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Posted by Dina-Marie Oswald on

I am quickly approaching my one year anniversary on the GAPS diet and the results have been life changing – Literally!

Can you imagine the home educating mother of  10 children – well, only 7 of them are still at home   😉 – not being able to do simple everyday activities? That was me before the GAPS diet!!



  • I was in so much pain because of my rheumatoid arthritis that I could not even cut my own pancakes! That’s right, my fingers were so swollen, inflamed and painful that simple everyday tasks were difficult or even impossible to accomplish!
  • I was having difficulty walking because of hip pain.
  • I did not eat meat and had not for over 30 years due to stomach issues similar to Crohn’s disease which were supposedly caused from an allergy.
  • I was suffering from an uncommonly severe case of osteoporosis for someone so young.


I am a new woman thanks to specific dietary changes resulting from following the GAPS diet. As I shared in My Experience, the arthritis pain was gone in 2 weeks and has remained so! Being the impatient sort of person that I am, I have tried to transition to a traditional diet, so as to test the health of my gut but it is just not yet time. I am encouraged that healing is occurring because the results of these times result in mild discomfort but nothing severe.

I must confess though, that I find it a bit difficult to keep up with the sauerkraut, fermented carrotsand other probiotic foods. Don’t get me wrong, none are difficult to fix but with so many eating them at our house, they go sooo fast!

But, my inspiration to continue on the full GAPS diet  is the renewed health that I now have! Not only is my arthrits pain and inflammation gone and my osteoporosis reversing, my hair is now growing once again and my skin is more healthy looking!


Looking back over this year, there are many things I have learned but the 5 main lessons are:

  1. Planning is essential to success – meal planning in particular. Planning and writing down a weekly/monthly menu allows me to have the items on hand and ready to prepare. A written meal plan takes the guess work out of what is for dinner and what needs to be prepared.
  2. Education is a must! Reading about health issues from a real food perspective provides insight and encouragement  From real food blogs to books, educating myself in nutrition and health has become a priority. I want to be healthy and I want my family to be healthy. My results on the GAPS diet so far are proof that there is more to the equation than traditional medicine offers.
  3. Have Fun. It is easy to become weighed down with the ins and outs of following the GAPS diet and forget to enjoy life. I have finally realized, that if I don’t follow it perfectly from time to time, at least what I AM doing is beneficial and better than if I had done nothing at all.
  4. Sleep is required – for me about 8 hours per night does wonders! Being rested gives me the energy needed throughout the day to accomplish what needs to be done and for my body/gut to heal.
  5. Taking the time to exercise is an investment not only in myself but for my family – it makes me a better wife/mother/person. When you feel bad physically, it can be difficult (if not impossible) to even get out and take a walk, much less anything more strenuous! If at all possible, make the effort. Exercise releases “happy hormones” which give a sense of well being. It also helps balance hormones, deal with stress and control weight. This makes the whole day go better and more smoothly – it is well worth the effort!
Knowing that the older we get the longer it takes our bodies to heal, I realize that I will probably be on the GAPS diet for at least another year. After another 6 months or so, I will try to transition to a traditional diet following the steps in Gut and Psychology Syndrome (affiliate link). I am confidant that I will be able to tell if my gut has healed and is ready to transition completely off the full GAPS diet. In the meantime, I am enjoying health and REALLY enjoying eating meat!
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