Our return to the GAPS Diet.


Returning to GAPS.

I have had a bit of a love affair with GAPS since we first started the diet in 2012. I love seeing the diet’s positive changes in motion. Whilst it is definitely a commitment and has its challenges, what I personally have seen in my own life and in those that I work with, is that the diet is well worth the challenges; however, because of those challenges, timing can make a huge difference to your success with GAPS.

Timing can be everything

When we first started GAPS in 2012, the timing was really good for us- my husband was finally willing to give anything a go to help fix his IBS symptoms- which were so bad he couldn’t sleep at night because of the pain, becoming consequently exhausted for the day and really couldn’t be who he wanted to be for himself, his family or anyone else.  Because of all this, Ben became willing to give it a go and be supportive of the big changes.

Great Changes

During the 8 months we were on GAPS, there were lots of great changes taking place! Ben’s IBS was reducing, his pain levels had reduced to the point that he was able to sleep for the whole night, which he hadn’t done in years, His chronic back pain was completely gone, and his long term psoariasis also. While he still had more healing to do, he had dramatically changed, and was able to function in his life again. It was at this point, that I made the decision to begin my journey to become a Naturopath. I was so excited about gaining a qualification that would be able to help me, help others on their journey to health. However, that journey too was interrupted with a high-risk pregnancy.

High-Risk Pregnancy

After being on GAPS for 8 months I fell pregnant unknowingly with babies number 7 & 8. I was carrying twins, however, I didn’t know this at the time. The pregnancy was going along beautifully- until the 8 weeks mark, when on one of my daughters birthdays, I came downstairs to start making breakfast pancakes to find out I was bleeding. That was the start of what was to be, a very challenging pregnancy. Also on that day we lost one of our twins, and would continue to struggle to keep the remaining baby- eventually developing placenta previa and placenta percreta.  The full Story is here is read if you’re interested.  Needless to say that pregnancy was very stressful, which sealed the end of our GAPS journey and my studies at that point- but it was not the end! After Marcella’s birth, I was on life support and needed a lot of medical help to survive. The road to recovery was a long one, but life eventually did get back to a place of normality and I was able to restart my studies with a newfound purpose.

Packed Full Year

Fast forward to 2017, and you could say this was a VERY full year for my family and I. Due to some of the changes that the government decided to make last year about Fee-Help, my study was dramatically on fast-forward, and instead of having the 22 months to finish both the qualifications, I now had only 12 months. So that year for me was ‘head down bum up’ and powering through, to get everything completed in time- a process which also required 5 weeks away from home for clinic, and then more time away from home to complete my GAPS Practitioner Training. So now, at the beginning of 2018, I’m finally a qualified Naturopath and Herbalist, and now more than ready to spend some time getting our and my health back on track and jumping back into GAPS!

Why Restart GAPS?

There are multiple reasons for us to restart GAPS- Our food history in the last few years has been far from perfect – lots of factors made it difficult, given that I was rebuilding my strength, moving house and finishing my study. More specifically our reasons are:

  • During the birth and aftercare of our last baby, Marcella, I required a lot of medical intervention that included a massive blood transfusion of 178 units, a week on life support and what felt like an endless list of medication while I recovered and rebuilt my strength- All of which kept me alive, but also had negative effects on my health. So, while last time we mostly started GAPS for my husband, this time we are starting if for the whole family!
  • Ben’s health- On GAPS so many things got better for Ben- his psoriasis went away, along with his back pain, both of which haven’t come back; however in the last year or so, his IBS symptoms have flared up and are troubling him again.
  • My son (Xavier), who was born prematurely due to a multi drug resistant blood infection, required a whole range of antibiotics at birth, and consequently has some developmental delays progressing at his own rate, and he is still visibly behind his peers. During our time on GAPS, we saw dramatic improvements in his language skills, his motor skills and we could see him come to life, it was amazing! So for him, we want to come back to GAPS and help him rebuild his gut flora and thrive.
  • My older children are in their early teens and I’m highly aware that they will soon be moving out into the world and making their own decisions, and I would like to give them the best possible health to do that with.

We are excited and nervous at the same time, and expect to experience some resistance from a few of the children, so to help them and us we will start with Full GAPS and then as winter approaches, try by going ‘backwards’ through to intro again; so expect more recipes and blogs with updates on how we are going!

For those of you have don’t know anything about GAPS and are interested in learning more, you are welcome to sign up for my free “What is GAPS?” Webinar of the 8th of Feb at 8:30 pm (Tasmanian Time). You can sign up by clicking this link.  And don’t forget, if you are already or thinking about starting GAPS or you are on GAPS, you may benefit from my 8 week online GAPS Coaching program. 

I look forward to updating you on our successes.

Much love and many blessings

Christina Mathewson.

Naturopath, Herbalist, GAPS Practitioner.