GAPS Diet Disaster

It doesn’t seem right for my first post about the GAPS diet to have the word “disaster” in its title.  My intention is to encourage you to try it, not scare you away from it!

So why call it a disaster?  Well, the whole purpose of writing about my personal experience with GAPS is to help you avoid making mistakes on your own journey. That means I will be writing about my failures (including this first one) for the purpose of showing you how to succeed.  In other words, you can learn what not to do. 

I also want to write about my successes so that you can learn what to doAll of this is for your benefit.

First Lesson: Wait for a Quiet Season to Make a Change

I thought it was a brilliant idea to tackle GAPS right after getting my wisdom teeth taken out.  The first stage of the diet is limited to soup and stock, so why not begin when soup is one of the few things I would be able to eat?

It turns out that my recovery was a nightmare.  The blood clots fell out, exposing the bones and nerves of my gums, making me extremely uncomfortable.  I never take pain killers, but I had to break down once the pain became unbearable.  For some reason I didn’t think to cut the pills in half, and being unaccustomed to taking anything, they made me dizzy and nauseous. 

After one day on GAPS I realized that I couldn’t manage the difficult diet and deal with dry socket at the same time.  I quit.  It was just easier to eat yogurt from the store than to make soup at each meal.  I was in such pain and at times so dizzy that I couldn’t even get off the couch to make soup.

My life was too disrupted by my procedure for me to follow my new diet.  I should have waited until things settled down and I could focus on making the necessary dietary changes.

Second Lesson: Don’t Put Your Body Through Too Much At Once

It may seem contradictory, but healing takes a beating on your body.  Just as recovering from surgery can be rough, the process of healing through diet can also be wearisome.  I was probably asking for too much when I expected my gut to heal effectively while my mouth was trying to recover. 

After learning these two lessons I would like to offer some advice.  Do your best to start the diet when there isn’t too much going on in your life.  Making changes (especially in the way we eat) takes time and effort and is made more difficult by trying to juggle an overload of obligations.  You will also need to rest and take it easy so that your energy can be put towards healing your gut, not running around from thing to thing.

If you are always busy, then I urge you to take time off from your regular responsibilities and activities.  I don’t know your situation and if it’s possible for you to do that, but the more you can take out of your schedule for this short bit of time the better. 

I am going to try GAPS again.  And I am going to take my own advice.  I am not going to start GAPS until January, when my life has settled down a bit.  I hope I can inspire you to start this diet with me.

Though I have yet to experience it, I have faith that GAPS is worth the effort.

Resources to help you:

Let’s Demystify the GAPS Diet- This is great if you have never heard of GAPS before and don’t know who it’s for or what its purpose is.

Intro and Full GAPS Explained – This post briefly summarizes the steps of the diet.

Why You Might Consider The GAPS Diet;   and    What’s Right for Your Family: Traditional Foods or GAPS? –Sometimes it’s hard to know if eating real food is enough or if extra measures need to be taken.  These two separate links are meant to help you make that decision.

GAPS Diet Food List PLUS Intro Stage for Healing – Dr. Axe has a list of foods that can be eaten on the full GAPS diet as well as all six stages of the intro diet.

Why Everyone is Talking about the GAPS Diet– Go here for some helpful resources, such as books and meal planning services that will set you up for success!

Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, A.D.D., Dyslexia, A.D.H.D., Depression, Schizophrenia-This is the official book on GAPS, written by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, the creator of the diet.  I love this book and I’m in the process of rereading it.

The Heal Your Gut Cookbook: Nutrient-Dense Recipes for Intestinal Health Using the GAPS Diet-This book has great explanations on how to prepare the foods you will need on the diet as well as great recipe ideas to make it more fun.  I love the pictures in it!

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