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Are you ready to begin GAPS Intro? Cara from Health Home Happiness has written a very helpful and informative e-book which can help you navigate the process.
Before starting GAPS I already had some experience that made it easier for me to get started. For one thing I'd been cooking most of my meals from scratch for about three decades, and I'd been loosely following Nourishing Traditions for about five years so I was well versed in making broth and fermenting vegetables.
To start GAPS, my first step was to eliminate the “illegal” foods. That alone was quite an adjustment. I did full GAPS for four months, and I had heard others on the GAPShelp list say that they saw leaps and bounds in improvement once they did intro so I decided it was finally time. I've wondered for some time how important it is to do Introduction first, and recently Dr. Natasha answered my question at her FAQ:
Question: I know you say we should not skip introduction, but can you clarify for us if it is OK to do the Full GAPS Diet first and then do Intro after a few weeks of transitioning the body to lower carbohydrates, lower fiber, higher fats and the addition of probiotics?
Answer: Absolutely! Some people start from the Full GAPS Diet, and then later on, if there is a need, they do the Introduction Diet. Some people, particularly those without severe digestive symptoms, never do the Introduction Diet; they get well with the Full GAPS Diet alone. It is very individual. Generally, the Introduction Diet should be followed if there is diarrhea, other serious digestive problems and food intolerances. Children and adults with severe learning disabilities do well on the Introduction Diet. But if we have an adult without much digestive trouble, and who finds it difficult to change their diet at all, they often start from the Full GAPS Diet. An adult with chronic persistent constipation usually does well starting from the Full GAPS Diet; later on many of them find it very useful to do the Introduction Diet, when they are mentally ready for it.
Are you within that group that should do Introduction?
As I mentioned earlier, Cara's book is going to help you make the adjustment with recipes, day to day meal planning, even suggestions on useful kitchen equipment.
Here is the Table of Contents:
- Required Reading (Cara lists the chapters in Gut and Psychology Syndrome which she feels is absolutely necessary)
- Sourcing Foods
- Supplements on Intro
- Kitchen Equipment
- Potential ‘side effects'
- Ordering and Purchasing Meat and Fish
- Toiletries and Cosmetics
- Start Fermented Vegetables
- Make Chicken Stock
- Bulk Food Preparation
- Activities to do that don't revolve around food
- How to Know When It's Time to Move to the Next Stage
- Stage 1
- Stage 2
- Stage 3
- Stage 4
- Stage 5
- Stage 6
- Introducing Dairy
- Reaction and Progression Weekly Checklist
- Transferring to the Full GAPS Diet
One Week Before Starting Intro
The 30 days actually begin at one week earlier when Cara suggests that you order meat if needed, or find a local source, makes some suggestions on the use of natural toiletries and cosmetics, and instructs you in getting your first fermented vegetables started.
1-2 Days Before Starting Intro
With just a couple days until you start intro, Cara instructs you in making your first pot of chicken stock and recommends some bulk food preparation. The Introduction portion of the GAPS diet is quite limited in comparison to what everyone else is eating, so Cara shares a great list for activities you can do that don't revolve around food, she also offers some suggestions on how to manage social situations like visiting family and friends, or church, parties, etc. Very helpful tips!
What Can I Eat Now?
Next Cara lists each stage, the foods you can eat now, and shares five days of recipes and instruction for each of the six stages of Intro. For example on Day 1 she provides recipes for Intro Butternut Squash Soup, Boiled Broccoli, Sweet Onions and Chicken Meat with Soup. Also included is the recommendation to have a detox bath, and what you should include with each meal.
After the thirty days of Introduction, she shares how to introduce dairy, and also shares instructions for making 24 hour yogurt, and finally how to make yogurt cheese and whey. Also included is a handy list of reactions and progression which can help you gauge food reactions or other reactions.
Are you ready to start Intro, or would you like to purchase a copy for someone you know? Click here to buy your copy today.