One of the most common mistakes people make when starting the GAPS diet is not preparing for low blood sugar. In fact, it’s number 1 on our free “Top 5 GAPS Mistakes and What to do Instead” booklet. So in this article we talk about how to balance blood sugar on GAPS.
Be prepared for low blood sugar issues and stay hydrated
It’s VERY common for people starting on GAPS Intro to deal with blood sugar issues. If carbs have been a large part of the diet the body needs to adjust from a carb burning metabolism to a fat burning metabolism. Many kids who are sick, or who struggle with inconsistent moods (read “total meltdowns!”) are also sugar and carb addicted, and struggling with hypoglycemia.
What are symptoms of low blood sugar?
- Nervousness or anxiety
- Sweating, chills, and clamminess
- Irritability or impatience
- Confusion, including delirium
- Rapid/fast heartbeat
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Hunger and nausea
- Blurred/impaired vision
- Tingling or numbness in the lips or tongue
- Weakness or fatigue
- Anger, stubbornness, or sadness
- Lack of coordination
- Nightmares or crying out during sleep
How to Balance Blood Sugar on GAPS?
Have these options on hand, and plan to dole them out in tiny amounts, until you or your child works through this. Meanwhile, keep offering the nourishing, healing foods of GAPS as often as possible.
- Coconut oil/honey mixture – Mix 1 cup of softened unrefined coconut oil with 2 tablespoons of raw honey. Store this in a glass jar and offer it to anyone who needs it…a spoonful every 20 minutes, or as needed, to keep them from having the symptoms of low blood sugar. You can substitute ghee if they are sensitive to coconut oil.
- Fresh pressed apple or carrot juice – using a juicer, offer them half a cup of juice at the first sign of low blood sugar. You can use fresh squeezed orange juice if you don’t have a juicer yet. You can also freeze the juice into ice cubes or popsicles. It’s ideal to include a spoon of fat, like coconut oil or ghee, along with this to slow down the sugar absorption. You can also mix a little stock in if they’ll take it!
One more important thing…
Your kids might refuse to eat, or eat very little, for three to ten days. Kids will generally fast, or “cleanse,” in the beginning if they can’t eat the foods they’re addicted to. If your kid eats GAPS food within three days, bonus! In many cases, it takes five to seven days before super-picky kids will start eating any of the healing foods. The beautiful thing is, after this initial cleansing time, most kids become hearty eaters of all the nutrient dense foods. This is what happened for my own kids and it was amazing to see them eating foods they wouldn’t touch before GAPS.
In Summary, How to Balance Blood Sugar on GAPS?
- The most important thing to do during this first week is to keep them hydrated. Filtered water with a little pinch of salt added for electrolyte balance is ideal.
- If they won’t drink water, you can offer homemade lemonade with fresh lemon juice, filtered water, sea salt, and a little touch of honey.
- Or try fresh pressed vegetable juices, maybe with a little bit of lemon or juiced green apple added for sweetness.
- Give fresh pressed juice or a mixture of coconut oil or ghee with honey whenever needed. Continue to offer nourishing foods as often as possible (you can use the juice or honey mixture as a reward if necessary).
- If no underlying conditions are present, the body will naturally learn to balance blood sugar using fat as well as glucose for fuel overtime on the GAPS diet.