The simple answer is learning and experimenting. I decided to enroll in the health coach certification program through Integrative Nutrition. My goal is to create a health coaching practice to help families navigate diet changes and healing. I've been working through coursework and continuing to make changes in my own family's diet.
Despite being gluten and dairy free, my teenage son was still having a difficult time with digestive issues and brain fog. I'm not entirely sure whether the problem was trace amounts of gluten or other food intolerances or allergies. Either way, we felt like we needed to at least try something a little bit more dramatic to make things better. I had run across the Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, A.D.D., Dyslexia, A.D.H.D., Depression, Schizophrenia by Natasha Campbell-McBride on several different websites, the center where my kids received therapy had recommended it, and then I came across it again in one of the supplemental lectures available through Integrative Nutrition. I finally decided to take the time to view the lecture, and I immediately felt like Dr. Campbell-McBride was describing my son. From a young age, he suffered from eczema, unexplainable, seemingly random rashes, ear infections, environmental allergies, asthma, etc. resulting in frequent rounds of antibiotics and steroids. Yes, I was able to keep him alive and breathing, but he just got weaker and weaker. It took a daily regimen of medications to keep him going, but he still suffered from digestive problems and was constantly sick. While never diagnosed with a spectrum related disorder, he struggled with eye contact, was hypersensitive to touch, noise, and light, and became increasingly withdrawn. After getting a celiac diagnosis, we did start to see some improvement in him, but many of the symptoms still lingered. Simply eliminating the gluten did not repair the damage already done. The Gut and Psychology Syndrome diet or GAPS diet outlined by Dr. Campbell-McBride focuses on not only eliminating the damaging foods, but also taking steps to heal the gut lining and restore the balance of healthy, beneficial bacteria in the gut to restore physical, mental, and emotional health.
Interested in learning more about how gut health impacts are overall well being? Check out this short video:
Black Friday was the beginning of our GAPS journey. After enjoying Thanksgiving with our family, we started the GAPS diet as a family which meant transitioning to a totally grain and sugar free diet with nourishing homemade bone broths and probiotic foods to heal our guts. It hasn't been easy, and the first few days were particularly difficult as the entire family went through a detox process, but the results are promising. My son is doing better, and finally seems to have relief from digestive pain and suffering. He is also slowly coming out of the fog and becoming more socially interactive. In addition, his brother and sister are showing fewer and fewer signs of sensory processing disorder. My husband and I both look dramatically different. He has lost 20 pounds in the past six weeks without trying, and both of us have clearer, healthy skin and complexions. Something is differently changing in all of us.
So where do I go from here? My plan is continue my path to becoming a health coach and returning to sharing recipes on this blog from our new lifestyle. Cooking grain free is new to me, but I've getting better and more confident in my new cooking style everyday and am excited to start sharing some of my great finds and recipe creations.