You are currently viewing GAPS Diet Part III:  The Introduction Diet

GAPS Diet Part III: The Introduction Diet

When I was in Puerto Rico, my intestinal distress hit an all-time high! I could not even consume salad greens (which had always been a staple in my diet) without major gas and bloating, followed by a trip to the bathroom. I never knew when it was going to hit! It was completely unpredictable. The thought of leaving the house for the day brought on enormous stress for me. I had always heard people speaking about this and was never able to relate to it.  Now was different and I had much more empathy for these folks.  The last day of vacation, my girls and I took a morning run on the beach.  Good thing our condo was right near the beach! 20 minutes into our run, I had to literally run back to the condo and use the bathroom. It was awful. The cramping, bloating and complete discomfort of it all. I could not wait to get home to take care of myself.

So there I was, back from Paradise and ready to begin healing my intestines.¬† At this point, I had no idea what was causing my intestinal distress. I contacted my doctor so that we could run tests.¬† Giving a stool sample was certainly an interesting experience! I don’t think I’d ever done that before.¬† To add insult to injury, I had to give a sample twice!¬† For some reason, the first time around it couldn’t be read.¬† It was definitely very humbling.¬† We got back very late from our trip, around 1a.m.¬† My friend had come over earlier the day before¬†and put¬†a couple of chicken carcasses in my Crock-pot for me (lifesaver!).¬† My house had absolutely nothing else in it for food, yet I had to be at work at 7am in the morning for an 8 hour shift!¬† Back to reality with a bang! I was completely done eating foods that I knew irritated my stomach. I knew that the only thing it needed right now was the anti-inflammatory benefits of bone broth. So I took about a quart of broth to work with me the next morning. I really didn’t eat anything else.¬†After work I went grocery shopping and bought some GAPS Intro friendly food so that I could be nourished and begin my healing.

After two days on the GAPS Intro Diet, the diarrhea calmed down.¬† It was a miracle!¬† I was no longer running to the bathroom.¬† About a week after I began this regimen, I got a call from my doctor’s office telling me that I tested positive for C diff.¬† I guess my three bouts of antibiotics in the spring took it’s toll on me.¬† Looking back, I really believe that I developed this back in June. But because of the fermented foods I eat and drink, as well as the probiotics I take, I was able to keep it under control.¬† I had actually convinced myself that this diarrhea was a symptom of Lyme disease and that my body was fighting it off.¬† I thought that by eating healthfully and staying on probiotics, I could fight off the Lyme disease and minimize the symptoms.¬† There were times this fall that I would stop taking my probiotics, thinking that I didn’t need to keep taking them since I eat a lot of fermented food.¬† However, every time I stopped, I would begin to experience diarrhea.¬† So back I went onto the probiotics.¬† It was around Christmas time that the probiotics no longer seemed to work. It didn’t matter if I was taking them or not, the diarrhea took over with a vengeance.

There is a plethora of¬†reasons why bone broth is the backbone of the GAPS Diet.¬† First and foremost are its anti-inflammatory effects on the intestines.¬† Amino acids such as glycine, proline, and arginine all have anti-inflammatory¬†properties and bone broth is¬†LOADED with them!¬† Bone broth also contains chondroitin sulfate (a very expensive¬†nutritional supplement), a structural component of cartilage that has been found to improve inflammatory conditions as well.¬† Bone broth also has easily absorbable minerals that help heal and seal the intestinal lining.¬† If you remember in my last post, I talked about how the over-growth of pathogenic bacteria can lead to “leaky-gut syndrome” because of all the toxins they secrete.¬† These toxins cause the intestinal wall to become permeable, allowing “leaking” of undigested food particles and toxins into the bloodstream.¬† The minerals as well as the gelatin¬†in the bone broth help “heal and seal” the gut lining, decreasing intestinal permeability, and therefore “leaky-gut” syndrome.¬† There are oh so many more benefits to bone broth, but these are the ones pertinent to intestinal health.

Being an ex-vegetarian certainly has made it difficult to embark on such a meat and meat stock based diet!¬† If I hadn’t already studied this diet and understood the science behind WHY it works; it would have been very difficult for me to accept that this was my fate!¬† I feel fortunate that I had the opportunity to work with folks before embarking on this path myself.¬† I have watched many clients heal their illnesses by using the GAPS diet, so the evidence was already there for me.¬†But I have also secretly thought, “This diet is WAY too difficult to follow…Thank goodness I am healthy and won’t ever have to follow it!”¬† Careful what you say….you just never know!

Why is this diet so difficult?¬† Well for starters, there are 2 parts to the diet.¬† The first part is the Introduction and the second is the Full GAPS Diet.¬† The Introduction is recommended if your illness includes intestinal distress.¬† Well, there was no argument.¬† I¬†was certainly¬†experiencing intestinal distress!¬† The Introduction is divided up into 6 stages.¬† I won’t go into detail about each stage for time sake, but Stage 1 includes bone broth, well cooked vegetables, meat cooked in the broth, sea salt, coconut oil, animal fats, liquid from fermented vegetables and that’s about it!¬† So for the first week, that’s all I ate!¬† This was going to be interesting….