3 Months on Full GAPS: What is Possible [An Interview]
The purpose of this interview is to show what is possible on my 3 month GAPS immersion program when you give it an honest effort! Even if you ‘fall off the wagon’ from time-to-time. 😉
Thank you Alyssa for sharing your story!!! I know it is going to help a lot of people. <3
00:45- how she is doing better than ever after the program
1:15- the most gratifying parts of the program and the hardest
3:45- doing GAPS correctly with a coach vs. trying to do it on her own
6:35- when you start feeling better, it makes it easier to accept the priorities your body has in healing itself vs. the external priorities you put on it
7:30- how her energy + brain fog has changed on GAPS: “I used to feel like my brain was in quicksand, and I don’t feel like that anymore.”
9:10- how she has learned to listen to her body, and how this has affected the way she is able to cope with stress + parent to her daughters
10:16- how the quality of her sleep has changed ; “I don’t know if I’ve ever slept as good as I do now.”
11:50- binge eating, disordered eating, being a “weird food sneaker,” how her relationship with food has changed during the program
15:57- how GAPS & the program has affected her food cravings, finding compassion for herself vs. going into a shame spiral
18:55- not being taste deprived on GAPS, eating what your heart desires
21:50- breastfeeding & full GAPS, how doing the program has affected the health of her kids
24:55- how her mental health + invasive thoughts have changed during the program & how it has changed her relationship with her family
29:50- How she has struggled with follow throughout her life and how she feels about the sustainability of staying on GAPS after this program is over. + How the GAPS immersion program has taught her to listen to her body & give it what it needs
33:30- ‘messing up’ on the protocol & moving forward with it anyway
35:00- financial cost of being on GAPS & how it’s worth every penny
38:00- finding out what to do when she doesn’t want to take a supplement anymore
40:20- the one piece of advice she would give someone starting the GAPS protocol
Some Quotable Quotables:
“In the beginning I asked [my husband], I was like, ’do I look different to you?’ He said something like, ‘all of you is different’ or something like that. It was after the first month or so.”
“Now I don’t really want any of the [junk food] that I wanted when I started, and that was only 3 months ago.“
“If you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything.”
“I don’t know if I’ve ever slept as good as I do now.”
“I used to feel like my brain was in quicksand, and I don’t feel like that anymore.”
Written Answers [above video evolves on these. But there is additional info in here that we didn’t cover in the live interview.]
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How was going through this program for you? What were the best/ most gratifying parts? What were the hardest?
the best parts: meeting you .. you’re a dream. i so enjoyed our time together. realizing that i actually CAN give up the foods that don’t suit me. i learned a lot about the human body, and digestive system and i also learned a lot about myself.
hardest parts : no weight loss [aside from losing inflammation at the start of the program]. something i haven’t been able to shake because i’ve been doing the work and not getting any physical results. it just gets discouraging sometimes. also, realizing and breaking old senseless eating patterns. as I’ve mentioned ( and you agreed) GAPS is a really huge mindf***. it’s not easy at all. [here is a link to the article I referred Alyssa to for this type of situation in our video interview: minute 5:10]
How has your energy changed since you’ve been on GAPS?
I’m not sure that my energy level has changed so much as my head is out of the fog. [she elaborates on how she can bounce back better when her kids wake her up in the video above: minute-marker 7:30] I used to feel like my brains was in quicksand, but now i feel much more clear.
How has the quality of your sleep changed?
this has been the biggest change for me. i sleep SO WELL (when the girls let me). i also know to listen to my body and when it’s time, i go to bed. the couple of times i’ve had wine during this past 3 months, i have slept horribly. i remember telling you that i can’t believe i used to live like this. i also wake up most morning feeling rested. not dragging which is so amazing. even with very little sleep, i can wake up with a level head, instead of being a crazy beast.
At the beginning of this program, you struggled with binge eating. We laughed and bonded about both being ‘weird food sneakers’ when we started GAPS. How has your relationship with food changed over the last 3 months? And How has GAPS affected your ability to be satisfied by the food you eat?
i am proud to announce that i am no longer a “weird food sneaker” any longer. i have finally gotten a grip on my cravings and know when i need to regulate my blood sugar instead of making “bad” choices. while i still have work to do, i feel that i have come a long way. no more binge eating. i have learned to walk away from temptation and if it’s something i can’t shake. i allow myself, because forbidding myself of things just causes me to do weird things, example, the other day ruby and matt went for ice cream, ice cream is one of those things .. so i had a couple bites of ruby;s ice cream. i was satisfied, yes, i know that it’s not “gaps-legal” .. but i felt no guilt. i haven’t had ice cream in 3 months. i had two bites. and i moved on. which, for me, is pretty huge. maybe one day i’ll get to the point where i can say no or won’t want it. i’ve learned to give myself grace, thanks to you lauren. i will say that i was getting to a point where i felt unhealthy. i don’t feel unhealthy anymore. my relationship with food is evolving.
How has GAPS affected your cravings? I remember you said once that potato chips used to be your favorite snack that you could never get enough of, and now you don’t even want them anymore. Could you expand on that?
i don’t have many cravings anymore. i don’t dream of potato chips and crappy foods. the other night i cracked up because i couldn’t wait to get home from work and make zucchini noodles. when i am feeling like eating crap, i step away. i was making matts lunch on sunday night and i told him he had to get his potato chips because i didn’t want to be tempted. i will say i do dream about beer and chocolate .. otherwise, i just go about my day and listen when i’m hungry. and feed myself healthy things. i also think the lack of cravings has to do with knowing what to buy and keeping plenty of healthy options on hand. it took a while to get the hang of shopping a new way.
You said you struggle with anxiety and anger. What does your mental health look like now vs. when you started GAPS? You also mentioned having constant dark invasive thoughts. Has this changed at all?
i still have anxiety. i am still on my meds. i still yell at ruby when she drops nova on her head. and i still have horrible thoughts .. which i attribute to the current state of the world [we expand on the way she reacts to these thoughts differently after 3 months of GAPS in the video interview: minute 24:55]. Overall, i can say that things bother me less and that i have softened in some ways. when i started GAPS i had this dream that poof! it would all go away and i’d be this even keeled, deal with everything calmly, goddess mama… i had to tone that down some and realize that there have been some definite victories in the loony dept. and to be patient and celebrate the small things.
You were dealing with joint pain/ arthritis at the beginning of this program. Have you noticed any change since being on GAPS?
i am still in quite a bit of pain. i never had any expectations of this issue getting better. this is something that i know needs to be addressed surgically. it’s something i’ve been putting off and really just can’t ignore anymore. i know that losing weight will help .. and keeping my inflammation down will help.
How has your relationship with your body/ body image changed since starting GAPS?
i still have a hard time looking in the mirror. as i mentioned above, i haven’t lost any weight … yet. BUT i feel good and i’ve been putting such good food into this body, it helps me not be so hard on myself.
We’ve talked about how you’ve struggled with follow through. And that if you kept on GAPS it would be the first huge health thing you’ve ever followed through with. How do you feel about your ability to stay with this protocol after the program is over and the sustainability of it?
i feel great about sticking with it. these last two weeks since my program officially ended, i have probably done the best yet. if i fall off, i get back on. it really takes time to adjust to. it took time to get the hang of the hacks and to make it work for me, it’s become so much easier. i’m not over here cooking elaborate gaps meals .. i just make it easy and quick and make sure to have the right foods in my fridge available. i make sure to have my sauces made. and things like kraut juice STOCKED.
You’ve worked so hard during this program! And you were right, follow through was hard for you. You went off the protocol a handful of times and then hopped right back on. How has your ability to persevere and be compassionate with yourself changed since starting GAPS?
It’s important to me to continue to feel good. It’s important for me to do this for myself. I am the kind of person who doesn’t stop trying. With all things in my life. You have helped me to learn compassion for myself, thank you. I think the most helpful part is the validation that this is not easy. Learning to notice my triggers was huge. Learning how to regulate my blood sugar has been tremendously helpful. Little hacks of how to remember it all has also been helpful. It has gotten so much easier.
Has your psoriasis changed going through this program? Do you still struggle with that?
Any last questions for me about GAPS before you graduate the program?
i do have many questions that pop in my head on the daily, i can’t think of them right now. thank you! [in the video she asks what happens when you don’t want to take a supplement anymore, my answer at minute 38:00]
What’s one piece of advice you would give someone starting the GAPS protocol?
Starting out is REALLY HARD. Its restrictive. It’s annoying. It’s a whole lot of work. Your body will do weird things. You’ll have no choice but to take a long hard look at yourself. It gets so much easier. You will learn to have compassion for yourself. You will learn to give yourself grace. You will learn that you are human. If you fall off, you just start fresh the next time you put food in your mouth. You’ll get the hang of how to embrace this new lifestyle the best way it suits YOU. It takes time to figure out, and that’s ok. Just stick with it. It’s worth it. You’re worth it. Pay attention and celebrate each small victory.
Thank you for everything. I am so grateful for you. Having you by my side through this has been so incredibly helpful. I know i’m not so easy to work with sometimes .. thanks for sticking with me. Thank you for your constant compassion and for your kind heart. I really feel good about going forward. Thank you for everything. Truly. You are so special.