Join us for an interview with Monica Corrado, also known as The GAPS Chef. Monica is a teaching chef, speaker, author, and consultant who has spent the last 20 years illuminating the connection between real food and vibrant health. Monica has taught people why and how to cook nourishing, traditional food all over the globe. Monica has authored six books so far, her most recent The Complete Cooking Techniques for the GAPS Diet!
We got to chat with Monica about how and why she started her real food journey, what the GAPS diet involves, and why someone might try this style of eating. We learned so much information from this interview and we hope you will too!
Connect with Monica on her website: https://simplybeingwell.com/
FB: Simply Being Well: Cooking for Wellbeing and Ask The GAPS Chef Monica Corrado
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I'm Riley and I'm Roni. And this is the plan to eat podcast, where we have conversations about meal planning, food, and wellness. To help you answer the question what's for dinner.
Roni: Hello, welcome to another episode of the plan to eat podcast.
Riley: Today, we got to interview Monica Corrado, who is the gaps chef. Um, she gives you a huge bio once we get started. So I'll let her do all the talking. But we love her and we're excited to share more about the gaps diet with all of you.
Roni: Yeah. We previously had Monica as a blog writer on the Plan to Eat blog. That's kind of how we have been connected with her. She also lives here in Northern Colorado. So we've met her in person before she is a super fun person. She has a great personality and this podcast is full of a ridiculous amount of information about food.
So we hope you enjoy.
The information contained in this episode of the Plan to Eat podcast is not [00:01:00] intended as medical or health advice. The following information is not a substitute for medical or health advice from a professional who is aware of the facts and circumstances of your individual situation.
Hi Monica. Thanks for joining us on the podcast today
Monica: Hello? Hello.
How are you?
Riley: Oh, we're so good. We're so happy. You're here.
Monica, why don't you introduce yourself to our audience? Tell us all about you and your story.
Monica: Okay. Well, uh, my name's Monica, Corrado. I am a, uh, holistic nutritionist. I'm a teaching chef and I am the gap chef. I'm also a, uh, certified gaps practitioner, if anybody? Yeah. So I'm a CGP, a CNC, a teaching chef and the gap chef. And, um, let's see, what can I tell you? So I, I work with people, uh, to help them be well through food and I, um, My latest endeavor, latest.
Golly, it's been at least how long, 10 years, 12 years [00:02:00] long has been the relationship between the health of the gut and the health of the brain and the health of the gut and everything else in your whole body. So that's gaps, which is gut and psychology syndrome. And yeah, I like to teach people how to cook.
I write books so they can learn how to cook. Um, I work with them one on one as clients to help them navigate through, to heal and, um, been doing this for a long time. I'm also really, really, really enthusiastic about real food, real food, uh, from farms, or maybe you grow it yourself, or maybe you're with connected with the CSA, but, you know, regenerative, agriculture, raw milk. Uh, Weston a price foundation been on their honorary board for about 22 years now, in any case, that's me. I'm about the food. So my, my website is, or my company is [00:03:00] simply being well. So I'm trying to teach people how to simply be well through food and cooking for wellbeing. How do you like that?
Riley: I love it.
Monica: So that's me.
That's what I do. And there's one other thing I do, which is I try to take this, the mystery out. I try to make it not scary. I try to give people charts and steps and you know, things that can do easily. And I want it to be easy for them a lot. We have whole generations of. People in our countries, in the us, I'm not sure about the rest of the world, but certainly here that do not know how to cook.
They grew up when microwaves came in, in the eighties, they grew up, they were born, you know, in the low fat, no fat generation, which has a lot to do with the brain issues, brain function issues we have now. And, you know, no one knew how to cook. And that's really how I started. I'm like, oh yeah, yeah, we gotta [00:04:00] get people in the kitchen because what's served out there is not gonna serve you or your body or your, you know, your children, your health long-term.
So I try to, I try to make it easy for people. That's really get them to say, oh, huh. It matters. It matters how the food is, is grown. It matters how the food is harvested or right. So how it's grown, where it's grown, what's going into the earth. How, how is it harvested? How is it proc? You know, how is it processed if it's meat, if you will.
Not that we like processed food cuz we don't, you know, and then how do you cook it? How do you like you're one of them, it's all right. We can fix that, but not you, but I'm just saying, right? Like, so anyway, that's my thing. I, I want people to know that they can be well and they can be well by making easy choices and it doesn't [00:05:00] have to be a big darn deal to begin with. It just has to be one step at a time.
What can they do one step at a time? And all of a sudden they're feeling better and all of a sudden their symptoms may be going away and all of a sudden their child is better or, you know, they feel they have more energy. It's they're sleeping better. I mean, these are right.
Riley: Yeah, there's so much to unpack here, but I think one of the biggest things that you just hit on is that people come to these kinds of, um, situations in their life with so much overwhelm, so much stress, regardless of whatever path they're about to try to follow. It just feels really scary. And, um, because it's so outside of the norm, whether it's gaps or AIP or shoot, just cutting out gluten or, you know, something very, very simple, um, you know, very like one layer, not 20 layers, you know?
So, um, I love that you just try to give people charts, try to help, you know, handhold them through it because people really need that. Cuz it does feel so overwhelming to make big changes.
whatever that changes.
Monica: Absolutely. One step at a time, baby steps.
Riley: [00:06:00] yeah.
Roni: So I wanna hear about, uh, so you said you've been doing this for over 20 years, or at least you've been with weston a price for over 20 years. But what was your like epiphany moment that made you decide like, this is where the direction I want my life to take.
Monica: I think there was an epiphany moment around food and around the importance of food and that it mattered how things were grown and, uh, and that, and then the rest of it really was step by step by step. I mean, there wasn't like a, oh, I wanna go start my own company and start teaching people how to cook and that's, you know, or da, da, da.
It really was. The epiphany moment was, um, I'll tell you what the epiphany moment was. I had gone vegetarian. True. I'm an O positive. Carnivore in terms of my body blood type, whatever, but all my life I had gone vegetarian. This was like back in college, G rollers, I don't know, maybe 2000, maybe uh, maybe 25 years ago, whatever I went vegetarian, I [00:07:00] thought it was a really important thing to do. I thought it was spiritual. I thought it was gonna get me to be like really healthy and this and that.
And I was doing it well and right. Meaning I was voiding all the processed, garbage that vegetarians can fall into that trap. Right. Um, I was doing good things like combine combining beans and grains and you know, all those good things. And, and what happened was my, um, I was doing yoga one morning because I was stretching my body.
And that was a good thing to do. And my knee went out. Okay. My knee went out, meaning I couldn't walk because my, in my structure, if you will, my joints no longer, they had not been supplied with the nutrients to stay strong. So I had to go to the chiropractor, which I'd never been to before. I'm like, what do you mean I car, well, you can't walk.
You need to go somewhere. All right. So I went to the chiropractor and I was told, you know, [00:08:00] uh, your body needs to eat meat. Your body needs to eat meat. And I was absolutely. What do you mean? Can't I just eat more beans. I'm soaking them. Well, right? Like I'm doing what I'm supposed to do. No, we're really sorry.
You really, you have depleted all of your collagen is very weak. You, which collagen only comes from animal foods. You can't get it. And there's nothing in the plant kingdom that can give it to you in any case. That was like, so I was told you have to eat meat, uh, get the best quality meat you can find. I understand this is important to you.
My chiropractor's telling me, so start searching. And that was the epiphany moment, cuz I thought, oh my God, literally, if I'm gonna eat meat, it has to be raised sustainably. It has to be cared about. It has to be the way it's supposed to be. Right. Cows are supposed to be on pasture. Right? All the animals are supposed to be on pasture.
The chickens are supposed to be out eating bugs. They're not supposed to be in cages right on, you [00:09:00] know, in cages, stacked up on top of each other with their beaks and their claw, you know, chopped off. So they can be in an industrial model. I mean, that was the big epiphany for me was like, because I started digging then because it was okay if I'm gonna stay around, I wasn't even 30 yet folks.
Okay. So if I'm gonna stay around and I thought I've got work to do in this lifetime, I need to have a body that works. So, how am I gonna do it? And so I just started digging and, you know, and at that point, you know, who had there wasn't this whole internet thing was not the way it is now. I mean, it really wasn't believe it or not.
There were Yahoo groups and that's about all we had. Um, but I started digging that led me to Joel, Salatin of Polyface farm, who is the, uh, he's the number one grass farmer in the country. He is the template that everybody follows. He's an amazing man. He's brilliant. Um, anyway, it led me to him. He was in Virginia, so I could drive down there.
So, [00:10:00] and then I met, you know, I saw him and then I, I met Sally Fallon sat now, Sally Fallon Morrell, because I was part of, uh, I started one of the first, if not the first, one of the first CSAs in the Washington DC area. And Sally Fallon wanted a part of it because we were getting biodynamic vegetables from Pennsylvania.
We drove three hours each way to go get these veggies from Kimberton, uh, Kimberton farm Kimberton farm up in Pennsylvania. It's in Kimberton PA you could look it up. It's the, the oldest biodynamic farm in the us in any case. So these were the things that were happening. The first thing that happened was my body went out and, you know, and oh, by the way, when I was doing the vegetarian thing, it was all organic.
Just so everybody's clear. I wasn't like eating garbage, just my body couldn't do it. So I thought if I'm going to eat meat, because I need to nutritionally, what can I do? How can, how am I gonna do this? And so I, you know, I, [00:11:00] I found Joel, I drove down to the farm. It was three and a half or four hours away.
I didn't care. I wanted to see what is he doing? How does he work with his, um, how does he work with his animals? You know, what kind of person is he like, what does the farm look like? It was an amazing, amazing thing. Um, And then I brought some of his meat back and the first piece of meat I ate was a steak from Polyface farm.
Everybody should look that up if you don't know it. Um, he was the farm that Michael pollen wrote about in college. G what was the name of that book? Omnivores dilemma. You got it. So in any case, um, his was the first steak I ate. And when I, you know, when you bless your food, I mean, I hope everybody's at least taking a moment to say, give thanks.
Right? So I blessed my food and I, and I ate my food and I thought, oh, oh my goodness, that I, it's not about me blessing the food that food's blessing me. Like, that's what we're supposed to be about when we're eating, like, thank you [00:12:00] for the gift of this food. Like your body just goes when you're eating, what is good?
And, you know, good meaning like really like an alignment was what your body needs right now. Don't you just feel like, oh boy, that felt, that was great. That was exactly never gonna feel like that was a Snickers bar. Let me tell you, but anyway, So I met, I told you that was, so that was like the seminal moment, the aha moment like that I could like that all food wasn't the same, even organic and that farmers could make decisions about regenerative agriculture.
And this was one of the pioneers and he's still going the guys, golly, gee, he's gotta be, I don't know if he's in his late sixties now writing book after book, after book, they call him the high priest of pasture. Joel does. He's a friend of mine now and Sally Fallon, Sally Fallon Morrell writing, nourishing traditions.
So I met Sally through the CSA that we started, which is still going on in Bethesda, Maryland, uh, right now. [00:13:00] And, uh, yeah, I started reading nourishing traditions at the time. I, I also had started my first at my only, uh, catering company. It was called the basic feast. It was all about organic and biodynamic foods.
It started out as vegetarian. It evolved to be able to bring in these, you know, meats that were sustainably raised through these local farms that people really wanted in the DC Metro area. And then I, I, you know, I started catering. I was, I catered the first two, I, my little company, which is really I plus some friends, um, catered the first two, uh, Western a price, uh, conferences in DC.
The first one was I think, uh, 27 people in a church basement in silver spring, Maryland. Now she does 18, you know, 1500, 1800 every year west. I hope everybody's looking that up. Weston, w E S T O N a price.org.
[00:14:00] So I say that because again, this was the, so the first aha moment was, wow. The way food is grown matters. Uh, the farmers matter, um, raw milk matters. Um, all those things like ma and then, and then I thought, you know, what I put in my body matters, right? Like if I'm going to eat meat, it matters that it's grass fed and sustainable all those things.
So that was like the big whoa, because it led to so many things and then. I was catering one of these Weston, a price wise tradition conferences. And I think it must have been maybe six months later, I got a phone call from someone who had been at one of the conferences. And, uh, she said, Monica, can you teach nourishing traditions? Can you teach this? She was a manager of, one of the local co-ops food. Co-ops in Bethesda, Maryland. I think there's only two in Bethesda. So you could probably figure out which one of us it's called the Bethesda [00:15:00] co-op anyway. So, um, she called it, she said, could you teach this? She said, we have, look how big it is.
She said, we have this book. I know it's important. I know, you know it cuz you just catered a whole conference with this food. Could you teach it? That was my first class. I said, sure. Why not? So I sat down at my little round table in silver, spring, Maryland and I, and I developed my first course. I actually looked at this and thought if someone wanted to teach, wanted to.
Cook, you know, traditionally like cook in these traditional ways with these techniques, like make their own yogurt, like make their own broth in stock, like ferment their own, you know, sauerkraut things that these days are a lot more like a lot of it's kind of people get it. You can buy things like these things in the store.
Now back then they thought I was crazy teaching. Like, I'm gonna teach you how to ferment with bacteria. Ah, what, no way man. Yes. Way, man. [00:16:00] Anyway, so that point is just to say that that phone call was the, the phone call and the yes. Right? She said, could you teach classes? I said, sure. Why not? I'd love to get people to know how to do this.
And so I developed my first six classes. I called them, uh, wellbeing basics. Right. Cooking for wellbeing basics. And, uh, I just started teaching and it took off like that. It was crazy how fast it took off. And, uh, yeah. I even landed on the cover of the Washington post food, uh, food section for lack of fermented salsa.
Riley: I, I love hearing people's stories. I love kind of how, like, these things just fall into so many people's laps, like what they end up doing. Um, so I think that gives people encouragement of like, if you don't know what you're gonna do with your life, don't worry. It'll fall into your lap.
Monica: I always say, follow your heart, follow your gut. What feels like the next right move. Right? What, what are, so when she said, can you do this? I thought, yeah, that'd be [00:17:00] great. That'd be fun. And then it led to now I teach, I've been teaching for what? 16 years, 17 years now, teaching and teaching these types of classes for traditional cooking teaching.
Now I'm teaching gaps classes, and I've been doing that for a long time. And. So
Riley: the perfect segue. Uh, you already mentioned what gap stands for, but why don't you tell us again what the acronym stands for, and then just talk to about talk to us about what gaps is maybe the four pillars of gaps, any of that?
Monica: Yeah. Okay. So gaps is gut and psychology syndrome. I'm looking over there because my book is right there. I could grab it, but that's okay. So gut and psychology syndrome, G a P S um, it is a nutritional protocol. I say that because it involves both what you eat and what you don't eat. And a detoxification protocol.
I like to say it's the two tracks they run right alongside each other. You have to make sure you're detoxifying [00:18:00] while you're bringing in good nutrients in any case, I'll get to that later. So. Gaps was developed by a doctor, a Russian medical doctor, um, uh, Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride. She's in the U. She grew up in the UK or she lives in the UK now.
Um, anyway, she had a son who was diagnosed autistic and she was told, gotta put 'em on meds. That's all we can do. And she said, I don't think so because what do moms say right? Is their, usually their first movement is not medication. They're not gonna say. Yeah. Yeah, sure. Gimme some pills for my two year old or my three year old, although that's another subject for another time because it's it's happening.
But she was like, no, there's gotta be another way. Let me do some, let me investigate. Let me find, you know, what about food? What about food? Might it matter? So she just, you know, again, she's a [00:19:00] medical doctor and she has a masters in, uh, nutrition and in neurology. And so she, she did some research. She found Elaine Gottschall's, um, breaking the vicious cycle book, which is on the specific carbohydrate diet.
Not gonna go too much into that, but that was the template that she used. First. The SCD was, uh, a book. It's a protocol that was the first protocol that connected food and healing, ulcerative colitis and things like that. So Natasha said, Ooh, this is a good place to start it's we already know it works. Let me look at it.
And so she develop, she worked with her son and really, uh, she developed, uh, she developed a diet and the diet's called, or the nutritional protocol is called gaps, gut and psychology syndrome. So she took the C D. I always make a joke like, and she put it on steroids, but of course she didn't put it on steroids, right?
There's no drugs here, but, but she added the, the things that make [00:20:00] gaps, what it is, which is the meat stock, which is all the collagen that heals and seals, the leaky gut. She added in, you know, um, therapeutic therapeutically made, shall I say, or I'll just say it that way. Uh, culture dairy, things that are L lactose free.
And anyway, she, she added fermented food. So she took SCD as a foundation that anybody's interested. They could go back and go, oh, what did Elaine, God y'all do B BA BA. She did that. And it's still around and working for some people. So it's helpful. So anyway, she developed something called gaps. It's a nutritional protocol.
It, um, as I said, as you know, the acronym is gut and psychology. Syndrome. So that was her first book. She has four books out. The first book is yellow gut and psychology. It talks about the connection between the gut and the brain, right? So autism, a D [00:21:00] D ADHD, um, bipolar schizophrenic dyslexia. Did you know that can be healed dyspraxia, right?
Like these depression, the big three, a DS, right. Um, brain fog. So anything that has to do with gut brain connection is gaps. I say that because, um, in 20 19, 20 19, golly, time is moving. Um, Dr. Natasha wrote, uh, her fourth book, this one's called gut and physiology syndrome. So it's also gaps. And this one talks about how, when you, because it's got several year, more years of her clinical experience where she says, oh, when you heal the gut, you also heal all of these physiological symptoms, right?
It's not just about brain function, it's all about it's about everything else. And she, she has a whole list, a to Z, everything from [00:22:00] alopecia and autoimmune to, you know, diabetes, to you name it, gaps, gut function, and gut health is totally connected to everything that's happening. So, you know, what is gaps?
It's a nutritional protocol. It's based on real food, right? Clean, real food. That's cooked in a traditional way. Um, and we'll go about into that in a minute. Um, and then we can talk about the four pillars, but, um, it's really where everybody needs to start. The reality at this point. So what I'm saying, what I'm trying, the point I'm trying to make is that even though it's gut and psychology syndrome, and that's where it started, what we found as practitioners, and now there are certified gaps, practitioners all over the world and we're growing by leaps and bounds and LA LA LA.
Um, uh, what we found is is that if you have anything going on gaps is where to start or some part of gaps. So again, that goes back to how do [00:23:00] I work with people and help them define, like, what could you do? Like, what could you do one little step because gaps can be frightening. And it can be because it's a big protocol, but if you have a gaps practitioner or you know where to start, you you're good to go.
Everyone can benefit from this nutritional protocol. Everyone, no matter who you are, even if you say, you know what, I have seasonal allergies every year. Bingo, you're a gaps candidate. Even if you say, you know what I am, you know, dairy really doesn't agree with me. Bingo. You are a gaps candidate. Yeah. So, uh, what if you say, you know what I have, I have, um, I, you know, I really go between constipation and diarrhea. Bingo. You know, or I get cold every fall. Bingo. I mean, you know, I have like a question.
I have like an 80 question. I ask people questions and then I have like 80 questions. I ask them [00:24:00] and if they answer any of them, I say, yep, you're a gaps candidate. Okay. All right. So let's just say you got something going on. Gaps could help you would you have to do the entire protocol. Before you start seeing results, probably not maybe one or two things you could do and you could start feeling better.
Riley: that usually prompt people? Like once they see a little bit of change, like with doing one thing, does that usually prompt people to go further? Cuz they're thinking, oh man, I feel so much better off this one little change.
Monica: absolutely. Yeah. I mean, you know, if we can just get people to start feeling better, then we can, then, then they're, then they're in. Then they're like, oh, it works
Riley: Yeah. It's amazing how that'll shift. People's mindsets
Monica: yeah, sure. Or maybe, uh, maybe they just have more energy and they say, oh, okay. I can do more. You know, so, yeah. So, okay. So let's talk about the four pillars. the four pillar, I came up with this. Because I think that way, I think this is a big book. It's got a lot of information. How can I make it [00:25:00] easy for people to understand? Like, and so, um, I came up with this. This is something I used to train I'm on. I didn't mention I'm on Dr. Natasha's teaching team.
So I teach I'm the trainer, if you will, for gaps, cooking for all of gaps worldwide. Isn't that cool?
Riley: That's wild.
Monica: that. And Dr. Natasha herself named me the gap chef. So that's me. So if you look around anywhere and you look up the gap, chef, you're gonna find my little self. So anyway, so I came up with, I'm trying to teach people this protocol.
So I came up with these four pillars. So the four pillars of gaps. Number one, what are we gonna do? We're going to stop injury. So remember what we're, so we're wanting to heal and seal the gut because gut leaky gut. Which we've been talking about now for a long time, and it's kind of cool cuz people like these days, people know what that is.
But when we first started teaching gaps, we were like, what do you mean leaky gut? There's no leaky [00:26:00] gut B B B the official name for leaky gut is increased intestinal permeability. If you wanna, you know, in terms of medically, you won't find leaky gut anywhere, but you will find increased intestinal permeability.
So the first thing we want to do is stop injury. So we're gonna stop injury. I'm gonna give you the forward pillars and I'll talk about them. So we stop injury. What's the injury, the injury to the small intestines specifically. Okay. Um, we're gonna add in healing foods, we're going to starve pathogens. Doesn't that sound good? And we're going to rebuild the gut flora. So. Those are the four pillars. You gotta do four things. People say what gap's all about. You do these four things in the nutritional protocol. And then there's a whole nother line of things that you can do to support the body in detoxing, which is very helpful to do when you start changing your diet.
So you don't feel terrible. So we stop injury. [00:27:00] And what are we injuring when you eat? There are certain molecules, certain foods I'll say it that way that can act like sandpaper on an open wound. Does has that for a visual? Yeah, we don't wanna do that. Right. Or the other thing I like to say to people is, you know, when you have a boo boo, like let's say you fall down and you hurt your right, you have a boo boo, you scrape your knee or your child scrapes your knee, or somebody scrapes their knee.
Um, if you keep falling down and scraping that knee, is it going to, is it going to repair? No. We have to stop injuring that area so that it can rebuild. So the same thing happens with our gut. We have to stop injuring that area. We eat from the top down. Okay. So in the mouth down esophagus stomach into the small intestine, everybody eats that way, right.
Humans and animals, whatever. But [00:28:00] so what we eat matters. So there are certain things we take out. What are the things we take out? We take out, um, we take out gluten, right? Why? Well, lots of reasons. One is, it's totally riddled with glyphosate at this point, but we take out, this is another story for another time, but we take out gluten and because gluten is a large complex molecule that can continue to injure and break through that permeable membrane.
That that more, that increased that more. It's more permeable than usual. Um, it's a big molecule. So we take out gluten, we take out casein. Those are the big offenders that you've heard before. Like people go, oh yeah, I do the gluten-free casein free diet or gluten-free dairy free diet. Well, that's great.
But just taking them out is not gonna be enough. I gotta do something. Right. So if you stop injury, great. Now then we're gonna go ahead and rebuild. So, so we take out gluten, we take out casein, we take out what we call specific [00:29:00] carbohydrates. Now that comes from the specific carbohydrate diet S C D that I just talked about.
So big complex molecules, like starch molecules, right? We edge. So what does that mean? No potatoes. Why potatoes are have huge molecules, right? Like, so things like that. So we take certain foods out. A lot of people, if they're trying to heal, they've already taken some of these things out when they get to gaps.
Some people haven't even thought to take it. No problem. We just start taking certain foods. We also take out grains, all grains come out again because of the size of the protein molecules. So we take out grains. We casein gluten so, so that's pillar one stop injury. What does stop injury mean? It means we stop eating those molecules.
That could be, that could be injurious. And the other one is fiber fibrous things like celery, number one, fiber. Right? So we don't eat celery, things like that. So we stop injury pillar. One, two, we add in healing [00:30:00] foods, healing foods are specifically meat stock, not, not bone broth, which is we could go in that way too.
But it's meat stock actually. That's why I started writing. My first book was because people were doing bone broth and thinking, Ooh, this is gonna heal my leaky gut. No. Meat stock will heal your leaky gut. So we add in meat stock that heals and seals. We add in, um, culture dairy. We add in good fats, healthy fats, we're talking healthy animal fats. We are not talking. Let's go cook an avocado oil. All right. Our grape fr grape seed oil. We could talk all about that too, but we add in healthy fats. Why? Because, because you need them to rebuild. And that's another story. So stop injury, add in healing foods. We're gonna starve pathogens because the other thing we find [00:31:00] anyone who has a brain function issue, and many, many people do.
I can't even tell you how many children are on medication for depression right now. No joke. Like this is crazy. I mean, it's unheard of really teenagers children, right? Or they're on ly sick. They're on all sorts of things, right. For stomach issues and this and that, whatever. But if we starve the pathogens, then the toxins that those pathogens give off will stop, um, polluting the brain if you will. So we have to starve pathogens. And that means that what do pathogens like sugar? They like sugar in all of its forms. So out it goes, right? So we take sugar out and then we also rebuild gut flora. So we rebuild the gut flora with lactose fermented foods, lactose fermented to, so what are they, what would be a lacto fermented food sauerkraut, homemade sauerkraut, homemade kimchi, [00:32:00] maybe homemade fermented beets, maybe homemade, homemade pickles that are fermented those types of things along with cultured dairy. So that usually gets people. Oh no, I'm dairy free. I can't do gaps. Guess what gaps heals. The reason why you're dairy free. Really? Yeah. That's I think that's so cool. I people get their mind blown on that one. What do you mean? They said they couldn't happen. Mm. Yeah. So that's the four pillar stop injury, add in healing foods, starve pathogens, rebuild gut flora.
And when that happens, those four things happen. It's kind of, you know, you have to have them. They're, they're all happening at the same time. While we are supporting the body, you feel better, you really feel better.
Roni: So that sounds like, I mean, all of those things sound like awesome changes that people could make to their diet, but it also does. It also does have a little bit of that sense of overwhelm of like [00:33:00] all of a sudden I have to start making meat stock. I have to start fermenting my things, you know, like it there's multiple pieces to add in.
So like what's the, what how's, how do you start to incorporate it this into like a, you know, busy lifestyle or like a mom or dad that has children. And, you know, they're trying to incorporate this into like a family scenario.
Monica: sure. So, um, the first thing that I do when I work with families, is we determine what, what will get them to overwhelm meaning, or maybe we'll go the other way. We, I do a little assessment of like, Hey, what's your cooking skills? Like, what do you know how to do? And Hey, what are you already eating? And do you do organic or not?
Or do you grow? And you know, like I do a little thing where we feel out very gently, easily, what's going on for you? What are you currently eating and what would be an easy place to start? So often what happens with, uh, when I work with people is the first, the first thing we do is they take certain [00:34:00] things out of their diet because removing things like, like they might move from, all I ever eat is earth balance for a fat. And you say, well, how about you try using this and this and this fat, you know, so now that's an easy switch, right? Like they're still cooking, but they're gonna use something different.
So we do those types of things and really those things can make a big difference. Like what about. If they're eating eggs, let's say they're eating eggs. Well, are you eating pastured eggs? Well, no. Well, boom. So these are the types of things, you know, or we'll switch out their salt because they're using Morton salt or some horrible, sorry, Morton, not really.
Um, they're using some kind of table salt, which is not serving their body, which is low in minerals and too high in sodium. And so, you know, there are little things we can do it. So that's usually where I start with people is, is, um, you know, uh, what could we just [00:35:00] switch out? So it's not a major deal yet.
That number one that happens. The next thing we can do is we figure out how, um, uh, so switching out, sourcing differently, that kind of thing can make a huge impact on a person and their energy level. Believe it or not. And then we can start thinking about things like, Hmm. We talk about, well, would you like to learn how to ferment. Maybe some moms love to teach their kids how to ferment their homeschooling maybe, or maybe they're not, maybe they just need something to do in the summer. And this is a little activity. Let's teach the kids, whether they're anywhere from, you know, three to, you know, 18, everybody can learn how to ferment.
And so, or would you rather buy it? So we just do those types of things. And we think about how can we slowly make changes that will be high impact. One of the highest impact things people can do is take sugar outta their diet. And we've known that for 20, 30, 40 years at this point, right. White sugar is like poison.
So, [00:36:00] so again, it's really individual. We can find out what's best for them and they can start by buying something at the store. Like maybe they'll start buying kombucha at the store before they learn how to make it. That's fine. Maybe they'll start buying a good live saurkraut we're blessed. What I said before, when I first started teaching 20 years ago or 18 years ago, whatever, it was long time I was teaching people how to make sauerkraut.
They thought I was bananas who wanted to eat sauerkraut? Are you crazy? You know, but now you can find there's five different local brands where we are here, right. All over the country. You can walk in and find kombucha and, you know, water kefir and kefir. I mean, there's stuff that we can start on the commercial realm.
And then as people want to, and, uh, yeah, as people want to, and as it becomes necessary, because what you make at home is far more potent than anything you're ever gonna buy. So some people really do [00:37:00] need, you know, you have an autistic child, you're trying to move them off of six allergies. Probably it's gonna be a good idea to down the road, start making these things yourself.
Riley: So this, you know, this is a question that has been coming to my mind and I'm guessing listeners would feel the same way. Um, is what do people eat? You know, I'm sure a lot of people are like, what do I even eat now? Um, so can you give us an examples of gaps, meals that you make for your clients? Just so people kind of have like a, I think that I wanna give people this, like SIM, like if they're really new to gaps, like what is a, like, what's a great meal.
Like how give some hope, you know,
Monica: so there's yes, I will do that. There's a couple things, though. The gaps diet is made is actually three different phases. And so there's what you would do or what you're probably asking for, for the general group, you know, where would you start? If you don't have someone who's like, as [00:38:00] I said, very who's either got very, very difficult digestive system symptoms like ulcerative colitis or IBS or, or someone that doesn't have autism or whatever.
So now you're just, you know, you're just, you know, wanna be good. You wanna feel good? You wanna get rid of those pesky seasonal allergies or you have, you know, tummy issues sometimes, and you know, something's up. Or maybe frankly, maybe you got sick this past year or the year before. Right. And so this would be a great place to start.
So then you would start in what we call the full gaps diet. So there's intro gaps, full gaps and transition off gaps because gaps is really a therapeutic diet. That means healing. I know I'm not a doctor. I can't say that, but it's a therapeutic diet that, um, really you don't need to be on for the rest of your life.
You go on it. You heal and seal you get it, all your symptoms go away and then you're off. So I just wanna put that out there. There's three different places. Uh, two of which [00:39:00] you enter either you enter full gaps or you enter intro enter has six stages, and it's very, it's like an elimination diet, whatever.
Let's just talk about what you said. So let's just say for the, for the average person that's coming in, that doesn't have all these massive symptoms, uh, where would they start? What would their food look like? The way I like to get people to understand what gaps is on full gaps is it's paleo.
And I'll do that. Talk more about that in a minute. What that is to me, it's paleo plus culture, dairy and ferments. So what's paleo, like in general, paleo, the paleo diet, which a lot of people know about is basically meat and vegetables. I mean really meat, vegetables, meat, eggs, vegetables, meat, poultry, eggs, VE protein and vegetables.
That's what paleo is. Right? So we take that structure. So you take that structure, anything you want in there, meat, fish, poultry, eggs. So all those proteins. And then we add [00:40:00] cultured dairy, which is yogurt kefir. Also not as Keifer in America. So funny. So cult, right. So yogurt, caffeine, cultured cream, creme fresh, um, butter, cultured, butter ghee.
So you add cultured dairy, and then you add in lacto fermented vegetables. So sauerkraut whatever pickles, kimchi, people love, kimchi, those types of things. So. Given that, now that you're thinking about that. Hmm. So what could I eat? Well, what's your breakfast look like? If you're on full gaps, you can have eggs any way you want to.
You can have, uh, cheese cheeses in there too. If you're on full gaps, you can have, uh, bacon, sausage, I mean, right. With a side of sauerkraut or a side of kimchi or something, what, what else could you have for B? You could have yogurt with berries and S sprouted nuts, right?
Like this sounds familiar. People. This is not like, Ooh, this is so [00:41:00] weird. No. So what about lunch and dinner? Well, what do you wanna have? You're certainly not going to McDonald's and you're not going to have a sandwich. Those are out. You could have a lettuce wrap, roast beef with Mayo, right? Cuz there's no bread and no grains. You could have a roast chicken at night or fish chicken, fish, vegetables, salad, homemade salad dressing. I mean, it really is not that big a movement. I don't think from when you think about it that way. That's why I try to, you know,
Riley: that's super helpful. I mean, I think that that alone brings it kind of back down to like this isn't that far off from what's currently happening probably in your meals. It's just about some changes, um, that enhance it. That that's really why I asked the question, cuz I
Roni: Well, it actually, it actually, sounds really simple, you know, there's a lot of, I, I know that, um, obviously with plan to eat, we're very focused on getting people, you know, like use your favorite recipes and things like that, but this is almost like you don't really need [00:42:00] recipes to make a lot of these meals.
So like you're just buying kind of like simple ingredients and assembling them in the way that you wanna eat them together. Right.
Monica: Yes if you're doing culture dairy on gaps, that dairy has to be got lactose free. So that is gonna give you a little bit of a nuance of what you need to pay attention to. If you're buying. Right. Or you can just learn a simple technique that I came up with to make things that you buy, you know, best quality.
You can find organic pasture, blah, blah, blah, whole milk, dairy yogurt, and then you learn how to make it lactose-free at home because the lactose again is sugar. Sugar is not on gaps because it feeds pathogens. We're trying to starve out the pathogens. And often for people who have dairy issues, it's about lactose.
It's about the sugar. If you're bloating, oh, I can't eat, you know, I can't eat dairy. Why I bloat it's a lactose most of the time, 90% maybe. Right. So those kind [00:43:00] of nuances. But yeah, if they in the beginning full gaps can be very, very, as a start starting point, as I said, can be very, very easy to if you wrap your mind around it that way, and I'm bringing that up because there really are very sick people. And those people really do need to learn how to make their own yogurt at home, because we can't be sure of what even that organic yogurt is full of
in the store. We can also be sure it's not gonna be as potent in terms of healing as something you make yourself. So there's gonna be a lot, you know, there's always a scale and I'm always asking people like, where are you on the scale?
Are you like in the broken down Volkswagen bus? Like, is that, you know, like like how, how many symptoms have you got? And I have to tell you humbly, I have people coming to me that are really, really sick. And then, or are you just hanging out with like, yeah, I'm, I'm not really the Maserati, but I'm probably [00:44:00] like a, I don't know, a Ford Chevy, Kia soul.
Something like, yeah, I've got a couple things going on, but not really a big deal. So you really have to think about gaps is so what can I say. It's so easy for a practitioner to help people even, or even yourself to look and think, which, what do I, what do I really need here? So there's, it's, it's indivi.
You can make it individual for people, right? So there's just so people know there's no plant gaps, no plants that heals things like ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. And some of those really horrible digestive things. That's what you would do. And it works and I've seen it work. It's crazy. Cool. You have people, no symptoms that they've had for 20 years right now they're healed.
What, what did that food? What? Huh? Right? So there's no plant gaps. There's more plant gaps. Maybe your body does better with more [00:45:00] plants. Fabulous. Let's go there. Yeah. There's gaps, liquid fasting for people who wanna do, you know, intermittent fasting. So big right now. Okay. Well, you're gonna do it fast.
Let's do it this way. Right. Let's heal these other things. And so there's no plant, more plant liquid fasting, there's full gaps, diet. There's gotta be other ones that I'm not even remembering, but there's a way to tailor, like what's going on for you? Oh, well, let's, let's do that. Let's let's, let's focus on this piece.
Everyone's gonna focus on, I love it. I mean, it's just, and that's, it's that stuff that information's in the blue book, but everyone's gonna do meat stock. So just let you know, not bone broth. People are like, what? Can't I make bone broth. I'm always making bone broth. What do you got? So does that make sense? Is that helpful? Like, I just wanna say anyone who's got anything going on, you know, if you just follow those little principles of, you know, you can feel better, it can, you can feel better. [00:46:00] And I have to say, even though we, even though Dr. Natasha would. We cannot, as I said, we can't claim healing because of the cultural, like the, the way the current culture is in our, in our country, you know, but we can't say that gaps heals anaphylactic allergies, but as practitioners we've seen it and no GI doctor will tell you or no, immunologist will tell you, there's no one that'll tell you that, that food can heal in that way. And we've seen it. We see it all the time.
Riley: Well, I think, um, you've answered just so many of the questions that we came up with. And in fact, I had a real case scenario for you, but you've answered that too. Like that's done. We don't even need to bring it up.
Monica: All right. Cool.
Riley: But I think that probably a great place to kind of wrap it up would be just a couple of stories of like real people who have real symptoms who've seen their lives changed.
Um, just because people will see themselves, if they have, you know, they'll see themselves in these kind of stories. Um, so I, we [00:47:00] just love to hear that.
Monica: sure. A couple things. Um, so yes I have. So this, I love this one. I mean, I just wanna say that it's been, so it's so heartening as a practitioner and as someone who guides people through families, through these things, you know, that we get to hear the stories, right. We get to witness these things and, um, and we know that it works and it's incredible because you know, we live in an environment where everything there, the medical I'll call it the medical industrial complex.
That's what I call it. That's my term. But the medical, you know, we, we're very medical, Western medicine is very medical. We're better health and wellbeing or wellness is medicalized here, you know? And what I'd love to see is that people getting down to food. It matters. You know, you can walk into a doctor's office.
They're never gonna ask you not every one of them. Okay. But many of them will never ask you, what are you eating? You know, you [00:48:00] go in with a GI problem. They don't even ask you what you eat. What? So anyway, I it's just so heartening for me to see this. So yeah, I have a couple, one is, um, again, one is a, an amazing woman, uh, mother of five boys, lives on a, just, just bought a piece of land, you know, was living in suburbia and said, forget it.
I wanna go buy a farm and let's go work it. And now she has cows and this or whatever. And it's been a real, I mean, God bless her. That's a lot but all of this, she had, uh, ulcerative colitis for 20 years symptomatic. Yeah, symptomatic. And she tried everything, everything there was to try EV she tried every medication she could have tried.
She tried every diet she could have tried until she got to gaps. She didn't wanna do gaps because she's like, it's too hard. So she came to me and said, can we do, you know, I'm, I'm afraid. I don't think I can do it. I, can you help me? I said, of course, I'd guide you through it. And I said, [00:49:00] and I think we should do no plant for at least three to six months.
And she's like, no plant, cuz everybody's big about plants. Right? We love plants. We do love plants. We also have to know that plants are cleansers. They are not builders. plants cleanse the body and that's wonderful, but they also can work as sandpaper on an open wound, especially with people with things like colitis.
So that's why we take them out and she's been able to put them back in three months into no plant gaps. She has no symptoms. She's had a symptom every day, that's bleeding, right? That's bleeding cramping. This is, I told you, mother of five boys now running a farm. Right? Cause she, she did it. She made her yogurt herself.
She got herself, a yogurt maker. She made yogurt. She made her meat stock with no plants in it. She, you know, ate her fats and she healed. I mean, that is like a miracle I have test. I mean, I have, I [00:50:00] said, can I use this? Can I tell people? Absolutely. Are you kidding me? You know, so, and then we worked together to slowly bring those plants back in, in a certain way that was not gonna be injurious.
So that one is like, there's hope. But the biggest story that I love is actually makes me cry all the time. So I'll try not to weep. Now. It was one of my first success stories and it was a mom. I had just moved to Colorado from the DC Metro area. I had a phone consultation because nobody was zooming. Then this was, you know, 11 years ago or so. And a mom called me and she had a daughter that was nonverbal autistic. And the daughter was like, just diagnosed. Maybe she was two or three and, uh, nonverbal nonverbal, except for the fact that she would scream every morning when she woke up and sh that's what the parents would wake up to every day screaming. So anyway, she called me really at what end and said, what could I do? And I said those things to her, I said, take all sugar out of her. She did not do the [00:51:00] gaps, diet, the whole thing. I'm telling you people, she took sugar out of her diet, all of it. She took grains out of her diet so that we got gluten plus everything else, like all that processed, garbage out there.
That's. You know, worse than gluten. Cause it has so much starch in it. So she took out sugar. She took out, um, grains. And she, she added in healthy fats, like butter. She added in lots of butter. I mean, this wasn't a big deal. It was pastured, organic butter. She bought it in the store. She let her have as much butter as she wanted.
And she added in meat stock. That's all she did. Everything else was the same. That's it folks. Okay. Turns out three months later, parents are waking up, but they're just waking up. There's no screaming. Not only is there no screaming. This little girl got out of her bed, ran her mommy, dad, mom, and dad's room and said, good morning, this is a non nonverbal screaming child three months.
That's all they did. They didn't do the whole thing. They went [00:52:00] on to do things like add in ferments and blah, blah, blah, later on. But man, I heard that story. I didn't even know it cuz she never called me back. She had one session. I had told her what I suggested these things. I heard about it later on when I was teaching one of my, uh, teacher training.
I teach people how to cook and then I teach them how to teach people how to cook. And I, she, her, the mom actually came. She goes, I don't know if you remember me. I said, I remember everyone that I work with. Right. She told me and uh, she said, I'd like to take your class. I said, great. And then she was talking and I overheard her tell, oh yeah, I had a consultation with Monica and this is what we did.
And this is the story of my daughter. And now she's fine. Like she's fine. She's no longer on the autism scale. She's she's right where she needs to be developmentally. She's she's fabulous. She's yay. She's out there doing her thing. I mean, I was weeping when I heard it. I couldn't
Riley: Incredible. It's incredible.
Monica: It wasn't even the whole diet.
It was just, let's take this bad stuff out. Let's add a couple of these things in and [00:53:00] boom, there's the daughter. And, and then as I said, the mom went on to do more of the diet later on like in her own way. And the child is now, you know, no diagnosis, cetera,
Roni: Wow. That's incredible. Truly incredible.
Monica: Food is powerful.
Everyone food, food food,
Roni: well, we know that you just have a kind of a we're we're running out of time with you, unfortunately. Why don't you just tell us, uh, where we can find you and maybe the name of your book, um, you know, that kind of
Monica: Thanks. Sure. Um, yeah, where they can find me. So you can find me on my website simplybeingwell.com and you can find all sorts of stuff there, you know, blah, blah, blah. My books are there. Um, if consultations are there book of consultation, whatever, you can find out how I work. There's some blogs there, but not much because I don't have time to write a lot cuz I'm usually teaching.
Um, but I'd love to write more. Um, I do have a book which is so [00:54:00] fabulous. The, can you guys see that or is it backwards?
Roni: We can
Riley: No, the complete cooking techniques for the
Monica: You got it. So this is actually four books in one, one. This is the meat stock and bone broth book. That's the first book I wrote. Because everybody was making bone broth and there's no bone broth on gaps. You have to heal and seal with meat stock. And it's easy if you know what you're doing. See that chicken in a pot.
Yeah. That's what we're talking about. Does that sound easy? Yeah. Okay. Then there's culturing dairy. That's actually raw yogurt. Fabulous. And in here you can learn. Well, if I can't get raw, What do I do? No problem. Figure it out. We'll tell you how to do that. This is the lacto fermentation section.
That's actually beat kavas beets, beet tonic, really good for the liver, et cetera. And this is nuts and seeds and beans. Um, so this is my book and you can get it off my website. You can get it on Amazon. You can get it on my, uh, publisher, selene river, [00:55:00] press S E L E N E river press. I'm also an author there, not only an author of books there, uh, but I'm also, uh, an author of blogs there.
So I've written a lot there under simply being, well, you can find what I've written about using kefir to clear eczema. Yes. And all sorts of things like that. The other place. See, go ahead.
Roni: I was gonna say, and you told us before we started recording that your book is being translated into seven different languages, right?
Monica: Yes, it's going to French, Italian, German, Spanish, Turkish. And I'm not remember the other ones yet, but yes, we're translating. We're hopefully next year. They're all, they'll be out next year. I pray. Um, yeah. What else did I wanna tell you? Uh, find me on Facebook. Find me on Facebook, uh, and on YouTube. So on Facebook, I do a Facebook live every Tuesday, 1130 mountain.[00:56:00]
It's called and you have to join my group first, which is called, ask the gap, chef Monica, Corrado you join the group, then you, and then you can come, ask anything you want. I'm doing that because I wanted to, So I'm a certified gaps practitioner and I'm the gap chef. So I want to be able to, uh, be available to people.
If you have questions like, oh my yogurt, didn't set up. What did I do wrong? Or what kind of bones do I need for meat stock? I don't, you know, or where can I source X, Y, or Z, or what's a good salt or, and it's a wonderful place I try to get on there, you know, once or twice a day and do a Facebook live, live where I teach for 20 minutes, um, every Tuesday.
So that's cool. All of those videos can be found on my YouTube channel, which is just Monica. Corrado C O R R a D O. And people can, you know, if you're not in my group, but you wanna learn, what's a histamine response. Um, what's the difference between meat stock and bone broth? Uh, what kind of bones do I use your meat stock?
Um, [00:57:00] what are the five detox, baths, and why do they count? Like four pillars of gaps. Is there if people wanna, I think it's called gaps basics. So I'm probably teaching for, I don't know, 10, 20 minutes on there. People could learn. So those are places that people could find me
Riley: Amazing. You are just saturated information and ways that you can share that information. And that is incredibly helpful because people need this. They need resources if they're gonna do something like this.
yes, yes. And also if people wanna know, um, I'm not the only gaps practitioner in town, please. Uh, yeah, there, if they wanna find one, we are training practitioners. Those are nutritionists. They might be nurses. They could be, you know, acupuncturists, they might be naturopaths, blah, blah, blah, blah. You can find ones all over the country and the world at this point at gaps.me, which is Dr. Natasha's website. You just look at, find a gaps practitioner. There, and, you know, you may have one that's in your area, um, and you can work with them directly. Many people are working [00:58:00] online, uh, and, uh, you know, obviously zooming and whatever. So really, because one of the things that I've found is that people or that I've heard, and that I know from experience is that people really benefit from having someone hold, just hold their hand through it. Not, not maybe the whole thing, but just to have someone to ask questions, you know, and things like that.
Riley: They do.
Monica: to do really good thing to do.
Riley: oh, thank you, Monica. This was incredible. We got so much information about this and we just can't. Thank you much enough. So thank you very much.
Monica: you. And can I give you a coupon for my book to share with everyone?
Riley: yeah, that'd be amazing.
Roni: yeah, we can put it in the show notes. Yeah.
Monica: okay, great. Because of course, right. We wanna get, get this info out to people and I'd love them to have it. So, yes, thanks for having me
Roni: Thank you.
Monica: blessings to everyone and just try. One, one thing, just one thing, right?
Just one thing.
Roni: Great advice.
Monica: right. Be well, everybody. Thank you so much for having me.[00:59:00]
Roni: We hope you enjoyed this episode. And if you did, please share it with someone and subscribe to our podcast. Wherever you listen to your podcasts.