Yesterday marked one year on the GAPS diet for me! It’s really hard to believe that I’ve been doing this for a year now. When I started my journey last summer, I really had no idea what to expect and how long I would last doing this.
If you want to see how I have progressed through this past year you can go back and read how things were going for me throughout my journey:
GAPS Intro Stages
Celebrating Three Months on GAPS
A Look Back at My First Six Months on GAPS
My Reflections on Repeating GAPS Intro
One of the best improvements I’ve seen since starting GAPS is my improved breathing and the elimination of the rash on my arms. It is extremely rare that I feel any tightness in my chest, even when Boulder was extremely hazy and smoky earlier this summer with all of our various fires nearby.
The rash on my arms, which was pretty much a constant thing before starting GAPS, is all cleared up. The only time I get a bit of it is when I am increasing my probiotics. Then it’s a useful signal that I need to stop and let my body catch up a bit before continuing to increase.
I have also been able to introduce several foods that I either noticed clear reactions to prior to GAPS or that had been on my allergy testing and I was worried about eating. It is really nice to have added beef and sesame seeds back in my diet without a problem! With the beef, I first started including grass-fed beef when I began the GAPS diet and didn’t have any issues. After a while I started trying beef when I was out at restaurants or other people’s homes that hadn’t been strictly grass-fed. Success!
I have even started to introduce dairy again over the past few weeks. I’m going very slowly and following the order outlined in the GAPS book. I am successfully eating ghee and small amounts of pastured butter. Yea! It had been over six years since I had tasted real cow’s milk butter. Can I just say how amazing real butter is?!
Lessons Learned Along the Way
This past year has not been without its bumps along the road. I’ve definitely had a few lessons to learn, and I’ve generally learned them the hard way!
I’ve learned that I must go very slowly when adding in probiotics, whether from foods or in supplement form. And, yes, it took two times for me to realize that fact! Some people on the GAPS diet can quickly work up to a therapeutic dose of probiotics. I’ve learned I must go very slowly or I end up with awful die-off and reactions.
Amazing as it sounds, I’ve also learned that I just can’t do it all! Especially while on the GAPS diet and with the amount of time I need to spend in the kitchen, I’ve had to learn to simplify my meals and the expectations I place on myself. It’s also been important to learn to ask for help when I need it!
Still Working On
While my health has come a long way over the past year, I think I still have a ways to go. I am still continuing to introduce dairy back into my diet very slowly. Dairy is one of the biggest food intolerances I’ve dealt with over the past few years. I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to continue along each step, but I’m being very cautious with it.
Lately I feel like I’ve been getting more to the root of my gut issues, but that means working on correcting even more issues than when I first started. I recently found out that I have very little to no stomach acid production taking place. This is not good! This is also causing adrenal fatigue for me. I’m working on correcting this now, and will be sharing more details about the process with you soon.
Finally, my energy levels are a big concern of mine over the past few months. They have actually been declining, and I’m hoping to take some steps to fix that sooner rather than later! My biggest challenge for this is determining whether it’s just from the adrenal issues or some other cause.
What’s to Come
As I mentioned above, my biggest focus for the near future is correcting my low stomach acid and adrenal issues. It’s still a bit unclear what all of that looks like at this point, but I’m happy to be working with a practitioner who is very knowledgable in this area.
I’m also planning on setting indicators to help me navigate when it’s time to start coming off of GAPS. I’ll be working with a couple of practitioners to help me decide when would be the best time. I’m not really sure whether that’s very soon or another year away.
I want to again say a big thanks to all of you wonderful readers out there! I’m not really sure if I would have come this far on my own. It’s been great sharing my challenges and successes with all of you over the past year. I’ve really appreciated all of your support!