Preparing for GAPS Intro – Prepping the Freezer

Perpetual broth

This has been my mantra for the last couple of weeks with a short break for Independence Day.  Fortunately, the weather has been excellent here with low temperatures and cloudy days.  In fact, there is a running joke in the Seattle area that summer doesn’t actually start until July 5th.  I pretty much agree with that after living here most of my adult life.

One of my goals in preparing my freezer for the GAPS Intro diet is to make sure I have enough broth, veggies, meats and soups to get me through the most difficult days of the diet, which are the first week or two.  These are the “dog days” of the diet because it is during this time when most people experience the most severe symptoms.  I am hoping that I will not have too much trouble since I have been on the Full GAPS diet for over a year, but I plan to be prepared for the worst.

What I Did

I made chicken and beef broth daily and used two different methods to freeze it: Mason Jars and ice cubes.  When I start the diet, I plan to use the Mason Jars for my daily broth and will remove a jar or two from my freezer each afternoon to thaw on the counter for use the following day.  The ice cubes can easily be used for soups because each cube is approximately one ounce.

Slow cookers with chicken and beef broth. Yes, this is my kitchen!

After each batch is complete, I strain out the bones, fill the Mason Jars with broth, leaving one or two inches at the top for expansion, mark the jars and put them in the freezer.  I put my reusable bones straight back in the slow cooker (I highly recommend the Hamilton Beach Stay or Go Cooker!  They claim it is lead-free and cadmium-free.) and refill it with water to just above the bones to start another batch.  I am not using any vegetables for these batches, just straight bones and fat, which will make it easier because there is no extra preparation.  I figure I will eat enough vegetables during this time so there really is no need.

UPDATE:  You can continue to use your bones until they either crumble when pinched (chicken) or start to pit and become gritty (beef).

Every other batch I make broth ice cubes.  I pour the cooled broth into trays and put them in the freezer.  After they are frozen, I pop them out, put them into zip-type plastic bags and mark the bags.  This gives me a nice supply of broth that is already measured for soup and will make a nice backup if I forget to take the Mason Jars out of the freezer the day before.

Chicken broth cubes in the freezer

Most of the beef bones I’m using still have meat on them.  After a few hours of simmering, I remove them from the broth, pull all the meat off, put the bones back in the broth to simmer and freeze the meat separately.  I also save the marrow, if there is any, and will add it to my intro soups because it is very nourishing.

I was also able to locate some Copper River Salmon on sale last month and bought up quite a bit.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to purchase it whole, so I didn’t get the heads and tails.  I broiled most of it for dinner, cut up the leftovers and froze it in Mason Jars.  I plan to add it to fish stock or use it as a main dish for my family.

What’s the Next Step?

In the next couple of weeks I plan to purchase, chop, boil and freeze intro diet vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, butternut squash and acorn squash.  I will also prepare and freeze a few soups, including some cold soups since it looks like I might be doing the diet during the summer.  I didn’t plan it that way, but don’t want to wait until it cools down to go on intro.  I’m so ready to get it over with and see if I heal anymore.

I will also chop up and freeze as many onions as I can and will prepare a small Mason Jar of pressed garlic for adding to soups right before I eat them.  I have purchased a few fresh herbs and will wash, chop and freeze them so I can quickly add them to my soups for added taste.  I will also make a few easy freezer meals for my family just in case they are needed.  I do not plan to make chicken ahead of time, but will use what I usually make for family dinners.

A few other things I plan to do will be to prepare and freeze lots of meatballs for both me and my family, make and freeze cauliflower faux potatoes and mince ginger and freeze for tea.

When Will I Start Intro?

As you can see, I still have a lot of work ahead of me, but I’m hoping to get all this extra work done as quickly as possible and start the diet in a couple weeks.  Lord willing!

I could not have done all this preparation without the “GAPS Guide”by Baden Lashkov and “What Can I Eat Now?” an ebook by Cara at Home, Health and Happiness.  And of course I continually checked my GAPS book by Dr. Campbell-McBride to be certain everything was correct.

When I start the GAPS Introduction diet, I will be blogging about it.  If you would like to follow along, please sign up in the column to the right for email updates or follow me on Facebook or Twitter.

Are you on GAPS?  Are you doing the Intro diet or Full GAPS?  If Intro, what would you do differently?  If Full GAPS, have you done Intro?  Please leave me a comment below.  I would love to hear from you!

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This post is shared on Traditional Tuesdays, Whole Foods Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, Simple Lives Thursday, Monday Mania, Fat Tuesday and GAPS Legal Thursday.

  • Rene’

    How big is your freezer?

    • TheUrbanHearth

      Hi Rene! I have a small upright.

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  • Mary

    I just discovered you through gnowfglins and I am thankful you talked about babysteps. I feel like that is the speed I seem to need to go. I am prepping and getting ready probably this fall to start the intro to GAPS. I will probably have lots of questions for you and hope you might have some ideas. [o= Your blog is such a encouragement and I pray many healing blessings on you and your journey. Blessings in Him< -Mary@

    • TheUrbanHearth

      Hi Mary! Feel free to ask away or email me at Leola @ The Urban Hearth dot com. By the way, when you’re going through this, remember how long it has taken you to get the way you are today. It was not overnight and your healing will also not happen overnight. God’s grace be with you! Hugs, Leola

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  • TheUrbanHearth

    Absolutely, Sarah! Thank you for doing this!

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