Rebecca's Ponderings

May 16, 2011

Menu Planning Giveaway

Filed under: What's for Dinner? — Rebecca @ 5:10 am
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Whether you’re just getting started on the road to a whole-foods, nourished way of eating, or have been traveling this path for a while, you will want to check out Kitchen Stewardship before tomorrow at midnight. She is giving away a one-year membership to the weekly meal plans from Heart of Cooking. It is suitable for anyone who wants to feed their family nourishing whole foods, has food allergies, or is on a restricted diet (GAPS, SCD, Gluten-free, etc). The recipes look wonderful, and she even includes a shopping list!

Check out the details here. Good luck!

November 29, 2010

Our Food Journey – Part 2: Offense

Filed under: What's for Dinner? — Rebecca @ 11:06 pm
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Heal your gut. That is what Dr. Campbell-McBride says is possible in her book, Gut And Psychology Syndrome. It is quite a promise. Yet her clinical data and countless anecdotal reports seem to indicate that people have been able to accomplish just that. As one who believed I must live the rest of my life vigilant against the tiniest speck of gluten entering my system, this provides more than a glimmer of hope. It also makes sense based on my understanding of nutrition.

GAPS is primarily a mental shift for me. For the past two years, we have been living life with a defensive strategy. Avoiding gluten has helped tremendously and eliminated many symptoms, but it did not heal our guts. Gradually, we have been discovering more and more foods that are causing problems. We continue to eliminate offending foods. This eliminates symptoms while slowly boxing us into a corner. I am no expert in sports, however even I know that you cannot win with a defense-only mindset. It is time to make the shift to an offensive strategy: we need to completely replenish the flora of our intestines and heal the lining.

Here is the basic game plan. We become much more vigilant in avoiding sugar, limiting ourselves to small amounts of local, raw honey. We also eliminate all grains, potatoes, and starches. These are foods which feed the harmful bacteria in our guts. At the same time, we add plenty of meat broths which heal the intestinal lining. We consume plenty of traditionally fermented foods which provide healthy bacteria to populate our systems. We supplement this with quality probiotics and cod liver oil.

I am still undecided about milk. The GAPS protocol eliminates it completely, then reintroduces ghee, fermented dairy products, and, eventually, aged cheeses. I can see some of Dr. Campbell-McBride’s reasonings. However, I also realize that pasteurization destroys the enzymes our bodies need to digest milk. Raw milk could help replace some of the beneficial bacteria. Granted, it does feed some of the harmful bacteria in the meantime. So, at this point, Peanut is not consuming any dairy. Bud and I still enjoy it in smaller quantities.

Obviously, I am not completely sold on Dr. Campbell-McBride’s program. She interprets her findings through an evolutionary lens. As one who is convinced that our bodies are the result of intricate and intelligent design, rather than random accidents, I wrestle with her logic. However, I have come the realization that her evolutionary conclusions and interpretations do not discount the clinical and anecdotal data that shows that some of her methods have worked. So, I must read and seek the Lord for discernment and wisdom.

This is a gradual process for us. With co-op parties, Thanksgiving, and other food-related activities taking place this month, we decided to move slowly. This gives me a chance to research some new recipes, learn some new cooking techniques, and stock up on essentials. Even by just eliminating most grains and sugar while adding probiotics, broths, and ferments, I have noticed that some of our allergies have already disappeared. Peanut can eat lettuce again! Let us hope this is just the first step and that the healing continues!

Click below for:

Part 1 of Our Food Journey

Information on GAPS

Evidence for Creation: Creation Ministries International or Answers in Genesis.

November 17, 2010

Our Food Journey – The Adventure Continues

Filed under: What's for Dinner? — Rebecca @ 2:15 pm
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Many you know that our family encountered some rather strange health concerns over the last few months. It has been a little overwhelming at times. For those who have been curious but did not ask, here is the short version.

Back in August, Peanut started developing allergies to raw fruits and vegetables – ALL raw fruits and veggies. It did not matter whether they were organic or conventional, peeled or whole. She could eat them cooked, or even dried, but raw foods caused her lips to swell and her tongue to itch.

I began researching possible causes and discovered that such allergies are related to a leaky gut. Of course, so is gluten intolerance. We took her to see our herbalist who confirmed the leaky gut. She prescribed a protocol, but it didn’t really improve things. We also saw a traditional doctor who was equally puzzled.

In the meantime, I kept researching. That was when I discovered GAPS. GAPS is an acronym for Gut And Psychology Syndrome. It was one of those things that kept popping up everywhere I turned. GAPS is a an entire health protocol developed by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride MD, a Neurologist and a Nutritionist. Though the cover lists such issues a autism, ADD, and depression, the program is credited with healing much more, including: food allergies, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, and asthma. These are big claims, especially for families who have sick children. As I investigated the program, I found that it was very much in line with the basic premises of The Maker’s Diet and Nourishing Traditions. So, I ordered the book, and we began a new chapter in our adventure.

I will be blogging about our adventures in the next few days. In the meantime, if you would like information about GAPS, you can find it here. There is also a great review and comparison of GAPS, The Maker’s Diet and The Selective Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) on this blog that I follow.
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