We care a lot about food and health. But we’re not big fans of any of the “fad” diets that move through culture. We like eating simply – unprocessed (or minimally processed) foods that come from a source we trust (or that we raised ourselves!). More on our food philosophy here.
But today, we officially began the GAPS diet.
If you’re not familiar with GAPS, you can learn more about it here.
The gist of it is this:
Our gastrointestinal (“gut”) flora (bacteria) is super important to our digestion and overall health. But certain things (like antibiotics, for example), can do harm to those beneficial bacteria (since antibiotics, for example, are designed to kill bacteria indiscriminately). Additionally, some people (perhaps naturally, or perhaps because of their poor gut flora) have allergies to certain foods. That can take on the form of major reactions, or just some unpleasant indigestion.
But all of that can do harm (or reveals the harm that has already been done) to your gut, leaving your body in a state of disease (just not at your peak health). A host of diseases have been blamed on poor diet; we’re not medical professionals, and we don’t have evidence to link any of that stuff definitively. But we do believe that what you put in your body affects your health.
So GAPS begins by putting foods in your body that are easily digested and have minimal risk of causing allergic reactions (again, this is not just peanuts… it’s the [temporary] elimination of grains, dairy, sugar, etc.). This gives the gut a chance to heal from any damage that might have been done to it, and restore its healthy flora.
One of the big focuses of the GAPS diet by its creator and proponents is that it can heal autoimmune-related diseases, such as Crohns, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, asthma, ADD, and more.
Here’s how it looks for us:
For a few days, we’re basically eating homemade chicken & vegetable soup. For every meal.
Then, we slowly add foods back in, observing how our bodies react to them. In fact, one test we’ll use to see if we have a specific food allergy is to rub a little bit of that food on the underside of our wrist in the evening. If there’s any skin irritation in the morning, that means we either rubbed the food way too hard 🙂 or we likely have a slight allergy to that food.
There’s quite a bit more to this, but that’s the long and the short of it.
We’ll be doing GAPS for two months. Kate is eager to heal any issues in her gut before we get going with Baby #2 (no, this is not an announcement), and I think it will be good for all of us.
I will, however, miss a few non-GAPS-approved items. But I’ll survive somehow…
We’ll discuss the results of our GAPS experiment as time goes on, and definitely at the end.
We’ll see. Kate is much more educated about it than I. She’s firm and confident with it. I’m cautiously optimistic. I don’t anticipate a panacea, but perhaps some notable improvement in digestion.
And I probably won’t be interested in chicken soup for quite some time…