Monday, December 24, 2012

Trying out the GAPS Diet- Curried Carrots and Peas Recipe- SCD and Paleo Diet Legal, Vegan/Vegetarian, and Gluten Free

I've discovered that despite being off gluten for a year and a half already, and despite being on a stricter and stricter diet, some of my gastro issues have come back...
On top of that, it appears that a few family members have a candida overload, so I've been looking into the idea of going on the GAPS diet, which is much stricter regimen than my family is on now, but not that different, because my family already uses lots of the foods recommended on the diet...
Why would I be willing to go on the GAPS diet and further limit what we can eat? Because the point of my limiting what I can eat is supposed to be healing, and what I'm doing now is more symptom managing, instead of getting down to the root cause- an unhealthy gut that is causing all the symptoms, which I've been trying to manage, with less and less success lately.
The GAPS diet is a strict healing diet, that, by the end of the diet (from six months to three years, depending on how bad your diet was previously), the gut is completely healed, and most people are able to go back to a regular, traditional foodies diet instead of a really strict, dairy free, egg free, gluten free, etc... diet like we're currently eating.

The GAPS diet is based on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, and it entails having lots of fish, poultry, or meat broths, and allows meat, poultry, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruit, lentils, navy beans, lima beans, haricot/barlotti beans, peas, string beans, coconut and its products, and nuts and seeds. No grains or pseudo grains allowed. No chickpeas or potatoes or sweet potatoes or black beans, etc...
I had wanted to do GAPS for a while, because even while it would be more expensive at the moment, if our family can stop having all these food restrictions, it will save us money in the long run. Not to mention that health is a commodity that can't be given a price mark... But at the same time, despite knowing it was worth it, was it worth breaking our budget? Was it worth getting into a bad position financially in pursuit of health? It was a decision that I couldn't make...

Until recently I thought no seeds or legumes were allowed on the GAPS diet, and no starches, making the diet very expensive because you'd end up filling on expensive meat... but once I learned that butternut squash (and other carby starches) were allowed, as were peas and carrots and certain other legumes, the diet seemed much more doable financially. Getting my hands on lots of free fish for making practically free fish stock also made the diet seemed more feasible from a financial perspective...
And it doesn't hurt that at this point in time, there are a bunch of wild edibles growing in my area, which means free veggies... (Though sadly, three of my favorite- mallow, cactus paddles, and purslane seem to be off limits on the GAPS diet because of their mucilaginous properties...)

So, I decided that for the next little bit, I'm going to try and ease my family into the GAPS diet, having GAPS legal meals part of the time, until we finish up the non GAPS legal stuff in the house, and get used to eating this way.
We're skipping the intro part of the diet, because I'm the only one dedicated enough to stick to the very strict intro, and since I'm breastfeeding, I'm suppose to skip the intro part, so I don't detox into my baby's milk. I do have my husband and sons on board though- my husband because he prefers animal proteins to starches, so doesn't mind filling up on them, but yes, he may cheat. Who knows... And my sons are on board because they want to fix up their teeth. And because they know just how many yummy treats mommy is able to prepare on GAPS anyhow- as it is many of the desserts I've been giving them have been GAPS legal (like homemade larabars and peanut butter banana ice cream), and because they, too, prefer meat and eggs and tuna to grains...

The thing that got me the most nervous about the GAPS diet is if the lack of starches would make me not feel full, and make me lightheaded. (My husband knew already that he didn't need carbs, but I've had hypoglycemia in the past... but its possible I'm past that now, but I'm not sure.)
So for our first GAPS style meal, I was doing an experiment.
Can I make it extra frugal, filling, GAPS legal, and with enough permitted carbs? Yummy too, of course.

Supper tonight was a success. Delicious and filling; everyone liked it. And of course, it was cheapo. Lots of wild greens, boiled, and then served with onions sauted in palm oil, garlic, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and salt, boiled gizzards (the cheapest meat where I live) with lemon and salt. The men of the family had sunny side up eggs instead of some of the gizzards. I served the water in which I boiled the greens mixed with the water from boiling the gizzards as a very nutritious and yummy broth to drink with the meal.
And then there was the curried carrots and peas.

I think they were the highlight of the evening. So yummy! And on top of that, enough carbs to make me full. But totally legal for the diet.
I'll get to that recipe in a second. But supper was a few hours ago and I'm totally full, with lots of energy still, and no headache.

This recipe is all approximations. Adjust it to taste.

Curried Carrots and Peas Recipe- GAPS, SCD and Paleo Legal. Not to mention vegan and gluten free and sweetener free. And totally delish!

1 1/2 cups frozen peas
7-8 large carrots
Coconut or palm oil (or any other oil if you're not in the GAPS diet)
1/2-1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1/2 inch piece of ginger
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 medium onion
1-3 cloves garlic

1. Cover peas in water and boil until soft. Strain.

2. Peel carrots. Then use a peeler to peel the entire carrots into strips. These will be your "noodles".

3. Chop your onion small. Saute in oil.

4. Mince your garlic. Peel and chop your ginger. Add to the onions.

5. Add the carrots to the onions and garlic. Cook until they're completely soft and flexible.

6. Add the peas to the carrots, then add fennel and turmeric. Cook for a few more minutes, and then serve warm.

Yes, the recipe is simple. But it's taste is anything but!

Are you on the GAPS diet or have you ever been on it or considered it? What do you think about the GAPS diet? What were your tricks for keeping the diet as cheap as possible, while still being satiated at each meal?
Are you a fan of Indian food? Does this look like a recipe you'd try?

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