We are now 9 days into the introduction diet. I can't yet say I'm a 'pro' but I am learning some things which I hope to share with you here.
They say the GAPS diet is hard work and boy, it's hard work! I don't mind the cooking so much - it's actually easier as it's mainly broth and meat and vegetables, but it's the planning ahead and the WASHING UP! No, we haven't got a dish washer and don't want one due to the toxins they introduce into the home, but after each meal there seems to be a mountain of saucepans and broth containers!
AND they are all GREASY! Not the bit I enjoy the most!
It gets trickier as more foods are added. Last night I suddenly realised they were eating more sour cream and we wouldn't have enough for tomorrow. So I a made rush to make it (not that it takes long, but it was bed-time!) wishing I'd thought about it earlier in the day. It's made harder as those three can take the sour cream, but I need yoghurt. The fridge is full of little containers!
It does seem to be getting easier now. A new rhythm is emerging to our days!
So some practical ideas!
BUY ENOUGH CONTAINERS - preferably glass jars, or BPA free plastic boxes to store both broth and meat. I find that glass is easier to clean and doesn't leave a smell of plastic on the food.
PLAN WELL AHEAD especially at weekends and onto work on Monday morning. Buy in bulk. I think I've tended to get little bits of shopping here and there and ended up visiting the shops three times more than normal. Meat is alright as I go the butchers once a week, it's not local. But I tended not to buy enough veg.
MAKE SOUP IN BULK
I have used my slow cooker to make the meat broth, but then I've kept it in batches in the fridge, just cooking up a little each time and making fresh soup. Now I'm going to make a batch of both, convert it immediately into soup and store batches of it ready to heat up and I hope this will cut down on a lot of meal prep and washing up.
ENLIST THE HELP OF THE CHILDREN
My children are used to helping, but don't usually actually cook much (other than sweet things!!). They help dry up, but now I need them to start cooking more. This will be good for them (so I keep telling them). Son 2 was quite pleased that he can make his own scrambled eggs this morning. OK not a big deal, but good for starters! Breakfast went a lot more smoothly and was ready quicker. I didn't realised how ignorant they are of the geography of the kitchen. 'Where are the jugs?', or how lacking in kitchen know-how 'I've spilt something!' 'What should you do then?' Blank looks! Seems like I've neglected a part of their education and done too much for them, but I doubt I'm alone in this!
I have one sheet for each member of the family on which I note each new food as it is introduced and how much probiotic they are taking, be it fermented dairy or sauerkraut. Keeping it up is time-consuming, but if they do react to something the information is all there.
VARY THE MEATS
We tended to just have chicken pieces and minced beef made into meat balls for the first four days and we got sick of it. Adding in other joints has made it easier. Pork chops on the bone, lamb shoulder and beef brisket cooked with marrow bones have been delicious. Do remember to put take as much fat and cartilage from the bones as you can and add it into the soups. I blend these bits with a little water and add them in lump free so no-one knows they are there, or they would say 'YUK!'
We also ate a lot more fish - especially fresh mackerel for breakfast. Herrings had too many bones. Or we bought wild caught frozen salmon, all of which were quick to prepare.
It does get easier and more automatic though!