This spring we ran through the GAPS introduction diet again, and I used the opportunity to put together an e-book of meal suggestions and tips for the GAPS intro. I loved doing this, just like I love doing the Grain Free Meal Plan, because I know that this book will make it easier for families who wanted to try the GAPS Diet but were overwhelmed at the idea of it.
The diet is still plenty of work- I’ll be realistic, it’s cooking from scratch and getting children to eat lots and lots of soup, and doing lots of dishes! But I knew that a plan, assortment of recipes and meal ideas, and checklists of what needs to be included daily would be a big help in getting started for those who need it!
What Can I Eat Now? Is a 30-day meal plan that goes through all 6 stages of the GAPS Introduction diet, 5 days on each stage. I paraphrased and followed the guidelines in the Gut and Psychology Syndrome book as closely as I could, including recipes to go along with each day as new foods are introduced. Each day has an assortment of recipes, a checklist for what should be included on that particular day, and many of the days have a color photograph of some of the food. You can view a sample here.
Our Progress on the GAPS Intro
We went on the GAPS Intro again after my daughter had been on GAPS for over a year to see if she could get some more healing. Both my children (my typically developing son who is 2 and my daughter with autism is 4) and I went on Intro for about 30 days. We did skip ahead to stage three after just a couple days on each of the first two stages, but then we did pretty well following the stages as they are described in the book.
With my daughter we saw great exciting progress! Whenever we try new supplements or dietary changes, I avoid telling her therapists and most other people we come into contact with on a regular basis, and then I wait to see if they have feedback for us. Two days after we had started the Intro we walked into the the waiting room for speech therapy and another mother immediately commented about how happy my little one was. Then after her 30 minute speech session, the speech therapist came out and gave a great report about all the new words she was saying. I love getting feedback like that!
Her attention span also greatly increased, and she had fantastic impulse control for the first time ever. She had been the kind of child who always wanted to be picked up, or wanted to sit on me, and then constantly fidgeted; crawling over my head, messing with my hair, closing the book that was in my hand, poking my eyes… After two days on Intro she was a completely different child and could sit on my lap and read her own book while I read mine, play quietly on her own, and allow me to fold laundry without interference for the first time in years!
We’ve ended up keeping her on honey and fruit free GAPS for now (essentially low carb GAPS) and she has kept making progress. With her longer attention span, she is able to learn easier, which is something that we are always mindful of as parents- are our children with autism catching up? Or are they falling further behind?
Some other improvements we saw were in skin- my skin is always super clear when I’m on the intro (I should stay on intro long enough sometimes to clear it up completely!) and my children’s rough patches and eczema patches cleared up after just a couple days on the diet. I had tons of energy and a nice even mood. My daughter’s sensory issues greatly improved as well, which means that she can now handle occasional trips to the grocery store where before they triggered an overwhelming meltdown every time.
Here is a video of my son feeding my daughter soup when we were on Intro- they do enjoy the food :)
I’m very glad that we went through the GAPS Intro again, and now that this book is done, I think we’ll go through it once again this summer and see if we can get some additional progress.
Of course the e-book What Can I Eat Now? isn’t necessary for you to go through intro- but I do hope it’s helpful for you! You can purchase the Gut and Psychology Syndrome Book here, and the Intro e-book here.
Grain Free Meal Plans: Meal Plan Subscription for the full GAPS and SCD diets
Social Stories to help children try new things (such as soup!)