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This is a companion post to my earlier post on Who Should Consider the GAPS Diet?
In the health portion of the blogosphere the GAPS diet is discussed frequently. Obviously not everyone needs to be on the GAPS healing diet? (If you are not sure what the GAPS diet is you can read more at my GAPS page here at Purposeful Nutrition.) Some of us need some fine tuning, not the major overhaul of this healing diet. So who doesn’t really need it and how should they be eating?
1) Those who feel good most of the time. If you feel good when you wake in the morning and have energy throughout most of the day then you probably don’t need the GAPS diet.
2) Those who sleep well at night. Usually sleeping well at night is something of an indicator that things are pretty much on target. There are exceptions to that of course, for those who sleep all the time or have chronic fatigue or something of that nature.
3) Those with a healthy bowel and gut. The GAPS diet is primarily to heal your digestive system and then allow the body to heal itself from there. That means that if you are moving your bowel 1-3x daily and it is formed stool and you are not having excessive gas or heartburn you probably have a fairly healthy gut.
4) Those with healthy skin. Since eczema, psoriasis, and rashes often indicate a gut health problem it you have great skin probably your body is doing a good job of detoxing itself.
5) Those who are absolutely overwhelmed with the idea of any kind of significant diet change and with no time to cook for themselves. To you folks I have some special encouragement to take baby steps toward better health. Pick 1 suggestion from the list below and work to implement it.
6) Those who are elderly and in poor health. The elderly are often in poor health from years of toxins building up in their body. So this one is not so much that they would not benefit from the diet, but more that it can be too much for them. I was advised by a GAPS practitioner to proceed with great caution if I was to put my elderly and unhealthy family member on the GAPS diet. She recommended instead a nutrient dense diet as outlined below instead.
So how should the rest of us eat?
I am actually a big fan of a Weston A. Price type diet as popularized by Sally Fallon in the cookbook Nourishing Traditions. What that means in plain speech to those who have not followed any of these health educators is lots of real food that is close to the form in which it was grown, produced, etc. That will mean the following:
- fresh locally grown vegetables and fruits as much as possible without spray (organic but not always certified organic), eaten in season as much as possible.
- pastured and locally grown meats and dairy
- healthy animal fats like lard and tallow and butter
- coconut oil for cooking and good quality olive oil for salad dressings and such
- Fermented vegetables and drinks like kombucha, kefir, and sourkraut.
- Nut and seeds. The nuts are more digestible if soaked when raw and then dried slowly in an oven or dehydrator.
- Soaked whole grains, cooked and baked, and used in sourdough
- Avoiding processed foods as much as possible. I tend to follow a 90/10 rule of 90 real food and then have room for 10% cheats when I am at a potluck or a party.
What would you add to the list of healthy food choices?
PLEASE NOTE THAT GAPS™ AND GUT AND PSYCHOLOGY SYNDROME™ ARE THE TRADEMARK AND COPYRIGHT OF DR. NATASHA CAMPBELL-MCBRIDE. THE RIGHT OF DR. NATASHA CAMPBELL-MCBRIDE TO BE IDENTIFIED AS THE AUTHOR OF THIS WORK HAS BEEN ASSERTED BY HER IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE COPYRIGHT, PATENT AND DESIGNS ACT 1988.