The GAPS Diet: Why Our Family is Doing It
Yesterday I shared about what the GAPS diet is. If you missed it, I would suggest going back and reading that post first.
If you try to eat so well, why does your family need to do the GAPS diet?
No one has asked me this yet, but I can well imagine that this is the question in many of your minds,and it is an extremely legitimate question!
As I’ve shard before, my journey into nutrition and natural living did not come about just because I loved being healthy, but rather because I was an incredibly un-healthy person.
I started out after a diagnosis of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), a serious hormonal/reproductive disorder. I used to suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, as well as being lactose intolerant, and would often experience severe episodes of cramping and pain. I also spent about a year and a half on birth control pills before marriage (and before I knew better), and have probably taken antibiotics more than 25 times throughout my life.
I began to get healthy before I started having my children, but not much before, and I was really only just baby-stepping my way towards health back then. Though my efforts have made a tremendous difference (my PCOS is greatly diminished, the IBS and lactose intolerance are gone, and I generally feel 110% better than I used to), I know that I haven’t solved all of the damage that was done in the first 20-something years of my life.
From generation to generation
In Gut and Psychology Syndrome Dr. Campbell-McBride says this:
“…When I ask questions about the health of a child’s grandparents, particularly on the mother’s side, it becomes obvious that we have generations of people with compromised gut flora. This damage becomes deeper in every generation. The era of antibiotics, contraceptive pill, breast feeding going out of fashion, and drastic changes in diet have all contributed to this phenomenon. Doctors have known for centuries that unhealthy parents produce unhealthy children. Mother’s body is a home for the growing baby for nine months and a source of nourishment and care for months after the birth…
…As far as science knows an unborn baby is sterile. Its body has no bacteria, viruses or fungi living in it. When the time of birth comes, as the baby goes through the birth canal, it gets its first dose of microbes. Its skin, eyes, mucous membranes in the mouth and nose acquire their first microflora. Through swallowing liquids in the mother’s v****a the baby’s digestive system gets its first population of bacteria, viruses and fungi.”
Can you see that whatever imbalances and level of compromised health is in the mother’s body when her children are in utero and then breastfeeding will be passed on to her children?
This isn’t a guilt trip and it shouldn’t be condemning. Many of us didn’t grow up knowing any better than what we have done, and we are in so many regards a product of our society and culture. Please don’t hear me laying a burden upon mothers for what they have passed on to their children.
Image by peasap
Rising to the challenge in the now…
I am taking this as a challenge to myself to see what can I do about it now, through God’s grace. The past is the past. But I want to give my children every chance to grow up without such a heavy toll on their gut flora, and thus on their overall health!
I have seen in our children the signs of a compromised gut. All three of them have dealt with eczema fairly extensively. The two older ones have shown some tummy troubles from time to time, stools with undigested food in them, mild constipation, etc. Our baby dealt with colic this summer.
Something I have never really discussed on my blog (mostly because I am concerned about the backlash that I will receive) is the fact that our 2 1/2 year old son was showing some signs of developmental delays (motor and speech), as well as some behavioral activities that were similar to those of children in the autism spectrum. Immediately after a Candida/detoxifying diet to deal with his eczema about a year ago, those behaviors almost disappeared and his development suddenly took off, especially his language.
Please don’t hear me saying that he had autism and was healed- that just isn’t what I’m saying at all. I am simply sharing what I observed in his development and behavior, and the change that took place, and that I have seen enough evidence for me to believe that there is a connection.
All this to say that between my children, my own past of poor gut health, and my husband’s battle with recurrent heartburn and other current health challenges, as well as all the chemotherapy drugs and antibiotics that he received during cancer treatments 2 1/2 years ago, I think we have many reasons to be interested in pressing the “reset” button.
Where to go from here
Is any of this striking a cord with you? Do you see your own health or your family’s health in what I am talking about?
I have a guest post coming from a mom who has recently had great success with GAPS for her children. I will be also sharing from time to time as our family follows the GAPS diet, though I cannot begin to cover it nearly as extensively as has already been done on the internet.
Here is a gathering of some of the best resources that I have found for doing the GAPS diet:
- GAPS Diet and Gut Health– from Kelly the Kitchen Kop. She has written multiple posts with much valuable information, and has many other excellent resource links
- How the GAPS Diet is Helping Our Family– a good article from Katie the Wellness Mama.
- Starting GAPS and Modifying GAPS to Work For Us– both from Cara at Health, Home, Happiness
- The GAPS Diet– I think this is the official website, and it has many excellent resources including detailed information for starting to implement the diet, as well as an online store where you can purchase the recommended Bio-Kult probiotics (I also just noticed that these probiotics are available from Amazon
- Gut and Psychology Syndrome– more info on the diet, as well as another place to purchase the probiotics
- The GAPS diet Yahoo Group– I will soon be joining this group, to have a place to share what we’re doing and give/receive support and help from others who are also doing the diet.
If you really want to do this, I highly recommend purchasing the actual book, Gut and Psychology Syndrome. It’s a little bit pricey, but I’m so glad that I actually have it as it has explained everything in so much more detail and also offers a lot of recipes and suggestions for implementing the diet.
The GAPS diet is still a very popular search on this blog and I know that so many families out there are looking for more help and resources. These are some of the best ones I’ve found.
Cara from Healthy, Home & Happiness has several amazingly helpful resources for those on GAPS:
- 30 Days on the GAPS Introduction Diet- What Can I Eat Now? This is an essential guide to helping you get started and get through the chalenging early days and weeks of the intro diet!
- Grain Free Meal Plans Freezer Cooking Guide. Prepping meals and meal components ahead of time is a HUGE sanity and time saver when you’re doing gaps, and this ebook guides you through the process of stocking your freezer to make life on GAPS easier.
- Grain-Free Meal Plans. Do you prefer to just let someone else do the thinking and planning for you, and follow along a pre-made menu plan? Then you’ll definitely want to check these GAPS-friendly plans out.
I know that I’m going to receive a flood of comments on some of the things that I’ve shared in this post. Please, keep it respectful, keep it clean, keep it kind. I have a delete button and I’m not afraid to use it. However, I am fully open to polite disagreement and big girl words. Thanks, all!
Thanks for sharing. I think I have heard of this diet, though didn’t know what it was called, and I believe(*) I read about it in Mothering Magazine, if my memory is correct….
From what I remember reading it was about children with things like ADHD, behavioral issues like aggression and violence that was talked about most in the article.
I believe 100% changes can be made to our bodies through diet and am interested to see your results. I do think we all need to think about what we eat, whether we are taking baby steps or are going all-in.
This is very interesting & thanks for the book rec. I’m going to see if our library has it!
Thanks again for sharing,
.-= Sarah M´s last blog ..Plush Alphabet =-.
I hope that you have the success you are looking for. It sounds very interesting. At this stage in my life, its not something I would even look into though. Maybe later. I just know that for me, I’m not sure if this makes sense, but I would be more stressed by it than helped. We’re going through so much other “stuff” that I would wait to a less complicated time in life to look into it more. I’m sure it would be helpful (I think that it would be helpful for all people by the sounds of it) but there is also a place in life where you have to say “stop” to all the new info and just work on what you are doing, so that life doesn’t become stressful and cause more problems!
Stephanie, I am very new to trying to learn/become healthy. I have soooo far to go. I am in love with sugar (I am sad to confess). I am 35 and pregnant with our fourth. We are so excited about this newest blessing from the Lord. My question is what is safe to begin while pregnant? Also, which of your ebooks is the best place to begin. My husband (who grew up on fast food) is finally ready to make serious changes. I feel that I know have the support to truly begin to give our family a better foundation for health. Any suggestions or helps are appreciated.
@Kristen in MO, While pregnant I would say that the full GAPS diet would be fine, but probably not the Intro diet, or at least only a modified version of the Intro. You don’t want to do any kind of quick detoxing while pregnant.
And I would suggest starting with my ebook Healthy Homemaking: One Step at a Time. It is very much geared towards people just starting out, but serious about making changes! 🙂
I am curious whether you are still nursing?
We have serious gut issues in this household that I only got figured out last year. I got pregnant (finally!) almost as soon as I implemented an allergen-free diet, so I know we’re on the right track. But the cleansing/reset/rebuilding aspects I would like to pursue have been put on hold due to pregnancy. I am wondering if I have to wait until after we finish nursing to do something like GAPS? That seems like a long time to wait before making progress….
We SO need to do this in our family. Thank you for your posts and please continue them!!
.-= Valerie´s last blog ..Teacher In-Service Day =-.
Thanks for being brave, Stephanie, and sharing your thoughts. It’s worth it for all the people that appreciate what you have to say. Keep blogging for those people (like me!). Be encouraged that what you are learning, others can glean from too.
I want to learn more about the GAPS diet because I feel like even though we’ve been switched over to eating healthy for about 6 years now, there are still issues that haven’t corrected themselves yet. I know it will take time like you said to reverse decades of poor health but it seems like the GAPS diet might speed up some of those things.
Thanks for the info!
Stephanie! I’ve been following your blog for awhile now, and you’ve been a source of encouragement and so much helpful inspiration. Everything you said here resonates with me. But I’m new to healthy eating, and GAPS feels a bit too much for me and my family. We’re starting out with basic Nourishing Traditions, but I’d love to be reading up on how your family is doing. All the best to you!
I did GAPS while nursing, you can kind of take it easy and control the die off (toxins being released) by how much probiotic you take. I had my baby on it too for the solids he was eating, and his eczema/milk allergy completely went away.
Thanks for the links, Stephanie. I think it’s great that you’re doing this for your family.. I realize that it’s overwhelming for a lot of families, but it does get to be a rhythm… Just prepare a carb (squash, apple), protein (meat, eggs), and fat for every meal. And have a pot of chicken stock going pretty much constantly. But it does make going out to eat impossible, and it makes it tricky to be around other eaters if your kids are little.
I think it’s great you’re doing it!
.-= Cara @ Health Home and Happiness´s last blog ..Dehydrated Pears =-.
i’m really interested in this diet and the entire concept of our gut/nutrition affecting behavior as well as physical health. i’m new to the nourishing foods ideology, so beginning the diet feels like it would be a huge undertaking for us.
our two-year-old has some minor language delays (maybe 3-6 months) and is a very picky eater. his first 18 months, he had probably 10-12 ear infections and was on antibiotic that many times. i’m wondering if y’all think he would benefit from the GAPS diet. most likely, i would have to implement the diet for our entire family, right? however, i’m breastfeeding our six-month old. this probably isn’t something i could do while BFing, is it? the baby, however, has been diagnosed with cow”s milk protein intolerance, which i would guess is also a since of compromised gut. so she’d probably benefit, right, even if down the road when she’s weaned?
thanks for the thoughts!
.-= katherine´s last blog ..meet me in…atlanta? =-.
I’m sad that you felt like there would be a backlash instead of support regarding your son. I guess that’s the problem with being in the “Public Eye” (is that Blog Reader’s Eye?), people aren’t always supportive. The whole point of me reading your posts is to have my eyes opened up to new ways (which are sometimes old ways!) of doing things.
We are in the process of adopting and are well aware that a child we get may have any number of delays and health issues. I’m filing info about GAPS in the back of my mind because it definitely may come in handy!
God bless you Stephanie!
We’ve done some of the GAPS stuff here…but not all. I think that the allergen-free diet is helping my daughter, though, who was slightly speech delayed and is talking more now. I did a post last night about “allergy symptoms” (things I’ve learned about allergies) that a lot of people don’t know. Too many people think that certain things (random tummy troubles, diaper rash, eczema) are just “normal” and “we don’t know what causes them” and “there’s not much we can do.” But that’s all a lie!! GAPS and other allergy-free diets can help!
.-= Kate´s last blog ..Wooden Toys…GIVEAWAY! =-.
“Please don’t hear me saying that he had autism and was healed- that just isn’t what I’m saying at all.”
I know that’s not what you were saying but if it were…there would be absolutely nothing wrong with it. Autism is reversable. My son is on the spectrum and has made so much progress. I’m going to look into the GAPS diet. My son will recover. He *is* recovering, by God’s grace.
@Kristin, Absolutely, Kristin, it is ok to say that children with autism can recover (and certainly by God’s grace)! I have no doubt in my mind that many, many children with autism have been healed through diets like this.
My concern is that #1, I don’t want people to think that I am self-diagnosing my son with autism. I also don’t want to state that he has it, for his sake, since that isn’t the case. If he did, I would have no problem sharing that, though.
#2, autism is a multi-faceted disorder, in my opinion. I used to work as an autism therapist and I saw many, many common threads. However, there were also a lot of dissimilarities between children. I don’t ever want to suggest that I have all the answers and that I know how to heal autism. I am thankful for all of the success that parents are having with their children recovering, but I want to remember that ultimately God is the only one who truly knows all the answers.
But thank you for sharing about your son! Praise God!
Is this along the same lines as a diet that deals w/ the body have too much yeast? We have been looking into this a lot lately because my husband has been having some mild health problems that we are relating to a yeast issue. We also heard about the “spit test” wich confirms the yeast issue, I even have several friends who have started to think that some of their health problems are a yeast issue too. I am always amazed at how our diet affects us so much. Thank You for the info- I’m looking forward to checking our the other links!
Ok, I’ll play “bad cop.” So when do you have time to fellowship with the body of Christ, or have a Bible study in your home? Do you invite unbelieving ladies in your community to your house and teach them your cooking skills and weave in the Gospel? What about when you are in need, do you accept meals from the church body, or step out of that because of your “diet”. I just think this takes it way beyond NT and cooking well and healthfully (I think you mentioned yesterday that it would take 6mo to a year or two for this to play out!). I just know that even doing NT and changing some of the way we cook things has taken a LOT of time in a society where we already do not live as a community and the field is so ripe for Christ in our backyard (and not holed up in our kitchen). How do you balance this beyond a daily Bible study and church on Sunday? I totally believe in eating healthfully and that the world and the Western diet has gone totally crazy and is so bad for us, but I think I was a little shocked at this new GAPS diet thing. It just seems to elevate our bodies and food to such a higher level than may be necessary (and I know our bodies are the temple of Christ, but I don’t think this is a good example of applying that).
Thanks for sharing this, I just found out I am gluten intolerant, and probably will need to be doing GAPS to heal myself. I guess I’m procrastinating right now, I don’t want to make that big of a change, or to even research it right now.
I do want to research my other options first though, as while I can see it being beneficial, I don’t think that the GAPS diet is the only way to go. I have SO nmuch research ahead of me!
.-= Laura @ Rejoicing Evermore´s last blog ..Gluten Intolerance? =-.
I think it’s amazing you’re doing this for your family.
I just started on the GAPS intro diet myself, after working up to it for a few months. It is definitely not a small undertaking, but I think pretty much every family I know would be better off if they did it. My hope is that if I do it now, before I have children, they will have the best chance for health themselves.
To answer a few questions in the comments…
a) yes, you can do it while pregnant. Natasha Campbell McBride says it is ideally best done BEFORE pregnancy, but during is better than not at all.
b) doing the more strict introductory diet isn’t recommended while nursing, but you can definitely follow the “full GAPS” diet at that time. Once you adjust your thinking (like the belief that grains are necessary), you realize that the full GAPS diet is actually not that restrictive, just a very healthful way to eat.
c) yes, it definitely helps with yeast issues.
There are a lot of resources out there, thankfully, including the sites listed above, the book (of course) and the Yahoo group (very helpful, if a little overwhelming!) I recommend that if you’re curious, you start reading, and learn as much as you can.
And Stephanie, kudos for being brave and speaking publicly about your experience. You are doing a great thing to set your children up for a healthy and happy life, and setting a powerful example for so many families who eat badly and pay the price for that. What better way to serve?
.-= Sarah´s last blog ..sarahfelicity: @scdkat are you optimistic that you’ll be able to eat most anything, in moderation, in future? i dare to dream… =-.
Thanks so much for the resources! I’ve been so interested in this since hearing Baden Lashkov speak at Wise Traditions and I just got my GAPS book from http://www.corganic.com just today.
I would like to implement this in about a month or so and even put my husband on the intro diet as well. I’d love to do the intro diet, but I think I’ll wait to do that myself until baby is weaned.
And I definitely notice behavioral changes in my 3yo son when he has to many foods (mainly wheat) he’s sensitive to. So, I totally believe that food and gut health can contribute to not only behavior, but learning and development as well.
Good luck, I can’t wait to see how you guys do!
Thank you so much for sharing the symptoms that you and your family have experienced, and what you have done and are doing to treat them and to heal yourselves. It is such an encouragement to read about others’ successes, and to see the efforts being made to take it even further and improve even more.
I have heard of GAPS and read about in online (including most of the links in your post), but I have never been brave enough to try it. It seemed both very restrictive, and difficult to manage (I work full time outside the home). I wasn’t sure I could manage it.
However, I have been thinking seriously in the last few weeks about trying it. It seems like there have been a lot of blogger folks that have started it (or have shared that they are doing it) since the beginning of the year (you, Cara, the others you mentioned above), and that has given me the push I need.
So, thank you for sharing. Here’s to continued improvement, and, ultimately, complete healing for you and your family.
Hi. I’ve thus far never commented, but I think now’s a good time. I wanted to thank you for your blog. I have been convicted and encouraged by you and your life on many occasions through what you share here. I truly view you as a Titus 2 woman: training up and teaching women to Love their Husbands and children and to Work in the Home. It’s not an easy road to walk- being home all day tending to the needs of your husband and children. Training your children to fear the Lord. Strengthening their bodies while building their character. To everything there is a season, right? It’s such a rarity to find a woman content in her work and her place in her family, not spreading herself too thin with things that are good, but not the best. I have no doubt that your husband is honored in the gates because of you of that all your children will call you blessed among women. Thank you for your example and may the Lord continue to bless you and yours as you seek His face.
I had similar questions to those others posed. I would be interested in doing this diet as I think it would be helpful for my son especially but my questions are:
Is it safe while nursing? Will it expose the nursing baby to a large number of toxins? I have 20 pounds of baby weight remaining and I worry especially that if I lost that weight relatively quickly, combined with the detoxing effect, my breast milk would be less than ideal.
I also really hesitate due to issues of fellowship and hospitality. We do feel strongly that we will build community – that means another family over for dinner at least two times a week. That means more food (cost) and more time to prepare food. Do you feel like the cost of your food will limit your ability to be hospitable? As well, how will you eat when you are a guest in someone’s home? Will you decline foods?
Thanks for your thoughts!
All I can say is “you Rock”. With love and Thanks.
Great post. Thanks for sharing it!
My aunt, who is in her mid-50s, has had severe colitis almost all her life. As a child, before she was diagnosed, my grandma said she always ate ‘differently’ than the rest of the family and that she missed a lot of school because she was very sick. After she married, she lost several babies, one at term. As an adult, she has suffered greatly…until about 4 years ago.
That’s when she started the GAPS diet. I have never in my life witnessed someone do anything so faithfully. She never cheated. I guess that is what happens when you have suffered in your life for so long (though she is a wonderful Christian woman and never complained). She did the different phases and after two years, she is truly cured of colitis. She continues to eat carefully, but she says that at any given time, she could eat ANY food she wants without consequence. It has truly been a miracle not only for her, but for her family, too.
.-= ChristineG´s last blog ..Some Good Weekend Reading =-.
Very interesting, I can’t wait to hear about your journey!
.-= Tracey´s last blog ..I Dropped the (yarn) Ball =-.
I’d like to answer to those who have issues about hospitality and being a guest.
I have a little guy, 3, who is on a strict diet to avoid foods that trigger his asthma. We basically can’t eat any thing processed and have to read labels very carefully. We recently had another baby, and our church brought us several meals. I was so overwhelmingly blessed to find our friends paying careful attention to our diet, even though it’s a tough one to follow. No one had any problem with it…in fact, they were happy to do it. The reaction has also been the same when we were guests in someone’s home.
I don’t think that a special diet would hinder giving or accepting hospitality at all. People understand that you want to do what’s best for your family.
Stephanie, I’m intrigued. I’ve already seen some real benefits brought by diet change. Look forward to reading more!
@Heather@WoolandFlax, Thanks for that wonderful comment. I would agree with you.
I actually had a number of interesting comments that I thought were worthy of a good answer, so I will be writing a post to address those this week or next.
@ChristineG, What an amazing testimony to the difference that the GAPS diet can make! Thank you for sharing, Christine!
i’m so thrilled to have found your blog… i have a close friend who has been doing GAPS for about 6 months (off & on- it has been a real struggle), and i’m always searching for ways to support her in this journey toward health! they have had some great success, but also extreme difficulties. i pray that your experience is less of a struggle!
thank you for sharing your life with us- it is inspiring to read!
.-= rachel @ perfectly imperfect´s last blog ..meatloaf =-.
GREAT artical! I’m so glad that people are brave enough to speak the truth about this! I am a mother of five and we are on week 6 of the GAPS diet and it is going great! I really wish to address the people who think that you have to eat pioson to have fellowship with other believers though. Are we not, as believer suppose to be taking care of our bodies and teaching others by how we live? This attitute of “others might feel bad if you don’t eat what they eat” is getting really old. Your health is important and the lady who drops off brownies from the church is still going to get a smile and a thank you note, but she will not be there to take care of my son who wets the bd when he eats that stuff or wake up with my screaming baby who can’t nurse because I ate it and it makes him vomit and scream. The consequenses of what we eat are real and multi- generational. Whether that lady understands that or not doesn’t change that fact. It does make people feel guilty because they know they should eat what they eat, but when there kids are sick or there health fails guess who they call to find out how to get better? Me, who has lived out loud in front of them, my faith and the way I take care of my “temple”. So…. I’m sorry, that is all I’m going to say, I’m steppong down from my soap box now:) can’t wait to hear more about the diet and your progress! Thank you for posting it so I can read an be encouraged:)
@tonya, Well said, stay on your soap box. I agree in so many ways, and have had such a similar experience. Thanks for sharing! 🙂
@tonya, Your comment on the poor food that is served at social gatherings really resounds with me. I feel like such a shrew when I make an issue about the pop, candy, chips and everything else that is served when we gather. Often the only “acceptable” thing at a potluck is my dish :P, so yeah I admit it, we eat what is there. Often I just let it go because it is a rather lonely crusade– even the mothers in my circle who know better give their kids sugar and processed food. Not sure there is an easy answer…maybe pick your battles or make a short list of “kids, you are absolutely not allowed to eat this, but you can occasionally eat this” list? How do you deal with it?
I’m very curious about this diet and what problems or symptoms it seems to help. My daughter and I have chronic eczema. She has major food allergies and I still have sensitivities. And then there is my oldest and his lack of focus and emotional outbursts. Our family has just been through a major loss. So I know that grief is taking its toll on our family’s health, emotionally and physically. It seems a bit overwhelming to think about major food changes around here when there are days I barely feel like getting out of bed.
But on the other hand, I know enough about food and health to know that maybe we might be stronger and healthier if we tried to make more changes. I already cook from scratch, homemade stock and baked goods, etc. I just hate the prescription meds I have to use for the eczema and the lethargy and fuzzy heads around here. They say that after a traumatic event, your body burns through about a year’s worth of serotonin in 24 hours. I’m trying to find natural ways (exercise and real food) to help replace what we lost, because we can definitely feel it.
I was wondering if you knew of any evidence of allergies, eczema, mood swings, frustration and depression being helped by this diet?
@Jessica, Absolutely, Jessica. Those are ALL things that this diet can specifically help. We have already noticed a decrease in eczema, in only one week on the diet! It sounds like you’ve been through a lot lately and need to find a way to get back to good health. This diet isn’t too hard to do, it just takes a bit of extra effort and some more thought going into planning meals and snacks. If you think you could do it, I’m sure it would help. Blessings to you and your family!
This sounds like it could be an expensive diet. Have you found it to be so? Between the probiotics and all the meat and eggs and veggies, there’s not much room for the cheaper foods. Just curious.
@Amber, It’s true that this is a bit more expensive. I have found it very challenging to stick within our grocery budget, and in fact, I definitely went over our first month (though this month I may just barely squeak by- time will tell).
What I am finding is that I am make it work best when I am planning well, and when I do food prep in advance. I am trying to take 1-2 days a week where I do a bunch of extra cooking and prep, to fill my freezer with good stuff, make meals ahead of time, etc. When I do this, we are able to make good use of the food that we have and I find it much less stressful. I think this is part of what’s making it look possible for me to stay on budget this month. 🙂
OK, sorry for the extra comment, but could the GAPS diet help low weight (i’m always very thin), irritability and fatigue? It kinda sounds like it could help practically anything, but are there any specifics regarding these things? Also, we are fairly healthy, I have a few moderate health difficulties, so why should we consider this diet? My husband is very hard to convince about new health things so I need good reasons. Obviously more research etc. Thanks.
@Amber, I would say that it could definitely address irritability and fatigue. The low weight is harder to say, because I can’t really diagnose why you would have difficult gaining weight. It could be due to poor digestion and not absorbing or utilizing nutrients properly, but that is just purely conjecture on my part. I think it would be worth it for you to read the whole book, and see how you think it relates to your family, your history and your particular symptoms.
I definitely think that the GAPS diet has something to offer everything and anyone, because we ALL have compromised digestive systems to at least some degree. But I understand that not everyone is willing to do something so extreme without very good reason. So yes, research more! 🙂
You have PCOS?! I’m always surprised when I meet another woman who’s like me in this regard. In your case, I’m also very encouraged, seeing as how you have 3 children. That’s proof to me that getting healthier makes it possible to conceive with this disorder. I’ve never heard of GAPS before, but my husband & I are just getting started on a raw diet. We won’t be 100%, but anything that isn’t raw will be organic & natural. We’re quite excited about the whole thing. Glucophage has already started me down the path of regular cycles (yea!), but we’re hoping to be completely free of medications once we’re healthier from our new raw eating lifestyle. Thanks for sharing about your journey!
.-= Chrissy´s last blog ..Recipe of the "Week" =-.
Yes, Chrissy, it is SO possible to have PCOS, treat it naturally with food and lifestyle, and conceive children without medication. 🙂
Thank you so much for sharing from your heart. I see you wrote this in February so I am looking forward to seeing how the diet is going for your family. The thing I love about what you said is “The past if the past.” I agree it is easy to get caught up in what “could have been” or what happened. But we can’t dwell there if we want to live happy and healthy lives. The thing I am most grateful for is that I found this diet NOW and that I can impact my child’s life now so that he can live a healthier and happier life.
Thanks so much!
I’m looking into the GAPS diet for my family as well. I have 4 children and we’ve eaten NT, sometimes more, sometimes less, for about 6 years now. My oldest in particular has some health issues I would like to address with the diet, and I have some hormonal issues. To me, it doesn’t look so complicated at all, in regards to Ali’s weird comment I don’t see why people couldn’t eat very healthy and still ‘fellowship’. I admit I don’t have the book yet and have only been researching online but for myself I’ve already been gluten free for the last week or two, not such a big transition. And I’ve always done chicken stock, pastured meats, and am now getting into fermented drinks and veggies, kombucha, etc… I’m excited! Will be following your journey and cheering you on!
I was encouraged to hear that you have PCOS and have children!! Do you mind me asking if you used medicine to induce or maintain your pregnancies? My husband and I had tried for more than a year to conceive. We were very frustrated, but had faith God would send us a child. Two months after starting the GAPS diet we conceived! Twelve weeks into the pregnancy I miscarried. I was diagnosed with PCOS shortly after that (I always suspected I had that, but never a diagnosis). What do you do besides the GAPS diet to help your PCOS? Do you have any advice for me? Thank you!!!
@Megan, I’m sorry for your loss, Megan. I haven’t done anything to maintain my pregnancies, except to work towards hormone balance whenever I’m not pregnant. For me that has been primarily through a switch to whole food, traditional foods (pastured meat, good fats, etc.) and reducing sugar, esp. refined sugar. I have also used Vitex (Chasteberry) to help with hormone balance. Once upon a time I used to use yam cream as well, but haven’t done that for years.
You can read through previous posts I’ve written about PCOS and my own experience to get more a feel for what you can do and what I have done successfully.
Even now, I still find that I am not quite the “fertile myrtle” that other women are, partly because I breastfeed for extended periods of time, and partly because my body still struggles with hormone imbalance, even though much healing has taken place. But, I have been able to carry 3 to term (with only 1 very early loss), despite having slightly larger age gaps than what I originally hoped for.
Knowing the diagnosis is a blessing, because it helps you to be strategic about what you do to bring healing to your body. I’m grateful that God allowed me to learn my own diagnosis when He did, and that He gave me tools to get healthier since that time.
I would also check out the site http://www.NaturallyKnockedUp.com, run by friend Donielle who also has PCOS (and has also had 2 beautiful children since!). She focuses on fertility in particular.
i’m sorry…did you censor the word VAGINA? REALLY??? it isn’t a dirty word, you know…especially when it is used in the context of speaking about birth. i’m actually offended that you censored it.
@michele, The only reason that the word was sensored on my blog is because I don’t want words that could be sexually related to be picked up by the search engines. With the enormous amount of dirty websites out there, I have to do certain things to ensure that mine does not somehow become accidentally classified as an adult site. I absolutely do not think that it is a dirty word in the slightest and have no problem with using it, either in conversation or in a blog post. Unfortunately, the way that the internet is used these days makes those of us running clean site have to be more cautious about the things we do.
“Immediately after a Candida/detoxifying diet to deal with his eczema about a year ago, those behaviors almost disappeared and his development suddenly took off, especially his language”
Thank you for the post. Could you please share what kind of candida/detoxifying diet you did to deal with eczema? I would like to hear from you and try the same.
thanks much again
@Minu, It was several years ago, so I don’t remember exactly. But I believe that he was off of either all or most grains, all sugars, minimal fruits (no really sweet, tropical fruits in particular), lots of good fats and animal protein, and I think off of dairy as well. He was also on anti-Candida and anti-parasite supplements, plus liver supports, and l-Glutamine to help heal the gut.
This post talks a little bit more about what we did, but unfortunately I never recorded a lot of the specifics:
Thanks for sharing your experience with GAPS. I have been considering doing it after being diagnosed with bacterial overgrowth that started with food poisoning 2 years ago. I am also interested in it for my son who has motor planning delays (dyspraxia). He just turned 4 and my daughter is 2. Was wondering if you put your kids on the intro diet or started with the full diet? I think mine would be ok with the full diet but the intro seems like it could be rough to get them to actual eat/drink the allowed items.
@Brooke, I did start my kids on the intro. There were some days/meals that were tough as they didn’t want to eat those foods. But, we did it anyways as long as we could (it took us one month to introduce all of the foods and get on to the full diet) because I thought it was valuable for them.
Hello Stephanie! Just wonder if you are still doing GAPS? IF not, how long did your family commit to it? What are your long term results from the program? Thank you.
No, we are not on GAPS any longer. We did do it for several months, with excellent results, but for various reasons needed to go back to our more regular diet for the time being. But, we did keep several family members off of foods that showed up as sensitivities, and have continued to include things like bone broth, extra probiotics, fermented foods, etc. in our diet to keep improving our gut health. I think that we would have had excellent long term benefits, although I did personally have a hard time being so low-carb (and I have heard that from some others as well). There may be some body types that can’t stay this low-carb for such a long period of time, although some (like one of my children and my husband) felt great on the diet, even longer term.
Stephanie, I feel the need to pipe in here.
While it is very easy to end up eating low-carb on GAPS, the diet itself is not at all intended to be low-carb. Dr. Natasha in no way recommends purposefully decreasing your carbohydrate intake. That’s why high-carb veggies such as squash and carrots, along with fresh-pressed juices, fruits, and honey are encouraged on GAPS, so as to not dip down into the “low-carb” realm. The only reason why some higher-carb/high-starch foods, such as grains and potatoes, are restricted is that they are harmful to the gut while healing is taking place.
The thought that the diet itself is intended to be low-carb is probably the most common misconception about GAPS, and I just didn’t want to see it perpetuated here — or rather, for your comment to be misinterpreted in that way.
Thanks for helping to educate others about GAPS (and for letting me chime in here)!
Whether or not you are “low carb” on GAPS is dependent on what issues you are experiencing. For instance, I have ulcerative colitis and since starting Intro 11 weeks ago, can not tolerate eating ANY vegetables. Not even the cooked to death ones in broth. I have only been able to tolerate fermented dairy (yogurt, kefir, sour cream), small amounts of fermented vegetables, fats (thankfully including avocado), eggs, and meat. I can’t handle ANY vegetable. So I’ve been NO carb for 11 weeks. I tend to be pretty tired, but managing. I have started seeing a GAPS Consultant who is also a Nurse Practitioner and has me doing some medical testing and various supplements. For instance, I’m to take 1 full TABLESPOON of FCLO 3x a day. Which is WAYYYY more than listed in the generic GAPS Diet book. The Nurse Practitioner has started me doing some other things that are specific to my body’s needs. I think the GAPS book is a good place to start for underlying principles, and may be potentially all some people need, but some people may need a lot more customization to address their specific needs.
I’d really like to know whether anyone has had the same issues as me and the GAPS diet work? After years of visiting the doctors and just being told that the issues my son has issues “just happen” (loose stools for 4 years, hearing problems, infections relating to adenoids, tonsils, refusal to eat anything but sugary food and carbs etc) I think through GAPS I finally have some understanding as to what is going on. The doctors are treating my reluctance to have his tonsils out as a problem.
My MIL has accused me of giving him an eating disorder at 15months old (whihc is when he stopped eating the food we normally eat (basically all fruit/vegetables).
I have spent the last few years doing everything I can to resolve my issues to be the best mother I can be – and it seems nothing is good enough. I’ve bene told that if I do the GAPS diet it is really unfair and damaging, and I should just get his tonsils removed/gromits etc.
Has anyone any advice on this?
I and my family are currently on the GAPS diet. We’re just a few weeks in so I can’t yet expound on it’s virtues. What I can say is that our modern medical culture is so so very flawed. Our doctors do so much harm in the name of “fixing stuff” (I.E. antibiotics) Doctors are generally trained to treat symptoms, not cure disease. We all know this. Part of the reason for this is that doctors have very little education on nutrition. They don’t see the connection. This is why pills are prescribed over lifestyle changes. It’s all terribly frustrating. I would highly advise you to purchase and read the GAPS book. That knowledge will empower you to make the right choice for yourself. As for me, I agree with the premise of the GAPS method. That premise is this – Unhealthy Gut = Unhealthy body. Can anyone dispute this simple correlation? I hope my comments are of some use to you. Good luck with your journey and God bless. -Daniel
I LIVE on GAPS. Actually more on SCD, but same animal. It’s a lifesaver for OCD!
Should I go on the GAPS diet? I have a different medical issue, a blood disease. It is not autoimmune. Is the GAPS diet just for those with the mentioned medical problems?
Sorry, Lindsey, that’s something I really can’t answer. You should speak to a natural health practitioner, like a naturopathic doctor, to answer that question.
Yay for you! I am so glad you caught the ASD symptoms early and realized the gut connection. To condense our story into a very few sentences, my daughter was diagnosed with ASD at almost three years of age and now is completely recovered at 7 years of age. She will be entering second grade with her peers this fall and requires no assistance at all in the classroom. My daughter’s recovery was achieved through chelation and hyperbaric oxygen, but if we had known about the gut connection sooner, she might not have needed such drastic interventions. To my mind the “spectrum” behaviors are nothing more than a manifestation of underlying poor health in an individual’s gut. I am so happy that you were able to nip it in the bud early with your little guy! Blessings to you!
HI there just wondering the benifits of the Candida/detoxifying diet that you did with your 2 and a half year old for the eczema that he/she was dealing with? We are also thinking of GAPS for my daughters eczema, for the same reason and it looks like the Candida/detoxifying diet may be a bit easier to prepare for. She is just about 2 now.
Thanks so much
Hello, I accidentally stumbled upon your website as I’m doing research on GAPS diet. I’m wondering are there cookbooks out there and which ones would you recommend? It just seems to me without specific recipes its hard to follow and plan ahead.
Internal Bliss is a really good GAPS specific cookbook.
How long did your family do the GAPS diet, and was it successful? For someone starting out, what are some simple tips you might offer, besides buying the book? Thank you!
Go to a GAPS Consultant. It’s worth the money. Find one with the ability to have medical testing done, such as an MD or Nurse Practitioner.
Hello I am doing research on the gaps diet because i have a 5 1/2 year old son who was just diagnosed with adhd and i’am almost positve his younger brother will be diagnosed with it in the next two years because it is also hereditary in both my family and their fathers family so any help on this diet would be great so i can ask their doctor next month when we go in to get a plan started to help them and get things going i really want to learn as much as possible to help my kids control their adhd as they get older so they can focus better at home and in school… so any and all information is welcome thank you so much!!
I have been on the GAPS diet for 10 months, paleo/primal (with raw dairy) for a year before that. I also have PCOS. Since improving my diet in general, the cycles have become almost normal. On average, it is a 34-35 day cycle (6-7 days bleeding, 4 weeks in between menstrual cycles). Before, I would bleed for about 2 months (heavy bleeding and clotting too) and have about 1-2 weeks of no bleeding. Despite my cycles improving, I am still dealing with the extreme pain, nausea, headaches, discomfort, etc. on days 2-3. It is horrible! Luckily, the last time it happened I didn’t have to go to work that day. I just cannot function when I am in that extreme pain and discomfort. I am doing everything right, I just wonder if it is going to take a lot more time before I am truly cured. Is there any other advice you or your readers can offer? Thank you so much! ~Sarah
Go to the gaps website and find a GAPS certified consultant. Find one that has medical knowledge/ability such as a nurse practitioner or medical doctor. Well worth the extra money. There may be some tests you should have done to hone in on possibly needing some supplements. My daughter and I were on full GAPS diet from Oct until mid December, then started Intro. We’ve been on Intro for about 11 weeks, and just started with a Nurse Practitioner who is a Certified Gaps consultant. What a difference it has been making!
I am very interested in finding a GAPS certified consultant. Can you provide a link to the website you mentioned so I can be sure I am on the right one? Thanks!
If anyone is interested in attending a workshop and learning a tried and true plan for co-op presented by 3 stone hearth in Berkley, and then bringing back to Ventura/L.a. County, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are making the bone broth on a regular basis in your own kitchen, as well as other fermented and gaps approved food you realize how isolating and labor intensive it is. I am planning on attending the one in October but it is not a project one person alone damn tackle.
Should have been alone can tackle
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