Note from Jennifer: I am so grateful that Lauren has decided to share her story with us! Her family has seen tremendous healing and exemplifies what holistic health is all about. Read on and be inspired by another GAPS success story…
Your Blog’s Name?
How long have you been on GAPS?
We started the GAPS diet Oct.7th, 2012. My whole family has been on this journey for approx 8 months. Lucas is 5, Tessa is almost 4 and Camden is 16 months.
How did you find out about the GAPS protocol, and why did you feel it was right for you?
I have been trying to feed my family a traditional diet for a couple of years now, and like many other people in the real food blog world, I kept coming across the GAPS diet.
At first it seemed very applicable for others that I could think of with ‘GAPS conditions’, and then one day the light bulb turned on and I realized my husband and I very clearly fit that picture as well!!
We had lingering/progressing health problems that never seem to fit together in a picture for me, until I devoured the ‘Gut and Psychology Syndrome‘ book, and it all became clear.
I’d have to say it is probably the most fascinating book on health I have ever read. I amazed how dead on it is for so many people’s health situation.
So grateful that my kids don’t have any clear GAPS conditions apart from my oldest son has some degree of lactose intolerance which causes him loose stools. This has resolved on the GAPS diet.
Our youngest has not had any grains/sugars as of yet. His system has responded beautifully to feeding him GAPS foods since he was eating age. He had some signs that he was going to develop GAPS conditions if we had not fed in this way to fortify the gut and beneficial bacteria.
Now he is the perfect picture of a healthy baby who LOVES all kinds of meats and veggies and fermented foods!
My husband and I entered the GAPS diet with multiple symptoms, I believe all rooted in a condition called gut dysbiosis (bad microbes that take over your digestive/immune system).
Our conditions were pretty pronounced, between the two of us we struggled with constant IBS, chronic headaches, lactose intolerance, crappy immune response, autoimmune disease, sugar addiction, fatigue, persistent acne, chronic yeast, acid reflux and seasonal allergies. Sheesh!
What healing have you seen since you started?
Overall our healing has been really remarkable.
My husband’s acne, fatigue, sugar cravings and IBS symptoms cleared up completely in the first couple of weeks. His lactose intolerance has been getting progressively better as he is now able to tolerate small amounts of it in yogurt/butter/cultured cream without his typical symptoms.
My reflux, sugar addiction, mild acne and constant infections cleared up within the first month as well. My abdominal pains I had after every meal have greatly improved, and I am learning what things flare up my abdominal bloating (but am hoping I continue to see progress in this area.)
Headaches are another chronic problem I have had since childhood, and worse since having children 6 years ago. I was getting them 5-6 times a week all day long. They were very debilitating. I started acupuncture treatment about 6 months prior to starting GAPS and saw huge, huge improvement.
Since I’ve started GAPS I continue to see the headaches stabilize, getting fewer and less intense. This, along with my abdominal bloating, are the two things I pray I continue to find complete healing from.
Probably one of the coolest signs that this protocol is working so well for me is my immune system response.
I have an autoimmune disease called “vitiligo” which causes unpigmented (white) patches of skin all over my body. This disease was triggered in my body at 5 years old, and once it stopped ‘spreading’ in my teens, I have not seen it fill back in.
Since starting the GAPS diet I have seen dramatic repigmentation in my most persistent white spots on my body!
This is amazing to me as one of the big reasons I wanted to address this major imbalance in my immune system through GAPS was to PREVENT further autoimmune diseases from developing (as this is very common with someone who already has one autoimmune disease).
One of the most practical helps from this diet has been our JACKED UP immune response when we are exposed to illness.
We have NEVER had such a beautifully healthy winter as we had this past winter. Even attempting to eat a mostly healthy diet, our children and ourselves were OFTEN sick with something.
Since GAPS, we barely flinch at the sight of a cold/bug of any kind. Anything we get, comes and goes without much notice at all. It’s UNREAL (and very helpful with busy lives)!
What are your best tips for a successful GAPS journey?
The diet is intense, especially if you come from eating the SAD (Standard American Diet). Think of this as one of the biggest INVESTMENTS you are about to make in your family’s life, so it is worthy of the effort and time it requires.
Give yourself the freedom to simplify in other activities and areas of your life. Doing the diet is not just a side part of your life, it’s a BIG part of your life, and you need to reduce in any other ways you can to give yourself some room and flexibility to spend in the kitchen.
Get whoever else you can involved in helping, even if their role is small, it will make such a difference feeling like you’re not doing it on your own.
What is your favorite GAPS recipe?
Hard question, as we have been amazed how good food can be without grains or sugar! We have enjoyed these Cherry Bomb cookies quite a bit :o)
What’s your go-to recipe when you’re short on time?
I have quite a few quick go-to recipes I’ve posted on my site, one of our new favorites quick-meals is this tasty Vietnamese caramel chicken.
Stayed tuned as I present to you my 1 hour video seminar of the GAPS diet and the entire PowerPoint of the presentation for your own learning! [note from Jennifer: Click here to watch An Overview of the GAPS Diet: FREE Video Series!]
If you feel you or someone in your family (or your whole family often is the case) sounds like they have GAPS conditions—–GO FOR IT!!!
The benefits we have reaped are enormous and I’m so grateful we came upon this healing protocol before we got even sicker.
Over the last four years she has brought her family from eating mostly the SAD, along with its many unhealthy consequences, to a vibrantly healthy family who is healing through REAL FOOD.
Apart from the great insight she’s gained into the failure of modern medicine, through her nursing experience, Lauren has the privilege of walking with couples through labor as a birth doula.
She will start a Nutritional Therapy program in September 2013 to get a more comprehensive view of natural health, in order to provide those in her life with the most solid health counsel possible.
Lauren and her husband (a counselor) are planning on moving their family to Thailand in a couple of years to enter into missions work. Additionally, they will counsel people from a truly holistic model, addressing the emotional/spiritual/health aspects of overall well being.
Lauren is completely in her niche when she has the opportunity to teach woman more of what it looks like to be a Mindful Mama.
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