Intro Stage 1
Stage 1 of the GAPS INTRO diet is made up of meat/fish stock, steamed vegetables and the slow introduction of probiotic foods.
Not everyone starts at the INTRO diet. Many people often will start at the FULL GAPS diet and go in reverse. Ideally, the most healing is within the INTRO stages. This is where working with a GAPS practitioner may come useful to assist you in the right direction.
Stock is rich in minerals, collagen and gelatin. It is the stock component that will nourish your digestive tract and repair your gut lining. Download your MEAT STOCK RECIPE here. The more you drink of the meat stock, the faster you will heal. So you can see the stock is an integral part of the protocol.
You can choose any vegetables that are in your ‘allowed food list’. But they need to be well cooked, seeds/skins removed. I generally have a container in my fridge with a selection of chopped vegetables, to make the morning routine faster. By removing the fibre from your vegetables you are assisting with any diarrhoeal symptoms.
Raw egg yolk can also be put into the stock once the vegetables have cooked and is nearly ready to serve (if tolerated). The probiotic foods that you include at Stage 1 are:
homemade yoghurt (with/without kefir)
sauerkraut juice (1 teaspoon is enough)
homemade sour cream
In cases of constipation, sticking with sauerkraut and sour cream should assist with this. Also make sure there is suitable amount of fats that are being consumed in your meat/vegetable stock.
It is a good idea to mix up your meats (not altogether!). You might have chicken in the morning, beef for lunch and fish in the evening. Having wet food all day every day can get a little repetitive. So its a good idea to have your freezer full of meat options. You will also find that you will have your favourites.
During this stage you will also experience what is called ‘die off’. This is where your gut bacteria is being starved and they are dying. The side effect of this is that the bacteria release toxins and can give symptoms such as headaches, malaise and even old behavioural issues will re-emerge. It is best to stick with this stage for at least a few days before jumping to the Stage 2.
Even the introduction of probiotics can cause a die off. This can be one of the most difficult thing to distinguish between. Am I having a die off reaction or am I having a food reaction?
If it is a food reaction, you need to pull back and start again to where you were when you did not have a reaction. e.g. if you were having 1 teaspoon of yoghurt and were fine, and then increased to 2 teaspoons of yoghurt, but then had a reaction. You need to go back to having 1 teaspoon for a few more days and try again with 2 teaspoons.
The key is to go slow and keep a diary of foods given and reactions. Before you know it, you will have forgotten what you ate yesterday (especially if you and your family are all on the diet!). I unfortunately did learn the hard way and gave my daughters too much sour cream to begin with (they liked it so much!) and they vomited later that evening. I felt extremely guilty! So please go slow!!
Another way to test for food sensitivity is put a little bit of the food on your inside wrist before you go to bed and check if your skin has reacted to it. If it is inflamed, wait another week or so.
In between meals can consist of herbal teas such as peppermint, camomile and ginger. if you are feeling hypoglycemic, you can have a teaspoon of coconut oil mixed with honey or even sour cream mixed with honey. This does usually happen with a lot of people, since you are no longer having a sugar spike. Once your blood sugars level out, you will find you will not need the honey mixtures anymore.