5 Ways I Prepped for Covid-19 Without Even Knowing it

While this Covid-19 Coronavirus has caught the mainstream medical community with it’s pants down, skilled alternative healthcare practitioners have been effectively treating viruses for ages.  Here are 5 things I’ve been doing for awhile that have prepped my immunocompromised self as much as possible for this pandemic.

 

1)Being on the GAPS Intro Diet

I’m on the GAPS Intro diet and have accidentally become an expert on it.  You can read more about how GAPS Intro has prepared my compromised immune system for the Covid-19 here or more about my general GAPS Intro story here

 

2) Sourcing Food from Local Farmers

The more I’ve learned about nutrition, the more I’ve learned that grocery stores just aren’t good enough.  Even the best ones.  Did you know a head of broccoli loses half of its nutrients within 24 hours of being picked, yet it takes 7 weeks on average to get to your grocery store?  Like I said, not going to cut it for me. 

 

Well, now we’re all wondering, ‘how long is our supply chain going to last?’ or ‘Are we going to run out of food?’  At least I certainly am.  And the empty grocery shelves speak to this fear.  When checking in with a friend in LA, he said…

None of us honestly know how long this lack of supplies will last or if it will happen again.  But I already know that if my back is really against the wall, I’d call Krista or Abram, my farmers and my friends. 

 

My partner and I also grow some of our own food.  Yes this is a privilege, and we’ve given everything we have toward this vision. Not because we were certain of a global pandemic, but because we intended on eating the best food possible.  And Lord knows… there is no way in hell I will eat canned food (dead food) in the midst of a health crisis. If I were, I know my immune system would not have a fighting chance against this virus. Instead, I am buying a ton of food from farmers, making it into GAPS Intro soup, and freezing it into individual portions.  

 

3) Eating Liver + Cod Liver Oil Every. Single. Day.

I have been eating large amounts of liver and cod liver oil every single day for the past few months. Both of these foods are incredibly high in Vitamin A. Becky Plotner of Nourishing Plot references that some believe every disease is Vitamin A deficiency. The National Institute of Health says that Vitamin A shortens the duration and intensity measles, another infamous virus.

 

Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin, meaning your body stores it up over time.  So the time to start building up your reserves is NOW. Cod Liver Oil is also high in Vitamin D, which is a misnomer because Vitamin D is so much more than a vitamin! Instead, I think of Vitamin D instead as a hormone that makes all healing possible.  Most people in America are deficient in Vitamin A and D.  So chances are, you probably are too.  

 

4) Having Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide on Hand

Dr. David Brownstein, a holistic MD famous for his work with iodine (also effective against viruses under the correct supervision, but I can only fit so much info into one post!), almost laughs at the ineptitude of the modern medical community.  He states that, ‘For over 25 years… my office has been successfully treating viral infections.’  The main things he orders for his virus-infected patients are intravenous Vitamin A, C, D, and food grade hydrogen peroxide.

 

The food grade hydrogen peroxide got me curious because I already had some on hand to clean my enema bag.  My doctor confirmed that if I got the Covid-19 virus, I could put 2-3 drops of 3% food grade hydrogen peroxide in a full glass of water and that should take care of it.  She said to do it as a last resort, but if I’m being honest, I’d probably do it at the first sign of symptoms along with high amounts of cod liver oil, Vitamin C, and a few other supplements (more on that to come).

 

5) Not Trusting the Government or Mainstream Medicine to Take Care of Me

After being too sick to work and mainstream medicine only making me more ill, I haven’t trusted the government or Big Pharma to take care of me for a very long time. I learned the hard way that I am responsible for the outcome of my life because I am the one who cares the most. Though no one changed my entire diet + lifestyle for me, I am so thankful for my beautiful family who supported me through this process. 

 

And even though we are not going to get direct help from the big whigs, we still have each other. And we are stronger together! Please reach out to me if you ever need anything or have any questions. I’ll be thinking of you.

 

GAPS Intro and Coronavirus: The Most Supportive Diet

Mass panic ensues. Toilet paper flies off the shelves, hand sanitizer evaporates the moment it’s back in stock, and politicians declare a state of national emergency.  I remember my partner stalking reddit back in early January wondering how big of a deal this new coronavirus was going to be.  But was any one of us really prepared for it???

 

The empty aisles of canned food say no. And the mainstream medical community with their lack of viral knowledge and overflowed hospital beds? Say Absolutely not. 

 

GAPS Intro + Coronavirus= Being Prepared?

Lo and behold though, I stood prepared, which comes as a shock even to me.  Ever since I spilled pesticides on my stomach in 2017, I have been a ‘fascinating’ and complex health case, to say it lightly. And I’ve used the GAPS diet, mainly GAPS intro, to get this toxic sh** out of my system, deal with lyme disease + coinfections, and stop my autoimmune reactions.  Basically doing everything I could to make my immune system the most badass b**** on the block. 

 

Over time, I’ve learned how to take care of my health in the most dire situations.  And it turns out that a global pandemic also fits that bill. 

 

In Times of Desperation, GAPS Intro has been There

In my most desperate times, I’ve always turned to GAPS intro, which I am on right now for my 5th time (after contracting lyme disease [you can read more about my story here]).  And honestly, after all this pandemic stuff happened, I couldn’t be more psyched about being on this nutritional protocol, the most virus-fighting diet I could possibly be on. Especially since I fall into the higher risk, immunocompromised category.  

 

GAPS Intro = Best Diet to Fight Coronavirus

According to Melanie Christner at honestbody.com, the best foods to help viruses are meat stock, fatty stews, and probiotic foods. AKA the vast majority of what I put into my mouth. 

 

Becky Plotner, one of the most renowned and famous GAPS practitioners of our time (who is also my mentor… holla!) says roughly the same thing.  That the most effective foods are probiotic brines because they go directly into the bloodstream and outcompete pathogens. Clinically, she sees this as the most effective method (in large doses, but be careful of die off reactions).  Well, I already had 2 gallons of sauerkraut juice in my fridge, 1/2 gallon of garlic brine, and 1/2 gallon of beet kvass because these serve as one of the backbones of the GAPS intro diet.

 

What About Full GAPS?

A lot of people on full GAPS will actually go back to GAPS intro if they have a virus because it is most effective for the situation.  A recent client of mine, seriously immunocompromised, started shedding previously dormant viruses within days of being on Intro.  This is after years and years of going to fancy doctors and not being able to figure out what was wrong with her. 

 

But if you don’t want to go on intro, full GAPS is the next best thing.  However be warned.  Viruses even love some full GAPS food including nuts, raw cacao, citrus, and an excess of any fresh fruit. 

 

No other time in US history has the government encouraged us to stay at home, not to go out to restaurants, and not to work.  I understand intro may not be the best fit for everyone right now. But if you are in a position to use this viral quarantine experience to massively overhaul your health and strengthen your immune system, this could be the perfect opportunity to dive in. 

 

For more specific health measures I’ve taken to prepare myself for the coronavirus, you can continue reading here.

GAPS Cocktail

No, this GAPS cocktail is not alcoholic haha. It’s just a way to spice up your meat stock intake!

 

On GAPS, Dr. Natasha recommends you drink at least 5 cups of meat stock a day for adults, 3 cups a day for kids. But really in general, the more the better.

 

But How, especially at first when you’re not used to it, how can you stomach that amount?

 

Have no fear, the GAPS Cocktail is here!

 

I actually love drinking meat stock, but making this cocktail turns it into a fun and special treat.

 

What you will need:

  • 2 cups meat stock
  • 1 Tbsp Animal Fat (more or less depending how you tolerate it)
  • a splash of sauerkraut juice or beet kvass (fermented vegetable brine)
  • 1 smashed clove of garlic
  • sea salt to taste

 

How to put it together:

Heat up your meat stock first.  Make sure that it is the perfect temperature, warm enough so that your animal fat will melt when you put it in, but cool enough to not kill the probiotics in your vegetable brine.  Scoop in the fat, then splash in your brine.  Smash a garlic clove and toss it in there.  Mix it all around, and Voila! The perfect GAPS Cocktail!

Beet Kvass Recipe: The Ultimate Fat Digestion Aid

I’ve been meaning to write this article forever because I hear these questions a lot:

  1. I can’t eat that much fat without feeling sick, how can I do GAPS?
  2. I/ my kid threw up yesterday, why?

 

Well, in my experience, the answer is Beet Kvass.  Especially to Q #1 (#2 is more nuanced).  Here’s why.  Beet Kvass thins bile.  Bile needs to flow from your gallbladder to your liver to digest fat. 

 

At the beginning of my healing journey, my bile was pretty thick and stagnant, which is a very common side effect of growing up eating the Standard American Diet (SAD). I would get nauseous when I ate too much fat and was bummed I couldn’t absorb all the healing goodness that fat had to offer!

 

Dr. Natasha says that the more animal fat she sees people eat (pastured sources, of course), the quicker they heal.  So I knew I wanted to be eating as much fat as humanly possible.  That’s where beet kvass came in. 

 

I drank small amounts of beet kvass every time before I ate, and I increased the amounts of both kvass and fat simultaneously.  Now I don’t really worry about being able to digest fat. I’ve worked up to eating about a cup of fat per day!

 

So beet kvass is how I could do GAPS even though I couldn’t digest fat very well at first.  And what I tell people about Question #2? Well it could be low blood sugar, it could be a detox reaction, or it could be ‘you can’t digest fat that well and you ate more than your body could handle.’

 

So without further ado, here’s the recipe:

  • 3 small-to-medium sized beets with tops on
  • 1 quart sized mason jar
  • 1 Tbsp sea salt or Himalayan pink salt
  • 1/2 quart filtered water
  • 1 fermentation weight (optional)

 

First, chop the beets up so that they are about 1 cubic inch in diameter (2.5 cm).  Make sure you leave the tops on the beets, not the stems, but the part where the stems connect to the root body of the vegetable.  That’s where all the best bacteria is! 

 

Fill your quart jar with about 1 inch of headroom to spare.  This is where you can put your fermentation weight on top of your veggies if you want.  I like doing this so that the beets don’t float to the top, get exposed to air and get moldy. 

 

Now take your half quart of water (2 cups), and dump your salt into it.  It works best if you use a mason jar for this tactic because now you can just put the lid on and shake it up to mix up the salt.  Now you have your brine!

 

Pour brine over your chopped up beets up to the lip of the mason jar they are in, or a little bit below. Make sure your brine covers all the veggies.  Screw on the lid tight and don’t open this jar for at least a couple of weeks!  The fermentation time will depend on where you live.  But generally, the more humid and warm an environment is, the faster things ferment. 🙂  You’ll know it’s done when you try it and it has a sour taste.

 

Then introduce a small amount into your diet (ideally before meals) and work up from there!

 

Die Off Guide Part 2: 9 Ways to Deal with It

More die off does not equal better.  A pretty common misconception about die off is that ‘the more miserable I can be (aka the more symptoms I can put up with) during die off, the faster I can heal.’ But that is not the case. When I have too much die off at once, not only do my symptoms get way out of control, but these toxins overwhelm my body (you can read more about this process in my article, What is die off, Really? if you haven’t already) causing more harm than good.  

 

Basically, in die off, you want to go low and slow. Ultimately, you want to feel ‘off color.’  Not on top of your game, maybe a little fuzzy/tired/experiencing mild symptoms of what you typically deal with, but not completely wiped out.  And yes, some days will be more intense and difficult than others. 

 

But if die off is happening to quickly or intensely, or if I just want to have some ‘insurance’ against this happening, here are some of the strategies I immediately turn to:

1. Eating Building Foods

This is the first strategy I ever go to when I feel like my die off is getting too out of control.  It takes nutrients and strength to detox, as this process is very energy intensive.  The top building foods on GAPS are:

  • Animal fat (1-4Tbsp per meal, or more if you so desire/ can tolerate it)
  • Meat close to the bone (1 inch or less away from bone)
  • Organ meats- this one is SUCH a game changer for people, including me.  I used to have to get B12 injections 2x/ week to detox properly because I have the MTHFR mutation, but now I just eat liver (one of the best kept secrets in the world, in my humble opinion).
  • Bone marrow
  • Egg yolks if you can tolerate them.  I eat as much as my body desires of these foods if I’m feeling drained, overly hungry, or am feeling haggard from die off. 

 

2. Decrease Ferments + Probiotics

Probiotics kill pathogens. If you want less pathogens to die and release toxins, decrease the amount of probiotic microbes you ingest. I always go back to a level that I know I can tolerate.   Sometimes this means eliminating them completely for a little bit and adding them back in very slowly, carefully watching for a reaction. 

 

3. Decrease Meat Stock Consumption

GAPS blasphemy, am I right? Haha.  Here is the thing though, meat stock kills yeast.  So when yeast became systemic in my body, which it does in a lot of GAPS people, that means that it grows tendrils that burst through the wall in my small intestine.  Meat stock is so gelatinous and glue-like that whenever I drink it, it decapitates the tendrils! Killing the yeast, yay! But if too much yeast dies at once, this can cause too much of an intense reaction.  Dr. Natasha wants everyone on GAPS to drink at least 5 cups of stock per day. So if I have to cut back for die off reasons, gradually I work my way back up to at least that amount. 

 

4. Detox Baths

I use epsom salt, dead sea salt, seaweed, apple cider vinegar, bentonite clay, or baking soda- ideally rotating their use as they usher out different toxins.

This is a tricky one because in the right concentration, detox baths take the burden of detox from my liver and instead encourage toxins to leave through my skin.  However, in my experience, I have found if I put in too much particulate, these baths can be too stimulating at times (much like taking too many probiotics).  While most people start with a 1/4 cup of epsom salt in a bath, I had to start with about a Tablespoon, making my bath water warm (not hot), and work up from there.  The baths did REALLY help my symptoms though, once I got the concentration right. 

5. Enemas. 

Enough said haha. I knew that I needed to be eliminating my bowels completely if I wanted to dispel all the toxins that got mobilized during my die off process.  In the beginning, I like a lot of GAPS people, had overspill syndrome. This is where compacted fecal matter got stuck to the walls of the colon (lovely, I know), making it virtually impossible to detox because all the toxins my body worked so hard to release would get to my colon only to recirculate into my bloodstream. Here is an article that explains more of the why and how on this. 

 

6. Sun bathing

Definitely my favorite! Go naked if you can, and at solar noon. First of all, the sun fried and dried out my yeast rashes in a very good way. Second, I am still discovering all the wonderful, complex things that Vitamin D does.  And its not actually a vitamin, its a hormone that regulates virtually everything, including detox.  And you can store vitamin D in your skin, so you can sunbathe every day during the summer and save up for winter!

 

7. Rest

When I was going through die off, I was so TIRED.  I read lots of books and watched a lot of movies in my free time because that’s all I had energy for.  Only when I was calm and resting did my body really dive into the healing process. Make time and space for this, if you are anything like me, you’ll want it!

 

8. Juicing and GAPS Shakes

But only if you can tolerate it. I couldn’t at first because it was ‘too detoxing.’ I love freshly made juice because it contains the nutrients to both replenish what has been depleted by my detox/ die off process as well as the nutrients to ‘ship’ toxins out of my body. 

 

9. Go See a GAPS Practitioner

If I am doing everything ‘right’ and still can’t get my symptoms under control, I make an appointment with my GAPS practitioner. Yes, it is an investment, but being sick costs money. I KNOW it would cost a lot more to go to a conventional doctors’ office and go through the whole rig-em-a-roll of testing, poking, prodding, etc.  My health means everything to me, and each time I see my GAPS practitioner, it’s 300% worth the money. And actually pretty cheap considering she is saving my life. <3

 

Alright, I think thats it! Die off is tough, but it is worth it. And its reassuring to know that when I’m going through it, it means means body is creating a healthier micro biome for itself.  Patience and compassion for myself was a absolute necessity during this process. But giving this experience to myself and getting through it was one of the best things I’ve ever done. 

 

If you have any questions, leave a comment below of feel free to contact me. 

Die Off Guide Part 1: What is it, Really?

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about die off and detox. So let’s dive in! Being a GAPS gal myself, I was pretty toxic at first and the amount of ‘good bugs’ in my gut were extremely lacking, so I have a ton of personal experience on this topic (moreso than I would like haha). 

 

The Micro Biome

Now, if you are a GAPSter, you know what a micro biome is. You know that a healthy one is necessary for a healthy life and an overgrowth of ‘bad bugs’ is ultimately why you have needed GAPS in the first place.  So in my situation during this protocol, my gut flora started to shift in a very profound, healing way.  Over time, I was replacing the ‘bad guys’ with the ‘good guys’ and the environment of my gut transformed from being a complete nightmare to resembling one of a healthy person.

 

And frankly, when parasites started coming out of me and my ‘yeastie beasties’ (thats the scientific term I believe 😉 ) felt like they were eating me, I felt like sh*t. A big steaming pile of it some days.  So why didn’t I just give up and go back to eating potatoes and bread?

 

Because I knew that my ‘bad bugs’ were originally WAY overgrown due to the absence of ‘good bugs’ in my gut. And that these bad boys emitted toxic metabolites just by being alive inside of my body.  For example, Candida Albicans (technical term= ‘yeastie beastie’) alone emits 176 toxins, such as alcohol, ammonia, acetone (nail polish remover), and acetyl aldehyde (changes the shape of proteins and triggers autoimmune reactions/ disease).  So just like when I breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide, my pathogens are doing the same thing in my body. But instead producing ‘waste products’ that hurt me. 

 

The Shift

Being on GAPS, I not only stopped feeding these ‘bad guys,’ but I also introduced ‘good guys,’ which attacked and killed all the bad ones.  And when these little crum bums died they exploded and released all of their toxins at once. So instead of getting a slow, constant trickle of toxic metabolites when my ‘bad guys’ were alive (ultimately my inspiration for going on GAPS), I got a flood of them all at once. 

 

On top of that, the GAPS diet encouraged my body to detox chemicals and metals.  Since pathogenic microbes need a toxic environment to survive, these ‘bad guys’ also started leaving and dying because their ecosystem had been compromised.  All of these details culminated into a rather intense die off reaction for yours truly.

 

There are a few things I kept in mind during this time, as it got very concerning and scary.  First of all, I knew that symptoms I struggled with were going to be exacerbated, hence the explosion vs. the slow trickle. Also, I did not want this process happening too fast because my body has to detox all of these toxin metabolites (a side effect of the ‘explosion’).  This process is a lot for anyone to handle, but especially since I’m a GAPS gal, I have a sluggish/ compromised detox system too.  And in general, bodies can only clear toxins so fast. 

 

More≠Better

Think about it as a slow drip coming out of a faucet.  If I have a rush of toxins becoming mobilized, they are only going to be able to leave my body at a certain pace.  When I mobilize more toxins than my body can handle, they end up getting recirculated and cause more harm than good.  This is the reason I want my die off to happen slowly. And there are strategies I use to make that happen if you want to keep reading in my Die Off Guide Pt 2: 9 Ways to deal with Die Off.   

Enemas: Why You Need Them More than You Think

Avoiding an enema can increase your needed gut-healing time by three months.  Yes, this process seems uncomfortable, but let me just get real with you.  I’ve been healing my gut for three years and just started doing enemas on a regular basis. This habit has completely changed my energy, my mood, and my optimism toward healing.

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Meat Stock and GAPS: Not Bone Broth!

Meat Stock is the backbone of the GAPS diet. Whether you start on Intro or Full GAPS, Dr. Natasha recommends you consume meat stock for an average of 1 year before switching to bone broth. Why? Meat stock is less digestively complex than bone broth and contains higher levels of collagen, gelatin, and amino acids that play a role in healing your gut. 

 

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Bored on the GAPS Diet: GAPS Party Drink Recipe to the Rescue!

Chances are that you are going to get bored on the GAPS Diet. In fact, this phenomenon is almost guaranteed!  Especially on the GAPS Introduction Protocol, with every food needing to be cooked in meat stock and limiting your fibrous vegetables, your meals can start to get repetitive.  But have no fear, GAPS Party Drink is here!

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