As I sat in my apple cider vinegar detox bath this morning, sipping home-made chicken broth with sauerkraut I couldn’t help but ask myself when the flippin’ heck is this darned GAPS Diet going to start working? I’ve been on the GAPS Intro Diet for 3 weeks now and although yes, there have been some, let’s call them “adaptations”, I’ve otherwise been really good with sticking to the diet and what have you.
For the first week I survived on broth, boiled meat and sauerkraut juice, then progressing in the following weeks to include cultured crème fraiche, eggs, activated nuts, vegetable juice, fried and roast meats, avocado and finally some raw vegetables. I can honestly say, I have never been as excited to eat a lettuce leaf in my whole entire life as I was last Saturday afternoon!
The only thing I’ve been doing different to the guidelines is I perhaps haven’t eaten enough sauerkraut (of my first 2 jars, one went mouldy and the other ran out of juice pretty early on!) and I haven’t been having enemas. I moved through to stage 4/5 anyway, despite my symptoms not going away. I think this was the right thing to do, considering:
a) My main symptom is abdominal pain;
b) Constipation can cause abdominal pain;
c) My pain did not go away in a week of GAPS Intro, rather it worsened;
d) GAPS Intro made me more constipated than ever before; and
e) Dr Natasha suggests just moving ahead with the Intro Diet if you are constipated,
then it seemed to me that I’ve been doing everything right. Except for the darned enemas. Grr.
So it looks like I may need to go back to Stage 1 (nooooo!). If this wasn’t hard enough news to contemplate (I really can’t tell you how much I thoroughly detest boiled meat) it comes at the worst possible time. Well, ok, maybe it’s not the worst possible time, that would probably be if I was homeless or dying or something, but it’s still not good. You see, the end of Winter is upon us. It is only the start of August, true, but the days are getting longer and warmer already and the skies are clear and blue. I can feel the onset of Spring and this is not stew weather!
GAPS Intro is very much a seasonal diet. Slow cooked meats and stews served with fermented vegetables is a perfect diet for the middle of an old fashioned Winter. Back in the old country, not many fresh veggies would have been available now, so it makes sense to eat pickles, and those blustering, icy winds make you crave nothing more than a hot, hearty soup.
As the diet progresses, you eventually start to introduce nuts, many of which are in season in Winter, and then crisp, fresh, raw vegetables, perfect at the beginning of Spring. Eventually, Summer hits and this is represented by the end of the GAPS Intro Diet where the patient introduces fruits. The whole diet is really structured perfectly to be commenced at the very start of Winter and completed during Summer. Trying to do it in reverse would be painful (no-one wants to eat hot soup on a 43 degree day, let alone cook the bloody thing) so I’m not looking forward to reverting as the weather warms up… not at all.
So here’s my plan: I continue on Stage 5 of GAPS Intro until my enema kit arrives. Then I will work my backwards (in the diet, you dirty people!) slowly eliminating one food at a time to see if I improve. If I get back to Stage 1 and I still have not improved, I may have to stay on it for a little while. That’s when the kit may come in handy… we’ll see.