Four Years on GAPS

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I attended our annual fundraiser at my job as Wonder Woman in this homemade costume.

In December 2009, I began the Gut and Psychology Syndrome diet and it changed my life. Literally.


Each December I write a blog post to share how I'm doing, and to celebrate my journey to better health. You can read my previous update posts by clicking on the year: 2010, 2011 and 2012.

2013 was a pretty big year for me and my family. I had my amalgam fillings removed in March. In April I started on thyroid medication and began chelation to remove mercury. Things went smoothly for a couple of months and then in August my mother came to live with us.

My mom moving in has been a major life changing event. It has been a blessing to have my mother so closely involved with our family, but at the same time it has been a challenge. I am very thankful that my mother and I have good communication as it has been very helpful in getting through the little glitches we've experienced. Thank goodness I have been on GAPS and gaining better health in these past few years. I honestly don't think we could have opened our home to help my mother otherwise.

I'm doing pretty good, considering that I don't think I'm at 100% yet. There are a number of “cherries” that I have plans to explore, one of those being whether I have the gene for hemochromatosis. My blood work indicates that I may well have this common but rarely diagnosed condition. I also want to get more serious about my supplementation for the MTHFR genetic mutation. I also wonder if I might need to supplement female hormones, but that is all for future exploration.

I think for the amount of responsibility I have on my shoulders, I'm probably doing pretty great. You see, I personally think I should be able to do all I'm doing and never feel tired or exhausted. But when I describe a typical day to friends, they tell me they get tired just listening to me.

One big thing that tells me I've had a pretty good leap in energy levels is that I've taken back the grocery shopping – my husband had to do it for a few years while I was so exhausted. As I've mentioned before here on the blog, we simply cannot afford grass fed and organic everything. The prices are just too high especially when we try to only buy sale items from the grocery store. Almost every day after work I stop at one or two stores to pick up various grocery items. And then once I get home I have to bring everything inside, walking up four steps to get into the house. Some nights it takes 20 minutes of continuous walking back and forth from my vehicle inside to get everything inside. And then there's putting it all away. Then it's time to start dinner. And I'm able to do it without collapsing into a chair. I'm amazed at how much I'm able to do lately. And very thankful.

I'm sleeping much better. It's so interesting to me how I think I'm doing so wonderfully with something, only to move to an even better place and then realize that earlier wonderfulness has gotten even more wonderful. For example, sleeping. I thought my sleep was so much better, but now it's gotten really great. I hardly ever have trouble waking and then not getting back to sleep. I'm still waking during the middle of the night to potty but I am able to get back to sleep right away.

Every so often I am only able to get 6 hours sleep at night, and I can cope very well. In past years, this has not been the case at all. It's very embarrassing for me to admit how often I used to cry at work – I would say at least 3-4 times a month – if not more. My boss will be the first to tell you how much better I cope with not getting enough sleep. It's gotten to the point where I don't even have to tell her I've had a bad night's sleep, because most days it doesn't affect me. When I say “not coping” I mean that I am very sensitive to everything and feel aggravated easily, or say things I wish I hadn't. Nowadays however, I feel like I'm much more stable emotionally. I still get upset, but much less so. The two biggest problems I wanted to have resolved at the beginning of this journey were anxiety and depression and I can confidently say I am no longer experiencing these two, at least not anywhere near the level I was when I began GAPS. I have to say that adding thyroid medication to the mix was a huge factor in my personal situation.

I plan to continue eating GAPS for the time being but not forever. Even when I do transition from GAPS, I don't see myself moving too far from the GAPS legal foods. I am planning to do GAPS Introduction sometime in the earlier part of 2014 with my mom and my son Matthew. Unfortunately Matthew is still given “illegals” so I feel like sticking to GAPS most of the time is my best bet to help him stay healthy.

I am also planning a giveaway like I always do, to celebrate four years on this health journey but the last two weeks have been more busy than usual so I have been trying to take it easy this weekend. I am going to wait until next week to set up the giveaway but on Monday I'll be sharing a post where you will have an opportunity to win a $100 shopping spree (ends December 24th, 2013). Stay tuned! Here is the link to the giveaway which is live now and runs through to Thursday January 2nd, 2014 11:59pm Arizona time.


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5 thoughts on “Four Years on GAPS

  1. so thrilled to see how beautiful you look AND feel! woohooo!!!! i’ve so enjoyed being on this journey with you.

  2. I have fibromyalgia so I really relate when you talk about fatigue. My health has improved immensely lately as I have been experimenting with various natural supplements and I have really noticed a difference when I started using magnesium oil recently. It is eay and cheap to make your own from magnesium flakes. Check out Wellness Mama for more info on magnesium oil. You are doing a great job and thanks for all your work.

  3. Wow Starlene, this is great! Congratulations from the Netherlands!
    You look really wonderful and you’ve made so much progress! I’ve
    never understood how you were able to do all the things you did in
    your condition. This is your reward.

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