It’s been a little bit since I updated you on GAPS so let me recap a bit. I started the GAPS Introduction Diet on April 5, just a few weeks ago, and I am doing it to heal my gut, which I believe has been damaged by celiac disease (read about it here). There are six stages to the Introduction Diet and I am currently working on the Fifth Stage. Stages 1 and 2 were mainly meat stocks, meat stock soups, probiotics, and egg yolks. Maybe I wasn’t prepared for consuming SO MUCH soup, or maybe I was just tired of the flavors, but I moved through those stages pretty quickly.
Last I wrote I was on the Third Stage, and was consuming avocado, pancakes (made only with nut butter/flour, eggs, squash and fat), fermented veggies and all of the stocks/soups from the previous stages. I still felt hungry and unsatisfied with the Third Stage and think I was eating too many eggs, so I moved on to the Fourth Stage where I can have roasted/grilled meats and fresh juices. The Fifth Stage had cooked apples and raw veggies, so I couldn’t resist and joined my husband when he made some of the apples…they smelled like apple pie!
Okay, now that the boring details are out of the way, let me tell you how it has FELT to be on the diet. I’ve found that my energy levels are generally the same, but I’m a bit cranky about having to think about food. I’ve realized that I just simply don’t like the flavor of meat stocks! So for the last few days I haven’t had any soups or stocks to drink. Yes, that’s kinda the point of the GAPS diet, but I just couldn’t have any more of it. But one thing I do love is bone broths/stocks, so we’ve got a chicken in the oven right now that we’re going to use to make some stock (I use the term broth/stock interchangeably, but I think I’m technically referring to stocks, which are normally made with bones and veggies). As soon as the stock is made, I’ll gladly consume lots of stock and homemade soups.
The GAPS diet doesn’t approve of commercially made sausages, so I made a call to our butcher (The Local Butcher Shop) to see if they could prepare special sausages for me. Fortunately, they’re awesome, and as long as I ordered at least 10 pounds, they could keep the price the same! So I requested that they use no sugar (yes, some sweetener is in every sausage) or nitrates (there’s debate on whether this is necessary, but since GAPS says to avoid it, I’m game for now). This means that they used just salt, pepper, herbs, spices and some wine. And let me tell you, it tastes amazing! I totally overdosed on them when I got them home and had 3 within as many hours. Unnecessary? Yes. Satisfying? Yes :).
One completely unexpected development is how my palate has changed. We’ve been off refined sugars and carbs for, oh, a few years now, so I thought my palate was pretty sensitive to real foods. Apparently not! When I feed my son strawberries, they now smell like Fruity Pebbles! And when I cooked some apples in ghee, and topped them with some coconut milk and cinnamon, it tasted like the most divine apple pie. Flavors just explode in my mouth, it’s incredible! I now understand how things must taste to my son, since he has no history of refined foods. No wonder berries are like crack!
Another unexpected development is that I get thirsty! If you knew me in high school and college, you knew that I would bring a Nalgene (water bottle) with me wherever I went. I never felt like I could stay hydrated, but unfortunately, I was also never thirsty, so I tried to just make myself drink whenever I could. I tried the flavored waters for a time but they were just too sweet. I just assumed I would never feel thirsty like others felt thirsty. But these days, I actually get thirsty! My hypothesis is that because my gut is healing and functioning better, I’m benefiting from the water in ways that I didn’t before, and my signals are working properly to ask for more of this beneficial water. I’m really excited about it, because it’s totally unexpected, and it fixes a problem I didn’t think would ever be fixed.
I made the proud announcement last time that I had become regular. Well, that stopped with the addition of eggs. I know you don’t want to hear the detail, but being irregular means that things still aren’t settled. Bummer! Hopefully this is just a phase on the way to regularity.
So I wanted to leave you with a little recipe: Roast Chicken. This is a recipe we’ve adapted from Nourishing Traditions, our favorite cookbook, and cook on a regular basis. It’s super simple, the only hard part is making sure to start a couple hours ahead of when you want to eat so that the chicken has time to cook.
Here’s a picture of the bird before roasting:
- 1 whole chicken
- 1 bunch of fresh herbs of choice
- 1/4 cup ghee
- 3 large yellow onions, sliced into thick rings
- 1 head garlic, cut in half
- 1/2+ bottle white wine
- Other root veggies (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375
- Place the onion rings in a single layer on the bottom of a roasting pan, along with the cut garlic head, sliced side down. Add any additional root veggies to the bottom of the pan
- Place chicken on a rack in the roasting pan. Cover with ghee, and stuff with the fresh herbs
- Pour 1/2+ bottle of wine in your roasting pan, more if you notice the pan starts to dry during cooking
- Put in the preheated oven roast for 2 hours
And here’s a picture of the bird after roasting! The skin is unfailingly crisp, and the meat usually falls off the bones. For this bird I experimented with pouring a bit of wine in the cavity of the bird, but only found out after it was done cooking that it didn’t work its way down into the pan, it just sat there with a ton of juices in the cavity, meaning I was left with a pretty dry pan! The onions were still beautifully caramelized, but just a little toasted too!
What’s your favorite way to cook chicken?