I may receive a commission if you purchase something mentioned in this post. See more details here.
Today is Day 73 since I began the GAPS Intro Diet.
Every day since I began, I have grown more and more passionate about helping others on their GAPS journey. I have seen amazing healing in myself, and I have met many people also seeking healing. I have also received so many questions about the GAPS Diet, both requests to write a post about it and various questions about implementation.
I am so inspired by the curiosity I see, and I want to do my part to help other “GAPSters” along their journey. I have lots of posts, projects, and GAPS-friendly recipes planned to help answer these questions, fill any “gaps” in the current available resources, and help make the healing GAPS can provide a reality for those seeking it.
Today I’m going to start with the basics:
What is the GAPS Intro Diet?
GAPS stands for Gut and Psychology Syndrome. The diet is designed to heal leaky gut syndrome and the wide range of health conditions associated with it by eliminating toxins, processed foods, and foods that can can be difficult to digest. It emphasizes detoxification and nutrient dense foods to promote healing of the gut and the entire body.
GAPS is intended to be a temporary diet. Once a person achieves the healing they desire, they can transition to the real foods diet, such as paleo or WAPF, that works best for their body and their lifestyle. Depending on the level of healing needed, this can take 6 months to several years.
There are two parts to the GAPS Diet: Full GAPS and GAPS Intro. Full GAPS is similar to the paleo diet, except that it excludes starches (sweet potatoes, yuca, tapioca, arrowroot, etc.) and includes certain legumes and high quality dairy (particularly fermented dairy). Many people choose to go on Full GAPS before starting Intro in order to ease the transition, and this is the diet you work towards after completing the GAPS Intro Diet. Many people experience quite a bit of healing on the Full GAPS diet. With mild health concerns, this may be enough.
GAPS Intro is an intense healing protocol. By eliminating potentially problematic foods and only eating easy to digest and incredibly healing foods (boiled meats and vegetables, broth, animal fats and tissues), many people experience rapid and intense healing of the gut lining. Throughout the 6 stages of intro, nutrient dense foods are gradually added back in until you can transition to Full GAPS. It is great for those with severe digestive symptoms or other indications of leaky gut. It can even be gone through very quickly to help with recovering from the flu.
How long the GAPS Intro Diet lasts will depend entirely on the individual. Some can move through the stages quickly, in just a few weeks. Others take much longer to move through Intro, on the order of months. For example, I added in a couple Full GAPS foods after a month and a half on Intro. But I continue to eat almost exclusively stage 3 and 4 legal meals over two months in because I still have a lot of healing to do and have found sensitivities to a lot of later foods. Everyone’s journey through GAPS will look different.
You will know how quickly to move through the GAPS Diet based on your reactions and the severity of your symptoms. For example, I chose to add in a new food every three days, as is standard in an elimination diet, because I knew I was reacting to something I was eating. You do not need to be symptom free to move forward, but you should be seeing progress. If you add in a food and notice a reaction to it, take it out and wait until the reaction begins to clear before moving forward again. Wait at least two weeks before testing that food again.
In 2 1/2 months, I have seen my acne clear up, my moods stabilize, my energy increase, and much more thanks to the GAPS Intro Diet. I found food sensitivities that I didn’t know I had, and at the same time feel optimism that I will be able to heal these and the rest of my body with time.
Thinking about starting the GAPS Intro Diet? Here are some great resources to help you learn more.
What questions do you have, or information you would like to see, about GAPS or the GAPS Intro Diet? Let me know in the comments.
If you are on or are considering the GAPS diet, make sure that you check out my eBook, Healing Patiently. Learn how to prepare for GAPS and heal your gut – without losing your mind!
Like what you see? Please support this blog and help me keep it running by signing up for my newsletter, purchasing products, or donating through the links below:
DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. The information contained in this post is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information. For more information, click here.