Trepidatious Jubilation

Dear Family,

Last April, I spoke too soon. Just after we'd started the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, Ben began eating like he'd never seen food before--after a lifetime of severely picky and self-limiting food choices, he was suddenly eating soups, and meat, and chunky vegetables, for _hours_ per day. It was like some actual other kid had dropped in from outer space to inhabit my own child's seat at the table. I was so ecstatic that I stood in the kitchen, and frantically tried to cook fast enough to keep up with his appetite, and cried.

An All-Out Effort

Dear Family,

“Everything's so _completely_ not perfect!”
--M.V.

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You could call it GAPS: Take Two. The past several weeks have been a super-focused, nearly-non-stop attempt to help Ben's body get to a more sustainable place on our Great Gut Healing Adventure. During the late summer, it was getting clearer and clearer that one cannot heal Gut Dysbiosis on eggs alone. And so Jeff and I, and Ben too, have been working incredibly hard to make healing foods go down into his little stomach.

The Curse of Carbs

Chronic Disease And Why I Care So Much About Gut Flora: An Opinion Piece for an Industrial Age, by Sarabeth

(To be clear: I am presenting a _summary_ of my recent health and nutrition research. I am not providing sufficient evidence/data to prove to anyone that my opinions are valid. If you're curious about or skeptical of the basis for my conclusions, please read the books and websites I recommend. Then, let me know what _you_ decide.)

A Big-Deal Birthday, and Giant Juicy Steaks

Dear Family,

You are not going to get a GAPS update this week. Here's a little explanatory parable:

On some days, you wake up efficiently and enthusiastically and Ready To Go, launching directly from dreamland onto a mental trampoline. Then you realize it's dark out, and that you kind of have a headache. And then you touch your own face, and suddenly you just KNOW--the lump you can feel is a tumor! Panic sets in before you discover that you aren't even fully awake yet.

A Romantic Wedding, and How to Leave School

Dear Family,

I know that some of you are sick and tired of hearing about Intestinal Health. (In fact, Athena says that my continual use of the word “Gut” has turned the term into a complete turnoff for her in every possible way. I'm sorry, Sister-Mine--it really would be nicer if instead of discussing our colon or esophagus or anus, we could refer to our “Dulcinea” or “Chatoyant” or “Propinquity.” However, I am just not ready to take on the lexicographers at this present time.)

For now, please humor my continued discussion of human digestion and check out this article:

Seeking to Mentor a Teenage Highschool Rise-Out

I just visited North Star in western Massachusetts http://northstarteens.org/ . This is an absolutely, incredibly, indescribably amazing place. North Star helps teens and their parents to bridge the gap between schooling and homeschooling, but it's not a learning co-op, or even an "alternative school." Most particularly, it's for helping kids who are miserable in school, to get out. (See North Star's 7 Guiding Principles, pasted below.)

Schoolbuses, Neuroplasticity, and Really Large Hamburgers

Dear Family,

I am about to tell you something that's so simple, so very humdrum, that you may just reflexively yawn:

Last weekend, I ate my first hamburger.

Our meat sources are local, very humane farmers who feed their animals exclusively grass. The taste of this meat is not bad (some would say it's fantastic). The texture is chewy, but manageable. But the visceral, non-rational, Pavlovian part of my brain gets pretty damn tense sometimes. “NOOO!” I wanted to scream, readying the gobs of ground meat for the frying pan. “I CANNOT DO THIS!”

Is There Anything Left to Second-Guess??

Dear Family,

“The thing is, it's very dangerous to have a fixed idea. A person with a fixed idea will always find some way of convincing himself in the end that he is right.”

--Atle Selberg, winner of the 1950 Fields Medal in Mathematics.

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All in all, I'm not going to bore you with many details of this past week. Suffice to say that whether or not Ben was reacting negatively to a food challenge (or maybe just doing some random detoxification, or perhaps feeling the effects of Mercury in Retrograde), his behavior regression was one I would prefer never to experience again.

The Romantic Chemistry of Real Life, Talk Therapy, Net Books, and Prison Terms

Dear Family,

Jeff and I watched “Sleepless in Seattle” a couple nights ago. There was good acting and lots of great dialogue, and even though I know the world does not need any more movie reviews, I am somehow compelled to share mine anyway:

SPOILER ALERT

1. Man's wife dies (very sad), and he and his young son (a nauseatingly sweet and well-adjusted young man) move to Seattle. Two years later, Son wants Dad to get remarried, and calls a radio show to ask the psychologist/host for advice (subsequently landing Dad with some airtime.)

A Wedding Most Wonderful, and The Tyranny of Influencing Choice

Dear Family and Friends,

I'm not a completely hopeless romantic, but I totally cried my eyes out during our neighbors' wedding last weekend. As I told Ben and Jem, it was one of the funnest they are ever likely to attend...

It was a gorgeous Saturday evening, and the music was incredible, and the ceremony was heart-breakingly sweet, and the brides and grooms (did I mention it was a double-wedding?) made respective promises that were individual and eyes-wide-open and funny and tender and real, and a huge tent was illuminated so the festivities could continue late into the night.

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