GAPS Intro: Days 12, 13, & 14 (And a Recipe!)

(Recipe below)
Day 12

Hard day with lots of meltdowns. Feeling a bit discouraged, not knowing whether foods I have introduced are bugging #1 or if it is just part of the detox that goes along with such a big diet change. Hubby is getting a little irritated and annoyed by the whining and that makes it hard for me. Trying to stay positive and remember the gains we've already made. Took 4 small pieces of nutbutter pancakes to church for the sacrament and #1 reacted with hives just with that small bite so I think almonds are out for now. The kids are still being pretty picky with their food. They eat fat, meat, or eggs really well but are still really balking at veggies unless it's squash fries or squash bars or if they're excellently hidden in scrambled eggs. Not sure how to get them over that besides simply continuing to serve the vegetables. Forcing them to eat them doesn't really do anything besides stress all of us out.

Day 13

Started out pretty well. #1 ate all of his eggs for breakfast and finally, after a week, decided a toy from the prize box sounded nice. It was his idea to eat all of his eggs and get a prize. He picked a coloring book and markers, which entertained him for less than a few minutes (of course). He also had a bowl of yogurt and later on, he got hungry again and a meltdown ensued because he wanted yogurt or sour cream and since we are running out of it, I couldn't give him very much. The moods are getting hard to handle and I am just feeling "blah." We're going to the children's museum today and I've got hardboiled eggs packed, a chicken avocado salad, some pickles, and some soaked/dehydrated pecans tossed in butter and roasted for a bit (going to try the pecans and see if there are any reactions). I am feeling more confident with going out and about. We'll see how this goes though, last time we went to the children's museum #1 was a nightmare (it is very hard to take him out in public unless it's something routine).

Some improvements I've noticed from #1 in between the meltdowns: more hugs or simply just sitting close to me without prompting, more simple sentences (this morning he said "It's by my foot. It's by Max's foot."), saying affectionate things (I said "I love you Max" and he said, "Love you" which he never does even when we ask him to repeat "I love you."), better behaved at church - seemed more able to confine himself to the bench although he still didn't last the entire time...but he did much better than normal, saying sorry to his sister more easily and without prompting, and he's been able to go to bed and stay on his bed (with coming out a few times and warnings to go back in) without having to get his door locked or us having to lay by him until he's asleep.

#1 did AMAZING at the museum today! It was a completely different experience. He listened to us and slowed down when we asked and never ran away...not once! Huge, huge improvement. He is also way more chatty. I was working in the kitchen tonight and I could hear him in his room chatting at Daddy. I am not used to that. Obviously we still don't understand a lot of what he's saying but the fact that he's being chatty is a big difference. This afternoon went better as far as meltdowns are concerned and he was really, really good tonight. Both kids had bowel movements today (it's been 2 days) so hooray! Both kids tolerated the pecans just fine, I'm pretty sure. No hives from #1 so that's good. He also had a few squash pancakes because I had to hurry and give him a snack before he had a meltdown. No hives from that snack so we'll try them again tomorrow and see how it goes. Tonight I'm feeling more optimistic, maybe because he had such good afternoon/evening. I really do feel like he's making big strides, it is just sometimes hard to remember that amid all of the whining/meltdowns.

Day 14

Today was a much better day. There were some "on the verge" meltdowns but I think we were able to side step them with some distraction. I am wondering if the meltdowns could be a sign that he isn't tolerating dairy, rather than die off, so what I'm going to do is remove butter for a few days/week (replacing it with ghee) and see if I see any improvement. If I don't, then I'll try removing yogurt and sour cream and see where we are. If again there are no improvements, then I'll add them back in. He's been eating the nutbutter pancakes without any hives so I am thinking he's fine with those which is a nice way to add variety, although I don't want to over do it on those so we'll consume nuts sparingly right now. #2 is doing great. She's sleeping really well and it seems like her bowels are finally regulating. #1 has been sleeping better too. I think he's slept through the night more times since we've been on GAPS than he has in the past year (that could be an exaggeration but before we started, he was coming into our bed every single night for months). He is also way more imaginative. Like, a billion times more imaginative. He was not using his imagination hardly at all before GAPS and now he is doing things like finding random objects and pretending they're stamps (then stamping my hand). And he is just chatty. This morning we actually had a back and forth conversation which does not usually happen. He still doesn't understand everything - like tonight I asked him something about when the baby would be born and he responded about playing with JJ in nursery...but, he is much more able to engage in a conversation than before.

As for me, I feel good still. Every once in awhile, I'll have some slight achyness in my joints which I know is just die off. I also have had a few times where I feel really grumpy or depressed, but it goes away. I think I am getting a more restful sleep because I don't wake up in the morning feeling like I haven't slept. I feel good enough to get out of bed and actually accomplish things, which is huge. Unfortunately at this stage in my pregnancy, I'm waking up 2-3 times a night to use the bathroom which kind of stinks but even with that, I feel more rested.

Here's a yummy recipe now. We've been loving these meatballs. The kids do really well with them and I love that they're filled with vegetables, so even if they don't eat their side dish, they've eaten some vegetables already.

GAPS Meatballs

2 pounds organic grass-fed beef
1 red bell pepper
2 carrots
1 zucchini
1/2 medium onion
4 cloves garlic
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups meat stock

Chop all veggies and garlic very small (I love to use my mini food processor, it makes it really quick and my three year old can help me with this part). Combine meat, veggies, garlic, salt, and pepper and mix well. In a large skillet, bring meat stock to boiling, then simmer. Form balls with meat and veggie mixture, then place in simmering stock. Cover with a lid and let simmer for 20 minutes or until done. Remove from stock and serve. (Optionally add a few spoonfuls of tomato paste to the simmering stock to switch up the sauce).

We have loved serving this over spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles, with lots of butter and garlic. Yum!