My First Day on the GAPS Intro Diet

After three months of preparation, I finally started the GAPS Introduction diet today.  Last night when I went to bed I wasn’t really sure I was going to, but when I got out of bed today I decided it was going to happen.  No turning back!

So because I wasn’t sure last night, I wasn’t really ready this morning.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  It turns out my three months of preparation actually made this day easier because almost everything was in the freezer.  I was looking forward to some Butternut Squash Soup for breakfast!  I left out the spices and ghee since they are Stage 2 foods.

I went to the freezer, took out the butternut squash, and put it in a pot of warm water to start defrosting.  Then I poured myself a glass of water and took my Bio-Kult.  Unfortunately, the water was not room temperature as recommended in the GAPS book.  I had planned to pour a pitcher of water every evening and leave it on the kitchen counter so it would be room temperature by morning.  That did not happen last night, but it will tomorrow!

Then I made some chicken soup in my slow cooker and made breakfast.  The rest of my day was pretty uneventful.  Because I had a slight coffee headache off an on all day and a foggy brain, I stayed pretty low.  I sipped on garlic tea all day and ate soup whenever I wanted.  It was kind of a nice break from almost constantly preparing food for the last three months!

My freezer door

I documented every thing I put in my mouth in a food diary and all of my symptoms in a symptom diary.  This was a recommendation by my GAPS practitioner.  It is supposed to help you determine which food you added to your diet is causing symptoms so you can eliminate it and try it again in a week.

I went to bed fairly early and slept a bit restlessly even though I was exhausted.  I usually take a natural sleep-aid, but decided to suspend all supplements except the Bio-Kult to see if I could stop taking them altogether.  I am not taking anything recommended by a medical or natural practitioner, and if I can keep from having to take any pills I will save some money.  If you are taking a prescription or anything recommended by your health care practitioner, do not stop taking it without their approval.  It could be a life or death decision.

Things I enjoyed about the GAPS Intro diet:

  • Adding garlic to each bowl of soup before I ate it.  I thought eating soup all day would be boring, but it’s not!  I absolutely adore garlic and it makes the soup come alive on my tongue.  Such a delight!
  • Butternut squash.  When I was growing up, I didn’t like squash.  I never ate any squash until last year when it was recommended by my GAPS practitioner to increase my carbs.  I told her I didn’t really like it, so she suggested trying butternut squash first.  I love it!  Especially with lots of butter, but I haven’t added butter to my diet, yet.
  • Never-ending soup.  I make soup in my slow cooker in the morning and turn it on high for a few hours.  It is ready to eat by lunch, and I can eat it all day whenever I feel like it.  I never got really super hungry because I added lots of satiating, healthy fats to my soup and broth.
  • Dairy is my saving grace.  There seems to be a lot of confusion about whether or not to add dairy from the start of the Intro diet.  Let me try to clear that up.  If you have started the GAPS diet with the Full diet, you will need to go through a six-week elimination time period before adding it back in.  If you start with the Intro diet and do not suspect a dairy allergy, you are encouraged to add probiotic dairy to your soups, first yogurt and then kefir.  If you suspect a dairy allergy, wait until the sensitivity test comes back clear before you add it.  Then start with ghee, then yogurt, then kefir.  I added yogurt to my breakfast, which was Butternut Squash soup.  It was a nice touch and added some variety.

Things I missed by starting the GAPS Intro diet:

  • My morning coffee.  I love the taste of coffee, but have tried several times to quit to no avail.  Maybe because my husband drinks it every day, which makes it easily available.  I started my day today, though, with a nice cup of chicken broth with coconut oil and salt.  Unfortunately, I felt tired all day and had a slight coffee headache.  (I didn’t miss it as much my second day!)
  • Evening wine.  I love the taste of wine, too, but it has become a habit that I want to break for several reasons.  It is my hope to make or grow almost everything I put in my body, and I don’t see myself making wine anytime real soon.  Maybe someday, but not now.  It is also an expense that I would like to get rid of to help lighten up the budget.
  • Eggs for breakfast from my “beauties.”  I love walking out to the chicken tractor and gathering eggs for my breakfast.  There’s just nothing like it!  I’m going to try to add egg yolks back to the diet this week.

As it turns out, the day was not too bad.  I didn’t expect it would be since most of my major symptoms are gone.  My only major complaints would be not sleeping well without my sleep-aid and feeling tired all day.  Overall, I’m very happy to have survived the first day unscathed.

Have you tried the GAPS Intro diet?  Do you have some health issues you think might clear or improve with the GAPS diet?  Do you know about the GAPS diet?  I’d love to hear from you!

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  • I’m gearing up for the Intro diet this fall. I’m a homeschooling mother of four, so I am trying to get all my ducks in a row and the freezer stocked (pun intended) before we begin. My question to you is what kind of water do you drink? We live within the city of Seattle and the water is pretty good, however, will the chlorine content kill good bacteria? I’d appreciate your thoughts on this. We recently quit using our Brita, because it was a hassle, expensive (for us), and removed helpful minerals while still leaving a chlorine taste.
    Thanks!

    • TheUrbanHearth

      Hi Elise!

      We live in Bothell and have not hooked up to the city water system. So we still drink well water, but also use several house filters and an under-the-sink filter for drinking water. Yes, chlorine will kill good bacteria. Here’s a short article for you: http://thegreenlivingcenter.com/node/124
      One way you can decrease the chlorine in your drinking water is to leave it on the counter for about 24 hours. It is supposed to dissipate into the air.
      Do you have fluoride in the water? You might consider a good reverse osmosis system or filter to remove the fluoride. Berkey sells fluoride-removing filters and Radiant Life also sells some. If you are concerned about mineral content, you can purchase mineral drops to add them back into the water.
      I hope this helps!

      Blessings,
      Leola

    • TheUrbanHearth

      Many blessings on your GAPS and homeschool journey! ~Leola

    • My husband and I live in Kenmore, and the water here as in Seattle is
      flouridated. We use a Berkey with the flouride filters in addition to
      the regular black filters and the water tastes amazing! The Berkey is a
      bit pricey, but well worth the cost if you can afford it, especially if
      kids are drinking the flouridated water (tooth flourosis). We finally
      broke down and bought one this past year since our daughter who just
      turned one has started drinking water. Have fun with your homeschooling! I am looking forward to doing the same when my daughter is older.

  • Carol

    Hi Leola,
    I wrote here yesterday, but do not see my post. I too am preparing to start the GAPS intro diet, and appreciate your comments about your journey.

    • TheUrbanHearth

      Hi Carol! I’m happy to hear that and hope you are encouraged along the way. I’m having my first pickle and hoping it doesn’t cause any “die-off.” I love pickles and am so happy to be able to eat them again. I pray you’re journey is a healing one!
      Blessings,
      Leola

      • Carol

        Thanks Leola. I will write more at another time, as I am very tired right now and have Grandkids coming over this evening 🙂
        I live in the Canadian prairies (Saskatchewan) so it is an hour later here.
        Did you make your own pickles?

        • TheUrbanHearth

          Not yet. I’m growing some cucumbers to pickle. Tonight I had Bubbies pickles. Yummy! Enjoy those Grandkids, and have a good evening, Carol!

  • Carol

    This must be Day 7 for you Leola. How are you doing? I hope that things are going OK 🙂

  • Pingback: Weeks 6 and 7 on GAPS Intro – Old Habits Die Hard | The Urban Hearth()

  • thresa56

    I am just getting started on plans for the GAP Diet. I was tested for allergies and sensitivities because of my stomach problems (bloating, stomach ache etc…) and was found to have 30 sensitivities and allergies. for 3 months I have gone without all of those foods and though I feel much better, the problems still rear their ugly head. So I’m thinking… instead of staying away from those foods for the months at a time, why don’t I just heal my gut! So my journey begins and I hope this works!

    • TheUrbanHearth

      Hi Thresa! I hope your journey goes well. The fall is the perfect time to start this diet. I have a small suggestion that might help with your stomach symptoms. Try adding fresh lemon to your drinking water. It is supposed to help aid digestion in your stomach. If you have any questions, let me know.

  • HB2000

    Hi Leola, I’m so glad I happened upon this blog. You said you have been preparing, cooking and freezing for awhile. Is that essential to starting the diet? And what about organic stocks available for purchase at the store? Are those better than nothing, if you need to start the diet right away? (My stomach and inflammation symptoms are miserable.)

    • TheUrbanHearth

      Hi there! Prepping for the Intro diet only makes going on it and staying on it easier. It is not essential for starting the diet. Let me explain. The GAPS intro diet is hard. Period. I had already been on the full GAPS diet for a year or more before I attempted the intro diet. Also keep in mind you might have “die off” symptoms. You may not feel like making your food in order to eat it. If you have your food already prepared or almost prepared you will be less tempted to “cheat.” Those are just my thoughts, but, again, it is not essential. Oh, and if you have someone who can help make your food, even better!

      I would stay away from any prepared stock. Almost all of it has MSG which is a big no-no on GAPS. Some manufacturers claim to have no MSG, but I don’t believe them for a minute. When they label their products, they are allowed to cloak or hide the MSG by using other words such as “natural flavors.” All that means is that they don’t want to tell what those ingredients are because if you knew you might not purchase their product. Sad, but true.

      I hope that helps!