Healthy or healed? The “leaky gut” problem

Do you know what I don’t understand sometimes? My body. One minute it’s doing one thing, and the next it’s doing something completely different. Take Sunday for example. We were enjoying a wonderful family lunch, complete with hamburgers, a salad, and fresh vegetables, when all off the sudden my stomach decided to hurt for no reason. Like not just ached a little or felt nauseous, but it legitimately hurt like I hadn’t eaten all day! Thinking back to dinner, the only thing we could come up with that was different for my diet was that I had a couple dried cranberries in my salad which usually have sugar in them, and there was a slight chance there was MSG in the onion powder in our hamburgers. Both of my other sisters who struggle with health issues also didn’t feel well after dinner, each in the way our bodies normally tell us we’ve eaten something we shouldn’t have.

So, needless to say, I had a rough evening. I was in the bathroom a lot, I was not the happiest person to be around, and I just felt crappy. But just as I was thinking that it wasn’t fair that I had reacted so poorly to such a small amount of sugar or whatever else I ate after being careful for so long, I got to thinking. I realized that just because I have been careful to eat foods that are supporting my body in the healing process, doesn’t mean that I am completely healed yet. It takes much longer than a few months for the body to reverse two decades worth of food assault to my already worn-down body. But I am 100% percent confident that I will get to that point one day.

You see, some people were born with really great guts. Those people are blessed. They are able to eat whatever they want and their body can digest it without issues. Other people were born with some not so great guts. And you would be surprised at how many people there are in that camp. I feel like every day I talk to someone who has some kind of food intolerance or digestive issue that I was unaware of. The people weren’t born so blessed, or there were some circumstances when they were young that led them to having a poor digestive system. When our enterocytes, the cells which line the intestine walls, become damaged and are unable to reproduce as fast as they are worn out, they no longer are can be a good barrier to keep toxins from entering our blood stream. This condition, called “leaky gut syndrome,” plagues numerous people today and is one of the reasons why food allergies, mental disorders, autoimmune diseases, hormone imbalances, infertility rates, and obesity as well as obesity-related diseases are on the rise today. Our poor westernized diet that consists largely of unsaturated fats, simple carbohydrates, and chemically enhanced everything has played a role in this epidemic as well. If this is something that resonates with you, never fear! There is hope for you!

I was in the same boat once. I noticed that as I got older, my acne never really went away, even though I was very careful about what I ate. I also was sensitive to wheat and dairy, could never get my hormones in balance, struggled with depression, and had a foggy mind often. Just before I started the diet, I also would word-search in the middle of sentences sometimes. This scared me the most because I had always had clear thoughts and was able to articulate myself well before, but this seemed to come up very suddenly. These are all symptoms of having a toxic overload in the body and brain. In May, I initially started the healing protocol which consists of six stages of foods accompanied by many detoxifying recommendations which lead into the full GAPs diet. It was wonderful (mostly). Some days were really hard, but most days I felt wonderful! I have been following the full GAPs recommendations with plenty of probiotic foods with awesome results. However, after thinking for many weeks about whether I have seen the results I was hoping for (hormone balance being one of the main ones), I was convinced on Sunday after my awfully wonderful meal that tomorrow, I am going to start over on day 1 of the intro diet again, and take it very slowly.

Don’t worry, I will keep you updated and I expect you all to keep me accountable for my second go-around on the Intro diet. I will be eating a lot of soup, like ONLY soup for a few days, and sharing my favorite recipes with you. But never fear, I love soup! Plus I will be getting the nutrients my body needs to fully heal. I may be grumpy for a short number of days, but I will compensate for it in the coming weeks when I expect to have extra energy because my body will be getting exactly what it was designed to receive to nourish it.

And to answer my own question, when I am eating healthy, it doesn’t mean that I am healed. It takes a while of being very careful about what I am putting into and onto my body for it to heal completely, but when I get to that point it will be totally worth being able to enjoy pizza or pie again every once in a while without negative side effects.

For more information on the GAPs Diet, my GAPs journey, or if you should look into the GAPs diet, you can always email me or visit


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