Processed vs Whole Food

Want to see the comparison of processed and whole food going through your digestive system?  2011 Fellow Stefani Bardin created a video that was shown at TEDxManhattan about her latest “smartpill” project on processed and unprocessed food.

A healthy digestive system is designed to process natural foods.  If your system is irritated or compromised you may even need to limit some of these. The GAPS protocol can heal and seal your digestive tract, restoring wellness.

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.


Join us for an afternoon workshop that will empower you to have at least a basic understanding of how to decode & interpret ‘standard of care’ blood test results, such as: the Chemistry panel, which some labs call the Comprehensive Metabolic Panel or CMP, the Lipid Panel, and the Complete Blood Count or CBC, with differential. If time allows, attention will also be given to some very valuable blood chemistry factors that are not typically done on ‘standard of care’ blood tests.

 Lead by: *Jim Marlowe, Nutrition & Health Counselor*

When:  Saturday April 7th, 2012 1:00pm – 5:00 pm

Where: Hendrickson Room (south side) in the Arlington Heights Memorial Library

 Cost:  only $25

 Please or call Renee Renz at 224-244-7369

After you have gone through the process of having a significant amount of your precious blood drawn and then analyzed by a lab, for the purpose of generating test results, have you wound up feeling disappointed and/or frustrated because one of the following happened:

1)      You make an appointment with your doctor to find out about your blood test and he spends a minute or less looking at your results and without any explanation of your labs, he hands you a copy of your results and says “you’re fine”.

2)      Same as above, except the doctor doesn’t give you or even show you a copy of your lab results.

3)      You get a call from your doctor’s office with the message that “everything on your blood test is normal” and they don’t send you a copy of your results.

4)      you don’t get a call from your doctor’s office about your test results but you do get a copy of your results and you’re concerned when you see that one or more of your labs are outside of the ‘reference range’.

5)      After having your blood drawn for testing, you don’t even hear from your doctor’s office and so you assume “that everything must have been ‘normal’ or they would have called me”.

If you would like to be able to ‘read’ your own blood test results, and in the process, reduce your dependence on your doctor.

Then mark your calendar April 7th 2012  for this workshop on:


 If you have any recent, or not so recent, blood tests results, be sure to bring them with you because Jim will definitely help you to better understand them!

 Jim Marlowe has been studying nutrition and the other fundamentals of health for 34 years.  He has been doing nutrition and health counseling, on a professional level, for 26 years.  In the early 90’s, he began to learn about the value of certain blood chemistry factors that are typically found on standard blood test.  Eleven years ago, while working as the chief nutritionist at 2 different medical clinics, Jim began an in depth study of all the most commonly done blood chemistry & blood cell factors that can be found on blood test.  Over the past 11 years, Jim’s experience of carefully evaluating thousands of blood test results, together with his knowledge of nutritional biochemistry, has helped him to develop a unique way of using blood test results as a tool for investigating the workings of a person’s metabolism that goes well beyond the issue of whether or not your lab results are in the ‘reference range’.  Jim has helped his own clients, as well as the patients of many doctors, and even the doctors themselves, to better understand what blood test results are really indicating or suggesting.   Jim currently has his own nutrition and health counseling practice, but he also works in close association with Dr. Lina Garcia, who is a holistic dentist, and Dr. Joe Grasso, who is a holistic osteopathic physician.  Jim has much experience teaching people how to use their ‘food as their medicine’, to strengthen themselves where they are metabolically weak and to balance themselves where they are metabolically out of balance.  Jim faithfully practices what he teaches about eating and living healthy and will continue to study blood chemistry, nutrition and the other fundamentals of health for as long as he rides this planet around that star we call the Sun.