Cheater, cheater, pumpkin eater.
Yes, that’s me. I’ve gone astray, and my lying, cheating, cold dead beating, two-timing, double-dealing, mean mistreating loving heart wants to come clean.
Okay, I don’t have a “cold dead” heart just because I fed myself a little anti-GAPS fare. But I still want to explain.
If you’ve been following along with this journey of ours, you might have read that I was so thrilled to find that GAPS had already helped me with one of my biggest health concerns — my inability to gain and maintain an appropriate weight. I gained four pounds on Intro. I thought surely this trend would continue, since on Full GAPS my diet would be so much more varied and I’d be able to have even more of the foods that help to put weight on, especially carbohydrate-rich foods like fruit and honey.
But I started to realize as weeks went by, that I wasn’t gaining any more weight. I had plateaued right where I was. And I started noticing some other changes — some of the things I wasn’t supposed to have started to sound really good to me.
Tempted by the starch of another
I had to grab a bite to eat while I was out one day, and didn’t bring anything with me. Here in Hawaii, there are plentiful food trucks around in nearly every neighborhood offering what we call “plate lunch,” which usually consists of barbecued steak, garlic shrimp, or other meats, along with a side of mac(aroni) or “toss” salad, and always, two heaping scoops of white rice. I ordered just a plain plate of steak.
As I opened up my little lunch carton, the smell of the rice cooking started to drive me nuts. Wafting around like a fluffy, buttery cloud into my nostrils. It was all I could think about. I dutifully started eating my bites of steak. But — GAH!! — I really, really wanted some of that rice!
So later, I gave it some thought, and I decided to listen to my body.
I was going to try to introduce white rice, since my current diet seemed like it wasn’t enough to help me accomplish my goals, and clearly, this was something my body was seriously craving. I’m a firm believer that under most circumstances, if you crave something that is a whole, real food — it’s something you need. It’s your body’s way of communicating to you the fuel that it requires. It’s the reason why things like, oh, I dunno — BUTTER — taste amazing, and fake food replacements always taste lackluster and leave you wanting more.
I needed to listen to this one.
So for the past week or so, I’ve been eating white rice, with no problems, and feeling very satisfied and nourished whenever I polish off a good healthy scoop of it.
I’ve also started introducing sweet potatoes. This decision came about from a similar scenario — I was in someone else’s home and they were cooking some taters, and I started craving them intensely. I ate a few bites, with no issues, so I went out and bought some to make in my own kitchen.
Why rice and sweet potatoes?
You might be thinking, well, geez… you’re not sticking to GAPS anymore, so why not just surrender and go back to regular eating of all the things you used to enjoy? Why add in only rice and sweet potatoes and leave everything else out still?
Well, because those are the only ones which are supposedly “safe.”
Not, of course, according to Dr. Campbell-McBride, but to Paul Jaminet, author of The Perfect Health Diet. Jaminet contends that certain forms of starch have a much different effect on digestion and body chemistry than others. He groups rice, sweet potatoes, and taro (pacific island root vegetable) into a category called the “safe starches,” which are unique in that they provide glucose without fructose, and also a form of starch which can actually improve gut health through promoting mucous production in the intestine which protects the lining of the gut.
So, it sounds to me like if you’re gonna have some starchy foods which are a no-no on GAPS, you might as well make them ones which may offer a helping hand in healing your gut, rather than diminishing the work you’ve done to fix it.
Now, I’m not jumping ship on Dr. Natasha and instead endorsing the Perfect Health Diet. Honestly, to claim that any one specific diet which excludes many types of foods which are real, whole, natural substances is going to be “perfect” for every human, feels borderline irresponsible to me. Maybe Jaminet doesn’t truly advocate that it’s a one-size-fits-all, but it seems to be implied by the title and what I’ve read. I actually have a lot of thoughts about this book I’d like to share, so I’ll write a review when I finish it. Yeah, uh, disclaimer, I haven’t finished it. My Kindle say’s I’m only 8% of the way done, so, don’t quote me on this stuff.
But the underlying principles that certain starches behave differently than others isn’t speculation, it’s science. And Jaminet’s not the only one claiming it. Google “resistant starch” and you’ll begin to see what I mean. (And if you still don’t get it, it’s okay — I’ll work on the research and post my take on it soon.)
Cheating’s Not for Everyone
I don’t want anyone to mistake my little confession here for an endorsement of this modified version of GAPS I’ve adopted — this is just the choice I have made for my own, unique situation and health requirements, and it’s not something I would necessarily recommend to another GAPS patient.
I’m also well-aware that I’m no longer technically “on GAPS.” I do still believe in the underlying principle of why the GAPS diet works — cutting out disaccharides is essential to fully healing a damaged gut. And I’m now adding heaps of the double-bonded starches to my plate every day.
Most people aren’t desperately trying to gain weight like I am. Most people can fulfill their nutritional requirements on GAPS just fine. Most people should not do what I’m doing, especially this early on in the game.
So, I’m just going to give this a shot, and see what happens. I’m trying to eat as much food as I comfortably can. And with the addition of some of my old favorites, that’s going a lot easier for me.
Oh and, as of right now, I do plan on eventually going back on full-fledged GAPS. I may even go through another round of Intro since I kinda liked it. I’ll of course keep everyone updated on how all this works in meeting my goals.
Are you a cheater?
Have you ever felt the need to stray from a specific diet? Was there ever a time that you felt your body was telling you something contradictory to what you thought was best for it? Or, do you just enjoy a good old-fashioned rebellion against the food that’s “good for you?” I’d love to hear about it!