GAPS Testimonials

A few kind words from families receiving GAPS consultations from Linda Paterson

We take joy in being able to offer you and your family with all the support and guidance you need to restore your gut health.  Its really rewarding for us to receive your feedback and it is encouraging for others who are preparing to embark on their own healing journey.

Chronic Colitis & Failure to Thrive

The following GAPS testimonial was very concerning for first time parents of their 9 month old baby girl.  This family came to me when mainstream medical interventions were unsuccessful in treating her condition. With failure to thrive and severe colitis consisting of daily episodes of bloody diarrhoea, the GAPS protocol made all the difference. 

We are into our fifth month on the GAPS protocol for our 14 month old daughter who started to experience severe food intolerances, diarrhoea and colitis shortly after her six month vaccinations. Things became progressively worse as we consulted with doctor after doctor, dietician after dietician. There were no answers and virtually no support for our daughter in the conventional medical system.

By ten months of age, the situation had become so desperate, we were willing to try anything. We heard about the GAPS diet and within 24 hours of implementing the introduction diet, we saw significant improvements in our little girl.  At 14 months, our daughter is active and thriving as she continues on the GAPS diet. We fear to think of the alternative outcome had we not discovered the GAPS protocol.

We are so grateful to the GAPS protocol, Linda’s support, and for the information and products available on the GAPS Australia website. Dr Campbell McBride’s book, Linda’s GAPS companion guide and the GAPS Australia website have been invaluable resources to us. We recommend these resources to any parent or individual embarking on the GAPS diet. The products available on the GAPS Australia website eliminated so much of the research time, and the trial and error involved in sourcing GAPS compliant products. The products are of the highest quality, and the delivery is fantastic.

Linda has been extremely compassionate and supportive beyond the call of duty as only a Mother who has gone through the experience can be. It is obvious that it is more than just a business for Linda, it is very personal.

The GAPS protocol has provided us with hope for a happy and healthy life for our daughter, especially when all seemed hopeless.  Thank you Linda Paterson, thank you Dr Campbell-Mcbride, thank you Elaine Gottschall for being the Mothers that you are.  Each of you have given me renewed hope for a normal, happy and healthy life for my daughter.

Take care,

Angela

Linda Has Been There For Me

Seven weeks into the GAPS journey and there’s one thing for certain – our progress would have been much slower and a lot more confusing had we not consulted with Linda both one week prior to beginning the diet, and again for a recent follow up consultation.  There are so many questions I had as a beginner, which Linda answered professionally and with the great wisdom and experience of one who has been there and done that herself.  She has been clear, compassionate and refreshingly helpful, moving me gently forward and guiding me back onto the path should I stray a little.  And her help didn’t end when the consultation ended.  Linda has been there for me right through, answering all sorts of questions I have come up with.  Nothing has been too much trouble for her.  Apart from the relief of having someone there to help me through the practical everyday stuff that arose, the greatest comfort I had was that there was someone on the other end of my computer or phone, who was real and who had, in real life, already succeeded in treating her own son’s condition.  This made it real for me, it kept me focused and motivated.  Especially helpful also, was the GAPS Companion included with our first consultation.  Meticulously compiled by Linda through all of her experience, it is a wealth of extra information.  I have found Linda to be friendly, helpful, patient and most kind.  Thanks to her assistance and professional guidance, now entering week seven, we have already seen some wonderful results in my little boy with autism.

Anna

Never Give Up on Your Child

My son Jake is 3 years old and has been diagnosed with high functioning Autism. He is an extremely intelligent and affectionate little boy who is incredibly capable in so many areas yet has extreme difficulties in others. More specifically, the boxes he ticks are the usual suspects of tantrums, melt downs, inappropriate public behavior and in social situations around children his age, completely uninterested and in a world of his own.

As a parent, to watch this is heartbreaking, not to mention the stress we have felt in coming to terms with his Autism and learning to cope with it. Our savior, so far, has been us stumbling upon the GAPS Diet, completely by accident.

Jake was a brilliant eater. His first 18 months were just amazing to watch. We never gave him bought baby food. Every meal he consumed was home cooked with huge amounts of vegetables, fruits, meat, chicken and fish. He loved it all until he was around 18 months old and it all changed. As his Autism became more apparent, his eating habits went out the window. Suddenly, only bread, toast and bananas would he eat and simply nothing else.

We were worried when starting him on the GAPS Intro Diet and had no idea how we would get him to ingest stock and soup let alone the rest of the foods required to help his digestive condition. The first week was a living nightmare. Jake would not eat anything we gave him and for 4 days he consumed absolutely nothing. Standing in the kitchen watching your 3 year old crying and begging for food was the hardest thing we have ever had to deal with, the tears were endless as we watched him literally waste away. In only days, he became horribly thin, pasty white and with a look in his eyes like we were losing him.

We figured that all it would take was for him to be so hungry he would just start to eat. We were wrong as this continued for another couple of days.  Jake is a very determined boy and when he makes up his mind there is no changing it. Rewards, no matter how desirable to him, made no difference whatsoever. Our research taught us that it is quite common for children to totally stop eating during Stage 1 and to persist with the stock and soup as he will eventually eat.

The key for us was talking to him. For hours, we would cuddle a weak and skinny little boy and talk to him about the importance of eating what we are giving him and trying to explain that we are helping him to get well and to trust his mummy and daddy. This too was overwhelmingly difficult and I cannot explain the amount of tears shed in our home over a week that seemed like it lasted months.

The most important thing for us was persistence. The GAPS Diet was going to be the key for Jake that would give him his life back and to bring back to us the beautiful little boy who had gone away. There was no option for us and it was a matter of getting him to eat whether he liked it or not. Amazingly, after several days of talking to a boy we felt had no comprehension of what was going on, everything changed.

My wife and I were told by people in the know that magically, he will start eating all you give him, even begging for more. That’s when it happened. Suddenly, sitting down at the table with yet another bowl of stock, Jake opened his mouth with no fuss and in it went. He downed the entire bowl along with several others to follow. For the next 10 days, we simply couldn’t make enough. My wife Polly was making such enormous amounts of stock that as quickly as it was made, it was gone.  He is an eating machine!

Once we had progressed through the first couple of stages, Polly would make in some cases, a week’s worth of stew for Jake, only to see him polish it off in one day between breakfast and dinner. From that point on, it didn’t matter what we gave him as he would eat it all and more.

Jake has been on the diet for 2 months now. He is still eating and loving stock. He eats everything we give him now, just like the old days.  Every food that he is allowed to eat within the diet, he eats and the benefits and changes as a result are in a word, significant.

Since the start of the Intro Diet Jake’s tantrums have significantly decreased to a very manageable level and his melt downs which he had several times a day are now perhaps only a couple per week. His complete intolerance for drops of water on his fingers or even on the ground has all but gone. He loves to play in the baby pool and squirting him with the hose is what he loves the most and it’s a pleasure to watch him. He is nowhere near as hyperactive as he was and more often than not, is very calm and more able to express his feelings like never before.

He is now going to 3 year old kinder for a few hours a week. In the initial stages, at kinder he was a nuisance, disrupting every activity and the other children. We felt that enrolling him was just too ambitious and something that he was clearly, not ready for. Now, he is playing with other kids albeit in small doses and even sitting in circle with them which is wonderful. It’s amazing that something so normal for a 3 year old can have such an impact when your Autistic child does it for the first time.  He even came home from kinder last week saying he had a new friend called Gabriel. Amazing.

Jake is only 8 weeks in and he is a different boy already. We have a very long way to go but if he continues to make such rapid improvement the way he has thus far, then for him the sky’s the limit. We will of course be accompanying the diet with other educational programs to assist him in other areas but this amazing diet has already opened the door to his incredible mind and is allowing him to learn new things he was previously incapable of learning.

What we went though in the initial stages was unbelievably difficult and I’d be lying if I said there weren’t several times I wanted to throw in the towel and give up. However, the health and life of our little boy is simply too important and really, giving up was never an option.  For as long as his recovery takes, we will be with him every step of the way.

I can only encourage all parents who are about to set out on this journey or are struggling with the early stages to just persist and never ever give up. Something that has stuck in my mind ever since Day 1 was something Dr McBride wrote about our children. Her words echo in my head every day and it’s what keeps me going and Jake on his road to recovery.

‘Never give up on your child, and your child will reward you’

She’s right.

Andrew Silverman

Greek Grandmother Power

From the moment I read Dr Natasha’s personal testimony of how she recovered her son from autism, there was never a doubt in my mind that I would implement the GAPS diet in our house for my son, aged four, diagnosed with autism.

I read Dr Natasha’s book, made soup, sauerkraut, ghee, yoghurt and lard.  All the while my heart trembled with fear – not because of the massive job I knew I was about to undertake, nor because of how difficult I imagined it would undoubtedly be, nor even because of the scary thought that perhaps it wouldn’t work – but because of the seemingly impossible task of how on earth I was going to get my son to eat this soup and broth, let alone sauerkraut and all the other unusual stuff!

James had limited his diet severely to a minute variety of sweet and starchy foods and processed carbohydrates.  And even these did not interest him too much.  I certainly couldn’t get him interested in any food enough to actually want to feed himself.  Instead, I would follow him around the house to try to get in a mouthful of rice here, a bit of pasta there, a GF cookie or glass of rice milk.  Often I would feed him in the bathtub as this was the only place I could contain him.  So my major fear and concern was how on earth I was going to get him to eat GAPS food.

I had consulted with Linda and she had given me strategies and advice, which were very helpful in preparing me mentally and giving me hope that this really could be done.  Hearing her own personal testimony about her son was also very helpful, because I thought, hey, this is real, it actually does happen, so maybe, just maybe, it could happen for us.

The one thing Linda said which stood out to me was that we had to get large quantities of this food into James and the more he ate the more he would heal and the quicker the healing would happen.  So we began, with this thought foremost in my mind.

I had my mum all prepared.  She very kindly offered to come and help me every day and has actually kept coming even now as we begin week six, and I suspect she will keep coming until I just don’t need her to come any more.  My mum and dad adore James and would do absolutely anything to help him heal and see a better life ahead for him than we had thus far been given hope for.

So I worded her up.  I explained ABA strategies to a seventy year old woman brought up in a village in Greece.  Little did I know that my mum was to give me a few lessons of her own, by bringing a whole new dimension to our GAPS introduction – she was to be our secret weapon!

We have another son, Thomas, a typically developing child who is aged two and was also going on the diet, just because it was easier to have them both doing it.  Because James adores Yaya (my mum) as much as she adores him, he insisted she was to be the one to feed him, so I would concentrate on Thomas and mum on James.

What a nightmare!  They both refused to eat the first day.  Second day Tom ate but not James.  Third day James began to have a little teaspoon of broth at a time, with the promise of a tiny bit of coconut oil with Manuka honey for a reward.

By this time they were both starving.  They were like druggies on withdrawal, whining and crying all day, pining for all the foods they could no longer have, searching the now empty pantry and fridge for anything and being utterly miserable that first week.  It was excruciating.  But as the days passed, Yaya wooed James into eating.  I watched her in amazement out of the corner of my eye while feeding Tom, who was nowhere near as difficult to handle.  She used the art of distraction skilfully.  She would hold the spoon before his mouth while simultaneously talking calmly yet enthusiastically.  She told him stories and tales of long ago and of the present, of what James did when he was younger and of incidents from her own childhood, she told fairytales and made up stuff when she ran out of things to say.  She just kept talking.

All the while she kept her voice gentle but enthusiastic, with highs and lows in just the right places to emphasise this and that.  It wasn’t just a big tree in the story, it was a biiiiiig tree and her voice rose just in the right place and her arm would fly upwards to show how big the tree really was.  And James’ eyes would open wide and his eyebrows would rise right up almost as big as the tree itself, as he became immersed in her tale, so that it was the most natural thing in the world for him to open his mouth and eat the broth and then eventually, the soup.

As the food went into his starving and mal-nourished body, the healing began, until by the beginning of the second week, he and his brother were eating full bowls of soup every two hours and still being hungry in between.  Fussy eater?  Where?  Not in our house anymore!

What a transformation!  It was simply amazing.  My mum fed and fed and fed – and then no more.  By the fourth week of introduction, for the first time ever in his whole life, James was so enthusiastic about his food that he wanted to feed himself.

Now, as we enter week six, he eats on his own and just about anything I put before him.  There are definitely things he prefers above others and he doesn’t necessarily like everything, but we do manage now to convince him to eat just about anything, with not too much fuss.  He devours this beautiful, nutritious, life-giving and life-altering food.  I tell everyone now that my boys eat like kings.  Organic everything and heaps of it.

It beyond amazed me when they wanted to eat the sauerkraut!  By week five, they didn’t need the juice anymore – they began to just have the kraut with every main meal.  They drink that fermented Cod Liver Oil as if it was a spoon of syrup, just on its own, no problem.  Same with the Eye Q.  They devour the Biokult straight off the spoon.  They eat veggies, avocado, liver…  Before, James gagged when I put an egg anywhere near him.  Now I have a hard time stopping him at four a day.  Huge bowls of soup, pancakes, veggies, meat, chicken – fermented fish!

And what an adventure when I introduce a new food – oh the excitement, the desire to help prepare it, the dragging of the kitchen chairs over to the sink, the squabbles over who will peel this vegetable or chop up the other, the agony of waiting for it to cook in the oven and oh my gosh, please don’t tell them they have to wait for it to cool down when it comes out!

I was just reading this quarter’s edition of my Autism magazine and there was an article outlining the research they were doing on fussy eating and how it affected kids on the spectrum and what could be done.  I wanted to laugh.  I wanted to write to them and tell them to just put an ad for GAPS in their magazine and forget the research and the surveys.

And what effect has all this wonderful nutrition had on James?  It has been quite miraculous, and I believe the success has been due to the advice Linda gave us, that we should try to get as much of this food as possible into James – the more he ate the quicker he would heal.

Before we started GAPS, my James had many issues.  I wrote them all down before we began the diet and there were twenty five that I could think of.  They were all typical symptoms that an autistic child would have.  We are now entering week six of GAPS and are in stage three of the introduction and I have crossed seven symptoms off my list.

These are:  obsession with the washing machine, obsession with electrical cords and power-boards, obsessed with playing at the sinks and with the pump soap, very picky eater, no interest in toys, walks with his chest sticking out and his hands extended up at shoulder level, and uninterested in fine motor work.

We first began to notice a difference at about week three when James started asking to play with play dough – something he was never interested in before.  When we gave it to him, he actually played with it and attempted to make things with it, naming them and telling us about them, where before he just held the play dough in his hands and stared ahead, not knowing what to do with it.

Then he started asking to do drawing and painting and cutting with the scissors, whereas before, he would just hold a pen or a pair of scissors and not know what to do.

All the while, as he was doing these new activities, we noticed he had not been near the washing machine, a power cord or the sink in a long while.  One day, the washing machine was on and he walked right past it and into the toy room and started playing with the toy drum, like it is supposed to be played with.  Usually you couldn’t drag him away from the washing machine.  It was like a veil had been lifted from his eyes and he all of a sudden discovered, hey, there are toys in this house!  It was like he just woke up.

I now often find little towers of blocks around the house that he has built.  I might walk into a room and he will be flicking through a book.  The other day, he actually rode on his scooter.  And oh, the icing on the cake, he has been playing with his brother, Tom.  He didn’t do any of these things before.

I cried for James before – tears of such sadness for my boy, because a darkness was overshadowing his future.  Now, barely a day goes by when I still don’t cry, but these tears are of such intense gratitude.  I am so grateful, firstly and foremost to God, because the knowledge of this diet came to us shortly after heartfelt prayer for help.  I am so grateful to Him for placing everything we need to heal, within the bodies of the creatures of this earth and the plants that grow upon it.  And I am sorry on behalf of humanity that we have turned away from Him and chosen artificial means with which to nourish ourselves.

I am secondly, so grateful to Dr Natasha, for rediscovering this most valuable diet and being so generous as to share it with the world.  I am grateful to Linda, who has held my hand professionally and been there to answer my myriad of questions.  I do believe that our progress would have been slower without her.

I am eternally grateful to my mum – the super Greek grandmother, a natural born and gifted feeder and lover of children, from whom I have learned much, and my dad, Papou, who spent endless hours playing with my boys so I could wash ever growing mounds of dishes and attempt to tidy an increasingly messy house.

Finally, I am ever grateful to my husband John, who passed away seven months before we began GAPS.  He resides in my heart now, and I often remind him of the tears of grief he cried for James before he died.  I ask him never to forget us before the throne of God and I can feel his prayers for us from heaven mightily.

We sure do have a long way to go and James still has many issues to overcome, which shows that there is still much healing needed.  But this is such a ray of hope for us, this wonderful progress in this short time.  I now have hope that he may have an opportunity to live as close as possible to a ‘normal’ life as can be, with friends and meaningful relationships and work.

I would like to encourage all grandparents and friends of parents with autistic children who have embarked upon the GAPS journey.  Please help these parents – they will surely need it, for this will probably be one of the most difficult things they will ever do in their lives.  Please be there for them in any way you can.  And then you will have the most wonderful reward for your generosity – you will have the privilege of personally witnessing the miraculous events which will surely unfold, right before your very eyes.  For even though the journey is difficult, it is undoubtedly, most worthwhile.

Anna Breheney

GAPS Protocol Changed Our Life

Dear Linda,

Last night I read the story you wrote about your son and what you went through. It is incredible to me now, particularly having read your story, how many others have been and are currently going through what we are going through. Every symptom of your sons was and is, identical to my son. The sleeping issues that started at about 6 weeks of age that got worse by the day, the inconsolable screaming, the touching from us that tipped him over the edge…everything.

Reading your story completely overwhelmed me and to be honest, I struggled to get through it. I felt like I was reading about my own little boy. It’s the same for us now too…the GAPS Protocol that we really just stumbled across has changed our life. As with you, our kitchen has so much more meaning now. We are both cooking like you wouldn’t believe and little Jake who only 5 weeks ago would eat almost nothing we gave him, is eating everything we give him and more. We simply cannot cook quick enough!

It has changed our life and his progress is incredible. He is so much calmer, his tantrums and meltdowns have gone from what was 2 or 3 a day to maybe 1 per week. He is engaging in eye contact and starting to listen to answers, asking questions and more. The dark marks around his eyes have gone and in one eye he had what appeared to be a kind of water mark, that to has gone. Even a drop of water on his finger that was sending him reeling is a thing of the past. He is playing in a little childrens pool and loves being squirted with the hose.

On Wednesday, he starts with a psychologist who specialises with Autistic children, for speech and behaviour therapy so I am really hoping that this will bring about the changes that will make to biggest difference to him socially.  The affectionate little boy who we feared was gone is very much on his way back to us and we are loving every minute of it.  I know I have said it before but, thank you so much for your ongoing support, guidance and advice for without it, I don’t know what state I or my wife, or my son for that matter would be in.

Regards

Andrew

Linda Helped me Understand

“I was initially daunted when I read the Gaps book by Dr N. Campbell-McBride and could not see how I could implement so many aspects of the introductory diet on my own so I was relieved when I learnt that Linda offered a consultancy service to support and guide me through the process.

I was so pleased to get a quick response from her when I emailed and found that she was never far away when I sent an S.O.S as I was preparing and working through the protocol. Linda answered any question that was asked of her and always researched anything that was new to her, being prompt with her reply.

Linda helped me understand the reasoning behind the diet at times when I felt I could cut corners that just seemed too hard.  Linda really helped me sustain my motivation and cheered me along at every stage I was able to conquer, she really empathised with  how tough it was at times as she herself as a mother had traveled this road herself.

I found Linda  a warm and supportive mentor who was happy to share ideas and personal experiences of her own to make things easier. If you are doing the gaps protocol, I recommend you  invest in all she has to offer which is a lot for the small charge and all the hard work she puts in to getting you across the line.”

Rosie - Victoria, Australia

I am truly thankful

Another day is over, my boys are asleep in their beds.  And as often happens to us all, it is a time to think of the day we have just had, and what a day.

Tonight l sat down to a wonderful dinner with my family. We started with our drinks of chicken broth with sauerkraut juice and a delicious broccoli soup followed by Lamb stew with pureed cauliflower with kale and sauerkraut, always finishing with the perennial favourite – yoghurt.

The food in itself is astounding but what is more amazing and what brings me to tears, is tonight l had a conversation with my 4 year old son. This is my boy who 2 months ago, before we started this diet could only speak about 3 words at a time and l struggled to understand what it was he was trying to say. l often found myself wondering if l would ever know his voice.Yet here l am only two months on with a son who has emerged from behind his cloud; happy, able to moderate his behaviour and talking. l just cannot express how amazing this is.

However the start was not so easy. We came to the diet with two sons thought to be autistic, my eldest who is 6 with high functioning asperger’s syndrome and my youngest who is 4 with autism with severe speech delay.

We had already been on the specific carbohydrate diet for close to 2 years. Having initial success with my eldest son then alot of regression. We started to lose hope until by chance l stumbled upon the gaps Australia website and thought this is what l needed, someone to help me re-evaluate and help me through this often confusing journey. So we began with the high hopes and commitment of desperate people , only to have that completely shattered by day 2. Here l was with my youngest son refusing everything and not even able to keep water down. My eldest fairing only slightly better was struggling with 3 mouthfuls of broth.Day 3 saw my youngest able to at least have a few sips of water but still refusing anything else .l watched as both my boys were slowly fading away. l was trying every incentive l could think of stickers, books, games, even their favourite toys but nothing was working .There were alot of tears and tantrums – screaming , hitting , scratching and biting. l was being worn down.

Day 5 and l had my babies unable to walk unassisted, it became a real mental challenge, l was starting to lose hope. Then on day 6 in absolute desperation l said “if you have a sip of broth you can have some yoghurt “, what a transformation. So 3 spoonfuls later a tablespoon of yoghurt as a reward – a breakthrough, l could breath again. From this moment on l continued to slowly increase their broth intake at every sitting. We moved onto soup shortly after and nothing now seemed to be a hurdle as they gobbled everything up knowing that as their reward they could have yoghurt. This is still the case today.

l realise yoghurt may not be everyones answer or even appropriate for them but it was our key. Once we found what would motivate my boys, the diet fell into place. This is what l would stress. l know the start is a rollercoaster ride, but keep searching for that something that will motivate them , it is there just keep looking. Do not give up, it is worth every tear and heartache at the start. By implementing the gaps diet in our lives, we have been given the children our sons are meant to be and l am truly thankful.

Tiff Davis