After A Year On The GAPS Diet
After A Year On The GAPS Diet
Honestly, it has been nothing short of a miracle. Now that I can look back and recall where we were a year ago with our little boy, and I see how far he has come, I know changing his diet was the best decision we ever made. A year ago I had a little boy who was in pain, who was locked inside himself and was just disconnected from his world around him. His speech was very minimal, we couldn’t have any sort of real conversation with him. He didn’t respond to his name or look at us when we asked him a question, let alone answer. He would use some words, and could show preference for some activities or foods, but it was minimal. His world was extremely limited by his ability to communicate his needs and desires.
To add insult to injury, he was in pain. He was extremely constipated and I know what that feels like. We would see him hunch over the side of a chair or the couch to put pressure on his belly that was undoubtedly hurting him constantly. When he would have a bowel movement, it was a miserable and painful experience for him…which would lead him to hold it in, making everything worse. It was obvious something had to be done. We had tried the traditional remedies such as mirilax but nothing helped him. So it was with great determination that we set out on the GAPS healing diet.
So now it’s been a year on GAPS. We survived! I learned so much in this past year about food, traditional cooking methods, making broth and cooking with broth. It’s become a new way of life for us. The most difficult thing about GAPS or Paleo eating is not the cooking itself though honestly…it’s the mindset. It’s the very way you think about food. Some of the things you are used to eating, just have to go. There is no way around it. Heavily processed foods are out and the artificial additives go right out with them. But I have to say, eating a real food diet like GAPS or Paleo or whichever you might try…gives you tremendous freedom as well. It’s true! When I go grocery shopping now I skip most of the store entirely. I wish I could say my grocery bill was less…but that hasn’t really been the case. Some whole food ingredients can definitely be pricey. But we eat more fruits and vegetables and we don’t really eat out at all. It’s been the right choice for our family…and that is what really matters. Everyone has to figure out what works for them.
Now that we survived an entire year of GAPS…and we were very strict with it during that year…I am excited to bring in a few new things to try. I haven’t written about it much, but I also had my daughter on the GAPS diet for her eczema and she is completely eczema free now! So not only did my son heal almost entirely from his autism symptoms, but we healed eczema as well! I did use more than just food with them both. I employed homeopathy, herbs and other supplements as well. And we did a complete overhaul of all of our household products such as our cleaning supplies, soaps, lotions and just basically everything you can think of. I make a lot of our skin care and bath products from scratch now with only non-toxic, plant based ingredients as well as essential oils. For both of my kids, I felt like a total intervention was critical. What you put on your body is as important as what you put in it! In fact, everything you put on your body, absorbs directly into your body and your bloodstream. So I read labels, I use my Pure Haven Essentials products and make sure we avoid synthetic fragrances, parabens, triclosan, and petroleum by-products, just to name a few!
So what are we eating now? I would say we are on a GAPS/Paleo hybrid diet where I still put a lot of emphasis on broth. We are in the habit of eating soups and other foods made with broth so I will keep that up. But I am adding in a few paleo things like arrowroot powder and tapioca starch as well as potatoes. GAPS doesn’t allow potatoes so it’s been nice to have those again. Everyone loves mashed potatoes and I can whip up some darn good gravy with my homemade broths, butter and arrowroot powder and maybe some beef gelatin too. I also love baked goods…breads, pancakes, waffles, cookies and cakes are just all better with a little arrowroot powder! Believe me! You can just only get so far with almond flour and coconut flour! Now in the past year TigerNut Flour has come onto the scene and that has also been life changing. Thanks to a lot of people going on healing diets like us….the market is responding with a lot of fantastic new options! When I started this journey last year I had to make every last thing my kids ate from scratch. Even crackers! But now…there are paleo friendly crackers on the shelves! If you have kids you know how huge that is!! Kids need some crackers sometimes! Brands like Simple Mills and Paleo Baking Co. have come along and added some options. It’s a nice time saver! Eating clean is getting easier all the time. I still get to have waffles for breakfast when I want them. I still get to have cookies and crackers…but they are made with whole foods that are not highly processed and highly hard on our digestive systems. We all feel better, we sleep better and we are really getting well from the inside out. I feel like it’s been a huge accomplishment and something I really celebrate. I truly believe that anyone can heal just about anything with a whole foods diet and the right supplements. The body wants to heal and be healthy. I have seen it first hand…I know it to be true. Believe in your body and your ability to heal. That is my healthy life philosophy.