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GAPS Diet Part IV: The Ins and Outs of The Introduction Diet

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.¬† The results are decrease risk of heath issues, especially autoimmune disease!¬†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 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 (and friends) 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 GAPS Introduction Diet 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!

At first, I didn’t feel very hungry.¬† My intestines were so inflamed, that I didn’t notice that my caloric intake had decreased dramatically.¬† It was somewhere around Day 4-5 that I noticed how starved I was!¬† It wasn’t quite time to begin adding avocado, but I did anyway.¬† I knew that a calorically dense avocado would make me feel more satiated.¬† At this time, I also started experiencing constipation (a complete 180!).¬† This diet contains very little fiber at first, so things started to get bound up.¬† Also, I was doing my best to “starve” the C. Diff by taking away all carbohydrates that would feed it.¬† The addition of the avocado also added some good fiber into my diet to help things “move along”.

A few days later, I also added almond butter!¬† What an amazing addition that was!¬† I was eating it by the spoonful!¬†¬†I ended up eating¬†a little too much and it caused bloating.¬† It’s so¬†powerful to take every irritating food out of your body.¬† It becomes so clean and so sensitive that when you add a food in that does not agree, it is very easy to notice.

So far, so good.  On my way to healing!