My mother is one of those sensational moms.

With her Dutch-powered-blonde-will, she is determined to squeeze every last drip of zest and life out of a day, self-generating an abundance of energy to do what she has put her mind to doing.

She put about 6,000 miles on her bike in one year, commuting around sunny Tampa.

She gathers in the neighborhood kids for swimming and playing, like a blonde, tan, pied piper.

She befriends the local homeless, buys them a burger, and worries about them if she hasn’t seen them for a couple of days.

She still gets mistaken for being my sister.

…and then there are the rest of us.

The regular Joes and Jills of the world, with average amounts of energy, and average amounts of bandwidth for the everyday activities of life.

If you happen to be one of these average “Jill’s” and are preparing for the GAPS Diet Protocol, you may be wondering if there are any shortcuts to this amazing and powerful protocol…that won’t also undercut your family’s progress in healing.

Here is a short list of GAPS Diet shortcuts (a.k.a. store-bought or mail-order options).

1. Broth & meat stock

Meat stock is the backbone of the GAPS Protocol. It contains all the building blocks for healing and sealing the gut. It’s excellent for anti-aging, sports enthusiasts, brain health, digestive disorders, skin conditions, arthritis, and much more. Broth is also a respectful way to use more of the animal that has become your food and nourishment. To read more on the differences, and to get recipes, please read my article on bone broth vs. meat stock from a GAPS perspective.

For the first 30 days of GAPS Intro, you’ll need to do the easy version…meat stock. Here is an example of meat stock preparation: Cook a whole chicken, in a stockpot filled with water, with carrots, onions, garlic, etc. Simmer for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, and the liquid it is cooked in, is now meat stock. You can then eat it all together as a soup, or drink the meat stock and have the cooked meat and vegetables on the side.

Once you move on from meat stock, though, you can incorporate bone broth, which takes a long time to cook (unless you have an Instant Pot!)…12 – 48 hours, depending on if you are preparing small-boned animals like chicken, or large boned animals like beef.

Best online sources for bone broth:

2. Online Natural, Organic, and/or Grass-fed Meats

3. Snacks & Crispy Nuts

Snacks are great in between meals, they’re great for traveling, and they can be a treat. Here are some GAPS-friendly options for snacks:

4. Real Lactose-Free Dairy

This is a trickier one to source online. There are almost no commercial dairy operations that are properly culturing their dairy long enough for the milk sugar lactose, to be consumed by the beneficial bacteria, and make it easier to digest.

Store-bought dairy options:

5. Fermented Veggies & Beet Kvass

Full of beneficial bacteria that make our guts happy, fermented vegetables and beverages like beet kvass are also a backbone of the GAPS Diet.

Online & store-bought choices of ready-made ferments:

6. Salmon Gravlax or Lox

Fermented fish is an important and nutrient-dense GAPS food. But it is often one of the more intimidating foods for people to try making on their own. But yay for an online option!

7. Fats & Oils

Following is a basic list of the healthy fats and oils included in GAPS. Animal fats are the most healing and nourishing. Make sure to include plenty of them in your daily meals.

8. GAPS-Friendly Condiments

These are condiments that have GAPS legal ingredients.

Bonus: Meal Planning Services

Meal planning tools are the ultimate shortcut when it comes to putting something interesting and amazing on the table, while at the same time using the same amount of work (or less) in the kitchen.

Meal planning options:

And that’s a wrap. I hope you find these shortcuts helpful.

Please share your own shortcuts & sources; I would love to hear them!

Post in the comments below, or use the Contact tab 🙂

17 thoughts on “GAPS Diet Shortcuts (a.k.a. store bought options)”

    1. Melanie Christner

      Hello Becky,

      Bone broth and meat stock are pretty important to the protocol…they contain all the building blocks for the digestive tract.


  1. Thank you for the resources I’m so happy to have found this . Will using these things (instead of home making yogurt , kefir, bone broth etc from local grass finished animals ) truly heal the body at the same rate ?

    1. Melanie Christner

      Hello Madeleine,

      These are good sources, so if you are following the protocol as outlined in the book (like consuming enough stock/broth in your day) then you should have positive results. It is pleasant and good for the soul to be preparing the food that is healing you, but if you are not able to “do it all”, then these are good options.


  2. Hi Melanie, Thanks for all this helpful information. What book and/or recipe book would you recommend most for the GAPS diet? I know you mentioned the “Real Plans” meal planning tool, but that seems to be for Paleo and I know that GAPS and Paleo are a bit different… I’m looking to start the GAPs diet to help heal my gut issues and try and cure my candida build up. But I anticipate that meal planning and food prep will be tricky for me. So I appreciate your feedback and advice. Thanks!

  3. Thanks for the article it was quite informative. Today, most people are looking to know and understand about grass fed beef and meats, and articles like this helps them understand it better.

  4. Hi Melanie, thanks for all this info. Since this is a pretty big lifestyle change for my family and we’re vegetarians, we need a starting point with all the meat stock. Before we go off and start making our own, is there a good high quality chicken or meat stock brand that we can buy, from say whole foods (organic chicken stock from cage free chickens) that we can start with to just get a taste and sample? Its extremely overwhelming both conceptually and philosophically for us to go buy a chicken and cook it, especially if we’ve never done it before. Any recommendations would be greatly helpful along those lines.

    1. Thank you for your question! I can understand how that would be an overwhelming change. I’m so glad you wrote in. Unfortunately, I’m not aware of a GAPS legal meat stock brand. Of course, if you aren’t on GAPS yet, you could just try a meat stock or bone broth such as Pacific Foods or from the list in this article to see how it tastes to you. Having just a small amount at first should prevent you from having too much of a die-off/histamine reaction to the broth.

      If you do tolerate these broths you could begin to cook squashes, cauliflower, dried peas, and lentils (all GAPS legal) in the broth. Also, you could increase your intake of fermented vegetables, fermented dairy, ghee, aged cheeses, and eggs. These will help your body build up nutritionally, increase balance in the microbiome and begin the changes needed in the gut. You may have some trouble at first with more fatty foods if you haven’t been consuming much fat. This article may help with that.

      In starting out, may I also suggest perhaps buying a small amount cut of meat or fish that is tolerable to you visually/conceptually at this time, and then filling the rest of the pot with vegetables that you enjoy- onion, celery, carrot, squashes, or others, adding salt and simmering that for a couple of hours? Then you can eat the vegetables and try the stock. Gradually, you could increase the meat and work up to a meat stock with the more beneficial cuts (bone-in, skin-on) as your taste buds and mind adjusts (which I very much believe that they will!).

      For more on how to cook meat stock once you are ready for that, check out this article.

      You might also be interested in Dr. Natasha’s book “Vegetarianism Explained:Making and Informed Decision” for more information and help.

      I would be interested to know what you do and how it works for you!

      Certified GAPS Coach and Honest Body Assistant

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