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Becky is someone I knew for most of her growing up years but then as a young adult I was not closely involved in her life. So I did not know about her ongoing health issues and challenges. About a year ago I spent some time with her parents and her mother mentioned to me that her daughter was thinking of some strange diet called the GAPS diet and they were not too sure it was a good thing to do. I was able to reassure them that is was an amazing diet to pursue for the health issues at hand and could share with them about the healing my own daughter had experienced up to that point on the GAPS diet. Now a year later you can see where Becky and her family have come. Very encouraging to say the least.
1. How long have you been on the GAPS diet?
2. What was going on that made you decide to pursue the diet?
I was struggling with severe food sensitivities, bad acne, headaches, chronic joint pain and was loosing weight too quickly. I basically felt like my body was giving up on me. My 10 month old had food sensitivities that caused vomiting and I couldn’t nurse because my allergies weren’t the same as his and together. I could eat basically nothing. He also had eczema. And my 4 year old was exhibiting signs of ADD.
3. Did you start with Full GAPS or Intro first? How long have you been on each?
First we started eliminating grain, then lactose and refined sugar. Then we took out anything processed and starches, until we eating only foods on Full GAPS. That took about a month. We have been on Full GAPS for a year. We have not done Intro at all. (Note from Jennifer – Dr. Campbell-McBride does recommend Intro for all who do the diet for maximum healing but obviously as you see from this story even Full GAPS can make a world of difference.)
4. What kind of progress or healing have you seen?
I noticed improvement in my food reactions and chronic pain within days of eliminating grain. I only improved as I eliminated all the other ‘no’ foods. After about 3 months, I was able to eat almost all of the GAPS approved foods that I was previously sensitive to, and I started gaining weight back. My weight has now completely stabilized. My skin and my son’s skin have cleared and he no longer gets hives. My daughter is much calmer and more focused.
5. What other strategies have you implemented along with GAPS? Why?
3 months ago I started using Norwex products to clean my house (non-toxic / chemical free) and have just started using Adya Clarity as a mineral supplement and to eliminate chlorine, fluoride, heavy metals, etc. from our drinking and cooking water. I figure the less toxins we are exposed to, the better out gut flora, etc. Also, we live in an area with particularly bad public water.
6. Are you off the GAPs diet?
We sometimes have pasta or a dish of ice cream as a treat, but in general, we still follow Full GAPS. We occasionally will eat sour dough bread as a treat too.
7. Are there areas where you have not seen healing so far?
I am still sensitive to onions, garlic, cinnamon, black pepper and wine or beer, but this is a MARKED improvement to what I was sensitive to prior to GAPS. My chronic pain (a result of Lyme’s Disease) comes back when I’m fighting a cold, etc. My son is still lactose sensitive. But as long as we keep him off grain and lactose, his skin stays clear. I can tell when my daughter has had something off-diet because she comes home bouncing off the walls and is over emotional for days.
8.What has been the hardest thing about following the GAPS diet? Vacations or anything that takes us out of our routine. Holidays with family are hardest because we are surrounded by food we shouldn’t or can’t eat. I struggled with this prior to GAPS because of all of my sensitivities, but it’s hard for my kids.
9. What has been the best thing about following the GAPS diet?
I can actually eat more now on the diet than I could before. I feel MUCH better!
10. Do you have any advice for a person considering going on the GAPS diet?
Get connected with others who are eating that way. Their support and advice are invaluable.
11. Is there any you would like to add to the above comments? Nope, that about sums it up.