What Can I Eat on GAPS -Stage 6 food list

What Can I Eat on GAPS Intro Diet- Stage 6?

Over the years, some things have been changed or improved upon in the GAPS protocol. So, we put together updated posts for each of the six stages of GAPS Intro with the new guidelines from Dr. Natasha. You can find our posts for Stages 2-5 on our GAPS Basics page hereIf you are wondering whether you need to start with the GAPS Intro diet, and what to eat on Stage 1, see our post here.

So, what can I eat on GAPS Intro Diet- Stage 6?

Stage 6 is the final stage of the Introduction diet (YAY!).  In this stage you introduce raw fruit- peeled apple to start with, then if that is tolerated try some others. Dried fruit can now be used to sweeten GAPS baked goods, and sweet GAPS treats can be increased in the diet as tolerated (to avoid overgrowth of problematic microbes like yeast and ensure optimal nutrition Dr. Natasha recommends that sweet treats, nuts, honey, and fruit comprise 15% of the diet or less). 

One big change from the original protocol described in the “yellow book” is that winter squash is introduced in Stage 6 rather than Stage 1 (pumpkin is allowed from Stage 1).  Raw fibrous veggies such as cabbage and celery are now allowed, and homemade mustard (YUM!).  Fried foods (using healthy fresh animal fats, not vegetable oils) can also be added.

When am I ready for Stage 6?

If you are tolerating Stage 5 foods well, such as softer raw vegetables, cooked cabbage and celery, applesauce, and fruit in juices without digestive discomfort you are ready to start adding Stage 6 foods.  Start with a little peeled, raw apple.  Chew it well, as digestion of carbohydrates begins in the mouth with saliva. Gradually introduce more of the sweet things allowed on the diet in moderation. If you experience bloating, fatigue or blood sugar disturbance omit these things again for about a week and then reintroduce them in smaller amounts.

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 at any stage.

Watch Out for These Common Pitfalls!

From personal experience, I know that it can be really tempting when you are so close to the end to jump to full GAPS before your body is truly ready. While it may 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, your health is worth the wait!  I hope that knowing it is normal will help.  Be encouraged, many people have gone through all this before and been successful!

Another common pitfall on Stage 6 is forgetting to consume the most therapeutic foods.  You have so many others to choose from now!  Also, let’s be honest, you may be tired of them. But, without the focus on meat stock, fresh-pressed juices, fats, organ meats, eggs/egg yolks, and fermented foods and beverages, it’s not really the GAPS diet. Use the new allowed foods to find ways to spice up your meat stock and make everything tastier. We include two delicious Kettle & Fire meat stock recipes that are Stage 6 legal (omit cacao until full GAPS) in this post.  And a good way to get bone marrow in is this delicious marrow custard (use coconut milk).  Poultry livers (milder in flavor) are delicious in this paté.

What to Do When You Make a Mistake

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.  Read more about detox and get our free detox guide here. If you are having severe or prolonged reactions, or you have specific health conditions that are of concern, work with a Certified GAPS Practitioner like Melanie to clarify your individual situation.

OK, so what can I eat on GAPS Introduction Diet, Stage 6?

What Can I Eat on GAPS Introduction Diet, Stage 6?

Continue with foods tolerated in Stages 1-5. 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
  • fresh fats, especially animal fats and ghee, working to about 1-3 Tbs per meal
  • organ meats, skin, cartilage, and gelatinous portions of meats and fish
  • fish oils & cod liver oil (I recommend Rosita or NutraPro)
  • eggs or egg yolks from pastured poultry
  • freshly pressed juices

Add the following foods:

  • peeled, ripe, raw apple- if tolerated, you can try other raw fruits
  • raw cabbage and celery
  • dried fruit for baking
  • baked cakes and other full GAPS sweet treats
  • fried foods
  • winter squash- butternut, kabocha, delicata, acorn (only pumpkin is allowed in Stages 1-5)
  • dehydrated foods
  • homemade mustard

There it is, the official “list” of GAPS Introduction Diet Stage 6 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.

A Sample Day’s Menu for GAPS Intro- Stage 6

So, what can I eat on GAPS Intro- Stage 6?  A day’s menu might look like this:

Upon waking– a cup of meat stock or fresh-pressed juice (try our Pink Power juice for a great pick me up!)

Breakfast- Frittata (omit the cheese until full GAPS) + small salad, side of meat stock, and homemade sauerkraut

Snack- herbal tea (freshly grated ginger + turmeric is a good one) + a bowl of yogurt

Lunch- Hungarian Beef Stew + 24-hr GAPS Sour Cream

Snack- Fresh, ripe, raw fruit with a bit of nut butter. Or, take some fatty rinds leftover from a roast and fry them in a skillet until you have “cracklins”.  These hit the spot for a salty, crispy craving!  Drink a bit of fruit or beet kvass, or kefir.

Dinner- Crab Chowder (don’t add beans until you have graduated to full GAPS), small salad + fermented veggies, dressing of olive oil, and freshly squeezed lemon

Dessert- I like this recipe for lemon cake– just omit the cream of tartar and baking powder, and make sure to use properly soaked and dehydrated almonds or other nuts ground into flour, not commercial almond flour. Or try this pumpkin custard. Top either dessert with 24-hour sour cream.  You can use any winter squash in the recipe now that you are on Stage 6!

As you can see, the options really open up in Stage 6! 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 (for example, if you had fruit for a snack, you may want to skip a sweet after dinner and have a bit of yogurt or meat stock before bed instead.)

Individualized GAPS Work

Though the Introduction Protocol is designed to move from foods that are easiest to digest towards those that are more difficult, everybody 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. 

To find out more, book a free GAPS Inquiry Call, or see our GAPS Services on this page.

Have experiences or questions about Stage 6 you want to share? Please leave a comment!

What can I eat on GAPS Intro Stage 6




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