What Is The GAPS Diet?
The GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) diet is a nutrient-rich organic meat and plant-based diet that can effectively treat and significantly reduce symptoms of many mental health disorders and learning disabilities including autism, dyslexia, depression, dyspraxia, A.D.H.D., and schizophrenia.
The GAPS nutritional protocol can also help individuals suffering from diarrhea and severe digestive issues including IBS, Crohn’s disease as well as Ulcerative Colitis. The diet can also help those with food allergies as food allergies tend to originate in your digestive system.
The GAPS diet is very similar to the paleo diet in that it aims to reduce all intake of sugar and starchy carbohydrates. GAPS is unique to paleo in that it also encourages dieters to add a generous amount of gut-healing bone broth and organic animal fat to their diets. The GAPS Diet also includes a lot of fermented and live food to help dieters to rebuild the natural microbial balance in their guts.
The diet was created by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride who set up The Cambridge Nutrition Clinic in 1998. McBride is the mother of a child fully recovered from a severe learning disability. Aware of the difficulties other parents like her are facing she has devoted her life to helping them. Dr. McBride is transforming the lives of children and adults all over the world as they overcome their disabilities with this pioneering diet.
Why Chose The GAPS Diet?
Just like with holistic medicine, The GAPS Diet aims to treat and in some cases cure the root cause of conditions like autism and other learning disabilities which Dr. McBridge has found in her experience with patients to be directly linked to a lack of beneficial bacteria in the gut as well as a leaky gut.
To the best of my knowledge, there is no other reliable way to repair a leaky gut or other severe gut health conditions using Western Medicine, and so The GAPS Diet for many is the obvious way to go.
People choose this diet because they want to heal and even in some cases cure their debilitating conditions and The GAPS Diet provides a clear nutritional protocol to follow in order to achieve this.
Who Uses The GAPS Diet?
The GAPS diet is an excellent option for anyone living with the conditions mentioned above who is prepared to spend some time in the kitchen to prepare meals for this delicious but restrictive diet.
If you are the parent of a child with any of these conditions and they also happen to be a fussy eater please don’t be put off. Yes, it might be hard work to transition your child onto this purely whole food-based diet, however, for the transformation that you will see in them as they heal, it is going to be well worth the effort. And keep in mind that after you or your child has recovered, they then may be able to ease off the diet after 2 years so GAPS does not have to be a forever thing for you.
GAPS is not suitable for vegans or vegetarians as this diet is restrictive already and so if you cut out meat and animal products you wouldn’t have much left to eat, unfortunately. That being said, if this is you then you still may have a lot to learn by reading Dr. Mcbride’s book ‘Gut and Psychology Syndrome’ which you can purchase from gapsdiet.com and perhaps doing your own modified version of the diet would be better than not doing anything at all.
I also want to point out to vegans and vegetarians that consuming bone broth does not actually harm any more animals than not drinking it as the bones are something that usually gets discarded and thrown away. Me personally, I feel like I’m being a good person by making my broth as I’m not letting this highly nutritious part of the animals go to waste. For those who truly need the healing please do consider trying broth, at least for a temporary period even if you don’t want to have it forever. It really can help tremendously to repair a damaged gut when just taking probiotics is not enough.
How Long Does The GAPS Diet Last?
It is highly recommended to first start off with the GAPS Introduction Diet which lasts 18 – 30 days normally and involves removing all food from your diet that might irritate your gut and then gradually introducing more foods back in.
Following the GAPS Intro Diet is the Full GAPS Diet which most people stay on for about 2 years which is normally long enough for your body to completely heal.
Many people will stay on the GAPS Diet long term but it depends on the individual and is not always necessary although can be beneficial.
Where To Find A Practitioner
How To Get Started
The first thing that I’d recommend to do if you are considering trying the GAPS diet is reading the book ‘Gut and Psychology Syndrome’ which you can purchase from gapsdiet.com .
I will be releasing a GAPS diet meal planning app very shortly with 5 new delicious GAPS diet recipes added weekly.
Please follow my instagram page for updates @gogaps