The GAPS Diet

GAPS Diet: How We Got Started

I mentioned the other day that there were lots of health issues going on in my family. When I saw the cover of Breaking the Vicious Cycle, I knew I had to read it.

 

“Diet for Chron’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Diverticulitis, Celiac Disease, Cystic Fibrosis and Chronic Diarrhea.”

 

I didn’t know if I had any of those, I just knew I had some of the same symptoms. Another statement on the book is “Intestinal Health Through Diet.” That’s what I wanted. That’s what I needed.

 

We actually got started on the diet before I ever read Gut and Psychology Syndrome. Β (So warning, we may not have done the intro perfectly right :)). The GAPS Diet is based on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (from Breaking the Vicious Cycle), but they are a little different in some ways (I would trust GAPS over SCD even though it is a little stricter, because it was written later, after more research was done :)).

Our first 3 days, we ate:

Some kind of eggs for breakfast. No veggies in them yet, and no cheese. So fried eggs, scrambled eggs, hard boiled eggs. Broth or water to drink.

Lunch & Dinner: meat, cooked carrots, and broth

You can add some spices to the meat and eggs, etc., but nothing that would be harsh on the belly (like cayenne, or chili powder).

There’s an MP3 I’ve heard of Dr. Campbell-McBride speaking, and she said, broth is not optional for these patients, it is medicine. It is essential to healing the gut! I make really good bone broth and we just drink it. She also says, when your kids are hungry between meals, give them a cup of broth. Do not microwave it (that will destroy the nutrients), but warm it up on the stove and give them some good broth!

After those first 3 days, we started adding in more foods, little by little. I looked at a list of what foods are appropriate to give a baby at first (minus the rice cereal, sweet potatoes and other starches). πŸ™‚ We started with banana after the cooked carrots, and then moved on to cooked squash, and cooked apples, etc., watching for reactions.

 

We started out with cooked veggies & fruits at first (except bananas) because they are easier on the tummy. You don’t want to go into the GAPS diet eating raw salads and a bunch of carrot sticks. That will come eventually, but you want your digestive symptoms to calm down first.

 

So, we ate like this until the digestive symptoms calmed down. It was a few weeks, I think, and then we were able to add in salads, raw fruit, homemade yogurt, cheese, seeds and nuts.

 

I just noticed that the Breaking the Vicious Cycle recommends eating eggs only after diarrhea has subsided. I didn’t obey that. πŸ™‚ I think eggs are the healthiest food on our planet, personally! πŸ™‚ If there’s an allergy to eggs going on, then find duck eggs or goose eggs or turkey eggs, just try to get some eggs in your diet! πŸ™‚

 

The homemade yogurt we eat is cultured over 24 hours. We don’t eat store-bought yogurt (except when we were remodeling, but that’s a different story ;)). Yogurt that has been cultured for 24 hours has most of the lactose broken down, so it is much easier to digest. It’s a little runnier–it has more whey in it. I pour off the whey and use it to lacto-ferment something, or I feed it to my pigs or chickens. πŸ™‚

 

Over the next several days I will be sharing how we eat now–some of our favorite recipes, and how we make this diet work for us on a daily basis. For now, I want to share some great resources:

GAPS Recommended Foods

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet Legal/Illegal List

The GAPS Diet Website

GAPS Diet IntroΒ 

MP3s of Dr. Campbell McBride

These are really good! She is Russian & lives in the UK, so she has an accent, but you can get through it–she is so smart (I want to shout “YEAH! YEAH! That’s right!” as I listen to her speak…but I control myself ;)), and she seems like a very nice lady. I wish I could meet her. πŸ™‚ (if anyone wants to anonymously fund a trip for me to go to Pennsylvania in 1 week to see her at the Wise Traditions Conference, I would be eternally grateful. =) I could come back and write about everything I learn, or better yet, blog straight from my hotel room. Hee, hee! ;)). Her book is mainly focused on Autisim, because this diet does amazing things for Autistic kids. That’s why I purchased Breaking the Vicious Cycle first. I didn’t have Autisim, but I did have digestive problems. Just know that even though her focus is Autism, this diet helps *MANY, MANY* health issues!

The Bristol Stool Chart Β I know, kind of funny to look at, but really, your stools should be healthy! Mine were not, according to this chart. πŸ™‚

Some of the Science Behind the Diet (on the SCD site) if you want a lot more detail about the science behind this, read Gut and Psychology Syndrome!

A Comparison of SCD, GAPS, and The Maker’s Diet

 

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