Wednesday, October 21, 2009

What do you eat?

Everyone is always asking me what we can eat or if they would like to make us something "what can't we eat?" The main idea of the GAPS diet is to eat lots of vegetables, meat, eggs, fruit(in moderation), and nuts (soaked first) and avoid all grains, sugar, soy, and starches(potatoes, corn, rice). We avoid dairy though many people on GAPS can do dairy.

Here is the list of what is currently "safe" for our tummies:

Updated 1/11/11
  • Eggs (preferably organic, pastured but I'm not so picky anymore)
  • Any meat cooked any way(preferably organic, pastured but again I'm not picky)
  • Seafood (cooked any way, including canned fish as long as packed in water) Gray is allergic to crab
  • Nut Butters (preferably from raw organic nuts, soaked first, then ground into butter)(we use Trader Joe's Raw Almond Butter) Gray and Annabelle are allergic to peanuts
  • Fermented Vegetables (pickles, pickled beets, saurkraut, etc)(made without vinegar)
  • Ghee (clarified butter), lard, tallow, olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, sesame seed oil
  • Raw, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar or white vinegar
  • Weak coffee, weak herbal tea
  • Occasionally dry wine, gin and scotch
  • All spices and herbs Gray and Annabelle are allergic to garlic.
  • Limited Honey
  • White Navy Beans (soaked first), Lentils
  • Fruit (we try to limit the kids fruit to 1-2 a day)
all fruit except cantaloupe, melon, and plum
  • Most non-starchy vegetables: The highlighted vegetables are for sure safe. The others have not been tested. We can handle them raw or cooked (grilled, sauteed, baked, broiled, steamed, boiled---its all okay now).
Artichoke, French
Avocados, including avocado oil
Bok Choy
Brussels sprouts
Collard greens
Garlic (NO garlic for Grayson or Annabelle) (the rest of us do fine)
Ginger root, fresh
Lettuce, all kinds
Olives preserved without sugar or any other non-
allowed ingredients
Peppers (yellow, red, and orange)
Pickles, without sugar or any other non-allowed ingredients
Squash (summer and winter)
String (green) beans
Tomato puree, pure without any additives apart from salt
Tomato juice, without any additives apart from salt

Here are the highlights of what is not on this protocol:
  • No dairy
  • No grains
  • No starches (potatoes, rice, parsnips, etc.)
  • No sugar (no agave nectar, or other natural sugar) We cheat and have Stevia

Halloween when you're sugar free?

I have been racking my brain for weeks now trying to think of what we will do for Halloween when your diet consists of cooked meat and vegetables. I've been searching everywhere on-line for ideas of sweets I can make for the boys that will be somewhat exciting.

We have always celebrated Halloween with the little white lie that "The Great Pumpkin" comes by our house on Halloween night after the boys are asleep. The boys leave their candy (after they've eaten some) on the porch and the great pumpkin comes and leaves them a present. That tradition will help but I still want to be able to give them something as we go trick or treating that they will look forward to.

I have a few ideas listed below that I'm going to try to make. I don't know what to handout to the trick-or-treaters that come to our house. I don't want to hand out candy that our kids can't have but I also can't possibly make enough of our treats to pass out. Any ideas?

Many of you have offered to make us food or help in some way. Here are a list of the "treats" I have found that I am going to try to make. If you would like to attempt any of them I would greatly appreciate any help. I understand that it might be hard given the list of ingredients.

FYI: most call for Stevia (this is a herb that tastes sweet, I've heard you can find it at Schnucks, Dierburgs, and Trader Joe's. I know they have it at Whole Foods and The Natural Way).

from Pecan Bread

4 egg whites
dash of salt
1/2 tsp Stevia
parchment paper

Make sure your bowl and whipping attachment are dry as one drop of water will ruin your meringues.
Let the eggs sit out on counter until room temperature.
Separate eggs by putting the whites in a bowl and either throwing away the yolk or saving it for a custard.
Whip up the egg whites until they are white and stick to the spoon.
Slowly drizzle the Stevia in and add a dash of salt.
Spoon small dollops onto parchment paper that has been fitted to a cookie sheet. Only use parchment paper, as all others will cause meringues to stick.
Turn oven on to 150.
If your oven does not go that low, turn it to the lowest setting. You can turn your oven off for an hour, then back on for 5 minutes and then back off again for another hour to maintain a very low temp. and do this until cookies are done.

Cookies should be dried out, not baked and this process goes for maybe 2-3 hours.
If the meringues start to turn brown on the edges, your oven is too hot and you should turn off the heat and crack the oven door open.

Your cookies should turn out the color of honey, but a lighter shade, in an all over even color.
You need to monitor this by taking peeks in at them every half hour.
Meringues can be tempermental.

from Pecan Bread

4 tablespoons coconut oil (or ghee)
1 tsp Stevia
4 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup almond butter

In a saucepan, bring oil or ghee, Stevia, vanilla, salt to the simmer stage and cook for 15 minutes. Add almond butter and stir and simmer five minutes.

Pour into a buttered loaf pan and freeze until just till hard enough to slice with a buttered spatula. Cut them in small squares,wrap in pieces of waxed paper cut to size. Store them in the fridge.
Tip: Use an ice cube tray instead of loaf pan to avoid cutting

from Pecan Bread

2 C cooked pumpkin or butternut squash
3/4 tsp to 1 tsp Stevia
1/4 C. melted coconut oil or ghee
4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cloves
2 egg yolks
4 egg whites

1. Puree the squash in the food processor.
2. Mix all ingredients EXCEPT egg whites.
3. Beat egg whites in a separate bowl until stiff.
4. Gently fold egg whites into pumpkin mix.
5. Bake in a pie dish at 350 for ~50 minutes.

from Pecan Bread

6 eggs, separated
1/2 cup cooked, pureed butternut squash or pumpkin
1/4 tsp Stevia or to taste
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. cloves

1. Combine squash, Stevia and spices.
2. Beat yolks with squash mixture.
3. In separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.
4. Fold egg whites into egg yolks.
5. Freeze for 1.5 hrs., mix together to blend and refreeze.

adapted from a pie-crust recipe at

3 cups almond flour, firmly packed
1 stick softened ghee: OR Spectrum 100% palm oil organic shortening
1 egg
1/2 - 2/3 tsp Stevia
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Cover a cookie sheet with baking parchment paper. Combine all ingredients thoroughly to make a stiff dough. Chill dough several hours or overnight. Place a ball of dough on the parchment, and cover with another sheet of parchment. Roll out dough between sheets of parchment with a rolling pin, until 3/16" thick. Peel off top sheet of paper.

Using cookie cutters with open centers, cut shapes directly on the parchment-covered cookie sheet. Press firmly. Keep close together as dough does not spread while baking. Bake 5-10 minutes Watch carefully, edges brown quickly. Remove and cool thoroughly to preserve shape before removing from parchment.

Tip: The parchment can be placed on any flat, smooth surface for rolling out the dough, then carefully moved to the cookie sheet either before or after the shapes are cut.

from Grain-Free Foodies

Ghee (pastured if possible) or Coconut Oil
Stevia to taste
Cinnamon to taste
Drop of vanilla extract
Almond or Coconut Flour (we are not able to tolerate this yet)


Cream oil with Stevia, then mix in the drop of vanilla and cinnamon to taste. You can add some coconut flour at this point if you want for texture. Without the flour it is a lot like ganache, adding the flour makes it a bit more like cookie dough.

The next step is to roll it into little balls. You may need to refrigerate it for awhile to do this, but it will be tough to do because the heat from your hands will melt the butter a bit. roll the truffles in ground cinnamon.

Put Cinnamon to roll the truffles in into a small bowl. Scoop up a small amount of the butter mixture, briefly roll it in your hands, then drop it into the bowl, and continue rolling it in the bowl. I prefer a ball about 3/4 of an inch across.

Store in the refrigerator when done.

Nut Butter Snow Balls
from Grain-Free Foodies



1 cup almond butter
1/2 cup ground almonds
1/4 tsp Stevia
1 tsp vanilla extract
cinnamon, ground cardamom (optional)
pinch of salt

Combine all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and mix thoroughly. Test for thickness by forming a ball to see if it holds its shape as desired.

For nut butter balls, pull off a piece of dough and roll into a ball about 1 inch or more across. Roll the ball in chopped almonds and set aside, continue until all the dough is rolled.

These are best stored in the refrigerator.

Almond Butter Muffins
from GAPS Guide

2.5 cups ground almonds
1/4 cup softened fat (ghee, coconut oil, lard)
3 eggs
Stevia to taste

Mix ingredients well. Use more or less ground nuts to achieve porridge-like conisistency. Grease your baking pan. Put mixture in. Bake 300 F for about an hour. When knife comes out clean, the bread is ready.

Coconut Oil Candies
adapted from Kelly the Kitchen Kop

1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 tsp Stevia
1 tsp vanilla
1/2-1tsp sea salt

Soften coconut oil, mix all ingredients together. Spread into shapes on parchment paper or melt mixture and pour into candy molds.

Bye to the next round

It always seems to catch me off guard when I’ve snapped at my children, acted frustrated with a phone call that’s interrupted my day or been rude to a stranger. “Why did I do that?” is always usually my first thought. Then a list of rationalities follow: “this has been such a long day; I am so tired; we’re running late; I’m overwhelmed;” etc. Then the list of resolutions start: “I just need to get better about leaving with enough time; when life calms down for us a little then I’ll have more patience; when my kids are older it won’t be so overwhelming, then I’ll be a good mom; etc”

Its amazing how often I think that at the next season of my life is when I’ll start to be able to “work on” the fruits of the spirit: gentleness, patience, kindness, goodness, self-control. I give myself a bye for this season and wait for a “less crazy” season to engage my heart with God.

I looked up the definition of bye: the right to proceed to the next round of a competition without contesting the present round, often through nonappearance of an opponent.

The next round seems so much more important or controllable. I often feel like I have no hope for this round so why even show up. I feel sure that in the next round I’ll have the chance to demonstrate profound faith in God or I have a better opportunity to get it right.

I read this from Oswald Chambers this morning: “It requires the supernatural grace of God to live twenty-four hours of every day as a saint, going through drudgery, and living an ordinary, unnoticed, and ignored existence as a disciple of Jesus. It is ingrained in us that we have to do exceptional things for God—but we do not. We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things of life, and holy on the ordinary streets, among ordinary people—and this is not learned in five minutes.”

I have felt a stirring in my heart over the last couple of weeks that this is the time. It is exactly in the middle of this crazy, busy, overwhelming season that God will be working out the fruits of the spirit. Can you even call it patience if you behave calmly when you were already calm to start out with? I find myself finding a new hope that God is using this season to change me into more of the woman he created me to be. But it requires me to engage with him, to pray for patience in the moment and to confess when I’ve been impatient.

Tough seasons don’t give me a free pass to the next round. This is the round that matters. I want to show up.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Hamburger Buns

We went out to eat at our favorite burger place: Newstead Tower Pub. They serve grass fed beef burgers and they are the best burgers I've ever had. We get so excited to go there. The boys were excited for two days. When I ordered them each a hamburger the sweet waitress suggested I split one for them because they're so big. "Oh, no they'll finish it off." I told her. Not only did they finish all of their hamburger, roasted veggies and squash chips(I brought the chips) they each probably ate the equivalent of another half from all of our plates. They would have eaten more.

I also enjoyed mine and was so excited because I found this recipe for buns that added to the whole experience. A burger doesn't feel like a burger when you eat it with a fork. It felt like heaven to eat it on a bun and with my homemade ketchup.
Here is the bun recipe (I also made these into hot dog bun shapes for the cookout)

Hamburger/Hot Dog Buns
1/2 a ripe avocado and 1 pastured or free-range egg and a pinch of salt
blend together until smooth and then pan fry like a pancake (these take a long time to set before flipping and work best at a medium-low heat). We use coconut oil on the skillet but you could use lard, ghee, or olive oil.
I added 3 capfulls of vanilla extract, a few drops of Stevia to make them sweet like Newstead Tower Pub buns but I don't usually do this when I make them.
I try to freeze lots of these (6 to a bag) as they are great for anytime we need bread.

Chicken Pancakes

Pancakes go fast in our house. This one was a good way to use all the scrap pieces of chicken we have after making stock. The boys loved it. I couldn't get over the idea of a pancake tasting like chicken.

1 chicken breast precooked (season as desired)
3 eggs

Using a food processor, blend ingredients together until completely smooth. Mixture will look just like thick pancake batter.
Use 1/4 cup of the mixture and cook in hot greased skillet like a pancake. Batter may need to be spread out a bit so that it is not too thick.
These cook much faster than nut flour pancakes. Watch them closely.
Makes 4-5 pancakes.

Veggie Pancakes

I am learning you can make any kind of pancake or bread with pureed veggies and eggs. This recipe has become a staple in our house now:

Pumpkin Pancakes

4 pastured or free-range organic eggs
1 cup squash (or any other pureed vegetable...we've used spinach, kale, zucchini, pumpkin, butternut)
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp alcohol-free vanilla
1 TBL melted coconut oil or ghee

Mix all ingredients well and prepare as small pancakes. Use a medium-low heat (between 3 and 4 on my stove). It takes a while for each pancake to set (4-5 min). Watch for bubbles on the top. They are thin and very yummy, almost like a crepe. We fill them sometimes with avocado or cooked spinach.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Veggie Chicken Salad

I am in the process of trying to make my own mayo so I can have chicken salad but my first attempt did not go over was pretty gross. Anyone know of a good mayo recipe?

In the mean time I made Cilantro-Lime Chicken Salad for Brian and me for lunch. It was awesome!!!!

For the kids I made:
Veggie Chicken Salad

Grind cooked chicken til fine. (this is a great way to use the scrap pieces of chicken) (I ground it in my magic bullet in lots of small batches)
Add mixture of pureed zucchini and carrots or any left over vegetable(somehow the flavors seem to cancel each other out).
Add salt.
Add boiled egg (optional)
Add chopped fermented cucumbers (pickles) (optional)
By gradually increasing the veggies, you can make it with almost half veggies
I added a lot of seasonings to help this one out (curry, paprika, garlic, ground mustard)

It went over very well.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Squash mini muffins

Another recipe for freezing and packing

4 pastured or free-range organic eggs seperated
1 cooked acorn squash or 1/2 cooked large butternut squash (1 1/2-2cups) (this also works with pumpkin or really any pureed veggie) (the easiest way to cook the squash is to put it whole in the oven at 350 for 45-60 min, then cut and discard seeds, scoop out flesh for recipe)
1 TBS of Coconut Oil or ghee (optional)
1 TSP of Cinnamon.
4-5 drops of Stevia (optional)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease a mini-muffin tin or use small muffin cups. Combine egg yolks with all other ingredients in a food processor or blender and process just until smooth. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Stir egg whites into mixture. Spoon into muffin cups.
Bake 30 to 40 minutes until muffins pull away from the sides of the
pan and appear dry and browned around the edges.
Carefully cut around the edges and lift out.

Homemade Ketchup

We had another camp fire in the backyard last night and I wanted the boys to be able to have ketchup this time. I was very proud of my homemade ketchup. It wasn't that much work and it tastes great. I think this is a recipe anyone could do and if you're wanting to start eliminating sugar or vegetable oils from your house, this would be a great place to start.

Homemade Ketchup
  • 5 lbs. very ripe tomatoes
  • 1/2 c. white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 1/4 c. sugar (I used a little more than 1/4tsp. of Stevia)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 c. onion
  • 1 tbsp. black peppercorns
  • 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 6 cloves

  1. Stem and roughly chop the tomatoes and place them in a nonreactive pan.

  2. Add half the vinegar and a few pinches of the salt and bring the mixture to a boil.
  3. Cook for 5 minutes, mashing with a wooden spoon.
  4. Strain the liquid into a saucepan without pressing on the solids (this may be obvious to others, but was not to me...use a very fine wire strainer-not a colander).
  5. Press the solids into another saucepan by forcing them through the strainer, leaving the seeds and skins behind. Rinse the strainer. You can puree the tomatoes before straining, if necessary, but they should be soft enough to press through the strainer screen
  6. Stir the sugar into the solids.
  7. Add all the remaining ingredients to the liquid.
  8. Bring the liquid to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes, until very syrupy.
  9. Strain into the solids, and bring to a simmer, stirring well. Simmer for 5 more minutes or until the desired consistency is reached. (it took about an hour of simmering for it to be as thick as I wanted) Puree with a hand blender, food processor or blender if necessary.
  10. Taste and adjust the seasonings. The mixture should be sweet and faintly tangy; if more tanginess is needed, sprinkle in some vinegar.

Joy in the journey

I have little joy right now. One of the main reasons is because my boys have such little joy. Yesterday was a particularly hard morning. Tyler wouldn't talk to anyone (my dad and step-mom are here) and he was falling apart at everything. Grayson, too, was very fussy and melting at the drop of a hat. I made 5 new recipes yesterday and had a pretty bad stomach ache most of the afternoon.

The ironic thing is I started my morning out in God's Word with motivation to rely on God's strength and desire to "make it a good day." I read a devotional about finding joy in your relationship with God and I was struck by the opportunity I have to commune with him in the midst of this trial and struggle. But, I was impatient and crabby and moody and not pleasant to be around. Not exactly on the road to make it a good day.

But, then the afternoon came. My sweet dad came home with a precious little plaque as a surprise present for me. He could tell I needed something. And, my step-mom spent the rest of the afternoon/evening in the kitchen washing dishes as I dirtied them up. We put on music and danced and talked. Even if we were quiet, it was so wonderful just to have someone in the kitchen with me. I really found joy in the community of my family.

This morning I made the connection. I AM NOT ALONE. As I stand in the kitchen for hours, God is present. And, HE CARES. I often think this much life is so trivial that I can only commune with God on the big things. I read this from Oswald Chambers this morning:

"Wherever God has placed you and whatever your circumstances, you should pray, continually offering up prayers to Him. And He promises, "Whatever you ask in My name, that I will do . . ." (John 14:13 ). Yet we refuse to pray unless it thrills or excites us, which is the most intense form of spiritual selfishness. We must learn to work according to God’s direction, and He says to pray."

Pray. Commune with God. That is the end...not the means to the end. I get so focused on when we are going to all feel better, be healed. That is what I want to pray for...and I should pray for that but I can not let the healing be my love. Jesus is my love and it is possible to find joy in journeying with him.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Quiche Muffins

I am on the search for recipes that are freezable and portable. I found this yesterday and I've tried it twice. They came different each time. I'm not sure why yet, but both times were good.

Quiche Muffins
  • 3-5 eggs
  • 1/2-1 cup of green puree (boiled spinach, collard greens, kale, etc. pureed)
  • salt
  • 2 Tbsp. of coconut oil
  • spices of choice
Blend together. Line muffin tins. Bake 350 for 20-30 min.
They boys loved these!!

Culinary Victory and GI defeat

We had a wonderful dinner last night. I felt so proud of my culinary efforts and we all enjoyed our dinner...except for Tyler who doesn't enjoy much of anything these days. I felt very empowered in the kitchen but then quickly defeated when I changed Gray's diaper. He has been having normal BMs for the past few days which was a sign the diet was working. Yesterday he went back to the undigested runny poopies, there was actually a whole green bean in his diaper. (Sorry if that's too much info). This means I need to go slower with progressing through the stages of the diet and that I need to back up with him to figure out what triggered the diarrhea. I have a feeling it was almonds which will be a big bummer trying to figure out how to make any type of baked good without almond flour.

Here is what we had for dinner:

Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Soup in Acorn Squash Bowls
  • 4-6 Red Peppers, cut in half with stems removed
  • 1 Large Tomato, cut in quarters
  • 3-4 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 Tb. of oil for skillet (coconut or ghee is what we used)
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1-2 Tb. Thyme
  • 4 Bay leaves
  • ground pepper
  • garlic powder
  • sea salt
  • Acorn squash (1 for every 2 people)
Preheat oven to 350. Place acorn squash on baking sheet, whole. Place peppers and tomatoes on a non-stick pan, cut side down. Bake peppers and tomatoes in oven until skin starts to blacken and blister, about 20-30 min. Remove peppers, place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let cool for 15 min. Bake squash for about 45-60 min.

Meanwhile, in a stockpot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute unitl translucent. Add the chicken stock and all of the spices and tomato paste . Bring to a gentle boil.

Remove as much skin from peppers as possible. Add to the pot. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup.

Remove squash from oven. Cut in half, scoop out seeds. Put squash in a bowl. Pour soup in squash. Top with fresh basil and/or grated cheese.

Green Bean Salad with Balsamic Dressing
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (not GAPS legal)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 4 large shallots, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (I used 4-5 drops of Stevia)
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2 lbs of green beans

1. Whisk together balsamic vinegar (not GAPS legal)and next 6 ingredients in a small bowl until blended; gradually add olive oil, whisking constantly until blended.

2. Pour over washed and trimmed green beans in a casserole dish. Bake, covered, for 20-30 min.

3. Serve over fresh greens and sprinkle with pine nuts.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


We had a campfire last weekend in our backyard so I wanted to make it as authentic for the boys as possible. I found the following recipe for graham crackers. I substituted Stevia for the honey (we'll be able to do honey later, just not right now). I also left out the baking powder. They turned out pretty good. For marshmallow I beat egg whites until fluffy and added Stevia. For the chocolate I melted coconut oil with vanilla, salt, stevia & cocoa powder (not legal on GAPS but I felt a necessary exception). I was pretty proud of myself. The boys gobbled them up.

Here is the recipe for graham crackers:


3 cups almond flour
1/2 cup honey
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda


1. Blend honey, eggs, spices, & baking soda. Add almond flour and mix well.

2. Take cookie size servings and smash them onto a cookie sheet to a ¼ inch thickness I use a Silicone cookie sheet liner. Leave a little room between crackers as they will puff a little bit and you will need room to maneuver flip them.

3. Bake in 325F oven for about 9 minutes.

4. Turn crackers over, and bake again for about 9 minutes.

5. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Even better if you can stand to wait until the next day to let spices really penetrate.

6. If a really crisp cracker is desired, re-warm cooled crackers in a low oven (150F) or in a dehydrator set on maximum for about 2 hours, then store.

Monday, October 12, 2009

I'm not alone

Today was a good day. I made up a butternut squash pancake recipe from some other bloggers ideas and they were pretty good. The kids gobbled them up this morning and they were a great snack to send to school. It makes such a difference when they are excited about what they're eating. I cleaned the house this morning which felt good to do something that produced a least until lunch when it was all dirty again. I had plans for many more things in the afternoon but I was completely exhausted. It hits me like a ton of bricks. One moment I'll think I can keep going and then the next minute its all I can do to get up the stairs and make it to my bed. This is one of the hardest parts. I need to keep cooking and finding recipes but I am just soo soo tired.

Afternoon and dinner was the highlight. Tyler was so pleasant when I picked him up from school and they played well together while I got dinner together. We have moved passed the stage of having to boil all our meats and veggies and can now eat things baked and roasted. This is huge. We had roasted salmon, asparagus and butternut squash/carrot potatoes. You can not believe how much the kids ate. They asked for thirds of everything. We finished off everything and Brian didn't even eat with us tonight. No left overs for tomorrow which means I'll have to cook something new for lunch.

The thing that has made the last 24 hours so wonderful is the various friends that I've talked to who are wanting to learn and try some of these things we're doing. I can't tell you how encouraging this is to me. Of all the things that are so hard with this transition (how crappy I feel, how new everything is, how much I have to learn, how much I miss certain foods, how much time it takes to cook everything) the two hardest things are how hard it is to tell my boys no and how alone I feel.

I am thankful for the yahoo group I am a part of and the blogs of other people on GAPS but it is no where near the same as people in your community going through something with you. Even in my marriage it has been hard because Brian doesn't understand everything as much and its hard for him to see all of us go through this. Cooking and eating has always been something we enjoy doing together. Brian has always shared a lot of the daily cooking with me. Now, I do it all and we miss the joy of doing stuff together. We had a wonderful talk this weekend about ways he can join me and he reassured me that he is on my team and he does believe in this diet. While we were talking I cried as I told him how great it would be if he (or anyone) called me up one day and said, "Hey, I was trying ____ and it turned out great" or "I read _____ the other day and found out _____." Does that make sense? Its like when you're a new mom and all you want to talk to is other moms because you need to hear ideas, be heard, ask questions. I have felt like I'm a new mom in a land of people that don't have children.

The awesome thing is, I feel like God heard my cry and answered me with a quick "You are not alone." In less than 24 hours, I had multiple conversations with people all wanting to start some part of our lifestyle. I understand it will be rare that someone would jump into full GAPS but just having someone to share learning how to culture vegetables together would be awesome.

Over the next few days I'm going to try to post all the different lifestyle changes we're making. I don't expect anyone to want to do them all but maybe having some friends/family picking one area to join me. Here are the areas I'm thinking :
  • switching to local, organic meats/eggs
  • culturing vegetables
  • making Kombucha tea
  • making more foods from scratch (Bread, nut-butters, condiments, salad dressings, yogurt, kiefer, crackers, bone stock, etc.) and reducing processed foods
  • cutting or reducing sugar
  • eating an 80/20 diet (80% of diet fruits and veggies/20% meat and grains)
  • detoxing the home (cleaners, detergents, soaps, perfumes, etc.)
  • cooking with traditional and healthy oils and fats (butter instead of margarine, olive oil instead of canola, eliminating soy and vegetable oils, using coconut oil, etc)
If any of these areas seem interesting to you, please keep checking the blog. I'll share what I've learned and resources I've found and I would love to hear from you as you learn along with me.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Victory and Defeat

Those are the two words I keep saying to myself. In one moment I'll experience victory and then in the very next moment: defeat. But, the opposite is also true. When I feel defeated there will be a moment of victory that gives hope. Its been a long week. The boys are still recouping from the stomach virus. Gray didn't start walking until Wednesday. Before that he wanted me to carry him everywhere. When you put him down on the ground he'd stand there for a minute and then lie down on the floor. He went to school that day because he wanted to. The teachers said he pulled up a chair in the middle of the floor and just watched the other kids play. It was so hard to see him not himself. Tyler has been just so sad. He says he has no cool toys, no cool books, there is nothing fun at school, etc. I'm not sure how much of this is the virus still hanging around or because of the diet.

I've read more about the "die off" reaction. Its also called the healing crisis. I belong to a yahoo group where people post questions and talk a lot about die off reactions. On one hand, its been sobering to read how long it takes some families to level out. But, on the other hand it helpful to realize that it will probably be awhile before we feel great. This way I'm not thinking, "is this the day/week we're going to feel better." I think it will be helpful for others to see, too, that this is something we're in for the long haul.

Here is the best info I've found on what to expect from the healing crisis:
from Healing Naturally by Bee

"The healing crisis is an acute reaction that is the result of the activity of nature's healing forces in overcoming chronic disease conditions. It is brought about when the body becomes overcrowded by wastes and toxins. Cells and tissues begin to throw off the waste and carry it from the bloodstream to various eliminating organs including the bowels, kidneys, lungs, skin, nasal passages, ears, throat, and genital organs.

These organs, in turn, become congested and irritated, producing symptoms such as colds, flue, boils, skin problems (rash, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, etc.), kidney and bladder infection, headaches, ear or eye infection, diarrhea and/or constipation, and fever, to name a few.

That is the healing crisis, which is a form of healing and elimination. First the toxins are removed and then the tissues are renewed. These symptoms and the process of elimination are part of the cure and should not be suppressed. Although a healing and disease crisis may look alike they are very different.

By changing the diet to a highly nutritious one, and by eliminating as many sources of damaging substances as possible, i.e. sugar, soy, grains, chemicals, mycotoxins, preservatives, molds, etc. the body gets stronger, digging into the tissues and eliminating old chronic waste and toxins.

Skin problems occur because of toxins being eliminated through the skin, but also because the body externalizes healing to the skin to protect vital inner organs.

It takes about one month of natural healing for every year the symptoms have been present. (this was the most sobering thing for me to could take me 20 months! and probably 3 months for the boys)

When you change your diet, particularly when you eliminate foods and toxins that feed candida, candida starts dying off. As a result the reactions and symptoms you will experience are called Die-Off Symptoms. Therefore when the numbers of candida begin to decrease (are dying off) you will feel the effects, which causes many symptoms and reactions, which are mainly due to the high numbers of toxins that are being released.

Withdrawal Symptoms are some of the reactions you will experience. That is when your cravings for sugar, carbohydrates, alcohol, grain products, etc. will increase. At times it may make you feel as if you are starving, when you actually aren't.

Cleansing/Detoxifying Reactions - "Die-off" symptoms include cleansing/detoxifying reactions, which produce "flu-like" symptoms. This is because the body is trying to deal with the large numbers of toxins being released by the dead candida. This will results in excessive mucus being produced in the mucus membranes, which include sinuses, nose, throat, lungs, the digestive tract, reproductive organs, etc.

These flu-like symptoms may also include an upset stomach, nausea, gas, bloating, belching, muscle and joint aches and pains, clumsiness, headaches, "brain fog," etc. Often you may feel like you have been drugged, with symptoms similar to a bad hangover. That is because most candida toxins are alcohol, which cause hangover-type symptoms. (this describes perfectly how I've felt)

"Die-off" symptoms are also called the Herxheimer reaction, which is caused by the rapid killing of candida and other harmful pathogens, with large quantities of toxins and cell particles being released into the bloodstream and the entire body.

Healing Reactions – In addition to withdrawal symptoms and cleansing reactions you will experience symptoms that are clearly healing reactions. The severity and/or number of healing reactions you experience depends upon how often your body has been exposed to toxins and/or traumatized during your lifetime with injuries, disease, or illnesses, and how much detoxifying and healing the body can accomplish.

To help you "endure" these reactions and continue with your program, keep in mind that any reactions means you are successful in ridding your body of candida, other toxins, heavy metals, etc., and that "healing" is taking place. Every drugless healing practitioner is well aware of such healing reactions.

Symptoms Intensify - When high numbers of candida are being killed off, any symptoms experienced while candida was growing out of control may intensify. This is different person to person, depending upon areas of their body that were most affected by candida overgrowth.

If someone has experienced a lot of digestive problems, their digestive upsets and disturbances will increase. If someone had a lot of head-related symptoms, their symptoms will become worse. And so on. (this is what I think is happening with Tyler and his behaviors)

Symptoms do get worse before they get better. However, as you progress on the program, your good days will increase and your bad days will decrease. Natural healing takes time, patience and persistence on the healing program"

There are things we can do to try to ease the die off reaction. One is to go slowly into changes which we are doing with things like adding supplements, vitamins, and the probiotics. Adding each of those things brings more healing. I want to add them all in at once but I keep reading to go slow, slow, slow. That's very hard for me. I want to get it over with and see results. It can be very discouraging to be going through this much work and feel worse. Not to mention it is very hard to cook for at least 3 hours a day when I feel so tired I can hardly stand up at times.

So, forgive me if I sound like things are great one time when you talk to me and then horrible the next. It depends on the minute. We sang my favorite hymn today at church, "It is well." I am praying that I would find security in who God is and how he sees me in the moments of victory and defeat.

Friday, October 2, 2009

On or off the Wagon? Where the hell is the wagon?

I don't know what day to call this post. I have totally lost track of where we're at on the diet. We started the kids on Monday this week and Tyler started throwing up that night. I thought it was a die off reaction but turns out it was a viral infection. We have been in the hospital with Grayson since Wednesday night because of dehydration. I am praying they will come in and tell us we can go home...I'm also praying for a wet diaper. I really don't want to spend another night here.

I have pretty much stayed on the wagon. I've had a few things that have strayed from the diet only because its pretty hard to have organic, home cooked food for three days in a hospital.

I feel a little discouraged about the diet with the kids. The virus messed us all up. Tyler now thinks that its the new way of eating that made him throw up. He won't even drink the stock any more which is something he's been drinking and even asking for with enthusiasm for weeks now. He is resistant to everything, even very normal foods like meats and vegetables. He gags when we make him eat something.

I'm not sure where Gray is on his attitude toward eating the diet. Right now he doesn't want to eat even apple sauce. I wish I had waited one more day to start the diet, then we would be starting next Monday and no one would be associating this food with being sick.

Just found out we get to go home!!! I am so excited to sleep in my bed and cuddle on the couch with Brian.

If you'll notice I have about 30 posts from the last 2 days. I've been cataloging recipes I've tried and found on-line to organize myself. You can find all the recipes organized by clicking the recipe option to the right top of the blog.

or go HERE to see my recipe list

Cream of Vegetable Soup

simmer equal parts chopped carrots, rutabaga, onion, zucchini and fresh thyme in chicken stock.
Remove thyme stem
puree and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Veggie Minestrone

Found this on GAPS group site

  • Broth (combination is good) simmered with celery and peppercorns
  • zucchini or summer squash
  • carrot
  • green beans
  • onion and/ or leek
  • tomato
  • salt
Season with thyme, basil, garlic and dash of cayenne. Add chicken fat/olive oil/ghee as permitted.
It's more work, but it adds visual interest if you cook each veggie separately and arrange a small helping of each around the bowl before filling with broth.

Beef and Pumpkin Stew

Found this on a GAPS group site

  • Beef broth seasoned with peppercorns and strained.
  • Add small diced pumpkin and salt and cook until soft.
  • Add diced, shredded beef and pumpkin puree.
  • Use a bit of chicken fat to balance the flavors.
Serve with the obligatory dash of fresh garlic and kraut liquid. This is also wonderful with a swirl of blended kefir (sour cream mimic Wink if you pour a circle you can then make awesome designs by dragging a knife through in an X.)

Mashed "Too-tatoes"

We do these instead of mashed potatoes and I've never told the kids their not real potatoes. They love them!

  • 1 head of cauliflower (cut all stocks off if one stage one until you know you can digest)
  • about 1 cup of chicken stock
  • lard or ghee (if at that stage)
Boil cauliflower in the chicken stock. Use a slotted spoon to remove to a bowl. Mix with electric mixer, add more stock to desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Big Kid's Casserole

  • Put a layer of leftover roast in the bottom of the casserole dish. I cut the roast into small pieces.
  • Cook green beans in one pot with some chicken broth and sea salt and layered these over the meat.
  • Cook carrots, zucchini, and yellow squash in another pot with just water and sea salt. I took about half of these and layered them over the green beans.
  • Pour a little broth and about a cup of rendered beef fat over this and sprinkled with a little salt.
  • Puree the rest of the carrots, zucchini, and yellow squash with some of the broth and pour this over the top of the casserole and drizzled more beef fat on top. Then add a touch more salt on top.
  • Bake it at 350 F for 30 minutes. That’s it!
you can also do this with:
  • Meat
  • Green beans
  • Broccoli and cauliflower
  • Rendered fat and sea salt
  • Blended cauliflower drizzled with more rendered fat and sprinkled with sea salt

Melt-In-Your-Mouth Beef Soup

Recipe from GAPSters

  • Full fat, hugely gelatinous beef broth
  • 1 lb beef
  • 2 med zucchini
  • 1 med onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 carrots
  • Celtic Sea Salt
  • Ghee

Simmer the beef, garlic and onion in some broth for about 30 min. Add prepped vegetables and enough broth to come within 2" of the vegetables. Add 2 larges pinches of celtic sea salt and simmer about 30 min. Take 1/4 of the vegetable and meat and blend till smooth. Add back into the pot and add ghee and more salt to taste. And yes!!! Add 1-3 tsp avocado (if on stage 3)

soaking and dehydrating almonds

On our GAPS diet we are not supposed to eat any starches or grains. This is part of the reason I picked this diet. I have always seemed to have a hard time digesting grains. I've been tested for Celiac's disease (gluten intolerance) but I do not have it. The doctors have often questioned if Grayson might have it and the OT questioned if Tyler might as well. So, this diet is a good way to eliminate that from our diet and see if symptoms improve.

But what do we do without grains?

Almonds. There are many recipes made from almond butter and almond flour. The first step is to soak the almonds to make them easier to digest.

Why soak almonds?

Almonds are usually difficult for most people to digest because of an enzyme-inhibiting substance in their brown coating. Soaking or sprouting removes this inhibitor so that the enzymes secreted during digestion can do their job. It is easier to digest, absorb and assimilate the nutrition in the nut. Also the nuts become softer, making them easier to chew. This adds to the effect. Always chew nuts thoroughly, whether soaked or not. Big chunks of unchewed nuts can be hard on the digestive tract.

What do you do with soaked almonds?

Almond Milk: Use an ounce of ground, blanched almonds and a quart of water (you can also simply add ground blanched almonds and some sugar to water until you achieve the preferred consistency) This shares many characteristics of cow milk and makes a delicious refreshing beverage.

Almonds can also be used to relieve heartburn. Dosage is six to eight soaked, blanched almonds.

Almond butter is made by grinding the soaked, blanched almonds and is far healthier than peanut butter. This is a nutritional and delicious alternative for adults and children alike.

Almond flour is made by dehydrating the soaked, blanched almonds then grinding them into a flour like substance. Almond flour is used in many GAPS recipes.

Snacks: soak, blanch, then dry almonds and store in the refrigerator for a snack anytime. They combine best with fermented foods, non-starchy land vegetables (especially dark green leafy ones) and ocean vegetables. They also combine with other protein/fat foods like milk kefir and avocado.

They're great to toss into a green, leafy salad.

What are the best almonds to get?

If possible almonds should be purchased in their shell. This helps to ensure that your almonds are fresh and not rancid. Almonds should be raw and organic.

How do you soak?

  1. Soak 4 cups of raw, organic almonds in cool filtered water and drain the soaked water after 20-40 minutes. (optional step)
  2. Dissolve 1 Tbsp of sea salt in filtered water and pour over almonds (I use a mason jar).
  3. soak for another 8-12 hours. If you want to continue and sprout them you can (they make one of the best sprouts) though it is not essential.
  4. Drain and refridgerate
One website I looked at encouraged to buy skinless almonds. "If almonds are not skinless and given that the almond skin is potentially irritating to the lining of the stomach and intestines the almonds should be blanched" (I assume following the soaking). Some people say the skins easily peel off after soaking. If not easy for you do the following:

To blanch almonds:

1. Place the soaked almonds in a saucepan of boiling water.
2. Time seven (7) seconds.
3. Immediately remove from heat.
4. Drain and cover almonds with cold water to cool.
5. Press each almond between thumb and forefinger to slip off skin.
6. Dry almonds on paper towels.
You can also try blanching them in warm water (15-30 seconds in hot water from faucet.)

My nutrionalist friend reminded me that the fiber from almonds is in the skin. We are needing fiber right now so we are not blanching.

To Further protect the almonds from the effect of rancidity and enhance digestion lightly toast the almonds in an oven.

Here's how you toast almonds:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a low sided pan, evenly spread nuts.
  3. Bake, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
  4. Oven toasted nuts are done when you can smell them.
  5. All nuts should be cooled on paper towels.

Some people would say that the high heat will loose some of the nutrients and you should use a dehydrator of low heat of oven.

To Dry Almonds:

  • drain in a colander and spread on a stainless steel pan .
  • Place in a warm oven (no warmer than 150 degrees) for 12-24 hours, turning occasionally, until thoroughly dry and crisp.
To Make Almond Butter:
  • mix almonds in food processor or blender.
  • It will take approximately 10 minutes to release the oils from the almonds to make a paste
  • Keep scraping the sides of the bowl
To Make Almond Flour:
  • I am grinding in my magic bullet right now because that's all I have. I think it would work better in a mill.

Nut Butter Pancakes

From the blog GAPSters
  • 2 medium zucchini--peeled, de-seeded, blended
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond nut-butter--made from soaked and dehydrated almonds
  • pinch Celtic sea salt

In a food processor, blend zucchini. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend well. Heat a fry pan and add ghee. Pour enough batter in the pan to make pancakes a little larger than 'silver dollar' pancake size.

FYI: The heat needed to be lower than I expected--on my electric stove I set the heat between 3 and 4.

Butternut Squash Ice Cream

Found this at GAPSters
  • 1 butternut squash
  • stock of your choice
  • 3-5 Tblsp ghee
  • 3 egg yolks

Boil the squash in the stock. When done (almost falling apart), remove from stock and cool. Add ghee and egg yolks. Blend. At this point you could put the mixture in an ice cream maker or you could put it directly into the freezer and stir it every 30 minutes or so--until it's frozen, but aerated and fluffy.

Pork Stew

  • Already boiled pork to pork stock in a crock pot.
  • Add zucchini, summer squash, mushrooms and carrots.
  • Add salt.
  • Simmer for a few hours.
  • Remove meat, blend most vegetables with immersion blender
  • Add meat in pieces.

Chicken Salad

Found this recipe at GAPSters

  • Chicken, boiled and torn into bite sized pieces
  • Pesto Sauce
  • Fermented vegetables
  • Celtic sea salt, to taste

In a large bowl, combine chicken and enough pesto sauce to coat chicken. Add fermented vegetables--as much as you're allowed. Mix. Add salt if needed. Serve topped with extra pesto sauce.

Beef and Eggplant Casserole

I found this recipe at GAPSters
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 eggplants
  • 2 containers of mushrooms
  • 2 leeks or 1 med. onion
  • Fresh dill
  • Celtic Sea Salt to taste
  • ghee

Prep vegetables (peel, de-seed, chop). Add beef and onion (if using) to some stock and boil for 40 min or so. Add rest of vegetables and boil for 30 min or so. Add salt to taste. With a slotted spoon, ladle out meat and vegetable and put into a baking dish. Add chopped fresh dill. Add some stock. Either bake like this or reserve some vegetables and meat, blend, and spread on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Add ghee to individual dishes.

Beets-for constipation

We have been struggling with a little constipation in our house. I found this idea at GAPSters

Beets! Yes, fresh, cooked beets have a mild laxative effect.

Here's what to do: cut the leaves off the beetroot about an inch above the crown. Immerse the beets in a pot of water. Cover. Bring water to a boil, turn down to simmer. Simmer for about 40 minutes, or until tender. Drain, rinse in cold water. With cold water running, hold beet under water and slip off the skins. Place beet in a clean bowl. Eat warm or cold.

Butternut Squash and Fennel Soup

I found this recipe at GAPSters

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 3-4 fennel bulbs
  • 2 large leeks
  • 1 large zucchini (this will dilute the sweetness)
  • 1/2 cup beef fat/marrow blend
  • Celtic Sea Salt to taste

Peel, de-seed, wash--prep your vegetables to where they're chopped and ready to go. Throw them in a pot, add stock so that 2" of your vegetables are not immersed. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer for 30+ minutes. Because the fennel would be considered 'stringy,' simmer for an hour and a half or more. When done, take off heat, add fat/marrow, salt and blend.

TIP: The beauty of this soup is that it contains vast amounts of vegetables, broth. I blend in raw egg yolks and the flavor remains delicious. With the zucchini added, the sweetness becomes subtle.

Non-Nut Butter Pancake Sandwiches

I found this recipe at GAPSters

A stage 3 recipe.

Makes one sandwich.

2 Non-Nut Butter Pancakes

1 avocado

1 tsp shredded fermented vegetable, or as much as can be tolerated

Celtic sea salt

Put fruit from avocado in a bowl. Sprinkle salt to taste. Mash avocado and salt together with a fork, making a salt/avocado-only guacamole. Spread 2 tablespoons or so (depending on the size of the pancakes) on one of the pancakes. Sprinkle on the fermented vegetable. Top with remaining pancake. Slice into wedges and you've got finger food!

Carrot Coins and "Cheese"

This recipe is from GAPSters

A stage 2 snack.

1 thick (as thick as possible) carrot, peeled, cut into 1/4" 'coins'

Bone broth

Ghee, slightly softened

Boil carrot coins in bone broth for 30 minutes or until cooked through. Let cool completely. When cool, spread ghee on top. Serve.

Orange Popscicles

This recipe is adapted from GAPSters

An all stages snack.

You'll need a popsicle mold.

1 butternut squash, boiled in bone broth and puréed or 2 cups of baby carrots

5 Tblsp ghee

raw egg yolks

2-3 drops of Stevia (optional)

Place butternut squash in a bowl. Add ghee and as many yolks as desired and blend until smooth. Pour or spoon into mold(s) and freeze.

Mint Tea Popscicles

This recipe is from GAPSters

An all stages snack.

Make a batch of mint tea, adding honey to sweeten a tad more than you'd use for hot tea.

Let cool. Pour into popsicle mold(s). Enjoy between meals.

Mint Tea

This recipe if from GAPSters

Using Dried Mint:

Harvest or purchase fresh mint. Lay the mint on a tray and put the tray in the oven with the oven light on. Let sit for 4-6 hours, or until the mint is crisp, but not fragile (in other words, doesn't fall to pieces when pinched but is dry and 'crisp').

Boil water.

Use 1 tsp dried mint per cup of water. For a quart of water, use 4 tsp dried mint and either add the mint and water to a quart jar and cap tightly OR add mint to a pot containing a quart of boiling water and cover tightly. Let steep about 3 minutes. Add honey if desired.

Using Fresh Mint:

Use a handful of the leaves and stalks to a cup of boiling water. Brew for about five minutes, and add honey if desired. Using fresh mint for tea making will add a distinct 'cooked greens' flavor to your tea.

If your tea tastes bitter, it was brewed too long or too much herb was used.



Gather fresh mint and coarsely chop the leaves. Place the chopped mint leaves in a jar, filling the jar (if there is any empty space, the herb will oxidize). Then pour raw, local honey over the chopped, fresh herb. Use a chopstick or the like to poke and stir, essentially eliminating all air bubbles. Add honey until the jar is almost full. Label your MINT HONEY with name and date.

Leave your jar in a cool, dark place for 6 weeks, after which, it's ready to use. You'll find that the honey seems a little watery. This is because it's now infused with oils, liquids and all properties of the mint leaves.

Put a heaping tablespoonful, honey and herb, in 1 cup or more of boiling hot water. Stir and let it brew for a few minutes. While it's brewing, either cover your mug or inhale the invigorating mint steam! Strain and drink.

You'll find this way of preparation perfectly flavored with mint and nicely sweetened with honey. You can use more herb than honey, if you are using honey minimally. Or you can just stir in a little honey without the herb since the honey now has the medicinal qualities and flavor of the mint. Depending on your desired outcome, the amount of honey per the amount of water is flexible.

TIP: Mint tea and Mint Honey are wonderful when a cold is present. In the same way, make Thyme Honey and Sage Honey, which are excellent for sore throats.

Orange-colored "jello"

An all stages snack.

Butternut squash and/or carrots

Bone broth

Boil butternut squash and/or carrots in bone broth. With a slotted spoon, remove the vegetable. Purée. Add an amount of broth back into the puréed vegetable to make it pourable. Pour into small bowls or ramekins. Refrigerate. Stir before serving and serve cold.

Soft Boiled Eggs and Egg Salad

I got this recipe from GAPSters

Put eggs in a pot and cover with water. Set on the stove, cover, bring to a boil. While waiting for boil, put a large pat of ghee in a bowl. When eggs begin to boil, take them off heat and let sit 2-3 minutes. Drain, fill pot with cold water. Peel eggs quickly and place them in the bowl with ghee. When all eggs are peeled, add Celtic sea salt and mash with a fork.

These are soft-boiled, with whites firm and yolks runny. Delicious, creamy buttery eggs. Flavor kind of reminds me of pasta with butter.

Now for egg salad:

Add chopped fermented cucumber pickles, or any fermented vegetable

Add chopped avocado


Making Lard

Pork, lamb or beef fat (lard) from an animal that is pasture fed is a great source of fat for cooking. I purchased our pork fat from Greenwood Farms at the Tower Grove Farmers Market. Here are some of the benefits of using saturated fats like lard/tallow:
  • Enhance the immune system
  • Build and strengthen bones and teeth (preventing cavities and osteoporosis)
  • Provide energy and structural integrity to the cells
  • Protect the liver
  • Enhance the body’s use of essential fatty acids
  • Do not become rancid easily
  • Do not call upon the body’s reserves of antioxidants
  • Do not initiate cancer
  • Do not irritate the artery walls

Source: The Oiling of America

How to make it
  • Cut the fat into small-medium sized chunks or put through meat grinder
  • Put in crock-pot on low
  • cook for several hours (depending on size of chunks) until mostly melted
  • pour through cheese-sloth or fine metal sieve.
  • store in glass jars and refridgerate
Find pictures and more details at Kelly The Kitchen Kop
Even more details at Cheeseslave

Recipe for making Ghee (clarified butter)

Butter is great for cooking but small amounts of whey in the butter often burn. Butter also contains lactose and some milk proteins which may bother many people. Ghee on the other hand does not contain any whey, milk protein or lactose at all, just milk fat, and does not burn.

  • Preheat your oven to 250
  • Put a large block of organic, preferably unsalted butter into a metal dish or pan.
  • Leave in the oven for 45-60 minutes
  • Take it out and carefully pour the golden fat from the top (ghee), making sure that the white liquid at the bottom stays in the pan.
  • Discard the white liquid.
  • Keep in glass jars and refrigerate.

Winter Squash Soup

Very, very yummy and soothing to an upset stomach or diarrhea.

6 cups of home-made meat stock
1 leak, washed and sliced
broccoli, 3-4 medium sized rosettes
1 medium-size carrot, sliced
1 medium size butternut squash or any winter squash with sweet orange flesh
3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

While sauteing leak and garlic in 2-3 Tbsp of coconut oil, ghee, or lard, peel and de-seed squash, cut it into chunks. Wash and cut into pieces all the vegetables. Add all the vegetables to the pot. Add the meat stock and bring to a boil Reduce heat to a minimum, cover with the lid and simmer for about 30 minutes. Pull out about 1 cup of squash and reserve. Blend soup mixture then return to pot and add reserved squash. Serve with 1/2 cup of yogurt (optional).

Meatball soup

1 1b. ground beef or pork
1 lrg onion finely chopped
1 lrg carrot thinly sliced
1 cup winter squash cut into small cubes
1 cup of finely chopped cabbage (optional)
other veggies (optional)
2 Tbsp. of chopped garlic

Saute onion and garlic in 2-3 Tbsp. of coconut oil, ghee, or lard until onions are clear. (puree and then add back to pot if kids will resist onion)
In pot bring 8 cups of water to a boil. Add salt and cayenne pepper to taste.
With your hands shape meatballs about 2 cm in diameter and add them, one at a time, into the boiling water. Cover and simmer on low heat for 30 min. Add all the vegetables, cover and simmer for another 20 minutes. Serve with sauerkraut, spoonful of yogurt and chopped dill.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


If you are cooking one of these recipes for us, please double check the "what we can eat" page to see an updated list of "safe" foods. If you are following GAPS, please note that I categorized the following recipes by Intro Stages myself so there may be some recipes that are not in the right spot. Always gauge by what your body can tolerate.

GAPS Recipes

Intro Phase 1

Bone Stock
Carrot & Ginger Soup
Zucchini Soup
French Beef Stew
Winter Squash Soup
Meatball Soup
Butternut Squash & Fennel Soup
Cream of Vegetable Soup
Crock-Pot Roast
Pea Soup
Orange-Colored "Jello"
Mint Tea
Mint Tea Popsicles
Sparking Water
Simmer simple meatballs in beef broth (make meatballs with ground beef, onion, garlic, salt, fresh sage).
Pumpkin Ice Cream

Intro Phase 2
breakfast or snack
Soft Boiled Eggs and Egg Salad
Non-nut butter pancakes
Beef & Eggplant Casserole
Big Kid's Casserole
Pork Stew
Melt in your Mouth Beef Soup
Mashed "too-tatoes"
Beef & Pumpkin Stew
Veggie Minestrone
I Heart Texas Chili
Veggie Chicken Salad
Cilantro-Lime Chicken Salad
Chicken Nuggets
Rice & Gravy
Butternut Squash Ice Cream
Orange Popsicles
Carrot Coins and "Cheese"
Chicken Pancakes
Pumpkin Pie Filling
Coconut Oil Candies

Intro Phase 3
Hamburger/Hot Dog Buns
Pesto Sauce
Chicken Salad
Non-nut butter pancake sandwiches
Quiche Muffins
Carrot Latkes
Nut butter pancakes
Squash Mini Muffins
Veggie Pancakes
Cashew Butter Pancakes
Cashew Butter Cupcakes
Nut butter Caramels
Nut butter snow balls
Almond butter muffins
Banana Sunflower Butter Pancakes

Intro Phase 4
Almond Bread
Grain-Free Indian Flat Bread
Sloppy Joes
Roasted Red Pepper Soup
Roasted Cabbage
Baked Radish Chips
Breakfast Sausages
Chicken Nuggets
Glazed Turnips
Egg Casserole
Grain-Free Oatmeal Cookies
Cookie Cutter Cookies
Apple Pie
Banana Bread

Moving On these are recipes we can currently do (or we use when we need to make exceptions) but are considered "Full Gaps"
Coconut Milk Jigglers
Banana Walnut Muffins
Graham Crackers/S'mores
Yoda Bars
Pumpkin Muffins with Streusel topping
Morning Smoothie
Yoda Bars

Healthy Fats

Rendering Lard
Ghee (clarified butter)

Lacto-Fermented Mayo
Mayo with coconut & olive oil
BBQ Sauce
Taco Seasoning

Fermented Vegetables
Cauliflower Pickles

Non-GAPS recipes
Dutch Babies
Coconut Oil Fudge

French Beef Stew

I'm cataloging my recipes as I make them. Here is what we're trying tonight:

French Stew

  • 2# beef stew meat
  • 2c. beef stock
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • sea salt & pepper to taste
Put all ingredients into a large covered casserole, 4 hours @ 300*. The original recipe says to thicken with a flour & water mixture and put back into the oven for 10-15 minutes then serve over noodles or rice, or throw in some carrots & potatoes for the last couple hours of bake time.

I am going to try to thicken with Xanthum Gum instead of flour and we can not do potatoes. We did it in the crock pot on low.