HEALING WITH THE GAPS DIET
The biggest improvement in my sons digestive health came from doing the GAPS diet and adding chicken bone broth regularly to our daily routine.
After reading a valuable book ‘Nourishing Your Child for Health and Happiness’ by Sally Gray, a Naturopath (amongst other qualifications) and discovering she lives here in WA, I made an appointment to see her. The GAPS diet had starting popping up on my radar and this is what Sally recommended for Finlay and I.
GAPS stands for Gut and Psychology Syndrome, it is a diet created by Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride. GAPS works on an understanding that there is a link between the digestive system, the brain and immune system.
Three part program
- Heal the gut lining
- Restore the gut with beneficial flora
- Relieve the body of an excess toxic load.
All meals required cooking and there was a lot of preparation, 2 things I was only just learning to do! It required the most work but we got the best results from it. Over the time we were able to introduce a lot of foods that were previously not tolerated. This saw Finlay eating all fruits and vegetables, all meats, seeds, nuts, eggs and occasional cheese or yoghurt. The only foods we were totally excluding after doing GAPS were grains and white potatoes (as this is recommended). I would highly recommend the diet and we have done it again since the first time we did it.
A note on healing: If you imagine a large meal that is raw, has grains (especially gluten loaded), dairy or full of toxins, the body has to spend all its energy breaking that meal down. If there are any parts of the body that need healing, the body is not able to work on repairing itself (which is what it is designed to do). Yes, I mentioned raw just then, which you may be thinking is a good thing. I am definitely an advocate for raw foods as cooking at high temperatures especially in water, destroys some of the vital nutrients and minerals. However, through the process of cooking, fibre is reduced and makes it much easier for the body to digest. GAPS isn’t all about cooked foods but for the introductory phase it certainly is and this short term ‘break’ on your body certainly has its advantages for repairing.
This same theory can be applied to pregnancy, labour and the weeks after child birth. The body needs to be able to focus its energy on making a baby, preparing the body and repairing the body, not to mention the energy demands of breastfeeding. If you are loading your body with foods and beverages that are harder for the body to digest it takes energy away from the baby. As I’m heading into the final weeks of my pregnancy and preparing for the massive job of labour and breastfeeding, I’m avoiding unnecessary toxins, sugars, gluten and dairy (apart from butter and occasional cheese) all to make this process easier on my body.
For more information on the GAPS diet head to: http://gapsaustralia.com.au/