Do you think you should try the GAPS Intro, but are unsure how to make the drastic change from eating either the standard American diet or even a whole foods Nourishing Traditions style diet?
You aren’t alone! This is the most frequent question that I’ve been getting lately, (look down at the end of the post for more FAQ) so I wanted to answer it for you!
The gradual transition onto GAPS intro is good for most people- some people are afraid of losing too much weight, are concerned that they won’t stick with such a drastic change, have experienced trouble reducing carbohydrates, or don’t want to change things for their children so suddenly.
How fast you do these changes will depend on your personality, family situation, and a number of other things.
What we did
We did this quickly, taking out gluten (wheat protein) and casein (milk protein) for 2 months, then for another week we removed all grains, and then we started Intro from the beginning, had to add in more carbs a few days later, and then started intro again the next week and were able to stay on it until we got the healing we needed.
Transitioning down to GAPS Intro, Step by Step
5. Remove gluten (wheat), and then grains
Not only will removing grains help your digestion (unfortunately whole grains really are not good for GAPS people’s digestion) but it gets you most of the way to the GAPS introduction diet!
Possible Modification: Just take out gluten and get used to that, if you need the help of gluten free mixes and packaged products to get you through this first step, that’s ok. After a couple weeks take out all grains.
4. Remove dairy
The proteins and/or sugars in dairy (casein and lactose) often cause problems, by removing dairy in addition to grains you will be making another giant step to heal your gut.
Possible Modification: You may want to keep in some milk kefir, yogurt, and butter made from milk from grassfed cows, as they are very nutritious and allowed on GAPS, just not Intro GAPS.
3. Remove sweeteners
You may want to do these next steps very quickly, as going without sweeteners is an adjustment for many people! In this stage we remove sugar, maple syrup, and honey. If you need something sweet, you can still eat fruit while on this stage. This will help get your body used to less carbohydrates, as the GAPS intro is low carb and it’s easier on most people if you don’t take them all away at once.
Possible Modification: You could keep in honey for a while, since it is legal on full GAPS, but please do away with it for intro!
2. Remove eggs
Eggs, like dairy, are highly nourishing, but unfortunately many people are sensitive to them and eating them causes reactions or inflammatory responses. Removing them here leaves you meat, veggies, fruit, and nuts. Get ready, we’re taking some of those next!
1. Remove nuts, coconut, and fruit
Doing this essentially puts you on GAPS intro. You may need to gradually lower your fruit and nut intake (I know I use nuts a lot to fill me up and fruit for a sweet fix). Now that you’re down to meat and veggies, you will find my Intro Guide helpful to make sure you introduce things in the right order on Intro, and to make sure you include all the ‘extras’ like detox baths, juicing, and probiotic foods.
Get your stockpot ready and start the GAPS intro!
If you need some help, check out my Gut-Healing Starter Package where we go through all these steps individually, and give you helpful tips for starting (and sticking with!) the GAPS Introduction Diet!
Q: What can you eat on the Full GAPS Diet?
Read more about Full GAPS here.
Q: Okay. My kid eats buttered pasta, goldfish crackers, and fruit snacks and that’s it. How am I supposed to get him to eat this food?
How to transform picky eaters on GAPS foods.
Q: I’m allergic to some/most of the GAPS food, what do I do then?
Read more here about food allergies on GAPS.
Q: I’m breastfeeding/pregnant/both, can I do GAPS?
. Read more about GAPS while breastfeeding here.
Q: What are die off reactions?
Read more about GAPS and healing crises here.
Q: Can you cheat? Can I just do this diet most of the time?
Read here about cheating on GAPS.
Q: What is the gut-brain connection?
Read more about the gut-brain connection here.
Q: How is this related to food? My problem is genetic- my mother has the same problems that I do, it runs in my family.
This is called being a ‘GAPS Family‘
Q: What do I eat on the GAPS Intro?
Q: I have no idea how to cook GAPS Foods, how am I going to do this?
After over a year of getting the hang of GAPS I made Grain Free Meal Plans, recipes that are all GAPS suitable.
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Is it possible to completely to a Gaps diet if I am a Crossfitter and train 5 times a week?
Please advise if I can add or substitute some things.
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So…I have kind a, sorta got my basic GAPS stuff together.. I made my first fermented veggies (not done yet), and a ton of beef and chicken broths, but what do I need to eat and incorporate for the next 30 day? I would like to know what to eat daily during this into phase. What food series/recipes do you recommend I buy from your websit?. I have been gluten free for about a year, mostly grain free, definitely milk free, but have had some cheese recently… I can get rid of that too.. I just want to get started, but am overwhelmed by what I can eat for the beginning part. Then I graduate to the next step.
Hi Celia, I recommend my intro e-book for exactly the reasons you’re describing :) You can find it here https://healthhomeandhappiness.com/30-days-on-the-gaps-intro-diet