Maryana is an experienced and approachable down-to-earth consultant who specialises in eczema, allergies, food intolerances, gut healing and real food recipe development. She runs her busy online clinic from her home where she connects with families across the world including as the creator and host of the popular social media communities, The Healing Tribe and Real Food in New Zealand. Maryana draws on her professional skills as well as her personal experience with resolving her daughter's health symptoms to bring you realistic, practical and holistic wellness information with care and heart. She lives with her family and rescue animals in a coastal community in Northland, New Zealand.

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Why I don't endorse one specific gut healing protocol

Updated: Sep 25

Someone asked me if I maintained a list and outline of various gut healing protocols a few weeks ago and I outlined in my reply why I couldn't, but it also led me to wanting to explain why I don't just direct everyone to a specific gut healing protocol at all.

GAPS is thought to be the best, but is it?

I used to say we did a bastardised version of GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) - often seen as the mac daddy of gut healing diets - however it's not actually always the best approach, as it was designed specifically for autism recovery so in that aspect I've actually found many people who follow GAPS either worsened symptoms especially if dealing with histamine excess already, or they stayed the same for a long time and I have my thoughts on why.

In fact, what we did was more similar to AIP (Autoimmune Protocol) but that hadn't been invented back in 2011 but that's not to take away from GAPS. Both are real food approaches based around nutrient dense foods and the removal of inflammatory foods can go a long way. I do think following a book can be great for giving structure, and not great for that same structure - learning to observe and tweak based on reality is key.

And gut healing is about way more than just the gut, or even just food.

They all have their place but staying fixed to one can be really limiting.

I integrated various elements that resonated with me without studying each protocol in detail - many had some really interesting viewpoints to consider and their own list of "best" supplements or foods. Recommending one specific protocol would also defeat the purpose of my bigger message - which is all about listening to your body, developing your own sense of control over the situation and remembering we're all different although there are some base principles that tend to help us make sense of this, the devil is sometimes really in the detail.

We're all on our own journeys and as hard as it can be once you realise you can't just blindly follow a protocol from a book, it can be a great place to start, specially if you're feeling stuck or need some more detail on what is happening.

I honestly do think that no matter where you start, being open to learning and changing and using your powers of observation and sense of intuition to guide you, while adopting common sense is the ultimate way of navigating through this.

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Maryana Lishman is a certified Integrative Nutrition Coach who supports and empowers families to reach their health goals. All information, opinions, and recipes provided on this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or condition and are not a substitute for advice from your doctor.  All words are her own and should not be taken as prescriptive or medical advice. Please seek professional advice before making changes to your diet or lifestyle. Throughout this site, there are various affiliate links where she may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you, should you decide to purchase.

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