Sometimes the only way to wrap your head around a new idea/change…is to see it. Many families are contemplating the traditional-foods-based GAPS™ Diet for its healing benefits, not only for the gut, but the whole body.
Many of these same families are also wondering what daily life on the GAPS Protocol will look like and seeing images of daily life on GAPS can be helpful.
Our family first started GAPS about 6 years ago, for a collection of health reasons, and while we no longer need to be strict GAPS, we still incorporate many of the foods and skills (and do periodic re-runs of the GAPS Introduction Diet for healthy “resets”, or when someone is sick).
Here are a few images of what it looks like at our house on a GAPS Day:
GAPS Family Morning:
I start my morning with warm lemon water. Warm liquids are good for digestion, the water helps fix that “morning dehydration”, and the lemon juice gives a gentle jump-start to the liver.
My method: I boil water in the tea kettle, squeeze 1/2 a lemon into a mug, pour a little cold water over the lemon juice, then fill my mug the rest of the way with the water from the tea kettle. Putting some cold water in first preserves some of the enzymes of the lemon…and makes it just the right temperature.
Bonus points for adding some coconut oil…it helps the morning “movement”.
On to breakfast prep…
On GAPS you learn to rethink breakfast and get used to having foods like soup in the morning. You have three meals a day to maximize healing and nutrition…and breakfast is the most important for many reasons. For instance, a breakfast that is balanced with fat, protein, and veggies (healthy carbs) sets good blood sugar patterns for the day and doesn’t tax your endocrine system.
Today’s breakfast is a yet-to-be-named chicken soup.
It starts with veggies sauteed in lots of grass-fed butter. If we were on the Intro Diet we would use ghee. Below is our amazing raw butter from Essex Farms, our Whole Diet CSA.
I know of one momma in this household that eats it by the forkful.
And fresh nettles that are in season…
The finished product: chicken-soup-that-still-has-no-name. On GAPS you quickly learn to cook without necessarily needing a recipe for everything.
We also prepare some fresh pressed juice to have before our soup.
GAPS has three main parts: Diet, Supplementation & Detoxification. Juicing is one of the main pieces of GAPS detoxification and is a fantastic way to eat a large amount of fruits and vegetables in a way that kids love. We will often convert our juice into what call “Pink Power“.
My 13 year old son, Jack, mans the juicer.
And sometimes (okay, everyday) the kitchen counters look like this:
Yesterday’s breakfast: Sausage, scrambled eggs, cup of broth, sauerkraut.
The kitchen can be a 6-ring circus with six people trying to get their breakfast and make their lunches! But if one makes it out of the kitchen (alive) they can eat their breakfast with this Vermont spring view. Pictured is my non-camera-shy daughter, Charlotte (9).
My son, Jack, allowed me to photograph his basic everyday school lunch (he is a no-frills guy). Sausage, carrots, sauerkraut…all from the farm, with a side of Vermont cheddar cheese.
When we get more creative, we do school lunches like these.
When the morning hubbub and dust settles, the kids leave one by one (or two by two). Depending on the day, the school, and the weather, some walk and some ride the bus or carpool. Charlotte and Jack’s schools are very close together, so Charlotte has been joining her big brother in walking to school.
Maggie (the-camera-shy-11-yr-old) has decided to join her siblings and catch her carpool down the road and enjoy the gorgeous morning.
I work from my home office so today I juiced spinach & cilantro that I had picked from the neighbors greenhouse, as well as VT apple and a lime.
I drank this beautiful green juice while enjoying the new spring foliage (we wait a long time for this foliage, so its special) and then had some of last night’s beet soup with a dollop of yogurt for lunch.
Yesterday I roasted two fresh chickens, and boiled two frozen chickens with carrots, onion, & garlic.
After I pulled all the cooked meat off of the chicken carcasses, I put them back in my biggest stockpot, splashed in some apple cider vinegar and then made my chicken bone broth, simmering on low for part of the day yesterday and most of the day today. I then strained it, put it into jars, cooled it, and either froze or used it fresh.
The chicken meat is used for soup, sauteing with butter, or mixing with cooked veggies. The kids eat it for any meal, or as a snack.
That golden layer of fat on top? That will help to keep the chicken stock fresher, and can be skimmed off when cool to cook with.
Another bit of afternoon kitchen work: I like to thicken some of our yogurt into “Greek-style” yogurt, so I use my Donvier yogurt cheese strainer. It has an insert that you pour the yogurt into and that the whey drains through.
There is always a jar of kefir culturing on the countertop. Here is my process:
Finished kefir, ready to be strained.
My strainer and glass container.
Pouring the kefir into the strainer.
Pushing the finished kefir through the strainer.
Only the kefir “grains” remain in the strainer.
The kefir grains are then put in a clean jar, ready to be filled up with fresh milk and cultured on the counter (the finished kefir goes into a jar in the fridge for drinking and smoothies).
GAPS Family Dinner
Tonight’s dinner will be broiled pork chops w/ a honey & mustard glaze, beet soup, spinach salad, and grain-free banana bread (with plenty of yellow, grass-fed butter).
Russian custards. (GAPS Intro Stage 2 legal!)