GAPS Intro chicken zoodle soup

The GAPS Introduction diet is a period of intense healing that is meant to seal and regrow the gut lining.  It's a pretty rigorous period of dieting--one has to eliminate all grains, starches, fibrous foods, legumes, processed foods, and sugars for anywhere from a few weeks to several months. (Now tell me another diet you know that makes you do THAT!)

But thousands of individuals and families are taking the plunge and diving head first into the world of GAPS.

"Why? What's the point?" you might ask.

If you have suffered from any sort of digestive issues--food allergies and intolerances, reflux, chronic diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, etc--odds are you've also suffered from other gut-related health issues. Eczema, asthma, brain fog, anemia, ADD, depression, autism, memory loss, and literally hundreds of other common conditions all stem from an imbalance of bacteria in the gut and a malfunctioning digestive system that can't provide nutrients to the body. These conditions are often exacerbated by over-prescribed medications that further destroy the delicate balance of bacteria in the gut and cause numerous other side effects.

Finding healing and life-long relief to these conditions is possible, but it takes getting down to and addressing the source of these health problems. That's where an elimination diet like the GAPS introduction diet comes in. In order to heal the myriad of conditions that stem from a damaged gut, one has to heal the digestive lining--the cells, organisms, and bacteria that are responsible for breaking down food and making nutrients, vitamins, and minerals available for the body to use.

A strict elimination of foods that are irritating and inflaming the gut AND an emphasis on providing easily digestible, gut healing foods will allow the digestive system, the immune system, and the nervous system (i.e. the BRAIN!) and nearly every other system to be restored to their healthy, strong, and balanced conditions. The body will finally have a chance to recover from chronic inflammation and absorb important fats, gelatin, minerals, and amino acids that nourish and sustain cell growth and function.

That's what we're going for here with GAPS.

The GAPS introduction diet might sound crazy. It might sound daunting. But believe me when I tell you, the results can be life-changing. 

I still remember my first few days on the GAPS introduction diet. It was the first time in years I had gone through an entire day without feeling bloated or in pain. I was absolutely floored.  After all sorts of useless doctor's visits and medications and diets, I could hardly believe that something was finally giving me the relief I had needed for so long. I continued trusting and moving forward, doing my best in a totally unfamiliar world, and finally finding hope that I was giving my body the much needed healing it had wanted for a long time.

That does not mean that this is an easy process. Removing grains, legumes, starches, and sugars can create flu-like symptoms as the body gets rid of toxins stored in the body. I craved bread and PB&J's like nobody's business!!  Aaaaaaand I really had no idea how to cook with real foods, making my meals often disgusting and unsatisfying.

I wish I could go back in time to help myself as I transitioned to a real foods, healing diet. Over the last few years, I've found that some of my very favorite meals are simple, real food dishes that can heal and seal the gut.

But that's why I started this blog anyways right? I hope that I can help those returning to real, traditional, healing foods find it to be delicious and incredibly fulfilling.

Here's a little recipe for a soup that is totally acceptable for the very first stage of elimination. It's a classic comfort food and will help you feel like you are doing your body good. Chicken noodle soup. Ahem, sorry. Chicken ZOODLE soup. No grains or processed foods;)

GAPS intro diet soup chicken noodle soupgaps intro diet chicken zoodle soup

Chicken Zoodle Soup
Author: Amy MoffatPrep time: 5 minCook time: 20 minServings: 6

Ingredients:

6 cups chicken broth
3 cups shredded, cooked chicken (how to cook a whole chicken and make chicken broth)
2 small zucchini, julienned
2-3 carrots, diced
1/2 onion, chopped
1 celery stalk *stage 2 or beyond
1 tsp salt

Directions:

Bring chicken broth to a boil
Add carrots, onion, (and celery for stage 2), and salt, reduce heat, and simmer for 20
Add cooked chicken and julienned zucchini and heat until warmed through

The secret to a delicious soup without any herbs (which are not allowed until stage 2) is to add a bundle of fresh herbs during the last 30 minutes of cooking your broth, and then remove them while straining. A little bundle of rosemary, thyme, and oregano go a long way in making your broth marvelous!!

Let me know what you think!! Leave a comment below!

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