In my last post, I told you what the GAPS diet is and why people use it. Today, I’m going to tell you why we are going to follow GAPS.
Why We’re Doing GAPS
First off, I don’t believe GAPS is necessary for everyone. I honestly don’t think it would hurt a healthy person to take a few months to do GAPS (it’s all amazingly nutritious food!) We also don’t believe that GAPS will heal every problem out there. There are other causes of disease besides digestive problems. We are doing GAPS because my husband has an obvious digestive problem that has been getting worse and it makes sense to follow a diet designed to heal the digestive system.
About five years ago my hubby started a new job that was extremely demanding. He often had to work straight through an 11 or 12 hour shift (sometimes longer), with nothing but coffee. He began becoming more susceptible to all the little “stomach viruses” going around, but we attributed that to his constant contact with the public that he had from his job. He has had a few doses of antibiotics since then, too. Long story short, it’s slowly gotten worse until I began to notice a correlation between what he ate and how he felt. We’ve been eating mostly real foods for over 2 1/2 years now, which I think made it easier to see. “Junk food” always makes him feel bad (nauseated, upset stomach, stomach ache and/or indigestion), but I began to notice that grains were also doing it. Even the expensive freshly made sprouted grain and sourdough breads from a local bakery have started to bother him. A couple of weeks ago, he noticed it too and we cut back on grains. It’s already helping, but we know that he would have to avoid grains indefinitely to prevent more problems. Instead, we’re going to try GAPS and see if we can heal his digestive system.
I am breastfeeding, so I’ll be going straight into full GAPS to be able to make enough milk. I’ve already had some struggles with keeping up my milk supply, so I’ll even have some real sour dough or sprouted grain bread in the freezer to eat if I need it. Our girls will be eating what I eat and we hope that my hubby will be onto full GAPS quickly. We get raw milk from a local farm, so we’ll culture all of it (as yogurt, kefir and buttermilk) for a couple of months, then try out just drinking the raw milk again. Since my husband is the only one with serious problems, the girls and I will adjust the diet as needed for ourselves. My goal for us is to increase our nutrition and support my husband… and not have to cook separate meals!
Since we had mono a few years before our first baby was born, my hubby and I have both struggled with fatigue that is both physical and mental. Feeling like we’re walking through molasses and not being able to think clearly is not a lot of fun and we’d both be thrilled to have some improvement in those areas! I don’t expect this diet to be a magical cure-all, but a girl can hope, right?
At this point, I can’t say how long we’ll be following GAPS. It may be just a few months or it may be much longer, but our goal is still to return to eating a nutritious real foods diet that includes grains. Depending on how big of a difference it makes and how we’re all feeling, we’ll evaluate each month whether to continue.
I’ll be putting together a list of resources for my next post about GAPS, but please feel free to include any resources that have helped you on your GAPS journey in the comments. We’re starting GAPS on Sunday (October 14th, 2012) and my “Renew Your Health Challenge” for each month will be postponed until we’re either done with GAPS or I have a good handle on it.
If you’ve done GAPS, do you have any advice for us?