The GAPS diet

Raw Fish

I know many people who have had a lifetime of changing diets so they could regain their health or lose weight. I am not one of those people. The first time I altered my diet was when I discovered that I had a yeast overgrowth that was causing my food intolerance, affecting my career as a pastry chef and my health on the whole. Western medicine did not support this theory but I knew it was true for me after reading several books on the subject and relating my every ache and symptom to thousands of others suffering the same fate. I illuminated all processed foods, fruit and sugars of any kind and switched to 100% organic. I did feel much better and as a bonus side effect, I lost 80 pounds of unwanted extra weight. What I didn’t know then that I do know now is that I did not address the root of the issue. I thought I was by not feeding the yeast and eliminating my trigger foods but there was a big piece of the puzzle that I overlooked. Healing my gut. True, I felt amazing while eating so clean. The results were short lived. Eventually I would eat out in restaurants, go to potlucks, get poisoned. It is ridiculous how careful I have to be to avoid my trigger foods and it is down right socially awkward.

I took a toll on my body from birth to my thirties starting with baby formula and growing up with the S.A.D. diet, (Standard American Diet). By contrast, eating any vegetables made me feel healthy. Sure I was healthy(I thought), I ate broccoli twice a week! It makes sense to me that simply switching to a healthy diet, even a nutrient dense, amazingly thoughtful and clean diet will not work to heal if a person is unable to absorb the nutrients. The only way to do that is to heal the damage done.

Enter Natasha Campbell-McBride of the Cambridge Nutrition Clinic. After spending five years as a Neurologist and three years as a Neurosurgeon, Dr. McBride also completed a second postgraduate degree in Human Nutrition. Read more about her, here. After having a child with an Autism diagnosis, she immersed herself into an intensive study of the cause and treatment of the disease. She now specialized in a nutritional protocol to treat mental, digestive and immune disorders and with great success. Dr. Campbell-McBride is author of Gut and Psychology Syndrome, first and second edition, and Put Your Heart in Your Mouth. She is key note speaker at health and healing conferences around the world where I have had the pleasure of hearing her speak.

Dr. Campbell-McBride developed the GAPS diet by adapting the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, by Dr. Sydney Valentine Haas, which was developed to manage celiac disease back in the 1950’s. After prescribing the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, or SCD, for many years Dr. Campbell-McBride added to this amazing body of work, made some necessary adjustments and the GAPS diet was born.

As a Nutritional Therapist with a focus on food intolerance I recommend this protocol to all of my clients with gastrointestinal issues, but it is a healing protocol for conditions including but not limited to learning disabilities, psychiatric disorders and physical problems, such as autism, hyperactivity and attention deficit, dyslexia, dyspraxia, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, eating disorders, epilepsy and food allergies.

There are two stages to the diet, the intro stage with its six components and the full GAPS diet. Go here in order to learn how to prepare for the GAPS diet and here to learn about the ins and outs of the diet itself.