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GAPS(ish) Diet–9 Month Update

Well, friends, I thought I had written my last GAPS post, but I find that my healing journey did not end with deciding to “quit GAPS”. Shucks.

After writing that last post in October, I did some serious thinking about what I needed from a diet. My 6 months on GAPS had certainly taught me that food is more than physical nourishment. It is also emotional bonding, and spiritual union. I can sit down with my family or my friends at the same time and eat “together”, but if we are not dipping from the same pot then I find very little togetherness in the act. I can’t explain it, I’m sure it’s difficult to understand if you haven’t been there, and I’m sure there are some folks who don’t experience food that way at all. So perhaps you just have to trust me on this one when I say that GAPS, for me, was depressing and very isolating.

I decided that my first priority in my diet was the ability to share food, especially with my family. Second, since my emotional health was suffering and I had started an anti-depressant, I decided my next priority should be to find some joy in eating again. And my third priority was simply to reduce my pain level as much as possible, keeping the first two priorities in place.

Finally, while I wouldn’t call it a “priority”, there was the very real limitation of our household finances. I have a family of six to feed on an income that, according to national statistics, has frequently bordered on Poverty (I take issue with this label on a number of levels, but that’s a soapbox for another time….) I had ordered my priorities, but wasn’t quite sure that they could be achieved on our budget.

And so I embarked–we embarked–on a grand experiment. I dropped the parts of GAPS that felt rigid and legalistic–culturing veggies continuously, drinking broth every day. I gave up juicing, because I suspected all that carrot juice was feeding the SIBO in my gut. I ate things that weren’t GAPS legal, but that didn’t cause me pain. And I began to eat more of the things that cause me some minor pain and discomfort–a wider range of veggies, more eggs, and nut flours–and the rest of the family ate less of the things that caused me major pain and discomfort–gluten and dairy. And most nights, we ate together. I would supplement their meals with a loaf of bread or some rice, to stretch out the main dish a little more. And occasionally I would eat rice or beans as the grocery budget dwindled at the end of the month. So we ate this diet that hovered somewhere between GAPS and Paleo but not quite entirely either one. For a long time, I felt not-too-bad. At least, I didn’t feel any worse than I had on GAPS.

And then a number of things happened at once. I had a scope to check on the status of my colitis (results: 2 years of medication and restricted diets had not impacted the inflammation one little bit). Family life got busy and I missed several weeks in a row of yoga class. The holidays came and my stress level began to climb. And towards the end of December I began to feel truly horrible again. Where as before I was getting a small amount of symptomatic relief from my colitis medication, I began to get absolutely none. I was in bed with uncontrollable symptoms at least one day out of the week. I missed 90% of our carefully hand-picked holiday engagements (the ones we decided we most wanted to do) because I wasn’t well enough to leave the house. I was feeling discouraged, and very frustrated.

An extended discussion with my GI doc (who is truly awesome) revealed medical options that I wasn’t excited about–immuno-suppressant drugs, all of them quite toxic with risks of cancer and birth defects. All of them require some level of energetic input on my part–getting myself to an infusion clinic or giving myself shots or showing up for regular blood draws. I asked my GI doc if she’d be willing to explore an alternative treatment with me before beginning the immuno-suppressants. This treatment is so off the beaten path that I’m going to name it here by its most genteel name: human probiotic infusion. I’ll leave it up to you whether or not you want to Google that and find out what it really is.

My GI doc hasn’t committed yet, but she is researching and trying to jump through some hoops and hoping to help me out. This treatment is not even an approved UC treatment in the States. There are no doctors here offering this treatment for people like me, so her approval and help would be monumental.

My other option is to try 30 days of the Paleo Diet Auto-Immune Protocol. Somehow, agreeing to 30 days on the AI Protocol in hopes of simply improving symptoms feels more doable than an undetermined amount of time spent strictly following one restricted diet in search of complete healing.

All of these treatments have gains and losses associated with them. All of them are expensive in one way or another. I don’t like any of them. But I also don’t like being in pain, or missing my daughter’s piano recital.

 

I think what I’m coming to realize, after years with chronic illness and diet restrictions, is that healing does not come from any one thing, or at any one time. Well, I suppose it does sometimes but I think those cases should always have an asterisk and a footnote that says “Results not typical”. Rather, I’m beginning to see it as this series of ups and downs. I have times of plunging down into a treatment, seeking deeper healing, but then inevitably have to surface again to catch my breath. After a time, I’m able to plunge the depths again, a little bit deeper this time before resurfacing again. Usually the resurfacing finds me in a different place where the waters are a little bit shallower and the distance between the depths of healing and the resurfacing is not as great. I suppose it would be a quicker journey if I could hold my breath long enough to just stay down there and not have to resurface again, but the times spent in the depths are quite dark and lonely. For me, in my journey, the times of resurfacing are important for my emotional and spiritual health, just as the times of diving deep are important for my physical health. I’m learning that I don’t mind if it takes longer to reach the destination, if it means I get to enjoy the journey.

* photos of a day of food in my current quasi-GAPS diet (this was a particularly disciplined day–sauerkraut with every meal, soup for one meal, no rice, and no legumes): Sweet Potato and Beet Latkes with a fried egg and sauerkraut; Turkey Sloppy Joe over chopped iceberg lettuce with sauerkraut; Slow Cooked Apples; Chicken and Butternut Squash Soup; Banana Mush

Print Recipe

Turkey Sloppy Joes

The family enjoys this on hamburger buns, while I eat it over a bowl of shredded lettuce as a grain-free option. It would also be delicious over rice, for a gluten-free dinner.

Source: Erin at Plan to Eat

Course: GAPS/Paleo/SCD-Main (Chicken)

Serves: 6

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbs coconut oil or butter
  • 1/2 onion minced
  • 4 carrots minced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 pound organic ground turkey
  • 2 cans whole tomatoes with juice chopped
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 3 Tbs coconut aminos or tamari
  • 1/4 c sundried tomatoes chopped
  • 2 Tbs honey
  • 1 tsp ground coriander

Directions

  1. Melt the coconut oil in a large saute pan over med-high heat. Saute the onion, carrots, and garlic until softened. Add the ground turkey and cook until brown, chopping up the ground meat with a wooden spoon.
  2. In a bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Add to the saute pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until thickened, about 20-30 minutes.

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  • Have you read the book Body Ecology? I wonder if it might help? Reply
    sara January 7, 2013 AT 6:31 am
     
    • Sara, I haven't. My to-be-read pile is toppling over already, but I'll add it to my list of books to look into. thanks :) Reply
      Erin January 7, 2013 AT 9:10 am
       
      • I read an article comparing the GAPS diet and the body Ecology diet. It made me rethink doing any diet strictly, as Erin wrote. I have been trying to a GAPS/Paleo diet for a couple years and I keep failing because it's not tasty and it's anti-social. I tried reducing my sweets and adding some grains. But most grains give me a stomach ache. I really appreciated this article because of the honesty of the human experience. It is so hard to eat such a restrictive diet because it is so socially alienating. I agree, "dipping from the same pot" is bonding. Thanks! Reply
        Addie Evans February 18, 2014 AT 12:57 pm
         
  • My sincere thoughts and prayers for you. I pray you get to that place of more answers than questions. More joy than frustration. Please know that your well written article helps many that may be experiencing similar journeys. Thanks and God Bless! Reply
    Leslie January 7, 2013 AT 8:32 am
     
    • Leslie, thank you for your prayers and your kind words. They are much appreciated. Reply
      Erin January 7, 2013 AT 9:11 am
       
  • Hi. I follow your blog but haven't posted at least anytime that I remember. I have spent a lot of my lifetime working on the drugs you are considering- the injectable immunosuppressants. I am sure you have done a lot of research and they are a scary option, but the pain and other symptoms you suffer with seem to be destroying your quality of life. Chronic inflammation like you have results in circulating substance your body creates that actually cause our augment depression. With no change in your symptoms or disease in two years it just is really unlikely much will work except "turning off" the cells that are attacking your body. There is low risk of cancer, but your untreated disease is also increasing your risk of many many comorbid conditions, some as serious as the side effects you don't even have yet. I am sure you are looking at the entire balance of things, but perhaps you have not considered just a tial period with the injectables (I would recommend the ones you self administer). See if they help. And then make a decision about the risk. It just seems like you have battled this for so long you don't even remember what it felt like to feel good. If you do a trial period and you don't feel better or you are haunted by the worry of long term developing side effects then stop taking them. Even if you use them for 1-2 years there could be newer safer treatments around. Please take my words as they are intended- to give you some encouragement and hope. I have seen people's lives literally transformed by the anti-TNFs (I assume this is what you are considering). Good luck. Reply
    Sandra January 7, 2013 AT 8:54 am
     
    • Sandra, thank you for both your comment and your respectful tone. Sometimes the same words can be conveyed in a different tone and it changes the whole spirit of the thing. Thank you for both. It's true, there are gains and losses on both sides to be considered, and I am trying to weigh all of them. My discussions with my GI are invaluable to me, and I trust her advice. I am actively involved in my treatment and she is respectful of that and includes me whenever possible. Ultimately, though, I am in her hands and follow her recommendations. I had considered a trial period, but have heard that these drugs are not drugs that can be returned to, once they're stopped. I guess I felt like I didn't want to "waste" my chance with them, and wanted to be fully committed to the treatment before starting them. I'd be interested to hear your input on this. It's something I haven't been able to discuss with my GI yet. Thanks again for your informed opinion and for sharing it respectfully. Reply
      Erin January 7, 2013 AT 9:19 am
       
      • I'd love to know how you accomplished this & how long it took for you? I too have short term memory loss & digestive disorder along with Hashimotos. (Auto immune issue) I've tried so many times to figure out how to eat, & I've not wanted to do GAPS, but I think I'm finally ready to heal myself so I can help my kids (3 of which have allergies to gluten & dairy) I'd love to hear more- if you did this alone or with a nutritionalist etc. thanks! Reply
        Rebecca November 6, 2013 AT 8:09 pm
         
  • Wow, what a trying journey. Good luck on the probiotic infusion and best wishes for a healthy year. Reply
    Chana January 7, 2013 AT 8:57 am
     
  • Erin, do you have an email i can reach you at? I'd like to offer some tips/things that have worked for me as I have been struggling with digestive disorders for some time now. I appreciate the detailed GAPS journey, that is how I came across your blog. I know you must be overflowing with or maybe even tired of "suggestions", but I'd love to share, hopefully it could help. Reply
    john January 12, 2013 AT 5:56 am
     
  • I urge you to get a blood test called ELISA/ACT through Elisa Biotechnologies. This tests for food allergies INCLUDING delayed reactions. My son just went through a horrible year being very ill with stomach pain and severe nausea and headaches after an infection. A long story short....the next thing the GI doc wanted to do was to possibly take his galbladder out. I just knew that it wasn't right and that his body could heal itself more naturally. I insisted that my doc order this test (insurance doesn't cover it) and we took the 16 things that came up out of his diet. We also did gluten sensitivity through Cyrex Labs (again not covered under insurance) and he was found to be very gluten SENSITIVE. HIs GI doc said that he didn't have a problem with gluten as his celiac test was negative...not true. Within just a couple of days our dear son was 80% better. He continued to get better over the next month and has been pain free as of 12/6/2012. WE wouldn't have gotten a better Christmas present! I had put him on a gluten free diet before, but it didn't help a bit. It turns out that he was reacting to xanthan gum and potato starch, which is in almost all ready to eat gluten free products at the store. Until we took out ALL of the foods that he was allergic to (and made sure he wasn't getting any phathalate exposure) he was better! I hope that this will help you. Blessings, Karen Reply
    Karen January 12, 2013 AT 5:15 pm
     
    • Interesting you say that Karen - my daughter has prob - due to age allergist made us only prep for 2 weeks for Coeliac test and I feel wasn't enough time - I would agree - My daughter was refusing all GF products - since I go for ones with NO potato starch she seems to be better - I will have to see if she too is xanthan gum... Have you heard of Jude Blereau - her wholefood philosophy is great - she agrees that people can't tolerate gluten often can't tolerate GF stuff due to most is made of tapioca/corn or potato starch - these too are hard for our bodies to break down and digest - if gut is not good at the best of time these too will cause complications... never ending cycle... Reply
      debbie July 29, 2013 AT 6:09 am
       
  • Hi Erin, I'm just visiting your site from the Inspired To Action email today. Like you I have struggled with digestive issues and have been on a similarly restricted diet for 18mths now, the first 6mths being an elimination diet. No gluten, dairy plus a host of other restrictions. But the difference is that I am feeling great (when I stick pretty close to the diet) and you sound like you are not feeling great after all that effort. I also see that stacks of people have left comments with all sorts of advice, and I'm afraid that I am going to be doing that too! The thing that stands out to me in your posts on the GAPS diet is that you are eating LOTS of amines. Amines are fermented proteins, All that fermenting of vegetables and broth could easily be the main cause of your ongoing problems, despite such radical diet changes. Amines are found in vinegar, meat cooked for a long time (broth?) and a host of other foods, and make me feel sick, give me cramps, reflux etc. I was in a downward spiral before starting on this diet. So before going on to any drugs or treatment you might want to check out the diet I am on. It would probably be easier than what you have been doing on GAPS, no fermenting etc. but still a restricted diet, obviously, and still cooking from scratch. The diet I am referring to is introduced here http://www.sswahs.nsw.gov.au/rpa/allergy/resources/foodintol/salicylates.html And was developed by a hospital here in Australia. I am not affiliated at all, but am happy to give you more info by email if you're interested. It changed my life so much that I'm always wanting to tell people! I know how hard it is to be working so hard for every meal, eating differently to everyone else, feeling left out, and the sheer frustration of it all. You have done SO well to stick to it without wonderful results. But if you can get the diet right you will know, your life will change for the better. Sorry for the long, long comment and all the best, take care. Reply
    Fiona January 18, 2013 AT 6:39 pm
     
  • PS sorry me again, if you're interested, I could email you a list of safe foods and you could probably tell in a few days whether it makes a difference. Won't hassle you anymore now! Reply
    Fiona January 18, 2013 AT 6:53 pm
     
  • My best friend is doing GAPS and since I have lots of digestive issues of my own, she encouraged me to look into it. I researched it a bit and read some passages from the GAPS book. I was and still am EXTREMELY skeptical of most of the metal health related content, but figured I could ignore those parts, along with some other parts, if it helped my digestive issues. My research showed me that after 2 years of strictly following GAPS, you should be basically cured. However, I couldn't find any blogs or personal accounts (granted, there aren't a whole lot in general and I didn't read all of them) where the person actually stuck to the regimen, for all the reasons you stated, plus some others. And my friend hasn't been able to go more than a few months before "taking a break". Everybody just ends up modifying the diet to what works for them. Which is the same as modifying your diet to begin with to what works for you. Your blog was the straw that broke the camels back, so to speak, that instead of putting time and effort into GAPS, I should put time and effort into figuring out what works for me. So my point in this long, rambling comment, is thank you. I Reply
    Kathryn January 22, 2013 AT 6:08 am
     
    • I realize this is an old post but I wanted to respond because GAPS worked miracles for me. It is hard but there are plenty of people who stick to it. Check out the yahoo gaps group and you will find many folks who have cured many physical and mental health issues with the diet. People really do recover from depression, bipolar disorder, autism, IBS etc. So here is my story: When I started GAPS, I had been dealing with depression for 15 years. I was losing control of my bladder; I couldn't drive because my body would not do what my brain told it to. I had fibromyalgia pain, short term memory loss, more serious cognitive decline and I couldn't walk longer than a couple of blocks without getting a terrible pain in my side. I was down to fours asleep a night and was an emotional wreck. I could list many more symptoms. I had gotten off a very high dose of an antidepressant by taking large does of vitamins...something very similar to this http://www.truehope.com/faq.aspx. There is plenty of research on the nutritional components of mental health problems....check out orthomolecular psychiatry. And on the connection between the gut and the brain...serotonin and many neurotransmitters are actually made in the gut as well as the brain. There is great new book called Grain Brain that explores this even more. Back to my GAPS health story...when I recognized that i needed large does of vitamins and minerals, I decided I must be nutritionally deficient. Looking into the causes of nutritional deficiencies led me to leaky gut and GAPS. I had mostly cognitive issues...not serious digestive issues except for constipation. At least that is what thought. I did not do the introduction diet. I took all grains and all sugar out of my diet. And drank copious amounts of broth (various meat and vegetable soups) for breakfast and lunch for months...I ate a GAPS legal dinner. I improved! I began to wake up happy. I no longer got dizzy or angry when I did not eat for a couple of hours. I am driving again. My bladder is fine. I can tell when I get too much sugar or flour...my mood changes radically. When I read the posts of people who don't benefit, I wonder how well they followed the diet...it is hard and there are a lot of thing that help that are not in the book. For example on GAPS yahoo group, you will find that in the beginning many people, possibly even most, take out all fruit, honey and all sweet or starchy vegetables including carrots for awhile. Many cannot eat nuts for a long time either. Most take Green Pastured fermented cod liver oil (expeeeensive) and trie to get their 5 tablespoons of cold pressed nut and seed oils as well as their fermented foods and juicing every day. Sourcing food is also really important. In the early stages most will not use canned coconut milk, canned tomatoes, canned tuna, or any condiments or convenience foods including Lara bars because you can't be sure what is in them (even when you read labels). This is even true for spices as they often contain fillers and are irradiated. It is not fun to make your ketchup and spice mixes. Almost all preservative and natural flavorings are made from gmo corn, even bacon that is supposed to be uncured or naturally cured has "natural" nitrates so most of the GAPS folks on the yahoo group don't eat any bacon or sausage unless they make themselves. Of course, following the diet strictly is important in the early stages, but as the gut heals it gets easier to eat things. I think one of the main goals of the diet is to really reduce the bodies toxic load (so it can heal itself) and identify troublesome foods. It is possible to modify the diet within the protocol so that it is easier to implement. I tended to make one pot meals...a meat a vegetable served with fermented cream or avocado and fermented vegetables. This is long winded but the diet has been so helpful to me. I had to let you know there are people who greatly benefit. I have not solved all my problems..still working visual perceptual disorder, detoxing mercury and a few other things....but I am really glad I found GAPS. Reply
      Terry October 9, 2013 AT 7:54 pm
       
      • SO glad for your results from the GAPS diet! I'm sure you are right in your guess that some do not see good results due to not following the protocol strictly enough. However, I have recently begun hearing from folk who followed it PERFECTLY, being GAPS certified instructors, who have ended up with very puzzling, bad results. Especially after long term. This reminds us that we must each find what works for us. AND that one can over-do a good thing. Healing blessings! Reply
        Ann February 20, 2014 AT 12:46 pm
         
  • One of my best friends is also suffering from colitis. Last time we talked she mentioned that she was considering trying a frankincense treatment. Don't know if that is ever recommended over there. In the EU it sometimes used by natural practictioners. I am personally going to TCM for treamtment for long term insomnia and it has really made a difference. It's amazing to discover how really horrible i was feeling but hadn't realized because it was like that every day. I hope that you can continue to enjoy your journey with all the divings and resurfacings that are a part of it and that I can mine. Sometimes it is so hard waiting for the next resurfacing. :) Cheers! Reply
    Sarah Lynn February 5, 2013 AT 3:24 am
     
  • I'm sorry that you are suffering, but be assured that you are not alone in the swamp! You are so right when you say you have to find what is right for you in the healing process - we are all so unique - can't be treated cookie cutter style. Google - Truly Gluten Free- Micki Rose. She claims that all grains have gluten and those most sensitive need to eliminate all grains. Another book to add to the pile - Ending the Vicious Cycle - Elaine Gottschall Also, have you considered spices being an issue for you? Bless you, Veronica Reply
    Veronica February 28, 2013 AT 12:15 pm
     
  • Hi Erin, I can relate to the isolation you speak of which comes with a restrictive diet. I have had a similar experience with myself with the Failsafe diet, which I have been on (and off) for two years and I'd just like to share my experiences. After I had been on the diet for a few months my birthday came around. We went away for the weekend and I decided to have a "holiday" from the diet, drinking a bottle of champage, and eating some other illegal things. When I woke up on my birthday I felt near-suicidal, sick, ill and had probably one of the worst days of my life! So in the early days, it was not only my successes on the diet, but also these awful reactions, which prompted me to stay really strictly on the diet, which was at that stage, very restrictive. Luckily my partner is really supportive and happy to eat all the weird food with me, but when I went to visit anybody or joined a celebration it was just awful having to refuse everything. I agree with you that eating separate food at the same table does not create the same spiritual feeling of bonding and togetherness. There is something profound in the human ritual of "breaking bread together". It is isolating, and I think unhealthy, to be excluded from it. After about a year on the diet all the deprivation started to send me a bit loopy. All I wanted to do was eat the things I wasn't allowed to eat. I started to hate, and I mean HATE the sight of the legal foods. (To this day I do not have a positive relationship to pears, which play a large part in the diet.) I started cheating in a big way, eating giant blocks of chocolate and all sorts of illegal foods, and overall my diet, health and happiness declined. Finally, I too, decided to "go off the diet, but not really." The main thing was that I MENTALLY went off the diet. I needed to get rid of those chronic feelings of deprivation, more so than my chronic sinus. I told myself, "I can eat anything I want." It was so important to me that I had NO feeling of restriction whatsoever. When my family members would say, "Oh, can I make that, are you allowed that?" I would gently remind them, "I can eat anything, remember? Just make anything. I can eat anything now." I needed to change my state of mind away from deprivation back to enjoyment of life. And I genuinely did let myself eat anything. I absolutely refused to deny myself things!!! What I found was that when I wasn't feeling deprived, restricted and miserable, I would make a good choice for myself. I would have a little of an illegal food and feel happy with that, while I mostly ate legal foods. I listened to my intuition. I listened to my body. I made sure I felt happy and enjoyed what I was eating. As I went along, I found a happy middle ground. Sometimes I would react to foods, but increasingly I was able to eat what I wanted (which was in fact, mostly Failsafe) and I didn't feel deprived. Life became enjoyable again. Then a few months ago, I came under a lot of stress. Job, family, a lot of things went haywire and I found myself under a lot of pressure. All of a sudden my food intolerance reactions went through the roof. Things which I had been able to handle for a year, suddenly caused drastic reactions. I have had to scale back and back and back to the most restrictive version of the diet. I have become desperate again, struggling with awful symptoms which have been gone for so long, but are now back with a vengeance. Apparently in times of stress our body's ability to cope with these things declines. It may be due to increased inflammation - who knows? Yet, finding myself back on the restrictions, I can feel those old rebellious feelings of deprivation stirring again. What misery, to have to avoid this, avoid that, and avoid the other! I'm determined that I absolutely will not stay on a super-restrictive version of this, or any other diet, ever again. So when my reactions calm down, I'm sure I'll be able to go back to my "middle path" again. I suppose what I've learned is that it's a tightrope walk, and that we can learn to balance as time goes along. Sometimes we fall off, and sometimes we can go for a long time with success. But deprivation is never your friend. Lastly, I wonder if the Failsafe diet might not be helpful for you? I went on it initially to find the cause of my hayfever. To my astonishment I discovered not only the cause of my hayfever, but also that my lifelong depression was related to salicylates, and my acne disappeared if I excluded milk. The diet has changed my life for the better, despite my love-hate (mostly hate) relationship with it! Here are some links: http://failsafediet.wordpress.com/ http://fedup.com.au/factsheets/support-factsheets/how-to-start-failsafe-eating http://www.amazon.com/Fed-Up-Sue-Dengate/dp/1741667259 I hope that you've gained something from the experiences I've shared! A problem shared is problem halved, as they say. Reply
    Helen April 9, 2013 AT 7:08 pm
     
  • Wow, I just read all your updates on the GAPS diet, and I see that it was a very very stressful experience for you. I would like to venture to say that GAPS was not designed to be administered along with a huge dose of stress. It is my own personal theory (I'm by no means an expert) that what makes us sick is accumulated stress. Stress comes from many sources not the least of which is our screwed up SAD diet. I have heard that emotional stress affects the ability of your body to digest food. So being under a lot of stress while doing GAPS would seem to me to be counterproductive. Ideally, GAPS would be administered in a clinic type environment where the dieter would not have to cook or figure out what to feed everyone else at the same time and be doing nothing but resting! Reply
    Anna April 16, 2013 AT 7:49 pm
     
  • Your description of struggling with food issues was beautifully written. Anyone dealing with an illness that is not curable but must be managed spends times in the deep waters of healing. So here is my prayer for you: May your resurfacing always be in shallow water and the depths of healing and resurfacing not as great. When you do have to dive into the healing waters may your journey be one of connection and oneness with the whole so that you feel filled with light and joy. May you carry this light and joy back with you when you resurface. Great beauty and art comes from the depths. I can see it here in your writing in that beautiful passage the starts with “After a time, I’m able to plunge the depths again, a little bit deeper this time before resurfacing again. Usually the resurfacing finds me in a different place where the waters are a little bit shallower and the distance between the depths of healing and the resurfacing is not as great. I suppose…..” Thank you for sharing it with us. Reply
    Anne May 26, 2013 AT 12:54 pm
     
    • Anne, what a beautiful prayer. Thank you for sharing it with me, and thank you for your very kind words and wishes. Erin Reply
      Erin May 27, 2013 AT 1:45 pm
       
  • I love your approach on this topic - very sound advice - I pray that your health will improve - we have dietary issues with all 3 of our children and myself varying - developmental delays in eldest and younger with leaky gut - daughter with continual allergies... It makes life esp a family where hubby had not worked for most this year incredibly hard... i also am a believer in God created alot of these things so why are they bad.... this comes down to the question where are we sourcing our food, what is the environment like around our food and what other toxins are we putting in to our body... I feel at present there is so much of us dieting or trying to find the way to heal our gut - but we need to really get back to basics, source locally... I feel I often have my family behave like guinea pigs experimenting all the time trying to find the cure - but prehaps the answer is right in front of us :) Reply
    debbie July 29, 2013 AT 6:14 am
     
  • I have some of the same issues you do with my stomach and food issues. I've just started looking into taking Calcium bentonite clay and also diatomaceous earth daily. I think both would really help you. Read about each of them, look up the benefits and see if its right for you. - Lesli Reply
    Lesli November 25, 2013 AT 3:47 pm
     
  • Erin, I'm so sorry to read about your struggles with the diet. I can completely understand your disconnect from everyone. Especially when you have a difficult time with being happy with the diet and not sharing in the same meal as others around you. It can be very isolating. I am a pro hockey player and I find it isolating as well when I have to eat my special diet to perform at the highest physical level possible. In the summer I never get to share in the same meals or drink alcohol with everyone else. I currently started the gaps diet to help support my wife who had Lyme disease and I have found it difficult to manage. I guess the best advice I can give is that you have to stop psychologically thinking that life revolves around meals. We eat food to simply survive. We don't live our lives around food. My wife and I don't even plan meals together anymore. We eat separately when one is hungry. Who made the rule that we all must eat together at breakfast lunch and dinner? Simply eat when you are hungry and drink when you are thirsty and don't plan your life around meals. We both get hungry at different times of the day because our bodies and schedules are so different. I am getting better at the gaps diet because my wife has found some better ways to prepare the food. She blogs about them sometimes at yogabycandace.com if your interested. Hope this helps. Reply
    Greg January 10, 2014 AT 10:20 am
     
  • Oh this is disheartening. I'm truly discouraged tonight. I've got a gi appt on the 14th. Im praying for relief for you and I this side of heaven so we can love others well and serve strong!!! Reply
    Shawnda January 10, 2014 AT 9:58 pm
     
  • I am so glad I found your blog. I have been on a similar journey. I found out 3 years ago I have celiac disease. I was 39 and the damage to my gut from going so long undiagnosed is pretty extensive. I have a ton of food allergies/intolerances including gluten. I have leaky gut syndrome and now I Think I ma having trouble with my thyroid. It is has been a long 3 years.. filled ith chronic pain in my stomach and fatigue and host of other ailments. I have doing GAPS for 2 years now. I have to use the term "doing" loosely . Like you, I sort of put together my own version of gaps that I thought I could live with..-Paleo-ish, but with potatoes, gluten free , diary free, grain only once in a while, broth as much a I can stomach, cultured foods, honey or coconut sugar instead of sugar.Though I have seen some progress I have not achieved the level I was hoping for at this stage. I am now thinking I need to go back and do gaps 100% to the best of my abibity. It's such a rigid diet and you are right it makes you feel very isolated and lonely but at this point I just want to be well again. I have never been able to make it through intro. I cave after a few days because my body goes through such detox. I get so sick and I am tired of being sick all the time. But anyway thank you for your blog. It helps to know there are others going through the same thing I am. Good luck on your journey to healing. I have believe it is possible and we will get there eventually. Reply
    Paula-momof8 July 11, 2014 AT 12:27 pm
     
 
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