Healing with the GAPS Diet – INTRO (Day 1)
So, I’ve heard about the GAPS diet (Gut & Psychology Syndrome) for several years now. People that have followed it claim they’ve cured many of their and their children’s chronic ailments and diseases, usually of the autoimmune family. Yes, I said CURED.
I knew when first hearing about the GAPS diet, that we just weren’t there yet. Yes, my son’s skin was really out of control, but we had to try other options first. In fact, I wanted to be able to say we’d exhausted all our other resources first. Why? Because the diet is not easy – it’s far from it. And frankly, I really didn’t want to have to put our family through it.
But fast forward some years and I can honestly say that we’ve tried pretty much everything out there from NAET, to homeopathy, osteopathy, to supplements and conventional medicine as well, even steroids back in the very beginning. While some of these things helped for a time, they did not CURE my son of his ailments. I do know some of these methods, as well as acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine, have really been helpful for some, but unfortunately, they were not the answer for us. As far as I was concerned, there is no CURE for eczema, asthma, and allergies or even sensitivities.
We’ve also done a few elimination diets in the past, quite successfully too. Thanks to eliminating dairy and gluten, and some tree nuts completely, as well as only allowing moderate consumption of soy, corn, tomatoes, and coconut, my son, Tristan’s, skin has improved by leaps and bounds. But despite eliminating these trigger foods/sensitivities (as well as full-blown IgE allergies), the eczema still persists. We keep the mild flare ups under control with a variety of creams, but it doesn’t stop at eczema, we’re also dealing with asthma as well as food allergies and food sensitivities.
I don’t want to continue just treating him, I want to heal him and I want to cure him because…
- I don’t want him to grow up worrying that something he may eat could send him into anaphylactic shock or worse.
- I don’t want him to feel singled out at birthday parties and school activities when he has to eat differently from everyone else. Sure, he can have birthday cake, but it’s not the exact same cake. Even though other kids may not notice, he certainly does.
- I don’t want him to be bullied because of his allergies, asthma, or eczema.
- I’d like to get a break from preparing every single meal and snack from scratch to ensure it’s safe.
- I don’t want to have to worry about all his medications being with us at all time and up to date.
- I don’t want to get that sick feeling in my stomach each time Tristan coughs, assuming he’s either heading into an allergic reaction or he’s going to get an illness and his asthma will flare.
Can all these worries really just go away? Is there really a cure for these allergic conditions that plague so many children and adults? According to many families on the GAPS Kids FB support page (which I’m sad to say is no longer accepting new members as the admins cannot keep up with the demand), after following the GAPS Intro diet many parents saw improvements in their children’s conditions after just a couple of days and many saw IgE food allergies disappear altogether after a time. The same stories kept popping up about eczema, asthma, autism, seizures, and more. Children cured. Adults cured. Although I don’t know most of these families personally, so I was a more than a bit skeptical, I have had the fortune to meet a local mom whose child was born with such severe allergies, she was not able to consume her mother’s breast milk (even though the mother was on a strict elimination diet) and at only a few months old, the baby was failing to thrive on every formula they tried. She was dying and her doctor’s had given up hope. The parents began the GAPS Intro diet and their baby began to gain weight in a couple of days. The family has kept their daughter on the GAPS diet and she’s now a strong, healthy toddler that had almost no chance of surviving before. They keep adding foods back into her originally, very limited diet, and she’s doing extraordinarily well. She is not able to eat just anything yet, but they are hopeful. And their story gave me hope, and I hope it will do the same for you.
After hearing about the GAPS diet for years, learning about families like the one above that have had success on the diet, and realizing we’d finally come to the end of our rope, we decided to start the GAPS diet. I hope to heal my son and myself as well. (I have a variety of heath ailments (you can find here) I’ve tried to heal with previous elimination diets, which have helped, but have not cured me.) I understand this may not happen, but I am hopeful and I feel that I must try.
Take a look here to understand more about what the GAPS diet is and how it works. The general premise is that for many people with autoimmune disorders, the intestinal lining has become damaged, thus allowing foods and food proteins to leak into our blood stream, creating the coined phrase leaky gut. This leaky gut leads to inflammation in the body and in turn provides the right environment for autoimmune disorders to thrive. The idea behind the diet is that the gut can be healed following a strict regime of consuming gentle, nourishing foods and removing hard to digest foods, while sometimes also supplementing with cod liver oil, probiotics and a few other supplements. Foods are added back in to the diet over multiple stages, allowing each individual to pass through these stages of healing at their own speed. Some people are only on the diet for six weeks, for others, healing takes longer, 2 years and more.
We started the GAPS Intro diet today. And just to clarify, there is the GAPS Intro, which is the beginning of the diet, and there is the Full GAPS diet, which is where you end up indefinitely or for some time before ending the GAPS journey by adding all foods back into your diet. You can find a good explanation here.
The GAPS Intro diet is very restrictive and basically only allows meat broths made from scratch as well as boiled meats and veggies for the first few days before moving on. At first I thought it would be really easy to cook on GAPS Intro because the diet is so limited and simple. But because of its simplicity, the food can get boring – fast. So, I found this meal plan to follow on GAPS Intro and I plan to use this and supplement with some other basic recipes I happen across online.
Here we go…….
You can follow along with our GAPS Intro journey here.