Introduction to the GAPS Diet (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) for Acne

You may have heard me mention here and there that I am going to be starting the GAPS diet (the Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet). In fact, I just started it. Yesterday.

So now is the time, folks, when I get to tell you all about what this is, why I’m doing it, and what this means for the oh-so-wonderful world of battling acne.

I’m going to start from the very beginning, so this may be long winded, but I want to so that you can understand exactly how I feel about this diet (well, “healing protocol” is more accurate, I’d say) – which is strongly!

The GAPS in a Very Small Nutshell

So… what is it?

It’s a system designed to completely and permanently heal the gut, and therefore the brain (thus the “psychology” in the name – ala – depression, anxiety, ADD, autism, schizophrenia etc), the immune system, allergies, food sensitivities, and everything else that might be wrong with you – including ACNE (or any other skin problems). The food you eat on the system is very Weston A Price meets Paleo, and there’s a really big emphasis on bone broths and fermented foods/probiotics for healing.

“All Diseases Begin in the Gut” said Hippocrotes, the father of modern health (he was some ancient greek physician).

Well, he was right, and skin problems in particular almost always have their roots in gut problems, whether you have digestive symptoms or not (allegedly 30% of people with a leaky gut don’t have digestive symptoms, yet improve greatly on a digestive healing program. Source: Chris Kresser). I believe that even if stress is your biggest acne culprit, it’s because stress harms the digestive system and its digestive flora.

Think of it this way – your digestive system is like the roots of a tree. If the roots of a tree are not healthy, the tree isn’t either. That sounds reasonable right? So if the digestive system isn’t functioning right, every single bodily function that comes after it also won’t be functioning right. It really is the “root” of the problem.

And it’s not so hard to believe that our digestive systems are pretty messed up these days. We all eat a lot of crap food, and take a lot of antibiotics, birth control pills, drink chlorinated water, and are stressed out all the time.

A Brief Recap of How Your Digestive System Works, or Doesn’t Work

Basically, to cut this short – you need three things for a healthy digestive system: 

  1. Enough stomach acid to break down proteins, absorb minerals, and alert the rest of your digestive system to wake up and start doing its job. Apparently more than 40% of acne victims do not have enough stomach acid (source: Chris Kresser).
  2. Appropriate gut flora. You have a lot of bacteria residing in there, some good, some bad, but you definitely want the good guys to be the most prevalant. The bad guys really mess things up for you, and the good guys really, really help you out with absorbing the much needed nutrients in your food and keeping inflammation low.
  3. An intact gut wall. In some circumstances (like if your gut flora is messed up), your gut wall can get so irritated that it opens up and starts letting things into your bloodstream that it shouldn’t, like undigested food, bad bacteria, and all sorts of toxins. Your body then reacts to these things in whichever way it is predisposed to. In other worlds, gut problems can manifest themselves into a gazillion different diseases and health problems, and one that is particularly linked to this exact gut pathology is skin problems.

Is GAPS the Cure for Acne?

Now, I’ve known for quite some time that the root of acne, and a lot of other problems, begin with an unhealthy digestive system. The problem is, I have never quite known what the very BEST way to completely heal the digestive system for good was. I didn’t know if it even existed. I had some tricks up my sleeve for digestive healing, sure, but what combination of these tricks worked the best? Were they surefire? Were they an all round, full blown cure?

And another thing I didn’t know was that even if all my techniques were right, exactly how long does it actually take to fully heal the gut?

In my experience, for some people, just eating healthier seems to do the trick. Other people will probably see lots of improvement in their health from a whole foods diet, but need to actually specifically target the gut in order to truly come into the most outstanding health possible for them.

These are the people that no matter what they do, no matter which diet they’re on, and how good they are with it, they still have lingering problems – whether it’s acne or otherwise. I know I am one of those people (in my case, it’s mild acne, mild digestive issues, and mild anxiety), and I know that healing my gut is what I need.

In fact, I have seen astounding results in myself and others just from targeting only one area of a faulty digestive: the gut flora, and attempting to eradicate a certain type of harmful pathogen in the gut called candida. I’ve seen lasting results in my skin from doing short three week candida cleanses.

But I can’t say that the candida cleanse has ever cured me of acne long term even if I was eating a healthy diet afterwards, and I expected that every half a year or so, I may need to repeat the process to keep everything in check. A small price to pay, I would say for something that kept acne in check effectively without having to be overly perfect and strict with my diet for 10 1/2 months of the year! Essentially, I consider the candida cleanse an extremely effective tool in managing acne, but not necessarily curing acne.

In fact, I’ve never found anything that I would have really considered to be a true cure for acne. A true cure, to me, implies that you could essentially eat and live however slovenly you chose and your problem would never come back.

So, in essence, I suppose even the GAPS diet wouldn’t be a true cure, but I’d say it’s the closest thing I have ever come across, because after you completed the GAPS program and completely healed your entire digestive system, you essentially would be able to enjoy the entire full range of healthy whole foods (even gluten! even dairy!), and also enjoy some junk, or get stressed out sometimes without it having ANY effect on you. No acne, no breakouts, no moodiness, no anxiety, no anything.

In other words, you’d be able to get away with a lot of stuff before any breakouts or other unpleasantries would ever rear their heads. And maybe they never ever would again if you made a point to never take antibiotics again, birth control pills, and keep a relatively healthy diet most of the time.

If that doesn’t sound that great to you (ie, you want to be able to live as slovenly as you wish all the time), it should, because so many acne victims and others are reacting to HEALTHY foods. It’s not just the junk… people have food sensitivities up the ying yang, and many don’t even know they’re going on. I KNOW I have some food sensitivities and I have no clue what they are. You end up with symptoms, but it’s too hard to pinpoint them to a certain food. Even if you know, how fun is it to just avoid these foods for the rest of your life?

Getting tested for them and avoiding your allergens is a fantastic short term solution for acne. I have also had fantastic success with this approach, and I’d actually recommend it. This is essentially how I managed to put myself over the edge into clear skin when I was trying to get rid of my bad acne and I’ve managed to maintain *almost* clear skin ever since. Avoiding your food allergens does work.

But, again, this is not a cure because unfortunately, food sensitivities can change after a while… you take out a few things, then you may begin reacting to others. The root of the problem is still not being fully addressed in order to keep acne and all problems away completely and permanently. (And again – how much does avoiding certain foods suck?)

I Have Some Good News and Some Bad News

So, obviously the good news is that I am highly optimistic about the potential of the GAPS diet to actually cure your acne problem (watch as the FDA throws me in jail for saying that).

The bad news is that the GAPS diet and protocol is kinda hardcore, and lengthy, and takes serious commitment (without cheating!). It’s a lot of work, and depending on your situation, preparing for and doing the diet properly can also be relatively expensive. I’ll be honest, even I’m freaked out about it.

Yes… so here is the rain for your parade: it could take up to TWO years to fully seal and heal your digestive system to the point where you could actually consider yourself “cured”. It might not take that long, depending on how messed up your gut is. But it very well might.

To be honest, I was really disappointed to hear that that’s how long it truly takes. But… we spend a long, long time beating it down, I guess two years in the scheme of things isn’t that long. But in reality, it feels like a looong asss time.

However, I’d like to point out here that it’s not like you wouldn’t see any healing from following it loosely, or only doing the introduction diet (which is the most hardcore part of it, and I’ll talk all about that later). I mean, hey, if a three week candida cleanse can get rid of my acne and keep it away for a good while, I believe that doing only part of the GAPS would too. But in that case, I would consider it still another “acne management” tool and not a true cure.

Tune in Next Time for More Deets….

And now that I’ve piqued your interest, I’m going to cut it off there for today. On Monday, I will give you all the specifics about what this whole thing entails, and Wednesday will probably bring you my thoughts and deep, emotional, soul baring feels about how I feel about actually doing this diet. (I’ll give a hint: I’m scared!!)

You can totally be happy, healthy and acne free!

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  1. Bridget says

    This was a GREAT post, Trace! I feel like you were taking all of these thoughts right out of my head. 😉 I’ve been wanting to ask you something for a while but keep forgetting, but it seems to fit with this topic. I was on a pretty hardcore anti-Candida diet for about a year. NO cheating, pretty serious stuff. (I have’t looked into the GAPS diet yet but wonder how similar it may be to the diet I was on). During this time, I felt better but my acne remained. Not BAD, but it has never, ever cleared up. And that was after ONE YEAR of a candida “cleanse”. I recently visited yet another holistic doc and he immediately said, “just take Nystatin, it will completely get rid of the yeast (and essentially all of the problems associated with it).” He acted like I was crazy for not having done this before and would have saved me ALL the headache of following the strict diet and taking all of my anti-fungals, probiotics, etc. Long story short, I never filled the prescription and am not going to, as I refuse to take any sort of drug, and I feel like something that seems too good to be true, most definitely is. My question is, have you ever heard of Nystatin or other drugs like it? And if they’re so “safe” and “easy”, (as he claimed) why don’t we all just take these miracle pills and be done with our candida problems forever? (being sarcastic but that’s what he acted like) Keep in mind, this was a holistic doc!??? Just wondering what you think!….sorry this is so long. 😉

    • Tracy says

      Hi Bridget,
      Well, I had heard of Nystatin, but I have never deeply researched it. So anyway, now that you’ve mentioned it, I’ve done some looking around and it appears like it’s not actually too bad as far as prescription drugs go… then again, I haven’t looked into it all that thoroughly, so I don’t know if there are any side effects, or if it’s not what it seems…. but from my understanding, it’s just a powerful anti-fungal (which means that it still kind of needs to be accompanied by an anti candida diet, and that yeast can also become resistant to it like other antifungals). It sounds like it does work very well for some people though. Get that – some people. I think this ties into this post too in that candida is only one species of pathogenic yeast/bacteria in the gut (one that particularly likes sugar), and the candida diet and protocol specifically targets candida quite effectively. But many people have different overgrowths of different strains of pathogens, or candida + that… or whatever.

      I think this is where the candida diet is limited, because almost everyone has gut imbalances, but I’ve come to realize that perhaps not everyone has candida as their main one, although it is quite common which is why the candida protocol works very well for many people. I guess if it is mainly candida as your problem, nystatin might work really well for you. What I like about GAPS is that it works to balance all of them, as well as the gut wall at the same time. And apparently, according to GAPS, you can do this even with simple sugars in your diet (you can have fruit, honey, and sugary veg like beets and squash and carrots), although I think that if you have a bad candida problem in particular, then you might have to keep these to a minimum in the beginning, which if you are doing the introduction GAPS diet, you are anyway.

      Okay, that was a ramble. Basically, I don’t know if Nystatin is a miracle or not. It sounds like it might be for some, but I have no experience with it.

      • Sampson says

        Antifungals work different than antibiotics. There isn’t really something like “antifungal resistance” because antifungals work differently than antibiotics.

        • Tracy says

          But when you’re doing a candida protocol, for example, they always say you need to rotate your antifungals or the yeast can become resist?

          • Sampson says

            Oh yeah, I definitely did hear that about rotating antifungals. I assume that would be referring to natural antifungals maybe? I think synthetic antifungal compounds work a bit differently than natural antifungal compounds like those in grapeseed extract or coconut oil or something. Who knows.

          • Sampson says

            Did some more research yesterday and apparently the most likely type of antifungal which CAN cause “antifungal resistance” are azoles (both naturally-occurring azoles and synthetic) such as Fluconazole. But there’s not much else evidence to show that things like Natamycin/mold inhibitors found in some commercial foods cause antifungal resistance.

            Of course, candida is one of the species which can become resistant to azole-based antifungals. Natural healing prevails!

      • Lily says

        Hi guys,

        Just a reminder that there is a very potent natural antifungal – garlic! I’ve eaten 2 raw cloves for the past 2-3 days and, today, I just noticed while brushing my teeth that the candida on my tongue was completely gone! I wasn’t even trying to get rid of candida, I was eating garlic to help with this throat infection I had and boost my immunity a bit. I think that eating even as little as 2 raw cloves a day for a while could be very effective against candida, plus it has other health benefits as well. Garlic breath is a big downside to eating raw garlic though… I suppose cooked garlic does the trick too, though I haven’t tried it myself.

  2. Nathan says

    This is VERY interesting.

    I’ve recently fallen off the wagon, and I’ve started to break out again. More than that, I’ve had quite sever under eye dark circles for at least 2 years and nothing seems to shift them. My doctor wouldn’t even give me a blood or urine test to check if anything was wrong, but then again is is a very strong believer that diet has nothing to do with any skin condition and he references a 15 year old study.

    I’m currently researching the primal/paleo diet and have a few cookbooks that are extremely good and I’ve actually been following it fairly well.

    I’m pleased that you wrote it could take two years – I’ve previously looked at the GAPS diet and when I saw that, I just closed down the page – it seems daunting but that could be diminished by simply seeing which foods are not allowed. (For me cacao would be great – Kale chips!!!!)

    I’m very much looking forward to your upcoming posts. I know you would have researched it thoroughly and sifted through all the ins and outs of it all. Do you plan on putting a program together within the next few months or are you wanting to go through it first? (I can’t remember how long the first phase is)

    Thank you so much for this Tracy, your efforts really do make a difference in the health sphere and I put complete trust in you. (This is not meant to sound heavy on you!)


    • Tracy says

      Hi Nathan,
      Yeah, to be honest, when I first heard about it and I saw the two years, I also shut down the page. Well, not shut it down… I read about it. And I was very intrigued. VERY intrigued. But, I was like….. yeah…. no way. I can’t do that. Not any time soon. Maybe in the far flung future.

      But then I just couldn’t stop thinking about it, because this protocol has kind of like….. tied everything that I’ve learned up until this point together. It was like a complete ‘this is it’, this is what I’ve been searching for my whole acne fighting/health promoting life. AHA! Kind of a moment. I’ll write about all that next week.

      Anyway…. yeah. The idea was all too much to handle at first, but then I began warming up the idea after thinking about it enough… and now I’m really excited to do it. But scared too. Hopefully it’ll all be worth it.

      As for a program… hey, if it’s all it’s cracked up to be, I feel like I kind of HAVE to make a program. Obviously I only want to share the best protocol out there. And since i know most people would not be willing to commit to two years, I still think the intro diet would be an excellent group thing to do (which for most people probably takes around a month, although you go at your own pace, based on what your gut tells you… at least that’s what I’m aiming for) But anyway… I’m not doing the program yet, I want to go through at least the intro part first. I don’t want to lead a program that I haven’t experienced yet. I am going to be keeping very detailed notes though so hopefully it’ll come together.

      • Nathan says

        You’re right, it is VERY exciting and it could be that ‘final straw’ for dealing with a whole host of health problems.

        I read up a little bit on the intro diet last night and it doesn’t seem too harsh… I mean, it is very much pale meets WAPF diet like you said… making broths seems to be key to this part of the diet. (and I found cacao can be added too!)

        Just thinking about it and my journey with the candida cleanse, I think that the intro diet could be very beneficial, even if it’s just for a few months which I think I could handle. (though I don’t know every detail to commit to that!) The GAPS website even mentions that the intro diet is still going to be good for your health anyway…

        Good luck with it, I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful experience.

  3. Stella says

    What I really like about your posts is that you never seem to mindlessly praise some diet/regimen as the new one and only cure for acne! You share the pro’s and con’s and your hopes and concerns and this a refreshing approach because I often read blog posts where diet “xy” , e.g. primal/paleo, is shown as t h e solution for skin problems and how dumb you are if you don’t follow this or that approach. I think everybody is different and every skin is different and while I def. believe that the gut health is essential for skin health, there is not just one solution.
    I’m a vegetarian since I was 10 and I don’t think my digestive is that screwed up that I’d seriously consider following this intense GAPS diet and adding bone broth/meat to my diet again. However, somewhere along the way I felt like it was time to start eating fish again, some vegetarians would call me a hyprocrite I guess, but I felt like it was the right thing to do and I’m aware and serious about what fish I eat, where it’s from etc.
    I’m really curious how this GAPS thing works for you. Looking forward to new posts!

    • Tracy says

      Hi Stella!
      Yes it’s so true… everyone is very different, and people do well on different types of diets, no doubt about that. As someone who gives advice, I WISH it was one size fits all, but it’s not. It’s so damn complicated. Even with this GAPS protocol, which I do believe in very strongly as one of the best things out there, has its pit falls. No it doesn’t work for absolutely everyone, and people do run into issues. One thing in particular is that while GAPS isn’t necessarily low carb, many people accidentally go too low carb on it and end up feel tired and fatigued after a while. Yet, the paleo low carber folks would have you believe like if you don’t eat low carb, you’re screwed. Yet clearly that doesn’t work for some people.

      And the vegetarian thing… some people naturally need more meat than others. Others do fantastic on a vegetarian diet. And in fact, on the full GAPS diet, it’s my understanding that you can eat very little meat (although bone broths are still quite necessary throughout, so I guess that’s not all that vegetarian), if you eat lots of eggs, butter, and fermented dairy. The introduction part of the diet though, you really do need to be eating meat. (I’ll talk about the intro/full diet and what it all entails on Monday)

  4. says

    Yea!! You took the plunge! The intro. goes by rather quickly so don’t worry too much about it. Before you know it, you’ll be able to bake your own bread and add in fresh pressed veggie juices and pancakes! One part that I skipped over was the fermented fish. The idea of leaving fish out just freaks me out (as I have made myself sick from healthy foods before, I’m a bit hesitant). When you get to that part (stage 3), let me know how you do it! I’m excited to see your progress with GAPS! Hopefully, I’ll be able to send you some progress pics of my own soon. :)

    • Tracy says

      Hey Kalyn!
      Well, I’m on day two, and I must say it’s been pretty easy so far! The food has been quite delish, although I have been spending a fair deal of time in the kitchen trying to keep up with all the broth, that’s for sure. No real die off symptoms that I can tell so far.

      As for the fermented fish… yeah, I wasn’t really planning to actually ferment any fish (although you never know what could happen! I just might!). My fermented cod liver oil is going to be my fermented fish

  5. says

    Good luck on the GAPS DIET Tracy.

    The piece of advice I would like to share is do not get stressed out over it.

    If you cannot follow the diet perfectly, don’t worry, if you cannot afford certain foods, don’t worry.

    The reason I say this is because I went way to far with my RAW FOOD DIET and I am now paying for it.

    Yes my skin improved, but I stopped enjoying food and felt very limited in what I could eat etc, even to this day.

    Anyway I know you know this Tracy and I am certain you will come out with some good results.

    Really looking forward to the posts that are coming up on this.

    One Question.

    I have a guest post on skin care regime which I think you may like. Could I send it to you to look at?

    Sorry for asking here but I was not sure which email address was the appropriate one.


    • Tracy says

      Hi Bobby!

      I think for most people in most situations (especially really desperate ones), that’s extremely good advice. And I think that someone coming from the SAD diet straight into GAPS would have a pretty rough time and could easily get way too stressed.

      I think for me though, I’m ready for this. Plus, I feel it’s very different than going straight into a completely raw diet. This food is very home cooked goodness, like… very, VERY nourishing and satisfying and comforting, and just… good. The full GAPS is basically how I’ve been eating and cooking for quite some time now, so in reality, I’m not worried at all about doing the actual diet itself or sticking to it 95% of the time.

      But it’s the commitment that scares me, that 5% where other people are involved with what I eat… the awkwardness of having to stay on it so closely when it comes to… being around other people. Going out for dinner, events, camping, traveling, whatever.

      I definitely don’t want to have to be so strict about it, but I think it’s a bit different in this case because I’m doing this so it will pay off later. It’s a temporary diet so that afterwards, I CAN eat all the healthy foods I want without it being a problem – grains, cooked foods, dairy whatever… unlike the raw food or paleo or etc diet where it’s implied that you would stay on it for life. In this case, it’s important to stay strict for a reason, otherwise it just prolongs the healing time.

      Anyway… I’m personally ready for this and in a fairly good time and place in my life to do it… the commitment still scares me, but I feel it will be worth it, and I’m not really doing it out of a place of sheer desperation and fear, which is when I think things turn bad. That’s when the stress is too much and can definitely backfire on you… like I mentioned stress has a very negative effect on the digestive system too!

      Anyway, yes, send your guest post to :)

  6. says

    From my experience, cheating on the GAPS diet set me back A LOT! I guess your body gets used to introducing foods very slowly and gradually in a specific order starting with the easiest to digest foods. After my first 2 weeks, the die off symptoms were strong and I just gave in and ate cookies and ice cream. The next day, my stomach and skin paid for it big time! These things in moderation usually wouldn’t hurt me but being in the middle of this huge healing process, it really did a number on me. The acne that was healing came back as big painful cystic acne.

    Sooo then I started over which is never fun. After 2 weeks of cooking non stop and pretty much living in the kitchen, it was sad to see it go to waste!

    I’m at the end of week two again and my acne is just now starting to fade slowly again. Most of my friends know that I’m doing this to heal myself so they will even put cookies away when I’m over which is really cool of them. I’ve gotten used to the diet now, which like Tracy said is really delicious and comforting. I’ll be eating my sauerkraut and stew for this week’s bbq and am confident that I can say no to all of the junk food that will be there! :)

    • says

      Hey Kalyn

      I wasn’t so much trying to say cheat on the diet, but when I went one the raw diet I had no money to really support it. I would only eat raw organic food, and if there was none available, o’r no money to buy it, I would eat nothing.

      The advice was really for people who go to extreme measures like I did without thinking things through correctly.

      Anyway It’s great that you are starting to see results on the GAPS diet :)

      It will be interesting seeing your results compared to Tracy’s since your a few weeks ahead, please keep us all updated.

      Enjoy the BBQ, I am sure with your tasty food you will be able to avoid the other food.



    • Tracy says

      Hey Kalyn, that’s really interesting…. I hear that a lot, that you get acutely sensitive to things when you cheat while you’re healing on this diet. Which is kinda cool, I guess, as you really learn to listen to your body. (by the way, are you finding it easy to tell when to move on in stages, and add foods in – and when you do, are you able to tell easily if your body is liking it or if you’re not ready for it?)

      • says

        I moved onto Stage 3 today with scrambled eggs. After eating them, I felt nauseous so I’m going to cut them out for a while. Although it’s the same food, I didn’t have any problem with the raw egg yolk and soft boiled eggs, so I’ll go back to those. Adding soft avocado to the soups was okay in a small amount. It filled me up really quick and I was full after half a bowl of soup with a Tbs. of avocado.

        I think I will stay on stage 2 for a bit longer and move into stage 3 slowly. After I eat (anything) my stomach produces a lot of gas, which on the GAPS FAQ’s page said that you shouldn’t have and if you do have, to go back to stage 2 and not progress forward until it goes away. Still trying to figure out what’s causing that.

        So to answer your question, the signs I’ve noticed to not move forward or to hold off on a certain food is if it produces gas or makes me nauseous. I’m giving the food sensitivity a try with a few items: garlic and eggs. Also, I’ve read that your digestion should be best in the intro. stages, no stomach pains, gas, constipation etc. and I don’t feel like I’m quite there. So that’s my cue to just chill and go back to the basics for a bit.

  7. Sampson says

    Just as a word of caution – the GAPS Diet doesn’t actually advertise itself as a cure for any skin disorder, just for psychological disorders and everything associated with them.

    But Dr. Campbell-McBride is working on her second book which is more about physical symptoms than mental disorders. I think I’ll wait for that one before embarking on a GAPS type diet, because the advice in it could differ than in her first book.

    • Tracy says

      Yes, it’s true – there isn’t anything specifically about acne in the GAPs book, but I am putting that connection together because I know how much gut problems affect the skin. And they do actually mention healing eczema quite a few times (plus lots of folks on the internet describing it healing eczema, acne, and all kinds of everything).

      As for the “Gut and Physiology” book about other problems apart from behavioural/autism/mental stuff… I wish that was out already, because I definitely would have read that one instead. Either way, I still think there will be very effective healing from the given protocol. And I’m way too impatient to wait haha.

  8. f. says

    Thank you for this great an helpful post, Tracy. In Germany there’s a big anti-acne-forum online and I just posted your link there, I hope that is okay fo you. They are talking a lot about diet, candida, low carb etc. and for those who speak a good English, you’ll be so helpful. Thanks for everything!

  9. Martine says

    Thanks for the post Tracy! I’m planning on starting GAPS intro in a couple weeks, and this post really breaks it down in an easy to understand way and will hopefully make it easier to explain to the people close to me why I have to be so restrictive (no cheating sounds like a death sentence to so many of them, and some days, to me too). But I’m so hopeful it will work or at least help a lot if I stick to it because the premises behind it seem to reflect my health history… so many antibiotics, and before I cleaned up my eating to focus on whole foods, typical GAPS symptoms too. Also, not gonna lie, I’m kind of excited for the prospect of potentially not having to fear gluten as much when I’m done, hehe. Not that I’ll ever be eating wheat every meal like old times, but not having to be “that kid” as much when I stay with people (nobody gets the concept that gluten makes me crazy depressed, nobody!)… that would be nice.

    But several months to a couple years of really being “that kid” is going to be super hard.

    Good luck to you though, and I’m super excited to see how it goes for you!

  10. Nathan says

    Garlic is great! I make a ‘hollandaise’ sauce out of the following ingredients, blended and served with eggs.:

    half an avocado
    lime juice
    water or olive oil to help blending
    2 garlic cloves

    It’s really tasty, but yes, you do get garlic breath! It’s super easy to get raw garlic into your diet though.

  11. Laura says

    Good luck with GAPS Tracy! I’m really excited to see how you find it as I’ve been gearing up to do myself too. I still need to invest in a few things (crock-pots, jars, lunchboxes etc) so I won’t be trying this for some time, but it’s really great to learn about others’ experiences. Great post!

    • Tracy says

      Thanks Laura! Yeah when I speak about the diet being kind of expensive, it’s mostly just all the stuff you need to gather if you don’t have it already – crockpot, thermos, jars, immersion blender… what have you.

  12. John D. says

    Is something that takes this long and requires such a strict set of rules really a legitimate solution? You sell on this very site a solution that claims to grant “Clear skin and happiness for life!” so why would someone want to subject themselves to this rigorous diet?

    • Tracy says

      Hi John,
      Of course I realize that this is a HUGE undertaking, and by no means does anyone have to do it, and I don’t even expect that most would – I guess I wasn’t clear enough about that, as I will be writing about my reasons for wanting to do this this coming week. The majority of people can get rid of and control their acne by other means than this. I mean, you can see what my skin used to look like and what it looks like now. Night and day. And I did that and maintained it that way long before I had ever heard of the GAPS diet.

      However, I do still struggle with mild acne, and some digestive issues that bother me sometimes. They aren’t severe, and if I didn’t have personal reasons for wanting to do this, then I wouldn’t. My symptoms are not debilitating. They don’t ruin my life by any means, and I could totally live with them.

      But the truth is that for some people out there, they change their diet, they do the digestive support stuff, they do everything they can, and they just need something else to be in radiant health, and it’s because their gut is just plain messed up (maybe due to years of antibiotics?). I feel like I’m one of those people to a small degree. This is the reality, everyone is different and there’s so many variables. I do the very best to help people get clear without having to do something as strict and long as this, and to account for those variables. If I can’t, maybe this is the solution for them, and everyone is individual in how they feel about what is worth it and what isn’t, what’s doable and what isn’t. Maybe the GAPS diet would be worth it to them, so why not bring it to their attention.

      For me, I’ve studied health for so long, it’s a hobby and my career. It’s become almost like a game of chase of how I can overcome my last, small hurdles and have PERFECT health. Plus, I believe in this protocol, and I want to try it so that I can help others who may feel that this is an avenue they may like to take. I don’t mean it like it’s the ONLY way and you must do this – I know most don’t need to, and would never want to. That’s fine, it’s just an option for some people.

  13. Kitiara says

    I remember when you first mentioned this in a video, and I went and looked it up. And promptly curled into the fetal position when I saw how SRS BSNS it was… lol.

    But hey. It seems pretty powerful. Who knows, maybe when I move out this fall and start making my own decisions about food, I’ll give it a shot.

    • Tracy says

      I know. When I first heard about it, I was like ‘no way’. But I couldn’t get it off my mind.

      Like I said in the comment above… no one HAS to do this for any reason, I figured that for the majority of people, my experiences with it would just be interesting to know about.

  14. ThisWebsiteIsAScam says

    The owner of this website is required by law to inform you that a relationship exists between this website and the products or services it reviews, recommends or promotes.

    • Tracy says

      You’re right. I do make a couple cents when you buy something on amazon through my link. Oh dear me.

  15. Melissa says

    This is not specific to GAPS, but it has to do with leaky gut. What are your thoughts on bovine colostrum for acne? Like as a supplement. From what I’ve read it seems like it would be very beneficial considering it seals the gut and fights inflammation.

  16. Aurora says

    Hi Tracy, great article! I wanted to have some advice from you: I’m 16 and I’ve been suffering from bad acne since I was 11. Two years ago it was alright, I had only some pimples on my forehead, but 6 months ago I started to break out like crazy after suffering from chronic stress. Now I have huge cystic pimples on my cheeks that don’t seem to go away. However, I also have reaaaaally bad digestion, headaches and fatigue. Is the GAPS diet ideal for me?

    • says

      Hey Aurora, it might be, but I would also think about trying less extreme measures to help your gut before diving into GAPS… GAPS is a pretty big ordeal.. ultimately it is your choice though and I can’t say weather your digestion situation warrants it

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