Cucumber Margaritas

In keeping with the seasons produce – what can one do with all the beautiful cucumbers the garden is producing right now?

While salads with tomatoes are a favorite or cucs & onions in a vinegar or sour cream sauce are delicious it is nice to have a special treat now and then.

Cucumber Margaritas

  • 1-1/2 to 2 cucumbers
  • 1 jalapeno juiced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro

Put the above ingredients through a juicer. This should yield 2-3 cups liquid. Blend with

  • 1/2 cup simple syrup – to keep things GAPS legal I mix about 1-2 TBS honey in warm water
  • 1 cup tequila
  • 2 TBS triple sec or Grand Marnier
  • 1/4 cup lime juice – squeeze about 2 limes or add 5-7 drops Young Living Lime oil. I suggest putting the oil in the honey to help it emulsify
  • 1/2- 1 tsp ground sea salt


Blend all the ingredients and serve over ice and enjoy!

Anyone who knows me knows that margaritas have always been my favorite cocktail. My husband has stated that these cucumber margaritas are the best ones he has ever had.

Gluten – Celiac – Sensitivity Oh my!

Gluten-FreeWhat is your awareness of celiac or for that matter gluten?  The Gluten free/Allergy free expo was recently held in Schaumburg (did you see me at the Norwex booth?).   At the expo did they share that gluten is found in all grains, not just wheat, rye, barley and oats.

Following are the types of issues one may have with gluten

  • allergy – acute or delayed reaction creating some sort of inflammation which leads to  → tissue damage → and subsequent disease
  • intolerance  – this is where gluten is not digested well and a protein called Zonulin is created which enters the bloodstream and creates an immune response with the following cascade of events:
    • gut dysbiosis → leaky gut → acquired allergy (could be to any food) → tissue damage → disease
  • sensitivity – not a disease, but a state of genetics which  if continually triggered builds cumulative inflammation over a lifetime eventually converting into an autoimmune process.  Gluten sensitivity can manifest in hundreds of ways with symptoms such as migraine headache, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, asthma, psychological disorders, bone loss, osteoporosis, thyroid disease, cancers  etc.
  • Celiac  –  a rare manifestation of gluten sensitivity which affects 1 in every 133 healthy individuals[1].  In Celiac’s, gluten consumption causes an immune response that damages the small intestine and reduces nutrient absorption. As damage progresses, a variety of multi-systemic symptoms may develop such as other autoimmune disorders, as well as osteoporosis, infertility, neurological conditions and in rare cases, cancer.   

Learn more about the types of gluten issues in this 37 minute video.

A gluten-free diet is essential to treatment for any of the above gluten issues. Unfortunately gluten can be hidden in a variety of unexpected sources, including salad dressing, supplements, and envelope glue.

Personally, I can attest to the differences in living gluten-free versus grain free.  While eating so-called gluten-free foods removed many of the irritants reducing symptoms, many are still highly processed foods which break down into sugars and feed the pathogens within.  Thus symptoms may be reduced, but are not resolved.   By following the GAPS™ protocol  removing all grains and many starches from the diet allows the body to fully heal whether you are dealing with an allergy, intolerance or sensitivity to gluten or any other form of gut dysbiosis.  Once healed one may then explore slowly  adding these foods properly prepared back into the diet if one is truly able to process  and uptake healthfully.

Microbiome Affects the Brain and Behavior

Microbe-based therapeutics?

– sounds familiar to those who have read about the GAPS Protocol.

(Gut & Psychology Syndrome written by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride)

Alter your gut biome and alter your health.  

The below TedX talk gives a nice visual explanation of the gut-brain connection.  

It shows how microbes in our gut can be a factor in our brain health and issues such as:

  • anxiety
  • Alzheimer’s
  • autism
  • depression
  • multiple sclerosis


Elaine Hsiao makes the statement

“What if we could without a single invasive procedure treat disorders like autism, depression and multiple sclerosis.  Microbe-based therapeutics might offer us a way to build a stable community structure that can impart long-lasting effects without the need for continuous treatment. “

We can!

Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride has proven this in treating thousands of individuals with the GAPS healing protocol.  Using diet, supplementation and detoxification one can heal from within from a countless list of ailments, disorders and illnesses.  True healing results in long-lasting effects without the need for continuous treatment or dangerous side effects.

Interested in learning more?  Contact me or your local Certified GAPS Practitioner

Eating Away Autism

Enjoy this wonderful newscast from
gut bug link to colon cancerEating away autism? The GAPS diet
Validation that diet does make a difference for your brain as well as your body.

Could you or your family member or friend benefit from the GAPS diet?  Support for this healing protocol available here.

Why Ferment?

Dr. Mercola interviews Caroline Barringer, a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP), who is an expert in the preparation of the foods prescribed in Dr. McBride’s GAPS program. Specifically fermented foods.  Fermenting both a science and an art form which create traditional foods which support the health of the inner flora, thus overall health.

Fermented foods supply your gut with good flora to help build and maintain a healthy gut biome.  Fermentation actually increases the nutrients as well as makes the food easier to digest.  If you would like further instruction and demonstration on created fermented foods please contact me, Renee Renz 224-244-7369 (Renz).

Why this Single Organ Powerfully Dictates Whether You’re Healthy or Sick

Listen to Dr. Mercola interview Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride on the healing power of the GAPS nutritional therapy.  This is over 2 hours in length providing a great base for understanding the GAPS protocol.

The GAPS protocol is designed to restore the integrity of your gut lining.

“Our digestive system is lined by very specialized cells, which are called enterocytes. These little cells only live for a few days,” Dr. McBride explains. “They live for two or three days. Then… they die, get shed off, and get replaced by new, healthy enterocytes. The cell regeneration process in your gut lining is a very active process.

… We have a real chance to heal and seal our damaged gut lining thanks to this wonderful process of cell regeneration. But here’s the catch: in order for your body to give birth to healthy functioning baby enterocytes, it needs two factors. It needs building blocks for them, because they’re made out of certain nutrients (proteins, certain fats, vitamins, enzymes, and other active molecules)… Second, it needs the whole process to be orchestrated by the beneficial microbes in your digestive system; by the beneficial healthy gut flora.”

People with GAPS have neither of those factors. They run out of building blocks due to improper nutrition, which prevents the proliferation of new, healthy enterocytes, and their gut lining is overpopulated with pathogenic bacteria, virus, fungi, worms, protozoa, and other pathogenic microbes. As a result, the beneficial microbes are virtually nonexistent, and the balance of good and bad bacteria is dramatically skewed.

“In animal experiments… when they sterilized the digestive tract of the animals, they found that the whole cell regeneration process in the gut lining goes completely wrong,” she says. “The travel time of the baby enterocytes doubles… Enterocytes are born already mutated, and some of them turn cancerous. They are unable to fulfill their functions: breaking down the food and absorbing the food appropriately.

We have to provide those two factors for the gut lining to heal and seal. We need to drive out pathogens and replace them with beneficial flora. And we need to provide all the building blocks for the gut lining to give birth to baby enterocytes. That’s what GAPS Nutritional Protocol does.”

After listening to this, any questions for implementation in your own life may be addressed by your local GAPS Practitioner.  Call today to schedule your consultation.  224-244-7369 (Renz)

GAPS Connections – New Classes Starting

GAPS Connections

GAPS Practitioner Purposes

We will now have multiple locations/times!

By request, we are starting a new daytime session in the Western Suburbs.

GAPS Connections WEST will begin meeting this week: Tuesday, March 6th, from at 9:30am in Glendale Heights. Childcare can be made available for you with an advance request; please RSVP with a minimum notice of 24 hours, or contact me with any questions.

We are also pleased to be able to offer GAPS Online, starting Thursday March 15th, at 9:30 am. While we encourage everyone who can to come to live meetings, not only to share and sample the great foods (we had some really awesome GAPS garlic bread last week!) but to connect and socialize with others, we are hopeful that this meeting will be of great benefit in educating and supporting those who are too far away or unable to travel to our other meetings.

Upon RSVP you will be given instructions for payment and how to sign on. RSVP

Last but not least, we will add a new class, C.H.E.E.R.S. in April.

We will meet to learn about and practice a variety of topics in health, healing, and nutrition for those who are new to the journey and to seasoned veterans as well. This is a hands-on class, we will be doing a variety of food preparation and cooking demos, taste testing, and other practical applications of skills and topics.

Topics will vary; more information to come.








Please see GAPSConnections for more details on dates and locations for the above classes! Pass it on, and we hope to see you soon!

Edie and Renee


Real Food Fun

The following link Real Food Ryan Gosling has many great lines of love in a real food world.  I look forward to the day that these become mainsteam!

They are all great but I love the last one related to GAPS

“Hey girl.
You’ve filled all the GAPS in my heart and soul with your bone broth, ghee, sauerkraut juice, and nut bread.”

Thanks Ryan!  I’ll keep watching for more! I hope you don’t mind me sharing this!

GAPS in the Media

Hi Everyone!

How exciting–there has been a lot of recent media exposure and coverage of the gut brain connection and the GAPS diet! 

Many bloggers have been discussing the GAPS diet and other topics of interest  to those seeking health and healing (such as grains, supplements, and various differences in philosophies or approaches).  We wanted to address a few common questions/concerns we have been getting lately.

1.  The GAPS Protocol has been developed by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride and is taken to mean the 3 part program: Diet, Supplementation, and Detoxification.  The Diet follows the science behind the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) and is virtually the same as far as lists of foods to allow/avoid.  Dr. Natasha has fine tuned the progression of the diet based on her extensive clinical experience to focus on healing and sealing the gut lining as quickly and effectively as possible.

 2.  It is very important that any healing protocol is adapted and followed based on each person’s bio-individual needs; we are all unique and have very different health histories, microbial make up, and nutritional needs.  No matter what “program” you are following, there is no one set of rules that everyone has to follow.  The ultimate guide to health is your own body; Dr. Natasha is very direct in teaching that the GAPS diet must be implemented for each person as an individual.  The stages of the diet are there as guidelines.

3.  The GAPS diet is not meant to be followed to the extreme for life by the vast majority of people.  For many, it can take a couple of years for total healing to take place.  Once a person is free of symptoms and is very stable/healthy, foods not allowed previously are re-introduced.  There are a few individuals who will do best on the program for life.

4.  Grains are not “bad” in and of themselves.  They are only removed from the diet temporarily because they are difficult for an inflamed GI system to digest.  If not properly broken down, they feed pathogens and can cause other symptoms.  However, once the gut lining is healed and sealed, gradual introduction of properly prepared grains is recommended for most people.  Industrial processed grains are never a healthy addition to any diet.

We are glad to see that the GAPS diet and nutritional treatments in general are getting more attention by “mainstream” media and medical professionals and hope this trend continues.

We know it can be really confusing to decide the right course of treatment.  Working with a specialist, such as a Certified GAPS Practitioner (CGP) or Nutritional Therapist (NTP), is often the best investment in order to save time, money, and stress in finding the best course of action for you as an individual.  If you are struggling and need support, please do not hesitate to contact us for a consultation, come to GAPS Connections meetings, and get support from other members of GAPS Connections.  Stay Connected!

Health, healing, and happiness to you and yours,

Edie and Renee

Human Intestines function like a second brain

The gut is finally getting some of the credit it deserves.  A recent Clever Apes segment on WBEZ shares some of the important functions nervous system in your gut – the  enteric nervous system.  This system runs independent of the brain in your head.  The health and well-being of your enteric nervous system plays a major role in your overall health.  Something Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride has been showing clinically since her first edition of Gut and Psychology Syndrome(GAPS)  came out in 2004.  Heal and seal the intestinal lining through diet and lifestyle changes and your health can make a change for the better.

Now scientists at Rush University Medical Center are investigating a hypothesis that diseases in the brain are coming from issues in the gut, not the other way around.  In fact the types of microbes within the gut could potentially determine the type of diseases exhibited such as Parkinson’s.

Gut Bacteria Know Secrets About Your Future

What do you know about your world within?  What are bacteria, viruses, protozoa and other microbes doing in you? Are they for you? Against you?  Taking antibiotics will kill them all off for the short-term, but what type of microbes does your inner environment support to thrive and return after the massacre?  Your dietary and lifestyle choices play a major role in creating and maintaining the creatures within.  To learn more about how to create a world within which benefits your well-being contact Renee Renz for your GAPS consultation.