“I don’t love you,” Logan coldly informs me while sitting at the kitchen island. “And Sadie doesn’t love you and Daddy doesn’t love you and Loki doesn’t love you and Kitty doesn’t love you.”
He pauses, glaring at me and knowing what my answer would be. “I want a ham and cheese sandwich! YEEEEEEESSSSSS!”
I may have gone temporarily deaf from his screams, which he holds until he’s red in the face. “That’s all right, sweetie,” I tremble. “I understand you’re mad at me–I would be, too, if I were you.”
Tears start to drip down my face. I can feel a headache coming on.
This is GAPS implementation day. That morning, we’d officially started Stage 1 of the diet — only boiled meat, non-starchy vegetables and broth allowed. Logan hadn’t taken it well. He’d screamed for about an hour before breakfast, refusing to eat chicken broth and cauliflower soup instead of his normal hot buckwheat cereal. He did finally drink it, after promises of going to the special indoor playground we usually save for the depths of winter.
“I want waffles!” he’d screamed for 10 minutes. Then it became, “I want buckwheat cereal!” Finally, he rounded out the morning by screaming, “I want eggs!”
Eggs are allowed on Stage 2 of the diet, and the plan had been to introduce them to his stomach after three or four days. But we buckled, compromising that if he ate his broth, we’d cook him one egg (which we poached in broth).
The GAPS diet is meant to starve yeast and opportunistic bacteria in the gut, healing it and sealing it to improve overall health. By slowly introducing foods one at a time, we’re also hoping to pinpoint why Logan’s ears still grow crimson every once in awhile–even after we cut out dairy, gluten and sugar a year ago, it’s clear there is still something he eats that irritates his system. But because the food on Stage 1 is so easily digested, it does feel like the entire body is starving instead of just the bad stuff. (I know–I’m following the protocols religiously, too, and I’ve been constantly hungry since Saturday.) And it doesn’t help that Logan –when he finally caves and eats — is only eating small amounts.
And the strange thing is, the food tastes good! I decided to blend cauliflower that I’d boiled in chicken stock and add it back into a small amount of stock, making a soup of sorts, and I loved it (even if my headache had now fully arrived.) My mom has been the super supporter she always is and brought us chicken and acorn squash soup and a blended broccoli and bone broth soup she made herself (which is impressive, given she cooks only slightly better than I do), and they both were delicious. Every time I eat, in fact, the food tastes like the best food I’ve ever eaten.
Logan, though, has other ideas.
Lunch time was a repeat of breakfast, though the scream session lasted maybe slightly less than an hour. By dinner time, he only screamed for about 10 minutes before he realized he simply was not getting anything other than chicken, veggies and broth. Maybe he’s coming around, I thought.
Nope. Breakfast the next morning began with more wails for buckwheat cereal. This time I suggested that I make him mini hamburgers instead. He was somewhat perplexed by this, but agreed.
The biggest problem with this was that I had to touch raw meat. I don’t think I’ve ever touched raw hamburger before. Ever. But somehow, that was only a fleeting thought as I molded small patties and put them on a plate. I filled a big pan with about two inches of bone broth and added shredded carrots and chopped cauliflower. Then I plunked in the burgers. I had no idea how to tell when they were done other than the vague recollection that the meat should no longer be pink.
Once I decided they were brown enough, I scooped out the carrots and cauliflower and threw them in a blender with some leftover onions from last night’s supper. It all turned into a beautiful orange paste that looked almost like cheese atop the burgers.
“Look!” I beamed at my children.
“Is it cheese?” Logan asked, suspicious.
I faltered. “Well, no, not exactly,” I said. “But try it.”
It took an incredible amount of coercing, but eventually, he cleaned his plate. Success.
Maybe today will be better, I thought.
Around 11 a.m., Logan started complaining he was hungry. I offered him chicken and broth, which he declined. And kept declining. And kept declining, and began insisting to me that nobody loves me. My body was feeling heavier and heavier, and my headache was now almost blinding strength–whether from the screaming, the stress or the sugar withdraw on my part. I sucked down another two bowls of chicken squash soup and some cauliflower, and collapsed on the love seat. Jason took over the task of convincing Logan to eat. He cried and cried and cried, but again, eventually ate some chicken and vegetables.
Then he crawled on top of me and we both feel deeply asleep, cuddling together.