The GAPS book arrived and I started devouring it with what felt like a ravenous hunger. I was fascinated and enthralled by the detailed explanations of our gut flora and the interconnectedness of the different parts of our bodies. Emily (the health coach) had told me not to worry about reading the chapters about schizophrenia and anorexia, and to focus instead on the diet. But I read every page.
I read stories about gut imbalances (or dysbiosis) passed down through generations, compounded by poor diet, lack of breastfeeding, use of antibiotics, and other toxic exposure. How some stomach rumblings in a grandmother were passed down to a daughter who had seasonal allergies which was passed down to a granddaughter who became autistic.
The basic analysis is that so many of our modern ailments--from depression and schizophrenia to food allergies, autism, and MS are caused by overgrowth of bad bacteria in our intestines, creating toxicity that affects the brain and other parts of our bodies. She explains how a person suffering from anorexia does not just think they are fat compared to supermodels in magazines, but due to toxicity in their guts causing an imbalance in their brains, their actual perception of themselves is skewed. They see themselves wrong. Similar with cases of dementia.
Reading about allergies hit home hard. I come from a long line of both food and seasonal allergy sufferers. Additionally, there is cancer, dementia, lack of breastfeeding, toxic exposure (my grandmother was a chemist!) depression, skin rashes, and hives all over my family's medical history. With sudden clarity, I realized that embarking on this GAPS diet was not solely to heal Laurel of her celiac and graves disease. It was for me too. I was just as much a GAPS person as she was. And I was afraid that if I was not able to heal the imbalances in my gut, I could have a child with something worse than hay fever.
So I read on. I am still reading in fact. I have to tell myself to put the book down and go put away the dishes or make dinner. And I am still exploring. I stopped by a new health foods store after work and picked up a pamphlet put out by the Westin A Price Foundation called "Principles of Healthy Diets." The pamphlet's advice fit in exactly with everything I have discovered from the SCD and GAPS diets. It talked about the healing properties of bone broths, animal fats, and fermented foods, and decried the modern diet full of starches, chemicals, sugars, and processed vegetable oils.
In a way, I feel like my world has been turned upside down. Or that I have walked through the looking glass into a different reality. "Saturated fats are healing, use them liberally," the pamphlet and the GAPS book state, as if today is backwards day. "Do not practice veganism, avoid low fat dairy products and lean meats," they continue, affirming things I intuitively knew (like microwave ovens and factory farming are bad) and also surprising me with how far they are from mainstream "health" wisdom. I am afraid that I have entered a place that will be hard to relate to for people not on this health journey, but there is no turning back. I am ready and open for truth, healing, knowledge and wisdom. 13 days until we begin.