Hi, my name is Caroline! I am the blogger of Gutsy. I focus on creating yummy GAPS diet-friendly recipes that are appealing to all ages. Long before I started blogging, Holistic Squid was one of my favorite blogs to read! Emily has simple, yet satisfying, traditional recipes that please us all!
Before I start talking about the GAPS diet, I tell you a bit more about myself.
I was born Gutsy!
I am eighteen years old, and I have a passion for nutrition.
My mom was always drawn to the natural-lifestyle. She gave birth to me at home and breast-fed until I was 3. Despite my mom’s healthy efforts I still had a rough childhood. I suffered from ear infections, eczema, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, braces, allergies, and several other ailments. It didn’t help that I took medicine for these things, which I later learned took a significant toll on my health.
During my early teen years, I suffered from weight loss due to allergy-related food restrictions. I had no energy, my thyroid was very slow, and my intestines were severely inflamed.
At the age of 13, I already knew that I wanted to follow holistic and natural healing, and I began to take more personal responsibility for my health. I was still going to doctors, but faced a battle between western medicine practices, which my parents followed, and the eastern medicine theories, which I was learning from my own research. I spent all my free time either playing outside, researching, or experimenting with weird foods. That’s when my “gutsy-ness” was really born! I thought I was doing everything right, until I discovered GAPS.
I got a feeling of hope (which I lacked for years) when I read about what the GAPS diet can do for the body. After reading through hours of material about GAPS, I was convinced that I was going to heal my body on the GAPS diet.
The next day, I picked up a bag of grass fed beef bones and a jar of kimchi and started.
Eating GAPS food (even in the intro-stage) was a step up from the variety of food I was eating. After day 2 on the GAPS “intro diet”, I had ten times the energy and brain capacity I had before. My head was clear and my body just felt an overall calmness. It’s almost as if my body was able to take a nice deep breath and tell my brain that “everything is going to be ok.”
What is the GAPS diet?
So if you have never heard of the GAPS diet, you are probably wondering, what is all this “intro” stuff that I am talking about? GAPS is a diet that heals your gut.
Many people who suffer from allergies or digestive issues or mental illnesses have one thing in common: their gut is in poor condition. When I speak of the gut, I am talking about the intestines.
You may have heard the term “leaky gut”. Having a “leaky gut” means you actually have little holes in your intestine lining. This causes a whole range of symptoms because large food molecules and toxins can then slip through these holes and contaminate your blood stream. Once foreign molecules get into your blood, your body produces an autoimmune response. Do you see where this is going?
People who have gut problems can have digestive issues, autism, bipolar, ADD, OCD, anxiety attacks, inflammation, extreme weight-gain or weight-loss, foggy brain, sleep problems, headaches, acne, eczema”¦and I am just getting started with the symptoms. Having a leaky gut causes your blood and brain barrier to weaken as well.
The GAPS diet, defined by Natasha Campbell McBride, is a spinoff of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. Except, it relies more on bone broth and fermented veggies to heal the body.
What do you eat on the GAPS diet?
If you have been reading Holistic Squid’s blog, you should know all about ferments and bone broth, so you’re almost all set!
It is recommended that you read the GAPS book and GAPS guide before you start the diet. These 2 books are irreplaceable resources. My copies are actually falling apart because my family has used them so much!
The thing that makes GAPS special is that there are steps designed to help you introduce foods according to the healing speed of your body. You start with the intro diet, which includes a lot of bone broth, boiled meat and veggies, and TONS of fat. The saturated fat is crucial to help detox and heal your body.
Slowly, you will add in one new food at a time, monitoring your body’s reaction and proceeding form there. Make sure you eat enough carbohydrates, because GAPS is not suppose to be low carb!
Over time you will transition into full GAPS, which is very similar to a real food diet. I have tons of yummy recipes (here). I don’t think your missing out if you can eat these snickerdoodles and this pizza. Eventually when your body is ready, you can go back to traditional eating again, symptom free!!
How long does GAPS take?
Everyone goes through GAPS at their own unique pace. Some people can introduce a new food every few days, while others (like me) take weeks or months to introduce a new food. I cannot say how long you will be on GAPS, but to give you an example; my mom was on GAPS for 8 months until she started to eat real food again. By doing GAPS she healed and completely went off all bipolar medication and is symptom free. Yeah mom!
On the other hand, I have been doing GAPS for 10 months (and counting). I am still making VERY slow progress. My digestion, sleep, and eczema are much better! I used to be in bed for days during the bad allergy seasons, and now I hardly feel the effects! So you see, the GAPS diet really does seal up that gut! You don’t know how much healing time your body will need, until you try the GAPS diet.
Detox is also an important part of the GAPS diet. Epson salt baths, clay baths, enemas, rest, and fresh air are all highly recommended if you want your body to heal. Therapeutic high strength probiotics and FCLO (fermented cod liver oil) are “musts” on the GAPS diet as well. Slow and steady is the pace for GAPS. Once you start seeing progress, you will be a believer of what GAPS can do.
Is the GAPS diet right for you?
Everyone needs to decide if the GAPS diet is right for him or her. I can tell you that my family has seen amazing results; results that doctors thought were impossible. We are a happier family and have healthier connections with food and our bodies. I am so happy I decided to have the guts to do the GAPS diet. Now it is your turn!
If you need GAPS support, please feel free to ask me any questions on my blog or by e-mail. There are also a few GAPS e-books and e-courses made by my fellow Real Food Media Bloggers. Yahoo groups called the “GAPS diet” or “GAPS help” can provide answered by GAPS people around the world. It could also be helpful to find a GAPS practitioner to guide you through the process.
Is your gut in need of some healing? Are you gutsy enough to take charge of your health? If so, come take the GAPS journey with me. You can visit me at http://www.mygutsy.com/. See you there!
This post can be seen at the following blog carnivals: GAPS Friendly Friday, The Gallery of Favorites, Fresh Bites Friday and Whole Foods Wednesday. Hop on over to check out some other posts you may enjoy!