The link between the gut and the brain

What is GAPS and why are we doing it?

Late last year my oldest son was given a diagnosis of dyslexia & questionable Asperger’s syndrome (however we don’t see this at home). 

His anxiety and behavioural issues have only been a problem in the school environment, at home he is just our quirky George. A way of coping & disguising his dyslexia he had started to develop behaviors in the classroom that made it difficult for him to engage & learn. Yes, he is unique but so are all 5 of our children!

It was at this point I put my scientific mind to work and researched as much as I could about ASD, Asperger’s, dyslexia and anything else that I thought may have related to my son. Somehow, over the many hours of reading and research I found Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride and her work resonated with me. She believes that the link between physical and mental health, the food and drink that we take, and the condition of our digestive system is absolute, and the results of her work have supported her position on this subject. If you’d like to read more about Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride click here.

Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride
She has a diet specifically designed to heal the gut of those suffering from conditions that I was being told my son has. I was excited, but was it too good to be true? I still needed to do more research and understand the GAPS diet in more detail. My scientific and analytical mind needed to do it’s due diligence. I’ve studied at the tertiary level the anatomy, physiology, biochemistry and pathology of all gastrointestinal systems on the planet, but I’d never been aware of how the health of the GIT affects the mental state. And if I really healed my sons gut (whatever that means) could I really help his symptoms? To read more about the GAPS diet, click here.

This lead me to find Jo Whitton’s Quirky Cooking for Gut Health program. Jo has created an online program for people like me that are new the GAPS, explaining all of the tips, tricks and recipes for a successful transition to GAPS food. It is amazing, I tried a few of the recipes but still felt overwhelmed and scared of really how to start. I had so many questions, and didn’t know how I could completely change the way my family eats! That’s a big task for a family of 7, with the kids age range from 18 to 4.

I had seen the Life Changing Food Gut Health Retreat advertised and thought if we are going to embark on this journey to heal and nourish our guts, I need to be equipped with the tools, knowledge and confidence to make it all happen. If it’s going to be, it’s up to me!  This was the BEST thing I could have done. I came home for the retreat with a crystal clear vision of how I was going to implement these changes to help not only my son but our whole family of 7.

Jo Whitton & I in Far North Queensland
And so, this is where we are at the start of our GAPS journey! I’m excited to share it with you here, I don’t know how it’s going to go, how long it’ll take, how many roadblocks will get in our way; but what I do know is that I’m focused to nourish my family with wonderful whole foods and eventually have our own organic fruit and vegetable garden and subsistence meat in the paddocks.

Juggling with Jacqui x

Mother’s Day with GAPS


With a crystal clear vision for improving the gut health of my 5 babies, I broke our families Mother’s Day tradition this year!

I decided to stay home and cook a nourishing meal for my whole family; parents, brother & his girlfriend, husband and our 5 children.

Mum and I choose meals for the Life-Changing Food cookbook inspired by our recent visit to the gut health retreat in Far North Queensland. For more info click here.

As only my family is transitioning to Full GAPS, this was a perfect way to introduce the rest of the family to the whole foods diet. Together we feasted on Sunflower Seed Paella with Prawn & Chorizo, Lebanese-style Herb & Nut Crusted Fish (my brother caught on his recent fishing trip to Darwin, Northern Territory), Roast Vegetable Salad and finished with Apple Pie!

I’m delighted that it was all delicious and all 11 of us were very satisfied.

Tonight as I reflect on the day, I’m so grateful that I choose to break from our normal tradition of visiting a winery for lunch and instead nourish my family with a beautiful home cooked meal that I enjoyed preparing alongside my wonderful Mum. I’m excited to see where else our GAPS journey takes us and how it will improve our lives.

Juggling with Jacqui x