Tag Archives: GAPS diet

Activism GAPS Healthy Living Real Food

GAPS Diet Basics & Getting Started


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
  • 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


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 Green Living Healthy Living Kids & Family Raw Dairy Real Food

Why Our Family Chooses Raw Over Pasteurized Milk


If you are still wondering about raw milk, now’s the time to give it a try! It is one of the most complete, healthy foods you can consume and provides many critical nutrients we are missing in our modern diets.

Our family has been drinking it for 4 years and it’s been one of the best investments we’ve made in our health. For years, my husband had respiratory allergies and took medications. Before I knew about raw milk, I heard that dairy can cause a lot of allergies in many people, so I suggested he stop eating dairy. This was very hard for him and he wasn’t able to completely avoid it.

Then we discovered raw milk. I started ordering milk from Organic Pastures Dairy in 2007 before the laws changed and CA disallowed raw dairy to go beyond state borders. It was so fabulous and creamy, we were all impressed. My son had recently been told by a practitioner that he had an allergy to dairy as well. Both my husband and son did just fine with the milk and cream we were buying.

When CA laws changed and we could no longer order it, raw milk started to become available in our area – Boise, ID. Now I’m on the GAPS diet and I make kefir and yogurt weekly. It’s been instrumental in getting my health back on track, as I experienced some sort of a crash in the beginning of this year due to stress and depletion in my body, and started having severe anxiety and panic symptoms. I was not sleeping for nearly 3 months and I thought I was going to lose my mind.

I had been eating a very healthy, traditional diet for 6 years and have done many different detox strategies. But what I found out was that I had not fully addressed healing my digestive tract and detoxification. Plus, I’ll never underestimate the power of stress to destroy health again, as the financial stress our family has been under for the last 2 years has been oppressive and stifling. I was desperate and tried many different things to end my anxiety episodes, but what worked the best was to eliminate most of my supplements, eat a nutrient-dense diet, and go on the Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride’s GAPS protocol, which includes regular consumption of cultured dairy products if they are tolerated in the beginning, and adding more in as digestion heals.

What’s the difference between pasteurized and raw milk?

A lot.  Most pasteurized milk comes from cows in confinement operations (including a great deal of “organic” dairies), where they cannot graze on green pastures and stand around in their own excrement all day. Those cows sole purpose in life is to produce milk, and lots of it. Cattle are administered a lot of cheap feed like grain, soy, and corn which are not their natural diet and create an acidic environment in their digestive tracts, which is capable of producing pathogenic strains of bacteria such as E. coli. Cattle are also given preventative doses of antibiotics to counteract these conditions. Some dairies administer hormones (rBGH) to artificially increase the milk production of lactating cows.

Clean, healthy, raw milk comes from happy cows grazing on green grass, without hormones, antibiotics, exposure to pesticides, grain or other artificial feed, and spend time roaming and moving around in the sunshine.

What if I am allergic to dairy or have lactose intolerance?

There are far fewer “lactose intolerant” people than the medical establishment would have us believe. You may be reacting to the casein in milk, which can cause digestive symptoms and other issues. When milk is pasteurized, the fragile enzymes and proteins that are necessary for digestion are destroyed. You may also have a compromised digestive tract from eating a lot of processed foods, which makes digesting most foods properly difficult (which is the case for many people). In any case, you won’t know until you try it to find out. Everyone in our family was either diagnosed as “dairy intolerant” or had noticeable issues to pasteurized dairy when we were consuming it. Those issues all went away when we started drinking raw milk.

I don’t like milk or drink it. Why would I want to start drinking raw milk?

You might change your mind if you had clean, healthy raw milk from cows grazing on green pastures.  But, if you try it and still find you don’t care for it, put it in a smoothie with some fruit, a bit of raw honey, a raw egg yolk, coconut oil, and an avocado and you’ll have a nutrient-dense, delicious, “fast food” breakfast that will blow any breakfast you’ve eaten out of the water. You can also make yogurt, kefir, sour cream, buttermilk, cream cheese, and many other dairy foods that are delicious and healthy.

Watch this informative video interview with Mark McAfee from Organic Pastures Dairy in Fresno, CA. Mark’s dairy is the largest raw dairy in the country and they go the extra mile to make sure you are getting a fresh, clean, and wholesome product from healthy cows on organic green pasture. This interview was done last year, but it’s one of the most well-done and comprehensive videos on the subject.

Want more information about raw milk and the health benefits? Check out these posts:

The Truth About Raw Milk, Part I
The Truth About Raw Milk, Part II


I drink real milk, fresh, raw, local and full of fat- Nourished Kitchen

I don’t drink raw milk…but if you took it away from me, I’d be pissed – Kat’s Food Blog

Why we drink raw milk – Life As A Plate

Top ten reasons to drink raw milk – Cheeseslave

Three facts you should know about raw milk – Real Food Digest

Fresh milk: Part 1: Why raw milk is better than pasteurized – Health, Home, Happiness

My kids health depends on raw milk – Divine Health

Why drink raw milk?Dr. Joseph Mercola