GAPS Introduction Diet Day 1: A Journey to Healing

I woke up this morning with mixed emotions. Any journey of transformation that I’ve ever embarked upon has begun in the same way.  This particular journey is a personal pilgrimage.  A pilgrimage of self-reflection and healing.  I know in my gut that this is going to change everything, largely because I will be changing my gut (more about that in a minute!).  I am nervous to discover things about myself that I’ve never fully realized, to actually confront and process the things have been holding me back.  Like so many beautiful human beings, there is a part of me that fears my greatness.  So I create resistance to becoming my most healthy, happy and fulfilled self.  I believe that this self-inflicted resistance (call it pain, struggle, anger, sadness, frustration, etc.) is often the biggest reason why we, as humankind, don’t live up to our potential to follow our passions and change the world. But even in the midst of my apprehension, I feel positive energy building inside me.  I am excited for a new chapter in my life, ready (or at least trying to be) to embrace the possibility and wonder that a healthier body and clearer mind is certain to bring.  Let this new adventure begin! What is this journey I speak of?  Today marks day one of my GAPS Introduction Diet.  The Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) Diet is based on the work of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, who originally designed the diet as a gut-healing protocol for patients dealing with mental health issues (autism, ADHD, depression, etc.).  The program has since been used in healing a wide-range of conditions that begin in the gut, ranging from food sensitivities and asthma to skin conditions and IBS.

Having just come out of the most stressful period in my life thus far, I could use some support in the mental health department to get back to my blissful, positive self.  I feel like I’ve been underwater for months, unable to catch a breath of air. If 2014 is shaping up to be the year of authenticity, self-discovery and grounding (my personal goals), 2013 was a year of uprooting and transformative growth.

In the past 9 months, I left my home, job and friends in Los Angeles; moved away from my best friend whom I haven’t lived further than one mile from in the past 7 years (talk about co-dependency!); started a new job; bought and remodeled a condo for the first time; had work get in the way of summer vacation plans; got promoted; had my first panic attack; wondered if I’d ever find a place that felt like home again; began a beautiful romantic relationship and fell in love; cried more than I thought was humanly possible; met some really fabulous mentors and friends; kissed a man with more passion than I’ve ever known before; completely let go of control and freaked out about the unknown (many, many times); caught the best wave of my life with one of my favorite people there to cheer me on; ended a beautiful romantic relationship because I need to find myself; grieved what has felt like the loss of my youth; questioned time and again what I want out of life and how in the world I will figure it all out; and let my Paleo cooking (and blogging about it) fall apart.

Pretty much your standard quarter life crisis.

I’ve also been dealing with food sensitivities, hormonal imbalances, acne and mood swings for years.  No amount of elimination diets, cleanses or eastern medicine has seemed to work in getting to the root cause of my symptoms.  So now begins a new chapter in concentrated healing, but this time I’m choosing a more holistic approach – body, mind and spirit.

As I begin this journey, I am grateful for the support of family and friends, including a handful of inspiring women in San Diego whom I am delighted to be building new relationships with.  And I am also grateful for my connection to the universe, and for the people who have come into my life to help show me the way to better health.  A wise acupuncturist and spiritual guide from my adolescence once told me that if the universe tells you something three or more times, you best listen.  Thanks to some insightful farmers at Sonrise Ranch, a favorite holistic health blogger and a fabulous mentor in Ancestral Health, I have discovered GAPS.  And so it begins.

One of my commitments in the new year is to get back to blogging. Over the next few months, join me here on Vivacious Dish as I chronicle my GAPS Diet journey.  I will also be posting new Paleo/Primal recipes along the way, so while I am sipping my bone broth, you can enjoy some deliciously good eats.

Happy healing in the new year!

Setting Sail on a New Journey of Healing in 2014


Day 1 Foods:

  • Klaire Labs Ther-Biotic Complete probiotic capsule in filtered water to start the day
  • Bone broth and boiled meats (made from local lamb and grassfed beef and organic, humanely-raised Mary’s chicken)
  • Steamed, organic vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, butternut squash, carrots, onions, zucchini)
  • Creamy vegetable soup (made from bone broth, veggies and a lot of animal fat, pureed in the Vitamix until smooth, which turns to the consistency of meat jello when refrigerated).  Yes, this is as gross as it sounds, but it is so healing it’s edible…sort of.  I promised myself that I will only eat the remaining five portions and likely never make it again.
  • Liquid from jar of homemade sauerkraut
  • Chopped up ginger root boiled to make tea

Day 1 Symptoms:

  • Woke up with a sore and scratchy throat, nasal decongestion all day
  • Lack of focus throughout the day
  • Itchy sinuses, sneezing and scratchy cough from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Swollen and tender stomach from noon onward
  • Nausea
  • Sleepiness from 1-3 p.m.
  • Intense sugar cravings from 2-4 p.m. and 9-11 p.m.
  • Feelings of sadness from 5-10 p.m.
  • Sharp upper neck and shoulder pain