I intended to post regularly about our adventures in GAPS… but a few things have kept me from doing so…
This diet takes a lot of time. The cooking, the cleaning… the cleaning. Seven kiddos, a baby bump, two extra littles in the house, homeschooling, laundry… finding the time to do much else has been rough. Last night I prepped all three meals for today plus juice and popsicles so that I could get a few things done online and do a project with the kids this afternoon without having to stress about cooking and cleaning before City Group tonight.
This diet has been hard. Lots of tears. Lots of screaming. I could post a pretty picture of our super healthy meals, but it wouldn’t accurately portray how difficult things have been. I’m personally struggling to get enough food and calories but wouldn’t dare indulge in front of the kids. The bigs are angry. They are hungry and they are so over soup. I introduced soft boiled eggs and avocados a little earlier than most people. Iv’e also taken liberties with the rules and cooked spinach and other veggies in meat stock and slow cooked chicken and beef in stock to be able to serve meals on plates and not just in bowls. Yes, our kids eat what we serve them and I’ve never been a short order cook… and while it’s been easier in the house, its been especially challenging to maintain their buy-in when we are out and about. Our lives are full of people and that includes a lot of food. It’s not practical (or healthy) to shelter them from every temptation. It’s not been easy. One of the kids has been sneaking food. They’ve called us bad parents. Differences in how each of the families handle meals and snacks have caused tension. The littles are struggling. They don’t understand why they can’t eat the foods we’ve always consumed.
This diet is messy. No one prepared me for what T would go through. Everyone in the house struggled a bit through the detox and there were two or three days of groggy sleepy kids, but T’s reaction was unique and very scary. Had I more diligently researched and better understood the process I might have been more equipped to handle the severity of his body’s response. I’m happy to talk about the details, but since he’s older and it’s his story to tell I’m not going to post them here.
T’s celiac and food struggles have definitely been confirmed and despite the difficulty of this diet, I’m really thankful to have taken the opportunity to help his body detox and to focus on a time of intentional repair. We do not however intend to remain on the GAPS diet. For several reasons…
God is our great physician. GAPS isn’t God and despite what I had originally thought… GAPS does not heal (or cure) diseases. The GAPS diet has been said to heal the gut. God is actually the one doing the healing, but he certainly works through things like GAPS and other diets, and doctors and medicine etc. And while God can cure a disease, even through following the GAPS diet (and may be calling another family to follow the diet), most of those with autoimmune diseases and food allergies are no more able to consume such foods than before they began, and when we finally sought the Lord about this diet we realized that it isn’t for us at this time.
There are so many great benefits to eating GAPS. Truly. And we’ll likely lead our family through the intro diet periodically. Along with the physical benefits, I appreciate the opportunity to battle food idols, to practice contentment and self-control. Full GAPS isn’t for our family. Of course we want to eat healthily and provide a diet that is nutritious for each of our children. But we can be obedient to that without GAPS, in fact… this diet feels like disobedience in other areas. We’ve invested financially and I recently had to repent over my buyers remorse. Where your treasure is, there your heart is also.
Yes, I love and welcome the idea of a healing diet, but as we began this adventure my heart got carried away with it’s desires to “fit in.” Many of my choices were motivated not by the Lord or even by what I though would be the best fit for our family, but by the GAPS community and my healthy friends and… not that anything is wrong with the choices others are making, and I’ve totally been given good and healthy advice… My heart just wasn’t in the right place as I plowed forward; making decisions for my family.
We are overseas bound. The ministry the Lord has given us is largely with people of diverse cultures. Food is almost always involved in our relationships and interactions. Dining together has been a significant way for us to connect with others. I believe that God has given us food to nourish us, to be received with thanksgiving, for our enjoyment, to gather us, and as a way to point us to himself. I am aware that the food He designed is being modified (and there is a legit conversation there), but do we truly believe that Jesus alone is the bread of life? Through tears we realized the consequences this diet has on our ministry.
Our kids are awesome. Yup they’re kids, and they disobey, and they do bad things. But they sacrifice a lot too. They love people and they share their toys and their things and their space… and their home. They give up time and desires when people in our lives have needs. They attend meetings and prayer nights and classes instead of youth group and boy scouts. We ask a lot of them and we’ve raised them to bring others in. We’ve raised them to gather around the table and live authentically with others. How confusing this diet must be. It’s not just about the foods we aren’t eating.
We aren’t just quitting cold turkey. We’re going to finish out the Intro diet at a bit of an accelerated pace and then slowly replenish our low-sugar gluten free kitchen.