What Can I Eat on the GAPS Intro Diet – Stage 2?
The GAPS Introduction diet is a very precise set of steps to follow that heal and seal the gut, while also supporting the body in the clean-up of accumulated toxins. See my detailed post on how to tell if you need to start with the GAPS Intro diet and what to eat on Stage 1 here. For a free menu and checklist on the first five days of GAPS Intro click here.
Because the Intro stages are so precise, they can be confusing. I want to make GAPS as simple as possible for you. So, I am writing a detailed, up-to-date post about what to eat on Stage 2 of the GAPS Intro diet.
As a bonus, I’ve included information on “extended Stage 2” foods, designed for folks who need to stay on Stage 2 longer than usual.
Stage 2 is the most healing stage of the GAPS Intro protocol, but this doesn’t mean that everyone should stay on Stage 2 for an extended period of time. Examples of those who may need to stay here longer would be people with: Lyme disease, Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis, those who have had part of their bowel removed, those with MS or ME, etc. If you are unsure, work with Melanie or another Certified GAPS Practitioner to clarify your individual situation.
When am I ready for Stage 2?
In general, Stage 1 lasts just 1-3 days unless there is significant diarrhea and/or abdominal pain. If you are experiencing those at any time on the Introduction Diet, that is a sign to stay put or back up a little. If you experience those on Stage 1, then don’t proceed until resolved.
What can I eat on the GAPS Introduction Diet, Stage 2?
Continue with Stage 1 foods (see my post here). Focus on these therapeutic foods:
- Meat stock, 5-6 cups per day for adults, 2-3 cups for children (can be included in Stage 2 soups and stews)
- Organ meats, marrow, skin, gelatinous meats, and meat close to the bone
- Stage 1 ferments, start small and slowly work your way up to about 3 Tbs- 1/4 cup per meal
- Nourishing fats, 1-3 Tbs per meal (tallow, schmaltz, lard, coconut oil, etc. If you have difficulty digesting fats, start with a small amount and work your way up slowly.)
Add the following foods:
- Egg yolks (just add to soups and stews, preferably uncooked or runny, see this page for a delicious Stage 2 dessert option)
- Green beans
- Fresh herbs (avoid dried herbs and all spices at this stage)
- Celery root
- Fresh pressed lemon juice (with warm water)
- Nutritional yeast (no additives)
- Fresh ginger (in soups or stock) and ginger tea
- Meat stews & casseroles made from allowed meats/veggies/fats
- Gravlax (this is so much tastier than most people think! See here for how to prepare this traditional fish dish)
- Liver, simmered in stock and swimming in fats
- 24-hr fermented kefir, if tolerated. Kefir is a powerful symbiotic yeast-bacteria probiotic that should be introduced slowly. For my recipe and source for kefir grains see here. If experiencing diarrhea, consume whole milk kefir and yogurt. If experiencing constipation, consume ghee and kefir sour cream.
Extended Stage 2 Foods
Add the Stage 2 foods listed above first, then add the following:
- fermented vegetables (until now, you have only consumed the brine, now you can add the actual vegetables. Start slowly with 1 Tbs or less, and work your way up as tolerated)
- roasted, sauteed, and stir-fried vegetables and meats
- cod liver oil (I recommend Rosita or NutraPro)
- zucchini & yellow squash with the skins and seeds intact
OK, So What Can I Eat on GAPS Intro Diet- Stage 2?
So how does that list above translate to meals? Here is a sample menu of what one might eat during a day on GAPS Intro Stage 2:
Upon waking– fresh pressed lemon juice with warm water
Breakfast- gravlax with 24-hr GAPS sour cream, fresh lemon, dill + cup meat stock w/egg yolk + beet kvass
Snack- herbal tea (freshly grated ginger + turmeric is a good one) + pumpkin mashed with ghee
Lunch- Chicken Stew from Bumblebee Apothecary + brine from fermented veggies or sauerkraut
Snack- a cup of meat stock
Dinner- GAPS Superfood Meatballs, cup of meat stock w/egg yolk and ghee, mashed cauliflower, sauerkraut brine
Dessert- Adrenal support milkshake/GAPS Eggnog (omit nutmeg until Stage 5 and vanilla until Full GAPS)
Notes: Usually a large bowl of soup for an adult has about 2 cups of meat stock in it, so this menu provides 5 cups of meat stock per day. It also includes a ferment with each meal. Remember to keep focusing on the nourishing foods- gelatinous meats and organ meats, fats, ferments, and eggs.
Individualized GAPS Work
That is the official “list” of GAPS Introduction Diet Stage 2 Foods. Of course, there are variables and nuances to take into account based on your particular need & situation.
In my one-to-one work with clients, we develop a GAPS plan that is unique and specific to you.
Often I am working with individuals who are quite sensitive or compromised. To reduce their inflammation and reactions, I use food sensitivity testing alongside stool testing.
The information gathered in a comprehensive intake process, allows me to determine further what GAPS foods you may need to avoid for your healing progress, as well as what needs to be specifically targeted (and in what order) for your healing improvement.
To find out more about these options, book a free GAPS Inquiry Call.
Have experiences or questions about Stage 2 you want to share? Please leave a comment!
8 thoughts on “What Can I Eat On GAPS Intro Diet – Stage 2”
Hi! Thanks si mucho for this guide. So how sound you trasplante this for kids going to school and snacks at school ? Thanks ! We don’t eat organ meats or fish.. other than bass or canned tuna .. 😬
Thank you for your question. Yes it is a challenge having kids in school on GAPS Intro! I did it with my preschooler though, just packed his lunch and snacks every morning as we went through the stages. I packed a thermos or two (Hydroflask food flask) of soup with egg yolks and ghee already added. For snacks it is tough in Stage 2. If your child tolerates yogurt or kefir those are good snacks to pack in mason jars with a bit of honey. I also packed a jar with sauerkraut brine in it. A container with the simmered meat and veggies from stock making is an option as well. Just make sure your children are drinking at least 3 cups of stock per day.
Luckily, Stage 2 a short stage that for most people only needs to be about 2-3 days. If you start the Intro Diet over a weekend or holiday it should only be a day or two at school before you can move to Stage 3, which has a lot more options like hard or soft boiled eggs, frittatas, and GAPS pancakes.
As far as the organ meats and ocean fish, I understand the hesitation- and many people feel the same! But do keep in mind that those foods add a lot of minerals to the diet that are probably lacking and perhaps have been for a long time. So as much as you can get them into the diet (such as meatballs with chicken liver mixed in- stay tuned for our recipe coming soon! or bone marrow custard like this: https://nourishedkitchen.com/sweet-marrow-custard-with-vanilla-bean/, or the gravlax recipe in the GAPS book), it is worth adding them in.
Keep in mind that tastes change while on GAPS as well, your body adjusts to the new normal and many people find themselves craving the nutrient dense foods they used to find distasteful! Many GAPS Practitioners recommend organ meats, egg yolks, and fresh animal fats such as tallow, schmaltz, and ghee in very large amounts to correct the underlying nutritional deficiencies.
It’s a tough transition but it is so worth it!
Honest Body Assistant and Certified GAPS Coach
hihi! I’ve been dairy free and red meat free for almost 10 years, but I started incorporating both into my diet about a week ago. With the butter, I started with 1 tspn a day, everyday. Now I’m forming little eczema patches on my stomach. I eventually wanted to start incorporating raw heavy cream, but now with the eczema patches, i’m a little hesitant.
Thanks for your question. In Stage 2, you would introduce ghee, which is different from butter in that it contains no lactose or whey. It is easier to tolerate. Here’s our recipe for ghee. So that might help a bit. On GAPS, you would not incorporate unfermented raw cream until all symptoms are resolved and you are moving from full GAPS to a more traditional diet. You can, however have GAPS sour cream which is delicious!
I think this article on how to introduce dairy on the GAPS diet might be really helpful for you in determining what to introduce, how much, and when you might want to back up a step due to symptoms:)
Keep in mind that sometimes, eczema can be a die-off symptom as well as a symptom of food intolerance. So if you experience eczema when introducing dairy kefir, you may want to reduce the amount of kefir so that the eczema doesn’t get too uncomfortable, but continue to use small amounts of kefir for the benefits. Once the symptoms subside, you can increase the amount you consume.
Many people have resolved dairy intolerance on GAPS! Hope this information helps!
Certified GAPS Diet Coach, Honest Body Assistant
I see here that you have added fermented vegetables and cooked vegetables here as a part of stage 2 but I see that those are listed as stage 3 in Dr. Natasha’s GAPS books (both the yellow and the blue). Can you please explain the difference? I unfortunately moved too quickly through intro and have decided to move back to stage 2 but I want to do it the right way.
Thank you for the question. The additions you are referring to are actually part of the “Extended Stage 2” protocol, which is for children & adults who need to stay on Stage 2 for extended periods of time. This is something that is not necessarily in the books but is part of ongoing teaching/discussion amongst Dr. Natasha & GAPS Practitioners.
Can you su?stitute coconut kefir for dairy in this stage.
Thanks for the great question! Coconut milk is recommended to introduce in Stage 4, though if one were on Extended Stage 2 you could try introducing coconut kefir. Ideally it would made from your own coconut “milk” using shredded dried coconut because of problems with chemicals in the lining of canned foods. If you choose to buy canned coconut milk and ferment with kefir grains, make sure it is one with no added ingredients such as gums, sugars, preservatives, etc. Native Forest Organic, unsweetened, simple coconut milk would be suitable https://store.edwardandsons.com/products/native-forest-organic-unsweetened-simple-coconut-milk. The method for making your own coconut milk can be found here:https://gapsaustralia.com.au/recipe/coconut-milk/.
Certified GAPS Coach and Honest Body Assistant