Should You DIY the GAPS Diet?
Also…what is a CGP? And why you might want one.
By Deanna Wilson (GAPS Gal), Honest Body Assistant
Are you a DIYer? You’re in good company! I like to do many things myself, and at certain times of transition in my life, I have had to be very budget-conscious. Since I am confident in the kitchen, a scientist (geologist by training), and a voracious reader, I did the GAPS™ Introduction protocol and diet by using the yellow book, the internet, and a couple of appointments with my Naturopathic Doctor. I figured out meat stock, bone broth, ferments, sources of high-quality food, supplements, detoxification support, feeding the family, and keeping the household running on GAPS. With the right circumstances, there is a good chance you could too.
It’s been 2 years and 9 months since I started GAPS, and I am happy to say that my most painful and pressing health issues are now just a bad memory. I feel better than I did before my health problems began. I have more energy, sleep better, feel stronger, and I have more confidence in my ability to take care of myself and my family. My major, most troublesome issues are gone and I am left with some minor chronic issues that come and go, like most people.
But now that I have learned more about how gut health is linked to virtually every other system in the body, I want optimal gut health, not just to feel “okay”. Having low immune function is not something I want for myself or my family in the era of superbugs. Having an overloaded detoxification system when the world is full of unavoidable toxins is not ideal. I want to enjoy robust health and have the energy to handle what life throws at me. It’s about resiliency.
If I could go back and do it all over again, I would get some help from an experienced Certified GAPS Practitioner (CGP). Here’s why:
- A CGP is a nutritional therapist or another healthcare practitioner who has an understanding of anatomy, physiology, nutrition, and has trained with Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, the wonderful inventor of the GAPS protocol.
- An experienced CGP has seen it all! They’ve done the protocol themselves and have worked with enough clients to know what common challenges to expect and how to get through them.
- You may be living with “good days” that aren’t so great and “bad days” that are unbearable. A good CGP can be the support, cheerleader, and hand-holder needed to boost you through rough days as you heal.
- A good CGP knows how to get to the root of your most persistent problems. I think I could have gotten a lot more healing done during the Introduction stages of the protocol and subsequent months if I had worked with an experienced CGP.
- A good CGP knows how to incorporate the right supplements and other supportive routines to optimize healing while on the protocol.
- A good CGP is a health care practitioner. They can do the necessary laboratory testing and assessment to tailor the process to fit your individual physiology, needs, and circumstances.
I’m looking forward to re-engaging the GAPS protocol for myself and my little one with an experienced and highly trained CGP (as well as an amazing boss!), Melanie Christner. I chose to work with her because I find her to be extremely helpful and well informed. She has a lot of personal and professional experience specializing in GAPS, and her personality meshes well with mine. I also really appreciate her conservative, targeted approach with laboratory testing and supplementation, which are expensive and sometimes confusing or unnecessary if not done correctly. As Dr. Natasha says, “Testing is a very helpful tool, but it needs to be used with precision and good reason.” Read more about which tests she uses and why here: https://honestbody.com/how-a-gaps-practitioner-can-help/
To find other CGP’s, visit http://www.gaps.me/find-a-gaps-practitioner.php. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to find a practitioner who is right for you. Some questions and considerations may be:
- How much relevant experience and training does the CGP have? Is GAPS their main focus?
- Has the CGP done the GAPS protocol themselves and with their family? Melanie has! If you are trying to implement GAPS with your children, it can be especially helpful to have someone with experience implementing GAPS with kids.
- Do they have experience working with your particular condition/circumstance?
- What kind of testing do they use to determine your individual needs?
- Does their personality fit with what you need?
- Is their cost structure a good value for what they can offer? (Keep in mind that a Certified GAPS™ Practitioner is a healthcare practitioner with substantial education- what they are offering is valuable.)
If you’re thinking about doing the GAPS protocol, consider whether you would benefit from partnering with a CGP. When you are ready and willing to make a radical change, you want to get the most you can out of it. You deserve support and the most healing possible. If this kind of healing work resonates with you and you are ready to have the most efficient and supported GAPS™ healing, set up an initial consultation with Melanie so you can talk about options for you. If you would like more info, please visit her Work With Me page.