One month ago, I had not yet heard of the GAPS Diet. Thanks to serendepity, or synchronicity, or actually both(!), I discovered the GAPS Diet — Gut And Psychology Syndrome Diet after twice I saw something written about it. It is now something that I am very passionate about and gearing up to start on by the end of September, 2011 — myself and my husband will start the diet together. I also have many family members who I know could benefit from the diet, but I’ll have to pave the way!
In this article, I will begin with an introduction to the GAPS Diet to explain what it is and then will share what others have said about how it is working for them!
“Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAP Syndrome or GAPS) is a condition, which establishes a connection between the functions of the digestive system and the brain. This term was created by Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride, MD, MMedSci (neurology), MMedSci (human nutrition) in 2004 after working with hundreds of children and adults with neurological and psychiatric conditions, such as autistic spectrum disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD/ADD), schizophrenia, dyslexia, dyspraxia, depression, obsessive –compulsive disorder, bi-polar disorder and other neuro-psychological and psychiatric problems.” Source: www.gaps.me
Others who are experiencing benefits of this diet suffer from Celiac Disease, Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, IBS, Diverticulitis, Eczema, Asthma, Fibromyalgia, MS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lupus, and many more! Just how much it may benefit one person is only a guess, but the diet is definitely worth committing to if it can return your gut to a healthy state and allow you to eat some foods that you normally would not be able to tolerate.
I believe where it is imperative to not take any shortcuts is with the Introduction Diet before moving into the Full GAPS Diet. Some may not need to stay on the Introduction Diet long, moving through the stages after 2-3 days on each one. Others will need to take more time, and be ready for signs that they should wait before proceeding (reaction to certain foods when introduced) to the next stage.
For instance, here is what our typical menu for the day will be as we begin the Introduction Diet in Stage 1:
- Homemade Meat or Fish Stock (unlimited amounts throughout the day). Give as a drink all day with and between meals! See the instructions to follow about adding probiotic food.
- Soups made with meat or fish stock with added well-cooked vegetables, all fibrous ones peeled of tough fibers, etc (no cabbage or celery, or others like them). Peel broccoli, cauliflower and others needing it. May be consumed as much and as often as desired throughout the day.
- Introduce Probiotic foods very gradually, but these are essential to include from the very beginning of the diet. Start with just 1-2 teaspoons a day for several days, then gradually increase by 1-2 more teaspoons for several days as tolerated. You may add just the juice of the cultured veggies or sauerkraut or kefir/yogurt to the broth or soups, with the goal to be able to tolerate 1-2 teaspoons per cup of soup/broth.
- Ginger tea and honey for between meal beverage (yum — I LOVE ginger!!!). To make this tea, grate fresh ginger root to yield about 1 teaspoon and place in teapot. Pour boiling water over it, and cover, leaving to set and steep for 3-5 minutes. Pour through a small strainer or sieve and add honey to taste (if desired).
There are 6 Stages in the Introduction Diet before proceeding to the Full GAPS Diet. For more information about the stages, check out GAPS Diet Introduction Diet Page.
DOES IT WORK?
“Ok, let’s get real for a minute. Does the GAPS diet really work for alleviating allergies and other autoimmune disorders? Absolutely it does. My husband used to be the poster boy for allergies. He was allergic to every single prick the allergist tried on him some years ago. Today, he is allergic to nothing. Absolutely nothing. His asthma (during respiratory illness) and eczema are also gone”, says the Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist. Her website is a great resource to be sure to check out!
Join the GAPS Diet Facebook Page to see for yourself if it really works. See what results real people are getting!
I’ve started a Discussion on my Facebook Page and encourage you to visit there to participate in the GAPS Diet Discussion.
Also be sure to check out the photo album of Food for GAPS Diet, which will be updated as I experiment with more recipes (many of these will not be allowed until we’ve gone through the Introduction Diet. BUT, I want you to know that the food is not boring and without lots of flavor!!!
I encourage you to share this article with anyone you know who might benefit from this diet. I’d love to see you on my Facebook Page so we can discuss this there! I look forward to one day starting up a Support Group/Group Coaching Program to provide support for those on the GAPS Diet who need help with specific challenges.
What do you think? Do you think you could commit to a diet such as this for 18 months to 3 years? What would hold you back from trying this diet? What would you want to accomplish by starting on this diet? I look forward to hearing from you!
Your Partner in Health,