How to talk to your spouse about GAPS
A starting point
All right. So you’ve been the midnight Google warrior, you’ve read the amazing success stories, and you’ve poured over the bright yellow book.
You’re convinced that GAPS™ will save the world…and your family’s less-than-par health.
How do you convince your spouse?
In more cases than not, it is the mom of the family who both finds, and implements, the GAPS™ Protocol for her family.
There are many lovely exceptions to this and that is great! In that case, you can use this guide to help you communicate to any other significant person who will be of influence in your family’s day-to-day life.
Whatever your situation may be, I wrote this as an outline, a place to start if you are wondering how to talk to your spouse about GAPS, or if you are needing to talk about GAPS to any significant other. Please feel free to adapt the basic principles and heart behind the words, to your own situation. Life is not static. It’s seasonal, cyclical, and ever evolving. This is my ‘bare-bones’ honesty from a place of tenderness.
1. Be forthcoming with your own past regrets about health & the things you have tried.
Many people have had false starts in their search for health. Being honest and forthright about that makes you a safer person to talk to and negates the feeling that you are going to be some form of food tyrant. GAPS is well founded and transformational … it’s a real thing.
2. The GAPS Diet is not just a “Diet”.
The GAPS diet is part of a larger healing protocol and is meant to be for a temporary season. The dietary part of GAPS is an expanded and more ‘deep-seated’ version of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, which is backed by over 125 years of research by numerous doctors, including Dr. Sydney Haas, Dr. Holt, Dr. Herter, and Dr. John Howland.
The Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) baton was taken up by a biochemist researcher, Elaine Gottschall, who was also a mother to a daughter suffering with ulcerative colitis. Her success with her daughter’s healing with the diet fueled the research that went into the book that she wrote, “Breaking the Vicious Cycle; Intestinal Health Through Diet”. She wrote about how the SCD diet was used to treat many digestive diseases and other illnesses.
Elaine’s work was then picked up by another “medical mother”, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, a neurologist in the UK who was searching for a way to help her young son diagnosed with autism. Dr. Natasha took the SCD diet and expanded it further, fleshing it out into a full treatment protocol for autism and many other conditions. Her work has gone on to help, literally, thousands of families around the world, treating a wide variety of issues with food and natural therapies.
3. The symptoms you are addressing will be worse before they’re better.
The nature of healing with nutrient dense foods, is that your body is given tools it can really work with to get better, and with the proper tools it is going to GO TO WORK.
This can produce a return or worsening of symptoms for a length of time, showing up not only physically (like skin and digestive issues) but also behaviorally (like meltdowns, sensory issues, aggression).
The body needs a chance to do its work. It is meant for this. Focus on soothing and supporting as the body does its recalibrating.
4. Your kids need to know that both parents are committed to this.
If one parent is trying to be the “fun parent” and undermining the other parent’s consistency in small, passive-aggressive ways, then many times the healing process is rendered impotent. If at all possible, all persons in charge need to be united in this short term protocol … with the goal being the children’s long term health and well-being.
(Ultimately though, if you are doing this work on your own, unsupported, there is wonderful support and a digital family waiting to wrap their arms around you and give you all the encouragement that you need. Visit the GAPS Class online.)
5. The food budget may go up, for good reason.
There are smart ways to be monetarily efficient and cost-effective on a real food protocol. There are many helpful resources on line for doing GAPS on a budget.
However, one main GAPS menu requirement is real, natural food, that is more dense with nutrients … and cheap processed foods to “fill in the cracks” aren’t on the menu. The extra cost is usually balanced out, however, by fewer doctor’s visits, adjunct therapies, and other special out-of-pocket expenses that are associated with having a sick or special needs child. As a family, we decided that good food was so important to all the other areas of life, that we moved our budget around to accommodate a higher food budget.
Finally, I would suggest some encouragement in the form of the GAPS Stories Book, or by hiring a knowledgeable GAPS™ Practitioner who has done GAPS with her own family.
With a good outlook, some tenacity, and a careful plan, its amazing what food can do!