Fermentation, Food, Healing
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Gut Rebuilding: the beginning of the GAPS diet

I’m enjoying the soothing effect of chicken broth on my intestines on day 4 of the GAPS intro diet. It is a rather involved process to switch to a new diet. Even for someone like me, who has been eating primarily whole, natural, gluten free foods and who ferments fervently, it is quite the adventure.

I thought I would share a little about how my process is going so far to give folks a sense of what is involved.

GAPS, the Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet is an adaptation of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). It has a lot in common with the Paleo Diet in that it focuses on whole, natural meats and vegetables and excludes grains, sugar and all processed food. But it differs in some key points which make it uniquely suited to gut rebuilding. Particularly in the beginning, the main foods are bone broth, soups and fermented foods and all complex carbohydrates including potato and yam are excluded.

GAPS was developed by Dr. Natasha Campbell–McBride to support the healing of her patients who’s digestive imbalances have dramatically effected their mental well being. She has had great results with children and adults improving the symptoms of Autism, ADHD as well as irritable bowel, Crohn’s and many others.

I highly recommend that anyone suffering from digestive problems consider giving their gut the benefit of resting from carbohydrates and rebuilding their beneficial bacteria. Check out Dr. Campbell–McBride’s book and website for more details.

One can choose to eat the full GAPS diet, which is a great long term way to eat, or one can start with the introductory diet which is simpler yet stricter and designed to deeply heal the gi tract. I have followed the full GAPS diet in the past and really liked the way my body felt on it. A few weeks ago I got a bout of the flu that I was having a hard time shaking, so I decided it was time to give my belly some extra love and care and I’m really glad that I did.

Ok, here is my adventure so far with the GAPS intro diet.

First there is the preparation.

Belly prep: Two days without any grains, or refined carbs. (You may want more time for this transition, but I was already feeling sick and broth sounded like a great plan)

Kitchen prep: stocking with meat, veggies, bone broth and fermented foods. Clearing out any non-diet foods including grains, sugary foods, non-fermented dairy.

Thu: planned meals and made a shopping list. I HIGHLY recommend this step. Check out lifefoodjourney for an amazing guide to starting stage 1 of the intro diet. It is super helpful to have what you need when you’re brain is a little fuzzy and you don’t know what to eat.

Fri: I had scrambled eggs with veggies for breakfast. Salad with smoked salmon for lunch. Are the last of the cream of cauliflower soup made with lots of cream and milk, yummy!

Put chicken in the crock pot overnight on medium (300). In the morning I peeled the meat off the bones and put it in the fridge for the res of the week. The bones and skin went back in the crock pot with 1 tbsp sea salt and filtered water. I’ll start drinking the broth after 12 hours and keep refilling the pot until it starts to taste watery 4-7 days.

Sat: Berry and veggie smoothie with yogurt and almond butter (rushing out the door). First batch of chicken soup: sautéed onions in lamb drippings, carrots, zucchini, garlic, chicken and broth.

First official day:

Warm water with squeeze of lemon and pinch of salt.

Soup from last night with tsp of Saurkraut juice. Pint of bone broth. Repeat all day.

By evening I’d eaten most of the soup and made another batch

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