Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Made with LOVE

Whew, this GAPS birthday party prep makes cooking from "grocery store scratch" seem like drive through fast food service!

So far, we are making 2 flavors of Ice Cream and some kind of cupcakes with icing. Eric has been experimenting with the ice cream for about 3 weeks. We have been enjoying the practice. Today I started working on the cup cakes...still have some work to do in that department, but we are getting closer!

Here we are the day before the big day.... so far we have some ingredients ready to go:
  1. 10 cups of  home fermented cream (sour cream)- takes 24 hours and typically done in 4 cup increments
  2. Soaked, Sprouted, Cooked and now dehydrating Beans to make into bean flour....I hope. This is about a 4-5 day process. 12 hours soaking, 2 days sprouting, half a day cooking, 24 hours dehydrating, THEN I can Grind it into flour for the recipe. But the good thing....only costs like $1.70 per pound, instead of $8 per pound for the nuts.
  3. Soaked and Dehydrated 20 cups of Almonds which will be made into Almond butter for the cake batter (not all 20 cups thank goodness, that would make one very expensive, even for a GAPS recipe, cake.)
  4. Cooked down 1 lb of strawberries into Jam
  5. Made Butter
These are the steps to prep the Ingredients, so that tomorrow we can mix them up into the final recipes. Speaking of recipes...still working on the cake recipe. Looks like we might be having muffins for breakfast, lunch and dinner...again. (well not quite, but today we did have muffins for breakfast as well as for dinner tonight with leftover cold roast.)

This may seem like a lot of work, but I was just thinking....we source most of our ingredients, I don't have to go milk cows, or skim cream, or gather chicken eggs, or even pick strawberries (although I do have about 10 plants going and although I know the first year is supposed to be lousy, I still hope we get a few!)  I am really shocked how far removed Americans are from our food supply. I feel like I've come a heck of a long way when it comes to real food, but I'm seeing we are just at the tip of the iceburg  to reach self sufficiency!

Sourcing may be a bit of additional work, but there are still about 50% of our foods that either are mailed to our door, thanks to the awesome internet...or we are able to pick up at the local Whole Foods store, but I do hope there is a day that we don't have to count on them either....although I don't see myself mining salt and not even sure, what all that would even entail. 

Hubby took the plunge and as of today is a bee keeper. He built the hive this afternoon and a friend caught a swarm and brought the bees to us this evening! So cool, we might have our own honey someday!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Preparation Day #6 Ready or Not here I go!

Well, I started with 16 ounces of water and a drop of lemon oil and finished up my quart of freshly juiced apples (11 of them) by 11:30.

I was a little nervous about putting anything on my stomach after yesterday. I woke up with it feeling weak...but so far I've been okay.

Well, I started with 16 ounces of water and a drop of lemon oil and finished up my quart of freshly juiced apples (11 of them) by 11:30.

Colonic appointment at 1:30. She also is going to work with me on clearing emotional blocks that deal with constipation. She muscle tested me and we came up with , 15, my homework is to meditate and see if I can come up with any "traumas" that might have been filed away and are keeping me stopped up.

I was a little nervous about putting anything on my stomach after yesterday. I woke up with it feeling weak...but so far I've been okay.

6:00-Drank the nasty 6 ounces of Epsom Salt
tummy felt weak, like it might rumble...but nothing and felt fine after about 30 minutes
8:00 Take 2 Epsom Salt drink
same weak, I think my tummy might get rumbly feeling

9:45: Mixed up the olive oil and grapefruit drink and prepared the castor oil pack

10:00 Stood by my bed and chugged the 10 ounce was gone in 30 seconds. I even got a somewhat impressed but dispproving head-shake from my husband, evidently guzzling isn't a talent he's proud for his wife to have. I"m a guzzler, what can I say? I was shocked the drink wasn't dreadfully awful and that I think that the grapefruit actually tasted good! Where are my tastebuds? I didn't know people could drink strait grapefruit juice and LIKE it...I thought Grapefruits didn't come with sweetener!

So I immediately laid down and hubby helped me with the castor oil pack, and I moved and talked the least amount as possible for 20 minutes, then rolled over and went to sleep.

I woke up just before 6...just in time for my next dose of Epsom Salt, I had another at 8:00 and the releasing finally started around 10:00. It lasted well into the late afternoon, by 4:00 I was feeling safe to stay out of the bathroom. I'd estimate I passed about 30-50 raisin sized stones and HUNDREDS of smaller ones ranging from sand-gravel sized.

I held out until Monday evening to do the clearing enema and I think there may have been a few more stones, harder to tell now.

Looks like something I will get to do every new moon for the next few months. Hope to notice some more positives other than knowing the stones that were in there are now not....I haven't really noticed any symptoms that have changed. Although I did not have any migraines and Guess who arrived today?! Cycle Day one here we are! And on day 27 ;) Looks like we are finding some balance maybe?!!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Preparation Day #5

Last night, I had a couple tummy cramps and thought I might have to "go". Nothing really happened though, but right before bedtime I had a small amount of diarrhea. As my body "pushes" I have some pain in my pubic area. My guess is weak pelvic floor....guess I need Eric to build me a squatty potty. I think that is the 2nd Time I've gone poop on my own in the past 3 months. I weighed before bedtime and was still at 127.

This morning I was down another .5 a pound. I seem to be getting more nauseated by the apple cider, I hardly want to drink anything at all after I've had some. I'm loading up the coconut oil and at least I haven't felt jittery...but then I"m just now finishing up my first 16 ounces. :/ I still have water to drink and some "real" juice with some actual nutrients to consume, more water and then MORE apple Cider...ugh. Oh well, tomorrow is day 6, I am supposed to drink all 32 ounces in the morning and not have anything but water after 1:30. I don't think I will have a problem with that. I will be switching to freshly juiced apples for this afternoon and tomorrow. Wonder if that will make a difference?

I had another round of Diarrhea this afternoon around 1:30, 2:30.

Finished my juice by 4:00

Ended up just finishin up my water instead of more juice...and another trip to the pot!

GAPS for Men

My First Guest Post: by Eric Johnson, Man of the house.

I was cheerfully minding my own business, drinking a nice cold beer when my wife said “So....are you ready to get all the processed foods out of our house and start the intro to GAPS”? I knew what it was, we’d been talking about it indirectly for months, I’d seen that little yellow book lurking on every horizontal surface in every room of my home. I’d kicked it under the covers as I’d slept. I didn’t know what this book had inside but whatever it was, had began developing a serious relationship with my wife and it was making me nervous. After seeing many problems in our children due to the results of eating the Standard American Diet. I committed, I said “ok......I’ll give it a shot”. As soon as my beer, ice cream, leftover pizza, fettuccine, and tortillas are gone, we’ll start, noooo problem........

Day one GAPS.....No problem?!?!?!? NO PROBLEM?!?!?!? Where’s my coffee? Where’s my bread to dip in my soup? Where’s my CHEESE?!?!?! I was getting angry, and I was getting angry very quickly. I was beginning to hate myself for being a moral man, a man who doesn’t back out on commitments even if it gets tough, I don’t want to be tough, I want cold beer, hot pizza, and buffalo wings!!!! I was depressed, angry, irritated and felt worse than I had in my entire life.....

And then. I got on our scale. “Hey honey!!! I lost three pounds”! And that became a motivator for me, every day I lost an average of one to two pounds until I had lost a total of 25 and could see the ripples in my stomach muscles I hadn’t seen in a decade. WOW, this is a cool benefit of eating food that makes me want to kill myself, maybe there are some positives. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Up until day 10 I was miserable, depressed, had major cravings for lasagna, enchiladas, cheese, and for some reason tiramasu was a common craving not to mention pizza and chicken wings and I wanted a peanut buster parfait from Dairy Queen so bad I literally dreamt about it and got mad when I woke up! I didn’t miss the beer much. Those cravings came and went for about 3 weeks before they slowed down and now they are ancient history because there are so many excellent replacements on GAPS that I just don’t miss it, there are no cravings I can’t fill with what’s available to me. Food begins to come alive after not eating processed or artificial sweeteners for a while, your body begins to recognize the REAL food and it becomes energized, strong, confident and I look in the mirror to see what I want to see of myself. I’m actually healthy.

THE coolest thing along the way was my wife running her hand across my stomach and smiling at me as she looked me up and down and said “You are hot!!!!”. Yeah, screw peanut buster parfaits, pizza, and wings laced with toxic chemicals and high fructose corn syrup Pshhhh, I’m HOT!! My wife said so!! Pass me another cup of chicken stock and a highly overcooked piece of broccoli please, mmmmm mmmmm!!

Another benefit was the allergy relief, mine cleared up almost completely for a couple weeks when I was doing all the things I was supposed to be doing and the whole season has gone pretty easy for me despite a few bad days of die off. I’m healing, I’m learning the crap I put up with didn’t have to exist, I thought I would never be able to camp due to allergies, that woodworking which is my passion could never be an option as a career, that I would be fat forever and there was nothing I could do about it outside of 2 hours exercise each day and a family man who loves his wife and kids doesn’t give that time with them up! But I was wrong, making the commitment to eat this food and stay on this diet for two years was difficult for about 10 days, I mean really difficult for 10 days, there have been other challenges but that first hump was monumental Mon-u-MENTAL because it is mostly mental, we want something, someone is trying to tell us to eat something we don’t want to eat. It’s a change, we don’t like that either. But if I’m the man of my house and my family is under my care and protection and I find a way to keep them healthier, stronger, happier, safer even, it’s my responsibility to step up and take one for the team. Dad, if you can’t do it, they can’t either, if you have sons (I have 5, one daughter) they will see your tenacity and strength. The one thing I want my boys to learn above all else is not to go with the grain, don’t be a sheep, don’t just follow the crowd or do what’s easy. The diet is hard work and you have to be tough to do it, you have to be a man of your word, you have to desire something better for your family enough to step up and make the change. It feels like the greatest sacrifice you’ll ever make until you step up and do it, and then it feels like success, it feels like courage, it feels like triumph because as men our greatest enemy is our own flesh. We like food and we like sex, those are pretty much the priorities (not necessarily in that order depending on how long we’ve gone without either) so giving those up for what’s better for our overall wellness, takes discipline and builds character, you know, real character, not the kind we like to pretend we have so we can feel good about ourselves.

Probably the greatest motivator for my starting this diet was listening to my son screaming and crying when he had to go to the bathroom, I went in to comfort him, he was shaking, arms stiff, tears rolling down his face, I looked in the toilet to see if there was any progress but all I saw was blood dripping into the toilet because he was so constipated he was being torn open. So screw this “eating whatever I feel like because it tastes good, am I really that weak? Do I have so little self control that I can’t do what I know is healthy for myself and encourage my sons to do the same? Nothing is worth your health. NOTHING. A man that can look me in the eyes and say he doesn’t care if he only lives 50 years if he can eat whatever he enjoys most isn’t a man at all, he’s ungrateful for the life he’s been given and he’s selfish, especially if he has a family to care for. I’m not one of those, I’ll do what I want, because I’m a man, men, I have responsibilities, I have a wife and children and no matter what society tries to create as truth, they are being molded after my actions. Lots of men say they want what’s best for their families, but not many will step up and follow through with the sacrifices required to benefit them the most. And really, after those first two weeks, it’s a breeze, I learned about so many cool recipes, tricks and new foods which was cool for me because second to woodworking, cooking is a passion.

My personal results are:

Weight loss, 25 pounds.

VERY high energy level, fast recovery and almost zero fatigue, I am more productive at work and have energy for my personal hobbies after the kids are in bed.

Allergy relief.

Asthma relief.

Soreness and stiffness gone and when I do hurt the recovery is FAST

Increased flexibility, BIG change here.

Body odor lessened by about 50%.

Better complexion.

I don’t drag for 30 minutes when I wake up, I just wake up in about 5 minutes.

Better concentration.

Not as easily irritated (this took more time, I am feeling a lot more patient lately).

No indigestion which I got several times per week.

No headaches which I also experienced several times per week.

No cravings for really unhealthy foods.

My wife thinks I’m hot.

My kids know how to eat healthy and are enjoying it, they ask for the healthy stuff now.

Bottom line is I feel better than I have in a decade and I just got started, I’m into this maybe 50 days and it’s not hard, and when you think you’ll be jealous and left out when the other guys are drinking beer, eating wings or sausage rolls, there couldn’t be a bigger lie, I celebrated my 35th birthday yesterday and my supervisor brought in donuts for the team to celebrate, he knows my diet, he brought me a banana and an apple, I didn’t feel left out, I felt energized, and if you lined all of us up, and picked the guy you would want to look like and share the energy level of, you wouldn’t pick the ones with the donuts in their hands. I made two repairs while they were still trying to get the energy to get up from their desks. This diet works, you have to be tough to start it but the benefits are INCREDIBLE, it’s like making the transition from Al Bundy to Leonidas, the Greek hero king of Sparta from 300. I feel great and won’t trade it for anything!! Especially a weak mindset that only cares about my next meal.

Mindset of Food

We found that one of the first things that needed to happen was to change our mindset about food budgets. We have to realize that a processed food budget is unrealistic for nourishment and health. The whole reason that Americans are eating what we are is because our government wanted to make it CHEAPER to eat...we'll unfortunately they didn't consider NUTRITION when they started changing the guidelines (started as the Basic 4 food groups and then onto the "food pyramid" and now the food plate.).

Believing that properly raised food is expensive, is believing the stuff in the grocery store is a good substitute for Nourishment. I look at the food in the grocery store like looking at our children's play kitchen, that costs $150 and believing I should try to cook out of it, becasue a REAL kitchen would be TOO expensive. Then, trying to figure out how to only pay 1/10th of the cost, because we just need to find something that "looks like a kitchen".

When we decided to start reorganizing our budget we decided we should prioritize based on the basics of life rather than "bills". (this isn't an instant transition, but getting our mindset wrapped around the idea is the key, having a plan in place is the next step, then implementing it, is the trickier part!)

The most basic thing we need is a healthy source of WATER (we chose an Enagic Water Ionizer "Kangen Water"), then Food (Real, properly raised and grown food), then shelter...which can be hard to swallow, our ideas of what we need as far as shelter is often much more extravagant that what we can afford based on having "basics of life priorities" in mind. Changing our shelter and downsizing can make a domino effect when it comes to the rest of the "bills"

Back to the first food changes we made were with our Animal products....switched to RAW dairy, Pastured eggs, and 100% Grass fed/finished beef, and continue to work to find pastured poultry and pork. Switching these foods do not change much as far as taste goes (I mean, as far as "giving up" anything....its not like your having to give up something you want, like say the white sandwich bread that you love... I don't know of anyone who said man I wish I could eat those CAFO Animals again! (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation, basically fed "well enough" to keep them from dying until slaughter, and continuously drugged because the food makes them so sick).

So, I guess part of getting my mindset changed started with watching real food documentaries, there are many on Net matters, food Inc. Are great ones to start with. We have to learn that the stuff in the store, is not "real food" and get our mind wrapped around that before we can make highly effective changes.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Preparation Day #4

The Scale hit 127 this morning! 5 more to go to my "happy weight"
Started the morning with a shot glass of water with Lemon and Grapefruit Essential oil
and my 16ounces of water.....and a full 4 quart pot of 125* water and a quart of Coffee....its an enema kinda morning.

I only drank about 10 ounces of carrot juice and my quart of apple cider. Nauseated again this afternoon. I used about 3/4 of a cup of coconut oil today...still got shaky this afternoon. I really hope I don't have sugar issues when its time for this to be over!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Preparation Day #3

Well, I haven't had too much of a hard time with the fast, other than wanting to actually MAKE the juice....well its not making the juice that is the issue, but cleaning up the juicer!

I made myself 8 ounces of carrot juice this morning
I had 2 hot apple ciders and put about 1T of coconut oil in each of them YUMM...and I added Ocotea Essential Oil to my last 16 ounces of Juice. I didn't finish off my juice until about 6:00 tonight, the day sorta got away from me.

Around mid-day I was feeling a little nauseated, just yucky in general. I ended up taking a nap this afternoon. Maybe I'm detoxing. Still peeing a ton, but what should I expect drinking so many liquids.

At dinner, I had left over juice from last night's red cabbage, red bell pepper, celery, and pineapple juice. I bottled it up with "no room for air" I'm sure it wasn't the highest quality, but it was better than having to make something!

I'm on day 3 of no pooping....guess tomorrow morning I will have to do an enema.