10 things you need to know before you start GAPS

When most people start the GAPSâ„¢ diet they run themselves ragged trying to prepare with all sorts of gadgets and foods. In reality starting the GAPS diet is pretty simple though it does take sometime to set up so you don’t get overwhelmed.

To get you started on the path I’ll be trying to write once a week an article that covers a part of what you need to know, buy, and make before you start the diet. I hope you find this helpful, and if you have any questions leave a comment or contact me.

To start us off this weeks article will be on the things you need to know. When you have these 10 thoughts in place, and understand them, it makes the GAPS diet much easier to start and stay with.


1.) Read Gut and Psychology Syndromeâ„¢ by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride.

The one thing I can’t recommend highly enough is that you read Dr. Natasha’s book for yourself. Reading her knowledge on your own will empower you to stick to this diet like nothing else. This site is intended to help you with GAPS, but to do that you must first have the knowledge yourself.

If you can only buy one thing right now in my opinion this would be it. It is essential!

2.) It takes time.

I do not say this to frighten you, but the diet takes time. It’s a new way of eating and a new lifestyle. Getting used to that will take a period of adjustment. So go easy on yourself; know that you’ll mess up in the beginning (we all do) and that’s okay.

Once you get it under your belt GAPS will be easy and won’t take a second thought, but if you don’t take the time to do it well in the beginning you’ll most likely quit.

3.) Die-off

When you start to add in your probiotic you will experience die-off. This means you won’t feel well for a little while, but don’t worry it usually passes quickly.

If you or your child feel really bad during the die-off reduce the probiotic, and remember it will pass. In fact plan for the die-off. The first week or two of the diet reduce your social schedule and plan to do fun, quiet things. Like watching old movies, going to the park, or extra sleep.

4.) Foods Allowed.

It is vital that you know the type of foods you can eat. I find it helpful to carry the list with me, and we have it posted on our fridge. You need to see the Allowed Foods list often so eventually you’ll know it no matter where you are.

5.) Foods not Allowed.

Knowing this list can be a little painful after all most of our current favorite foods can probably be found on it. It is still important to get familiar with what foods you can’t eat because you will any time you cheat you’re going to feel it. Trust me.

6.) Eating with friends and family.

Eating away from home is a challenge on GAPS. At restaurants it really isn’t possible and at friends or relatives (who aren’t on the diet) dodging all the not allowed foods becomes an art.

The safest way to eat with others is to always bring your own food. Now I realize that’s not always fun, but when you explain to your host that you have to eat a certain way they are usually happy to have you bring your own food. That way they don’t have to try and weed out everything you can’t eat, and you don’t have to worry about what’s in your food.

But if you can’t bring your own food or the host wants to try making a meal for you tell them something simple you can eat like hamburgers and a salad, or roast chicken and green beans. Cooking this way isn’t really hard and it gives some people a real joy to cook for others with health issues.

7.) Always bring a snack.

Whether your out shopping, going to a friends house, or just out for the day carry a small snack with you. It can be a small handful of crispy nuts, muffin, or piece of fruit (in a small cooler) but carrying something to eat with you is easier than shopping for something to eat. It also means you don’t have an excuse to cheat on the diet. It’s also helpful to have a snack in the car in case your friend has nothing you can eat.

8.) Fast food is OUT of the question.

Fast food places are an absolute no-no for someone on GAPS. Trust me there is nothing you can eat there! If you’re stuck somewhere without food and you’re hungry go to the store not a fast food place.

9.) Be Patient with Yourself.

When you start on the diet understand that you’re going to make mistakes. Plain and simple. Don’t purposely make mistakes, but when they occur give yourself some grace. It’s not the end of the world.

Simply pick yourself up and begin again.

10.) GAPS is a lifestyle.

The sooner you understand that GAPS is a lifestyle and is your choice of lifestyle the easier staying on it will be. You have to decide it’s worth it or nothing I say or you do will keep you on it.

This is probably the hardest thing you need to know about the GAPS lifestyle: you need to make it your own or you’ll probably fail.


GAPS Part 1: What in the World is it?

In honor of opening this new website I wanted to write a general understanding of GAPS â„¢ article. Writing that article turned out to be such a difficult process because of the overwhelming amount of information on the subject. As a result I am breaking it down into smaller articles that cover general information about GAPS; like what it is, gut health, and treatment.

I want to go on record and say that this is by no means an exhaustive set of articles on the subject. If you want more go here and buy Dr. Campbell-McBride’s book Gut and Psychology Syndromeâ„¢.

But since this will take several articles you might want to bookmark this link so you can come back and check for the rest of the series.

Part 1: What in the World is GAPS?

So the first question in your mind is probably “what is GAPS?”, after all it isn’t a term you’ve heard from your doctor or on TV lately, but it’s probably how you’ve felt from time to time. Simply put we have an epidemic of sick people today. By that I mean people, with severe to mild problems, that doctors (all kinds) and nutritionist aren’t able to pin down.

Since the medical professionals can’t figure out what’s wrong they give us:

  • a pill that might help, but tends to have a list of side effects as long as your arm
  • to another doctor who just as baffled or puts us on another pill
  • surgery
  • all sorts of things to do or remove from our diet/lifestyle that doesn’t help
  • the runaround

Or the Doctors finally admit they don’t have any idea how to help.

These people have something truly wrong with them, but 9 times out of 10 all that happens is they fall into the gap. The gap of current medical understanding.

Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, MD

At this gap stands a woman who has put the majority of her life looking into, and discovering what the gap is, and how to get people out of it.

Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride went on her own journey to heal her son of autism, and during that she found the deep divide in which many people, like you and me, fell. But she didn’t stop there Dr. Natasha searched until she found the way out of the gap; the small road hugging the side of the crevice that was the only way people could be healed.

Now that she has brought her son out of the gap she has spent time helping countless others scale the difficult climb to health with her book Gut and Psychology Syndrome. In this book she gives the simplest explanation of GAPS and what it is.

“Here I propose a name, Gut and Psychology Syndrome or GAP Syndrome. Children (and adults) with GAP Syndrome often fall into the gap – the gap in our medical knowledge. As a result they do not receive appropriate treatment.” (emphasis mine)

Okay these people are in the GAP, but what do they have?

Oh boy. This is a big question because the more we look the more we find everything seems to have the same source – an imbalance in the gut.

Simply put in her book Dr. Natasha focused on the psychology aspect of GAPS, but it could just as easily be physical problems.

Some of the problems listed in her book (and the list isn’t exhaustive) are:

  • Autism
  • Dyspraxia
  • Dyslexia
  • A.D.D.
  • A.D.H.D
  • Depression
  • Schizophrenia
  • Epilepsy
  • Anxiety
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating and Flatulence
  • Colic as infant
  • Tummy aches and nausea

Most of these things begin in childhood, but you can certainly have them show up in adulthood. Maybe you just suffer from IBS and you’re wondering if that is included, and the answer is yes! That’s why this article is just a broad stroke of a brush.

How can so many things come under the diagnosis GAPS?

Simply put every problem listed, and in my opinion all chronic health problems, start in the same area.

Our digestive system.

Hippocrates said it best: “All diseases begin in the gut.” Now I’m sure you’re blown away by that statement. After all you’ve probably been told that health goes as you age, people get sick and that’s life, or that the only thing you can do with chronic health problems is play Russian roulette with pills in hopes you can find some concoction that gives you a small amount of relief with out too many side affects. And here I am blowing that away with one idea “it’s in your gut” .

Yes it’s that simple: Heal your gut to heal yourself.

The next part of this series will deal with Gut Health, what it is and how it affects our health. Check back for it soon.

If you have any questions that aren’t answered in this article, or a question about a specific health problem leave me a comment and I’ll answer it as best I can. Who knows it may become an article!

GAPS Diet Help and Recipes (Gluten Free)