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Gaps Diet Meal Plan Stage 1

The First Five Days Of Gaps Intro Diet

GAPS Diet Introduction Phase Stage 1 | GAPS DIET STAGE 1 | Bumblebee Apothecary

When our family first started GAPS years ago, it was the first five days of GAPS Intro that were the toughest to wrap my mind aroundand my family was pretty low energy in those first 5 days also. Now, as a GAPS practitioner, I find this to be true for many families I help through Intro.

Where people tend to get stuck about the GAPS Protocol is typically the Introduction part of the diet. I put together this 5 Day Checklist and Menu for Intro that can be easily scaled up or down or spread out over more days if needed.

If you can be completely prepared with everything on hand ahead of time, all the better! You can do this.

What Not To Eat


These include multiple foods that are staples in most people’s diets, including bread, cereal, crackers, pasta, cakes, cookies, and all other conventional baked goods. Dr. Campbell-McBride believes that these foods irritate the gut lining and ultimately damage it, which affects how nutrients are absorbed.

Dairy Products

Only fermented dairy products are allowed in most cases. Milkparticularly cow’s milkcan irritate and damage the intestinal lining in much the same way as grains do, according to Dr. Campbell-McBride’s theory. Fermented versions of dairy-based foods do not have this effect. As a result, the dairy-based foods allowed on the GAPS diet are almost all homemade fermented foods: yogurt, kefir, ghee, and whey. The exception is butter, which is allowed.

Dr. Campbell-McBride encourages fermented dairy and says you can add it beginning in the introductory phase of the diet.

Starchy Vegetables

Vegetables that are not allowed on the diet include potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, and yams. Beans and legumes are also not allowed on the GAPS diet.

Sugar and Added Sugars

On the GAPs diet, sugar is considered harmful to the gut lining. The ban on natural and artificial sweeteners means you’ll need to steer clear of foods with added sugars.

Processed Foods and Alcohol

All processed foods contain ingredients that are off-limits on the diet. In addition, alcoholic beverages are not allowed.

Implementing The Gaps Diet

The GAPS diet might sound like a hard diet to follow. For anybody that is used to eating packaged and processed foods, it is a big adjustment. Once youre used to it and have all the cooking techniques under your belt, its not that hard.

How do you follow the GAPS diet? Its really simple: you buy everything fresh and cook all your food at home, following the allowed foods and proper cooking techniques. This doesnt have to be complicated or time consuming, and Im here to share all of my best tips with you from my years of experience and training to make the GAPS diet very doable.

The most important thing to remember is this: Doing the GAPS diet is so worth it! It really did change our lives.

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What Is The Gaps Diet And Should You Try It Here’s What A Dietitian Has To Say

The GAPS diet is a restrictive, elimination diet aimed at promoting gut health and “healing” the gut. The premise behind the diet is that a number of health conditions, specifically digestive disorders and conditions affecting the brain like autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder , might be caused by an unhealthy gut, or leaky gut. Therefore, the diet claims that healing a leaky gut might improve or cure these conditions.

However, research and scientific evidence is lacking to back the GAPS diet. In this article, we dive into what the GAPS diet claims to treat, how to follow it, what you can and cannot eat, and the benefits and risks of the GAPS diet guidelines.

Related: Best and Worst Foods to Eat for Gut Health

A Daily Routine And Sample Gaps Diet Meal Plan

Gaps Intro Diet Meal Plan

Heres what a typical day looks like when Im following the GAPS diet:

  • Every morning I start with a glass of filtered water with a slice of lemon or a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar.
  • Soon after that I drink some freshly made juices mixed with some homemade sour cream and an egg yolk. I explain how to do GAPS diet juicing here.
  • For breakfast I choose from eggs and sautéed vegetables with sausage and sauerkraut, squash pancakes topped with berries and yogurt cream, or a kefir smoothie.
  • Lunch and dinner look pretty similar, and I enjoy meat and vegetables cooked a variety of ways served with some probiotic food and a mug of meat stock or bone broth, or some soup.
  • Whenever I need a snack I have some more freshly pressed juices with homemade sour cream and an egg yolk, and I can also choose from soaked or sprouted nuts, nut flour baked goods, yogurt, and fruit.
  • There are a lot of dessert options on the GAPS diet, too. I enjoy muffins, cakes, pies, baked fruit desserts, custard, jello, gummies, fat bombs, and more.

For a full GAPS diet food list, and a GAPS diet food list to avoid, check out the official GAPS diet website here.

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Making Soups During Stage 1


During the early stages of GAPS Intro Diet , soups are made by cooking vegetables in stock. When you move to Stage 4 and beyond, you can move to sauteing vegetables in healthy fat and then adding stock to make soup.

Fermented Foods

Fermented foods are essential to healing the gut and must be introduced right from the start. If you can handle dairy, add whey, yogurt, or sour cream to every bowl of soup. If you cannot handle dairy, be sure to add fermented vegetable juice to every bowl of soup. When you add homemade yogurt or cultured cream, the fat will help you to absorb all the nutrients in the soup. Be sure the temperature of the soup isnt too hot, since that will destroy the precious beneficial probiotic bacteria in the yogurt, cream, and fermented vegetable juices. Cultured cream is a wonderful addition to any soup: It provides not only a probiotic punch but also a healthy dose of fat-soluble vitamins. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are hard to get in modern diets, and they are essential to a healthy body. Raw cultured cream is a great source of vitamin A, and good healthy animal fats are the best way to nourish your body with the fat-soluble vitamins it needs!

Herbs and Spices


Are You Keen To Experience All The Benefits Of The Gaps Diet But Worried About Complying With Or Getting Through The Challenging Introductory Stages Of The Diet This Cookbook Will Make It Easy And Simple With Its 100 Recipes Set Out According To The Stage You Are On So You Can Just Focus On Getting Through Each Stage Instead Of What To Eat For Each Meal

Are you searching for a cookbook that specifies exactly what options are available for breakfast, lunch and dinner for each stage of the introductory stages of the GAPS diet? Or have you been surviving off soups and just need some more creative and substantial meal ideas that comply with each stage?

He has gone on to couple his love of cooking with the knowledge and experience he gained on his own GAPS journey to produce this user-friendly cookbook, GAPS Intro Diet Cookbook. He developed this cookbook for people like him – people balancing a busy life with a sensitive digestive system. His aim is to make the introductory stages of the GAPS diet simpler and easier to follow, allowing the important reset of Stages 1 to 6 to be completed and put you on the path to better health. His easy-to-follow, delicious and gut-healing recipes, set out by stage and meal type, will soon have you effortlessly negotiating the tricky take-off to GAPS success!

GAPS Intro Diet Cookbook is the 6th book in the highly acclaimed Heal Your Gut cookbook series.

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Everything You Need To Know About The Gaps Diet

It has been proved time and again that we are what we eat, and the number of carefully-planned diets available is testament to our belief in their effectiveness. Any science-based lifestyle change can be beneficial, provided you follow the rules and stick to the regimen. The GAPS diet is an eating plan aimed at improving your gut health, which is reported to also offer benefits for a number of medical conditions.

Gaps Diet Introduction Phase Stage 1

Sauerkraut Recipe | GAPS DIET RECIPES STAGE 1 | Bumblebee Apothecary

The main goal of the GAPS introduction diet is to heal and seal the gut lining. Youll notice that there are very specific foods in stage 1. These foods provide nourishment to renew the gut lining.

If youre looking for guidance on how to get started with GAPS in general, I share all my best tips on how to start the GAPS intro diet here. This blended carrot soup and this beef soup are perfect for stage 1 and beyond.

Looking for a GAPS diet meal plan? Check out GAPS to Go, my 30 day meal plan for GAPS intro here.

Need help overcoming picky eating? Get my Picky Eating Blueprint: Empowering parents of picky eaters with confidence to transform their childs relationship with food in three weeks or less. Check out Picky Eating Blueprint here.

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What Is The Gaps Diet

The Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet, also known as the GAPS diet, is a therapeutic diet commonly used in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease, leaky gut syndrome, autism, ADHD, depression, anxiety and autoimmune disease.

The diet was originally inspired by the Specific Carbohydrate Diet , which was developed by Dr. Sidney Valentine Haas in the 1920s to help treat digestive disorders. In 2004, Dr. Natasha Campbell published the GAPS diet book, Gut and Psychology Syndrome, which outlined the details of this groundbreaking diet.

Grains, starchy vegetables and refined carbohydrates are all eliminated from the diet and replaced with nutrient-dense foods that are easy to digest.

The GAPS diet meal plan is introduced in six stages, with the GAPS diet stage 1 being the most restrictive. As the diet progresses, more and more foods are added back onto the GAPS diet food list.

Because it emphasizes nutrient-rich foods and eliminates several food groups that may not be so stellar for digestion, many have seen success with the plan in both improving gut health and treating various ailments.

Tips And Recipes For Stage 1 Of The Gaps Intro Diet

This grain free chicken noodle soup is GAPS friendly! For the intro diet, leave out the celery.

The intro diet to GAPS can be an effective healing tool for many, but it is quite restrictive. You can read the instructions for the introduction diet here. On stage one, you are basically consuming homemade bone broths, meats cooked in broth, and non-fibrous vegetables, also cooked in broth, with a little bit of sauerkraut juice. It can be hard to get through, get enough calories, especially if you have children on the diet. This is what I learned more recently when we did a test run of the GAPS diet for my daughter after some issues cropped up again after some unavoidable antibiotics.

But before I get to the practical tips, read this amazing GAPS story for encouragement. A mom with very fussy eaters on the GAPS diet with great results. I love it!

1. Make broth every day so you dont run out.

2. Make very large pots of soup so there are plenty of leftovers.

3. Plan to eat very, very often until you adjust to the new dietary foods. I plan on feeding my daughter every two hours.

4. Everything has to be cooked in broth, but you can pull out hamburger patties, steaks, and other cuts of meat from the broth and eat it with a fork while sipping a cup of broth on the side.

5. If you dont do well on a low carb diet, or have children doing the diet with you, eat lots of squash and carrot soups for the carbs.

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How To Start The Gaps Diet

There are several different ways to start doing the GAPS diet. Some people jump right into the full GAPS diet, while others begin with the GAPS introduction diet.

Im going to explain the differences between full GAPS and intro, how I decided which path to take, as well as everything else you need to know on how to start the GAPS diet, the right way.

Reintroduction Phase: Coming Off Gaps

GAPS Introduction Diet Stages for Leaky Gut

If youre following the GAPS diet to the letter, youll be on the full diet for at least 1.52 years before you start reintroducing other foods.

The diet suggests that you start the reintroduction phase after you have experienced normal digestion and bowel movements for at least 6 months.

Like the other stages of this diet, the final stage can also be a long process as you reintroduce foods slowly over a number of months.

The diet suggests introducing each food individually in a small amount. If you dont note any digestive issues over 23 days, you may gradually increase your portions.

The diet doesnt detail the order or the exact foods you should introduce. However, it states that you should start with new potatoes and fermented, gluten-free grains.

Even once youre off the diet, youre advised to continue avoiding all highly processed and refined high-sugar foods, retaining the whole-foods principles of the protocol.


This stage reintroduces foods that are not included in the full GAPS diet. You are advised to still avoid foods high in refined carbs.

The diets founder states that the most important aspect of the GAPS protocol is the diet.

However, the GAPS protocol also recommends various supplements. These include:

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The Gaps Diet And Autism

Dr. Campbell-McBride believes that children develop autism due to poor nutrition and leaky gut syndrome. She claims that the GAPS diet can cure or improve symptoms of autism.

ASD causes a range of symptoms that affect how a person experiences the world and interacts in social settings. Scientists believe that a combination of genetic and environmental factors contribute to the development of ASD.

Most experts agree that there is no cure for ASD. It is possible, however, to improve health conditions associated with ASD, such as gastrointestinal problems.

One 2014 systematic review found that children with ASD had significantly higher rates of GI symptoms than those without. The authors say that children with ASD were more prone to abdominal pain, constipation, and diarrhea. Some research suggests these symptoms are linked to unbalanced gut microbiota or dysbiosis.

One reported that a 12-year-old boy with ASD and celiac disease showed significant reductions in GI symptoms and core autism symptoms after 4 weeks of probiotic treatment.

Findings from a 2010 pediatric study found different results.

Transitioning To The Gaps Full Diet

Once you make it through the GAPS introduction diet, you are ready to transition to the GAPS full diet. In the full GAPS diet, focus on eating real foods like grass-fed or pastured meats, animal fats, wild-caught seafood, organic, free-range eggs, fermented foods, and vegetables. Baked goods and fruit should be enjoyed in moderation only.

Here are a few tips to follow:

  • Only eat fruit between meals so you dont interfere with digestion
  • Eat healthy fats from butter, meat, ghee, and olive oil with every meal
  • Consume a cup of bone broth with every single GAPS meal
  • Include fermented foods like kefir, yogurt, kombucha, kimchi, and sauerkraut each day
  • Exclude processed foods packed in tins, including canned coconut milk

Depending upon how you respond, its recommended to stick to the GAPS protocol for an additional 1824 months. For more recipe ideas, check out the Kettle & Fire recipe library.

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Does Leaky Gut Cause Autism

Most people who try the GAPS diet are children with autism whose parents are looking to cure or improve their childs condition.

This is because the main claims made by the diets founder is that autism is caused by a leaky gut, and it can be cured or improved by following the GAPS diet.

Autism is a condition that results in changes to brain function that affect how the autistic person experiences the world.

Its effects can vary widely, but, in general, people with autism have difficulties with communication and social interaction.

Its a complex condition thought to result from a combination of genetic and environmental factors .

Interestingly, studies have noted that up to 70% of people with autism also have poor digestive health, which can result in symptoms including constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, acid reflux, and vomiting .

Untreated digestive symptoms in people with autism have also been linked with more severe behaviors, including increased irritability, tantrums, aggressive behavior, and sleep disturbances (

26 ).

There are also currently no studies that show the presence of leaky gut before the development of autism. So even if leaky gut is linked to autism in some children, its not known if its a cause or a symptom .

Overall, the claim that leaky gut is the cause of autism is controversial.

Some scientists think this explanation oversimplifies the causes of a complex condition. More research is needed to understand the role of leaky gut and ASD.

How To Heal Food Allergies

GAPS Beef Soup Recipe | GAPS DIET RECIPES STAGE 1 | Bumblebee Apothecary

Lets talk for a second about food allergies and intolerances. When there is a leaky gut, food is not digested properly. Food that is not fully digested gets allowed into the bloodstream, and our immune system reacts to the improperly digested food. This is what brings about a food allergy or intolerance.

Getting testing done for food allergies and intolerances is actually rather unreliable. You see, if you have a leaky gut, your immune system will be reacting to pretty much everything youre eating. Youre likely to have test results that you youre reacting to many things you eat on a regular basis. You can even get different results on different days, just because youll show youre reacting to whatever youve eaten recently.

Often, people get tested for food allergies and intolerances, and then go about trying to figure out how to eat in such a way that avoids the foods they reacted to. I dont know about you, but I definitely wouldnt want to live that way! A far better approach is to spend the time and effort actually healing leaky gut, and then not have to worry about food intolerances or allergies anymore.

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