And it has nothing to do with food, per say!
As you are about to embark on any sizeable change, more than likely there are feelings of overwhelm by the enormity, and that is totally understandable. Sometimes these feelings can over power you and prevent ACTION from making taking place.
When starting your gut healing journey, there is plenty to consider such as the foods to include and exclude, how you are ACTUALLY going to bring the family on board, where do you get the food from and then WHAT are you going to make that the family WILL eat with the path of least resistance. Like everything, there is a process to change and its needs to be tackled in small bit sized chunks.
So, let’s get into it.
So the first P in gut healing is PLANNING!
It all starts with planning. Actually it starts a little before this with a clear defined Vision of EXACTLY what you want to achieve during your healing journey, WHY you want this and by WHEN, but that is a blog post for another day.
When starting your gut healing journey, planning is crucial and paramount to your success on any protocol you choose. Without this, you are guaranteed to set yourself up for failure.
Wikipedia defines planning as the following:
Planning (also called forethought) is the process of thinking about and organizing the activities required to achieve a desired goal. It involves the creation and maintenance of a plan, such as psychological aspects that require conceptual skills. There are even a couple of tests to measure someone’s capability of planning well. As such, planning is a fundamental property of intelligent behavior.
Actions to consider when planning your gut healing journey:
- Be clear from where you are now and where you need to be. Break it down into smaller steps or milestones as to how you will achieve your desired outcome
- Identify any obstacles UPFRONT that could get in the way of the plan being a success and you achieving your desired outcome of optimal health. Also include potential strategies that could be employed to mitigate the obstacles. In project management terms (my former life) this is referred to as risk management, you literally plan what to do in the event of something going wrong before it happens.
- Identify any help or support you may need to carry out your plan. That could be in the form of home help, specialised practitioners, health coach etc.
- Be clear on your start date and the length of time you will participate in your chosen protocol, i.e. 30 days, 3 months, 6 months etc. This needs to be flexible
- Be clear on the protocol you will be following for your healing journey. There is no one size fits ALL and it may mean a combination of different healing protocols
- Know where to source your food from
- Meal Plan – this step is non negotiable and is crucial to the success of any gut healing program
The next P of gut healing is PREPARATION.
Give yourself the time you need to get organised. Do not rush this step. It took me at least 6 weeks of planning and preparation before actually starting the GAPS protocol. This was crucial to our success and more importantly my SANITY.
Things to consider when preparing your healing journey:
- Be clear of the foods to remove from your diet and which ones to include
- Get your pantry stocked with healing essentials, see this blog
- Identify where and how you can create convenience so that you are not chained to the kitchen
- Identify where in your week you can block out time to do the crucial activities such as meal planning and food preparation. These activities are key and without it, success and long term sustainable lifestyle change just will not take place.
The last P of gut healing is PERSISTENCE.
Let’s not kid ourselves; initiating any change is hard and overwhelming, especially if you are coming from a place of stress. The learning curve is very steep and more often than not you are just not sure you can actually do this. I know this feeling too well, I’ve been there myself! But you just need to start, and take one day at a time. You will be guaranteed to take a few steps backwards before you go forwards and the journey may be rocky, but you need to keep going. Whenever the feelings of failure or overwhelm come knocking (and they will) just keep your end goal at the forefront of your mind. Imagine your life as if your family was experiencing abundant optimal health.
Chantal is a Certified Nutrition & Wellness Coach who specialises in working with stressed and overwhelmed mothers of immune & digestive challenged children to heal their child’ gut by implementing a wholistic personalised step by step plan.