The GAPS diet is all about healing the gut which is said to be 'leaky' and thus responsible for the unpleasant symptoms the patient is experiencing, from Autism, to autoimmune diseases of which there are many. It is said by natural health experts that many things can cause damage to the gut wall, from a poor diet and lack of nutrients and over-reliance on carbohydrates, to having had lots of courses of antibiotics and chronic stress. You may even have been born with a compromised gut, depending on the health of your parents at the time of conception and birth. If you are wondering if you are affected look at these web-sites:
If you have a leaky gut, then as Dr. NCB explains, the body cannot handle toxins (amongst other things) effectively and so they pass through the gut wall, into the blood stream and cause problems elsewhere in the body. Even if you do not have a leaky gut, then toxic overload is not a good idea as it can cause a leaky gut! So this is not a diet just about what you eat. It is also about removing the toxic strain on the body. The actual food part is mainly to heal the gut wall and so stop it from 'leaking', while the probiotics and fermented foods and the juicing help to remove toxins and repopulate the gut with beneficial bacteria.
This ultimately, though means a change in lifestyle too. We are surrounded by so many chemicals, from personal care products, to cleaning products, garden chemicals, etc. If you stop and think about the chemicals you have stored in your cupboards, garage, shed, bathroom cabinet et cetera they all add up and if you use them regularly, to clean, wash clothes/dishes/floors et cetera, than you see how easily it would be to become very toxic.
Then there are all the medicines we ingest, and the lotions and potions we coat ourselves in. These are all the things we have control over - without mentioning the things we don't like air pollution.
Now, thankfully when God made our bodies he made them to be efficient at filtering out harmful substances to keep us alive, and our bodies have inbuilt detoxifying solutions. However in our industrialised society we are bombarded with far more man-made toxic chemicals then ever before, added to which much of it is on the food we eat from pesticides etc... as man battles to produce more for less price. Our lifestyle choices have detrimented our health and for some people, it has damaged their gut. Our bodies do naturally repair themselves, but in order to do so, they need the right nutrients and few of us eat well enough, or enough nutrient dense foods to enable that repair work to take place fast enough to keep up with the damage being caused and so their bodies can no longer deal effectively with the toxins. So they begin to breakout into symptoms, from pain to rashes. A nutrient diet as we have already seen is one with plentiful fats, protein from good quality meat and vegetables and keeping carbohydrates to the minimum.
So it behoves us all to try and reduce our dependence on man-made chemicals, including many drugs, for which there are natural alternatives. There is a place for drugs. Many are life-saving, but it is too easy to go and buy something to relieve symptoms quickly rather than get to the root of the problem. For many, eating a more nutrient diet and restricting carbohydrates helps to take away many unpleasant symptoms and reduce others. Some, like us, go the step further to try and heal our gut wall. Our family is finding many benefits from doing this. We can all benefit by becoming more natural in our outlook on life. I don't mean go 'Green' and make it a religion, but try to reduce our reliance on things that might actually and probably are adding to the problem of our ill health, rather than resolving it, just for short term relief.
So your project this week, is just to look in your cupboards and start to be aware of the chemicals you use every day. Look in the kitchen - the washing powder, washing up liquid, dishwashing solutions, household cleaning lotions, bleaches, et cetera, the bathroom with it's deodorant, body sprays, soaps, perfumes, powders and bear in mind what Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride says, that unless you can eat it, don't put it on your skin! That's a tall order.... but more is possible than you think. Next week I will be sharing with you some natural remedies I have found to our families health needs over the last seven or so years. Of course, the GAPs diet is now a large part of that for us, but there are lots of other small things you can do which work and will make all the difference, especially to your wallet!