Jesse and I are taking the GAPS intro plunge! This will be my second time and Jesse’s first time. I haven’t done intro since I started GAPS about 20 months ago. I can’t say I’m exactly looking forward to it, but at the same time I’m also kind of excited.
Why intro? Well, over the last few weeks I’ve been feeling like I’m ready to be done with GAPS soon. I’m not sure whether I’ve achieved as much healing as possible, however, so I thought that going through another intro would be a good way of encouraging further healing before I try introducing non-GAPS foods. Many GAPSters do multiple rounds of intro over the course of their GAPS journey as intro can often help jumpstart deeper levels of healing.
As for Jesse, he was convinced that he should give intro at least one try before going off GAPS. Having never had digestive issues, I don’t think intro is strictly necessary for him, but I do hope that it might also bring him even more healing than he’s already experienced.
Now is a good time to start intro because I have some time off from my babysitting job at the moment so I have more freedom to take on additional cooking responsibilities. There are also about two weeks left before our CSA season starts, which I hope will give us enough time to get through the more restrictive parts of intro before we are inundated with the leafy greens and lettuce that typically arrive in June.
My Plan for Intro
I’ve been browsing through my copy of the GAPS Guide to refresh my memory on how intro progresses. Since how fast you proceed is highly individual, I opted to skip making a meal plan this week because I really have no idea what we’ll be ready for in the next few days. Unless something comes up at the last minute, we should be starting intro on Thursday.
Ideally, I’d like to move through intro fairly quickly. I’m hoping that we’ll be able to add one new food each day. The truly conservative plan would be to wait four days between each food addition, but I’m pretty sure that such a slow pace would make me lose my mind. The first time I did intro I think I added foods every other day. Since this is my second intro I think I may be able to pick up the pace a bit. Of course, we may need to slow down if either of us runs into difficulty with any of the additions.
Speaking of difficulties, I’m not totally sure what I’m going to do about my egg issues. Egg yolks are added quite early in intro. Whole eggs are added soon after. I think I may try a little bit of egg yolk and see how I do with it, since I never actually did get around to testing just the yolk on its own. As for the whole eggs, I’m leaning towards leaving them out for a while. Or, perhaps I’ll try just a little bit. Last time I got up to about a quarter of an egg before my stomach started to hurt.
I’m waiting until Thursday to start intro because I need to stock up on vegetables during my weekly Wednesday grocery shopping. I always buy a lot of veggies every week but some of our normal standbys (namely cabbage and celery) are not recommended for intro so I need to buy more of everything else. I expect we will also go through more veggies than normal because many of our typical snack foods (kefir, peanut butter, yogurt, and fruit) are also not acceptable for early intro.
I hope that I have enough meat and bones to see us through intro. I have two whole chickens in my freezer, and I will be picking up our monthly chicken order (3 chickens plus four pounds of legs and thighs) in a week. I also just ordered a goose and some pork neck bones for additional bones and meat. (I know ordering a goose sounds weird, but they were half off from the farm so they’re about the same price as chicken. If I run out of chicken I will try to simmer the goose for meat and stock.) I also have some beef bones and a lot of ground beef. I hate beef broth, but Jesse has agreed to eat it so that we can use up the bones. I also hate loose ground beef in soups, but I could probably eat it if made into meatballs for soup.
About Those Foods We’re Not Eating…
Luckily my fridge is in pretty good shape regarding non-intro foods. There’s a little bit of celery and cabbage, which I may freeze if we can’t use it before tomorrow, as well as some lettuce that we’ll just have to try to eat. I also have a fair bit of kefir and yogurt but that usually lasts for a while so I think it will be okay.
My main concern was for my water and dairy kefir grains. I think I’m just going to put the water kefir grains into some sugar water and stick them in the fridge. I’ve stored them that way for up to three weeks when we’ve been out of town, although I’m guessing it’s probably safer to change out the sugar water every week to make sure that they have enough food.
I will also be storing my milk kefir grains in the fridge. My plan is to store them in about a quart of milk and then change out that milk every week. I will pick up a half gallon of milk from my raw milk dairy every two weeks to keep the grains going. (Normally I pick up a gallon every week, but my dairy allows you to change your pick up every week as long as you do so in advance.) To keep the milk fresh before it’s used for the kefir, I’m going to put it in the freezer, since I’ve read that you can freeze milk and then still use it for culturing. My milk tends to sour after a little more than a week so I think this will be a good way to ensure that the grains always have fresh milk when they need them.
Well, that’s all! I think I feel ready…although more than a little nervous about how things are going to go!
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