Friends, I just have to share something with you that has inspired me.  First, a bit of introduction: last night, after much hemming and hawing over several weeks, I finally committed to starting the GAPS diet today.  What’s that, you ask?  The link will tell you all about it, and I’ll probably outline it more later this week.  What helped sway me?  Three things, really.

First, I spent the weekend having terrible gastrointestinal reactions to several things I ate, plus more minor reactions to pretty much everything I ate.  While having these reactions, I was also reading Julia Child’s classic tome, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, full of wonderful recipes that I can’t eat.  That a lot of people can’t eat, really, in this age of widespread lactose intolerance and gluten sensitivity, and rampant food allergies to…well, all sorts of foods that weren’t a problem for the vast majority of people even fifty years ago when dear Julia co-authored her book.  I thought about many friends, who report stomachaches after every meal.  Every meal!  And who feel like that’s just the way it is.  There is something very wrong here, I thought.  Our bodies aren’t supposed to be this way.  Food should nourish us, not make us sick.

Second, I found a couple of internet-based supports for starting GAPS, which is very restricted at first and a bit daunting.  First, a Yahoo! group for those on GAPS, a very active and informative group.  I also found that a woman named Baden keeps a blog, and had just set out a challenge – let’s all start together, and do this together – which I just happened to catch in time.  (I had wanted to get the support through Cheeseslave’s “Reversing Food Allergies” class but couldn’t do the class right now.)

And then third, and this is the part that has really inspired me, I watched these videos of Sam, taken by his mom over the last couple of months.

I really, really hope you’ll take the time to watch all of the videos, which will take something like five minutes.  This woman is healing her son’s autism with food.

You read that right.  Healing it.  With food.

I’ve been wanting to clean up my body in preparation for pregnancy, and these videos drove home my understanding of just how profoundly food can affect us.  The GAPS diet is having a great positive effect on autism, ADHD, schizophrenia, depression and anxiety, food allergies, and a number of other issues.  Weston A. Price‘s research showed incredible synergy between our bodies and our food, both the natural vitality and the grave destruction that can happen depending on how we eat.

When the time comes, I want our child to start off with the very best possible chance in life, and now I really believe that in order to provide that, I need to make my own body as healthy and nutrient-rich as possible.

So today’s the day: I’m starting the GAPS introduction diet.  Hopefully I can move through the introduction phase fairly quickly – I’m betting on maybe 4 weeks – and into the full GAPS diet, which is much less restrictive and intensive.  But really, in the grand scheme of things, it’ll be worth it.  I’ll have Sam and his mom as touchstones of inspiration for what’s possible when we take our health into our own hands.

Tell me your stories.  How does food affect your body?  What, if anything, have you done to help yourself?  Or has it felt too overwhelming to try and eliminate foods from your diet?