The GAPS Diet-Explaining the Introductory Phase

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Diet staging is slowly introducing required diet restrictions into your daily food plan—so that your body gets used to the changes and can better tolerate the changes.  As the body adjusts, you can incorporate more of the required diet into daily food intake. Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, author of the GAPS diet, recommends GAPS patients follow the Introduction Diet before beginning the full GAPS diet to ensure the best chance of optimizing the healing process in the gut. The Introduction Diet consists of 6 stages to implement gradually, rather than a drastic cold turkey method. Below is a brief introduction of the 6 stages comprised in the GAPS Introduction Diet. 

GAPS Introduction Diet
Mostly, when  suggest the GAPS diet, I have clients start with the Intro Phase.   Symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating and constipation will clear quickly on the Introduction Diet. To determine when you move on to the next stage, take one new item of food from the current stage you are on and consume for 3 days. Add an additional food from that stage for another 3 days.  Then proceed to next stage. For most people, the entire Introductory Diet lasts 4-6 weeks, but I’ve seen it last much longer—depending on your health status. 

Stage 1: Begin the day with a cup of room-temperature filtered water along with a probiotic. The rest of the day should consist of homemade meat or fish stock and dairy/vegetable based probiotic foods. Chicken stock is gentle on the stomach and soothes areas of inflammation in the gut. In between meals, drink ginger tea with honey.
Make Your Own Homemade Chicken Stock/Soup
Place an organic chicken in water with natural salt and 1 teaspoon of crushed peppercorns. Bring to boil, cover and simmer on low heat for 3 hours. Add some veggies to the pot for flavor.  After cooking, remove bones, meat and veggies, and  sieve the stock to remove all the extras.  You’ll end up with golden brown delicious chicken stock that is very soothing to the entire immune system but especially wonderful for the digestive tract.  As time goes on, you’ll add the meat and some veggies back, and voila, you’ve got homemade chicken soup (which is in GAPS intro, stage 2).

Stage 2: Add onto stage 1 recommendations by adding a raw organic egg yolk to your soup. At this stage, you can also add stews (more chunky veggies and meats) and casseroles made with meats and vegetables. Avoid spices, although fresh herbs are fine. The important aspect of this stage is high fat content. The more fresh animal fats one consumes, the faster the recovery. Increase daily yogurt and kefir intake. You may also try ghee (clarified butter).

Stage 3: Continue with the previous two stages and add avocado to soups, 1-3 teaspoons at a time. Add GAPS approved pancakes, scrambled eggs with ghee, and sauerkraut.

Stage 4: At stage 4, you can gradually add meats cooked by roasting or grilling, freshly pressed carrot juice and bread baked with ground almonds or other nuts. Cold-pressed olive oil can be incorporated into the meals.

Stage 5:  If the previous stages are well tolerated, add cooked apple beginning with a few spoonfuls a day. Peel and core the apple to stew with a small amount of water. When cooked, add ghee and mash. In addition, add raw vegetables starting from softer parts of lettuce and peeled cucumber, then proceed to add additional raw vegetables as tolerated by the body.

Stage 6: This is the last stage of the Introduction Diet, and if all stages have been well processed, gradually add peeled raw apple and raw fruit. Gradually introduce baking cakes and other sweet things allowed on GAPS diet.
To obtain an individualized GAPS diet plan, connect with Healthy Nest Nutrition. We offer 15-minute complimentary consultations to best meet your nutritional needs. Unfortunately, it NEVER goes according to plan exactly..so if you need help with implementation, we’re here to help.

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