Is it possible to heal health issues like autism, simply through what one eats? This is a question more of us should be asking about any disease? Why are we in this day and age, degenerating faster than previous generations? What is so different now than even 100 years ago? One big thing that has deeply affected our overall health is; our food supply. Our food supply and quality has changed more rapidly and dramatically than any other era in history. This fact has led to our decline, our bodies have not had to time to adapt to this new way of inferior eating. We are suffering as a species and that has got to change if we want to live in optimal health.
Todays’ post comes to you from my good friend Melanie Christner. Melanie and I met through our training for The Nutritional Therapy Association. We were roommates and quickly found we had much in common and have been good friends ever since. Not only that, but we have worked together on a couple of online courses; both our joint A Calm Mind course and my Heal Your Gut course. Melanie is about to begin her own online course that covers a topic to help folks with serious health conditions to heal through food.
I recently started reading the book, Cooked, by Michael Pollan. Before even getting into the first chapter of the book, I was immediately held by the Introduction: Why Cook?
Pollan, shares that the reasons he decided to start cooking more, as an adult and parent, answered questions such as:
- What was the single most important thing they could do as a family to improve their health & well-being?
- What would be a good way to connect with his teenage son?
- What is the most important thing an ordinary person can do to help reform the American food system, to make it healthier and more sustainable?
- How can people living in a highly specialized consumer economy reduce their sense of dependence and achieve a greater degree of self-sufficiency?
- How, in our everyday lives, can we acquire a greater understanding of the natural world and our species peculiar role in it?
I would add my own question that is answered with cooking:
What gives us hope for reversing the “irreversible” health afflictions?
Pollan cites that cooking has drastically reduced…on average we spend 50% less time cooking since the mid-sixties. At the same time there has been a corresponding phenomenon he likes to call The Cooking Paradox. While we spend less and less time in the kitchen, we spend more time vicariously thinking about, talking about, and watching other people prepare food on television. Professional chefs are akin to celebrities.
“The work, or the process, retains an emotional or psychological power we can’t quite shake, or don’t want to”, says Michael Pollan
This trend has not necessarily been a benefit to our families. What has been lost in the process is a palpable measure of health, energy, and happiness, both for children and parents.
Benefits of cooking
- Greater health and well being
- More connection with food and our natural world
- More connection with each other, during preparation and while enjoying the food that was prepared
- Cooking is a basic and simple way to help reform the American food system…we vote three times a day
And if we approach our kitchen tasks with a therapeutic use of food, it has the power to help or reverse symptoms of autism, dyspraxia, ADD, dyslexia, ADHD, depression, schizophrenia, acne, PMS & other hormonal issues, autoimmune issues, headaches & migraines, eczema, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, Lyme’s, IBS, Crohn’s, tummy pains, cystic fibrosis, behavioral problems, malnutrition, and more…This is what the GAPS Diet does. Read this testimony of how one mom healed her son of autism using a protocol very similar to the GAPS protocol.
What Is The GAPS Diet?
GAPS is an abbreviation for the Gut And Psychology Syndrome (and its partner Gut And Physiology Syndrome). This concept was created by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, a medical doctor in the UK with two postgraduate degrees in neurology and nutrition.
GAPS is based on the evidence that gut bacteria in healthy balance serve a multitude of functions, primary being to protect and nourish the body. When our gut bacteria becomes imbalanced, our first protectors become ineffective. The gut wall becomes open and susceptible to numerous harms, including pathogenic bacteria, yeasts, viruses, environmental toxins, parasites and other toxic byproducts of imbalance. These get into our bloodstream and affect both body and brain. Our bacteria is an important part of the processing of food, so when the balance is upset, the nutrients we are eating cannot be accessed properly, or distributed throughout the body for our health and nourishment in everyday life.
What does the GAPS Protocol do?
- Heals and seals the intestinal lining
- Restores the microbial balance in the intestinal tract
- Reduces the toxic burden
How Did It Begin?
The concept of GAPS was created in 2004 by neurologist, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. She developed it to help her own small son, who was diagnosed with autism at the tender age of three.
Not finding satisfactory answers in the major medical community she did her own research and study, taking on another postgraduate Masters in Nutrition, and created the Gut And Psychology Protocol…which healed her son of autism. She went on to use this protocol with patients in her practice, and share with multitudes around the world. She found that it not only helped autistic children, but the whole family as well, on both a psychological and physiological level.
I experienced reversal of my own health issues and robust health for my family of six. Being helped by the GAPS protocol myself is what led me to train as a GAPS Practitioner, so that I could more effectively help my clients implement the GAPS program.
Online Course taught by a GAPS Practitioner
I have now created an online GAPS Class that helps families implement this healing diet in their everyday lives. My aim is to help you organize, eliminate confusion, give support, and make a healing diet enjoyable and rewarding. As of January 27, registration opens at www.gapsclass.com If you sign up on the GAPS Class website for updates, you’ll receive a free 30 Days Prep Guide for GAPS, and be kept in the loop about class registration.
How Is This Course Organized?
This course is about empowering you to get the most out of the GAPS Protocol. I have done my best to give information that makes a healing diet understandable and easy to apply to your everyday life.
Everyone will have different learning styles, budgets and expectations, so where possible I provide various solutions. At a minimum I will explain the different applications of the GAPS protocol and how it works, and how it has been applied in my own family, or practice.
The course materials are delivered over 12 weeks. Each week has an educational component, as well as activities to engage you in the group and the process of GAPS.
How the GAPS CLASS brings cooking and health together
I hope that this article has renewed or kindled your sense of the goodness (and power) of cooking. GAPS is all about healing from the kitchen. The GAPS Class brings cooking and health together in practical ways through:
- Basic weekly instruction in the key kitchen activities of GAPS, such as broth making & fermented foods
- Sharing of recipes in fun ways, such as on the GAPS Class Pinterest boards
- Understanding the reasons that certain foods are physiologically helpful and others are not
If you feel that the GAPS Protocol would be beneficial to your family, I’d love for you to join us in the GAPS CLASS.
Click Here for more information.
She writes at HonestBody.com. As a mom of four children herself, she works with moms and their kiddos to help them feel their best and to have all the life and energy they were meant to have.
Melanie is an NTP, Certified GAPS Practitioner, and Healing Foods Specialist in Vermont. For fun you can either find her playing in her kitchen, or Nordic skiing, or swimming in the Green Mountain rivers with her family.
Connect with Melanie:
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Lydia Joy Shatney is a certified Nutritional Therapist Practitioner through the Nutritional Therapy Association. Additionally, she is the chapter leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation in Delaware County, Pa. (Find the group here on Facebook). Lydia is also a member of the Nourished Living Network. Lydia founded Divine Health From The Inside Out in March of 2010. You can find Lydia on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest. Sign up for the Divine Health From The Inside Out newsletter! Pick up a copy of Lydia’s eBook; ‘Divine Dinners: Gluten-Free, Nourishing, Family-Friendly Meals’.
Lydia offers specialized step by step counseling to transform your health. Personalized consultations to suit your specific needs are offered via phone or in person. Lydia offers a variety of packages offered to suit your individual needs. Lydia also offers 3 online courses: Heal Your Gut, Revitalize Your Health and A Calm Mind. Contact Lydia today to get started as well as to learn more about what she has to offer you!
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