If you’ve never heard of the GAPS diet, you will want to know that it is a diet designed to heal the gut. Why heal the gut? It happens to be where fully half of our nerve cells are located and 60-80% of our lymphatic system (the body’s first defense against infection and disease) is in the small intestine. More than 80% of anything harmful in our bloodstream is from our own digestive system. It is an amazing system that He created and what we allow into it is incredibly important for the health and wellness of our bodies.
Our family has been on a modified GAPS diet for almost three months now. I say modified because we flew through the intro. part of the diet in less than a week and never gave up eating cultured dairy products. We have also allowed small amounts of homemade sourdough baked goods and tiny bits of a few other little non-GAPS items (ie. baking soda, arrowroot powder, cocoa powder, and homemade whey).
A LITTLE HISTORY
To give you some history, our family has been on a journey of eating more and more healthy for over five years now. By eating healthy, I mean consuming beyond organic (grass-fed/pastured), home processed, traditionally prepared foods and beverages as much as possible. And yet, we have still struggled with lingering health problems, somewhat due to invironmental/situational issues, but also largely due to the poor diet of the years before the past five and the affects that had on ours and our children’s guts. After doing a lot of research and being convinced that our guts needed healing, I prayerfully settled on the GAPS diet.
THE PLAN . . . CHANGED . . .
My original plan back in April of this year was to only do the GAPS diet for a month or two. Having not read the book (I’m waiting for Gut and Physiology Syndrome to be completed), I just had all the great information I found on various blogs and websites to get me going. I didn’t know that 6 months to 2 years would be more realistic for a good GAPS diet time frame. I also didn’t know that my husband was going to be more determined than myself to stay on the GAPS diet for longer than planned. So, with his encouragement and with the blessing of great results so far, we are sticking to it until at least the 6 month mark, possibly longer.
The challenge has been that you really have to prepare for being on the GAPS diet this long (or at all for that matter). My pantry is fully stocked with buckets of GAPS diet “illegal” foods (I do bulk buying every 6 months) and we were not prepared for the added expence of all the meat, eggs, and nuts needed for this diet. So, we have had to modify things to fit our current situation, making the results slower and less dramatic, but amazing none the less.
THE RESULTS SO FAR . . .
The result of this diet that I am the most excited about is the healing my husband has experienced with his sinuses. From the time he was a young teenager (over 20 years, not to make him sound old), he has suffered from chronic sinus infections. More resently, he got to the point of having to do a nasal rince twice a day, homemade nasal spray multiple times a day, as well as take daily herbs and medicines to help decongest his sinuses . . . all just to keep the infection away. By the end of the first week on the GAPS diet, he no longer needed to do the nasal rince. By the end of the second week, he had stopped taking the herbs and decongestants. Now, he just uses the nasal spray every once in a while. He feels like his sinuses are 90% healed.
Other encouraging changes we’ve seen so far (besides all the not so fun “die-off” symptoms) are:
My husband: lost over 15 pounds.
Caleb: has a much better appetite (he is very skinny, so the more he eats the better).
Joshua: can focus on a task and complete it now.
Nathan: his bald spots on his head have grown back and he is sleeping much better.
Esther: her eczema has cleared up almost completely (though the baby probiotic may be the reason for this).
Myself: more strength and energy, less fatique, and also lost 15 pounds, but this is normal for me after having a baby.
There are two books that I highly recommend that helped our family in being ready for the GAPS diet before we ever knew what it was. They are The Maker’s Diet, by Jordan S. Rubin and Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig. Then of course, Gut and Psychology Syndrome, by Natasha Campbell McBride, would be the best resource.
Here are a list of blog posts and websites that have also been very helpful in preparing for and sticking with the GAPS diet:
Why You Might Consider The GAPS Diet
How To Prepare For Going On The GAPS Diet
GAPS Intro: For Gut Healing And Sealing
Do you have any experience with the GAPS diet? I would love to hear about your experience if you do or your thoughts on the idea if you don’t.
July 17, 2011 at 5:39 pm
So glad you are having great results. I have heard really good things about gut healing and GAPS.
July 22, 2011 at 10:48 pm
So excited this is working well for you!!! : ) It would be good for us to go on at some point! I was just thinking the other day that it looked like Kip had lost weight (not that he seemed to have any to lose in the first place!). Good for ya’ll!
April 15, 2013 at 7:05 pm
I’m visiting a lot of fabulous websites from people who call themselves “homesteaders”. They are always filled with such wonderful information about living a more natural and healthy life. But I’m confused because there seems to be such lot of God-bothering involved! Why on earth would living more naturally involve being a religious nut? It’s such a pest to have to wade through objectionable religious stuff on otherwise useful posts.
April 22, 2013 at 3:28 pm
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Your comment has actually really encouraged me to know that many of those who are seeking to live natural and healthy lives are “God-bothering religious nuts” (in your words). In my words, I call that a relationship with the Creator of the universe. I believe that God created all things and by getting back to what is natural and healthy my relationship with Him grows deeper. The only way to have relationship with God is through the work of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who alone lived a perfect life, died to take away the sins (choices against God’s good ways) of all who would trust in Him (making a way for us to have a relationship with holy God), came back to life (conquered death so that we can too), and now sits at the right hand of God until it is time to restore all things back to the way He created them to be in the beginning before mankind sinned (only better). I personally, could never separate what is natural, healthy, and ultimately good, from the One who created all things natural and who alone is good. He is everything to me. He is the reason I live. Hope this explains your having to “wade through objectionable religious stuff”. Jeremiah 29:13 says, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Blessings, Carrie