Photo courtesy of John Morgan and Flickr Creative Commons licensing.

Just a friendly reminder for those of you riding the GAPS train: go slow.  I have been heeding this advice very well for the last couple of weeks, but alas, yesterday I got cocky and figured my body was ready for some bold moves.  One teaspoonful of sauerkraut mixed into my soup – surely I was ready for such a step?

The answer to that question, my body quickly and firmly told me, is NOT A CHANCE IN H – E – DOUBLE HOCKEY STICKS.  Hours of abdominal pain and cramping ensued, all the way from my stomach to…well, all the way down.  I couldn’t stand up straight, or walk without pain.  In the middle of the night I spent an hour either curled up in my bed willing the intestinal cramping to go away, or in the bathroom hoping for relief.  It was not a great night.

Now, I have to admit this experience has left me with mixed feelings: on one hand, I took it as another indication that my body is in need of some serious healing.  Many GAPS people say that if they veer off the diet too soon after starting, they really pay for it.  I now concur with this assessment, entirely.  And I feel sure that I’m on the right path to healing, based on so much of what I’ve read and been told by those who have stuck with it and let the diet do its work.

On the other hand, I’m starting to wonder when my body will ever be able to handle “real” food again.  I mean, sauerkraut?  A teaspoonful?  I never would have imagined such a terrible reaction, and almost a month into the diet I hoped I would be further along.  Will I still be slurping soup in six months, regretting just about any solid food that passes between my lips?  Maybe I’m psyching myself out.  I knew this was a long-term diet, with the intro lasting weeks or even months, and a usual term of two years on the full GAPS diet.  I guess I just underestimated how damaged my gut really was, and how long it would take to get past soup.

But this is what I signed up for, so I’m reminding myself to go slow.  One new food every four days, no matter what.  Here’s to the journey!