Mindful Parenting

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GAPS Seminar Reveal April 8, 2013

Filed under: GAPS,Holistic Health,Nutrition — Lauren @ 10:01 am

Here is the video, yes rather amateur nevertheless very informative, of the GAPS Program 101 seminar I put on several weeks ago. I am glad to have this resource available to those who want to learn more about the connection of our gut health to the rest of our bodies. Several people who are now implementing the GAPS program have found this compilation of information very helpful. I hope you do as well!!

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

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Desserts without sugar- is this an oxymoron? December 12, 2012

Filed under: GAPS,Holistic Health,Nutrition,Recipes — Lauren @ 7:23 pm

Dessert without sugar, well, refined-sugar that is.

 

I have been eating a whole foods diet for 3-4 years now and I really only dabbled in natural sweeteners…..

 

Up until the GAPS diet entered our world. I will never go back to depending on sugar as the only sweetener that ‘tastes good’.

 

Honey is a fantastic sweetener. Yes, maybe partially because our sweet ‘receptors’ have become more sensitized…but I don’t think that is the primary reason!

 

We have realized the simplicity and deliciousness that comes from using honey and fruit as a sweetener in desserts. We have also had non-GAPS friends try some of our treats and they have been pleasantly surprised. Open your mind to the thought that your ‘sweet tooth’ can be given loving attention, without the robbing, destructive effects of white sugar. There are entire books written on the very well documented effects of white sugar on the human body. It truly robs us of many nutrients, while literally giving nothing back. Sugar feeds cancer, grows yeast, rots your teeth, leads to osteoporosis and arthritis, is as addictive as drugs, causes gallstones, contributes to heart disease and adrenal fatigue, suppresses the immune system significantly, causes exhaustion and irritability…..

 

It depletes us so profoundly…it’s amazing with the amount we eat (170 pounds a year per person, Nourishing Traditions), people are still functioning somewhat ‘normally’.

 

There are certain foodies that say no sweetener is a good sweetener. I do NOT fall into that category. Honestly, I delight myself in sweet things. There are few things that are as enjoyable as a sweet treat that really hits the spot. It’s actually something I have been battling in my mind for the past several years….I just didn’t want to give up that ‘sweet taste’ in this world. The sacrifice, even for health’s sake, seemed too large a request. Whole-food sweeteners actually have something to offer your body. They should still be eaten in moderation, as they do affect your blood sugar, but they can be a healthy and enjoyable part of a whole-foods diet. I am overjoyed that my new understanding and experimenting in cooking has brought me to realize I don’t have to give up “sweetness” to be healthy!! Phew. It is SUCH a relief. That may sound silly to you, but if you like the majority of people, you love sweetness too ;o)

 


 

This is one of our new favorite desserts I just made. It is made with almond flour and sweetened with honey and chopped apples. It’s called Apple Spice Coffee-Cake. You can find it at this amazing site: Against All Grain.

 

This is just one of the MANY desserts that we have made in the past 2 months without refined sugars. And I have bookmarked dozens more (we just try not to eat too many, as the primary source of our calories on the GAPS diet (and for most people) should come from animal products and veggies).

 

For non-GAPS families, grade-B maple syrup is an especially delicious whole-food sweetener, as well as rapadura (completely unrefined cane sugar). Dates are very sweet and are complimentary to many different recipes. One of my favorite recipes using dates as the sweetener is peanut butter-coconut bars.

 

Learning to enjoy sweet things… without the guilt and harm to our bodies. Join me.

 

For the first time I…… November 17, 2012

Filed under: GAPS,Holistic Health,Nutrition — Lauren @ 8:47 pm

We’re probably around day 40 of our GAPS diet, to restore our gut and immune health and I can say it’s been truly an incredible experience so far.

Here’s a brief snapshot of some of our successes thus far:

For the first time I

    Haven’t eaten sugar-sugar (we can have fruit/honey…which is much enjoyed ;o) for one whole month!

    Didn’t get sick when the rest of the family had a mild cold ( I ALWAYS get everything my family gets, and am wiped out by it!)

    Haven’t eaten ANYTHING out, everything we eat is prepared in our humble little kitchen

    Have felt in control of what I’m eating, not compelled and helpless to eat what I know I shouldn’t eat

    Spent more money on produce than I thought possible!

    Have successfully gotten our kids to eat and like very non-kid foods! They were decent before, but nothing compares to this!)

    Have been comfortable with everything that has gone into my family’s mouth, knowing it was ALL beneficial!

These are ALL first’s for me!!!!! So thrilled at the successes we have had so far, and the rewards for our effort to get our bodies ecosystems back in balance. Luke and I feel better than we have felt in a long time. There have been many symptoms that have gotten much better and some that have completely resolved already. We have noticed a HUGE difference in what the kids will eat, and their interest in good food. This THRILLS my heart as a mama that wants to build her babies up strong and resilient.

I have made more new recipes in this last month than I have made in my whole 6 years as a married woman, cooking for her family! Most homemade meals you can adapt to make GAPS-friendly, but there are so many delicious recipes on the web for GAPS meals, snacks and desserts that I have just been out of my mind with trying to plan and make them all!! It’s just too exciting!! And the best part is, that even when serving dessert, I can feel really good about what my family eating. Why did ‘treats’ become this thing we do to reward ourselves for something, that in turn only steals our bodies of their nutrients and health. Why can’t treats be delicious and beneficial to our bodies?!

We have had so many tasty recipes so far in this experience and not too many flops surprisingly!! I want to share what our evening of nourishing our bodies looked like tonight.

Appetizer:

Broccoli Bites from Food Renegade


Dinner:

Spaghetti Squash with Homemade Italian meatballs and Sauce (my recipe, not my pics)


Dessert:

Pumpkin Cake Bars with Cinnamon Icing from Food Renegade

 

Banana-Nut Treats October 24, 2012

Filed under: GAPS,Nutrition — Lauren @ 10:12 am

 

1 ripe banana

½ C coconut flour

1 C assorted nuts (pecans, walnuts, sunflower, almonds)

2-3 T honey

3 T apricot jam (or more honey)

3 dates

3 T almond butter

1-2 t vanilla extract

Lemon zest

 

Mix all together in food processor. Adjust for texture as needed with adding more dry/wet ingredients. Roll in unsweetened coconut. Best enjoyed straight from the freezer :o)

 

Here goes nothing! October 10, 2012

Filed under: GAPS,Nutrition — Lauren @ 2:10 pm

 

Today my husband and I started the Intro diet for the GAPS program. I have been planning for over a month to start this today.

 

The GAPS diet is a very therapeutic, short-tem, whole foods diet that restores gut function, re-populates the gut with beneficial bacteria (as the harmful bacteria gets put back in check), and aids the body in powerful detox from the toxins that contributed to the problems in the first place.

 

The program involves diet, supplementation, and detox. People can do this diet anywhere from a couple of months (very minimum) to 2+ years. You continue until (and even past) symptoms have subsided, which is an indication that healing has/is taking place.

 


This diet benefits and heals multiple processes in the body. People have addressed and recovered from:

  • Food/seasonal allergies, asthma, eczema, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, intestinal problems (Cronhs, IBS, diverticulitis, celiac disease, colic, chronic diarrhea, gas, bloating, reflux, abdominal pain and stool abnormalities.) As well as behavioral and mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, autism spectrum disorders, schizophrenia, ADHD/ADD, learning disabilities, OCD…

     

There are many related disorders/issues that people also find resolve while on the GAPS diet.

 

My family is doing the diet for MANY reasons. Without being too personal I will try to capture why we are so compelled to implement such drastic measures in the hopes of further healing.

 

My husband and I both have stomach issues after almost every meal. We never really knew what bothered us because the abdominal pain/discomfort/reflux was so often. We knew dairy definitely caused some problems, but until recently we weren’t sure what else was the problem. We now have put the pieces together and have realized the grains, both processed and properly prepared, can cause our typical stomach symptoms. GAPS removes both of these temporarily to allow the stomach to heal without having to break down grains or lactose (which can cause A LOT of problems for people with abnormal gut flora). Viola for us.

 

I have an autoimmune disorder, and simply put, 80% of the immune system resides in the gut. When you address your abnormal gut flora you in essence change the state of your immune system. This can actually reverse the autoimmune disorder and prevent future autoimmune diseases that many be triggered. Having experience with many patients with devastating autoimmune diseases, we feel it is too risky to not rebalance our gut bacteria, especially mine. We feel GAPS is the most thorough and effective way to do that.

 

I also have clear symptoms of yeast overgrowth, which goes right along with abnormal bowel flora. Yeast is an opportunistic infection, and so presence of yeast overgrowth, is a sign of pathogenic (bad) bacteria/parasites. YUCK.

 

We eat mostly whole foods, with as much organic & local as we can afford, but we feel like we are too dependent on some staple processed items we use like tortilla chips, crackers, bread (hubby only ;o) and snacky-treat foods. We buy the natural/organic, non-GMO varieties of those items, BUT they are still not GIVING to our bodies, but rather taking away every time they are consumed.

 

We definitely have some level of sugar addiction, as it is very hard to go through the day and not have something sweet. Not to say we won’t eat them here and there once we have completed GAPS, but we are not comfortable with how often we eat them now. Going on GAPS will surely make us very aware of what we eat/crave, and once we are done our palates will have been realigned to want REAL FOOD. Just trying to limit those things has done nothing for those cravings. Getting them OUT seems like it will.

 

We are young, active, and trying to eat a whole foods diet…..and YET we often feel very dragged down, fatigued, get sick way too frequently and simply don’t have the energy that people our age, in our “healthy state” should!! I have seasonal allergies (ahh! Make me a crazy woman at times!), chronic headaches for 5 years (have been MUCH better since acupuncture 6 months ago, but still very prone to getting them), random dizziness, and low lying infections that come and go. Not to mention the constant discomfort with my stomach. I’m pretty much a mess. My family is gracious with me and all my symptoms (writing them down makes me almost feel like a hypochondriac, but I’ve seen a lot of those in the ER and yeah…I don’t think I fit the picture). My husband’s main issues are his gut—he often does not feel well….at least every day after some meal. Right now it’s just his gut, but letting abnormal gut flora flourish will indeed spiral into many other health problems eventually.

 

So far our kids have not shown any clear signs of chronic problems (soooo grateful for that!) They will also do the GAPS diet, but not until we get into the Full GAPS diet which has a large variety of foods allowed (we should be there in a couple of weeks). There are some things that we have noted in relation to their health that we will continue to monitor to see if they clear up while on GAPS. We are excited as we have a very intentional, concentrated block of time to try and get our kids less geared towards wanting junk, and expand their palate to liking even more real foods!

 

So here we go a little bit (okay, a lot bit!) deeper on our journey in and towards health. Completely unsure what the results and conclusions will be. Hoping for the best, but totally aware that the results will probably be different than we expect. We are grateful that we have the time (sort of) and then money (sort of) to make this investment in our health at this point in our lives.

 

 

 

 


 

 

Mini coconut-brownie bites July 29, 2012

Filed under: Nutrition — Lauren @ 8:38 pm

Yum! I was inspired by an item that I saw at a natural food store (for WAY too much!), so tonight I whipped up these little guys:

 

1 C almond flour (can chop them yourself in food processor)

2 T cocoa

3 T 100% maple syrup

3 T coconut oil

½ C fine coconut flakes

1/8 t sea salt

½ T real vanilla extract

 

Combine all ingredients in food processor until a wet dough forms. If it’s too wet, add more flour. Too dry, more coconut oil. Create little 1 inch balls, and roll in additional coconut flakes. Freeze on plate 1 inch apart. Put in container in freezer to enjoy here and there, or put in fridge 5 minutes before you want to serve.

 

 
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