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Sunday, February 02, 2014

Understanding the G.A.P.S. Diet

Someone sent me a private message asking about my recent slight preoccupation withI've known for some time that there's a huge connection between the Gut and the Mind.  From artificial colors and preservatives to OD-ing on sugar to the dangers of genetically modified foods, we've all heard the warning about how foods affect our behavior as well as our health.

But it wasn't until a friend gave me a copy of a book called "Gut and Psychology Syndrome" that I began to really, REALLY get that connection.  And, given our son's particular set of issues, it certainly seems like something worth considering as a part of the complicated puzzle that he is.

Written by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, MD, MMedSci (neurology), MMedSci (human nutrition), this isn't just a 'doctors spouting nutritional theory' kind of situation.  Dr. Campbell-McBride, who is from Russia, but now lives and practices in the UK, knows first hand about the connection between the gut and the brain. . .her son was diagnosed with autism shortly after arriving in the UK.  This launched her intensive studies into the connection between what we eat and how it affects the processes of the brain.

I'll fast forward through all the science-y bits and just come to the results. . .the theories and diet she developed in trying to find a cure for her seemingly un-curable autistic was a resounding success.  He's no longer considered anywhere near the autistic spectrum.

As a medical doctor, scientist, nutritionist and a mother, she didn't just stop there, breathe a sigh of relief that her son was safe and go on with her life. . .clearly a passion for this gut-mind connection was ignited.

She continued studying and researching the subject, having personally worked with hundreds and hundreds of patients (both adults and children) with a variety of physical and emotional/behavioral/psychiatric issues.  She's had GREAT success.

Some of the MANY neurological and psychiatric conditions this diet helps include:

Autistic spectrum disorders, depression, bi-polar disorder, aggression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD⁄ADD), schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder, dyslexia, dyspraxia, colic, eczema, anorecia, bulimia, asthma, and allergies, etc.

Okay, so what is it?  Basically, it is a temporary (though extended) way of eating (usually about 18 months) in which significant dietary changes are employed to re-balance and heal the gut walls to ensure the flood of toxins from an unhealthy gut no longer enters the bloodstream and causing all sorts of unpredictable physical, emotional autoimmune and psychological issues.

In short, it's an attempt to balance intestinal flora with brain chemistry.

The diet is comprised of three distinct phases:  diet, supplementation, and detoxification/lifestyle changes.  Each phase has a list of no-go and must-have foods, with an emphasis on various food combinations and a LOT of probiotic foods.

Which is the specific reason for my current mild obsession with home made fermented/ probiotic foods.

Because of my son's impending cecostomy, we have to hold off on a full-blown personal trial for a few weeks, but we are going to be implementing the diet as soon as we can.  Meantime, we are doing as much as possible to begin the healing process and help our son.


is a temporary way of eating (usually about 18 months) to rebalance and heal/seal the gut wall which halts the flood of toxins from pathogenic strains dominating the gut environment into the bloodstream causing an unpredictable mix of autoimmune symptoms. - See more at: http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/the-five-most-common-gaps-diet-mistakes/#sthash.giHzjOL7.dpuf


is a temporary way of eating (usually about 18 months) to rebalance and heal/seal the gut wall which halts the flood of toxins from pathogenic strains dominating the gut environment into the bloodstream causing an unpredictable mix of autoimmune symptoms. - See more at: http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/the-five-most-common-gaps-diet-mistakes/#sthash.giHzjOL7.dpuf




is a temporary way of eating (usually about 18 months) to rebalance and heal/seal the gut wall which halts the flood of toxins from pathogenic strains dominating the gut environment into the bloodstream causing an unpredictable mix of autoimmune symptoms. - See more at: http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/the-five-most-common-gaps-diet-mistakes/#sthash.giHzjOL7.dpuf
(photo courtesy of publicdomainpictures.net and can be found here)

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