Starting GAPS


It doesn’t look like much all set out on the table here, but I’ve been gathering information and ingredients to start the GAPS intro for the past couple weeks. I have, a bowl of my crockpot chicken, GAPS Guide, Gut and Psychology Syndrome, Breaking the Vicious Cycle from the library, glass jars of chicken stock (what the intro portion of the diet is based on), milk-free sauerkraut, a jar to keep the fat from the chicken in, fish oil, cod liver oil, bio-kult probiotic, an immersion blender for making blended soups, Klean Kanteen (the only way I’ve gotten my little one to ‘eat’ soup), and some organic broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower.

The GAPS Intro is outlined here. I would rather hold real books in my hand than only have them on the web, so I bought the GAPS Guide, which does have the introduction diet in it and I’m using that. I read through the website before deciding to buy the books, though.

GAPS starts out with a diet based on meat and veggie soup, and slowly adds in other easily digestible foods (no grains, though, for a long time). The idea is that it gives the gut nourishing healing foods, and allows it to repopulate good flora (the kind of bacteria in yogurt and lactofermented veggies), which helps our digestion and absorption of nutrients, as well as keeping nutrients that aren’t broken down all the way from passing through to the bloodstream prematurely. I think it’s fascinating. It’s almost like setting the ‘reset button’ on your gut flora after a lifetime of antibiotics and toxins. I’m curious to see how it works, I’d love to get rid of my milk allergy, and maybe even improve my handwriting (which looks like chicken scratch- thought to be related to dyslexia) and spelling ability (I rely heavily on spell check).

My baby is nearly a year now, and I’ll continue to nurse him through GAPS. It’s supposed to be more baby-friendly than other cleanses, more gentle, so I think we’ll be okay. Of course if I see any bad symptoms in him, I’ll go ahead and stop.

Feel free to ask questions in the comment section. I’m not an expert in GAPS at all, but I have been reading quite a bit about it lately. I’ll most likely be posting about non-GAPS related things during this since the diet is very simple and not a lot to blog about ;)

A post here and here by Kelly on GAPS.
Chicken Stock is nourishing and warm, whether you’re doing GAPS this winter or not. Here are pictures and instructions.
Keeper of the Home wrote about a different cleanse that she was doing over here, must be the season!

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About Cara

Cara is the main author here at Health Home and Happiness. She loves the health and energy that eating well and playing well provides and has a goal to share what she's learned with as many families interested in making healthy changes as possible.

She helps other families achieve health in simple steps with the GAPS Starter Package, The Empowered Mother Pregnancy Resource, and helps them stock their freezer for busy days with Grain-Free Freezer Cooking Guide.


  1. Christine says:

    I have had severe digestive problems with food ever since I had a breakdown 3 years ago. I was also suffering from TMJ which had not been diagnosed & was taking aspirin every 2 hours from months for the pain. Before this I had celiac disease, was lactose intollerant, and also stayed away from corn, but I was doing quite well. After this, many of the things I could eat before, including a little tomato began to really upset my stomach. I started the Intro diet with 1 tsp of saurkraut juice (and have been taking a probiotic before I started) for 3 days & now my stomach feels on fire. I haven’t done any of the rest of the diet (the bone broth). Also I have quite a rash. SHould I cut the saurkraut juice to 1/4 tsp. or stop for a bit?

    • Hi, sorry I missed this! You’ll want to include the bone broth- it’s really healing for the GI tract. You can always try stopping and re-starting the sauerkraut juice, it might be a die off reaction and need to be introduced a little more slowly.

  2. Hi – I found your site on a link from Cheeseslave. I thought I had read something you wrote about how long the GAPS diet needs to be followed. I’m not sure if it was here or not. Could you please help me locate it? It was about the idea that GAPS can be effective if followed for a shorter time. Thanks.

    • It depends on the issue- I was able to clear my milk allergy in a couple months, my daughter with autism I fully expect to be on GAPS for at least another few years.

      • Bonny Shilton says:

        How did you determine that your milk allergy was healed, Cara? Some of these food allergy symptoms are so vague – headaches, autoimmune disease, etc. If the allergy doesn’t cause stomach upset as a symptom, how do you know when it is healed? Thanks!

        • I got chronic sinus infections and hives when I had dairy before (so I just avoided it completely) but after GAPS I can have dairy again.

  3. I’m on day 6 of Gaps intro diet. Is flax seed allowed to increase motility? Rhubarb

  4. Hi and thank you for your posts! they are timely!!

    Ive just gotten all the books you mentioned, I need to do the GAPS diet to heal food allergies which are getting worse and numerous. I am also going to be moving back to the USA soon and so I’m holding off on doing it because the stress and changes will be hard to do while in a hotel during temporary housing, 1-3 months.

    I’ve been trying to make broths and removing dairy. i have been primal for 3 1/2 months as well. So I’m grain, sugar, almost dairy free. Lost 20 lbs!!

    I have some questions, I’m very allergic to corn, beef, soy, I suspect some lamb issues developing. Is it just as healthy to do chicken, turkey, fish, pork broths? (dont recall seeing pork even suggested??)

    I live in South America and organic is not heard of hardly at all, I import my coconut butter, making my own ghee, import almond flour, coconut flour. expensive but nice to have it.

    I get confused since the beef broth is so beneficial but would cause me harm for now. I’ve been on probiotics but switching to another brand, the natural ingredients have some sort of stimulant in them, i can’t take after the morning or i’m all hyped up and cant sleep (dr. ohiras). Also ordered some digestive enymes.

    does it really work to do it part of the way? i read that it can actually create bigger problems.

    would love some advice, theres no one in this area who could even imagine what i go thru; I know this is what I need to do but not sure where to start…

    thanks again!

    • Yes, i think chicken broth is supposed to be the best anyway :) Hopefully after a few weeks on Intro you won’t have any allergies any more at all (that was how it went for me!) I would do intro the best you can, I actually go off all supplements, even probiotics, for the intro. I’m so impressed that you’re doing this overseas with importing ingredients, etc!

  5. Thanks so much for writing this! We’re gearing up to start GAPS within the next few weeks. I’m trying to get well prepared as I know my 3 year old is going to starve himself when we start :(

    I’ve been practicing all the basic cooking and stocking the freezer so we’re well supplied and I have a stupid question about the chicken fat… can you keep adding new hot fat to the jar in the fridge with previously saved fat in it?

  6. Alejandra says:

    I have 3 year old boy that has been diagnosed with mild to moderate ASD. We are trying to start the GAPS diet, he is starting school next week. He will be there for about 2 1/2 hrs a day. The other kids will have snacks, I am worried about which snacks to send with him during the intro part of the diet. He is a picky eater.


  1. […] down below General info:An overview, and what I got together to Start GAPSHow we modified the intro because I felt it was too low carb My guest post at Cheeseslave’s […]

  2. […] We eat breakfast-for-dinner pretty often.  I finally tried making beef sausage because it was a breakfast-kind-of-night and I had some beef thawed in the fridge.  I used 2 lbs of beef at first and the recipe on page 364 of Nourishing Traditions for Spicy Lamb Sausage, minus the sundried tomatoes and pepper (that I didn’t have) and bread crumbs (not on GAPS). […]

  3. […] getting the root canal pulled (it was a top back molar, so near the maxillary sinus) and being on GAPS, but I do think that both have played a role in being able to eat cheese without sinus or GI […]

  4. […] works (when it does) is because of the gut/psychology connection, which we already knew from GAPS.  I thought that it was interesting that they did note that. They left out all the risks […]

  5. […] read about the GAPS diet before, on Keeper of the Home, Kelly the Kitchen Kop, and a number of other blogs, and knew it was a good way to reset the stomach and deal with negative food-related stomach […]

  6. […] read about the GAPS diet before, on Keeper of the Home, Kelly the Kitchen Kop, and a number of other blogs, and knew it was a good way to reset the stomach and deal with negative food-related stomach […]

  7. […] Since starting GAPS I’ve been curious about alternative flours, and coconut flour was the first non-grain flour that I’ve tried. It was pretty good! I’ve got a huge order of organic almonds coming from our co-op this Sunday and I’m curious to see how almonds, soaked, dried, and then made into flour compare to the coconut. // […]

  8. […] Starting GAPS Modifying the Intro to Work for Us Easy Almond Brittle (GAPS-friendly candy!) […]

  9. […] Starting GAPS and Modifying GAPS to Work For Us- both from Cara at Health, Home, Happiness […]

  10. […] Starting GAPS, Modifying GAPS to Work For Us, and GAPS and Breastfeeding – from Cara at Health, Home, Happiness […]

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