It is now just over one year since I went on my grain-free, soy-free, sugar-free, starch-free, preservative-free, processed-free etc. diet in a quest for healing. To recap my year, I started with a very strict diet/supplement regimen and did that for about seven months before switching to the GAPS diet and have been much happier since. When I found Bee's Candida Control diet it sounded like the perfect solution for me, and it may have been at the time, but then she started to change things, becoming more inflexible and wandering into the uncharted territory of what I have since learned is Scientology. The over-reliance on supplements (I was spending $170/month on supplements) and the seemingly random diet altering decisions made by Bee propelled me in the direction of the GAPS diet. GAPS is actually based on science and is a healing program involving certain steps vs. Bee's diet which consists of very strict food restriction based on someones (She never explained how she came to this) ratio of fats/protein/carbs. I did heal on Bee's diet but I also think I went through unnecessary suffering and deprivation as my body struggled with the toxin overload. While the GAPS diet does have supplements (mainly strong probiotics) it isn't necessary to take them if you can't afford it. Food probiotics such as fermented veggies, yogurt, kefir etc. can also give you the same benefits. At this time the only supplements I am taking are Magnesium Citrate, Zing Piccolinate and fermented cod liver oil and my cost is down to less than $35/month.
The GAPS diet has been less challenging in many ways but I have still had my setbacks. In March when I switched to GAPS I decided to add dairy and added it much too quickly which gave me an itchy eczema/detox rash around my eyes and it wasn't until I did the GAPS Introduction diet, removing all dairy, in early September that the bumps went away and I saw very serious improvements in my digestion. The GAPS diet is supposed to take around two years of healing but the second year is supposed to be the best as far as seeing results goes. I am hoping that by June I will have been able to have slowly added dairy again to the point that I can eat cheese. At this point I am only eating ghee with small amounts of butter every so often. Coconut yogurt (homemade) has become a food staple and as soon as I can get a culture I am going to add coconut kefir.
So, how about my symptoms? This last summer was very stressful for me with being a foster parent and I think I suffered some setbacks because of that. In June I think I even had a hysterical pregnancy but that was probably not related to the diet at all so much as the frustrations of having a newborn in my home being raised by a 14 year-old. One thing that has bugged me was that my cycles have been a bit off since June varying between 28 and my usual 33 days with the flow being much heavier. I have also been having really intense PMS symptoms, the most irritating of which is extremely tender breasts for a week or more each cycle. Ugh. BUT the yeastie-beastie's have mostly gone. I get a flare every so often but it goes away in a few days. It seems that my body is switching to detoxing through the skin which I have read is a good sign because the skin is the body's largest detox organ. Once I stop detoxing through my skin so much it should be a sign that my endocrine/lymphatic systems are up to par.
One of the anecdotal natural healing signs is called "Retracing." This means that your body will "retrace" injuries/illnesses that you have had in an effort to heal itself. For example: If you had a major episode of illness years ago you will have the ilness again sometime during your healing, albeit less severely. I am not sure how much credence I can give to this theory but I was wondering about it this morning. Last week I was horribly sick for over a week with Bronchitis/Sinusitis, which is much longer than I am normally sick, and it really kicked my butt. I had a thought this morning that I could be retracing an episode seven years ago when I had my very first combined Bronchitis/Sinusitis which held me captive for two months and left me with damaged lungs and sinus' prone to infection. Now every time I get a cold I often get both and end up quite miserable. It would be nice if that was a healing episode because if it was it most likely won't happen again (so the theory goes) unless I let my health go. By the way, I treated the infection with raw apple cider vinegar; 2 tbsp. in 6 oz. of water as often as I could stand it. It worked quite well.
So that has been my year. It hasn't been very exciting or fun but I am glad that I am doing something to try to get my health where it needs to be so that I can conceive and carry another pregnancy. It is nice that I feel much better most of the time and as an added bonus, the food is seriously so good.