Minutes from January 2015

GAPS Minutes January 2015

Lots of great questions and comments!

Samples: lacto-fermented coleslaw, Beet/ginger fermented cabbage, bone marrow custard, and second ferment blueberry/elderberry/mulberry kombucha.

Links below were requested to be in the minutes:

Dosages for cod liver oil: http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/fermented-cod-liver-oil-best-supplement/

Oral wellness site: http://www.orawellness.com/

Cure Tooth Decay: http://www.curetoothdecay.com

Pictorial verification of cavities healing: http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/how-i-healed-my-childs-cavity/

How to improve digestion by enhancing the acid in our stomach: power point…http://www.healing-gaps.com/fillingINtheGAPS/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/R-E-L-I-E-F.pdf

Diverting fruit flies from kombucha: put a small glass with ACV and a few drops of soap next to the kombucha.

As always, so many questions, so many interesting comments, so little time. Until next time….


Friends, Foes, & Folly

Google does not recognize it -  It is my own construct……. But it is real.

Candida Neurosis.

Do you have it?

Candida Neurosis occupies your every thought – especially about food. When it is your enemy, it takes the joy out of life. Fighting Candida works just as well as killing people to attain peace.

Is Candida real? Most certainly!

Can it also take the joy out of life? Yes!

If it is real and it is damaging and fighting it doesn’t work, what does one do when plagued with it?

Embrace it as your friend.

A friend that came over to eat all of your junk food.

Surely you would never feed a friend junk food! So do not feed your friend Candida junk food either!

Neither would you starve a friend. So do not try to starve your friend Candida!

Give your friend Candida lots of eclectic friends to hang with. Will that hurt your friend Candida? No, it will just keep her from getting overbearing.

How do I invite other friends over to hang around with Candida?

Fermented foods at every meal. (You know how everyone shows up for a free meal!)
Probiotics (start slowly and keep taking different ones to keep your group of “friends” eclectic).
Serve all of your friends nutrient dense foods that your body is capable of digesting.

When beginning GAPS, you may not be able to digest more than meat broth. That will still feed you and your friends. In fact, it will feed you far better than if you try to eat foods that you cannot digest.

Foods that are impossible for your body to digest end up inviting guests from the wrong side of town. You know how those parties go…things get out of hand in a hurry.

After healing takes place, more foods will be able to be thoroughly digested. Your diet then can (and should) expand to ensure that you are getting the nutrients your body needs.

Candida is a messy friend. She leaves clutter wherever she has been. Your liver and other detoxification pathways try constantly to clean up after Candida. When Candida is the only one around, the liver can’t keep up. When other friends keep her in check, the liver starts to get the place presentable again (detoxifying).

You can help your liver make the “place presentable” by giving it certain elements that slip liver detox into high gear. Iodine “paint” is one of those essential elements. Epsom salt baths nourish your detox mechanisms and promote relaxation with magnesium and sulfur; two elements essential to healing and detox. Baking soda baths actively allow the skin to detoxify. Cod liver oil provides vitamins and fatty acids essential to the immune system. A healthy immune system puts less demand on the detoxification system. A diet very high in fat (mostly saturated, animal fat) gives your body what is necessary for every cell in your body to function as it should. This, again, minimizes the work for your detoxification pathways.

Why saturated fat?

Saturated fat is like having nice cushy furniture for your friends to lounge in. It helps the cell walls stay tight and protective (like a warm snug house). It promotes an atmosphere conducive to friendship – Good Karma if you will – by building neurotransmitters that help us experience joy and satisfaction. Without it, there is a sterile echo-y atmosphere, not conducive to friends hanging around.

Bottom line: Candida is your friend; do not treat her as your foe.

Christmas and Sauerkraut!

This year I am honored to be hosting my in-laws on Christmas Day. One of the treats I will serve is an old family recipe – Sauerkraut Salad.

Years ago, as a newly-wed, sauerkraut salad was my usual assignment; something I could not ruin. I remember holding my nose while opening a can of Frank’s kraut, dumping it in with other ingredients which I believed could never reform this conglomeration into something edible. (I never touched it, so I never knew.)

Today, in the 7th year of my Weston A. Price nutrient-dense-food-journey, I relish making this salad – with appropriate modifications., of course!

Instead of “2 cups of sauerkraut” (Franks in a can because it was at the local store and cheap), I lavishly share 2 cups of our very own raw, Pickl-it sauerkraut that as been brewing in our cold room since August.

The recipe, in my mother-in-law’s distinctive, beautiful cursive handwriting, calls for “draining” the sauerkraut. Gasp! Discard all of those enzymes, vitamins and minerals? Instead it was substituted it for some of the apple cider vinegar. The vinegar, which is raw, organic, and unfiltered instead of the imposter I used to pick up in a plastic jug.

The two cups of celery are from the organic section of the grocery store. Next year it will have some of mine; but this year my 2013 stash is defunct. (Thank you Cheryl Peterson Halsey for giving me a perennial lovage bush that passes as a celery plant!)

The “medium onion, chopped” is fresh from my garden. Pimento is from the freezer, also a garden item.

A half cup of raw honey is substituted for the “cup of sugar” – organic, without any high fructose corn syrup. The oil is organic olive oil purchased from a trusted source, NOT rancid soybean oil laden with pesticides.

This is a Weston A. Price approved recipe AND it is GAPS friendly as well.

Bon Appetite’!

…..Wonder what my in-laws will think….

How do you spell relief?

Check out the PDF version of my power point – How do you spell

((click here for) R-E-L-I-E-F)? Gas, bloating, constipation, digestive woes….

Cream cheese - smoked oysters - fermented onions on a carrot "cracker"

Today I used Flax seed “gel” to fix my hair. Honestly, I looked the best I have in days!

Here is the recipe from The Healthy Home Economist:

Natural Hair Gel 

Makes about 4 oz


1 cup filtered water

2 Tbl organic whole flax seeds (where to source)

Few drops of essential oils for natural fragrance (optional)

Few drops of aloe vera gel for a moisturizing effect (optional)


Bring the cup of filtered water to a boil.  Stir in the flax seeds, turn down the heat to medium and let simmer for between 7-10 minutes.

*Do not simmer longer than 10 minutes else you won’t be able to strain out the flax seeds from the gel.

Strain out the flax seeds using a strainer or cheesecloth and let the gel cool.  Mix a few drops of essential oils and/or aloe vera if desired.

Pour gel into a small bottle and refrigerate.


Ash Wednesday Meeting – 02/13/13

Today our discussion centered on the premise that “If you believe you can heal, you can.” Your journey might not provide healing in the way you envisioned, but it will be healing.

We reviewed culturing cream; Cultured Cream(see slides). Sampled vegetable medley, ginger kombucha, ginger tea, chicken broth. We had a quick demonstration of making chicken broth. We sampled sauerkraut, and got a glimpse of how a Pickl-it works; www.pickl-it.com.

We discussed an overview of the information available about the Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF). The Mount Marty College Library has many of the “Thumbs Up” books discussed in the WAPF journals. They can be checked out with a free membership to the library, or through Inter-library loan.

GAPS Meeting notes – next meeting at my home

Our next GAPS Meeting will be held at MY house October 10 at 10 am!

Everyone is invited. Please RSVP so that I have an idea of how many there will be! :)

Directions: I live halfway between Avon and Tyndall just off HWY 50. My address is 41039 304th St., Avon SD. From Yankton, take HWY 50 west until you are 5 miles west of Tyndall. There HWY 37 NORTH joins with HWY 50, turn left and go south one mile on a gravel road. (Do not let the HWY 37 that goes SOUTH from HWY 50 just outside of Tyndall confuse you!) After traveling one mile south on the gravel road, at the top of the hill, turn right and go west 1/2 mile to our house, which is on the left (south) side of the road.

Everyone uses the back door, which is fine, but you are welcome to park in front and use the front door. That way our garage can still be used by my ever-so-patient husband! :)

Ketchup Recipe: Attached is a recipe I have not tried, but plan to. I think sauerkraut juice will be a bitter seller at my house than fish sauce… Attached is a recipe for and information about Kombucha.

Dr. Cowan: Liver detoxification and castor oil packs

Castor oil packs: A simple way to help our body detoxify. Apply castor oil on the abdomen. Cover with a soft rag and or plastic to avoid staining clothes. Use a warm pad over the pack. Relax for 3–60 minutes.

Links with more about detoxification and castor oil packs:

http://www.westonaprice.org/ask-the-doctor/support-for-the-liver http://www.westonaprice.org/ask-the-doctor/chronic-fatigue-syndrome

Samples: Kohlrabi slices, fermented (These can be used as a substitute cracker. Try it with liver pate’!)

Broth: Dos and Don’ts


Use only filtered water. Bake the bones or the bird in the oven to allow for browning (which enhances the flavor of the broth). Add salt while cooking. Save and savor the marrow!!!


Rush the broth. Simmer beyond 30 hours without restarting with fresh water.

Detox Tea Made from herbs from Amy Willis “Amy Willis”

Upper respiratory symptoms in children: Try onion or garlic pack for ear aches. Keep in mind the body detoxifies through the lungs. (See the slide below.) Both water soluble AND fat soluble toxins are expelled via the lungs.


GAPS Meeting Highlights

Meeting Highlights Wed. 7/25/12

Remember: No Guilt! No self-flogging! We start from where we are at and we go from there!

We do what GAPS we can. Ideally, we will be 100% GAPS. But it may be necessary to start slowly. That’s OK. It might be better for us in the long run. Do what you can, congratulate yourself for what you have accomplished for improving your health!

Samples: fermented kohlrabi, sauerkraut, turmeric, vegetable medley, sour cream (made with one “BioKult” and a pint of cream x 30  hours at room temp), and the old standby, broth. Judy brought delicious garden veggies to sample. Thanks Judy!

Why do some broth batches taste better than other batches? Here are a few possibilities: Leave some meat on the bones; if the bones are raw, brown the meat prior to making the broth. Cook a batch of broth for no longer than 30-36 hours, then reserve the liquid and start the process over again with fresh water. Some have found that broth cooking too long gives it a bitter taste.

What is “Die off?” How do I know if I might have it? What does one do about it? Die off can be a return to symptoms that made you decide to do GAPS Diet in the first place. Or it can be regression in GAPS children. It might feel like a low key case of the “flu.” It is likely to occur once starting the GAPS diet, when the terrain of the gut is changing from that of pathological organisms in a leaky gut to healthy flora in a better functioning gut. The transition is not always pleasant. What to do about it? Maybe you need to cut back on fermented foods, or wait to continue with a phase of the diet that you have started. Maybe cut back on the cod liver oil or the fat in your broth. It varies. Throughout the GAPS experience, tune into your body and listen to its wisdom.

Micro-organisms: WANTED: Dead or Alive!!! Most of us know that the beneficial organisms we are trying to ingest with fermented foods or probiotics. For the most part, avoid heating the micro-organisms so that they are alive and growing inside of us. If the die off is too difficult, some may need to ingest the organisms AFTER heating. Although they are no longer living, they can enhance our immune function anyway.

Attachments: Vegetable Medley recipe from GAPS book p. 197.


GAPS Mom Blog: theculturedkitchen.wordpress.com.
Great Kefir info!: http://users.chariot.net.au/~dna/Makekefir.html#24and48hrs

Great website on GAPS recipes/menus: http://www.wellfedhomestead.com/

Bonus - end of the meeting film: Aquaponics! Thanks for bringing that Judy! Very informative, very exciting!

Wishing you the best of health!

 Vegetable Medley

Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBrid

In a 5 liter enameled pan or a large glass jar add:

1 whole small cabbage, roughly cut

1 medium sized beet, sliced

1 teaspoon dill seeds or dill herb (fresh or dried)

1 handful of peeled garlic cloves

(The container should be half full of vegetables.)

Add 2 tablespoons of good quality sea salt

1 cup of kefir whey

Fill with filtered water until container is full.

Float a small plate on the top if necessary to keep vegetables submerged in the liquid. (Or pack using leaves at the top that will “secure” the smaller vegetables.) The vegetables must be submerged in the brine or they will get moldy.

Leave to ferment (covered, so the jar is not exposed to light) for 1-2 weeks.

When ready, the vegetables will be soft and tangy.

To stop the fermentation, move the jar into the refrigerator.

Add these vegetables to your soups and stews. Drink the brine diluted with water with your meals or between meals and eat the vegetables with meat.

When the brine and the vegetables start getting low, add fresh cabbage, beet, and garlic, some salt to taste, top up with water and ferment at room temperature again. To this vegetable medley you can add a few rosettes of cauliflower, sliced carrot, brussel sprouts, and broccoli.

You can have this vegetable medley going forever, as long as you keep feeding it with more fresh vegetables. The brine from this medley is an excellent remedy for any tummy upset, sore gums and sore throat.



PCOS – Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome

This week I have received multiple inquiries about PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome) and GAPS. Will the GAPS diet help with PCOS? The answer is yes, both directly and indirectly.

Dr. Natasha discussed with us in Chicago the fact that many have a hormone imbalance;  It is not a difficult thing to discern. Just look around when you are in public. Many men have fat deposits on their bodies that are where women tend to put fat on their bodies; breasts, hips, thighs. Women have fat deposits, “beer bellies,” like we associate with men.

Why is this?

Our hormones are a very intricately balanced system. When one system is functioning less than optimal, for example, the thyroid, all of the other systems are likely to be slightly off balance too. Although treating the thyroid when necessary might be exactly what is needed, intervening in this intricate system can throw off the balance of the system as a whole. A very complex “feedback” system from one gland to another tells each gland how much hormone to produce. By supplementing hormones to one gland, it can interrupt that feedback system and tell the body to cut back on that particular hormone even more.

PCOS is an imbalance in the hormones. GAPS diet addresses this directly by providing the nutrients needed to support hormone production. Hormone production needs good fats to supply cholesterol. Supplying cholesterol in the diet gives the body a “break” from making it. Cholesterol is a necessary part of every cell in the body and the building block of EVERY hormone.

GAPS also helps balance the body by supporting natural healing of the gut and detoxification in the body using fermented foods and probiotics, indirectly addressing PCOS. As digestive health improves, the liver can function more efficiently, as it has less toxins to deal with

Below is a copy of this question on Dr. Natasha’s blog with her response:

1. Is PMS a sign of digestive issues? Can the GAPS diet help with common infertility issues such as endometriosis and PCOS? Some women report irregularities and loss of menstruation during die-off. Is this cause for any concern?

“Digestive system is always involved in PMS, PCOS, endometriosis and other hormonal abnormalities: toxins produced by unhealthy gut flora interfere in the delicate balance of hormones in the body – some hormones become low or insufficient, other hormones become excessive. When the die-off is initiated, more toxins are released into the bloodstream, so your typical hormonal symptoms these toxins cause, become more acute. Indeed the menstruations may become irregular and PMS may get worse. Die-off is temporary, so these symptoms will pass. Just keep them under control by gradual introduction of probiotics, fermented foods and food items, which you may be sensitive to. I do not specialise in infertility or other female reproductive problems, but I have many patients, who started the GAPS Programme, and their first symptoms to go were symptoms of PMS. More chronic conditions such as endometriosis and PCOS take longer to remedy, but GAPS Programme works well for many women with these conditions as well. In order to make steroid hormones (and all sex hormones are steroids) we need plenty of cholesterol and animal fats. So, for all these conditions it is essential to have high-fat and high-cholesterol diet, where main sources of fat are animal products: meats, eggs, fish, butter and cream. Women, who are trying to conceive, should consume 2 cups of homemade sour cream per day, as well as 4 fresh eggs and plenty of fatty meats and fish. As the gut flora becomes more normal and the gut wall heals, the toxins will disappear, and your hormonal system will come back to normal balance.”

Wishing you good health….


Sioux Falls GAPS 4/14/12

GAPS Meeting
4/14/12 – Sioux Falls
Topics Discussed:

GAPS Successes/Kids’ perspectives
EMF Concerns
Stool Grading (1 – 7; 4 is ideal)
A Typical GAPS Scenario
Intro vs. Full GAPS Diet (Diarrhea – Constipation)
Candida Issues
Die Off Symptoms and how to avoid them.
Plant detox vs Animal food nourishment
Are Flax seeds Legal? Yes! Flax seeds and Chia seeds ARE legal on GAPS!

Samples/Goods shared: Baking soda bread, banana bread, apple sunflower bake, fermented ginger carrots, sauerkraut juice, vegetable medley juice, fermented rhubarb, carrots for eating and for seed production, water kefir grains.