This is a huge question that comes up for so many people that I work with. When is the best time? Should I wait until school holidays? Do I just pick a date? What about Aunty Jones 60th? That client lunch on the 25th? What if we go to a friends house for lunch? What if? What about? When?
The first thing I say...there is never a perfect time. A perfect time does not exist. If you have any resistance to starting (which we all usually do to starting anything new), then the perfect excuse will always appear. It is really about reaching a point where you prioritise healing through GAPS above other things like Aunty Jones 60th, or you are willing and committed to find a way to make it work (take your own food along).
GAPS is not a sprint race. It is more like one of those ultra marathons where you have been running for so long that you don't have to think anymore about putting one foot in front of the other, it just happens naturally. Starting GAPS does not necessarily mean starting at Stage 1. For some people the thought of starting straight on stage 1 is the reason they still haven't started! We have been taught that to start anything new you have to throw yourself in completely or it won't work, that "diet starts Monday" mentality. If you decide to start a yoga practice it has to be every day for an hour and a half until you give up and don't do it at all, it's the same with exercise, you overcommit until you can't sustain that level of commitment anymore. If you want something to stick for the long term, that start with some small changes that feel manageable and sustainable, and trust that is enough for now. These small changes, if stuck too over the long term, will make far more of an impact then a huge change that is overwhelming and only maintained for a few weeks. In doing GAPS this may look like a gradual transition on to the Full GAPS diet, and then steps to move back on to Stage 1, all the while doing a lot of healing through the changes you have made, and learning and creating new habits that will sustain you through intro when you begin Stage 1. GAPS is not a sprint race, there is not perfect way to do it, no one is watching the clock for you and your family. This is your journey.
It is always better to do something. Whatever reason you might come up with as to why now is not the perfect time, think if it this way. It is better to do something then nothing. Any changes that you CAN make, are going to make a difference. Adding in meat stock will start the healing process in your gut, as well as stimulate some detoxing, and also get in a lot of nutrition. Just by including some fermented foods you are introducing some beneficial bacteria to help overrun the bad guys, and assist with many processes within the body. Just by cooking with more whole foods, and making a few substitutions like swapping potato for cauliflower mash, rice for cauliflower 'rice', or even using potato as a stepping stone from pasta, you are greatly reducing the burden on your body. So just start somewhere...it doesn't have to be perfect!
It is very tempting to always look for something outside ourselves to live up to, a standard that someone else is setting for how we should do something, and if we don't live up to that standard, then failure. It really doesn't have to be this way with GAPS. GAPS is your journey, and you need to find a way to make it work for your family, at your pace. Focus on the positives, and make it about what you CAN change, and what the next step is for you without sending you in to complete overwhelm. Every journey starts with a step and it is all about persistence, and putting one foot in front of the other no matter how slowly. The perfect time is now!