What Can I Eat on GAPS Intro Diet- Stage 5?
The GAPS Introduction diet is a very precise set of steps that heal and seal the gut, while also supporting the body to eliminate 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. You can learn more about detox and get the free guide to GAPS detox in this post.
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, what can I eat on GAPS Intro Diet- Stage 5?
Stage 5 is the first careful introduction of fruit in the form of homemade applesauce and fresh pressed juice. This is also when you introduce small amounts of raw vegetables, and salad usually sounds pretty good after a few weeks of mostly cooked food! Cooked fibrous veggies such as cabbage and celery are introduced, and…spicy and flavorful foods such as horseradish, peppers, and vinegars (YUM!).
When am I ready for Stage 5?
If you are tolerating Stage 4 foods well, such as fresh pressed vegetable juices, fruit kvass, and higher fiber foods like sautéed vegetables and breads baked with nut or seed flours, you are ready to start adding Stage 5 foods. Start with a few spoonfuls per day of homemade applesauce. Peel and core the apple, cook until soft, and mash with a generous amount of fresh animal fat such as ghee.
When adding new foods, it is good to add one new food per day. That way, if you have symptoms, you will know what food triggered them. Note that it is okay to move on to the next stage even if there is a food or two from the previous stage that you are not yet tolerating (such as an egg white or nut sensitivity that requires more time to heal).
The Introduction Diet “Dance”
When moving through GAPS Introduction Stages, it’s very common to take “two steps forward and one step back.” This has been called the “dance” in the GAPS community. This “dance” often starts in Stage 4 so that it takes a while to graduate to full GAPS, but it can happen in any stage. It can be frustrating and discouraging to have to step back to a previous stage or take out a food and wait a few days for things to settle down again, but I hope that knowing it is normal will help. Be encouraged, many people have gone through all this before and been successful!
Remember to be patient and forgive yourself when you make a mistake or have a lapse in self-control. It’s not a disaster, and you can recover! Just move back a couple of foods or to the previous stage until things feel better and then go forward again. Trust your body that healing is happening even when it’s not easy or when symptoms are flaring up. Sometimes the symptoms are a detox or healing reaction, which means that GAPS is doing exactly what it is designed to do. If you are having severe or prolonged reactions, or you have specific health conditions that are of concern, work with Melanie or another Certified GAPS Practitioner to clarify your individual situation.
OK, so what can one eat on GAPS Introduction Diet, Stage 5?
What Can I Eat on GAPS Introduction Diet, Stage 5?
Continue with foods tolerated in Stages 1-4. Focus on these key therapeutic ingredients:
- meat stock (5-6 cups daily for adults, 3 cups daily for children, can be in a soup or stew)
- probiotic home-fermented foods, brines, and beverages, such as fruit and beet kvass, yogurt, kefir, and fermented veggies, increasing up to about 1/4 cup with each meal
- consume fresh fats, especially animal fats and ghee, working to about 1-3 Tbs per meal
- consume organ meats, skin, cartilage and gelatinous portions of meats and scaled fish
- fish oils & cod liver oil (I recommend Rosita or NutraPro)
- eggs or egg yolks from pastured poultry
- freshly pressed juices from vegetables, adding small amounts of fruit in Stage 5
Add the following foods:
- cooked, peeled, and cored apple made into purée
- cooked cabbage and celery
- raw vegetables (starting with soft parts of lettuce, peeled and seeded cucumber, then carrot, tomato, and onion)
- cooked kale, collard, and chard stems
- lemons, limes
- cooked hot peppers, bell pepper, and eggplant
- fruit in juicing
There it is, the official “list” of GAPS Introduction Diet Stage 5 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. You can even move forward to foods on the next Stage before you try that food again.
A Sample Day’s Menu for GAPS Intro- Stage 5
So, what can I eat on GAPS Intro- Stage 5? A day’s menu might look like this:
Upon waking– fresh pressed lemon juice in warm water with a bit of honey, cup of meat stock
Breakfast- soft boiled eggs over a small salad of tender greens + homemade sausage + 1/2 an avocado, side of meat stock and sauerkraut
Lunch- try this 2-minute Instant Pot Italian Cabbage and Tomato soup from Traditional Cooking School. Now that you are on Stage 5, you can add eggplant and peppers if you like! You can also use any leftover sausage mixture from breakfast and mix the organ meats into that. Add a soft boiled egg or egg yolk. Top with 24-hr GAPS sour cream!
Snack- Fresh pressed juice, try my Pink Power GAPS milkshake 😉
Dessert- applesauce- peel and core an apple then cook until soft and mash with ghee
This is just a sample menu. When I was doing GAPS Intro, I often ate the same soup for 3 meals a day. With batch cooking large amounts of soups, nutbreads, and sausage mixture, you can have more variety in your day than I did! Usually a large bowl of soup for an adult has about 2 cups of meat stock in it, so this menu provides 5-6 cups of meat stock per day. It also includes a ferment with each meal. Remember to keep focusing on the nourishing foods- meats, veggies, dairy, and eggs, and only include fruit and nuts as about 15% of what you eat.
Individualized GAPS Work
Though the Introduction Protocol is designed to move from foods that are easiest to digest towards those that are more difficult, every body is different. Some foods may take longer for your body to digest effectively. Common problem foods are nuts, fruits, dairy, and eggs- though proper food quality and preparation usually reduces reactions considerably. Of course, there are variables and nuances to take into account based on your particular need and 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.
Have experiences or questions about Stage 5 you want to share? Please leave a comment!