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Are you ready for the GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) Introduction Diet?

Are you following the Gut and Psychology Syndrome Protocol (Gaps)?

Are you ready for the Introduction Diet?

What is the Introduction Diet?

It is an intensive stage of the gaps protocol which is used to accelerate gut healing and improve progress. Despite it’s name, it doesn’t have to be done at the start of the protocol.

Who should do GAPS Introduction diet?

– anyone with severe digestive problems, inflammatory bowel disease, diarrhoea, painful bloating, etc.
– anyone with autism (the gut could be inflamed and there could be masked food intolerances)
– anyone with am auto immune condition

Are you ready?
There are a few things you need to have in place before you attempt the GAPS introduction diet.

– Resolve constipation: Firstly, don’t attempt the introduction diet if you suffer with chronic constipation. The bowel is a route out for toxins and chronic constipation can lead to auto-intoxication. If you ramp up detox then you could end up unwell as toxins re-circulate and cause discomfort.

The lower amount of fibre on the introduction diet along with the increase in detox activity can cause constipation to worsen. See a practitioner to help identify the cause of your constipation if you find it is not shifting on the full gaps diet.

– Have you reduced the amount of sugar in your diet and removed gluten? This is recommended to avoid severe blood sugar issues and withdrawal problems in the first days of gaps intro. It will be generally easier for you if you have taken these steps beforehand.

– Do you have plenty of time to rest?
If you have a full on schedule then this isn’t the right time for you to do gaps intro. You need to be able to rest as and when your body needs you to and to be able to focus on food preparation to avoid falling off the wagon.

– Have you found a good source of grass fed meat, fats and free-range eggs?
This is a really important point. We know that the nutritional properties of animals reared in this way are better than intensively reared animals as well as avoiding high levels of xenobiotics found in less-good quality meats. On GAPS intro you will be eating high levels of these foods as well as having large amounts of stock – so it becomes super important to make sure that you have a good source of these foods.

It is particularly important if you have children that they are also having plenty of stock. If you have a child that is not keen on drinking stock, it might be something you want to work on before diving into the introduction diet. Children with sensory issues or ASD may benefit from seeing a practitioner to find ways to increase their stock intake, or use strategies like those employed in Sunrise or ABA programmes. If all else fails careful supplementation may be needed under the guidance of a practitioner.

-It helps if you are able to tolerate a good level of probiotics before embarking on intro as one of the ways you will make progress through the stages is by ramping up probiotic doses. If you are particularly sensitive then try a different brand or begin on a single strain product to see if that helps.
You can still attempt the intro diet to see whether your sensitivity passes but if you still struggle to increase the dose you might want to investigate further why that might be.
– And lastly have your detox protocols in place. So make sure you have enough Epsom salts for plenty of detox baths and also avoid exposure to extra toxins through household cleaning products, personal care products, swimming in chlorinated water and make sure your water is well-filtered too. You don’t want to add extra burden to your body whilst it is detoxing!

Good luck!

Author: Sarah Hanratty

Sarah is a specialist practitioner at the Brain Food Clinic. She has a degree in Nutritional Medicine and is a certified Gut and Psychology Syndrome Practitioner. Sarah helps people to overcome physical and mental health issues using bespoke nutritional protocols.

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