The first five days of GAPS Intro can be the most challenging. Here is my checklist and menu for getting started with a plan.

When our family first started GAPS years ago, it was the first five days of GAPS Intro that were the toughest to wrap my mind around and the hardest for how we were feeling as a family. Now, as a GAPS™ practitioner, I find this to be true (more or less) for many families I help through Intro.

The toughest part about the GAPS Protocol is typically the Introduction part of the diet. I put together this 5 Day Checklist and Menu for Intro that can be easily scaled up or down (depending on family size), or spread out over more days if needed.

If you can be completely prepared with everything on hand ahead of time, all the better! You can do this.

First Five DAYS OF GAPS INTRO: Checklist

{ For a Family Of 4 }

You’ll Need:


  • 1 Qt Ghee
  • 1 Qt Other – such as duck fat, beef tallow, lard
  • Container of extra virgin coconut oil


Enough for at least 2 cups per person/per day + more for misc

  • Day 1 – 3 Qts brothDay 2 – 3 Qts broth
  • Day 3 – 3 Qts broth
  • Day 4 – 3 Qts broth
  • Day 5 – 3 Qts broth

Meat for Boiling: Stages 1 – 3 (approx. 5 days of snacks & meals)

  • 2 whole chickens
  • 14 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
  • 2 – 3 lbs chicken legs
  • 1 lb. wild halibut
  • 1/2 lb. wild cod
  • 1/2 lb. wild shrimp
  • 8 lbs. ground meat for meatballs (lamb, beef or pork)
  • 2 lbs. stew meat
  • 1 lb organ meat, diced to mix in with meatballs & sausage


  • 5 lemons
  • 2 – 4 heads of broccoli, chopped into florets
  • 4 heads cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • 1 lbs green beans
  • 10 lbs carrots
  • 8 leeks, sliced
  • 2 shallots
  • 1- 2 bags of onions
  • 6 bulbs garlic
  • 2 winter squash of choice, peeled & diced
  • large bulb of fresh ginger
  • turmeric root (optional for tea)
  • 1 bunch each fresh dill, cilantro, basil, parsley, marjoram, basil
  • 2 zucchini
  • 1.5 lb. mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 – 2 avocados
  • 12 – 16 tomatoes, or 8 jars of diced tomatoes (glass jars)

Fermented foods

  • 1 qt. sauerkraut (juice 1/2 jar for stages 1 – 2)
  • 1 qt. beet kvass
  • 1 qt. pickles


  • Honey
  • Ginger root (see produce list)
  • Chamomile
  • Mint
  • Turmeric root (see produce list)


  • Crispy nuts (2 cups worth)
  • Pastured eggs: 5 – 6 dozen
  • 2 – 3 lb. plank of salmon (for making Swedish gravlax – optional)
  • Sea salt
  • Raw honey

Detox bath ingredients (for a rotation)

  • 4 cups epsom salts
  • 4 cups raw apple cider vinegar
  • 4 cups baking soda
  • 4 cups seaweed powder
  • 4 cups sea salt


  • Magnesium (chelated form), like Biotics Mg-Zyme, to help constipation
  • Virgin Cod Liver Oil by NutraPro or Rosita
  • Probiotics (see The Mother’s Guide to Probiotics)
  • Biotics Hydro-Zyme (Betaine HCl if needed for digestion)


  • 1 – 2 enema kits (in case of constipation, and for general health they are VERY useful)
  • Juicer – for carrots & lemons, in case low blood sugar is an issue


First Five Days Of GAPS Intro: Menu

Day 1: Stage One

Filtered water + squeeze of lemon
Ginger root & turmeric root tea + coconut oil + tsp honey
Chicken soup (omit parsley) + 1 tsp sauerkraut juice
Broccoli simmered in broth

Chicken soup (omit parsley) + sip of beet kvass
Veggie of choice, simmered in broth

Lamb + garlic meatballs
Mashed cauliflower + garlic
Mug of Broth with garlic + sea salt + tsp sauerkraut juice

Detox Bath: 1 cup Apple Cider Vinegar

Day 2: Stage Two

Filtered water + squeeze of lemon
Ginger tea
Carrot ginger halibut soup + tsp sauerkraut juice

Egg yolk drop soup
Veggie of choice, simmered in broth

Chicken thighs simmered with leeks + mushrooms (Heal Your Gut cookbook)
Mashed cauliflower + garlic
Mug of Broth with garlic + sea salt + tsp sauerkraut juice

Detox Bath: 1 cup Epsom salts + lavender essential oil

Day 3: Stage Two

Filtered water + squeeze of lemon
Hamburgers w/ Intro gravy
Veggie of choice, simmered in broth + ghee
Mug of broth w/ garlic + sea salt

Fish soup + tsp sauerkraut juice

Tomato soup + tsp sauerkraut juice (Heal Your Gut cookbook)
Simmered hamburgers + garlic/sea salt
Russian custards (2 egg yolks whipped w/ tsp honey per person)

Detox Bath: 1 cup baking soda

Day 4: Stage Three

Filtered water + squeeze of lemon
Fermented cod liver oil + pickle juice in shot glass
Butternut squash leek soup (Heal Your Gut cookbook)
Scrambled egg w/ slow-cooked onion in ghee

Butternut squash leek soup (Heal Your Gut cookbook)
Baked chicken legs (Bake at 350F w/ ghee & salt, until tender)
Lacto-fermented pickles

Crockpot cilantro chicken (w/ mashed avocado)
Onion soup (Heal Your Gut cookbook)
Mug of Broth w/ garlic + sea salt

Detox Bath: 1 cup seaweed powder

Day 5: Stage Three

Filtered water + squeeze of lemon
Fermented cod liver oil + pickle juice in shot glass
Nutbutter squash pancakes with ghee/honey mixture
Scrambled eggs
Mug of broth w/ garlic + sea salt

Lamb + garlic meatballs
Tomato soup (Heal Your Gut cookbook)
Lacto-fermented pickles

Beef & vegetable stew
Broccoli simmered in broth (with broth served on the side)
“Shot glass” of beet kvass
Russian custards

Detox Bath: 1 cup sea salt + lavender essential oil

A Note On Meat Stock vs. Broth

I remember years ago, when I was transitioning my family to a Real Food diet, making bone broth was one of my biggest hurdles. Generation by generation we have simply lost certain food arts, and this was one tradition I couldn’t wrap my head around.

As I finally made my own, I realized, it couldn’t…be…simpler. Soon I was making soups that other people raved about and that nourished the bodies of my family.

This broth making would become an especially huge part of our diet as we undertook the GAPS™ protocol. Taken in therapeutic amounts daily, it is extremely nourishing and building for digestive tract, bones, muscle, skin…with benefits ranging from stimulating growth hormone to getting rid of cellulite.

Bone broth is essentially made with bones or the carcass of the animal, and simmered for long periods of time.

Meat stock is simply the liquid that you have cooked your meat in, and is a shorter period of cooking time. (Which comes in handy when you are doing so much soup making on Intro!)

Meat stock is best for:

Being gentler and less detoxifying, and is used for the Introduction diet. Has less free glutamates, and much less histamines, which can be problematic for some in the beginning. MEAT STOCK IS RECOMMENDED FOR THE FIRST 30 DAYS OF GAPS.

Bone broth is best for:

Being more therapeutic, and should be eased into if you are doing the Introduction diet, especially if you are sensitive to free glutamates, as these will be increased in the longer cooking times for bone broth.

Here is an article that explains the differences further, along with some recipes:

I hope this is helpful and takes a little stress away from Intro. I wish you the best! GAPS™ is good and nourishing. If you would like to learn more, and be supported for a full 10 weeks by a GAPS™ Practitioner (who has been there) I would love for you to check out the GAPS Class. You’ll have lifetime access to the materials and can “go through” the course live as many times as you need to.

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