Now we’re getting into the fun stuff! In this part of our series, we’re talking about food. We’ll go over what we get to eat to make progress on the GAPS diet.
The GAPS diet for dummies, part 4: what will we eat?
What food does the GAPS diet include? Why does it include them? How will they help? We’ll answer all of those questions in this part of the series.
In case you missed them, you’ll want to check out parts 1, 2, and 3 in this series.
The most important thing to keep in mind as you’re going through the GAPS diet is this: As Dr. Natasha says, the body can repair itself. It is really amazing!
Illness and damage can happen very quickly. Repair takes time. But it does happen!
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How long does the GAPS diet take?
Most people spend about two years on the GAPS diet. Dr. Natasha says that if you’re dealing with something very mild, it could go faster than that.
Or, if your issues are quite serious, it could take longer. But it’s best to plan on two years to begin with.
The goals of the GAPS diet
Two main things are happening as you work through the GAPS diet:
- You’re rebuilding the digestive tract. This is stopping it from being a source of toxicity, and helping it become a source of nourishment, as it should be.
- The body is being detoxified, safely and gently.
These two goals are accomplished using the diet, of course, along with supplementation, detoxification, and lifestyle changes.
Die off reaction
Something to keep in mind as you work through the GAPS diet, especially the introduction stages, is that a die off reaction is likely to happen. When this happens, just remember that Dr. Natasha says it’s a good thing, and that the GAPS diet is doing its work.
She says to just keep plugging away and stick with it. Once the die off is over, you’ll very likely feel even better than you did before!
There are ways to make a die off reaction go faster, and to relieve the symptoms associated with it. I’ve used epsom salt baths for this. Slowing down with fermented food has been helpful for me if I felt any die off symptoms, too.
So what will we eat?
The GAPS diet focuses on foods that are easy to digest, that rebuild the digestive tract, and that nourish the body deeply. It avoids anything that would be hard to digest or that would irritate the digestive tract.
You’ll see that no processed foods are allowed. We’ll be making everything from scratch.
Before you run away with overwhelm, don’t fear! There are fast and easy ways to make everything from scratch.
I show you everything, all the recipes, step by step. You’ll know exactly what to do, and you’ll see how doable it actually is.
Meet the healing foods
- Meats – We will be eating a lot of meat! Meats are some of the easiest to digest and most nourishing foods there are. They’re full of fat soluble vitamins.
- Organ meats – Don’t be scared! Organ meats are extremely nutrient dense. Liver, for example, contains just about any beneficial nutrient you can think of, for example. If you’re worried because you don’t like the taste of organ meats, don’t worry. I can relate! Here’s a secret: I don’t enjoy the taste of liver, either. But, there are great ways to sneak it into foods so that you’ll be eating it without even knowing it. You can enjoy all those beneficial nutrients, without tasting it. Yay!
- Meat stock and broth – These are some of the most important digestive remedies, and we’ll be consuming a lot of them.
- Eggs – Eggs are also very easy to digest and full of good nutrients. We’ll be eating a lot of them, as long as there is no real allergy to eggs.
- Non starchy vegetables – Vegetables are not as nutrient dense as some other foods, like meats and animal fats, for example. But they do have some important nutrients, like vitamin C. So we’ll be eating quite a bit of them.
- Animal fats – We will be including as much animal fat as possible. Dr. Natasha says that people will make the fastest progress if they are sure to include and abundance of animal fats in their diet.
- Salt – This should be a whole, unrefined salt. Celtic sea salt or pink Himalayan salt are great choices. These salts are full of beneficial minerals, and they make food taste good as well.
- Drinks – Water, herbal teas, and meat stock or broth are the beverages we will enjoy, along with freshly pressed juices.
- Fruit – Fruit is fun to eat, and provides some good nutrients, like antioxidants. We’ll make sure that all the fruit we eat is very ripe, as that is the easiest to digest.
- Nuts and seeds – Nuts and seeds provide amino acids, minerals, and some beneficial fats. They’re great for snacking. It’s important to properly prepare them.
- Legumes – Certain beans and legumes are allowed on the GAPS diet, if you want to include them. It’s up to personal preference and they’re certainly not required. They do need to be properly prepared.
- Honey – This is the sweetener of choice on the GAPS diet. It should be raw and unfiltered so that all of the beneficial nutrients are intact.
Source is important
When buying meat and eggs, you want to shop for organic, pasture raised meats and eggs. The fruits and vegetables you buy should be organic as well.
Remember, we’re trying to detoxify while on GAPS, and we definitely want to cut back on our body’s toxic load as we do so. Looking for organic options will help.
Now that we’ve taken a look at what all we will eat on the GAPS diet, let’s talk about the different stages. We’ll begin with the introduction diet, where we will gradually add a few foods in at at a time.
The speed that people progress through the introduction steps is very individual. We’ll talk more about that in another episode.
After the introduction diet, we will be on the full GAPS diet, where we can eat all of the allowed foods. This lasts for about two years for most people. There are so many options, and it is really a very delicious way to eat!
Once all of the healing has taken place, we will gradually transition off of the GAPS diet onto a Nourishing Traditions or Weston A. Price type diet, where no food groups are avoided, but special attention is paid to proper sourcing and quality and preparation.
Here on my blog I share lots of GAPS recipes, where I show you exactly how to make all of the foods you’ll need for the GAPS introduction diet. Make sure you’re subscribed so you don’t miss the recipes!
The GAPS diet for dummies part 4 video
More GAPS diet resources
The GAPS Diet for Dummies Series:
How the GAPS Diet Changed Our Lives
Getting Started with the GAPS Diet: What You Need to Know Before You Begin
The GAPS Diet Explained in a Nutshell
Did any of these food surprise you?
What are you most excited about eating? What are you most nervous about? Share your thoughts in the comments!
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The GAPS Diet Book: Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride
Looking for a GAPS intro meal plan?
GAPS to Go is a 30 day meal plan for the GAPS introduction diet that tells you what to eat each day, with complete cooking instructions, and guidance on when to move to each intro diet stage. Check out GAPS to Go here.
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GAPS™ and Gut and Psychology Syndrome™ are the trademark and copyright of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride.
The information in this blog post is my personal experience and opinion. It is for general information purposes only, that may not apply to you as an individual, and is not a substitute for your own physician’s medical care or advice. Always seek advice from your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding nutrition, medical conditions, and advice. Never disregard medical advice or delay seeking medical care because of something you have read on this blog.