The GAPS Diet: One Mom’s Experience

pumpkin creamed soup

Blended vegetable soup- the basis of the GAPS intro diet!

Image by Qfamily

After all the GAPS diet talk last week (what it is and why we’re doing it), I thought it would be good to hear from a mom who has just recently started doing the diet with her children, and the amazing (and fast!) results that she has seen. Rene and I met a few weeks ago when we roomed together at Blissdom, and this frugal, real-food loving mama and I have become quick friends! Here are her thoughts the GAPS diet so far:

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My three year old was diagnosed with asthma a few weeks ago. We have started her on her medicines. However, I also wanted to see if there was something that we could change in our diet that would improve her symptoms so that hopefully she will not need as much medication in the future.

I roomed with Stephanie at Blissdom, and she was reading about the GAPS diet. I decided that it couldn’t hurt anything to try it, and we all started eating the foods on this diet. We had previously been eating almost all organic food and following Nourishing Traditions.

So, I started my family on this diet. I am pregnant, so I made sure to add a few additional foods to my personal diet so that I would not detox too rapidly. My eleven year old understood why we were on the diet, and was very willing to eat these foods to support her sister.

My three year old, with asthma, was not too sure about it, and my one year old will eat anything. However, I am also not being quite as strict with my one year old because we are still in the process of just introducing her to various solid foods.

I was very surprised to see the immediate results of this diet. I did not expect to see any big changes, for a long time. However, I was really surprised. The second day of the diet, my three year old only needed her daily inhaler. She had been using her emergency inhaler several times a day previously.

However, the real shock was actually with my eleven year old. She has had skin problems since she was two. She has very dry skin, keratitis, and discoloration on her legs, arms and hips.

On the second day of the diet, her skin was noticeably less dry, had no bumps or discoloration on her hips and thighs. By the end of the week, her skin was almost entirely cleared up! We have treated her skin off and on since she was three using different medications and creams, and have never had good results. Her skin today looks like it did when she was two.

More work but it’s worth it

Before you rush out to start this diet however, I will say, the diet requires a lot of preparation. I am used to planning my meals an hour or two ahead and then throwing a quick meal together unless I am soaking grains for that meal. With the fewer foods that we are eating, my meals require much more planning and I have to really think about my purchases.

I am actually planning on writing out my meal plans for a month this week, so that it will be easier to prepare our meals. However, the extra work seems like it is definitely worth it, considering the results that I have seen.

I have also noticed an incredible behavioral change in my children when they are on the diet. Outbursts of anger have been reduced and their ability to focus on tasks for longer periods of time has increased.

My three year old actually went off her diet yesterday because of the processed foods served at church, and she ate twice at church yesterday. She has needed the emergency inhaler three times today, which she had not needed since two days after I started the diet.

Starting off

To start off the diet, I made two different types of soup. A savory soup with root vegetables, and a sweeter soup with acorn squash and butternut squash. Both have a bone marrow base. And we have basically been eating marrow soup three meals a day, with whey added in.

I will say that the repetitiveness of these meals at the beginning is a challenge, but for us, well worth it for the results, and we will be able to add in more foods later. My daughters like egg drop soup, so I have been adding some egg to the soup as well as a few vegetables. We have also had egg casserole, meat and veggies from the crockpot, and even homemade applesauce.

It will be interesting to see what happens when we move on to the next phase of the diet, but right now, I am totally sold on this diet after seeing the immense changes in my children’s physiological and behavioral health.

rene small picRene is the wife to a great guy, homeschooling mother of three with another on the way. She loves to save money, cook and garden. You can find her at her blog, Budget Saving Mom.

About Stephanie Langford

Stephanie Langford has a passion for sharing ideas and information for homemakers who want to make healthy changes in their homes, and carefully steward all that they've been given. She has written three books geared to helping families live more naturally and eat real, whole foods, without being overwhelmed, without going broke and with simple meal planning. She is the creator of Keeper of the Home.

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Comments

  1. HELP !! We have a three year old daughter with Chronic Medical Problems, random rashes, infections, seizure disorder, and the list goes one. We almost lost her at one point, she has lived on antibiotics for the past 2.5 years. I am willing to try anything, we have four kids, and I work full time, but am very organized and willing to try anything. This was suggested by a worker at the local health food store. Im hoping the GAPS diet will change something, but to be honest, Ive lost all hope. She is 10 lbs lighter in 6 weeks. Any and all recipes would be appreciated ! Thanks !

  2. My son, 4, has many issues that I think would be greatly reduced with this diet but he is the world’s pickiest eater. He eats 6 foods currently, that’s it (all which are not on the GAPS diet :-). Do you have any tips (or resource suggestions) on how to handle picky eaters? Thanks so much! We are really hoping this works for our whole family.

  3. You mean keratosis pilaris (skin condition), not keratitis (eye infection), right? My daughter has that, so now I’m even more interested in learning about this diet. Thanks for sharing your family’s experience!
    .-= Rachel´s last blog ..You’ve Got a Budget, Now What? =-.

  4. I’m trying to decide if I want to officially start this diet this weekend. My daughter has food allergies and we’re working with an alternative doctor to try to help her. My son has allergies too, unfortunately, although he’s still exclusively breastfed (we noted tiny reactions depending on what I eat). I know I should just…do it. But it’s hard to make the leap!

    • @Kate, Yup, I know it is!

      We decided to do it, even though I’m nursing, because it’s obvious that our baby is affected by food sensitivities, bad digestion (colic and reflux) and eczema. It’s not fun to do it but I feel confident that this is the right thing to do (for us, not necessarily for you).

  5. I’m really interested in doing this diet, too – for my two year old who has dry skin and eczema and my four year old with speech troubles. I’d also like to see some recipes and some book recommendations – in addition to the Gut and Psych book.
    Thank you!

    • @Naptime Seamstress, I will see what I can do about recipes, etc. I am just getting that part figured out myself, since today is only our first day on the diet. When I have a better idea of recipes, then I can share them. Right now, I am just playing around with different soups, doing either chicken or beef, and then playing around with different types of veggies to make good flavor combos.

      There is another book, called The GAPS Guide, which is supposed to be quite helpful as well for the practical things like what to make while on the diet. It’s also available from Amazon, and perhaps some of those other sites that sell the original book and the probiotics.

  6. I am beginning to think this would be the perfect diet for our family. I think I’m really going to look into it.

    Thank you for these wonderful posts.
    .-= Laura @ Bloggin’ Mama´s last blog ..Wonder how many new members this church sees each week… =-.

  7. This diet looks intriguing to me – I’ll have to read up on it.

    Also, thought you’d like to know that your contact link is broken :)

    Sarah

  8. would you post some of the basic receipes for the gaps diet? the soups, egg cassarole? etc. thanks!