What Can I Eat On GAPS Intro Diet – Stage 1

GAPS Intro Diet - Stage 1

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:

  1. Diet (6 Stage Introduction Diet, Full Diet, Transition Diet)
  2. Detoxification
  3. Supplementation

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
  • Chicken
  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Fowl (duck, pheasant, etc.)
  • Reptile
  • Fresh herbs cooked in stock & removed (bouquet garni)
  • Raw apple cider vinegar in stock
  • Unrefined natural salt in stock

Beverages:

  • 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)
  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Beet tops
  • Bok choy
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Chard
  • Cucumber
  • Collards
  • Daikon radish
  • Garlic
  • Green onion
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi (& leaves)
  • Leeks
  • Lettuce
  • Mushrooms
  • Mustard greens
  • Onions (red, yellow, white)
  • Pattypan squash
  • Peas
  • Pumpkin (fresh)
  • Radishes (& tops)
  • Ramps
  • Rutabaga leaves
  • Spinach
  • Turnips
  • Yellow squash
  • Zucchini

Meats & related:

  • Meats and fish cooked in stock making process
  • Animal fat
  • Organ meats
  • Marrow 
  • Meat close to the bone
  • Certain raw meat (only very clean sources)

Other:

  • 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!

6 thoughts on “What Can I Eat On GAPS Intro Diet – Stage 1”

      1. What is your thoughts if a person has histamine reactions to certain foods in particular any fermented foods as in sauerkraut or kimchi do you recommend eliminating them at this time?

  1. Hi Melanie,

    I am about to embark on the GAPS diet for the first time. I’m having overactive immune system, inflammation in general, and allergies (new to me in the last year). Would you recommend jumping straight into the GAPS diet or starting with the intro?

    Thanks so much for all of your health info and advice! There’s a lot to take in.

    Best,
    Kate (from Oregon)

    1. Hello Kate,

      Thanks so much for writing in. Yes, there is a lot to take in!

      Not knowing your health history, I’ll tell you what I would recommend in general unless you’re already quite miserable and in pain — I recommend a period of doing Full GAPS first, starting with breakfasts and then adding in the other meals of the day. Then incorporate what truly makes it “GAPS”…daily, therapeutic amounts of meat stock, and whatever amounts of fermented foods or fermented juices/brine you can handle with each meal. You can also tend to your North-to-South digestion via my free Digestive Supplements Mini-class – https://honestbody.com/course/digestive-supplements-mini-class/

      This can initiate quite a bit of healing and strengthening, and then you’ll be more ready to begin the GAPS Introduction Diet.

      For Full GAPS resources, I recommend the 14 weeks of meal plans in my GAPS Dinner Club – https://honestbody.com/gaps-dinner-club/
      And my Fridge magnets can be helpful – https://honestbody.com/product/gaps-diet-fridge-magnets/

      Warmly,
      Melanie

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