Beginning the GAPS Diet
Many people have been asking me how the GAPS Diet has been working out for us, and I am finally getting a chance to post about it. We started this diet because we have had serious re-occurring health problems ever since living in a moldy apartment in New Zealand. Our problems seemed to just get worse instead of better. I seemed to have developed leaky gut syndrome and was getting intolerant of more and more foods. We had been on no-carb diets, and various other health regimes which worked for a while but were unsustainable for long periods.
I wanted to get my partner to do this diet with me as micro-organisms are generally shared between partners, so I had to get him sold on the diet before working on getting him to do the Intro section which is a highly restrictive diet for a short period of time. I started baking some of the breads and muffins and other tasty baked items that are permitted on this diet. The zucchini muffins made from almond flour and pureed dates sold him, and I was able to make a bread which he really liked. After about a week of eating the basic GAPS diet we went onto the Intro diet.
This week was the toughest one, we basically ate carrot and chicken soup for the first four days. We tried a butternut squash soup one night that didn’t sit well at all. We slept very well the first few nights. We got cramping in our calves in the night–not very fun! After a couple days we added soft boiled egg yolks into our soups and we experienced brain-fog and extreme grumpiness, impatience and irritability. We also had diarreha. I was impressed that my partner was able to stay on this part of the diet at all.
I have been reading some of the messages on the yahoo GAPS group which is a fantastic community and very helpful for support and any questions that you have. I am just amazed at people who do this diet when they have kids and have to get the kids to eat this food and then have the patience to maintain it. Many people have done it though so it is really worth it. I was able to go back to work cooking 8 hours a day after being on the diet for two weeks. Prior to that I hadn’t physically been able to take that kind of stress for three years! I was still suffering and I was in the bath every night while working, but I made it and only came down with a migraine for one day!
I will admit that we were pretty irritable for about 4-6 weeks. We have become much more pleasant people to be around in the past couple weeks and our digestion is going much better. We have had some issues with candida which we are still dealing with, but have added in yogurt, keffir, and fermented vegetables which I think are doing us very well. We still go through stages of detoxification and come up with various other symptoms and will probably continue to do so for a while, but I think we have so far been very fortunate in our situation. We have been able to add various dairy into our diet without trouble. In general it is very easy for us to tell if we have eaten something that doesn’t agree! We get bloated in about half an hour and feel like crap. So far banana’s don’t seem to agree with us.
One of the things I really like about this diet is that it helps us to get to know our bodies and to listen to them. If we start feeling strange, we wonder why and think back and relate how we feel to how we have felt in other situations. It is very empowering to be able to understand yourself like this. Also as a result of the success I had with the baths during the time I was working, we have continued to take time out for a bath every evening which helps us immensely, not only to detox our tissues, but to relax us and give us some nice time taking care of ourselves.
We are lucky because we are not in such a serious condition as many people are when they come to this diet, we know what our issues are and where the problems came from. Some people have been searching for years trying to figure out what is going on with themselves or their kids and have spent tons of money on doctors and supplements before finding this diet. The diet takes a lot of work, cooking everything from scratch and taking care of yourself, making sure your body is detoxing well etc, but it is empowering because you can see and feel the results. I highly recommend it for anyone who has digestive, respiratory or other problems. I actually think that fungal infestations of various types (candida, mold etc) are much more of a problem than we have yet realized.