Day 1

Holy cow, this is going to be a lot harder than I thought it would be.

For those of you out there who are considering to start a diet, do it on New Years. The Christmas season is the most terrible time for sticking through diets in the history of…pretty much the universe.

Okay, so now that we got that out of the way, let me explain exactly what the diet is, as I’m pretty sure I didn’t include a name. I was first introduced to it on Wellness Mama, and she called it the Wellness Challenge. She kept on using these words like GAPS and paleo to describe diets, and, intrigued, I followed this site, which is the website of the woman, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, who created GAPS, which stands for Gut and Psychology Syndrome. Now, in the GAPS diet, there are a few things different from what I mentioned before.

  1. You take therapeutic-strength probiotics. She’s the inventor of one of the best on the market, today, called Bio-kult. I might give this a try, as probiotics are something that I rarely get, as I am guilty of eating anything but yogurt, sour cream, and fermented anything, for probably the past couple of months. Probiotics are extremely healthy for our bodies, and not just ours, but animal’s as well! And fermented foods and drinks, like sauerkraut and kombucha are just chalk-full of them.
  2. Consuming essential fatty acid supplements, like a seed to nut ratio of 2:1 of omega-3: omega-6 fatty acids, fermented cod liver oil (this takes care of vitamin A + D), and a fish oil that has a higher amount of EPA than DHA. Honestly, I’ve never been a nut kind of girl. I’ll eat peanuts, peanut butter, maybe some walnuts or almonds if they’re hidden in some banana bread or cookies, but I never eat plain nuts. I’ll have to change this, obviously. I definitely know that fermented cod liver is super good for you, so I’ll need to buy that, but I have yet to understand why I’d need another fish oil, besides the cod. Who knows, so I’ll probably just stick with the nuts and cod oil.
  3. Taking Vitamin A supplements (this is taken care of if you take cod liver oil).
  4. Taking Digestive enzyme supplements. She talks about how if stomach acid isn’t acidic enough, then harmful types of bacteria can actually begin to live there! She recommends taking Betaine HCI with Pepsin.
  5. Vitamin and mineral supplements are also listed, but aren’t recommended for beginners to the diet.
  6. Juicing. She doesn’t list it, but she mentions how juicing is a very effective way to nourish your body while also detoxifying it. I’d have to say that I’d agree! I juiced for two whole weeks and I felt great afterwards. I didn’t pay attention to recipes because I couldn’t wait to start blending different things together until it was the consistency and taste I liked!I mixed things like apples, bananas, bean sprouts, spinach, chia seeds and carrots together and then tasted it, deciding on whether or not I should have added a drop or two of honey. It was fun, and I’m sure I’ll be doing a lot of that!

And with the GAPS diet, it doesn’t just stop at what you eat, it also controls what you use on or around your body! Say goodbye to harmful chemicals found in your every day cleaners, like bleach or windex, and even the chemicals found in makeup! Sorry, ladies.

I don’t even think this is really a diet. It’s more like a lifestyle change. Honestly, this kind of thing is right up my alley. Fortunately for me, my mom is super into natural cleaners and body products, so I’m already used to the whole “no chemicals!” lifestyle. That is, of course, on the outside of my body. When it comes to what I’ve been eating, it’s a whole different story.

So, with this information in mind, I’m going to sort of merge the two diets together, which is roughly what Wellness Mama did, except instead of going back to grains after a year or two of being on the GAPS diet, like you can, she’s decided that she’ll never have grains again, which is perfectly fine. I, however, will not be able to go forever without ever again tasting a loaf of french bread.

Sorry, that’s the carbs-addicted side of me starting to come out.

All in all, I think I’ll do my own little take on GAPS and the Wellness Challenge. I’ve concocted a daily routine list I’d like to show you, in case anyone has thoughts about it:

  1. In the morning, stretch, yawn and reach for my journal to write about how I want my day to go, not my phone.
  2. Drink 8-16 ounces of warm to room temperature water with lemon juice or sea salt added, to help kick-start my system.
  3. Oil pull with either olive oil or coconut oil (if using coconut, which has said to taste a bit milder, make sure to melt the oil in your mouth before swishing it around).
  4. Take a cool shower. Some studies have shown that using hot water on your skin for a shower is actually detrimental to skin health. I’d say I half-agree with that, but for normal showers, I use cool water. Not cool enough to make you want to scream, but cool enough to where the water running over your hair feels slightly colder than the temperature of your head.
    1. 2x/week, wash hair with the castille soap/coconut milk shampoo. The rest of the week, use raw, unfiltered honey. Once every two weeks, wash hair with a mud mixture. Recipe found here.
    2. For face wash, use a few drops of honey. Use a drop or two of lemon juice if skin is super oily. Use a mud mask up to 2x/week. Recipe found here.
    3. For body wash, finish up the natural bar soap my mom bought (made with lemongrass and local – it smells so good!)
  5. When shower is done, and 20 minutes are up, spit the oil into the garbage. Rinse with salt water (remember to use sea salt!). Brush teeth with a homemade remineralizing toothpaste. Recipe found here.
  6. Use ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) on face as a toner.
  7. Spritz some homemade sea salt spray on my skin. Recipe found here.
  8. Spray some homemade sea salt hair spray on my wet hair (this is different from the spray for skin use). Recipe found here.
  9. If needed, use a homemade lotion, recipe found here, to lock in moisture!
  10. Use Tom’s aluminum-free deodorant (I have the apricot kind, but there’s also lavender which smelled yummy!) Once this bottle is used up, I’m going to try and make my own, only because it’s way cheaper and I can control what I smell like.
  11. Eat breakfast (either a breakfast shake, or some homemade juice) – but remember!! No grains, sugars, beans or starches.
  12. Take morning supplements, which include: Kombucha soda (not really a supplement, and will be drinking throughout the day), fermented cod liver oil, vitamin c, vitamin e, vitamin d3, coconut oil (as long as I cook with this, I shouldn’t have to take it as a supplement), CoQ10, and chlorophyll. Yeah, that list is long, but that’s how it is in the beginning of the diet, and then it’ll be tapered down to only a few.
  13. Do some sort of exercise during the day and try to get out of the house. Also make sure to be drinking bone broth throughout the day. Not optional.
  14. In the evening, drink some herbal tea with the ionic liquid magnesium, drink some vital collagen peptides (gelatin), take 5-HTP and before bed, rub magnesium oil on my feet.

How’s that? Looking at that daunting list of supplements, I might cut back by taking out the individual vitamins and replacing it with a good multivitamin. Everything else, I’ll probably need to keep.

I’m still perfecting things to suit my needs, and I definitely need to go shopping, so I’ll let you guys know exactly what it is I’ll be taking in the mornings and evenings! As for now, I need to fix my sleeping schedule, which begins with sleep at 10 or 11, rather than 3 or 4.

Have a good morning!

P.S. – Anyone want to make me some french bread?…just so I can smell it?

Day .5

As an overweight, and fed-up teenager, I’m glad that I’m finally taking a step towards becoming the self-sufficient farmer and healthy human being I’ve always wanted to be.

This diet is fairly easy, except for a few tiny things: no sugar, grains, beans or starches. I’m not saying that I’m not allowed to have bananas or apples, in fact they’re welcome to join the party! I’m talking about refined, processed sugars. It isn’t natural and our bodies don’t need the excess that we already have from our veggies and fruits. This is a HUGE thing for me, because I have sugar every day. I didn’t always used to be this way, but for the past 6 months, it’s been sugar non-stop. I don’t drink pop and don’t eat much candy or chips. The sugar comes from desserts that my mom is constantly baking for my healthier brothers, especially in this Christmas season, which brings up the other culprit; grains. Grains are in everything, from that awesome loaf of banana bread, to that top-secret-recipe, family Christmas Eve stew. This is going to be interesting…

This diet basically encompasses the natural diet that I would be eating if I was living off of my land. I’ll be eating a lot more veggies and meats, depending on the season.

According to Dr. Michael R. Eades, a nutritionist who helps his clients start eating a low-carb diet, the key to this diet is meat WITH the fat (quite contrary to what many diets have you doing), plenty of water, salt (to replenish your body’s electrolytes), and supplements. The reason why he pushes for fatty meat is because in the beginning, when showing carbs and sugars out the window, your body doesn’t know what to do. It’s been so busy producing energy with glucose, rather than the healthier ketones. The fat in the meat helps trick your body, in a way. Much like a smoker feeling the insistent tobacco addiction after quitting smoking, a person who has been diving into sweet deliciousness will feel the same sort of addiction, calling them to just dig into that homemade, dutch-apple crisp pie. The fats from the meat help divert your body’s attention, and will usually also shorten the lethargic period of this diet. As a reminder, without the normal glucose levels your body is used to, you will start to feel tired and will barely be able to keep awake during the day. This is the transition period for your body, from using sugars, to using ketones.

The next, water, is a very important aspect. He explains that during your low-carb diet transition, your body may require more water. This does not mean coffee or even sparkling water. It must be the true H2O. Obviously, with more water comes less salt. With this, he suggests consuming a homemade bone broth, or mixing water with a pinch or two of sea salt, or just cooking with a lot of it. This is salt that hasn’t nearly been processed and bleached to the extent of regular table salt. Sea salt is 70% of what the normal table salt contains. The rest of the 30% is healthy minerals that have been taken out of the table salt. Consuming sea salt is a lot healthier for this reason, which is why I’ll be promptly be buying some kind of a slightly-colored salt.

As he was describing the side effects of dehydration, I saw the two words postural hypertension. This is when you stand up suddenly and your vision starts going black and you feel faint, and you either feel like you’re going to pass out, or you do. As soon as I read that, everything clicked. I had been suffering from this for years, and I couldn’t ever figure out what was up. My parents thought I was just crazy, but now I know that from now on, I’ll need to drink more water.

With the supplements, he recommends magnesium, potassium, alpha lipoic acid (ALA), CoQ10, Vitamin D3, and 5-HTP. Since his explanations are very in-depth, here’s the links to his Part 1 and Part 2 blog posts, so you can check those out.

So far, at 2am, I haven’t had anything to eat so I doubt I’m breaking any rules. However, inside health isn’t the only thing I’m working on at the moment. I’m also experimenting with my health on the outside of my body as well. This includes homemade shampoos, “no-poo” movements, lotions, body scrubs, etc.

Here’s a brief explanation of my skin and hair type: The skin on my face is excessively oily, but for the rest of my body, it’s very dry. My hair becomes incredibly oily in just one day and it’s impossible for me to leave the house without washing it, or else I look dirty. For today, I washed my hair with a new recipe I haven’t used yet, which was:

1/4 cup coconut milk (apparently, homemade is best, but all I had was canned)

1/3 cup castille Soap (such as Dr. Bronner’s)

10 drops of essential oils, such as grapefruit or orange for oily skin, and ylang-ylang for dry.

All you do is mix everything around and WHA-LA! Just make sure to shake it up before using it again. The thing is, the castille soap we have already has essential oils in it, so I disregarded the last ingredient. As I was making this recipe, my mom came nosing her way into the bathroom, wondering what I was making. When I told her it was a shampoo, she explained that castille soap is very harsh on hair, so I really wouldn’t need as much as the recipe called for, especially since the soap is super condensed. In the end, I only measured out 2.5 Tbsp. of the castille soap.

My mom also told me to use honey, as it’s a very pure substance and has antibacterial and healing properties. Intrigued, I decided to add that into the regimen.

First, I added about 2-3 tsp. of the castille/coconut milk to my palm, rubbed it between my hands to form a lather, and then applied it to my hair. I had difficulties reaching my scalp, and ended up having to use, in total, about 1 Tbsp. of the mixture to get it inside my mass of thick hair. Next time, I think I’ll pour it straight on my scalp and rub it in this way. You’re only supposed to use about 1-2 tsp. of this for each use, so I used a lot more than I was supposed to. After I rinsed my hair well, I gathered up some honey in my palm, added a little water, rubbed it around and then applied it to my hair, trying to get it into the roots. I immediately felt this greasiness with the honey, and I’m not sure if I like the way it made my hair feel or not.

After both of these cleanses, I rinsed my hair very well and then used a drop of honey to wash my face, like normal. Again, the greasiness ensued, but I know that honey works wonders on my face, so I try to use it as often as possible. After leaving the shower and drying off, I noticed that my hair definitely felt clean, but also had the “greasy” feeling that the honey left. I wondering if, since honey is the gentlest cleanser, I should only wash my hair with the castille soap/coconut milk mixture once every three days and the rest of the time I’ll use the honey. Does anyone have experience with this?

I’d love to know whether or not I’m on the right track! By the way, I refuse to use baking soda on my hair ever again because it absolutely destroyed my scalp’s pH. Baking soda has a pH that is way off track from the pH of human hair, which is what you want to mirror when cleaning it. Some people do a vinegar rinse immediately after washing with baking soda, effectively bringing the pH back down. I’ve heard that this works, but I don’t want to chance it.

Anyways! Day One through Seven will probably be a roller coaster of hormonal-teenager ramblings, because of the sugar and grain cut-back. Please bear with me!