What is the GAPS Diet? How Does it Work? Today I’m going over the GAPS diet, explained in an easy to understand way.
The GAPS diet has been a huge life changer for myself and other members of my family. I’ve shared a little bit about this on my YouTube channel.
Looking for a GAPS diet meal plan? Check out GAPS to Go, my 30 day meal plan for GAPS intro here.
What is the GAPS diet?
GAPS stands for Gut and Psychology Syndrome. That’s the title of a book written by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. Dr. Campbell-McBride originally designed the GAPS diet to heal her son from autism.
Dr. Campbell-McBride has a degree in medicine, and post-graduate degrees in neurology and human nutrition. As you can see, she has the perfect background to be able to design a diet like this.
After Dr. Campbell-McBride received the autism diagnosis for her son, she got to work looking for a solution and a way to help his body heal. She soon discovered that there is a vital connection between the health of a person’s gut and the health of the brain, not to mention the rest of their entire body.
This gut-brain/body connection means that the GAPS diet can not only heal autism, but also dyslexia, depression, ADHD, as well as physical problems like allergies, asthma, and eczema.
How does the GAPS diet work?
Hippocrates said, “All Disease Begins in The Gut.” He was right! When the gut is unhealthy, problems crop up, both neurological and physical. When the gut is healthy, the rest of the body and mind enjoy good health.
The GAPS diet focuses on healing the digestive system in three main areas. It seals leaky gut, restores the balance of friendly bacteria in the digestive tract, and gently cleanses the body of toxins.
Foods that are eaten on the GAPS diet include lots of meat stock, cooked vegetables, healthy fats, and probiotic foods. It also include certain important supplements. These tend to be things that are very easy to digest, and deeply nourish the body. With the right tools at its disposal, the body can really heal.
Sick bodies have to cleanse, and juicing acts as a very gentle way to detoxify.
What do you eat on the GAPS diet?
The full GAPS diet includes meats, cook and raw vegetables, fruits, eggs, nuts, spices and various cooking ingredients, homemade condiments, desserts, and baked goods.
Avoided foods are grains and starches, all sweeteners except raw honey, processed and refined foods, additives, preservatives, and artificial ingredients, and inflammatory industrial oils.
What is the introduction diet?
The GAPS diet begins with different stages called the introduction diet. These stages let you gradually introduce foods a little at a time, so that deep, effective healing can take place more quickly.
Once the introduction diet is completed, the patient moves on to the full GAPS diet, where all of the allowed foods are included.
How long does healing take on the GAPS diet?
People normally spend about two years on the GAPS diet for completely healing to take place. If the condition they’re trying to heal is more mild, a shorter time might be possible. But, in general, two years is a good amount of time to plan on.
The younger the person, the quickly and more deeply they can heal. But older folks can reap amazing benefits, too!
What happens after the GAPS diet?
Once healing has taken place, it’s not necessary to stay on the GAPS diet forever. It’s not really designed to be eaten permanently, although a person could with no ill effects. After the patient has completed the GAPS diet, they can usually transition over to eating all food groups and excluding nothing. Quality of food, sourcing, and proper preparation is still important. The Weston A. Price or Nourishing Traditions diets are great examples for long term diets that provide excellent health, and are extremely delicious!
I did the GAPS diet for a full two years, and I’m so thankful that I did. It literally changed my life. Before that, I suffered from low energy, lots of headaches, being underweight, and horrible, cystic acne. The GAPS diet healed all of that, for good. I now eat a Weston A. Price style diet about 90% of the time. If I want to occasionally eat junk foods, at social gatherings, for example, I can do so without my symptoms coming back. My body is truly healed.
Is it hard?
To be honest, it is a bit of an adjustment at first to say no to certain foods and focus on other ones. But I can say that the GAPS diet really is a delicious way to eat. The key is to focus on the included foods, and make the most of those. It can be very gourmet! Think about it: You’re eating high quality meats, vegetables, lots of other things, and everything can be prepared beautifully in different combinations. There are even lots of scrumptious desserts that you can enjoy. You really don’t have to feel deprived at all, and it’s delicious.
And, last but not least, the benefits of sticking to the GAPS diet and doing it properly are phenomenal. It is so worth it. As I mentioned in the beginning, the GAPS diet was originally designed to heal autism. So many families have been able to heal their children from autism, and so many other conditions. It is so worth it, and such a wonderful resource to know about. I know that I am joined by many others who are deeply thankful to Dr. Campbell McBride for her work, and for sharing it with us.
The GAPS diet explained in a nutshell video
Have you heard of the GAPS diet?
Do you know someone who could be helped by it? Share your experience 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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GAPS™ and Gut and Psychology Syndrome™ are the trademark and copyright of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride.