As you may already know, I’ve been a patient at The Healing Room since I was 14yrs old. One of the main reasons that led me to The Healing Room was my struggle with gut issues.
For years I lived with constant tummy aches (some that left me curled up into a ball with the pain), brain fog, dyslexia, learning difficulties, significant candida overgrowth and bowel motions that occurred only once every 8 days if I was lucky!
This all encouraged a very big and beautiful healing journey that began quite young.
I began with various restrictive diets which helped to set me on the right track, yet none truly “fixed” my gut health. Although many of the symptoms seemed to disappear when I was “good”, a small slip up would have them rushing back within an hour of eating the “bad” foods. This happened no matter how “strict” I had been on the diets or how many years I had been on them.
And so I realised that what I was doing was improving the symptoms, but not solving the underlying problem.
It all changed when a chiropractor lead me to the book that transformed my life. Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Natasha Campbell gave me a much greater understanding of what was going on in my gut. This was a crucial part of my healing.
The book is based on the theory that many conditions that affect our brains are actually caused by a leaky gut. I didn’t realise up until then that a leaky gut was exactly what I had. This was the underlying problem.
What I needed to do was to heal my gut so that it was better able to tolerate the foods that passed through it...not simply avoid those foods.
And so I began my gut healing “cleanse” to heal my gut lining, guided by the book and my practitioner at The Healing Room.
The cleanse I did is not for the faint-hearted. But if you’ve been living with symptoms like I had, you’ll understand my commitment!
It consisted of living off only bone broth and soups made with bone broth.
Although the book recommends doing this for a week, it also encourages you to tune in and listen to what your body needs. I was working closely with my practitioner at The Healing Room and so I understood that there is really no one size fits all when it comes to health.
I knew how to trust my body and my intuition and so I decided to stay in this stage for a lot longer to truly give my gut a chance to heal and change.
I lived off the bone broth soup for 28 days, with the only introduction of raw egg yolk into the hot soup during that time.
Now let me be honest, this was hard. Really, really hard.
The emotional and physical unravelling was intense. My body was releasing old emotional traumas as well as adapting and healing physically in a drastic way.
My health was literally being overhauled.
I was so grateful to have my practitioner at The Healing Room walking alongside me through this process. Because support is key when you’re undertaking anything this challenging. But also because a cleanse like this should be done with the guidance of a professional to ensure that it’s safe for you and your unique body.
After the 28 day cleanse I felt great, mentally, emotionally and physically. And introducing food back in was a heaven I never imagined.
I remember being so excited for a boiled egg. I remember tasting every last piece! I was so happy and really appreciated my food again.
And an interesting thing happened for me too…
I started to gain weight. Which for most people isn’t great, but for me - I was thrilled because I had never been able to before.
Because before the cleanse I wasn’t absorbing my food properly.
But now I was actually absorbing and storing nutrients. How wonderful! My body was beginning to be nourished.
For the first time in my life I was finally absorbing nutrients and I felt great. Then came the realisation that I didn’t need to eat heaps of food anymore. I used to pile my plate up every day and now I realise my body was screaming out “please feed me more nutrients!”.
I began absorbing foods, so I could eat when my body was actually hungry and ready, not just stockpile food because my body was starving for nutrients.
My immune system hugely improved. I used to get colds/flu almost every 2 weeks during the winter. But since my gut lining has been repaired, I hardly ever get sick.
After the 28 day cleanse, I stayed on the GAPs diet for around a year which, for me, consisted of no refined sugar, gluten or dairy (the book is heavy on dairy but I replaced that with coconut yoghurt and other non-dairy alternatives as I don’t do well with dairy).
My daily diet consisted of minimal fruit and lots of vegetables and meat. It was magnificent.
Nowadays I still do a gut healing “cleanse” for 3 or so days once a year. This is because I know my body loves having that break from digesting food so it can focus on repairing what it needs to. And after every short cleanse, I feel even more fantastic!
I continue to eat a gluten-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free diet, but no longer because I can’t tolerate those foods. I eat that way now because I understand my body and I know what’s best for it. I know how I want to feel and what I want out of life, and I now feel like I have a choice in whether I can have that or not.
It’s so important - no matter what type of practitioners you’re seeing - to be proactive and continue to build on the education you receive outside of your care. Because it’s all part of a bigger picture, all building blocks.
I highly recommend reading the book Gut and Psychology Syndrome and following its recommendations at your own pace while listening to what your body needs.
But this kind of diet is not for everyone and it’s important to seek professional guidance and support when undertaking any cleanse.
Have a chat to us when you’re next in about whether this might be the right next step for you :)