By the end of the third week we had all reached Stage 5. It really was a relief to say the least.
Fortunately my stomach seemed to calm down and I've never quite worked out what happened to it, but I am now consuming butter and cream liberally without ill effects, and to date all the stage 4 foods are tolerated well and I'm just trying salad - lettuce, cucumber, tomato and raw carrot in that order.
At last we are beginning to lift our heads above the parapet and feel like we are coping! It was very hard to start with, swimming in soup all day long - not our favoured food - slow cooker boiling away merrily - all day long (it still is, but is doesn't feel the same now we are eating a wider variety of foods), and it seemed like it would go on for ages! Sons happily eat their soups now and even say they enjoyed them and that helps as it's hard feeding a family when they aren't enjoying your cooking!
Fortunately we can all tolerate dairy, so we have enjoyed increasing amounts of sour cream and home-made yoghurt.
I have to say one thing - it really does make you appreciate food again! Each new taste or texture is wonderful.
We started with Bio-Kult (probiotic) at the beginning of stage 5 and Husband and Son 2 are feeling the effects of 'die-off'; tired and out of sorts! It's not easy measuring the same dose out each day when you are just giving a tiny bit on the end of a knife!
Breakfast has turned into a salad side-dish with the eggs and has three courses. The eggs, the soup and bowl of yoghurt! We have never been great salad fans, so this is good! Son1 is happy to eat lettuce and raw carrot.
Juicing tapered out a bit at this point as it is very expensive and it takes a lot of time washing the juicer (cheapy from Lidl!). I have read that it's ok to do what you can but not feel guilty about juicing if you can't do much. We will do it as we can and on our lemon - free days, but we might do more in Summer/Autumn when we have more home-grown free stuff to use. Son 1 has suffered from constipation and I was doing it primarily to help him as I read somewhere that it might help. He is now doing much better in that respect, but Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride says it's the high fat dairy that will help most with constipation - butter and sour-cream. Son 1 loves butter so he uses it very liberally!!
We have an allotment, but in the light of how much veg. we get through now, we have started renting a second one! More work, but we used a no-dig policy last year and it really worked. I bought Charles Dowding's Veg journal and it's been great watching the other allotment holders all digging the hard clay while we just planted! Our planting schedule will have to be re-vamped this year to include the GAPS legal things. Our back garden is full of apples, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and rhubarb which we are looking forward to enjoying in new recipes. I'll write more on this as we go through the Spring.
We actually ate at relatives for the first time, twice in this stage. Both hosts were fantastic and very brave. They were both birthday parties - one my own! They both did a roast chicken with boiled veg and I took a flask of our soup to one party - the other the host even went and bought beef bones with lots of meat on and made her own meat broth! Thank you both of you! Stewed apple (with sour-cream and almond bread muffins for us) was the pudding with both hosts cooking a few extras for the non-GAPS participants. Both Sons (and Husband!) were stars - watching others eat things they would have loved but couldn't have, so I bought them all a little something to encourage them! It really is amazing how they have been so optimistic throughout!
GAPS intro birthday
I had to have a 'cake' for my birthday ... but what do you have on stage 5 of GAPS intro? The GAPS diet book came to my rescue with her birthday cake recipe, though I adapted it. The sponge is lovely (When you've had nothing like it for a month! I made it into two 8 inch cakes and put one layer at the bottom of a glass casserole dish, with applesauce in between with the other 'cake' on top, served with more sour cream than we had had to date! Fortunately we all survived! The cream was served separately as I could hardly give sour-cream in great quantities to non-GAPs relatives! But it made the day!
GAPS Mother's Day
Roast chicken saved the day again, with roast carrots and roast butternut squash and greens. The gravy was made from the fat and juices, with chicken stock and flavoured with sage and onion. We had a pudding - YES, we had to have pudding, an opportunity for another treat! Though we looked at the dish suspiciously as the 'crumble' topping over the stewed apple was made of carrot pulp (GAPS book apple crumble, page 202)! But we needn't of worried, it was...DELICIOUS, especially with oodles of sour cream (ordinary cream for them). Even Dad was happy after his previously sceptical comments as to what they might be served up! He even had seconds. It's amazing what you can do, even on the intro diet!