Revisiting the GAPS Intro Diet
Omgeeeeee today is a day that I had the BEST No. 2. I know ew gross whatever but this is a major accomplishment in my world. I’ve been on the GAPS Introduction Diet for the last week and it is really doing some good work in there. No it has not been smooth sailing the whole time but I do have this general sense that things are getting better. And I mean a good No. 2 is a pretty darn good indicator.
For anyone unfamiliar with the GAPS Diet, it is a diet designed to re-establish a healthy microbiome, heal the gut lining and get proper digestion of food happening. All very great things. The hard part is that it’s slightly restrictive so one needs to be pretty darn committed. There is also this tricky piece to it called the Introduction Diet. This is a crucial part of the diet that helps heal and seal the leaky gut but ‘slightly restrictive’ turns into just plain old restrictive. I’ve been eating soup for a week, breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks in between. Honestly though, no complaints. It feels so good.
To back up a bit, I’ll tell you a bit about myself. I’m a 30 year old girl (female, woman, what are we saying these days?!) who has had this really complicated case of IBS since I was 16 and probably even before that. I was really the perfect picture of what leads up to someone with gut issues: constant infections as a child (ear infections, bladder infections, strep throat, you name it I had it) with accompanying antibiotics. Then came teenage land with skin issues and antibiotics for that as well. Then came mono, another round of strep and the decline of my health altogether.
The quick version is that I finally found the SCD/GAPS diet when I was 21 and have been following it more or less since then. And let me tell you, I've been dedicated. I don’t think I knew exactly what I was doing the whole time but really gave it a good effort. My biggest struggle was that these diets were mostly based around meat and vegetables. And vegetables were really really hard for me to digest no matter how much I cooked them. This was something that no matter what I did, I couldn’t really overcome. Some progress and some decline along the way, fast forward to a few years ago when I was 28, I decided to go to the Taymount Clinic in the UK for FMT (fecal microbiota transplantation). I know, MAJOR. But I was so desperate. And it definitely paid off.
That treatment felt like a miracle. I was by no means fully healed but even being able to eat more cooked vegetables was a huuuuugely positive outcome. I also felt more energetic and really just like a more ‘normal’ person. In one of my favorite books called Brain Maker by Dr. Perlmutter, he mentions that some people might just have a flora that is too damaged to come back from, where FMT can really help. True or not, the treatment really did dig me out of a ditch that I couldn’t get out of. A couple years later, I am feeling very ready to make even more progress. I’ve been considering ordering more treatments which I am able to do since I’ve been there. But I also thought why not give the GAPS Intro Diet another go since I can follow it easier these days. And so that is where I am today. One week in and I am stoked.
Something that helps me so much is reading about other people’s experiences. Feeling less alone, seeing what others have found to work well and just relating to another human going through this experience is beyond comforting. Everyone has different things going on but one main goal to improve their health. Heck yes. So I will do the same with my GAPS Intro Diet adventure and I hope it helps someone out there to keep positive and hopeful that things will get better. Because they will!
Read about my first week here: