Every Wise Woman

Real Food, Real Health, Real Birth

Skipping Intro Will Hamper Your Success with GAPS

If you don't do GAPS Intro, you aren't really doing GAPS...you're basically just eating paleo.  Believe me, I know Intro is a challenge.  But if you skip the "I eat, sleep, breathe, dream homemade soup from meat stock and bone broth" part of GAPS, you won't experience the complete healing that you seek.  The Intro portion of the GAPS protocol is where the lion's share of the gut healing work takes place.  The goal of the GAPS program is to heal the gut lining, destroy the malevolent pathogens living in your body, repopulate your beneficial flora, and detoxify your entire system.

GAPS Intro was designed to not only jump start the gut healing process and pinpoint food sensitivities, but to achieve particular healing actions that cannot be successfully accomplished otherwise.  McBride recommends that all GAPS participants complete Intro before moving to the "Full" portion of the protocol, but you can move through the stages of Intro at the pace you determine depending on your body's needs.  Full GAPS alone does not offer the intense detoxifying, healing processes of Intro.  

One of the cornerstones of the GAPS program is the diet of highly and easily digestible foods that will not further irritate an already compromised gut (the best of these is the mineral and collagen rich homemade stocks/broths).  Some foods allowed on the Full GAPS portion of the program are not highly digestible, such as greens, fried meats, coconut flour, dairy (even fermented), and are only appropriate for the person who has attained a good level of healing through the program.  Fibrous foods must be avoided during the initial healing stages.  Another extremely important component of GAPS Intro is the elimination of sugars (in the first few stages of Intro).  This aspect of the protocol allows your body to suffer (sorry, but anything worth doing is hard) the withdrawal necessary to begin massive pathogen die off (you're starving the nasty things) and to cleanse your body of sugar cravings/addictions.  The amazing part is how aware you will become of just how addicted to sugars you were.  

To begin the program of gut healing, we eat only the most digestible foods, which is why the Intro portion is composed of quickly and highly digestible, gentle healing foods.  Intro is an excellent elimination diet, which is essential to healing food allergies.  Intro also works to reseal the injured gut lining, repairing the leaky gut dilemma contributing to food allergies.  Intro is a highly detoxifying diet, allowing your body to shed toxins in stored fat and the liver and colon, etc., and flush them from your system.  To understand more about GAPS Intro, why you need it and what to expect, please read the summary I wrote on the topic.

Intro is incredibly healing, so much so that it is an effective treatment for cold and flu.  We've all heard by now that homemade broth and soup is potent natural medicine.  [Anytime a GAPS participant (or anyone, for that matter) suffers a physiological trauma or a nasty viral bug, etc, a return to Intro for a week will strengthen the body, bringing about systemic healing and homeostasis, returning one to wellness.]

The Intro portion of GAPS does work that cannot be achieved by simply following the Full GAPS diet or by eating paleo or "no carb."  The methodical steps of the Intro stages help your compromised body to shed toxins, to experience a great deal of pathogen die off, to begin the gut sealing process, to identify food allergens...it is an excellent colon cleanse.  Without the step-by-step process involved, your healing journey will take much longer and may not be concluded successfully.  Intro is necessary for maximum and complete healing.

As you move from Intro into Full GAPS, your body has already begun a significant amount of healing and you are avoiding the foods that you have identified to be problematic.  You have learned to be keenly body aware.  If you remain dedicated to the program as it is designed, you will continue to experience healing day by day.  Foods you may not be able to consume in the beginning of your GAPS journey should become available to you as you continue the work.  During your time in Full GAPS, you will likely still have some die off as you correctly balance your flora, and you will continue to seal your gut lining, allowing you to heal from food sensitivities.  This only happens, though, if you continue with the homemade stocks/broths/soups full of healing gelatin and minerals, and if you eat homemade fermented foods (like sauerkraut).  The soup is the lifeblood of the GAPS program, and the genuine fermented foods are crucial to re-establishing flora balance.

I know many bloggers have been talking about GAPS, explaining it, sharing experiences with the program.  I think that's wonderful; the more people sharing, the better.  But if you want to successfully heal through the GAPS program, you really should read McBride's book for yourself, and The GAPS Guide (I believe there is an updated version available on her blog).  Even on Full GAPS, you are supposed to be eating homemade soup and homemade fermented foods daily.  Otherwise, you're not doing GAPS.  

Healing sensitivities and allergies...sealing and healing the gut, obliterating malevolent pathogens, is an important process.  Healing neurological maladies caused by toxic overload and gut pathogens is an important process.  Resolving toxicity and achieving lifelong wellness is an important process.  We need to be sure we are performing the process correctly so we don't continue to drag out our healing journey or continue to suffer needlessly.  Believe me, I empathize completely with how difficult the process can be.  But the end results are so worthwhile!

To learn more:
Natasha McBride's site
GAPS Guide site
GAPS Diet site
Simple GAPS Intro Summary
GAPS Protocol Summary

EWWHerbals                                                                              "Every wise woman builds her house..."  Proverbs 14:1

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