It’s been four months now since I read a book that changed my life Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) by Dr. Campbell McBride. The premise being that all psychological issues start in the gut as a result of disproportionate levels of bad gut bacteria and leaky gut. For a busy mum of three who averages two novels a year, I found the time to read this in just two days.
It was fascinating and made so much sense to me. I’ve suffered with food intolerance forever, and have been playing merry go round with elimination diets for years now. The book claims that there is a permanent solution to cure intolerance and allergies for good (as well as a whole host of other, far more debilitating conditions). First up you follow the six step GAPS Intro Diet to heal to seal the gut lining, followed by the super strict Full GAPS Diet until symptoms are a thing of the past. Please click the hyperlinks for more details about what it entails.
This completely natural way of eating has no wiggle room. You aren’t allowed grains, shop bought dairy, starchy veg, refined sugars or anything processed at all. You need to be eating lots of home made probiotic rich fermented foods such as sauerkraut, yoghurt and kefir. It would take commitment, organisation skills and a whole lotta faith. It wouldn’t be easy, but the good stuff never is! I’ve always loved a challenge* anyway.
After a month of research and preparation I took the plunge and started GAPS Intro. Three months later, a few mistakes made along the way and a fair bit of emotional turbulence I’m still going strong. I am convinced I have done the right thing, and my body is healing. It’s not going to happen overnight, and even if I’m still on the intro diet come Christmas time then it certainly won’t be doing me any harm.
If I was giving advice to someone considering GAPS, it would go a little something like this…
– always be one step ahead of where you think you are, preparation is the key to success.
– listen carefully to your body for reactions and lay off foods if you think they are not agreeing with you. I tried introducing natural sugar into my diet several times before I was finally successful, which has only been in the last week. I’m now eating fresh fruit daily, and my frozen fudge or avocado ice cream or cupcakes (recipes to follow) as a treat after dinner.
– be prepared to change the way you think about something a lot!
– complete denial of all the things you love will only make you miserable! I had a coffee as a birthday treat last week, and didn’t react adversely. Seeing as my nights have been brutal with baby waking up five or six times a night this week, I figure I need some help. One coffee a day will not hurt me
– don’t set targets and allow yourself as much time as your body needs to heal. I originally thought I could race through intro in a month, then go onto full GAPS. I went from feeling utterly fab to totally crap, and went back to the very start of the intro diet and following it to the letter. In trying to cheat I essentially wasted six weeks!
– buy the very best ingredients you can afford, especially in the earliest days of intro where you are mainly drinking stock. You need the nourishment from what comes out of the bones and if those bones are from factory farmed animals, they are going to be full of chemicals, antibiotics and goodness knows what else.
– regular internal cleansing will provide a well needed boost!
If you have any kind of autoimmune disease, thyroid dysfunction, food intolerance or have a child that does, I would urge you to read the GAPS book and at least have a think about the diet. You have nothing to lose, and potentially everything gain 🙂
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