In the last edition I talked about GAP Syndrome, a metabolic disorder rooted in the inner ecosystem of the digestive tract. GAP Syndrome, an imbalance with a myriad of physical and psychological disturbances, is quite treatable through a specific diet according to its “discoverer” Natasha Campbell-McBride. McBride’s best line during her two presentations at the conference was perhaps when she mentioned that the principles of Weston A. Price geeks was “a healthy diet for healthy people, but certain specific conditions require a very specific diet.” This is absolutely true and something we all needed to hear, for many conference attendees have been unable to reverse chronic conditions in themselves and in their children. This observation was put much more bluntly by Donna Gates when she stated that “a lot of people in this room should be on my diet.” Yeah Donna!
But before I get too carried away with any of that, let’s jump into her dietary recommendations, which are reminiscent of anti-candida diets (low in carbohydrates and high in fermented foods).
For starters, McBride recommends avoiding all dairy for 4 weeks. After the 4 week abstinence from dairy, dairy foods can slowly be added back in one at a time. Raw butter is first, followed by raw homemade fresh cheese, followed by raw hard cheese, then cultured cream, then cultured milk. Over time raw milk and cream can be included.
Otherwise, the diet is comprised of…
Unlimited amounts of non-starchy vegetables, some raw and some cooked
All meats and seafood, mostly cooked, some raw eggs and fish
Copious quantities of animal fats, home rendered from pork, duck, beef, lamb etc.
Butter, coconut oil, and olive oil
Nuts and seeds
Fruit, eaten alone
Bone broth with every meal
Lacto fermented vegetables
Lacto fermented beverages using kefir as a starter
Milk kefir, preferably goat’s milk kefir, and yoghurt (kefir is better)
That’s about it. All food must be prepared at home from whole ingredients because no food products can be trusted. “Shopping is actually quite easy” she says, comparing it to moms reading label after label to avoid potential allergens in all products containing wheat and dairy.
Grains and complex carbohydrate foods like potatoes, sweet potatoes, and other starchy vegetables are strictly prohibited. This is due to the fact that double sugar molecules are often not properly digested by the altered intestinal flora of the GAP Syndrome sufferer. These double sugars, which are usually broken down into single molecules for absorption, are rendered unusable to the body and wind up feeding overgrown yeasts and fungi.
Grains containing gluten are prohibited because improperly digested gluten is very problematic. The gluten forms gluteomorphogens, which have an opiate-like effect and can become very addictive. The same is true for milk protein, which form caseomorphogens. Again, both milk and grains are extremely healthy foods for a healthy person, but for those who cannot metabolize them properly, they are harmful and addictive, and induce allergic reaction in many people suffering from GAP Syndrome.
What separates McBride’s program from others is that it is designed to rehabilitate the system so that all foods can be incorporated. The typical recommendation for sufferers of Autism, food allergies, and related GAP symptoms is to avoid wheat and dairy. Very little other recommendations are given, people have to watch their food intake like hawks, and when even just a crumb of a cracker is consumed a massive backlash reaction often occurs. McBride’s plan claims to allow freedom from dietary restriction if followed to completion. It’s a get healthy to be able to eat healthy foods plan, not an avoid allergens to keep from having a reaction plan. And that’s the beauty of it.
The only thing I can add to these ideas is an idea brought forward by enzyme researcher Edward Howell. Howell states that if someone is having an allergic reaction to a raw food of any kind, treatment for that allergy can be performed by eating small amounts of that food, and slowly increasing it until moderate quantities can be consumed without causing a reaction. Often, when an allergy is overcome this way a disease condition in the body clears up. Although grains cannot be consumed raw, milk, eggs, and other raw foods could potentially be consumed a little at a time until allergic conditions subside. It makes sense that if the improperly digested food is causing a diseased condition as in the case of GAP Syndrome, that working it into the diet slowly until it can be properly metabolized will eradicate the diseased condition. The same might be true for cooked foods, and that is exactly how McBride recommends reintroducing foods later on – slowly, one at a time, until it appears the body can digest it properly.
I personally experienced overcoming food allergy in this manner with eggs. Over the past several years I’ve noticed an increasing sensitivity to eating eggs. Raw eggs in particular, even just the yolks, seemed to completely ruin my stomach. However, this fall I tried an experiment, where I ate raw eggs daily until they no longer bothered my stomach. On returning to eating cooked eggs, my stomach had very little problems digesting them. A similar phenomenon occurred when I began drinking raw milk. At first I felt congested and overly full. After drinking it regularly for a while, and only consuming it raw, these symptoms disappeared (as did my asthma). So did my slight addiction to it, which could have easily been from the caseomorphogens. After a day or two away from it I would crave it and think about it constantly. Today I love it just as much as always, but I don’t have withdrawals when I don’t have access to it.
Anyways, it’s food for thought. I brought it up because I suspect that some people who have problems on her plan could benefit by eating a larger quantity of the food raw, particularly the meats. In a way, I could see that being treatment for cultivating the ability to eat cooked meats without reaction. This wouldn’t have to continue for life like it has for crazy Vonderplanitz (who thinks cooked meats are toxic because he used to break out in hives after consuming them – a sign not that they are toxic but that his body wasn’t healthy enough to properly metabolize undesirable byproducts of cooked meats), but it’s worth noting.
Having said all that, I have tremendous confidence in McBride’s nutritional treatment program or similar versions of it – not just for those with GAP Syndrome, but for those with other metabolic disorders, hormonal imbalances, excess body fat, etc. It is a great way to overcome a core issue in many illnesses – a lifetime of too much carbohydrate.