First of all, let me say that the GAPS diet really impresses me. I have high respect for all that it can accomplish for one’s health. If you are unfamiliar, I encourage you to take a look at the gaps.me website to familiarize yourself.
And, although my children don’t have any serious health issues, I did see much common ground with some of their symptoms and experiences (such as being on antibiotics at birth, constipation and seasonal allergies) and those that often lead to more chronic health conditions. Since I believe that the GAPS diet can bring healing to them and support their growth I made plans to try it.
That being said, I was finding the introductory diet to be virtually impossible to administer. My biggest problem? All three kids were constantly hungry. (Not to mention, my husband who was NOT doing GAPS was hungry and starting to get a bit grumpy about it!) As I read online, the only suggestion was to feed everyone more frequently (about every 1-2 hours). First of all, I have been living in my kitchen in order to provide GAPS friendly foods already. Secondly, our food budget has been increasing past a point that we can afford without going to meals every hour or two.
So, I decided to do my own version of GAPS. Here’s what it is:
1. Eggs for breakfast. (Eggs are emphasized in the GAPS diet. We eat them in a variety of ways for breakfast with some fruit or veggies.)
2. Soups made from homemade stocks for lunch. (I add lots of veggies and meats to make mine less brothy and more filling.)
3. Paleo friendly dinners. Paleo cooking is grain-free and dairy-free, which is the suggested protocol of the introduction diet. My favorite website for dinner ideas is www.everydaypaleo.com.
4. Good quality probiotics. We all take probiotics each day and try to eat our homemade sauerkraut with meals.
5. We DO allow rare “cheats” for the kids. For example, they went to a very important birthday party a few weeks ago. We let them have some of the party food. However, we don’t allow them to have snacks in their class at church, home group, other family functions, etc. Instead, we provide an exciting alternative snack that is GAPS friendly. Our goal is that they adhere to the diet very closely but that they still feel like they are normal kids.
So, it is pretty similar to the GAPS diet with just a few tweaks. I know that those changes might mean that we don’t experience healing as quickly for our symptoms. But, it is doable.
Plus, I know it is all in how you look at it, but I love the paleo/primal lifestyle because it is ENCOURAGING. Rather than a list of foods to avoid, you are inspired to eat in ways that will optimize your energy and performance. It may just be semantics. But, I would really rather be paleo/primal (pursuing a diet/life that maximizes wellbeing) than be on a diet to avoid food allergies and allow for “gut healing.” That is why I like our paleo dinners so much.
It is a luxury that we have that others with more critical health needs don’t have, and I am grateful for the wiggle-room.
I call it “relaxing into the GAPS”. 🙂