A Year on the GAPS Diet

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

There’s beef in my soup!

Improvements Seen
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?!

Gotta watch those probiotics!

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.

Thank You!
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!

This post is part of Monday Mania, Fat Tuesday, Real Food Wednesday, Simple Lives Thursday, Fight Back Friday, Freaky Friday, GAPS Friendly Friday.


  1. Claire says:

    It’s great to see the results of your efforts. You might want to check into Chris Kresser’s website and his insights on GAPS. That might give you some ideas about your fatigue issues.

    • Mindy says:

      Thanks for the tip, Claire! I really enjoy reading his site and listening to his podcasts. So much good information there! I’ve also had some breakthroughs recently with my fatigue that I’ll be sharing here soon.

  2. Mindy, I had the same problem on GAPS. I find that GAPS + starch is much better for me than full GAPS, so you may need to experiment a bit more to find your sweet spot. I eat potatoes and plantains with occasional grains and do much better overall. I still avoid grains, but I make sure to listen to my body if I really crave them.

    Standard Process Adrenal Complex is a wonderful adrenal function supplement. You can get it through many natural practitioners. It made a significant difference in my energy levels, helped me to heal faster, and my husband just started taking them with great results!

    Good luck with everything! Healing adrenal fatigue is no fun. Luckily, you know how to do it!! :)

    • Mindy says:

      Hi Jennifer,

      Thanks for your tips about GAPS! How soon on GAPS did you start introducing some of those starches? Do you feel like you’re still healing well?

      I’m going to be meeting with my GAPS practitioner next week to talk about possibly starting to add some of those foods back. I just don’t want to interfere with my healing in general!

      Thanks for the tip about the supplements. I just started some and it’s making a big difference in my energy levels over the past couple of weeks. Hopefully it will continue to improve!

      • I started adding them in just before the one year mark I believe. I did cheat on GAPS though, so it wasn’t a strict one year on it. I have a feeling I’m too much of a ‘sugar burner’ still and plan to work on supporting my liver and gall bladder while I turn myself into a ‘fat burner’ as soon as the weather cools down. I do feel like I’m still healing even with my backslides. My body is certainly less toxic and tolerates foods much better than before without giving me instant tendinitis, back pain, acne, and mood swings. A rotation diet plus a focus on gut healing foods has been the key for us.

        I think you would be okay experimenting with some new foods without damaging your health. Just start slowly and read your body. Potatoes and plantains are still the only ones I do well with on a regular basis, but I can have rice if I only have it once a week. I still avoid grains as a rule and always will.

        I’m glad you found some helpful supplements! It’s such a relief when you start to finally feel better. :)

  3. Congratulations on 1 year of GAPS! I am finishing up one month and it has been interesting. I have kind of fallen off the wagon this week and need to get back to making sure I get my bone broth and probiotics at every meal.

    I would love it if you could e-mail me your GAPS practitioner’s contact info. I am in Westminster CO so a drive up to boulder wouldn’t be too far to see someone who knows more about all this than me! At this point I just have the books, some good blogs, and high hopes.

    Thanks so much and I hope you continue to heal well!

  4. Joanne says:

    Hello Mindy – I just wanted to say ‘thank you’ for taking the time to share your experiences. It’s blogs like this that encouraged me and motivated me to give the GAPS diet a try … we started today. I decided to record our journey on a blog as well … if you or anyone else is interested in checking it out, I’m open for tips, suggestions, etc. I only have one post up so far as well as an “about” section and a “resources” section. I believe the blog is linked in my name above.

    Thanks again!! Joanne

    • Mindy says:

      You’re welcome, Joanne! I’ll be sure to stop by and check out your new blog. Other blogs were the inspiration and motivation for me as well. Good luck on your journey!


  1. […] been a little while since my last update on how my journey on the GAPS Diet is going.  I thought it was high time to share a few details […]

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