GAPS™️ Programs


31 March 2019

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GAPS™️ Programs

GAPS™️ Programs


The GAPS™️ Introduction Diet is highly recommended especially for those with serious digestive symptoms such as diarrhea, some cases of constipation, abdominal pain, bloating, food allergies and intolerances, etc. or psychological conditions as this diet will reduce the symptoms quickly and initiate the healing process throughout the digestive system: heal and seal the gut lining.


Even for those without serious digestive problems and food allergies/intolerances, the Introduction diet is still beneficial as it optimizes the healing process in the gut and the rest of the body. In this case, they can move through the Introduction Diet quite quickly.


This is a six-stage progressive diet designed to start with very easy-to-digest foods like less fibrous, etc. and gradually add new foods over a period of days to weeks to months, depending upon your body’s response. Dr. Natasha recommends that one stays on each stage of the Introduction Diet for 3-5 days, although some individuals may move through each stage in as little as two days, while those with more challenged conditions or responses from new food items may need to stay on the Introduction Diet for a longer period of time.

This can best be determined through consulting with a Certified GAPS Practitioner.


As you move through the stages of the Introduction Diet, do not hesitate to return to a previous stage in the event of worsening of digestive symptoms upon progressing to the next stage. Return and stay with the previous stage for a few more days to see how your body improves.




Basic diet in Stage 1 will consist of:

  • Homemade meat stock (beef, lamb, bison, chicken, turkey, pheasant or fish)

  • Stew or soup made with well-cooked meats or fish and well-cooked vegetables (onions, carrots, broccoli, leeks, cauliflower, courgettes, marrow, squash, pumpkin, etc.) and meat stock

  • Probiotic foods daily (homemade fermented vegetable juice and/or homemade fermented whey, yogurt or sour cream if dairy is tolerated)

  • Fresh ginger tea, chamomile tea with raw honey

  • Purified water

**Those with constipation should use homemade sour cream and fermented vegetable juice while those with diarrhea are advised to use homemade whey or yogurt.




Stage 2 continues with Stage 1 foods:

Keep eating the soups with bone marrow, boiled meats or fish and other soft tissues off the bones. It is important to continue drinking meat stock and ginger tea. Keep adding some probiotic food into every cup of meat stock and every bowl of soup. These can include juice from sauerkraut or kimchi, fermented vegetables or homemade kefir/yogurt.


  • Add raw organic egg yolks.

  • Add stews and casseroles made with meats and vegetables.

  • Increase the daily amount of homemade yogurt and kefir if introduced, juice from fermented vegetables.

  • Introduce fermented fish, starting from one piece a day and increase gradually.

  • Introduce homemade ghee, start from 1 teaspoon a day and increase gradually.



Stage 3 carries on with all the previous foods:

  • Add ripe avocado mashed into soups, start from 1-3 teaspoons and gradually increase the amount.

  • Add pancakes, start from one pancake a day and gradually increase the amount. These pancakes consist of organic nut butter, eggs, winter squash or zucchini.

  • Egg scrambled with plenty of ghee, goose fat or duck fat

  • Introduce the sauerkraut and your fermented vegetables (Their juices should have been consumed since stage 1.).

  • Stage 3 or 4 is a good time for most to introduce a high quality, GAPS-legal probiotic, such as Bio-Kult.



Stage 4 carries on with all the previous foods:

  • Gradually try meats cooked by roasting and grilling (NOT barbecued or fried yet. Avoid bits, which are burned or too brown).

  • Begin adding cold pressed olive oil to the meals, start from a few drops per meal and gradually increase the amount to 1-2 tablespoons per meal.

  • Introduce freshly pressed juices, start from a few spoonfuls of carrot juice with NO fiber. Drink it slowly or diluted with warm water or mixed with some homemade yogurt. If tolerated well, gradually increase to a full cup a day.

  • Try adding the GAPS Milkshake.

  • Bake “bread” with ground almonds or any other nut and seeds ground into flour.                                                                                                                                                                                  The recipe requires only four ingredients: 1) Nut flour;  2) Eggs;  3) Piece of fresh winter squash, zucchini (peeled, de-seeded and finely sliced);  4) Some natural fat (ghee, butter, goose or duck fat) and some salt to taste.

** More recipes are found in Gut and Psychology Syndrome



Stage 5 carries on with all the previous foods:

  • Add cooked peeled apple as an apple puree, if all the previous foods are well tolerated. Peel and core ripe cooking apples and stew them with a bit of water until soft. When cooked add some ghee to it and mash with a potato masher. If ghee has not been introduced yet add duck or goose fat. Start from a few spoonfuls a day. If tolerated well, gradually increase the amount.

  • Add raw vegetables starting from softer parts of lettuce and peeled cucumber. If well tolerated, gradually add other raw vegetables: carrot, tomato, onion, cabbage, etc.

  • If the juice made from carrot, celery, lettuce, and mint is well tolerated, start adding fruit to it: apple, pineapple, and mango. Avoid citrus fruit at this stage.



Continue with all the previous foods:

  • Introduce some peeled raw apple, if all the introduced foods are well tolerated.

  • Gradually introduce raw fruit and more honey.

  • Gradually introduce baking cakes and other sweet things allowed on the diet. Use dried fruit as a sweetener in the baking.


After the Introduction Diet is successfully completed for several days with no digestive disruption, move into the Full GAPS Diet.


Some people may be reluctant to start with the GAPS Introduction Diet due to busy schedules or needing more flexibility with older children (who are not suffering from severe digestive problems such as those with autism, ADD/ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia or mental disturbances).


The Full GAPS™️ Diet is simpler to implement and will still encourage healing of the gut. It is strongly recommended that you follow the Dairy Introduction Structure as laid out in Gut and Psychology Syndrome (pages 121-127) if you are going to start with the Full GAPS™️ Diet.


However, the GAPS Introduction Diet is strongly recommended prior to the Full GAPS™️ Diet. There are times that changes will need to be made to the GAPS Introduction Diet, but these changes are best determined under the supervision of a Certified GAPS Practitioner. Those who are plagued with constipation may find that they need to make some changes while on the GAPS Introduction Diet, such as delaying the introduction of yogurt and kefir and increasing sauerkraut juice and/or sauerkraut. The daily addition of the GAPS Milkshake can also bring relief to chronic constipation.


For those who have successfully moved through the GAPS Introduction Diet, continue your meat stock daily and carry on completely avoiding starches and sugar for two years at least.

This means avoiding all grains, sugar, potatoes, parsnips, yams, sweet potato and anything made out of them. The flour in your cooking and baking can be replaced with ground almonds (or any other nuts or sunflower or pumpkin seeds ground into flour). In about 1 – 1.5 years you may be able to introduce new potatoes, fermented buckwheat, millet, and quinoa, starting from very small amounts, and observing any reaction.


Wheat, sugar, processed foods, and all additives will have to be out of the diet for much longer.


Introduce new foods found in the GAPS™️ Foods list slowly and increase the amounts of fermented foods – ferment vegetables, fruit, whole milk, and fish.

It is very important to have plenty of natural fats in every meal from meats, butter, ghee, coconut, and cold pressed olive oil. The fat content of the meal will regulate the blood sugar level and control cravings for carbohydrates – about 85% of everything you eat on a daily basis should be savory – made out of meats, fish, eggs, vegetables and natural fats. Sweet baking and fruit should be snacks between meals in limited amounts.


It is important to balance the meals so that your body’s pH stays normal. All protein foods, such as meats, fish, eggs, and cheese leave acid ash (acidic) in the body, which may aggravate your condition. Vegetables are alkalizing, so need to combine meats, fish, and eggs with a good amount of vegetables cooked and/or raw. Raw fruit, vegetables, and greens have a particularly strong alkalizing ability. As apple cider vinegar is very alkalizing, it is good to have it every day: just add one teaspoon of cider vinegar into every glass of water/hot water. Fermented foods are also alkalising.


It is very important to avoid processed foods (any packet or canned foods). They are stripped from most nutrients that were present in the fresh ingredients used for making these foods. They are hard work for the digestive system and they damage the healthy gut flora balance. On top of that, they usually contain a lot of artificial chemicals, detrimental to health, like preservatives, color, E-numbers, etc. Try to buy foods in the form that nature made them, as fresh as possible.

Do not use a microwave oven, as it destroys food. Cook and warm up food using conventional oven and stove.




  • Sugar and anything that contains it.
  • Molasses, maple syrup, corn syrup, any other syrup.
  • Aspartame in any form, it is a potent neurotoxin (brain toxin).
  • Sweets, cakes, biscuits, chocolates, ice creams.
  • All alcoholic beverages. An adult can have good quality wine with meals occasionally but not beer or spirits.
  • Canned and processed foods, always read the ingredients label, beware of sugar, lactose, maltose, starch, corn flour, preservatives, flavorings, colors, yeast. It is best not to buy processed foods at all.
  • Grains: rice, corn, rye, oats, wheat and anything made of wheat flour (bread, pasta, biscuits, cakes and anything from the bakery, anything with bread crumbs or batter), buckwheat, quinoa, millet, couscous, spelt, semolina, tapioca, etc. After about 1 – 1.5 years you may be able to slowly re-introduce buckwheat, millet, and quinoa (fermented to start with), but not wheat, rye or rice.
  • Breakfast cereals are highly processed products with virtually no nutritional value, they are full of sugar, salt, trans-fatty acids, and other harmful substances. They should be out of the diet forever.
  • Starchy vegetables and anything made out of them: potato, parsnips, yams, Jerusalem artichoke, and sweet potato. In about 1 – 1.5 years you may be able to introduce new potatoes.
  • Milk should be out at this stage. However, the GAPS person can have soured milk products, such as natural hard cheese, live natural yogurt and kefir, crème fresh or soured cream, butter, and ghee. There are many substances in milk, which could cause trouble, such as milk sugar lactose, casein, immune complexes, etc. Soured milk products do not contain lactose and are pre-digested by the fermenting microbes, which makes fermented milk products very easy to digest for us. Only organic milk products are recommended and introduce them one at a time, starting from small amounts. If you have introduced homemade yogurt, kefir, and ghee as a part of the Introduction Diet, then gradually introduce fermented cream and butter.
  • Fruit juices apart from freshly pressed. Unfortunately fruit juices (not freshly pressed by you) are a source of processed sugars and can contain a lot of fungi and molds in them, which might cause reactions.
  • Beans and pulses are generally hard to digest. White (navy) beans also called haricot beans, fermented and cooked at home, and fresh green beans are only allowed. Commercially available baked beans have almost 40% sugar and should be avoided. You can make your own baked beans at home (please, look in the recipe section).
  • Coffee (except coffee enema) is a strong irritant for the digestive tract, try to avoid it. Strong tea is not advisable either. Natural herbal teas (no flavorings added) and ginger tea are fine. Ginger tea is a well-known folk remedy for digestive problems.
  • Soft drinks are not allowed at all, they are full of sugar and various chemicals, which are very damaging for GAPS people.
  • Anything with colors, preservatives, flavorings and other chemicals.
  • Soya and anything made out of it. It interferes with thyroid function in the body and negatively affects hormonal balance, as it contains estrogen – like compounds. It is important to avoid all synthetic estrogens, such as from soya, contraceptive pill, many other drugs, domestic cleaning chemicals, laundry detergents, toiletries, etc.



Information is adapted from:

Gut And Psychology Syndrome (

gaps info (