Weeks 6 and 7 on GAPS Intro – Old Habits Die Hard

I’m sorry my GAPS update is so late, but life has been a little crazy around here.  Besides doing the Intro diet, I’ve been harvesting vegetables, foraging for wild blackberries, pickling cucumbers, working on tearing out the rest of my flowerbed downstairs to add a couple more garden boxes for the winter garden and catching up with friends from out of town.  Thanks for your patience!

The last two weeks on the GAPS Intro diet have been going fairly well with one hiccup a week ago Tuesday evening. I had a severe, but short, case of diarrhea.  I am not quite sure what caused it, but it cleared rather quickly, and I have been fine since.

Gallbladder Pain

Unfortunately, I have not been digesting the extra fats very well and my gallbladder was starting to hurt a little.  I knew it was my gallbladder because I had the same pain under my right lower rib last November and went to see one of the gastroenterologist’s where I worked.  She confirmed it was my gallbladder.  We had it checked for gallstones, and the tests all came back clear.

A couple weeks before I saw the gastroenterologist, I stumbled upon the article Bitters: Invaluable Aid to Fat Digestion by Sarah of The Healthy Home Economist.  A couple of days after the doctor appointment, I picked up some Swedish Bitters at my local health food store.  It worked within hours.  I took some for a few days and stopped after the problem disappeared.

So last week when my gallbladder started to bother me, I took the bitters in my cupboard.  At first I thought the bitters were the reason for the digestive problems, but the following day I took a smaller dose and experienced no side effects.  Dr. Campbell-McBride recommends taking ox bile for gallbladder pain, but I didn’t have any on hand.

Since then I have been reading that bitters are helpful for Fibromyalgia pain so I think I’m going to take some when I have a flare and see if it helps.

Adding Foods

One of the first things I decided to add to my diet for Stage 4 was a little olive oil.  I did not experience any side effects and slowly increased the amount to a couple of teaspoons over time.  It looks like olive oil agrees with me so far.  Yay!

Next I decided to start juicing.  I started with zucchini, beans and sugar snap pea pods for sweetness. Since I do not have a no-pulp juicer, I had to strain it so the juice would be free of pulp which is not allowed at this stage.  I used a flour sack towel which I picked up at my local Fred Meyer store in the kitchen section.  After straining, I added a little water to dilute it.  It was not too bad, but I’m really looking forward to adding something sweet!  I did not seem to have any problems or symptoms at this time.

The second time I juiced some zucchini and beans, I forgot to strain it.  Oh dear, my tummy let me know that was not a good plan!  The third time I decided to try a small amount of carrot from my garden for some sweetness.  It was very good, and I’m going to keep taking it in small amounts.  I talk in my last GAPS post about foods high in oxalate possibly causing Fibromyalgia pain.  Raw carrots are very high in oxalate, but Dr. Campbell-McBride recommends them for juicing so I’m going to try them and monitor for pain.

I also tried a teaspoon of raw coconut flour in the Butternut Squash Pancakes I made last week and noticed no side effects.  Oh, they were so yummy!

Old Habits

Last week I harvested several small zucchinis from my garden, chopped them up and added them to the chicken soup I was making for dinner.  I also added a small handful of tender green beans and lots of onions and let it simmer for about 20 minutes.  Right after I ate it my tummy began to tell me something was wrong.  It grumbled for a few hours before it finally calmed down.  There were no other symptoms, and I had no idea what it was because I had eaten all of these ingredients previously with no problems.

The following evening I had some more zucchini in a soup and the same thing happened!  “What is wrong?” I thought.  Then it dawned on me.  I forgot to peel the zucchini!  Duh!!!  Sigh….  I peeled them the first time I ate them and just forgot.

Just to make sure I was able to tolerate them, I ate them again last night, peeled this time, and there were no issues.  Whew!

So don’t be surprised if you don’t remember everything you have to do on this crazy diet!  😉  It’s a huge learning curve.  You’ll probably be just like me and find that old habits die hard.  Just keep moving forward and only back up to the previous stage if you experience lots of digestive troubles or if you fall off the diet for any reason.  Then move through the stages fairly quickly until you are back to where you were.


Ah, the healing.  It has been a roller coaster ride, again.  I thought I got off that thing!  :)  But I can finally say there are more up days than down days.  That is an encouraging sign!

I seem to be sleeping a lot more these days which is good for me and have been getting tired much earlier in the evening than I used to.  That is a good thing because I used to be a major night owl.  I have known for years that the earlier a person goes to bed the better sleep they get, but I have never been able to actually accomplish this practice.

I still have some pain and stiffness, but it seems to finally be easing.

My constipation is gone for now and I’ve stopped the coffee enemas.  Yay!  They were very time consuming, but necessary.

My energy levels are improving and my sinuses continue to be clear.  I’m still having intermittent ringing of the ears, but it has improved and my right ear only gets plugged a couple times a week.  My NUCCA chiropractor says adjusting the atlas should help to open the Eustachian tube.  A NUCCA chiropractor is a special chiropractor who only adjusts the bone at the top of the spine.  This bone is called the atlas and when it is out of adjustment the rest of the body does not function optimally.  So far the adjustments seem to be working for my ear, and I’ve only seen him three times!

In addition to more energy, my stamina continues to improve.  I don’t need as much rest between tasks and am able to make food for myself and my family.  Just in time, too, because I’m out of broth and extra food I had prepared prior to starting the Intro diet.

What’s Coming Up

I’m going to be making some bread.  Yes, I said it!  BREAD!  There is a basic bread recipe in the recipe section of the GAPS book, but it uses ground almonds.  Because I’m following a low-oxalate diet, I will be using raw coconut flour instead.  I am sooooo looking forward to trying this.  My mouth is watering!  I hope I can take it slow to begin with.  hehe  😉

I pray this post is encouraging to you!  Don’t forget to sign up to win a copy of the ebook “What Can I Eat Now?”!  It’s my first giveaway and there are only a couple days left!  Giveaway is now over.

Previous GAPS posts you may have missed:

Are you on the GAPS Intro diet?  If so, what stage are you on?  Are you healing?  If so, how?  I’d love to hear from you!

Shared on Fight Back FridayFill Those Jars Friday and Monday Mania.

  • Rebecca

    If I may ask, Are you using diet alone to manage your fybromyalgia pain or are you on any particular supplements or medications?

    • TheUrbanHearth

      Hi Rebecca! Currently I am not on any medications or supplements for my fibro pain. I used to take four different things for the pain and weaned myself off them a little at a time over about six months. I give credit to the GAPS diet and the low-oxalate diet. Thanks for asking!

  • Alden and Christin Snell

    I saw the book give away, after I just bought the book! lol! I’m getting my hands on all the materials I can! I went gluten free and all sugar free (except honey) a month ago, which has helped me tremendously. I kinda went on the full gaps diet a week ago (well, sticking to homemade, organic, soups and broths, really, right now), and I’ve seen more improvement. I don’t really count myself as being on the GAPS diet yet, because I’m still collecting info, and in the preparing stages, but I’m trying to just eat my homemade soups right now, because that means I have the energy to do these preparations. These blog posts about your journey through the intro diet are very helpful! I’m going to start on the intro, mainly because I already cut out grains, sugars, and I don’t consume dairy due to allergies anyway. My body handled the switch to just broth, meat, and the veggies just fine, so I think I should be ok on the intro. Much thanks for the emails we exchanged last week! I’ll get on board soon! – Christin

    • TheUrbanHearth

      Hello Christin! Sounds like you’re getting close! I’m happy to hear that you are already feeling better. It was my pleasure to answer your questions as best I could. Blessings, Leola

  • http://twitter.com/TooManyJars Mindy Hurd

    I’m stopping over from Fat Tuesday. Sounds like you’re getting intro figure out. : ) I’ve been doing GAPS for a little over a year and went through intro two times – it takes a while to get it all figured out!

    I recently launched a new real food blog carnival called Fill Those Jars Friday. I’d love to have you come stop by and share this on it: http://toomanyjarsinmykitchen.com/2012/09/20/fill-those-jars-friday-september-21-2012/

    See you there!

    • TheUrbanHearth

      Hi Mindy! Thanks for stopping by! It is a little difficult to remember everything to make it work perfectly, isn’t it? :) I’ll be sure to stop by and bring a few of my GAPS recipes. Have a great weekend!