Monday, May 13, 2013

WHY I AM ON THE GAPS DIET




I am a part of the generation of modern women that Dr. Campbell McBride talks about.

I was not breastfed as an infant. As a child, I developed food allergies that progressed to environmental and mold allergies.  As a teenager, I was on and off antibiotics for months, if not years, for acne, as well as other infections. In my late twenties, my gynecologist prescribed birth control pills to regulate my period. I was on birth control pills for three years until I became pregnant with my first child. Through these years, I developed eczema, chronic constipation and PMS. And all through this time, I never took probiotics. (I think they were unheard of back then!)

In my late thirties, I was sickened with Chronic Lyme Disease. I was on long term antibiotic therapy for about 10 years. By this time, I was taking probiotics – but the damage was already done.  Tests showed that I had an abnormally high range of candida , not only in my digestive tract, but in my BLOOD! I also tested positive for Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Hypochlorhydria, (low stomach acid), and Leaky Gut Syndrome. I was prescribed Nystatin to reduce the candida overgrowth. It took 3 years for my test results to come back in the normal range.

But my guts felt far from normal. Even though, I had been faithfully taking good quality probiotics for years and had been off antibiotics, my digestive tract was still a mess. I was recommended to go on the GAPS DIET  by Dr. Goodsoul a few years ago. So I bought the book, Gut and Psychology Syndrome, read the Introduction Diet on line and said to myself – FUHGETTABOUTIT!

In my mind, there was no way I could emotionally commit to the diet at that time. Even though I stayed away from sugar, gluten, and dairy, I still saw starchy snack food (and there is no starch in this diet!), as a reward. And my numero uno worst culprit was potato chips! Sweet potato chips would also rank up there as a close second and, of course, who could live without corn chips?

I had to have chips every day.  But with each day, my guts weren’t getting better. So after two years had gone by, I picked up the book again, read the Introductory Diet and  realized – I can do this! I can heal my damaged gut. I can return the beneficial flora back to a healthy state. I can do this – on my own! I can heal… with the help of THE GAPS DIET.

So what is the GAPS DIET?  First of all, it’s the elimination of foods that are known to stay in the gut, damage the gut wall, and feed on pathogenic bacteria, viruses, candida, and fungi. This would mean all grains, all starchy vegetables, sugar and anything made with it, starchy beans and peas, and lactose. Soy is to be avoided also.

The GAPS DIET is also made up of Three Stages:

  1. GAPS Introduction Diet
  2. The Full Gaps Diet
  3. Coming Off the GAPS DIET

Dr. Campbell-McBride recommends starting with the Introduction Diet first.

Presently, I’m on Stage 5 of the Introduction Diet. This consists of making homemade stocks, soups and stews out of (preferably organic, antibiotic and hormone free) whole chickens, duck and other fowl, meat (with bones and marrow), and /or fish. Non-starchy vegetables are added to the stock to make soups and stews. Probiotic and fermented foods and drinks are gradually added and eaten with the soups. Ginger tea with some honey is for in-between meals. Adding raw organic egg yolks and fresh garlic to the soup promotes healing.

Scrambled eggs with cooked onion, “GAP pancakes and bread”, freshly pressed juices, roasted meats, are introduced in Stage 3 and 4. Stewed apples and select raw vegetables are introduced in Stage 5, if all the previous foods are well-tolerated.

Foods that are permitted are gradually added to the diet. For the complete diet and outline of the program go to  http://gapsdiet.com/GAPSOutline.html 

I will keep everyone updated on my healing progress on the GAPS Diet in future posts.



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