I really appreciate Cheeseslave’s work in the real food arena and I ran across this blog from her the other day: http://www.cheeseslave.com/top-10-reasons-im-not-paleo
Yes, that would be about why she’s not doing the Paleo diet. I’ll leave you to read her arguments against Paleo and add to the fire by offering our reasons not to be on the GAPS diet either. Before we begin though:
I LOVE the amazing results GAPS has seen.
I, in no way, dislike Dr. Campbell-McBride. In fact, I think she is an amazing woman and I support her research wholeheartedly.
I think that the number of healing/alternative diets that are popping up are making huge and wonderful changes in our food system. Honestly, I just saw TWO different options for coconut oil at Walmart AND they were both organic. That’s a big difference from even three years ago. Just sayin’.
Now for the problems … From my understanding, the GAPS diet is based on restricting certain foods to allow the body to heal and to give the body fats to use as the building blocks to do so. That diet alone will not be able to heal people at the deep level it seems they are desiring.
In our experience, the GAPS diet is not effective for healing, only for minor symptoms removal. Again, I understand that there are so, so, so many people who have healed successfully with GAPS–it has been our personal experience that GAPS has not helped us and has, in fact, complicated our symptoms. The main reason we struggled to heal on GAPS was because our body’s were so broken, that we were unable to digest fat at any level. Without a practitioner to stop us from hurting ourselves further, we found ourselves spending $800 a month (yes, EIGHT. HUNDRED. DOLLARS.) on foods that we were literally not digesting. Hence, our extreme and insatiable hunger.
Not only were we spending $800 every month on food, we were also buying BioKult (an expensive probiotic) that was really, really exacerbating my husband’s SIBO (if you have SIBO, the overgrowth of the bacteria in your small intestine is fueled by probiotics, rather than depositing new bacteria in the large intestine. Oops.) Further, I was constantly feeling sluggish and depressed on GAPS, and I came to realize that my gallbladder wasn’t helping me to break down … well, anything. I couldn’t use all of the great fat that I was providing my body because I just wasn’t able to digest and use those nutrients.
This is the major reason I would not suggest the GAPS diet. The GAPS diet was originally created for a child, and it seems that the reason children do so well on the GAPS diet is that most children are “fast oxidizers.” Fast oxidation is the first stage of stress on the body and is characterized by excessive activity of the thyroid and adrenal glands. This “speeding up” tendency is balanced out by fat intake. Unfortunately, as we age, and don’t address our health issues, our body cannot keep up with the stress and our body comes to a compromise–“don’t push me too hard and I’ll just settle into this nice slow but kind of steady rhythm.” We fall into slow oxidation and our tissues start to shut down. Fat is a huge congestion issue for those who are in slow oxidation and will continue to keep your liver (and other decongestive organs) from recovering.
Oh, come now, you’re experience with GAPS was just a bad one. You didn’t “do” it right. Blah. Blah. Blah. We did enough GAPS for a lifetime. Intro diet, full diet, GAPS lite, Intro diet again for months and months … and months. It just didn’t work for us. And I’m guessing there are other people out there who have had the same experience.
From the GAPS forum, it seems to me that the majority of those following the GAPS diet are doing it on their own, just like us, because 1) modern medicine doesn’t believe that healing from certain diseases can occur and 2) a lot of people aren’t able to afford fancy supplements and doctor’s visits. For those of you who might be in that boat, please, please, please, consider nutritional balancing before starting a healing diet. The body is complex, and even at your unhealthiest state, it reaches a “balance” that you just cannot re-create by eradicating certain parasites/yeasts/pathogens and adding certain other organisms to compensate. Nutritional balancing is an incredibly cost effective way to heal your body at the cellular level.
I feel deeply that nutritional balancing science is really the key to lasting health for everyone. Nutritional balancing offers each person a tailored supplementation program that addresses underlying stress patterns, rather than continuing to chase symptoms. The GAPS diet is a HUGE commitment and, while it might bring you a removal of your symptoms, you aren’t guaranteed (scientifically guaranteed that is) a body that is healthier at the cellular level. The only healing “diet” that I have found that can and does effectively, in both time and cost, heal the body is nutritional balancing science.