Hello lovely readers! I have just embarked on the GAPS diet and I want to share with you some tips to prepare for the MASSIVE undertaking that is GAPS. Okay, I may be over-exaggerating, it’s not that hard, but I have only eaten kombucha and bone broth for the past 72 hours so please bare with me. 🙂
What is the GAPS diet?
www.gapsdiet.com is a wonderful resource that will give you the full rundown. Here’s a section from their site: “The GAPS diet was derived from the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) created by Dr. Sidney Valentine Haas to naturally treat chronic inflammatory conditions in the digestive tract as a result of a damaged gut lining. SCD gained great popularity after a mother, Elaine Gottschall, healed her own child of Ulcerative Colitis and became an advocate for SCD. Through years of research and clinical experience, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride adjusted her protocol to fit the individual healthcare needs of her patients suffering from a variety of intestinal and neurological conditions as a result of an imbalanced bacterial ecosystem within the GI tract. The GAPS Diet focuses on removing foods that are difficult to digest and damaging to gut flora and replacing them with nutrient-dense foods to give the intestinal lining a chance to heal and seal.”
There are 6 stages to the GAPS diet. The following is the GAPS protocol I’m following. I worked with my amazing N.D. to customize it as I currently have food sensitivities (IgG reactions) to dairy (cheese, milk, cream, etc), eggs, soy and corn. You can check out the original GAPS diet on the above website. The main focus is on bone broth and pre/probiotic food sources. You want to try to include these at every meal. I’m also taking a probiotic and L-Glutamine to support my GI tract.
Stage 1 (5 days)
Bone and veggie broth (primarily bone broth), kombucha, juice from fermented foods like kimchee and sauerkraut, ginger tea, herbal tea, lots of water, and dried seaweed (If I’m dying for something to chew on).
Stage 2 (5 days)
All of the above PLUS baked vegetables, cooked vegetables in my broth, coconut oil, and fermented foods like kimchee and sauerkraut.
Stage 3 (7 days)
All of the above PLUS avocado, nut butter, nut mylk, very ripe bananas (brown spots are a must!), and GAPS homemade pancakes which consist of very ripe bananas (mashed), nut butter, flax seed egg and coconut oil.
Stage 4 (7 days)
All of the above PLUS roasted or grilled meat, cold pressed olive oil, fresh fruit and vegetable juice (hallelujah!!) and GAPS homemade bread which consists of nut flour, flax seed egg, roasted squash, coconut oil and salt.
Stage 5 (14 days)
All of the above PLUS cooked apple as a apple puree and raw vegetables.
Stage 6 (3 months +)
The GAPS diet “allowed” food list
Why I decided to go on the GAPS diet
As mentioned above, I currently have food sensitivities (IgG reactions) to dairy, eggs, soy and corn. My immune system is over stimulated and is having inflammatory reactions to proteins that it shouldn’t react with. As a result I’m suffering from IBS (bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation), acne, and eczema. After working with my N.D. for a full year, trying to ease my symptoms through diet, nutraceuticals, and herbal medicine I decided that I needed to try something more extreme and heal my intestinal wall lining to prevent these uncomfortable symptoms.
How to prepare for the GAPS diet
- Buy kombucha in bulk
I bought mine from SPUD. Save $20 off your first order of $50+ with the code:
- Buy bone broth in bulk
I bought mine from Home on the Range Organics Ltd. I was a vegetarian for many years and just recently started to introduce meat back into my diet. I knew that I personally wouldn’t be able to prepare my own bone broth as I just can’t stomach it. If you can prepare it yourself, go for it!
- Prepare even more broth!
I made a vegetable broth using leeks, swiss chard, ginger, carrots, celery, sage, cilantro, lemon grass and a little salt, pepper and cayenne. Bone broth is preferable, I chose to make a vegetable broth as I wasn’t sure that I could stomach bone broth all day.
- Stock your home and office with all that broth and kombucha.
- Make a GAPS calendar where you can check off your progress – See this template: February GAPS
Talk to your body and tell it that it’s time to heal. Picture your GI tract healing and sealing any leaks. Tell yourself that your receiving all the nourishment you need to heal.
- Have Gratitude
I was talking to my colleagues today, telling them how hungry I was feeling. My boss then came in and started telling us about his recent trip to Guatemala where had the privilege to rescue malnourished children and literally save them from the brink of death. They went around to towns and mothers offered up their babies to be taken away (for up to 3 months) to allow the children time at the help centre to recover from malnutrition. WOW. Talk about putting things into perspective. Having the option to undertake the GAPS diet is a HUGE privilege!! I am so grateful to be able to purchase food and have the opportunity to heal my body.
- Make Time For You
Your body is healing itself from years of damage; that’s no easy job! Allow time for you to focus on you. Go to bed early, take a bath, take a leisurely walk, meditate, practice yoga, read a book, etc.
- Avoid Watching the Food Network
I wanted to lick my TV screen. Seriously – do. not. watch. the. food. network. Unless you have just done a serious meditation on gratitude, or maybe you just have more willpower than me 🙂
- Savour Your Meals
Within 24 hours my sense of smell and taste were WAY heightened. Take the time to smell your broth, taste the different flavours on your tongue, feel the warmth as it enters your belly.
- Remember that you’re experimenting on yourself!
This may not resonate with you, but I LOVE the idea that I’m practicing a full blown experiment on my body. This thought alone motivates me more than anything else. Let’s be pretend scientists together 🙂
Daily Affirmation: “My body is capable of magical things”