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granolagal

Vegetarian Gaps Diet?

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Hi all,

I've been gluten-free for almost a month, and have had major stomach issues since then. I feel like things are getting worse as opposed to better. I'm struggling with chronic c and bloating/distention. I tried the usual solutions (high gluten-free fibre, lots of water, etc) but I haven't gotten anywhere. As I inch closer to the one-month mark, I'm getting more and more desperate. (I also feel like I've had some sort of v infection for the past 2 weeks...or just a sense that something is "off" so I tried probiotics but it hasn't done any good).

I'm now considering the GAPS diet (based on various advice I've seen posted on here). I did some research on it tonight, but I see that its basis is meat stock. Does anyone know if you can do a vegetarian version of this diet?

Thanks for any insight...

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The diet is very heavily based on animal products. There is no way todo GAPS as a vegetarian. In the book dr Natasha Campbell McBride has a small discussion of her take on vegetarian diets. My daughter was a vegetarian for 8 years before GAPS, exhusbamd was vegan for longer, and my partner and I were both vegetarian for a while. This has seemed to us to be a better way for us to eat.

Without getting to detailed or evangelical about it, the main things that made a difference for me were:

- acknowledging that vegetarian diets also have an environmental impact and result in animal deaths

- learning to raise and kill meat for myself, and connecting to local small farmers with good practices

- learning more about digestion, nutrition, nutrient dense foods, and inflammatory foods

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The diet is very heavily based on animal products. There is no way todo GAPS as a vegetarian. In the book dr Natasha Campbell McBride has a small discussion of her take on vegetarian diets. My daughter was a vegetarian for 8 years before GAPS, exhusbamd was vegan for longer, and my partner and I were both vegetarian for a while. This has seemed to us to be a better way for us to eat.

Without getting to detailed or evangelical about it, the main things that made a difference for me were:

- acknowledging that vegetarian diets also have an environmental impact and result in animal deaths

- learning to raise and kill meat for myself, and connecting to local small farmers with good practices

- learning more about digestion, nutrition, nutrient dense foods, and inflammatory foods

Thanks for responding. I don't intend to ever eat meat or meat products again, so I guess GAPS isn't the answer for me. Maybe I'll try a "home-made" elimination diet. ;)

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The early part of GAPS that you use to settle your stomach is free of casein, soy, legumes, refined sugars, all grains, and starchy vegetables. Eliminating refined sugar and starch is central to the diet because it starves out yeast. Casein, soy, legumes, and grains (particularly corn) are all problem foods for celiacs and people with malabsorption. You can't eat too many nuts and seeds on GAPS because they are difficult to digest. I can't imagine how you would have enough protein without the meat and broth.

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The early part of GAPS that you use to settle your stomach is free of casein, soy, legumes, refined sugars, all grains, and starchy vegetables. Eliminating refined sugar and starch is central to the diet because it starves out yeast. Casein, soy, legumes, and grains (particularly corn) are all problem foods for celiacs and people with malabsorption. You can't eat too many nuts and seeds on GAPS because they are difficult to digest. I can't imagine how you would have enough protein without the meat and broth.

Exactly. Additionally, the diet is based on the idea that bone broth and meat stock are high in readily absorbed nutrients, protein, and fat. While veggie stock is a good thing, too, it's a completely different thing to eat nutritionally and does not have the same health benefits.

I think taking some of the ideas from GAPS would not be a bad thing and the ideas can be incorporated by a vegetarian - you just could not call the resulting diet "GAPS" by any stretch of the imagination. Those core concepts that can be adopted by a vegetarian are:

- eating all organic, non-GMO foods

- eating saturated fats

- eating probiotic foods you make yourself

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The early part of GAPS that you use to settle your stomach is free of casein, soy, legumes, refined sugars, all grains, and starchy vegetables. Eliminating refined sugar and starch is central to the diet because it starves out yeast. Casein, soy, legumes, and grains (particularly corn) are all problem foods for celiacs and people with malabsorption. You can't eat too many nuts and seeds on GAPS because they are difficult to digest. I can't imagine how you would have enough protein without the meat and broth.

Ya, that's exactly what I was worried about (protein). There must be some obscure way to try something similar which is vegetarian. Perhaps I'll speak to someone today when I go to my natural food store.

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Exactly. Additionally, the diet is based on the idea that bone broth and meat stock are high in readily absorbed nutrients, protein, and fat. While veggie stock is a good thing, too, it's a completely different thing to eat nutritionally and does not have the same health benefits.

I think taking some of the ideas from GAPS would not be a bad thing and the ideas can be incorporated by a vegetarian - you just could not call the resulting diet "GAPS" by any stretch of the imagination. Those core concepts that can be adopted by a vegetarian are:

- eating all organic, non-GMO foods

- eating saturated fats

- eating probiotic foods you make yourself

I agree. I'll just do some sort of elimination diet (soups/foods that are "easy" on my stomach/etc) and then reintroduce dairy after a few weeks. I'll stick to brown rice, cooked vegetables, non-citrus fruit, etc. I'll have to work on how to best get my protein in there. Peanut butter/quinoa/peas... I'll have to get creative (at being tame). :P

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Ya, that's exactly what I was worried about (protein). There must be some obscure way to try something similar which is vegetarian. Perhaps I'll speak to someone today when I go to my natural food store.

I really don't suspect there is... and I cooked vegan for almost 5 years with plenty of protein involved (including homemade seitan - the LAST thing we needed, grrr!) I hope you'll post what you learn. Again, the animal based stock as a healing food is all about getting readily absorbed nutrition, not just about the protein involved. Raw egg yolks are introduced early on for people who can handle them in the GAPS diet, I suppose you could start with them early on if you tolerate them and are willing to eat eggs.

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Quinoa and brown rice are grains and not allowed on GAPS. Going grain-free, refined sugar-free, starch-free, and lactose-free is CENTRAL to the diet because it's based on the specific carbohydrate diet. The idea is to get a few carbs from simple sugars in fruit and honey and eliminate all disaccharides and starches that feed the wrong bacteria and yeast.

Eating low protein for a couple weeks to settle your stomach will not do you any harm. I was thinking of eggs too, as long as you tolerate them. There are also a few legumes allowed on full GAPS. Maybe do something rich like squash soup and have it with eggs? Once your stomach settles start adding soaked lentils, and try adding 24-hour yogurt and homemade kefir early in the diet. Cook with coconut oil and float a little olive oil on your soups for calories so you aren't hungry all the time. You can add ghee once you're sure about dairy. Avocados are good too.

You might also add miso and tempeh early on. Unfermented soy is never allowed on GAPS (it's basically toxic) but miso and tempeh are decent sources of digestible protein.

As far as vegetarianism in general, you need to take a close look at it. There is great diet information at http://www.westonaprice.org/.

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What is it about eating meat that you are against? And what are you eating currently that is causing problems? If you're eating grains and legumes you should stop. This includes peanuts and peas. You can try adding these things back later, but remember that they are high in lectins, which are irritating to the intestines.

I think you will find it difficult to heal while eating a vegetarian diet. Without animal protein and fats you are left with only carbs for a source of fuel, and just about every carb source is hard on the digestive system. You can try potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, and other tubers and root vegetables, but if you have a flora imbalance these things will cause problems. Fruit is also likely to be a problems early on. You'll need to start eating a lot of avocadoes and coconut products for the energy producing fats. Remember that nuts are also bad while healing the intestines.

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