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Chris and his wife Anna run the website WBKitchen making and selling GAPS legal snacks. He spent several years on the GAPS diet and found great healing for his digestive issues.
1. How long have you been on the GAPS diet?
I have been on the GAPS diet since right after Thanksgiving in 2010.
2. What was going on that made you decide to pursue the diet?
I was having severe stomach pain and bloody stools for a little over a year and it progressively got worse. I had tried gluten free diets and then removed a few grains but still had major symptoms. I went to the doctors and hospital and they could not find anything wrong with me. They did colonoscopy, sonogram, and blood tests and said I looked perfectly healthy. I was in so much pain I thought I had cancer or was dying. I was recommended to a group of MD’s who had become more concerned with lifestyle and dietary changes in their practice and they and their nutritionists suggested the GAPS diet. I thought it was crazy but my wife researched it and put me on it. I did the GAPS maintenance diet (Full GAPS) for a few months to adjust and then I went on the intro diet. Over time I slowly worked my way into the GAPS maintenance again.
3. Did you start with Full GAPS or Intro first? How long have you been on each?
I started Full GAPS and then did Intro a few months later. I am still doing a modified GAPS diet that works well for me. I still cannot handle dairy regularly.
4. What kind of progress or healing have you seen?
My progress has been amazing. Within a few weeks of being on the intro diet all of my symptoms disappeared. There were a few weeks where I felt horrible and lost a lot of weight. My body was just detoxing on a whole new level.
5. What other strategies have you implemented along with GAPS? Why?
I incorporated a consistent exercise routine. I do Cross Fit 3-4 times a week and hike with the dogs regularly. I wanted to feel strong and feel like I could tackle lifes challenges. I also meditate twice daily, but I have been doing this for 8+ years.
6. Are you off the GAPS diet?
I am still on the GAPS diet, but I just don’t do very much dairy and I will only eat a small amount of peanuts. I still drink broth almost daily. Broth is the most important piece in my opinion. I als think people should take fermented fish oil every day. I take it every day and I would put it in as my second secret weapon beneath homemade bone broth.
7. Are there areas where you have not seen healing so far?
No. I only have issues if I stray from what I know my body likes. I can also have minor cheats occasionally and not have any negative consequences.
8. What has been the hardest thing about following the GAPS diet?
The hardest part about GAPS was in the beginning. It was like quitting a drug habit getting off all of my old favorite foods. I was a candy and bread addict for sure. It was painful to be confronted with all of the psychological aspects of my food addictions. I was using food to avoid parts of myself that were not pleasant to acknowledge and deal with. It has and still does require confronting unpleasant parts of my psyche (shadow pieces) and learning to integrate them in appropriate and healthy ways. Also explaining to others was just frustrating. Having to make all of your food is rather challenging. I am lucky to have a background in the culinary arts and cooking. So cooking all my own food was fun, exciting, and inspiring. It challenged me in the kitchen again. It required me to rethink my recipes and attitude towards food. It rekindled my passion for cooking.
9. What has been the best thing about following the GAPS diet?
The best part about GAPS is knowing that I can feel good! I just thought feeling crummy all the time was normal and was the way things were. I had no idea how food affected me on all levels (physical, spiritual, psychological).
10. Do you have any advice for a person considering going on the GAPS diet?
Start slowly. Maybe cut out gluten first, then grains, then refined sugar, then dairy, etc. Trying to do it all at once seems very impractical especially if you are not near a bottom as far as your discomfort and quality of life goes. I would not have been successful if I had done so. See if someone will do it with you, especially a household member. It is not going to work so well if your partner or friends are always mocking you. GAPS can and will have a profound impact on your life. Food/diet can heal just about anything and GAPS makes it easy to do so. There is such a huge online community for resources and local groups are growing in size every year. People are out there with similar struggles as yourself and looking for their community just like you. You just have to take the plunge into vulnerability and find them. GAPS is not an easy task to undertake but well worth it. Once you notice the effects it is hard to go back. It is kind of like the dual edge blade of knowledge/enlightenment.
Since Chris and his wife Anna were cooking all of their own food they started to take stuff to parties and pot lucks so that they could have something to eat while they were there. People really liked some of the cookies they were making and said they should try selling them. Thus the birth of WB Kitchen happened. Chris would never have imagined that this is what he would be doing to make a living, but in a way it makes perfect sense!
Shared at Natural Family Friday, Wellness Wednesday.