By now you all know how much I love real food. I have tried to convince you that real food tastes so much better than processed junk and should be celebrated, but I’ve never gotten into the aspects of healing with real food before. Hold on to your hats friends. I have a fun post for us today. A testimony. A story. A journey of one person’s family from sickness to health through the gift of real food.
Earlier in the summer of this year, a friend and I had the privilege to attend a local traditional foods cooking class taught by Kim from Healthy Tummies.
What is traditional food?
Traditional food is quite simply the kind of food that has nourished people across the globe for generations. It is the kind of food that God blessed his creation with, to nourish, heal and sustain life. It includes whole foods like meat from healthy animals raised out on pasture, plenty of vegetables and fruit grown without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, legumes and grains prepared through soaking sprouting and souring, and a special emphasis on healthy fats, homemade stocks and fermentation (natural probiotics).
Kim believes, and I do too, that these types of food are what our bodies were meant to eat, and when we consume them, our bodies are able to function properly.
Taken from her website:
I teach people how to cook nourishing living foods that heal. I am passionate about eating real food. I believe that when you eat the food you were designed to eat, your body will respond in a positive way. I’ve experienced first hand with my own families health journey.
Her family while trying to heal from various issues, began a temporary diet called GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) created by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. It is a special diet that focuses on healing the gut lining (leaky gut) and rebuilding good bacteria in the gut, by avoiding grains, legumes, and starchy vegetables, while adding in lots of homemade stocks and fermented foods. Dr. Natasha is a pioneer in her field, recognizing the connection between digestive disorders and brain function. In her practice she has seen children heal from learning disabilities, behavior issues, autism, immune system disorders, and more.
While I am not new to traditional foods or the GAPS protocol, I still thoroughly enjoyed Kim’s class. I get so excited when I read stories of God healing people through food, but had never met a person in real life that had experienced this until I attended Kim’s class. I was so impressed with Kim’s story that I wanted to share it with you! Below is a series of questions that I asked her about her family’s story and their healing journey.
What was your diet like before your healing?
We ate the Standard American Diet. Frozen pizza, frozen chicken nuggets, and canned soups for lunches. For dinners, I cooked but everything was covered in cheese or some type of “cream of something” soup, and we ate an enormous amount of bread and cookies. I counted pizza sauce as a vegetable serving and my Mac & Cheese was made “healthy” by adding a can of tuna and a handful of frozen peas.
What were your family’s medical conditions/symptoms?
Myself and the kids all had symptoms of celiac disease. My kids were not growing- my oldest child had been a size 8 for 3 years. I experienced seizures, mood swings, depression, skin rashes, bloating, and multiple food sensitivites. My kids had behavior problems, bi-polar like mood swings, ADHD, dyslexia, Aspergers, allergies, eczema, and bowel issues.
What made you begin searching for alternatives and how did you find the gluten free/casein free diet?
We decided to try the gluten free/casein free diet after my middle daughter was diagnosed with Asperger’s. I was told by our neurologist that diet changes would not make a difference. Thankfully, every support group that he gave me was either full or a wrong #. This turned out to be a blessing because it forced me to do my own research. After much research, I decided to give it a try not only with her, but with all of us since we all had varying yet similar symptoms that were autism spectrum related.
Did you and your family experience any healing from that diet?
Initially, yes. It was this diet that motivated and taught me that what you eat matters. On the second day of removing dairy, my daughter with Asperger’s talked to me in a conversational type way which she had never done before. She sounded more like an encyclopedia most of the time. My oldest was making improvements in reading and I was a LOT less irritable and my seizures went away. This motivated me to stay diligent. Everyone made tremendous strides for a while. Until my son was born. I’ll elaborate on the next question.
How did you find GAPS?
We started on the GF/CF diet when Max was 1. As he got older, his behavior became worse and worse. Really bad mood swings. It was more than a terrible 2 thing. Also, the rest of us seemed to be getting more and more sensitive to gluten and dairy and I also suspected other foods. We couldn’t go anywhere without fear of cross-contamination. Even bringing our own food and eating on other people’s plates affected us. I knew we had more food sensitivities so I took my son into our doctor for a blood test. I was shocked by all the normal food that he should be able to eat that he was sensitive to. Gluten free flours, green beans, garlic, cantaloupe, and many more. I knew that the problem was not the food, but us. God did not make us this way, we should be able to eat real food. Our practitioner was the one who suggested GAPS. At the time, we could not afford to have everyone tested and I hated to even think about all the food we would have to avoid. I knew after reading the book that we really didn’t have a choice. GAPS would help all of us.
What changes did it make in your family?
We immediately saw a difference in bowels. One of my kids had never had a normal bowel movement in her life until GAPS. The kids all gained 5lbs each and grew an inch and a half the first 3 months. At 6 months, we felt normal again and all of our sugar and carb cravings disappeared. At 1 year, our brains were healed. All of us wanted to be around people again. I was once told that my daughter would never want to play team sports, and she wanted to play softball that year. I had always felt a tremendous amount of anxiety going into any group or social setting and I suddenly couldn’t wait to get around people. It was as if a veil was lifted and we were all feeling and living for the first time.
How time consuming was it and how did you family adjust to the different foods?
The first 3 months were the hardest and most time consuming because it was a completely different way to eat and cook. Making probiotic foods was a little intimidating. It was also hard because I was also healing and exhausted in the beginning. All of us ate a lot of food. I believe we had been nutritionally starved for so long that once our bodies started absorbing the food, we just ate and ate. After we got through the initial learning curve, the diet was not all that difficult. It’s actually incredibly simple. No label reading, no stressing out about what food might be bothering us. Most foods are incredibly simple to make, just different than what we were taught. Change is the hardest thing for most people. because it feels uncomfortable and there is a fear of the unknown. If you can work through the awkwardness of learning something new, it can be life-changing!
ISN’T THAT AN INCREDIBLE STORY?!
I loved it and it encouraged me to keep writing and getting the message out that what you eat does affect your quality of life. I also loved her sensible grace-filled approach, taking one step at a time and focusing on progress, not set-backs.
Here are some pictures of Kim’s class. It was great to be able to see first hand how to do these things. I learned from other blogs online, so the confirmation of the visual process was very helpful.
If you are local in the St. Louis area, I highly recommend Kim’s classes. You can view all of her affordable classes on her website. I get no compensation for promoting her classes, I just believe in what she does!
Even if you are not local, I highly recommend looking into traditional foods. On my site, I have tutorials for kefir, kombucha, and crockpot chicken stock.
I believe that healing of all kinds comes from the Lord, but the Lord has blessed us with many healing foods right at our fingertips. Why waste a gift?
Be encouraged, friends!
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