Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Digestive Health: Where to Start

Repairing the digestive system can be a daunting task. Especially if you're looking into do the GAPS diet. Well, if you're going to do the full GAPS diet there are three must haves (going in order of importance):

Gut And Psychology Syndrome

GAPS Guide
Internal Bliss Recipe book

If you can tell there's something great within the GAPS diet but you're not quite ready to jump into the full diet here's a really good fairly simplified place to start:

Begin by taking supplements that are healing to the digestive system:

Therapeutic Doses of Probiotics (Start off with small doses and work up to therapeutic doses.)
Cod Liver Oil (Fermented is best but not absolutely necessary)
Flax oil for extra omega rich fats (put this in your kefir)
Vitamin/Mineral liquid supplement (optional but helpful)

The foods to begin with are:

Meat Stock w/ some probiotic food mixed into it. (Use 1-2 Tbsps of kefir or sauerkraut juice)
Meat Stock Soup add some probiotic food to this as well.
Gluten free breads, pancakes or treats
Fruit Sugar Substitute for baked treats
Raw honey to sweeten kefir and to add to non-baked treats
(Baked treats and non-baked treats should be eaten sparingly. Maybe one small portion every day or two.)
Eggs for needed nutrition and healing fats
Coconut oil as the fat in your recipes or for cooking foods
Sea salt or Celtic salt - no table salt
Vegetable juice (carrot, celery, cucumber, apple or bit of pineapple, kale) Although smoothies are wonderful. The fiber within smoothies aren't so great to an impaired digestive system and can actually irritate the gut lining and prevent healing instead of doing any good. You feel it out.

Probiotics are best taken on an empty stomach first thing in the morning and last thing before going to bed.

The important things to remember are:

Animal fats heal the gut!
Sugar and grains ruin or halt healing of an impaired digestive system!
Probiotic supplements and probiotic rich foods are a must!
Give healing lots of time - stick to this diet longer than you think you should!

Other pointers:

** Have the patient drink one or two small glasses of meat stock in between meals. (Make sure to also eat the meat stock soup for at least one meal during the day as well.) You can stir in a mashed up avocado or a raw egg yolk (from free range organic eggs) into the soup for added nutrition and healing.

** If your gonna do cheeses make sure to use raw cheese (raw goat cheese if possible). And don't heat the cheese. The raw enzymes within the cheese can help with digestion.

** If you eat ONLY these foods - you'll be off to a great start!

** To make this easier on you - make these foods in bulk and refrigerate or freeze for easy meals. For example: make the meat stock and meat stock soup in bulk and freeze in glass jars. Set out the night before. Or make lots of the gluten free pancakes or breads and freeze or refrigerate as well. Let snacks be mostly vegetables and little cups of meat stock.

** In the beginning, non-fibrous foods are best. When the gut lining has been damaged fibrous foods aren't a good choice. So in the beginning, stay away from fibrous foods. If you're gonna eat rice choose white rice over brown. Strip your celery of its fibrous strands. Juice instead of doing smoothies.

** Take note of your patients stool. How often does he go? Does the stool float? If so, you know your patient isn't digesting his fats. Is it runny or does it break into many undigested pieces? If so, you know your patient is lacking in enzymes and isn't breaking down his foods like he should. Stool says a lot. Good stool would be medium dark in color, usually come out in one or two pieces that stays together, isn't too lumpy and sinks.

** If there's been bowel movement issues such as the ones listed above - you'll more than likely see changes take place as your patient continues on the diet.

** If there hasn't been any improvement - do away with all dairy (the casein in them may be having a negative effect on the healing process) and consider giving the patient some digestive enzymes.

Recipes for all of the mentioned foods will be coming soon!

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