I previously gave a description of what the GAPS diet is all about here and an explanation of what you can eat on the diet here. So let’s talk about the introduction to the GAPS diet.
I have a sneaky suspicioun that the real purpose of the intro is to be extremely restrictive, so that once you get to the full GAPS you’re not going to feel that it’s a regular smorgasbord!
But seriously, the real idea of the introduction is to pare down your diet to a very few, very easily digested and gut-healing foods. This way, people suffering from constipation or diarrhea can first of all alleviate that problem. You then slowly introduce new things to the diet and watch for reactions. If the new food is well tolerated, you can add another one. It’s an opportunity to really find out what is upsetting your system.
Why do we need to do this? Sometimes you eat something and it gives you a reaction five hours later, or the next day. You might never make the connection that it was Tuesday’s tuna that gave you Wednesday’s headache. But with a diet as simple as GAPS intro: Stage 1, it’s easy to make the connection.
The introduction had 6 stages. How long you stay at each stage depends on your individual situation. So what can you eat on stage 1 of GAPS?
GAPS Introduction Stage 1
- Start day with a glass of water.
- Eat meat or fish stock (and meat, marrow and soft tissue from bones) with all the fat: with every meal.
- A few teaspoons of juice from fermented foods with each meal.
- Soup made from stock: onions, carrots, broccoli, leeks, cauliflower, zucchini, squash, pumpkin, cabbage, carrots, greens, peppers, and other vegetables allowed on the diet - not but not parsnips, potato, yams which are forbidden.
- Homemade whey/sour cream/yogurt/kefir: Add gradually.
- Ginger tea – can be sweetened with a little honey.
What’s it like living at GAPS intro stage 1?
I don’t drink a lot of coffee, but in the past, I have missed my morning coffee when I couldn’t have it. For some odd reason, I’m not missing it at all now on GAPS. What I am missing is variety. Soup, stock, boiled vegetables, and boiled meat get tired very fast, even though I’ve tried to mix it up as much as I can. Honestly, nothing that I ate tasted bad, but a crunchy salad without a boiled texture is looking good right now. No spices are allowed at this stage, but generous use of fresh herbs is saving the day. What encourages me is that by the 4th or 5th stage of the introduction, it becomes more varied.
Advice for anyone considering GAPS
GAPS is a complete change from your regular diet. If you don’t know how to make bone broths or prepare soups from fresh meat (sorry, soup powder isn’t going to heal your gut) you’ll need to learn. You’ll also have to figure out how to get or make homemade dairy products and fermented vegetables – and that’s only for stage one. I suggest spending the few weeks leading up to a start of GAPS preparing and freezing and stocking up on some of these items. When it’s soup morning, noon and night, it goes pretty quickly! It’s good to have some on hand.
This post was shared on Whole New Mom, Gnowfglins, Real Food Freaks, Real Food Forager, and Kelly the Kitchen Kop.