A few weeks ago, my family started trying a few foods that are not on the GAPS Diet. We have been on this diet 2 years and 3 months now, and we figured it was time to start. I wrote my belly fat post, and around that time we were considering 2 options:
- Doing the GAPS Intro again (at least for me).
- Trying out some foods that are not on GAPS.
We knew that we wanted to make a change, we just were not sure what change to make. With an upcoming trip on our calendar (that we just returned from) where we would need to be more laxed on our diet, we figured that it was good timing to attempt â€œComing off of GAPS.
Dr. Natasha says that the GAPS Diet should be strictly followed for 1 1/2 to 2 years. How long you stay on GAPS really depends on the health conditions you are suffering from. I wrote about our conditions here. GAPS has helped our family SO much. I really am a strong advocate for the GAPS Diet. I think that all of you need to come to The Weston Price Conference in Santa Monica, CA this coming November and hear Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride speak for yourself. Sheâ€™s a very nice woman, and an incredibly intelligent doctor. I think that her work is brilliant. Really!
Anyways, after 1 1/2 to 2 years, the following foods can be introduced, according to the book:
- new potatoes
- buckwheat (fermented)
- millet (fermented)
- quinoa (fermented)
If you are sensitive to nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, etc.), you need to be tolerating these foods well before introducing potatoes (which are also a nightshade vegetable).
When youâ€™ve been eating GAPS for the last 1 1/2 to 2 years, it is not time to jump quickly into eating gluten free pizza and store-bought ice cream. You’ve worked hard. Take your time with the introduction of new foods (just like you did during the GAPS Intro) and make sure that your body tolerates these foods. You don’t want to get yourself so sick that you need to go back to the GAPS Intro again, do you? 😉
First, we introduced Jenny’s Buckwheat Porridge. We used honey instead of the molasses, and it was very good! My kids were super excited to be having â€œoatmealâ€ again! I’ve purchased more buckwheat groats to try it again, but honestly, I keep forgetting to soak them in the evening. Cooking grains (properly) is so much work! Grain-free is easy peasy in comparison!
Then we introduced some boiled new potatoes, with lots of butter, sea salt, and fresh, minced rosemary. Yum!
Overall, we have done pretty well with these foods. The only issues we have faced are:
- When I had potatoes at dinner, and then leftover potatoes in my eggs the next morning, my hands got a little arthritic. It was nothing like the arthritis I faced before GAPS, but it was still concerning to me. Remember the study about cooked, chilled potatoes? I actually think that potatoes that are cooked and then chilled are the hardest for our bodies to process.
- Farm Boy 3 has had some constipation again. I think it’s the potatoes.
We do not plan to eat these foods *often*. We plan to stick mostly to GAPS, but once in a while, we will eat some home-cooked potatoes or buckwheat for variety. I also bought some quinoa, so we will try that next.
If we notice any major problems, we will plan to go back to strict GAPS eating.
After a while (maybe a few months, maybe several), if our family has been tolerating potatoes, buckwheat, quinoa and millet well, I will try making a homemade rye sourdough bread. Yes, gluten! We will see how we do…
And how, you might wonder, is the belly issue, these days? The weight has not changed, but the belly feels a little smaller (though I have not been measuring it). I will keep you all posted on my progress in this area!
Will we ever go back to the typical American way of eating?
In short, no.
I believe that GAPS is amazing for healing a damaged gut (and I believe that many people have a damaged gut and have no clue). I believe that if a person’s gut is doing well, they still ought to stick to traditional foods (read Nourishing Traditions) for optimum health and true nourishment. Foods need to be nutrient dense, or they are not food. Processed foods and refined flours and sugars are not food.
However, one of my goals in going on GAPS was to heal my body so that I could eat at a church potluck or go out to dinner or go on vacation and *not get sick from the food.* Worrying about what to eat and what will make me sick is a pain. Getting sick in other people’s homes and at restaurants and on vacations and on retreats is not fun.
My plan is to eat mostly GAPS at home, forever, with a few new introductions if my body tolerates them (potatoes, sweet potatoes, fermented gluten free grains, and eventually sourdough). But when we go out places, my goal is to be able to make the healthiest choices possible and eat without worry.
Iâ€™ll let you know how this works out for me and my family. 🙂
Are you on GAPS? How long do you plan to stick to the diet? What’s your plan when you â€œcome off of the diet?
photo credit: Yashima