10 Reasons to do a Grain Free Trial This Summer!


Have you had some chronic health problems like allergies, attention deficits, skin issues, digestive upset, or depression and thought going grain free (GAPS, SCD, etc) would help but are too overwhelmed to start?

Did you know you don’t have to full-on GAPS protocol for an entire two year period to see results? You can do a week trial, or a month, or whatever time period works for you, and while sticking to the basic ‘rules’ of being grain, starch, and sugar free is important to see results, it isn’t necessary for everyone to do the juicing/broth protocol outlined in Gut and Psychology Syndrome. See more about that in my GAPS wrap up post from this past winter.  And What Can You Eat On GAPS anyway? :)

What I call ‘GAPS’ goes by other names; Grain Free, Specific Carbohydrate Diet, Paleo/primal… These diets all center around avoiding grains (corn, wheat, rice, quinoa), starches (potatoes), and any sugars other than the ones naturally present in ripe fruit, veggies, and honey.  This helps restore the normal functioning of the gut, which is amazingly related to your whole body’s health.

Here are 10 reasons why this summer presents the perfect opportunity to do a grain and sugar free trial:

1.  It’s barbecuing weather!  Fire up the grill and cook some meat, grill veggies some veggies or fruit.  Shish kabobs are fun for everyone, and are an easy-to-take along lunch for the next day.  Barbecued burgers with guacamole are so good- who needs a bun?

2.  Fresh produce.  Loads of ripe fruit for drying, eating fresh, or freezing for smoothies.  Fresh garden produce is being harvested by the basket full.  GAPS/SCD-legal foods are plentiful at this time of year.

3.  Things to do! People to see! There’s so much going on this summer that there are tons of distractions from what we can’t eat while avoiding sugar/starch/grains.  In the winter we might want more bready comfort food in the long evenings, but summer days tend to be cram packed with activity so it’s a perfect time to just pack a lunch and go do stuff.

4.  Increased energy for the things you love: I find I have more energy when I’m completely avoiding grains and sugar. Part of this is because I find it easy to avoid sweets when I cut them out 100%, and I feel better when I avoid sugar.  Another reason for having more energy is that food prep is simplified so much without grains!

5. Smoothies! Smoothies are a GAPS-friendly summertime treat.

6.  Farmer’s markets are an inspiration as they are full of GAPS friendly whole foods. From farm fresh eggs to veggies you hadn’t thought to try until they showed up in abundance at the farmer’s market, you’ll be excited about all the seasonal foods that are grain free.

7.  Snacks on the run are simpleJerky, homemade Lara bars (or store bought if you’re pressed for time), dried or fresh fruit, crispy nuts, or leftovers are all great snacks.

8.  You’ll know for sure whether going grain free is helpful to you- Sometimes I think we spend more time fretting and wondering than actually doing something productive about our health ;) After just a week or so of being grain free you should be able to see if it’s working well for you, or not really at all.  It’s not hard- cook some meat, eat some veggies, avoid any packaged foods since they are likely to contain ‘illegal’ ingredients.

9.  Get rid of seasonal allergies! Got the sneezes, runny nose, itchy eyes? Allergy season had just started when I decided to go grain-free for the season. My symptoms were completely gone within 48 hours.  I’ll happily modify my diet in order to avoid the yuck of seasonal allergies.

10. Look your best :) This is an added bonus- I do appreciate the fact that my under eye circles are completely gone when I’m on GAPS, my skin is amazingly clear, and I tend to lose a few pounds in a healthy way.

What do you think? Will you do a trial this summer? Just a week? Just a month?

Want to see 10 more reasons? Here’s a list from Nourished Kitchen

What *can* you eat on GAPS? (lots of good stuff!)

  • Want to try going grain free but need some direction? Sign up for Grain Free Meal Plans, to give you recipes and directions for what to make 3 meals a day, 7 days a week!
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  1. Lorinne says

    I am doing annoyingly well going grain free and my husband has been supportive once he figured out how easy it is. Really, we get in a rut just eating grains and starches, there’s plenty more food out there just waiting to be eaten.

  2. says

    Hi Cara,

    I have been thinking about going grain free myself lately. My digestion seems fine, and I have no allergies, but I am tired all the time, and my body aches if I am in any position for too long. I feel like an old lady! Not sure if going grain free might help, but I’m sure it’s worth a shot! Problem is, I love grains! There is life after grains, right?

    • Cara says

      Christine, there is life after grains! And you can always just drop them for 2 weeks and see how it goes. I personally haven’t had issues with digestion as long as I ferment my grains, but if I start feeling blah I’ll cut out grains for a little while. It just kind of makes me feel like I’m running high octane fuel :) DLPA and the T-Tapp workout help me as well, but don’t feel like you need to start everything all at once :)

  3. Thea via Facebook says

    I think it’s great, I’m celiac and on GAPS. I follow the whole thing religiously though. I am now addicted to broth and fermented foods, though not a big fan of the juicing. LOL

  4. Kasia says

    Hi Cara,
    I am vegetarian, can i also go on GAPS ? I’m afraid there is no much left to eat for me :-).
    Is buy the way quinoa and amaranth allowed to eat?

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