A, fermented foods, yogurt, cooked and raw vegetables, eggs (especially raw yolks), seeds and nuts, and lots of good fats. It flows very well into Nourishing Traditions. And she recognizes that people who most need this, are usually the pickiest eaters, and usually like to eat only sugars, breads, and carbs that feed the very bacteria and yeasts that are making them sick. She assures you that after a little while of persistence, the cravings will go away, and the taste buds will normalize, and all this nutrient dense food will taste good. So I have hope that I’ll learn to like all things sour (which I currently despise.)

I think what really got to me and convinced me that I should look at something so challenging (aside from the fact that my daughter now has numerous allergies and I’ve spent half my life sick) is the number of blogs I read where the family was already eating really well - raw milk, fresh organic foods, properly prepared grains - and they benefited from doing GAPS, even if for a month or two. One mom saw her long held dairy allergy go away after only a couple months of following GAPS - and not even superbly strictly either. It makes a lot of sense in comparison to the various research and theories I’ve read over the years, and especially in comparison to what I’ve been gradually limiting for myself over the years anyway. Even in our short time of restricting the starches and sugars over the course of lent, Jim and I have noticed some improvement in ourselves, and we can recognize now how that big piece of chocolate cake we had for the Feast of Annunciation affects us. (Ehh...)

I really like that she explains the science in an understandable way -  how the enzyme factories in our gut become sick, how yeast converts starch into acetaldehyde and alcohol (yummy! X( ), the various types of microorganisms and how drugs affect them, and how things like casein and gluten can become dopamine like substances that alter brain function. Complete with cute little pictures of enterocytes.

This is an australian site, but I feel it is easier to look through than some of the others, and contains a lot of the information found in the book.

Official Gaps websites
http://www.gaps.me/   &   http://gapsdiet.com/Home_Page.html

Guide to GAPS

Oh, and there is a guide book as well - the last site listed is related to it - that goes into more detail with tips and recipes for implementing the diet. I have not ordered it, and hope I can manage without it and save myself another $25... but if someone decides to order it I would love to peruse it!

And just FYI - I am not solidly on it yet - I am in prep mode. Learning recipes that are yummy (like salmon “cous cous” {cauliflower} salad) and continuing to discern what baby doesn’t tolerate. But I’m trying to introduce a lot of what she recommends.

This Mom also has an excellent summary and how her family is approaching GAPS.

Think you could benefit but there is "no way" you could ever go completely without grains and starchy foods? Check out this blogger's description or why this family is on GAPS.

Who, What, How, and Why?

I've spent a huge chunk of my life feeling sick. Not, "I have a cold, don't shake my hand please," but someone walked in the house with some McDonalds and I'm going to go to bed now. Or migraines after being exposed to certain things, or nausea weeks, or just chronically feeling lousy and not really knowing why.

So I started not eating the things that made me feel sick... most fast food places, donuts, etc. and I tried to eat "healthy." Some progress was made. I started to really use herbs, checked out chiropractors, worked with someone who did NAET (HUGE HELP!) and got married and had a baby. Pregnancy seemed to help too, after spending three months very sick (translate, I lay on the couch and was useless). I still would occasionally eat something or being around something that made me feel awful, and there were still quite a few problems that indicated that my body was not totally well, but they were tolerable enough to generally be mild aggravations.

 Then I discovered that my baby had food allergies, despite the fact that I breastfeed. I started cutting different foods out of my diet in an effort to help her rashes and diarrhea and colick go away. And as a researched her troubles, I realized the time had come to do something really serious to work on my own chronic issues. I learned that just how much mom’s health really affects baby’s long term health. From the moment he or she is conceived, the baby’s health and development is affected by mom’s health. I don’t want to have a bunch of kids with severe allergies. Now, after several months of brain-overload, I’ve come to trust the work of Weston Price, Nourishing Traditions, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride and Gut and Psychology Syndrome, and many other knowledgeable people too numerous to name.

You then come to the summary of what I am working towards - the full GAPS diet, taking into account the methods recommended by Nourishing Traditions, and with the extremely challenging modification of no fruit.  At least, not yet. I hope I can cure my baby of her fruit allergies, or at minimum narrow them down, and maybe once she weans I’ll pig out on strawberries again. Most hard cheeses are allowed, but I am also allowing raw dairy since it is so beneficial and there are no signs of dairy intolerance. My baby also doesn't tolerate sweet potatoes (not GAPS legal anyway), carrots, peas, and fish - though she seems to do ok as long as the fish is limited. I'm skipping the intro and the stages as I don't have severe digestive issues, and with a completely dependent nursling I don't want to detox too quickly.

I’m continually grateful to the many bloggers who have shared their methods and recipes and resources as they work on eating more healthfully, and I figured that the least I could do is share my own discoveries and challenges. I plan to do posts of recipes, ideas, and at least a weekly note of progress while doing this diet. I welcome your comments and encouragement!

UPDATE! - You can read about how GAPS has helped me here
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