You asked for it, dear readers, so here it is. My personal food log from Monday- Thursday this week. All comments welcome on my choice of fare – both positive and negative (as long as you are courteous). Please remember that I am off all grains (disaccharides) at the moment and have been for the past month. I don’t usually eat many grains anyway, but have gone off them completely to solve some lower back pain issues I’ve been having intermittently.
Guess what? My back pain has completely gone (I’ve also lost 7 lbs despite my valiant attempts not to lose any weight at all), so my hunch that it was somehow caused by some minor gut inflammation spreading to my lower back area appears to be correct. My back pain was the ONLY clue or symptom I had that my gut was slightly imbalanced. I wonder how many folks realize that their back pain (and other joint pain) is potentially caused by gut imbalance?
I will continue to avoid grains for the next several months and then gradually reintroduce them sometime in the early Fall 2010. I have to say, though, that I feel GREAT completely off grains and all sugars (disaccharides cannot be fully digested if the gut is out of balance even if only slightly – toxins from the undigested food and pathogens that feed on it spills into the blood causing an unpredictable mix of symptoms). My goal is to definitely eat grains again, as they are truly a wonderful, traditional food.
It’s just that in our modern lives, our guts may need periodic rest from them as they are so very difficult to digest unless your gut is in top form and only by going off them completely for a period of time can your gut fully heal. The fiber in grains is particularly harsh on the gut. Fiber from fruits and vegetables is a much more gentle type of fiber on the gut.
I suspect that most people would benefit tremendously from a break from all disaccharide foods (grains, potatoes, sweet potatoes, all sugars except honey and fruit) to heal their gut wall unless you are fortunate enough to have been born naturally to a Mother with no gut dysbiosis herself, breastfed for an extended period of time, and never had antibiotics or other meds in your life! Very few folks would qualify based on that criteria! I’m learning a lot on this adventure and will be blogging more about it in detail in future posts.
**Please note that nothing I ate all week came out of a box or package. It was all made from scratch. This is definitely typical in our house. Boxes and prepacked foods generally do not make the cut to be in our pantry.
Food Log Monday, April 19, 2010
Breakfast: Smoothie (pint of raw kefir, 2 bananas, 1/3 cup organic peanut butter, 2 TBL raw local orange blossom honey, tsp or 2 of carob powder, splash chocolate extract)
Lunch: Half 8″pizza leftover from last night’s dinner (almond crust pizza with peppers, onions, organic pepperoni slices, cheddar cheese toppings), glass kombucha
Dinner: 3 egg omelet with provolone, pepper, onion filling, glass kombucha, blueberry cobbler (made with pecan flour) for dessert
Food Log Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Breakfast: Smoothie (pint of raw kefir, 2 bananas, 6 organic strawberries)
Lunch: Leftover omelet from last night’s dinner, glass kombucha, leftover blueberry cobbler
Snack: cup of alfalfa tea
Dinner: Turkey chili, baby green salad with homemade ranch dressing and pepitas, homemade kombucha
Snacks: 2 raw honey, semi sweet chocolate mint patties from Heavenly Organics
Snack before bed: small cup of bone broth, cup of nettle tea
Food Log Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Breakfast: almond flour pancake with butter and pure date syrup, glass of kombucha, small cup of chicken broth, cup of jasmine tea
Lunch: Homemade pizza (mushroom, onion, zucchini, yellow squash, peppers, organic pepperoni, organic provolone and organic cheddar cheese topping)
Dinner: Marinated chicken (marinated in traditionally brewed teriyaki sauce and raw honey), veggies cooked in butter, glass kombucha
Food Log Thursday, April 22, 2010
Breakfast: Smoothie (2 bananas, pint of kefir, 8 organic strawberries)
Lunch: Homemade pizza (mushroom, organic pepperoni, zucchini, yellow squash,red peppers, onion, organic provolone and organic cheddar cheese toppings)
Dinner: Meatloaf (made with grassfed beef), veggies cooked in butter, glass kombucha
Evening Snacks: Pear, whole grapefruit, cup of alfalfa tea
Yeah, I don’t know how you could loose weight, but I know what you mean about loosing it from the swelling that grain may have been causing. 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing this. Very insightful I am off of grains and have been for two months and am on stage four of the GAPS diet but my back pain has actually increased?!? I’ve only had it for the past 6 months which is about the same time I started realizing I was suffering from adrenal fatigue (which your article on that helped me diagnose.) Anyway, I am noticing the coorelation between gut and back, so this article is perfect timing for me. I have candida issues which I read can be caused by mercury toxicity and that candida is actually a mechanism in the body to protect you from mercury so I worry if I am getting rid of too much candida… Any thoughts on this? I am excited to read your further thoughts on pain. Thanks!
I recently found your blog and boy am I glad I did! Lots of useful information and the videos help so much. Actually watching someone make something is immensely helpful! (And these recipes aren’t exactly on Food TV 😀 ) Even though I have been following WAPF principles for a while, I still picked up useful tips and things I could improve on!
I recently started GAPS after almost 3 years of WAPF. Originally started it to heal food intolerances, including intolerances to fermented foods but now found that other issues that maybe related.
My question is: I notice on your food log that you include several GAPS sweet things (honey and fruit) and nuts. When I originally read the book I know that she says to limit those and what you are doing seems to be along those lines. However, looking for support/more info, I joined one of the GAPS forums and there is a very big focus on reducing and eliminating GAPS sweets (fruit and honey) and nuts further from the diet in order to heal (maybe speed healing) down to none at all. Sometimes it feels extreme. But I do want to heal and the quicker the better but GAPS is already limiting as it is.
I realize that my issues are not as mild as yours but would really like your opinion. Is it really necessary to eliminate all GAPS sweets/nuts in order to heal? Do you think that eliminating these would speed healing? Have you heard of anyone else coming from WAPF to GAPS healing in the shorter end of the time range without removing fruits, honey, nuts for more than a little while?
I think I’ve seen nut flours at the store, but I can’t remember. If I were able to find them, do these go rancid like wheat flours do? Do you grind the almond and pecan flours yourself? Thanks,
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
Hi Caitlin, yes I recommend making nut flours yourself as the nuts are not soaked/dehydrated before grinding to eliminate antinutrients.
Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist
Hi Jean, I just checked and the prices started at $23.97 on Amazon. Go down to the recommended books section below and click on the GAPS book and see if you get the same prices I just saw.
Sarah, I just tried to buy Campbell-McBrides book Gut and Psychology Syndrome and it was 55$ on Amazon for the paperback! Why is it so much?
Thanks for your blogs on the gaps diet–I want to try it but am a bit taken back at the price!
Can I buy it on your blog store?
Hi Sarah, I'm in Canada and just found your site. Thanks so much for posting your menus as that sure helps for ideas on what to eat. I need to eat low carb as I have bad reactions to sugar now that I'm 61. Hard to give it up completely but I'm trying. Also trying to cut out grains.
Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist
Paula, I have not yet even read those articles thoroughly, believe it or not! When I have a chance to go through them and think about them for awhile, will definitely blog about it. One thing I can comment on is that cultivation of grains was KEY to the emergence of the city state and civilization in general (where humanity no longer needed to be nomadic). In this regard, it has allowed humanity to have much more time to think about life in general. Perhaps this is what Dr. Cowan is referring to.
Interesting response from Dr. Cowan published in Wise Traditions Spring 2010 on page 14–The Omnivore's Dilemma. I know he is highly respected and I am only vaguely familiar with his writings but he seems to contradict himself in the brief article or I am not understanding it correctly. He states that the diet of prehistoric man was approximately 70% animal products and 30% plant products with the plants prepared in ways to neutralize the toxins. "They were subject to far less illness than we today and to virtually none of the chronic illnessess that so plague modern life" He then goes on to say that "as the consciousness of humanity evolved, we needed more sugar." and "we sacrificed some of our robust health and earthy vitality, but we also learned about who we are on a level unimaginable to prehistoric people." I don't see how grains and sugar will help me develop my "elusive sense of one's self as a separate spiritual entity". I must not be understanding something and would love to hear Sarah's expert opinion. As well as on the other excellent article in that journal–Living with Phytic Acid beginning on page 28.
I enjoy a steaming bowl of grits with lots of raw butter as much as the next person but have also noticed a reduction in joint pain and a better recovery from intense exercise from removing the few grains I did consume in only a 4 week period. I appreciate Sarah's blog in helping us understand the best route, the examples she sets and helping us to learn more in this area.