What To Expect On The GAPS Diet Protocol

Photo Credit: Jeanine Cavanaugh

Getting going on the GAPS protocol for a big family was a daunting task. I just dove right in. I may have not done it perfectly but I did my best. Whenever someone has the flu or has had surgery or has symptoms flare up, it is easy to use this GAPS diet protocol guide to get them healthy and full of energy again. 

Before reading this page, please read our other article on the GAPS diet which includes recipes and indispensable resources.

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GAPS Diet Protocol Stages 1 Thru 6

Stage 1: Soup And Tea

In the beginning, bone broth, boiled meats, and mint or ginger tea are the main foods consumed. For a probiotic, start with one tablespoon of sauerkraut juice. When you are ready for vegetables, boil them well. Start with carrots, onions, garlic, and squash.

This is the soup phase. All meals should be soup. Serve tea and broth between meals. Eat as frequently as desired.

Foods allowed in stage 1 include:

  • beef, boiled in water or simmered in broth
  • bok choy, cooked
  • broccoli, cooked, no stalks
  • carrots, cooked
  • cauliflower, cooked, no stalks
  • chicken, boiled in water or simmered in broth
  • collard greens, cooked
  • eggplant, peeled, cooked
  • fermented vegetable juice, 1 tsp with meals
  • fish, boiled in water or simmered in broth
  • garlic, cooked
  • ginger root
  • kale, cooked
  • animal fat (chicken) or tallow
  • lamb, boiled in water or simmered in broth
  • onions, cooked
  • poultry boiled in water or simmered in broth
  • pumpkin, cooked
  • sea salt
  • summer squash, cooked
  • spinach, cooked
  • tea (ginger or mint)
  • turkey, boiled in water or simmered in broth
  • turnips, cooked
  • winter squash, cooked
  • zucchini, cooked

Stage 2: Let's Try Eggs And Butter

Continue serving previous foods and add: uncooked egg yolks added to hot broth and stirred in, clarified butter. Eggs and dairy are sometimes problem foods watch for reactions. Once yogurt is tolerated you may eat most dairy products and full butter rather than ghee. A person prone to diarrhea should use yogurt as a probiotic. Those with constipation should use sauerkraut. (This was mistyped before but is correct now.) 

Foods allowed in stage 2 include foods from stage 1, and:

  • raw egg yolks (the best you can afford)
  • ghee/clarified butter (slowly introduce)
  • yogurt (slowly introduce)
  • coconut oil

Stage 3: A Little More Variety And (Yummy!) Avocado

Continue with stage 1 and 2 foods and add: avocado, whole eggs, and GAPS pancakes.

A good meal for this day is scrambled eggs, sauteed onions, and avocado. Pancakes are made with equal parts nut butter like peanut butter and cooked mashed squash and eggs. For our family it is 10 eggs, 2 cups peanut butter, 2 cups squash.

Foods allowed in stage 3 include foods from previous stages and:

  • avocado
  • nut butter (the best you can find, should have oil on top)
  • fermented vegetables (sauerkraut)
  • asparagus, cooked
  • cabbage cooked
  • celery, cooked
  • fresh herbs, cooked

Stage 4: Time To Try Raw Veggies

Continue previous foods but during this phase you may try roasted or grilled meats, cold pressed oil, carrot juice with yoghurt, and “bread” made with almond flour.

We've come up with many varieties to the GAPS bread recipe that are delicious.

Try the sauerkraut whole now with meats. Drizzle about two tablespoons of cold pressed oils over meat after it has cooked. Serve a lot of fats. Use coconut oil and clarified butter for cooking and drizzle food with cold pressed oils like olive oil.

Juice is best taken in the morning on an empty stomach. Use mostly carrots. You may add celery, cabbage, lettuce and mint. Filter well and stir in some yoghurt. When juice is well tolerated, try adding a garden salad. Don’t rush this stage.

Foods allowed in stage 4 include foods from previous stages and:

  • carrot juice (fresh)
  • grilled and roasted meats
  • herbs, dried
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • raw vegetables from previous lists
  • raw honey
  • coconut flour
  • almond flour

Juicing tips here...

Stage 5: Cooked Fruit Day!

Carry on but now choose between sauerkraut and yogurt for your probiotic. At least one teaspoon should be taken with every meal. Now you will be adding cooked fruit. This is a good time to bake peanut butter pie. This is a delicious treat made with apples, carrot pulp, peanut butter, honey and prunes.

Foods allowed in stage 5 include foods from previous stages and:

  • applesauce
  • pear sauce
  • cucumber, peeled
  • tomatoes
  • vegetable juices (fresh)

Stage 6: Raw Fruit

The development of this diet makes complete sense after implementing it.

This final stage of the GAPS diet protocol is considered full GAPS diet. It consists of all the food you have learned to cook and serve on this GAPS diet protocol. A few things are added such as white beans, soaked properly, kombucha, weak coffee and almond flour. Chocolate is not allowed. Only honey and dried fruit are allowed as sweeteners. 

Foods allowed in stage 6 include foods from previous stages and:

  • white beans
  • weak coffee
  • apple, raw
  • berries
  • banana
  • cherries
  • coconut
  • coconut milk
  • dates
  • kiwi
  • peaches
  • pears
  • pineapple
  • raspberries
  • mangoes

This is a wonderful way to eat. After 18 months to 2 years, fermented grains like sourdough may be added. Also the more starchy vegetables like potatoes may be added. If these foods bring back symptoms, they may need to be avoided for a lifetime because starches feed pathogens.

Remember to keep up with the juicing, broth and probiotic foods. I hope your GAPS diet protocol implementation is as pleasant and as fulfilling as ours. Well it was mostly pleasant.

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