I’ve lost track of how long I have been on the GAPS Introduction diet now – maybe about 6 weeks? I’ve gone back and forth between the stages, lingered for a while on some, then jumped forward on others. I think I am a little muddled and perhaps not doing it ‘properly’ … but I am feeling amazing.
I have found a few other friends who are doing GAPS now too, and it has been fantastic to talk about this experience with them as we go along this journey with each other, and celebrating the healing that we are experiencing. It is SO good to confirm that I am getting better despite some severe reactions that might happen when I introduce new foods, or eat ones I know I am not ready for (it just isn’t worth the pain to be naughty on this diet!!)
I have such a profound respect now for digestion. All my life I have been a sensitive poppet with allergic responses to dust, pollen, animals, perfumes, changes in the humidity, food chemicals and food itself. Ordinary food that other people enjoy, like bananas and potatoes and cream and dates, will send my body into spasm that I now can characterise. Dairy = congestion and skin problems. Grains = joint pain and shoulder pain. Potatoes and most nightshade = stomach pain and joint pain. All of it combined = candida, foggy brain, poor memory and terrible ability to think rationally. In short, an emotional, hungry, Jennifer chasing her tail all day and collapsing in an exhausted heap at the end of it.
Since starting GAPS I am now experiencing, for the first time in many, many years, what it feels like to be healthy. Honestly it is such a strange experience to feel so good ALL the time, that it just dosen’t seem real. I am happy!
I am not healed, I have a long way to go – but I don’t wake up feeling more tired than I was when I went to be (how is that possible, anyway?), and I am not searching for the next sugar hit. My eczema is a shadow on my hand. I don’t have strange aches and pains that appear to have no real cause. I am thinking clearer and able to plan better, which means making better use of my day. I don’t feel overwhelmed by simple decisions. I am not on the verge of tears at the end of every day. I am not as reactive with my children when they are out of sorts, and am more inclined to find creative solutions with them – and because I am in a better mood – they are too! In fact, I am seeking more opportunities to share beautiful moments with them at the end of the day because I have the energy to do so. Previously I couldn’t get them into bed fast enough.
Best of all, at night time I sleep, and if I wake up, I go back to sleep much easier. I’ve been living with insomnia for many years, and while I have to say I do miss the quiet, productive hours of the night (and yes, I was up at 3am this morning!), sleeping is still the preferred option. I just love being able to lie down and ‘switch off’.
All this in six weeks! As I said I am not healed yet. GAPS is a long journey and I am only at the start of it. I won’t be eating grains, sugar, or starches for at least two years, and it may be a while before I can tolerate dairy again. Now that I have had an experience of what it feels like to be healthy, the reactions I get to even small amounts of certain foods are really noticeable. I am so tuned to them that I can even feel those reactions even just by thinking of those foods (and have been aware of this for many years … except I guess I chose to ignore it!). Psychological reactions are just as real as physiological ones and I will consider myself healed when those reactions no longer occur.
My eczema has cleared, but it is still present and it is one of the first signals my body gives me when it is struggling, so I pay attention. I am astounded at how quickly, how INSTANTLY the body responds, when you pay attention to it.