Tuesday, February 3, 2015

{Gaps Diet} Intro to Batch Cooking

Have you heard of the Gaps Diet? I've been told it can help "heal your gut" and digestive issues. Here is a summary from gapsdiet.com. If you follow that link it also tells what foods you can and can't eat.

For many GAPS patients, the diet should be followed for two years at least.  The book Gut & Psychology Syndrome will provide recipes and more explanation about the diet. 

The best foods are eggs (if tolerated), fresh meats (not preserved), fish, shellfish, fresh vegetables and fruit, nuts and seeds, garlic and olive oil.  Apart from eating vegetables cooked, it is important to have some raw vegetables with meals, as they contain vital enzymes to assist digestion of the meats.  Fruit should be eaten on their own, not with meals, as they have a very different digestion pattern and can make the work harder for the stomach.  Fruit should be given as a snack between meals.

It is very important to have plenty of natural fats in every meal from meats, butter, ghee, coconut (if tolerated) and cold pressed olive oil.  Animal fats on meats are particularly valuable.  Fermented foods (sauerkraut, yogurt, and kefir) are also a very important part of this diet in addition to homemade meat or fish stock.  It is recommended to take a cup of warm meat or fish stock with every meal as a drink as well as soups and stews made with the meat or fish stock.  The stock, kefir and fermented vegetables will over time restore the stomach acid production, which will improve digestion.
It is best to avoid processed foods (any packet or tinned foods).  They are stripped from most nutrients that were present in the fresh ingredients used for making these foods.  They are a hard work for the digestive system and they damage the healthy gut flora balance.  On top of that they usually contain a lot of artificial chemicals, detrimental to health, like preservatives, colorants, etc.  Try to buy foods in the form that nature made them, as fresh as possible.

If you want to try this diet, this tool from How We Flourish will be super helpful. It tells you how to cook ahead in batches so you aren't slaving away every day over a hot stove for every single meal. A lot of these concepts are great for batch cooking in general with an allergy-friendly diet. I do batch cooking before a trip, but generally don't do it on a regular basis. Have you tried batch cooking? How do you like it?

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