Last week I had a friend from church ask me:
“So, do you ever cheat on the diet, or are you hard-core GAPS?”
I was thinking that would be a good post for all of you. Then today, I saw Cara’s post called GAPS Cheats-what to do if you cheat, how to cheat with minimal harm. Awesome! How fun that we were thinking of the same thing to share! I love what Cara said, and I want to say this too: if you are on the GAPS Intro, do not cheat at all,Â or you will not see results. My family has been on GAPS for 2 years now, so we’re in “coming off of the diet” mode, so we’re allowing some of the cheats below. Understand, rubberbands? Ok, then let’s move on!
I showed this photo in my post about a GAPS Legal Road Trip:
Store-bought applesauce isn’t perfect–it would be best to cook and puree our own apples. Many store-bought applesauces contain citric acid, sugar, or high fructose corn syrup, so you have to be really careful. Don’t buy “sugar free” applesauce because that usually means it is filled with Splenda, aspartame, or another yucky chemical sweetener.
Another cheat here:Â Fruit Leather. This is an expensive substitute for real fruit (and these ones are not even organic, which is not great–dehydrated pesticides…mmm… ). I like having these on hand in my purse or in the car for low blood sugar moments. And thanks to GAPS; my low blood sugar moments are now gone, so I don’t carry these around any more at all (I had low blood sugar often pre-GAPS!).
And the cranberry nut bar for my hubby. It was all GAPS legal ingredients, but I believe that the nuts should be soaked to neutralize the phytates and make them more digestible.
No, my kids did not eat the hot dog buns here! They were for the other kids who came to the b-day party. But they did have the unsoaked, roasted, Dollar-Tree store peanuts, which are *terrible* for your health. Our daughter developed her peanut allergy immediately after eating these. This was October. In June/July we had purchased some of the Costco snack packs of roasted nuts for quick kid-snacks when we were remodeling and moving. She had done totally fine on those (though, I believe they were possibly creating her allergy). She had these nuts & started wheezing really bad, all day and until the next morning. I brought her in to the doctor & they didn’t catch the allergy. A couple of months later, a friend brought over a peanut butter/honey snack and our daughter ate a 1 inch square piece of it and ended up with severe wheezing and hives. We had her tested, and sure enough, she went from having no peanut allergy (back in June/July) to having a severe, life-threatening, anaphylactic nut allergy. Now we bring an epi pen with us everywhere (and if we forget it on a road trip–like we did a few weeks ago, we spend the $200 out of pocket to buy another one–because who knows when she will accidently get peanuts). Moral of the story? Don’t eat unsoaked, roasted nuts!!
We let our kids play with toys of foods that we would never let them eat. This isn’t cheating, I just think it’s funny!
Once in a while, we drink raw milk, or even make hot chocolate with raw milk and honey. Raw milk is not allowed on GAPS. I love raw milk in my herbal chai tea (from Trader Joes). When we first got our foster kids and there was a lot of stress in our life, I even drank black tea, which is not allowed on GAPS. (HELLO adrenal fatigue! If you find yourself needing coffee or black tea, you’ve got adrenal fatigue!). Our foster kiddos have been acting up again, like they did in the beginning (because they’re having increased birthmom visits and their little emotions are high), and I am proud to say that I am not having adrenal fatigue this time, and not needing any black tea! Wooot, woot!
I have to admit, that once in a while, in a pinch, I will (GASP) microwave our leftovers. Dr. Natasha says that microwaving “kills the nutrients” and I totally agree. I am anti-microwaving, and especially microwaving in plastic (which I never do–you will barely find any plastic in my kitchen)! On most days, I will stick our leftovers in the oven. Once in a great while, we are in a major hurry and I have 7 starving, whiny children, and they just *need lunch,* so I’ll microwave it.
I used to buy canned coconut milk, which isn’t ideal. Most of the brands contain guar gum (corn), which isn’t GAPS legal. I found one that did not contain guar gum, but it wasn’t organic, and it still had a BPA lined can (fats absorb toxins–it is never a good idea to store high fat foods in plastic or plastic lined containers). They just started adding a chemical preservative to this particular coconut milk, so I’m not buying it anymore. I am not crazy about making coconut milk from shredded coconut–it makes a thinner, less creamy milk and it’s a lot of sticky work (I don’t like sticky jobs ;)). I have 3 coconuts on hand, ready to make coconut milk like Heather did, but that’s even more work. Lately, I’ve been subbing raw milk for coconut milk in recipes, which is not GAPS legal.Â What is your solution to the coconut milk dilemma?
Our local New Seasons makes pepperoni that is almost GAPS legal. Almost, because it contains nonfat dry milk powder, which is not GAPS legal and not healthy. Nonfat dry milk contains oxidized cholesterol, which clogs arteries. Butter and egg yolks will not clog your arteries, nonfat dry milk powder will (and it’s in just about every single “low fat” or “nonfat” dairy product in the grocery store dairy section, so most people are getting *a lot* of it).
This coconut flour pizza crust is in my GAPS Lunches Cookbook (and also on the back of my business card, so if we meet in person I can give you one! ;)). The cheat here is the sausage. Before we raised our own pigs, we were buying sausage from another local farmer. We ate it several times before I noticed that it had SUGAR in the ingredients. Yikes! I had assumed that farm fresh = no sugar, but apparently the butcher shop added some. We stopped buying that pork, but our family ate probably 20 lbs of it before we realized it!
And since I showed you that we cheat with raw milk, why not cheat with raw cream as well, mix it with some honey, some bits of homemade chocolate love bars, and create a yummy raw milk ice cream? Once in a while, this is a very nice treat!
I love sour cream. No, let me emphasize that again: I LOVE SOUR CREAM! Since I don’t make it with raw cream every week (I should), I end up buying it. I am in love with the Wallaby cultured sour cream. It is thick, and creamy, and wonderful (but not GAPS legal), and honestly, I would scoop on a lot more than this photo shows (and I’m not overweight in the slightest). Fat does not make you fat, in fact, just the opposite! Pigs are fattened on skim milk! (the fat slows down the sugar in the milk & helps your body process it instead of storing it)
This is what we use to start our homemade yogurt. In very busy times (like when we moved, and when we took in our foster kids), we just ate store-bought yogurt. It is not ideal, not cultured long enough, not GAPS legal, and it made my “glue ear” come back. Homemade yogurt is best!
When I am out and about, I am not a Starbucks coffee drinker (though, The Farmer doesn’t exactly make his coffee weak like Dr. Natasha says, I guess that’s a cheat too!). I am drawn to these smoothie-type drinks–that is my “Starbucks.” This one contains “Natural Flavors,” which could really be anything. The Odwalla Strawberry Smoothie contains added synthetic vitamins, which will make your pee turn bright yellow and do very little in the way of actually adding nutrients to your body (and may cause harm, we’ll have to watch for future studies).
When I have gone to Starbucks (which is not often), I will order the black iced tea with “no classic” and honey added to it. Not a GAPS legal drink, but better than most of the other options at Starbucks.
We have ordered gluten free pizza a handful of times since being on GAPS. Farm Princess 1 had it on her 4th Birthday at the American Girl Doll Bistro in Washington. (See her “twins” in the background? She wanted one that looked like her brother (our bio son), and one that looked like her! She is so cute! ;)).
We’ve gone swimming in chlorinated pools & our kids took swimming lessons. Chlorine messes up the gut flora and is toxic to the body. It’s mostly been the kids getting into the pool. One time, The Farmer and I swam also, and I was weak and shaky and had autoimmune symptoms for the next 2 days. My body does not like chlorine!
And the worst of all of our GAPS cheats: juices that are not fresh-squeezed. We (the adults) drink Izzes when we go to Chipotle (another cheat–I always order sour cream there), and on road trips or camping trips we will buy these other types of juices. We don’t get them with added sugar, but still, this is a sure-way to make sure that all of the fruit sugar goes straight to the blood stream! Not good! The Farmer and I crave Izzes when we are stressed–since we don’t drink alcohol, this is our vice. I suppose it’s better than alcohol, but it’s still not great for us. I don’t buy them often (we’d drink them too often!), but we do get them occasionally (and admittedly, when we were remodeling our home I bought a lot of them…good thing that’s not a regular habit!).
There you have it. Now you know all of my secrets.