I am often asked what the GAPS diet is. And I often come up with a rather sheepish answer . . . and finish feeling like an electrocuted chicken.
But since I have signed up to receive the Health, Home and Happiness emails prior to the GAPS intro diet challenge . . . I have been learning a lot about this boiled bird diet, even though I ate that way for a solid 6 weeks this summer.
You were supposed to laugh.
If you think you need to stop reading . . . like this doesn’t pertain to you -- think again. It never hurts to learn something new. You never know when this information might prove useful.
First, I want to talk to you about your gut. What is your gut? Your gut is essentially your 2nd brain. It does an enormous amount of work to keep your body health. Think about it . . . if you don’t poop, how do you feel?
Bloated . . . full . . . sluggish . . . frequent headaches . . . blah.
(Did you know that you can loose up to 10 pounds of poop when you do a cleansing fast?)
Secondly, how does the gut work and how can you make it happy? (taken from two of Cara’s excellent pre-challenge newsletters).
To be healthy your “gut depends on good bacteria (flora) to plug holes, neutralize toxins and metabolize vitamins.
The intestine is naturally porous, and we depend on a symbiotic relationship with friendly bacteria to ‘plug the holes’. This prevents large proteins (like gluten and casein) from going through the gut wall and into the bloodstream, and the bacteria also provide a barrier against toxins entering our bloodstream. As the gut flora neutralize, metabolize, and further break down our food they also are transporting vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients across the gut wall.
In addition to not having enough good gut flora, the presence of bad ‘opportunistic’ flora creates problems by releasing toxins into the bloodstream, which affect the brain. We get bad flora in our system by wiping the entire system out with antibiotics, allowing the bad bacteria to establish colonies because there aren’t enough good bacteria already established to crowd them out. In the case of a baby, babies get their first dose of bacteria by coming through the birth canal, so if mom has a history of having antibiotics and has bad gut flora, the baby’s first ‘dose’ of bacteria are often bad ones.
Bad bacteria in the gut can emit toxins, which affect brain function like a drug, this is why this diet also works to help autism and mental disorders.
The gut also has our 'second brain' in it, there is actually neural tissue in the gut that helps regulate the emotions. When the gut is not healthy, anxiety, depression, and other moods aren't kept in check.
Allergies and other chronic health conditions such as inflammation and skin issues are primarily from either undigested particles going through a 'leaky gut' and then the body reacting to the 'foreign' materials, or a response the body has to the chemicals emitted by the pathogenic bacteria that have colonized in the gut.
The GAPS 'introduction' diet is an intense healing diet that consists of bone broth, as it is rich in amino acids needed to rebuild the gut wall, probiotc foods (cultured vegetables like homemade kimchi) to provide friendly bacteria, and healthy fats that so many of our modern bodies are starved of. The Intro GAPS diet is also notable for what it does NOT contain. It completely eliminates any food that may be at all difficult to digest, so the body can heal. This powerful healing (what your body has the capability of doing on its' own, without surgery, drugs, or expensive supplements) can quickly reduce or eliminate food allergies!
Pretty cool. Cara said it MUCH better than I ever could have.
If you think that boiled chicken water can help you, then join the challenge!
- Remember to use the coupon code 30days for a 30% discount on the 30 Days on GAPS Intro e-book, valid through 10/15/2011.
- Sign up for the challenge here.
(Yes, there are affiliate links in here . . . but I do tell you this information, because I care and because the GAPS diet made a difference in my second brain.)