Today I’m going to give our GAPS diet before and after story, and tell how the GAPS diet changed our lives.
GAPS diet review
Long ago, Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” I don’t think this has ever been more true than it is with the GAPS diet. Today I want to share how following the GAPS diet changed our lives: My life, my husband’s life, and how it’s helping my kids.
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What is the GAPS diet?
If you’ve never heard of the GAPS diet, I explain what the GAPS diet is in a nutshell in this blog post, which you can read here. I also have another post on what you need to know before you start the GAPS diet. And, I have a whole series that guides you through the entire GAPS diet, and you can check that out here.
Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride originally designed the GAPS diet to help her son who was diagnosed with autism. She wrote Gut and Psychology Syndrome to help people with a variety of mental illnesses. These include autism, dyspraxia, A.D.D., dyslexia, A.D.H.D., depression, and schizophrenia.
After writing Gut and Psychology Syndrome, Dr. Campbell-McBride has published more books that talk about the physical, rather than mental healing that comes from following the GAPS diet.
Looking for a GAPS diet meal plan? Check out GAPS to Go, my 30 day meal plan for GAPS intro here.
Need help overcoming picky eating? Get my Picky Eating Blueprint: Empowering parents of picky eaters with confidence to transform their child’s relationship with food in three weeks or less. Check out Picky Eating Blueprint here.
My story of how the GAPS diet changed our lives
My personal experience with the GAPS diet began in 2011. Before this, I had tried so many different things, but nothing really helped. I had been struggled with lots of headaches, fatigue, being very underweight, and worst of all, horrible, cystic acne.
As a child, I didn’t really have any serious health issues. But, I can definitely say that I didn’t exactly enjoy strong, good health, either. I just wasn’t very vigorous. In my late teens and early twenties, my health got worse. That’s when the cystic acne showed up and the headaches become worse and more frequent. And no matter what I did, I was always too thin.
I experimented with various eliminated type diets, where I avoided certain foods to see if I could get relief. Sometimes that seemed to help a little. But in the long run, nothing really made a big difference. I also tried going vegetarian for a while… that was really bad news and definitely did not help at all.
Real food is everything
Since vegetarianism wasn’t helping at all, I really did want to look for something else to try. I looked into the GAPS diet, and saw right away that it focuses on lots of animals fats, meats, and other animal foods. This was pretty different from how I had been eating!
At first, I was pretty apprehensive. But, I was desperate for something that would help. I decided to give it a try.
I went into it 100%, and I’m so glad I did. It literally changed my life.
I honestly do not think I would be where I am today without having followed the GAPS diet. I’m able to do so much, I feel so good, with so much energy. My skin is completely clear, with no acne.
As a side note: the skin is a reflection of the condition of the gut. It makes perfect sense that the GAPS diet would clear my acne so well!
And, best of all, I have two beautiful, very healthy children, and a third one on the way in a few months. I am so very grateful. I’m pretty sure none of this would be possible if I hadn’t followed the GAPS diet.
Dr. Natasha recommends following the GAPS diet for two years, and that’s what I did. I began with the introduction diet, and then ate the full diet for the rest of the time.
How I eat today
After the two years on GAPS, I transitioned to a Weston A. Price or Nourishing Traditions style diet. This way of eating includes all food groups and leaves nothing out.
Source, quality, and proper preparation are key to having a nutrient-dense diet. Traditional techniques are followed to raise and prepare food for this way of eating.
Since doing the GAPS diet, I can eat all foods with no problem at all. I experienced true healing.
I do stick to the Weston A. Price type diet the majority of the time. But, every once in awhile, if I want to enjoy some other foods at a gathering or someone’s house or restaurant, I can eat whatever I want with no bad effects. It’s so nice!
How the GAPS diet changed my entire family’s lives
Does the GAPS diet really work? For us it absolutely has!
The rest of my family has also seen benefits from the GAPS diet. My husband followed it for two years just like I did, and it helped him immensely.
My second child (he just turned two years old) has been on the GAPS diet for the last 9 months. Actually, he did the baby version of the GAPS diet when he began solids at about 7 months.
My oldest was able to go on to eat grains and starches at 18 months with no problem. However, my second seems a little more sensitive, and started to have some skin rashes and other behavioral issues when I introduced grains and starches for him. When I saw that, I immediately had him on the GAPS diet, and the skin rashes and behavior issues went right away.
He is so calm, happy, and content now, and sleeps well again. I plan to keep him on GAPS for at least two years.
How does the GAPS diet work?
The GAPS diet specifically targets the digestive system. Dr. Natasha says that the digestive system really is the basis for the health (or illness) of the rest of our body.
The condition that our gut is in determines the health of the rest of our body, whether that is physical or mental health (source). Having a healthy gut is really powerful!
GAPS focuses on very nourishing foods. These include meat stock, meats, eggs, cooked vegetables, lots of animal fats and fermented foods, and more. The GAPS diet also gives the digestive system a rest from harder to digest foods, such as grains, starches, and sugars.
By eating this way for a certain amount of time, Dr. Natasha says that a leaky gut can be resolved. The balance of beneficial bacteria is restored as well. These things mean that food intolerances and allergies can be eliminated!
How the GAPS diet changed our lives video
More GAPS diet resources
Have you followed any diets?
How have they helped you? Have you heard of the GAPS diet before? Let me know in the comments!
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Looking for a GAPS intro meal plan?
GAPS to Go is a 30 day meal plan for the GAPS introduction diet that tells you what to eat each day, with complete cooking instructions, and guidance on when to move to each intro diet stage. Check out GAPS to Go here.
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Thanks for stopping by! Be well!
GAPS™ and Gut and Psychology Syndrome™ are the trademark and copyright of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride.
The information in this blog post is my personal experience and opinion. It is for general information purposes only, that may not apply to you as an individual, and is not a substitute for your own physician’s medical care or advice. Always seek advice from your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding nutrition, medical conditions, and advice. Never disregard medical advice or delay seeking medical care because of something you have read on this blog.