The GAPS Intro Diet refers to the first stages of the GAPS Diet. It involves 6 stages that I will briefly describe each and share my journal and how we felt on each stage.
Update: With the amazing health benefits I have had and as an answer to many emails, I have written GAPS Diet: How to Start Ebook to help give you the confidence and timeline to get started on your journey to health.
Driving home from Georgia after attending my father-in-law’s funeral, I read aloud the GAPS book.
You can read my Gut and Psychology Syndrome Book Review for more details.
It is such an interesting book and made so much sense, as far as, our overall health being related to our intestinal health.
My GAPS diet experience has been truly life changing and the amazing relief I have found from my arthritis pain, as well as, beginning to eat meat for the first time in 30 years so,…
Even though we felt that our children were healthy,we decided to begin the Intro Diet as a family.
The GAPS Intro Diet is a 6 phase elimination diet which helps give a boost to the beneficial bacteria in your gut while eliminating the “bad” bacteria.
After all, I cook most of our meals from scratch, make our bread and overall have a healthy lifestyle.
Since no one has health problems which stand out, we decided to take a couple of days per phase. We just wanted to make sure everyone’s intestinal bacteria is balanced and healthy.
GAPS Intro Diet Effects
We started last week in Phase 1 which basically consists of eating:
- soups made from bone broth – See How to Make Bone Broth and How to Make Chicken Broth
- the boiled meat cooked during the process of making the homemade broth
- probiotic juice from sauerkraut – See How to Make Sauerkraut
- kefir (since dairy is tolerated by all).
I made beef (from our own grass fed steer) and chicken broth.
Using the GAPS compatible cookbook, Internal Bliss, I tried new recipes which included, Creamy Garlic Soup, Carrot Soup, Slow Cooked Chicken Soup, Butternut Squash Soup and Cowboy Stew.
To our amazement, the children, especially the three younger ones (ages 3, 6, 9) had detoxification or die off symptoms.
These are symptoms caused by the toxins released as the “bad” bacteria die in the gut.
In Phase 2, in addition to the above foods, we added:
- casseroles made with meat and vegetables
Everyone perked up with the addition of eggs but they sure missed the biscuits and jelly!
In Phase 3, in addition to all the foods we were already eating, we added:
- more cooked vegetables
- muffins made with almond flour
There were varying responses to the avocados. While we have had guacamole, we have never eaten plain avocados. So, it was a new texture which especially the younger children had to get used to.
To begin with, I sliced 2 between the 9 of us in an effort to introduce new foods slowly.
Instead of mashing them in our soup, I served the slices plain with eggs at breakfast. I think the texture was the main problem, especially for our 9 year old.
The big hit of the new phase, were the muffins.
Unfortunately, we will not be having the nut muffins for a few days.
Even though the almonds were prepared according to Grain Preparation, everyone noticed intestinal gas and bloating.
It was obvious that our gut was not ready for them. So, I will wait for several days and try them again.
GAPS Intro Diet Phases 1, 2 and 3 Conclusion
Overall, the week has been very encouraging as I see the progress of the children. The presence of die off symptoms confirmed the fact that perhaps we are not such a healthy family after all and benefits will be reaped from this diet.
We continued with our second week on the GAPS Intro Diet as a family. Continuing with about 2 days per stage, very few symptoms of die-off were experienced. Everyone is feeling much better.
In stage 3, I had introduced nut muffins which our bodies were just not ready to digest.
As we continued in stage 4, I tried them again, successfully this time – everyone was ecstatic! Anything resembling bread or a bread product was delicious! I also added:
roasted and grilled meats
Fresh juices should also be added, however, at this time I did not have a juicer and had not started juicing Carrot Juice Recipes.
With Stage 5, we continued with all the previous foods and I began introducing
- cooked fruit
- raw vegetables
Each addition was made slowly and for raw vegetables, I began with raw carrots.
Everone tolerated the new additions well and not only did energy levels improve so has the mood.
Again, continuing with all the before added foods, I added
- raw apples
- other fruits like pears
- more honey
With everyone feeling good, we are now entering the Full GAPS Diet which will be continued for a yet to be determined length of time.
I will continue to add more new vegetables while at the same time staying away from the starchy ones like potatoes, okra and certain dried beans.
These starchy vegetables turn quickly to sugar (a disaccharide as opposed to a monosaccharide like honey) and feed the “bad” bacterial which we are trying to bring under control.
As our menus expand, the children are definitely happier and more satisfied – limiting ourselves sure can be challenging!
Kefir, yogurt and fermented vegetable (homemade sauerkraut and fermented carrots) are here to stay in our diet. The probiotics in them are both economical and take very little preparation time in the kitchen.
Grains will be left off for the duration of the Full GAPS diet and when re-introduced, I will soak them to help break down the phytic acid (an enzyme and calcium inhibitor).
GAPS Intro Diet Phases 4, 5 and 6 Conclusion
Everyone has been able to adjust to drinking water instead of a drink mix and I will be adding kombucha soon.
Many good changes have occurred in our family as a result of being on the GAPS Diet.
While limiting ourselves, especially in sugar intake has been difficult, I have no doubt that we have given our bodies a jump start on bringing the “bad”, toxin producing bacteria in our gut under control.
After all, it is always good to practice self control!