In part 1 I shared how trying to cure my acne led me to real foods. In part 2 I’ll describe how I made the leap from real foods to GAPS.
After I’d mostly transitioned our diet from healthy-ish SAD to traditional, real foods, Jesse started to notice some changes in himself. At the same time that we were switching to real foods, we’d also dramatically reduced our sugar consumption, both by cutting out most sugary treats and using stevia in our own recipes. The combination of both changes precipitated a noticeable change in Jesse’s well-being. He had significantly more energy while exercising and felt a lot better the rest of the time, too.
I, on the other hand, looked and felt exactly the same. I found this extremely frustrating. My new shopping and cooking methods required a lot more time and energy – surely I should be seeing some results! Plus I’d read so many testimonials of traditional diets curing people’s acne. Why wasn’t it working for me?
Over the next several months I stuck to our new real food diet while also trying many, many other fixes for my acne. I experimented with different skin care products and methods, switched to a new laundry detergent and tried a wide array of supplements. I kept my sugar intake extremely low and even went completely grain-free for two months. Nothing made the slightest difference.
In the spring of 2010 I gave up gluten, peanuts and eggs on the advice of my new WAPF-friendly naturopath. Gluten, peanuts and eggs had been my highest food triggers on my food allergy blood test from the previous year and my naturopath thought they might still be causing problems. She also gave me several homeopathic remedies to help my skin. While I noticed a few minor changes in other issues I was dealing with, neither the homeopathic remedies nor the gluten-, egg- and peanut-free diet precipitated any changes in my acne.
After six months of avoiding gluten, peanuts and eggs I was ready to try something else. I’d never noticed a difference when removing these foods from my diet and I figured that the time for seeing any results had probably passed. I started doing frantic research on the GAPS diet. Although I’d been reading off and on about GAPS for more than a year, it had always seemed far too restrictive, not something that I’d be able to easily attempt. I’d also failed to find any specific evidence that GAPS cured acne. At the time the literature mentioned that GAPS cured skin problems, but it mostly focused on issues like eczema. It seemed foolish to put myself on such a drastic diet if it had no real chance of fixing my skin.
By the time I’d been gluten-, peanut- and egg-free for six months, however, I was realizing that I might need a drastic fix. Switching to a completely real food diet had done nothing for my skin. As I read more intensely about GAPS, I started to realize that this was probably because I was a “GAPS person.” I didn’t have any psychological symptoms but I’d had digestive problems my entire life. The fact that my food allergy blood test had come back with more than 20 reactive foods was a clear sign that my gut was not working properly. I’d also had colic and ear infections as a child, both symptoms of GAPS children. I realized that my body was in such bad shape that just switching to real food wasn’t going to be enough to heal me. I needed more. Although I’d been unable to find testimonies about GAPS curing other people’s acne, I became more and more convinced that I had to try GAPS for myself. If my acne was, in fact, the result of all of the toxins produced by my damaged gut, going on GAPS would be the tool to cure my acne for good.
After mulling it over for a few days, I decided to go for it. I started GAPS in September of 2010. I was excited and scared at the same time. What if GAPS didn’t work for me?
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post on the progress I’ve experienced on GAPS so far!
If you are on GAPS, what made you try it? Did you feel scared, too? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
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