Tag Archives: ADD

Edema? Eczema? A-fib? The One Pot Meal that Heals™

This is a story based on personal experience. It is not peer reviewed and has no footnotes for you. It is not academic (though I have plenty of stories of clients and students that have healed through food…). This is just a story of how a tremendously healing meal…one that is SO easy to make…so deeply nourishing…worked its magic in my own home. On symptoms we had NO IDEA it would clear.

The Gut and Psychology Syndrome™, aka, “GAPS” diet, is known mostly for its ability to heal symptoms of brain function that are connected to the relative health or damage of the gut. ADD, ADHD, Autism Spectrum, brain fog, dyslexia, dyspraxia, schizophrenia to name a few. I teach how to cook for the GAPS diet, and most of the people who attend or wish to work with me have those symptoms. I am used to the idea of eating to heal the gut, and subsequently, brain function. Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, author of the GAPS diet, has been saying for years (and I believe her) that all physical symptoms can be traced to the gut, a leaky gut, that is. She is currently writing the “Gut and Physiology Syndrome”…which says just that. But now, I got to see and experience first-hand, how the GAPS diet heals so many other things.

High blood sugar? Check.

High blood pressure? Check.

Atrial fibrillation? Check.

Arrhythmia? Check.

Severe Edema? Check.

Weight loss? Check.

Yep. All of the above symptoms back into normal range…or no longer symptoms, within just two months. These were chronic, entrenched symptoms, present for decades. And I didn’t even TRY to heal them.  No special diet, no “intake” done. It was merely the result of eating the way we eat in my home…organic whenever possible, no processed foods, no soda or soft drinks. And one other thing. We eat Meat Stock two or three times a week in my home. Yep. That’s it. Meat Stock.


meat stock photo

What IS “Meat Stock”? Meat Stock is what I call the “One Pot Meal that Heals™”… because that’s what it does. It heals. Meat Stock is the foundation of the GAPS diet, it is the food that provides the nutrients that heal a leaky gut…and then the symptoms of that leaky gut. Meat Stock is NOT just broth. It is NOT bone broth. It is faster to make, and more nutrient-dense than bone broth. Meat Stock is an entire MEAL…you eat the meat, you drink the stock that is made from the meat, and you eat the vegetables, (with liberal amounts of healthy traditional fats, like pastured butter, tallow, duck fat…and good, high mineral sea salt.) Meat Stock is made with any meat with a joint and connective tissue–chicken, turkey, duck, quail, beef, bison, lamb, pork, fish…It’s a one pot meal. Did I mention that it heals?

So what can Meat Stock heal?

Leaky gut and the symptoms that stem from it…everything mentioned above, including:

  • brain function  and nervous system disorders: ADD, ADHD, Autism Spectrum, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, SPD, OCD, depression, dyslexia, dyspraxia, brain fog…
  • digestive system disorders: IBS, Colitis, food allergies, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, SIBO, high blood sugar–hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia
  • skin disorders, most notably eczema…
  • autoimmune disorders (of which there are between 80-100 or more, depending on who you ask)
  • heart function disorders: arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation…
  • edema
  • asthma

If it could be as easy as changing your diet and eating a One Pot Meal that Heals™…aka, Meat Stock, wouldn’t you be interested? Even if it didn’t clear everything within two months, wouldn’t it be worth it? Imagine if you worked with someone to implement the GAPS diet over a period of six months –  two years, how much could be healed?!

For more information, including recipes…I wrote a book, Cooking Techniques for the Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet, Part I: Meat Stock and Bone Broth 

For more information about leaky gut-what it is and why you should heal it, see “What is a Leaky Gut, Anyway?

If you would like some guidance as you cook to heal your leaky gut and the symptoms that come from it, contact me.

Celtic Sea Salt

Gut and Psychology Syndrome


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New! GAPS Intro Diet Chart!

GAPS Intro Chart Sample-page-001

So you have been wanting to try the Gut and Psychology SyndromeTM (aka, GAPS) diet, but you don’t know where to start.

Or…you have tried it before, but got confused, and dropped out.

Or…the “Intro” sounds scary and you can’t quite figure out what to eat when, or how to move from stage to stage, or even how many stages there are. (What’s a “stage”, anyway?)

Or…you know you have symptoms of a leaky gut, but don’t know what to do about it.

Want some assistance in sorting it all out? Yes!

Want this all to be easy peasey? Yes!

How about a handy, dandy, well-organized and beautiful chart that lets you know what to do, how to do it, and when?

Yep. It now exists!

I am happy to announce my third chart, this one for the Intro Diet of the Gut and Psychology Syndrome, the healing protocol developed by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. This way of eating heals the symptoms caused by a leaky gut. Symptoms include: Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADD, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, depression, schizophrenia…and many more!

Why did I develop another chart, you ask? Because I love charts. (Really, I do.) I love how I can take a lot of information and put it in one place, and make it easy to understand. (Check out my other charts on how to properly soak and cook Grains and Beans, and…one on First Foods for Babies!)

I am also a teacher to the core of my being. I love to share information. I love to educate. Most of all,  I love to give people tools to help them to heal themselves.

I developed this particular chart because I believe in the healing capabilities of the Gut and Psychology SyndromeTM protocol.

Why now? Because I keep meeting people, hearing stories, and working with clients to implement the GAPS diet that are very confused. Confused about what to do when, (what to cook and when to eat it…and how to move from stage to stage).  So, I took matters into my own hands, and created this chart.

As I mentioned earlier, it is easy to follow, contains all the information you need, and is pleasing to the eye. My hope is that it will assist many people on their journey back to the innate health and well-being that is their birthright. The chart is available now, on my website, as a download.

If you are a Certified GAPS Practitioner, and you would like to have charts available for your patients and clients, contact me for bulk orders. Monica@simplybeingwell.com


I will be giving away 5 of my new GAPS Intro Diet Charts on September 1, by random drawing. These will be printed charts that will be mailed to winners. One chart per household.

The deadline is August 31, at 10pm MT. Everyone who enters will be notified of the results via email.

To enter to win your GAPS Intro Diet Chart, please answer the following questions in the comments, with a minimum of 5 sentences.

What has your experience with the GAPS diet been? What questions do you have regarding the diet? What are you hoping to gain from the Intro Chart? If you are new to the diet, what are you hoping to heal by going on it?

If the Chart is not enough, you may wish to set up a Wellness Consultation to go learn how to easily cook for the Gut and Psychology Syndrome diet! Sometimes it takes just one consultation to get on the right track!

Here’s to ease of healing!

Be well, all!


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What is a Leaky Gut, anyway?!

And why should you care?
There’s a lot of talk these days about a “leaky gut”. What is it? Why should you care?

The part of the “gut” that the term refers to is the duodenum of the small intestine. The duodenum is the first part of the small intestine into which the stomach dumps its high acid mixture for further digestion and absorption. If that part of the small intestine has holes in it or is damaged, it is termed “leaky”. That’s because it leaks. Into the bloodstream…your bloodstream. The transportation system of the body, the one that carries nutrients to cells, and wastes away from cells…read on.

What leaks out of the small intestine into the blood stream? Large molecules of food that have not been broken down by that damaged area. This is highly problematic for many reasons, a few of which follow:
  1. Your food has not been digested, so your body will not get the nutrients from the food. If this goes on for a long time, you will be malnourished, and suffer the symptoms that that brings.
  2. Your food has not been digested, so large molecules will leak into the bloodstream. If they are protein molecules, the body will recognize them as “foreign proteins”, and launch an immune response. If this goes on for a long time, you will likely develop autoimmune disorders.
  3. Foreign food molecules in the bloodstream mean that you will develop food sensitivities. In the beginning, just a few sensitivities. As time goes on, your body will become highly reactive to many foods.
  4. Toxins will also leak into the bloodstream, which will go to the brain and cause focusing issues, brain fog, and inability to concentrate. If this goes on for a while, ADD, ADHD, OCD, SPD, depression, and mood swings–think bipolar– can develop. Schizophrenia has also been indicated.
Okay, so if all of that is probable with a leaky gut, why not heal it? It’s easy once you know how.
For more information about the best protocol I know to heal AND seal the gut, check out http://www.gaps.me/.
If you would like to learn how to cook to heal your gut, join me for informative, inspiring, and fun classes! I’ll be teaching in Fort Collins, Colorado on Saturday and Sunday, May 16 and 17…”Heal Your Leaky Gut: Cooking for the GAPS Diet”. Easy peasy when you know how. And that’s exactly my intention: to teach you how! More information about the cooking weekend here: http://goo.gl/BlJpQL


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Woot! Secrets to Cooking for the GAPS diet revealed…!


I LOVE my work!

I LOVE to teach!

I am so looking forward to sharing my weekend with those who would like to learn the secrets to cooking for the protocol that heals and seals leaky guts. And guess what? almost everyone has one!

Who would benefit from cooking this way?

Everyone, especially those that are between the ages of 0 and 65…especially:

  • Anyone who has been vaccinated
  • Anyone who has taken even one round of antibiotics or had them administered
  • Anyone who has traveled abroad
  • Anyone who has had allergies, including seasonal allergies and food allergies
  • Anyone who has had skin disorders, eczema, rashes, etc
  • Anyone on the Autistic Spectrum, with Aspergers, ADD, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, depression, schizophrenia
  • Anyone with an auto-immune disorder

This weekend, I’ll teach the secrets to the following techniques. The HOW and the WHY. We’ll be making:

  • Bone Broth
  • Coconut Milk
  • Coconut Flour
  • Nut Milk
  • Nut Butters
  • Nut Flour
  • Fermented Beans
  • Culturing Dairy
  • Fermented Nut Flour
  • Baking with Nut Flour

We’ll be cooking at the top of a mountain in Loveland, Colorado…Friday through Sunday. You may find more information here: http://www.cookingforwell-being.com/October-3-2014.html

Or you can stay tuned for my next book on the subject. In process now. 🙂


Check out also: Nourishing Broth, the newest book by Sally Fallon Morell and Kaayla Daniels, and The Heal Your Gut Cookbook by Hilary Boynton and Mary Brackett, for which I consulted!


Please note this page contains affiliate links.

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Learn to cook for the GAPS Diet! Cooking Immersion Weekend!


Gut and Psychology Syndrome CoverOne of the best diets to heal a leaky gut and gut dysbiosis…as well as the myriad of symptoms that result from these conditions…is the Gut and Psychology Syndrome (aka “G.A.P.S.”) diet. I have been teaching how to cook for the diet for about 5 years now, having developed one of the first sets of cooking classes for it. I have offered these classes individually over a series of weeks, and also all together over a weekend workshop as far away as California, Massachusetts, and Maryland. This coming weekend, and next month, I am inaugurating a new method which I am calling “Cooking Immersion Weekends”.

The Cooking Immersion Weekend grew out of the desire to provide a way for individuals to experience learning and cooking with all the techniques needed for the diet at one time, with other people, and with a resource right with them to answer any questions. (Me.)

I have broken up the weekends as makes the most sense: one for the “Intro” diet and another for the “Full” Diet, as cooking for them is very different. The Intro Immersion Weekend will take place this weekend, 4pm Friday through 1pm Sunday, September 2-14, 2014,  in a retreat setting at Sunrise Ranch in Loveland, CO. The Full Immersion Weekend will take place same times and place, on October 3-5, 2014.

My desire and intention for those that join me for these Cooking Immersions is that they leave feeling fully confident in their ability to implement the healing protocol when they return home. (You all know how much I love to make things easy for folks and to take the mystery out of seemingly complicated cooking techniques!)

These are very hands-on weekends; we spend a lot of time in the kitchen together. 🙂  And though those of you who have been cooking traditional food for a while will have a broader knowledge base than those who have not, cooking for the GAPS diet is very different than cooking from Nourishing Traditions. So….

You are invited to attend one or both of the weekends!

Still on the fence? Here is what Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride wrote about my cooking classes:  ” Dear Monica, I just want to thank you for your wonderful GAPS cooking classes! I am getting excellent reports from the GAPS Practitioners and patients! Everybody who attended your classes leave very inspired and ready to cook good food. Thank you!”

CGPs (Certified GAPS Practitioners) are especially welcome, as knowing how to cook for the diet is critical to its success.

You may register for the September 12-14 Cooking Immersion Weekend here.

You may register for the October 3-5 Cooking Immersion Weekend here.


Looking forward to cooking with you!



Please note: Gut and Psychology Syndrome is the trademark and copyright of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. The right of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Patent and Designs Act 1988.



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and now, to add Insult to Injury…

have a little phyto-ESTROGEN in your ice-pop, little girl or boy!!! Ice pops are TOXIC POPS!!

Yes, yes, indeed. Don’t look now–yes, LOOK NOW! They are adding SOY PROTEIN to ice pops! What’s so insidious about this? The soy is in the fine print. You’ve got to search for it, almost with a magnifying glass. Will the addition of food fractions and fake food and more than that MAJOR ALLERGENS to food never stop?! START READING THE LABELS, MOMS–and Dads–and everyone else…before you toss that “on sale for Memorial Day” “give your child a treat for summer” box of toxins into your shopping cart. And certainly before you start passing them out to all the neighborhood kids!

ice pop ingredient list

The time is NOW to start being smart about what we are feeding our children. Heck, the time is PAST now. We must be aware and awake. We must be reading the labels on anything that has a label! I have said it before and I’ll say it again…just because it is in a store does not mean the food is good for you! Heck, it may not even qualify for food at all!

So I write this post. For those of you who already make your own ice pops and popsicles from real ingredients for your children, kudos to you! Keep it up! Can be as easy as putting diluted orange juice in paper cups with popsicle sticks! Or weak lemonade made with maple syrup for that matter! Blend up some berries with coconut milk…Start a popsicle revolution in your neighborhood! In your school! Everywhere! Teach other moms how to make real food popsicles for their children. Turn the tide from electric blue, green, yellow and red toxic pops to a real pop! Once the kids get a taste, they will love your real pops. Just try it!

What’s the INJURY that is already in the ice pops? I will give you a hint…excito-toxins, GMOs, corn syrup…yes, yes, yes! Food dyes that have been linked to hyperactivity in children! For those of you who are going for the “healthier”, sugar free option, DON’T!! Aspartame is an excito-toxin! Excito-toxins make children –and adults– go crazy. Alter their thinking. Set their nervous systems to “berserk” mode. GMOs? Yep, in that corn syrup and High Fructose Corn Syrup! (Do your children need more sugar? more corn syrup? HFCS?!! I think not!) And now, for something really awful…soy protein! In an ice pop! One of the TOP ALLERGENS in this country. Full of phyto-ESTROGEN. Genetically Modified, of course (that means Frankenfood). AND an ANTI-NUTRIENT. What are they thinking?!! Whatever the Food Scientists (Mad Scientists, I would venture to say) are thinking about when they put SOY protein in an ice pop, it’s not about health, folks! From Dr. Kaayla Daniel’s The Whole Soy Story…here is a sample of health effects that have been linked to soy consumption: breast cancer, brain damage, infant abnormalities, thyroid disorders, kidney stones, impaired fertility…What’s “modified soy protein” anyway? Something from a lab. Again. And they are putting it in unsuspecting children’s ice pops?!! Even if it is a minute amount, it doesn’t belong there. Keep your allergenic, genetically modified, anti-nutrient, estrogenic and toxic food fractions OUT of our ice pops! The outrage!

Read the labels!

Make the ice pops!

Take back your and your child’s health!!

More on food dyes and additives

More on excitotoxins and more

More on the dangers of sugar and fructose

More on unfermented soy and more

ice pop label

This is NOT the treat they (the children) think it is. And it is NOT the treat they (the Food Manufacturers) say it is, either. Make your own!

And for those of you who are ready to venture into the kitchen and make your own, check out some recipes from Jenny of Nourished Kitchen–wholesome, real food, kid-tested and delicious!


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“You’ll STARVE on GAPS”–NOT!


It seems to me that there is a lot of misunderstanding and confusion about what I call the “GAPS healing protocol” and others call the “GAPS diet” in terms of knowledge of the diet and implementation in the kitchen and at the kitchen table. (GAPS stands for Gut and Psychology Syndrome, is a book by the same name, and is copyrighted by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. For more information, see gaps.me.) I am going to write a series of these articles, in a effort to clear up some of the confusion. Here’s the first installment: “GAPS Does Not Equal Starvation.”

Let me note first that my knowledge base comes from working with people to help them implement the diet and from teaching the first series of GAPS Cooking Classes, which I developed last year in response to many requests from my students. (For more information about these cooking classes and to register to learn the cooking techniques you need to implement the GAPS diet, see http://www.cookingforwell-being.com/Conferences.html. I will be teaching in California in June and in Boston in September…if you’d like me to offer a GAPS Cooking Weekend in your area, contact me.)

The first bit of confusion seems to be that people think that when you are on the diet, you will be hungry all the time. I have heard multiple people say “I’m starving!” and “Heck, all I’m eating is broth, right?!” (Although broth is one of the “pillars” of the GAPS diet and is absolutely fundamental to it, you are eating much more than broth, but more on that later.) When I hear people say they are starving, I know that they are not implementing the diet as directed; in fact, they are missing one of the most important prescriptions in the book: the one about the amount of fat one needs to heal, repair and be well. And it is a lot, a lot more than we are used to. Eating saturated fat goes against everything everyone in America has been hearing for the last 30+ years. Ever since the American dietary guidelines went pro-sugar (look what that has gotten us) and anti-fat. Heck, you can’t even find full fat yogurt in the store these days; “low-fat/no-fat” has become the norm. “Low-fat/no-fat” has been proclaimed as “healthy” by the “powers that be”. There is a whole generation of children in this country that have never eaten a traditional, healthy, full-fat diet. They have been brainwashed into thinking that fat is bad. We have been brainwashed into thinking that fat is bad. That’s one of the reasons, I would venture to say, that we have so many children that are obese, have diabetes, and suffer from Attention Deficit Disorders. But that is another story for another time. Stay tuned. I am sure to write it some day soon.

The GAPS diet is one of the most nourishing, nurturing diets around. It is built to satisfy; it is crafted to nourish, and to deeply nourish. No one should be hungry if they are following Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride’s prescriptions about what to eat…especially the one about fats and the egg yolks. Today we’ll look at healthy saturated animal fats. Rendered fat and gristle off of pastured meats. Oh, and some avocado, coconut oil, olive oil and flax oils.

When one is “starving” or one is experiencing cravings, it is an indicator that the body needs more fat. It also indicates that your blood sugar may be on a roller coaster. How to stabilize? Eat more fat! Go for it! This is the first healing protocol that I know of that prescribes fat. Yes, go ahead. A medical doctor is prescribing that you eat more fat. An MD. And she is not the only one. All over, enlightened MDs are prescribing more healthy fats in the American diet (see Mercola and Tom Cowan. ) Note that these are healthy fats. They are not trans fats. So what are the healthy fats, and how much does one need to eat to be satisfied…to start healing?

Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride tells us to eat “natural fats in their natural state” , and that the most important fats for those on the GAPS diet are animal fats. (GAPS, p 275). These healthy fats are duck fat, goose fat, lard-rendered pig fat, tallow-rendered beef or bison fat, pastured butter, and ghee. (If you want to learn how to make lard, see my post Let’s Make Lard.) Also coconut oil and cultured cream for those who can tolerate dairy or have completed the dairy protocol. Please note that the entire healing protocol is based on finding the purest ingredients one can find–organic and raised on pasture sustainably. (As toxins are stored in fat, it is very important to eat pure fats–not only on this diet, but all the time!) She also includes cold pressed olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado. These are all traditional fats; they are fats the human body utilizes efficiently and needs for good health. (There are also some essential oils that are recommended, such as cod liver oil, nut/seed oils and fish oil. See the book for more details.)

So how much fat on the GAPS diet? As much fat as you need to feel sated. My experience is that when one cleans up the diet, i.e., eats pure, nutrient-dense food cooked in traditional ways and has eliminated sugar, processed foods and grains, and is eating ferments, the body self-regulates. It knows how much good fat it needs. If you are on the “Full GAPS Diet”, cook everything in a healthy fat…ghee, pastured butter, tallow, lard, duck fat, goose fat…Then when you serve, add more fat to each serving, starting with a teaspoon and adding more as you tolerate it or as you desire. An example is making a blended vegetable soup: Saute veggies in butter or ghee or…(see list above) until soft. Add homemade, nutrient-dense, gelatinous stock. Bring to a boil. Skim and discard scum. Simmer for a few minutes. Blend. Season to taste with Celtic salt and herbs. When you serve, add an additional teaspoon-tablespoon of fat. (Creme fraiche/cultured cream is my favorite. Makes any soup or stew blissful!)

The typical American meal is not satisfying because it does not provide enough fat. I am not even talking about the SAD (Standard American Diet) meal, which is highly processed and full of dead, nutrient-deficient foods. I am talking about a pastured, skinless chicken breast (low-fat), steamed broccoli with a pat of butter and a salad with homemade dressing. Not enough fat, folks. And you won’t feel satisfied. (Then it’s off to the chips–low fat and transfats– and whatever else we can find to satisfy the hunger…which won’t satisfy because it’s all low-fat!! and usually carbohydrates to boot!! read: sugar!) How to increase the healthy fat in that meal? Make blue cheese dressing and smother the broccoli once it has cooled, so you retain the enzymes. Eat chicken thighs with the skin on, and serve with a sauce made from butter or cultured cream. Make a salad dressing with raw egg yolks like a Caesar or anchovy dressing. Add a cup of broth with a spoonful of ghee stirred in, and maybe a spoonful of creme fraiche, too. A pinch of Celtic salt. Mouth watering? Yes! This is NOT a starvation diet, folks. Just break out of your brainwashing and grab a stick of pastured butter, or a bucket of cultured cream. Your body, your brain, your nervous system, your endocrine system, and even your cells will thank you. And by the way, you’ll lose weight and gain clear thinking along the way. Dive in with both spoons!! Slather on that pastured butter or ghee. I dare ya! 😉

If you would like more information about healthy fats and how that body needs them, see Dr. Mercola’s recent article, The Hidden Reason You Get Flabby, Sally Fallon’s interview on Fats and Why they are Essential, Chris Masterjohn’s brilliant blog, The Daily Lipid, Eat Fat, Lose Fat by lipid chemist Mary Enig and Sally Fallon, or The Cholesterol Myth by Uffe Ravnskov. For more information about the GAPS diet, including helpful FAQs posted by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, see her website, gaps.me.



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