Tag Archives: Dr. Weston A. Price

Activism GAPS Healthy Living Real Food

GAPS Diet Basics & Getting Started

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Looking for GAPS resources as a way to improve your health?

started the GAPS diet in May of 2011 as a way to eliminate symptoms of panic, anxiety, and insomnia. I’ve read and heard many, many testimonials from people who have healed on GAPS.

I’ve been health coaching for almost 3 years with an emphasis in GAPS by Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride and related protocols. I have also provided GAPS workshops in my local community and educating people about how beneficial the basic foods that are used in GAPS are for lifetime health.

For these reasons, I thought it would be a good idea to put together a basic reference page for GAPS fundamentals and resources.

It’s been profound to learn about the healing power of traditional foods – the very same foods that Dr. Weston A. Price discovered in his world travels to isolated cultures who were consuming nutrient-rich foods that contained up to TEN times the amount of fat-soluble vitamins that we currently consume in our modern diets – A, D, E, and K2.

My health problems were chronic and spanned for over 2 decades of time. Things only got worse the older I got, with panic and anxiety like symptoms that I was told were connected to gallbladder problems (I had my gallbladder removed in 2001), and also thyroid (hormonal issues).

It wasn’t until I started GAPS that I saw an abrupt ending come to these symptoms I’d suffered through for at least half my life: racing heart, jitteryness, chronic fatigue, digestive problems of varying kinds, general feelings of doom and negativity, muscle weakness, nausea, and general malaise. I also experienced frequent colds and flus – especially in the winter time.

What is the GAPS diet?

Dr. McBride developed the protocol out of a lack of resources and need to resolve her own son’s issues who was diagnosed with autism at the age of three. Through both trial and error and diligent research, she discovered that many diseases including autism happen due to digestive breakdown which leads to nutritional deficiencies throughout the body.

Starches, grains, and sugar all contribute to breaking down lining in the gut and generate pathogenic bacteria. The gut lining becomes permeable due to poor dietary and lifestyle habits – processed foods, stress, use of antibiotics, steroids, NSAIDs, and birth control, lack of adequate rest, exposure to environmental toxins, etc.

When undigested foods and other substances penetrate the intestinal lining and go into the bloodstream. This causes an auto-immune response. Undigested substances that reach the blood-brain barrier cause additional issues:

These deficiencies are responsible for a variety of health issues including autism, hyperactivity, ADD, eczema, depression, dyspraxia, and many others that may be seemingly unrelated.

The common link in all of these disorders is breakdown of the mucosal lining in the intestinal tract from poor lifestyle and dietary choices – stress, environmental toxins, processed foods, and a lack of essential nutrients which are necessary to maintaining overall health and well-being.

Not only do nutritional deficiencies cause a wide array of symptoms which point to various health problems, many of these problems are the same in many people yet manifest themselves in unique ways.

Symptoms include:

  • Asthma
  • Eczema
  • Thyroid and hormonal problems
  • Depression
  • Schizophrenia
  • ADD/ADHD
  • Dyspraxia (motor movement issues)
  • Autism
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Diabetes and insulin- resistance
  • Digestive disorders such a colitis, Crohn’s Disease, IBS
  • Chronic diarrhea or constipation (or both)
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent infections
  • Joint stiffness or pain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chemical sensitivities
  • Food sensitivities

For example, a child with autism or hyperactivity could have the same basic physiological problems and experience symptoms of autism or hyperactivity, while an adult with similar issues might exhibit symptoms of chronic panic or anxiety. An elderly person could experience symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease – a condition that is linked to the presence of heavy metals in the body and nutritional deficiencies – especially of minerals since heavy metals displace minerals in the body. All conditions are exacerbated by heavy metal toxicity and not enough minerals in the body.

Although GAPS is an extremely beneficial and healing protocol that can help a variety of health issues, it is not a cure-all or guaranteed way to improve your health. If you have tried GAPS and aren’t healing or improving the way you need, check out these resources:

If GAPS hasn’t worked for you or yours, read this – Nourishing Our Children.

The GAP in GAPS? What you need to know – Nourishing Hope, Julie Matthews

General resource links

GAPS is based on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) created by Elaine Gottschall. Here is her book, Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Intestinal Health Through Diet.

What can I eat on the GAPS diet?  Printable sheet reference guide showing what you can eat on the GAPS diet to hang in your kitchen or keep in a place where you have easy access

FAQ GAPS diet questions - from the Gut and Psychology Syndrome site

GAPS Diet Journey – testimonials, interviews, resources, and links

Gut and Psychology Syndrome/GAPS Diet Facebook page – great resource and forum for those getting started and for those looking for a place to interact and ask questions.

Explanation of GAPS dietary protocol including the Intro stages – additional information to supplement the book, Gut and Psychology Syndrome, for the Intro part of the GAPS diet, 6 stages

5 most common mistakes made on GAPS – Healthy Home Economist

10 reasons GAPS is better than gluten-free – Well Fed Homestead

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Is GAPS safe during breastfeeding? - Health, Home, Happiness

Recipes

Internal Bliss - GAPS Cookbook

9 reasons to make bone broth  - health benefits and recipe for broth

GAPS-friendly recipes – The Liberated Kitchen

GAPS-friendly recipes – GAPS Diet Journey

GAPS recipes – MyGutsy

Recipes and ideas for what to eat on the GAPS Introduction Diet – Keeper of the Home

GAPS-friendly, grain-free pancakes w/vanilla, cinnamon, and raw honey

Cookbooks, guides, & cooking e-courses

Grain-free meal plans (menu mailers) – Health, Home, Happiness

GAPS Freezer Cooking Guide – Health, Home, Happiness

What Can I Eat Now? 30 Days on the GAPS Diet – Cara Comini, Health, Home, Happiness

Beyond Grain & Dairy Cookbook - Starlene Stewart, GAPS Diet Journey

Go Grain-Free Online Class – Real Food Forager

Guide to Grain-Free, Dairy Free Baking, Sweets and Treats – Nourished Kitchen

Get Cultured Cooking Class – Nourished Kitchen (How to create fermented foods)

Interviews and related

Dr. Mercola interviews Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride

My GAPS experience for panic disorder and GAPS radio interview

My interview on GAPS Diet Journey – Empowered Sustenance

GAPS Diet Journey Radio Interview – Loving Our Guts

 

Activism Healthy Living Real Food

My Second Weston A. Price Wise Traditions Conference Experience, 2012

www.mypicshares.com

This was my second time attending the Weston A. Price Wise Traditions conference, and what a gathering it was!

I watched many devoted and passionate people educating and interacting with each other, spreading the good news about health, nutrition, and well-being. It was awe inspiring to say the least.

This year I was privileged to be able to work at the Green Pasture Products booth for my good friends Dave and Barbara Wetzel. I have done work for this fantastic company in the past by producing content for their web site and product labels, and this year they asked if I would be interested in working at their conference booth. I was thrilled to have this opportunity and it was a great experience. It looks like I’ll be doing this next year too, in Atlanta for the 2013 conference.

Green Pasture Products fermented cod liver oil and other wholesome foods like ghee, coconut oil, and combo products are raw and as nutrient-dense as they come. As far as company integrity and reputation, Dave and Barbara are as genuine and honest as they come, and have made every possible effort to maintain a commitment to integrity and faithfulness of traditional foods eaten by people around the world for thousands and thousands of years.

Cod liver oil is the most potent and natural source of important fat-soluble vitamins A & D, which are actually hormones and essential to many aspects of health (especially brain, bone, digestion, and immunity). My family has been consuming cod liver oil for nearly 5 years and it has definitely been a boosting factor in our health.

Although I didn’t see as many lectures or spend as much time with various people as I wanted to, this conference experience was definitely as good or better than the first one I attended in Pennsylvania two years ago. I will also be purchasing some of the lectures I missed from Fleetwood Onsite conference recording.

One of the things I love about this conference is how much good will I see between conference attendees, willingness to help, and to support each other. It was a treat to see old friends I had already met from years before, or meet those friends I know from online social media.

I was so excited to get to meet for the first time Stanley and Keren Fishman and their son Alan from Tender Grassfed Meat.  I have been corresponding with them online for a year or two, and they are kind, generous and passionate folks whom I am so proud to call my friends.

I was also able to spend time with some of my other favorite people – Lisa Rose of Real Food Kosher, Annika Rockwell from Food For Kids Health (who is one of my clients), JeanMarie Todd of Kind Food Farm, and Alex Lewin from Feed Me Like You Mean It.

Please check out Alex’s gorgeous new book on fermentation, Real Food Fermentation.  I have my copy and will be doing a review of it soon. Also, I’d like to thank Alex for allowing me to use some of his photos in this post. Just before I left for the conference, I discovered my camera battery was dead, so I went to a store to buy another one and they apparently didn’t have batteries. I didn’t have time to go to another store to replace it, so I’m grateful for the photos since the camera on my phone takes very poor quality photos.

Here’s a picture of Lisa, Alex, JeanMarie and me at the awards dinner on Saturday night.

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The booth I worked at was just on the opposite side from Sandrine Love (Hahn) and Karen Hamilton-Roth from Nourishing Our Children. Here’s Sandrine and I. Isn’t she as cute as can be?

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I met many others including Tandy Batt of Natural Living, Courtney Polivka of The Polivka Family – a site devoted to information about real food, natural birthing, fertility, and natural living,  Aaron Zober of The Appropriate Omnivore, and Hannah Crum of Kombucha Camp.

I had met Scott Gryzbek from Zukay cultured vegetable dressings and juices last conference (in King of Prussia), but this year he asked for a picture, and I was happy to oblige.

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I also got to spend a little time visiting with Monica Ford of Real Food Devotee, and Maureen Diaz (one of my fellow Liberation Wellness friends) although not nearly enough.  :)

Here are just a few speakers who presented at Wise Traditions this year:

Chris Masterjohn:

Chris is a brilliant researcher and lecturer on the topic of cholesterol and its essential role in human health. I’ve been fascinated by his research for several years, and I often reference his research when it comes to providing clients with information they need, or for writing I do on my own site. Nutritional Adjuncts to Fat Soluble Vitamins was the topic Chris covered in his presentation this year.

Chris was vegan for a number of years and he talks extensively on his site about the negative effects this lifestyle had on his health. He ate a lot of soy while on this diet, and it was to the detriment of his health. I highly recommend reading anything he has written or watching any of his lectures online or in person.

Chris Kresser:

A licensed acupuncturist and integrative medicine practitioner, Chris has made a name for himself in holistic health and has been associated with the Paleo diet and lifestyle by many who embrace this way of living. The topic of discussion was The Gut-Brain-Skin Axis: New Perspectives on an Old Idea.

Over the last 20 or so years, medical practitioners and researchers have become more and more interest in the link between skin problems and mental health.  Studies reveal that patients experiencing acne and other skin disorders have a higher risk of digestive distress such as IBS, acid reflux, constipation. Chris discussed this relationship and provided recommendations for nutritional applications to reverse these conditions and also to prevent issues from occurring.

Dr. Carolyn Dean:

Carolyn Dean is known for her work in the subject of magnesium deficiency and its affect on human health. Although I have read a great deal of her research, I still haven’t read her book The Magnesium Miracle (and I’m still planning to read it). She discussed how just about every major disease is somehow connected to magnesium deficiency – heart disease, autism, allergies, chronic fatigue, hormonal imbalance, auto-immune disorders, and more. This blew my mind when I learned it several years ago, and it continues to amaze me today.

Andrea Malmberg

Andrea was the keynote speaker at the awards dinner held on Saturday evening of the conference. Director of Savory Institute’s Research and Knowledge Management Initiative, Andrea educates about educates about the importance of preserving grasslands all over the world to maintain habitat and the ecology, with grazing animals, and how this practice is already been shown to restore the balance of our earth.

This topic is definitely not new to me, but I was so amazed at the images she showed on the slides of just how successful this practice really is – and how returning areas that have undergone desertification and deterioration of the land and soil integrity can benefit so greatly by returning it to a grassland state with grazing animals. The pictures were worth more than a thousand words, and this is happening all over the world in designated Savory land areas.

New to Weston A. Price?

This non-profit organization’s mission is to educate about the research of Dr. Weston A. Price which occurred during the 1930s all across the world. WAP’s intent is to instruct about nutrient-dense foods and their essential role in supporting human health. This organization is dedicated to education, research, and activism.  Some of the areas of emphasis include pasture-raised livestock, organic and biodynamic farming techniques community supported farms, accurate nutritional information and instruction, and honest and informative labeling of food and supplement products.

If you are interested in learning about nutrition and lifestyle changes that affect children, visit Nourishing Our Children for specific nutritional recommendations that support children’s health and growth and development.

If you have the opportunity to attend just one conference, this should be it!

What are traditional foods? 

Photo credits: Alex Lewin, Feed Me Like You Mean It and Scott Gryzbek, Zukay