by Gerard E Mullin and Kathie Madonna Swift
This won’t be an extensive review, but can I just say now that I LOVE this book? After going through multiple medical procedures and tests with Samuel to try to get to the root of his tummy and allergy woes, I have finally come to the conclusion that we have reached the end of what conventional medicane can do for us. I have always been interested in diet and health. I strongly believe that the foods we eat can sometimes be used as a tool to heal and can often cause damage to our bodies as well. As a result, I felt it was time look at less conventional ways (like diet) to work towards healing for our little boy.
All of this was kickstarted when a friend shared about the GAPS diet. This led me on a search for various gut friendly diet/lifestyle programs, and I ended up parking at this book. Boy am I glad.
The author’s writing style is so easy to follow. It seems odd, but I actually couldn’t put this book down. In fact, his chapter explaining the whole digestive system and how it works left me giddy and excited and inspired great ideas for a digestive theme park (I even drew out a map ;). I want to read it again for a refresher, but I feel like I understand more how the digestive system works, and what fules it. I was able to easily pick up on some things to start with Samuel (and our whole family) right away to help heal our guts. It’s even possible that this kind of diet can heal Samuel’s leaky gut and reduce the amount of food allergies he has – Wooo Hooo!
I was disappointed that we won’t be able to use the diet recommended in the back straight out due to the fact that we are vegetarian (not at all discouraged in the book), and due to Samuel’s huge amount of food sensitivities. I was however able to glean a lot.. Here are some of the biggest things I am excited to put into practice or learn more about (look for book reviews on some of these topics).
- A lot of things are symptoms of gut problems – even my fertility issues could be related.
- The gut flora of the mother when giving birth and nursing greatly affects the gut flora of the baby. This means I will be taking probiotics regularly here soon (I’m in my third trimester of pregnancy), as well as during the time I’m nursing little Timothy to give him a head start.
- The importance of chewing well. I understand the biology of chewing and the digestive importance of the salivary enzymes gained with proper chewing. I’m working on this, but I’m so used to scarfing my food, it will take time. I’m still trying to figure out how to encourage a toddler to chew better. Any suggestions?
- Probiotics are crucial to good gut health. I will be increasing these in our diets. One of the main way to add them is through lacto-fermented food. This was a foreign concept, and one that was challenging for me to grasp, but I hope to learn more about how to do this and to begin adding some of these fermented foods (like sauerkraut) to our diet.
- Drink more water. This should be a no-brainer, but is a good reminder for me.
- Plenty of exercise. Just like most things, you can have too much of a good thing, but regular exercise is super important to gut health.
- Soaking grains. The book doesn’t talk much about this, but through it, I have been lead to a lot of information about grain soaking. By soaking grains, you begin the germination process, which releases TONS of nutrients and break down the enzymes that prohibit digestion.
- There are tons of other charts and nuggets in the book that will give us a spring board for foods to add to our diet or to try to avoid.
Overall, I’m super excited about this book. I ordered it for my Kindle, but I hope to get a bound copy as it will be a GREAT reference on our bookshelf for years to come.