What Can I Eat on the GAPS Intro Diet – Stage 1?
My good friend reminded me yesterday that what is obvious to me (i.e., GAPS details and nuances) is not necessarily evident to my clients, GAPS Class participants, and audience.
For instance, the Intro diet stages are very specific and can be confusing, even for seasoned GAPS practitioners and coaches. Also, there have been some updates and changes over the years.
So, with that in mind today, I am going to write an up-to-date post about one of the most basic, and often misunderstood parts of GAPS — what to eat on the GAPS Intro Diet, Stage 1.
Firstly, a quick refresh on the three parts of GAPS™:
The three main components of the GAPS Nutritional Protocol:
- Diet (6 Stage Introduction Diet, Full Diet, Transition Diet)
What does the GAPS Protocol do?
- Addresses the root issue — healing & sealing the gut
- Gently cleans up and removes the flow of toxins
- Removes hard-to-digest foods
- Corrects nutritional deficiencies
- Emphasizes healing foods
- Restores your immune system
Start with the 6 Stage Introduction Diet first, if you have:
- Diarrhea (of any origin), abdominal pain, bloating, flatulence, etc. Diarrhea indicates that there is significant damage to the gut lining, which needs slow, methodical healing
- Health issues that aren’t resolving on Full GAPS
- “Leaky gut” and inflammatory bowel conditions
- Autistic children, and all children on the spectrum or with learning disabilities, such as Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, etc
- Kids and adults diagnosed with diabetes type 1 or celiac disease
- Some cases of stubborn constipation (children in particular)
- Multiple food allergies and intolerances, as the gut lining is very damaged and needs slow healing
What can I eat on the GAPS Introduction Diet, Stage 1?
Meat stock (as opposed to bone broth, consume at least 5-6 cups per day for adults, 3 cups per day for children) and soups made with meat stock and the vegetables listed in this post:
- Naturally or organically sourced is best
- Scaled fish
- Wild game
- Fowl (duck, pheasant, etc.)
- Fresh herbs cooked in stock & removed (bouquet garni)
- Raw apple cider vinegar in stock
- Unrefined natural salt in stock
- Herbal teas
- Mineral water
- Coconut water – fermented
- Apple cider vinegar in stock
- Meat stock for sipping
Ferments (start by trying 1/4 tsp, reduce if reactions occur. Slowly work up to about 1/4 cup per meal of fermented foods or beverages):
- 24-hr cultured dairy yogurt or whey from yogurt, if tolerated (you can ferment raw cream rather than milk. This is especially good to do if constipation is an issue).
- Cultured vegetable brines or their “juice.”
- Beet kvass
- Kombucha (long-ferment, all sugar consumed)
- Fermented garlic
Vegetables – boiled, with stems, stalks, seeds, & skins removed:
- Artichokes (not Jerusalem)
- Beet tops
- Bok choy
- Brussels sprouts
- Daikon radish
- Green onion
- Kohlrabi (& leaves)
- Mustard greens
- Onions (red, yellow, white)
- Pattypan squash
- Pumpkin (fresh)
- Radishes (& tops)
- Rutabaga leaves
- Yellow squash
Meats & related:
- Meats and fish cooked in stock making process
- Animal fat
- Organ meats
- Meat close to the bone
- Certain raw meat (only very clean sources)
- Raw, local honey
- Coconut oil
- MCT oil
- Unrefined natural salt
How long should I Stay on GAPS Intro Stage 1?
Most people only need to be on Stage 1 for 1-3 days before adding foods from the Stage 2 list. For more about Stage 2, see our post here.
Got it. But, What am I Actually Eating During GAPS Intro Stage 1?
So what’s for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Soup, soup, soup! That is the main component of the Stage 1 menu. This way you get lots of healing meat stock in your gut, as well as meats and vegetables that are simmered, making them easy to digest. Here’s a sample day’s menu:
Upon waking- cup of meat stock or herbal tea, optional add coconut oil
Breakfast– GAPS basic chicken soup (simmer a whole chicken in filtered water with sea salt to taste, 3 roughly chopped carrots, 1 chopped onion, and 3 small peeled and seeded zucchini with 1 Tbs raw apple cider vinegar. Optional, add a bouquet garni of herbs). Add 1/4 tsp to 1 Tbs fermented veggie brine to your bowl of soup once it has cooled.
Snack– Chicken stock, coconut fat bomb (mix 1 part raw honey with 2 parts coconut oil, pinch of natural salt)
Lunch– Basic chicken soup with veggie brine
Snack– Yogurt with a drizzle of raw honey
Dinner– Basic chicken soup with veggie brine
Before bed– Chicken stock, coconut fat bomb
That’s it! You will have gotten through day 1 of GAPS Intro Stage 1! The next day, you likely can move right along to adding egg yolks to soups- Stage 2.
Individual Needs on GAPS
Above, we’ve shared the official “list” (approved by Dr. Natasha) of GAPS Introduction Diet Stage 1 Foods and a sample menu. Of course, there are variables and nuances to take into account based on your particular need & situation.
That’s why, in my one-to-one work with clients, we develop a GAPS plan that is unique and specific to them.
I often work with individuals who are quite sensitive or compromised. This makes it extra important that we reduce their inflammation and reactions quickly, so I use food sensitivity testing alongside stool testing.
In addition to testing, the information gathered in a comprehensive intake process allows me to determine further what GAPS foods they may need to avoid for their healing progress, as well as what needs to be specifically targeted (and in what order) for their healing improvement.
To find out more about these options, book a free GAPS Inquiry Call.
Have experiences or questions about Stage 1 you want to share? Please leave a comment!