GAPS Meeting Highlights

Meeting Highlights Wed. 7/25/12

Remember: No Guilt! No self-flogging! We start from where we are at and we go from there!

We do what GAPS we can. Ideally, we will be 100% GAPS. But it may be necessary to start slowly. That’s OK. It might be better for us in the long run. Do what you can, congratulate yourself for what you have accomplished for improving your health!

Samples: fermented kohlrabi, sauerkraut, turmeric, vegetable medley, sour cream (made with one “BioKult” and a pint of cream x 30  hours at room temp), and the old standby, broth. Judy brought delicious garden veggies to sample. Thanks Judy!

Why do some broth batches taste better than other batches? Here are a few possibilities: Leave some meat on the bones; if the bones are raw, brown the meat prior to making the broth. Cook a batch of broth for no longer than 30-36 hours, then reserve the liquid and start the process over again with fresh water. Some have found that broth cooking too long gives it a bitter taste.

What is “Die off?” How do I know if I might have it? What does one do about it? Die off can be a return to symptoms that made you decide to do GAPS Diet in the first place. Or it can be regression in GAPS children. It might feel like a low key case of the “flu.” It is likely to occur once starting the GAPS diet, when the terrain of the gut is changing from that of pathological organisms in a leaky gut to healthy flora in a better functioning gut. The transition is not always pleasant. What to do about it? Maybe you need to cut back on fermented foods, or wait to continue with a phase of the diet that you have started. Maybe cut back on the cod liver oil or the fat in your broth. It varies. Throughout the GAPS experience, tune into your body and listen to its wisdom.

Micro-organisms: WANTED: Dead or Alive!!! Most of us know that the beneficial organisms we are trying to ingest with fermented foods or probiotics. For the most part, avoid heating the micro-organisms so that they are alive and growing inside of us. If the die off is too difficult, some may need to ingest the organisms AFTER heating. Although they are no longer living, they can enhance our immune function anyway.

Attachments: Vegetable Medley recipe from GAPS book p. 197.


GAPS Mom Blog:
Great Kefir info!:

Great website on GAPS recipes/menus:

Bonus - end of the meeting film: Aquaponics! Thanks for bringing that Judy! Very informative, very exciting!

Wishing you the best of health!

 Vegetable Medley

Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBrid

In a 5 liter enameled pan or a large glass jar add:

1 whole small cabbage, roughly cut

1 medium sized beet, sliced

1 teaspoon dill seeds or dill herb (fresh or dried)

1 handful of peeled garlic cloves

(The container should be half full of vegetables.)

Add 2 tablespoons of good quality sea salt

1 cup of kefir whey

Fill with filtered water until container is full.

Float a small plate on the top if necessary to keep vegetables submerged in the liquid. (Or pack using leaves at the top that will “secure” the smaller vegetables.) The vegetables must be submerged in the brine or they will get moldy.

Leave to ferment (covered, so the jar is not exposed to light) for 1-2 weeks.

When ready, the vegetables will be soft and tangy.

To stop the fermentation, move the jar into the refrigerator.

Add these vegetables to your soups and stews. Drink the brine diluted with water with your meals or between meals and eat the vegetables with meat.

When the brine and the vegetables start getting low, add fresh cabbage, beet, and garlic, some salt to taste, top up with water and ferment at room temperature again. To this vegetable medley you can add a few rosettes of cauliflower, sliced carrot, brussel sprouts, and broccoli.

You can have this vegetable medley going forever, as long as you keep feeding it with more fresh vegetables. The brine from this medley is an excellent remedy for any tummy upset, sore gums and sore throat.



PCOS – Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome

This week I have received multiple inquiries about PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome) and GAPS. Will the GAPS diet help with PCOS? The answer is yes, both directly and indirectly.

Dr. Natasha discussed with us in Chicago the fact that many have a hormone imbalance;  It is not a difficult thing to discern. Just look around when you are in public. Many men have fat deposits on their bodies that are where women tend to put fat on their bodies; breasts, hips, thighs. Women have fat deposits, “beer bellies,” like we associate with men.

Why is this?

Our hormones are a very intricately balanced system. When one system is functioning less than optimal, for example, the thyroid, all of the other systems are likely to be slightly off balance too. Although treating the thyroid when necessary might be exactly what is needed, intervening in this intricate system can throw off the balance of the system as a whole. A very complex “feedback” system from one gland to another tells each gland how much hormone to produce. By supplementing hormones to one gland, it can interrupt that feedback system and tell the body to cut back on that particular hormone even more.

PCOS is an imbalance in the hormones. GAPS diet addresses this directly by providing the nutrients needed to support hormone production. Hormone production needs good fats to supply cholesterol. Supplying cholesterol in the diet gives the body a “break” from making it. Cholesterol is a necessary part of every cell in the body and the building block of EVERY hormone.

GAPS also helps balance the body by supporting natural healing of the gut and detoxification in the body using fermented foods and probiotics, indirectly addressing PCOS. As digestive health improves, the liver can function more efficiently, as it has less toxins to deal with

Below is a copy of this question on Dr. Natasha’s blog with her response:

1. Is PMS a sign of digestive issues? Can the GAPS diet help with common infertility issues such as endometriosis and PCOS? Some women report irregularities and loss of menstruation during die-off. Is this cause for any concern?

“Digestive system is always involved in PMS, PCOS, endometriosis and other hormonal abnormalities: toxins produced by unhealthy gut flora interfere in the delicate balance of hormones in the body – some hormones become low or insufficient, other hormones become excessive. When the die-off is initiated, more toxins are released into the bloodstream, so your typical hormonal symptoms these toxins cause, become more acute. Indeed the menstruations may become irregular and PMS may get worse. Die-off is temporary, so these symptoms will pass. Just keep them under control by gradual introduction of probiotics, fermented foods and food items, which you may be sensitive to. I do not specialise in infertility or other female reproductive problems, but I have many patients, who started the GAPS Programme, and their first symptoms to go were symptoms of PMS. More chronic conditions such as endometriosis and PCOS take longer to remedy, but GAPS Programme works well for many women with these conditions as well. In order to make steroid hormones (and all sex hormones are steroids) we need plenty of cholesterol and animal fats. So, for all these conditions it is essential to have high-fat and high-cholesterol diet, where main sources of fat are animal products: meats, eggs, fish, butter and cream. Women, who are trying to conceive, should consume 2 cups of homemade sour cream per day, as well as 4 fresh eggs and plenty of fatty meats and fish. As the gut flora becomes more normal and the gut wall heals, the toxins will disappear, and your hormonal system will come back to normal balance.”

Wishing you good health….