Day 7- I have made it a whole week on the GAPS Intro Diet! Ok, so there were a few hiccoughs… I ate a cookie on the first day when my body went in to meltdown, I had a 20ml sip of Coca Cola when my boyfriend was drinking a bottle and last night I succumbed to the teensiest nibble of Haighs dark chocolate, but other than those minor indiscretions I have come a long way and I’m proud of myself! I’m actually even dropping a little weight, which is an added bonus (I gained a lot when I got sick, so I don’t mind dropping a few kilos). The only drawback is I am sick to death of eating bone broth, boiled meat and grey vegetables (a kitchen term given to over-cooked, boiled veggies). The taste, the texture, the smell, even the thought of another bowl of soup is enough to make my stomach turn. So what else can I eat?
This morning I attempted introducing homemade gravlax, a salt and honey cured salmon. I can’t have egg white yet, so it was accompanied by some poached egg yolks and a dollop of creme fraiche (the other half getting an odd concoction of scrambled egg with too many whites and a lovely soft roll). Now, I love sushi and I’ve had gravlax before, but I couldn’t stomach this. Perhaps I cut it too thick (although I was following instructions and I did use a ruler!), perhaps it wasn’t fresh enough, perhaps it was the wrong cut of salmon, I don’t know but somehow biting into my first mouthful I felt like Gollum, sinking his teeth into a raw fish, snatched straight from the pond. My boyfriend, fortunately, loves all things salmon and the gravlax was no exception, so he happily ate my excess. I’m now eating yet another bowl of stinking soup to fill my poor, tormented little belly, fantasising about warm, soft, sourdough rolls with melting butter and blackberry jam.
So, what can I eat this week? I’ve devised a meal plan that allows me a few variations on the usual. It is difficult to be different because of course GAPS is an elimination diet so all new foods must be introduced gradually and one by one, but I am determined to make something I can enjoy. Last night I attempted stuffed capsicums, but ended up with reflux, so we’ll skip that, but as I introduce whole eggs and ghee this week, I have a few ideas up my sleeve. I’ll be making oxtail soup, poached chicken breast, meatballs, simmered lamb chops and my variation of soppa tal armla, a Maltese soup I discovered watching SBS’s Food Safari and came to love.
My boyfriend has decided to join me on the journey (well, sort of… he just wants to eat a bit of whatever I’m eating so I said rather than make 2 separate dinners, he can just have the same!) so my shopping list no longer contains bread, pasta, cereals or snacks. In fact, my trolley looked so different to the norm, I had to stop at the registers and take a happy snap! In there you’ll see organic eggs, lamb forequarter chops, beef mince, beef bones ($2 a kg, bargain!), parsnips, kohl rabi, cauliflower, carrots, onions, beetroots, zucchini and dill, amongst other things. No chocolate, ice cream, flour or nuts. I feel slightly naked!
What struck me an interesting is that my grocery bill was almost the same as if we were not eating GAPS, around $120 a week for the two of us. Of course, this is GAPS Intro wherein most meats are boiled or stewed and one can get away with cheaper cuts. Autumn/Winter is definitely the time to start GAPS. All this slow cooked meat and soup would be unbearable in the hot months, even now I think I would die for a slice of fresh cucumber and it’s 12oC and raining outside! I shudder to think what my bills will be like in Summer on full GAPS when we are dining on grilled steaks and crispy skinned salmon, but for now the GAPS budget is manageable.