GAPS Diet: An Act on the Far Side of Lunacy

I make decisions in large part based on intuition, specifically my own.

On the one hand, I’m hoping that my sixth sense, honed, will grant me the ability to understand where my clients are and what they need.

On the other hand, it means I spend the majority of my life looking bat-crap crazy.

You can talk stats and facts to me all day long, and at the end of the day, I will smile sweetly at you as I make the infuriating decision that I’d rather do what my intuition is telling me. Reason falls through my head like water through sieve, and I brush facts airily away if they don’t jive with my gut.

And so it is that I reveal to you my latest undertaking, which, ironically enough, is centered entirely around the gut. Readers, meet my latest flirtation with the loony bin: The Gut and Psychology Syndrome, or GAPS, diet.

The idea behind it is that a lot of health problems come from unbalanced levels of beneficial vs. harmful bacteria in one’s body, particularly in the digestive system. The goal, then, is to consume largely easy-to-digest foods with tons of probiotics for as long as it takes to rebuild happy little colonies of beneficial bacteria in places where the sun wisely refuses to shine–2 years is the recommended ‘dose’ of said diet.

Pragmatically, it means that I have to cut out grains and uncultured dairy (aka: the foundation for all things vegetarian) entirely. It means that peanut butter and jelly can no longer be my go-to meal, which will probably require some grieving and withdrawal time.

It means I have to learn to enjoy the taste and mouthfeel of eggs. It means I have to make my own cultured yogurt, cheese, ketchup. . .well, everything, and adjectives like ‘lactofermented’ are now going to be irrevocably paired with certain nouns in my life, such as ‘mayonnaise’. (If that doesn’t make you want to gag, you’re a better person than I).

It means that my local health food stores and farmers are already becoming sick of my presence as I pester them in my never-ending quest for “the most” ethically-raised, grass-fed meats. (So long, pseudo-vegetarianism!)

It means I have to learn to cook meat. It means I have to make and eat fish stock using the head of what once was a live fish (this is the part of the story where my flesh begs leave to creep a bit).

It means I may never have friends again–coffee dates are out, as are meals at restaurants. Plus, I’ll be eating lactofermented foods and fish head broth, and according to my intuition nobody wants to see that.

Finally, and perhaps most frighteningly, it means I’m going to be bear-after-winter-ravenous for the next “x” months of my life.

Why am I doing this, you may ask?

a) I like a challenge.

b) My fascination with bizarre schemes is hereditary. I remember laughing at my maternal grandfather one time for some vitamin mix he bought that I thought placed him firmly in the “homeboy just got his leg pulled real bad” category. Now I’m carrying on that family legacy with pride.

c) My acid reflux has been. . .er. . .refluxing to new levels of painful this year, and it seems easier to just change my whole life than to take an hour and go to the doctor.

d) I’m trying to nurture the hippie in me, which has been sadly neglected since moving to SC. I’m sitting here right now in rip-off Converse shoes, an American Eagle sweater, dark-wash jeans, a newsboy cap, and a two-toned scarf. Yuppie much?

e) If it isn’t healing, it’s going to be hilarity-provoking. That’s called a win/win, folks.

f) My gut is speaking words of encouragement to me regarding said GAPS attempt.

I’ve spent my last few weekends engaging in various methods of preparation–roasting and pureeing 9 pounds of butternut squash, making chicken broth, and gorging myself on grains in this final countdown–and if all goes according to plan, I shall take the plunge into the Intro diet (consisting almost entirely of broth and bone marrow. . .yes, I just said that) next week. I’ve planned it carefully to coincide with Spring Break, so that if my body reacts as I’ve heard it might, I shall be safely tucked away from civilization for the fireworks.

And yes, I fully expect you to at least pretend some level of empathy for me when I come whining to you about how much harder this is than I was anticipating.

The crazy will commence in 5. . .4. . .3. . .


2 thoughts on “GAPS Diet: An Act on the Far Side of Lunacy

  1. Oh Lauren.

    I don’t mean to hopelessly pour more into your mind-sieve, but I feel like I should probably at least say something.

    Unless you are a premature neonate or a profoundly ill child in a third-world country, there’s no convincing evidence that probiotics actually do anything. If acid reflux is your concern, it’s worth noting that the contents of your stomach are normally sterile, so no matter what amazing or magical things you can do with your intestinal flora, it’s not going to change your esophageal sphincter.

    Taking health advice from random “alternative” healers on the internet is always a bad idea, especially when they’re trying to sell you their own special supplements for $50 (!) a bottle. It’s not going to kill you, but it will almost certainly waste a good deal of time and money that could be spent more responsibly elsewhere.

  2. Oh dear, Nate. I was kind of hoping you wouldn’t see this. But that’s what I get for posting my bidness on the WWW.
    The problem with you, sir, is that you make so much sense, which complicates my attempts to convince myself that this is actually a reasonable as well as intuitive move. If it makes you feel any better, I mainly plan to get my probiotics through kefir and sauerkraut, not expensive bottles of probiotics. Also, I’m guessing I’ll last about a month. Do I sound less idiotic now? Not even a little?

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