So if the GAPS diet seemed really restrictive already, the GAPS Intro stages are probably going to seem outrageous. But I do believe going through them is worth it for what it teaches you about your body.
On the GAPS Intro stages, the idea is that you start with a very limited palate of foods that are highly nourishing, optimal for healing the gut, and least likely to cause inflammation and immune system reactions. Then you start reintroducing foods.
It’s a lot like a being a detective, as Cheeseslave recently posted on Facebook (a suggestion from someone taking her Reversing Food Allergies online course). A detective on the hunt for offenders who manage to sneak past the gut guards and wreak havoc in the rest of the body. And there’s a great big long list of suspects.
So in order to be the best detective possible, you have to very slowly and carefully test out each of those suspects to see if they start wreaking havoc. Basically you’re doing experiments on your own body, and as carefully as possible tweaking the food variables and observing the effects.
Since each gut contains a unique biodiverse ecosystem of microorganisms, each body is going to have its own unique set of offenders. Even within a small family, despite the fact that families share a lot of gut flora between the individual bodies. If there is one thing that it is important to remember about the GAPS program, it is that people are unique. And complicated!
Some people say they only take a week to go through the GAPS Intro stages, doing one stage each day. It entirely depends, of course, on each person’s body, reactions, and capacities. However, I know that my body does not react quickly enough to allow me to make the conclusions I need to make about it in that rapid of a process.
That being said, I certainly think, if you only can do a week on intro, that’s certainly better than doing nothing at all! And lots of people decide to go back and do the intro stages over again, sometimes several times. It all depends on what works for you, and there’s nothing wrong or right about the way you do it — unless it’s not working for you!
When we started GAPS Intro, J and I both wanted to make sure we wouldn’t have to completely redo it later, if possible. We’re the kind of people who kind of go “whole hog” on this sort of thing. Although, now having done it, if we do have to go back through a few days of intro for rebalancing if we have symptoms relapse.
So it has taken us about two months to get thru the stages, and we’re almost all the way moved on to the full GAPS diet. I’m very glad to have taken this gradual approach, because it has taught me a lot about my body.
We have found a few flagrant offenders, and a few potential offenders that can get rowdy if too much of them shows up all together. And these offenders were all things that I was eating pretty regularly before we started Intro, when I was doing the full GAPS program.
So doing the Intro phases has allowed me to better tailor full GAPS to my specific needs, to what makes my body work well, and avoiding what causes it problems.
In the next several posts in this series, I’m going to outline what we did on each step of the Intro diet. Sometimes this isn’t exactly the way that Dr. NC-M outlines on her website or in the GAPS Book; it’s how we tailored the program to our own particular needs. And if you do the Intro diet yourself, you’re going to need to tailor it yourself. Every single one of us is unique — and that’s why we all need to do the detective work to figure out what we need!
This post is part of Monday Mania.
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