What Can I Eat on the GAPS Intro Diet – Stage 3?
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. Over the years, some things have been changed or improved upon in the GAPS protocol. So, here is a detailed, up-to-date post about what to eat on Stage 3 of the GAPS Intro diet. Stage 3 opens up a whole new world of the GAPS Intro diet, where pancakes, avocados, and scrambled eggs are possible!
When am I ready for Stage 3?
During Stages 1 & 2 you will have eliminated most fiber from your diet to give your gut lining a rest from any irritation or abrasion and allow the inflamed tissue to heal. Once symptoms of digestive discomfort are gone, such as bloating, excessive gas, cramping, and diarrhea, you are ready to add some fiber back into your life.
Generally, one only needs to be in Stages 1 & 2 for a relatively short period of time to get relief from those symptoms, though some conditions require an extended period of time on Stage 2 to calm and heal the gut. A common recommendation is 1 day on Stage 1, and 2 days on Stage 2. Find out more about Stage 2 in our post here. Constipation is often an indication that it would be wise to move to Stage 3 of the intro diet. If you are unsure, work with Melanie or another Certified GAPS Practitioner to clarify your individual situation.
What can I eat on the GAPS Introduction Diet, Stage 3?
- Therapeutic amounts of meat stock (5-6 cups daily for adults, 3 for children, can be in soups and stews)
- Probiotic fermented brines and tonics such as beet kvass, increasing up to about 1/4 cup with each meal
- Fresh fats, especially animal fats and ghee, about 1-3 Tbs per meal
- Organ meats, skin, cartilage, and gelatinous portions of meats and scaled fish
- Pastured egg yolks
Add the following foods:
- Ripe avocado
- Egg whites as well as the yolks – try soft boiled eggs or egg white softly cooked in soup first
- Nut butters (made from fermented/crispy nuts)
- Scrambled eggs and gently fried eggs
- 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)
- Sautéed onions (cooked on low heat with 4-5 Tbs of fat, softened with the lid on for 20-30 minutes)
- Crunchier bits of food
- Fish oils & cod liver oil (I recommend Rosita or NutraPro) or fermented cod liver oil
- Vanilla extract
- Powdered & dried herbs
- Parsley root
- Olive, sesame & avocado oil (cold-pressed)
- Zucchini & yellow squash with the skins and seeds
- GAPS Intro pancakes
OK, so what can I eat on GAPS Intro Diet- Stage 3? Here is what a day’s menu might look like:
Sample Menu for GAPS Intro Stage 3
Upon Waking- Water with fresh pressed lemon juice
Snack- Cup of meat stock + sauerkraut brine + soft boiled egg
Lunch- Celery root soup (omit the cheese, use walnut butter or omit walnuts, use 24-hr GAPS Sour Cream in place of heavy cream, then heat to 120 degrees or less to preserve probiotics) + scrambled eggs + beet kvass
Dessert- Russian Custard
A large bowl of soup usually has about 2 cups of meat stock, so this sample menu provides about 5 cups of meat stock and makes sure to include a ferment with every meal.
There it is, the official “list” of GAPS Introduction Diet Stage 3 Foods. With each food, start with a small amount and increase slowly. If a particular food causes symptoms when introduced, take it out for one week and then try it again. In the meantime, if your symptoms have cleared up, you can try adding another food on the list. 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 and what needs to be specifically targeted (and in what order) for your healing improvement.
Have experiences or questions about Stage 3 you want to share? Please leave a comment!