Yesterday I posted about my interest in beginning the GAPS diet and what I see as the pros to taking such a drastic measure.
Today I’m discussing the cons – I would love to hear your thoughts as well!
It looks hard!
I talked yesterday about how in some ways I think it will be easier to have something more strictly laid out than just ‘I am giving up grains’ – but that also doesn’t make it any easier!
I have a problem with commitment – particularly when it comes to diet and exercise – and that scares me. I don’t want to chalk this up as another failure in trying to attain good health.
On the other hand, I can’t know whether it will work unless I go ahead and give it a try – and that’s what I always come down to in the end.
It is going to be hard to follow something so regimented – especially making all the homemade stock, fermented dairy and vegetables, and baked goods with alternative flours that GAPS calls for – but I am hoping with enough forward preparation (stocks can be frozen, thank goodness) and support from the husband that I will be able to make it happen.
The GAPS diet calls for eating a lot of fermented foods – and I don’t really like them.
I grew up as an extremely picky eater, and while I have expanded my palate significantly, it is still difficult for me to try/eat many things. Fermented foods do not appeal to me, but I’m going to give it my best, and hope that starting slowly and being patient will help my taste buds to change. I know it’s possible because I’ve made myself like many things by just trying them over and over again until I’ve acquired a taste for them…it’s just not that fun lol.
The GAPS diet also calls for eating lots of organ meats like liver, hearts, etc.… and that honestly just doesn’t sound good to me. Beyond trying a taco stuffed with cow brain once in Mexico (not pleasant), I’ve never braved the organ meats.
But I can also recognize that that’s just me being kind of snobbish and insular in my thinking – and again, it is using the entire animal, which I like the idea of as non-wasteful. I suppose it’s just something I’ll have to ease into…
It means giving up foods I really like – like coffee, beer, grains, chocolate, etc. That is definitely not going to be easy – especially at vacations, holidays – and weekends!
It might be expensive. Ideally, I will be able to purchase organic meats, eggs, etc. – and those have a significantly higher cost than organic fruits and veggies do. At the same time, it seems illogical to begin a plan like this without being totally committed to buying as much organic as possible.
It’s also going to mean more planning ahead – if I buy those meats at the health food store, they are going to cost a lot more than if I travel downtown to the organic butcher – but that’s something I won’t be able to do easily without taking timing into consideration.
We probably will eventually look into getting delivery directly from a farm, but again, that entails a higher cost up front. There are also the costs of probiotics and supplements to consider as well as alternative flours – but on the plus side, we won’t be wasting any money on processed foods…
It is not convenient.
I’ll be headed back to work soon and even now I sometimes find it difficult to make sure all food is cooked at home; I’ve never been the best with brown bagging it either – usually the closest fast food place or raiding the pastry case at work has provided my sustenance.
I had already planned on bringing my own food this time around, but with GAPS it may get a little more tricky, especially because ideally I will not be using a microwave to re-heat food – I’ll have to see if I can find out a different solution (and my work place will not have a stove).
We also eat at our in-laws at least once a week and enjoy sharing meals with friends, so it will be a decision between bringing my own food or bending the rules, neither of which appeal much to me. I guess we’ll just have to see how that goes…
It is a big commitment.
The length of time it will take to do the GAPS intro diet varies, but I’m estimating around 4-6 weeks. It is then recommended to do the full GAPS diet 1 1/2-2 years – essentially however long it takes to know that you are fully healed.
That’s a long time to be on a diet!
But while I put this under the cons list (I have no idea if I can actually make this happen for that long), in a way it is a pro as well – there is a fairly clear start and finish time, and it is laying a foundation for a more balanced diet when I am through.
The husband isn’t entirely on board.
When I first presented the idea of GAPS to him, he was totally against it - he was willing for me to try it by myself but not interested in doing it with me – he really didn’t like the idea of eating so much meat and fat in particular. He also feels that he’s had decent success with cutting down on meats and eating more vegetarian – something that is pretty much not an option in GAPS.
The more I’ve read to him, the more interested he’s become, and he may be taking the plunge with me when I start – but I don’t know how fully he’s committed. I do definitely appreciate that he’s come this far!
I don’t have the book yet, so it’s something of a leap of faith.
Here’s the thing – I haven’t been able to find it sold in Canada (if I order online it still comes from the US) and customs can take forever sometimes to get things through.
There is enough information online to get me through the Intro Diet and I will hopefully have the book in my hands in a few weeks, but I would ideally have it before starting the whole thing.
Why not wait for the book? Well, another ‘con’ I guess you could call it – during the intro diet it is likely that I will experience possible side effects due to ‘die off’ or toxins being released as my body/gut flora go through all the inevitable changes created by GAPS.
I would really like to get through this before returning to work, which is not that far away – so starting sooner rather than later is important for me.
Those are my main pros and cons – again, I would love to hear your thoughts, and tomorrow I’ll be discussing my tentative plan for implementing the GAPS diet in my life.
What do you think so far?