30 Day GAPS Challenge

Check out my checklist for How to Prepare for the GAPS Challenge here.  See the “What Can I Eat Now? 30 Days on GAPS Intro Diet” Ebook Giveaway here.

Have you heard a lot about the GAPS diet, but you aren’t sure what it’s all about?  Do you have food allergies?  Do you have a mental illness, or a chronic disease?  Do you find that you cannot focus like you used to, like you have “brain fog”?  Have you gained weight either from hormonal fluctuations or pregnancy?  Do you think that there should be a way to nourish your body to get things “right” again?  Do you just want to feel better?!

For 30 days, why not give GAPS a try?  You can do anything for 30 days, and committing to it for that length of time should give you a decent idea of what to expect from GAPS.  And should you choose to continue with GAPS for a longer amount of time, you will already know that you can do the most difficult part: the beginning!

The icing on the cake is that Cara over at Health, Home, and Happiness has written an ebook called “What Can I Eat Now? 30 Days on the GAPS Introduction Diet”.  The ebook takes you through the GAPS intro diet day by day, complete with recipes, detox baths, juices, and more.  You can even print it out and have it bound.

What is GAPS?  Isn’t this just another “fad diet”?  I know it is a bit mainstream for me to promote a “diet” for the first of the year.  We’re real foodies!  We buck the trends!  But keep an open mind: this isn’t a diet in the conventional sense.  The GAPS diet isn’t a diet so much as a three part protocol: diet, detoxification, and supplementation.  You can hear more about that here.  GAPS is based on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), but covers more ailments and has slightly different food lists.

We are not going to be worried about what we can’t have, or how much weight we are going to lose, or how hard it is.  Being on GAPS is a pleasure and a gift.  I get myself back.  We also aren’t going to be talking about lack and deprivation while we commit to the 30 days.  Instead, we will focus on healing and truly nourishing foods for those who need to recover from food allergies, chronic illness and disease, and mental illness.

The hypothesis behind Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) is that all disease starts in the gut: if we have compromised flora in our digestive tract, then we are more susceptible to getting our immune system constantly tripped.  And then what can happen?  We get auto-immune diseases, or food allergies, or mental illness.  If we do not have a properly balanced gut lining, then the lining cannot keep out all the foods, allergens, and toxins that we are exposed to.  Hence the idea that the GAPS diet protocol “heals and seals” the gut, providing the basis for vibrant health to return.

The only caution I would give is to make sure you need to do GAPS, and don’t go too low carb.  Make sure you have sufficient food allergies or mental illness to make GAPS worth your while.  And if you have mild forms, make sure you give yourself a few weeks or a couple of months to go on GAPS.  You do not need to be on GAPS for years if your case is mild.  And of course, make sure your carb count is high enough while on GAPS.

So what do I eat every day?  What do I do every day?  I drink bone broth three times a day.  I take a therapeutic-grade probiotic morning and night.  I make fresh juice in the morning from carrots, celery, lettuce, beets, and cucumber.  I take detox baths at night with apple cider vinegar, sea salt, epsom salt, seaweed powder, and baking soda, alternated.  I eat anything that I please, as long as it is easy to digest.  I eat eggs, nuts, yogurt, honey, meats, vegetables, fruits, beans, and plenty of good fats like coconut oil, ghee, grass-fed butter, sour cream, pastured lard, duck fat, and grass-fed tallow.

This 30-day Challenge is meant to be a springboard.  You may need to commit to the GAPS diet for anywhere between 6 months to 3 years+, depending on the amount of healing you need to do.  That being said, anything that you can do is beneficial to your health.  If you try this 30-day GAPS Challenge and find you have no more to give, feel good about yourself!  You just did 30 days of intense healing, and your body will thank you.

You will notice that I didn’t say that I eat grains, whole sugars (besides raw honey–it’s allowed), starchy foods (potatoes, arrowroot), or fresh, raw dairy.  This is because those foods are difficult to digest and I need to nourish my body by providing foods that are easily assimilated.  So I put them on the shelf for now, to return to in the future.

I admit that I look forward to the day when I have healed so well on GAPS that I can have a glass of milk, a baked potato with cheddar, and piece of sprouted toast with butter.  But for now I know from experience that I tend to find the same satiation with GAPS foods.  A bowl of yogurt with honey, nuts, and fruit.  Fauxtatoes with salt, pepper, and grass-fed butter.  Coconut flour bread with various GAPS-friendly spreads or cheese.  I’ll tell you a secret: I don’t feel deprived on GAPS.

Other resources:  If you look on the sidebar of my blog, you will see a button called “Avoiding Grains?” which takes you to Cara’s Health, Home, and Happiness blog where she blogs about her grain-free family who embraced GAPS for her child’s autism.  They have been at it for over 2 years, and she provides Grain Free Meal Plans to take some of the guess work and stress out of embracing a grain-free diet.

I had been doing GAPS for about 6 months when I finally gave her Grain-Free Meal Plans a try, and they truly helped!  I had even been getting along okay on my own, but the planning that Cara does for you is still easier than any method I had worked out in my own kitchen.  If you are ready to take the plunge into GAPS beyond the 30-day Challenge, then the meal plans will really help.

I love that there is a growing community of people who are grain-free, GAPS, SCD, paleo or primal followers, or simply aware of our compromised immune systems.  Come heal along with me!  Please leave a comment stating your intent to participate!

This post is a part of Weekend Gourmet, Monday Mania, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Traditional Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Real Food Wednesday, Healthy2day Wednesday, The Mommy Club, Simple Lives Thursday, Pennywise Platter, Full Plate Thursday, Fresh Bites Friday, and Nourishing New Year’s Resolution Carnival.

PAID ENDORSEMENT 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.


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  1. Hi Kendahl,
    Thanks for linking your great post to FAT TUESDAY. This was very interesting! Hope to see you next week!

    Be sure to visit RealFoodForager.com on Sunday for Sunday Snippets – your post from Fat Tuesday may be featured there!

    I’m planning a Fermented Foods Challenge at about the same time as your GAPS Challenge!


  2. Heather Brandt says:

    We were already planning to do Intro in January for benefit of my 4 year old son whose had tummy problems this past year so we’re excited to hear about others doing it at same time!

  3. I have three children with chronic allergies. I have IBS and I know I passed my gut issues onto my children. I did GAPS last spring and my children did the diet without the intro and without all the recommended broth-I could not get it in them no matter what I did! I did see some health benefits. But it was exhausting. I was spending so much time preparing food that I didn’t even have time to sleep. And my children were complaining and have tantrums about food constantly. My oldest daughter start sneaking food and lying about it. I also started having a strong aversion to broth, enough to make me gag. There were so many obstacles that I stopped the diet. My children are very ill again and it has been a terrible winter. I want to get back to GAPS and I am convinced it will help, but I have to find a way to make it easier. I’ve looked at Cara’s meal plan. I may try it.

    • Maybe try the 30 days only at first, and see if the $14 ebook helps? I think the hardest part of GAPS was the first 4-5 weeks, but I made it through and I think it wouldn’t have been as hard if I had had the ebook to tell me what to do.

      And I would also make sure you just get a perpetual broth going in a slow cooker to minimize your stress with that. As I wrote in my chicken stock post, I keep my slow cooker on a wooden cutting board on a wooden chair on my back patio and it’s almost always bubbling away with stock. I may need to buy another one! We drink broth in straw cups for the most part for my kids, it’s just easier. I add a sprinkle of salt and they’re good to go.

      If not, maybe try reducing your stock down to a thick gravy and then they can have a couple of spoonfuls instead of a cup? You could also use the stock gravy in foods they like, such as scrambled eggs, over meat, or as a dipping sauce. My kids prefer the concentrated broth actually. It’s easier to drink a little liquid and be done. I sometimes add sauerkraut juice to it and they go crazy (don’t knock it til you’ve tried it!)

      Does any of this help? I want to give you the support you need to where this will be successful for your family.

      • This is all good advice.

        How old are your kids? If they can decide for themselves that they want to give it a try to see if they can feel better it will make a world of difference. Even children who are quite young can make a decision like that if they feel bad enough already 🙁

        It took about a week of not having any other food available before my kids started really enjoying the soups. Every new ingredient we added became a delight for them after that.

        Only offering the soup at first won’t work for every kid because some really can go hungry and get hypoglycemic. You don’t want that to go on too long, and may need to give a bit of something else. But try not to freak out if they skip a meal or two or pitch a fit. Most kids will eventually try and adjust to what you offer.

        We found that our kids were much more receptive to broth when it was pureed with squash or carrots and ginger. Getting a thick consistency worked best.

        I have texture issues which are much better on GAPS – I didn’t try it for a year because I was sure I wouldn’t be able to handle soft foods. Somehow I adjusted, though.

        My kids also love sour and crunchy, so kraut juice in soup and then eventually sauerkraut were big hits. We make ours with red cabbage and it is a lovely pink color which helped.

        You can read about how my daughter was cured of her picky eating and vegetarianism by GAPS here if you are interested:


        • My children are 11, 8, and 4. They are all very, very picky about food and my oldest goes to public school which makes it very difficult. My son and I are both allergic to eggs, which I discovered when we did the GAPS intro. My daughter is on some strong antibiotics right now. I tried everything before putting her on the antibiotics but she ended up with two horrible ear infections and possible pneumonia. She has only had 3 doses and already has awful heartburn and abdominal pains. I am really concerned about her. She also is my kid with tons of sensory issues and has a lot of trouble regulating her emotions. She pretty much screamed and cried at every meal and the stress of it for all of us was just awful. We’re all going through bio-kult like crazy. My kids will eat homemade yogurt but no other fermented foods. I took Cheeseslave’s Reversing Food Allergies class when it first started and that is when we tried GAPS. I am hoping I know more now and that purchasing Cara’s plan will help. I didn’t know before that I could reuse the bones for stock and just keep cooking it. That will save a lot of time and money. I have all the GAPS books, videos, etc. but I still got so stuck regarding what to make and the planning and prep involved was just too much. I like the idea of cooking the stock down. Does it get really fatty? That is what bothered me the most. I would drink the stock and since the fat rose to the top, I was just drinking fat. I know it is supposed to be good for us but even thinking about it now… Ugh!

          • I know what you mean about the chicken fat, Leah! As long as you’re getting your fat other places, I wouldn’t worry too much about drinking it off the broth. You can chill your broth, skim it off the top, and use it for cooking.

            I like to add a spoonful of ghee or butter to my broth. It tastes really good and has a better texture than chicken fat.

          • Leah, make sure that you chill your stocks and skim off the fat. You can save it and use it for sauteeing or other uses, especially during GAPS when animal fats like those are usually more tolerated than others. I have gotten lazy before and not skimmed and I don’t love the fat on the top of the stock!

            So if you skim the fat, then the stock reduces down to a lovely gravy. I reduced three cups of stock in a cast iron skillet just now for lunch and then sauteed mushrooms in it with a little salt and pepper and butter. We spooned them over fried eggs and topped with a little parmesan. Heaven! Now that’s the way I like to have stock!

            I am guessing that you will be much better prepared now. Hopefully the support here will help reduce the stress of doing GAPS (which it sounds like your family needs, your daughter in particular. I’m glad you have Bio-kult, that will help immensely. I don’t know if your kids will go for it, but mine love sauerkraut juice in chicken stock in particular. It must be because it’s so simple and salty. When I make stock I don’t add salt, so when I give them cups of stock and add the sauerkraut juice it’s perfect for them. But if your kids don’t go for that, I would try the reduction sauce idea. It’s very palatable.

            Also, are you allergic to the egg yolks as well? Usually it’s just the egg whites, but I know a few people who are allergic to eggs altogether.

            Is your daughter old enough to have a conversation about why stock is calming and why probiotic foods will help? Do your kids have a favorite condiment that you could lacto-ferment with a few tablespoons of whey? Just trying to think of anything I can here!

          • Oh, Leah, I really feel for you and your kids! It can be really hard to get out of that cycle of infection and antibiotics and the gut flora being all out of whack.
            Our son had to take a whole bunch of heavy duty antibiotics for his hip, pneumonia, and pertussis last year (you can read about it on the “Our Story” page on our blog theliberatedkitchenpdx.com/meet-the-liberators/our-story/ ). Probiotics seem to do their best work after the course, during treatment it seems like a lost cause.

            As for doing GAPS in school – that is tricky. I think the most important thing is to really get the kids on board with WANTING to try the diet. If they feel bad enough or can see the potential benefit that will make a huge difference. I’m in process of writing a post on empowering kids on special diets that might help with that.

            You might want to also check out the http://familyfeedingdynamics.com/ site. While it’s not all about whole food and special diets, the approach is good.

            If they do “cheat” at school, at least they’ll get the added nutrition when they are at home.

            As for eggs – I found myself intolerant to them for a while as well. It turns out I can eat them if they are soy free so that might be something to test..

            Our son had tons of seasonal allergies as well as food allergies and intolerances we never could figure out until doing GAPS, and believe me, I tried! His seasonal allergies and chronic sinusitis turn out to have been mostly due to corn rather than all the pollens (all grass, trees, weeds) he tested allergic to. A couple weeks after removing corn he was much better off, and now his scratch tests only show response to a few weeds and dust. I never would have guessed!

  4. I was just gearing up for intro. I bought Cara’s ebook yesterday and found out I wouldn’t be ready to start Jan 1st. Jan 15th is a better date for me so that I can get supplies in for making bone broth. I will be the only person on GAPS in my house. I’m just wondering how much broth I’ll be going through weekly. I want to order in enough bones for a two week period. Can the bones be reused?

    • Oh that’s a good question. If it’s just you, and you’ll be having two cups (8 oz. each) of broth every day plus one bowl of soup (16 oz. or so), then that makes about 32 ounces a day, so 1 3/4 gallons a week sounds right. One stock pot full of broth probably yields about 3/4 of a gallon, so plan on making stock at least twice a week, maybe three times. For each batch of stock you’ll need about 3 pounds of bones, but you can reuse them at least twice, sometimes up to 4 times if they are big bones (like from beef or leg of lamb). I would guess that 3-5 pounds of bones a week would be quite sufficient. Order 10 pounds of bones for two weeks, and tell me if that worked for you! (It’s my best guess).

      • Actually the bones are still used in “meat broth” as you can see in Dr. NCM’s description of the broths used in the intro diet here.

        When I say “bone broth” I don’t mean the definition used to differentiate between “bone broth” and “meat broth”, I pretty much just mean that there are bones in there somewhere! But yes, technically in intro you are not supposed to have broth in intro made only of bones, but of bones and meat together. Hopefully that makes sense for y’all. The meat in the stock is essential for proper nutrition at the beginning of GAPS. Believe me, you’ll want to eat a lot of meat!

    • I just wanted to share that Dr. NCM has emphasized at the last 2 WAPF conferences that you don’t start with bone broth on GAPS Intro, you start with meat broth. Save the bones for later, of course!

      • Actually, I should clarify. Dr NCM and others have emphasized this lately since I guess it’s been a point of confusion. Maybe when we say “broth” most trad foodies assume bone broth. But the meat broth she talks about made from BOTH meat and bones (see p. 179 of GAPS, revised edition) is gentlest on the digestion, especially for those with real GAPS issues during the initial steps of the Intro diet, plus it provides meat for various dishes.

        And thanks for doing this challenge. I’m in!

        • Thanks for clarifying Beth, yes that is what I was saying too. Use meat AND bones in Intro broth/stock. The only kind of stock I make is with both meat and bones anyway (I never use just bones).

          I’m glad you’re in!

          • That is good because I prefer making the broth with oxtails rather than straight bones. I like the taste better. I usually get the chicken backs from US Wellness Meats for my chicken broth and there is always some meat on there. I haven’t done fish stock and have no idea where to get whole clean fish where I live.

  5. we have been doing GAPS since august – a short progression through intro and then into full GAPS. but we have compromised a lot off and on during the few months and i always regret it! i know we need to recommit to it in the new year for our 2 boys (nothing major, but digestive help and skin manifestations of whatever is going on in their guts). i also really want to get my body in the best health possible for whenever God says it’s time for another baby. I want to give any other children a better health beginning than my first 2 had. not to mention we just all feel better on GAPS. Eating the GAPS way also gives so much freedom in the area of food – you don’t crave and depend on certain foods. it’s awesome. i share our journey at my blog with recipes and links and thoughts to hopefully encourage people on this path! http://lifefoodjourney.blogspot.com/ I want to commit to this for 30 days! I just have to make sure my sweet hubby is on board :-).

    • Awesome! I love your can-do spirit 🙂 Definitely use this challenge as an opportunity to solidify your GAPS ways again. I know I can always use an extra push to drink more stock and really take inventory of how my body feels and is healing. This will be wonderful!

  6. I’ve been planning on starting GAPS on January 18th for my family (our last birthday is the 17th, and I didn’t want to attempt it with three birthdays and an anniversary within the first 17 days of January!). I’m so happy to have found this! I’m in! (As long as I can join in three days late). 😉

  7. This sounds exciting! We were planning on doing Intro starting January 1st, so the 15th will give me a little more planning room. My 1 year old has been on GAPS for 3 months, the rest of the family slowly too (they barely realize it, the grains are the hardest!) It definitely paid off for my 15 month old. He went from clingy, always (since birth) waking up screaming and not napping more than 45 minutes a time to an adorable independent napping 3 hours a time toddler. It is so worth it. I keep saying that the time I would otherwise be spending comforting my toddler I can now use to cook.
    We’re in!

    • I love hearing stories like this. My older son just finished a 2-month stint on GAPS (he stopped because he was starting to “stress” about what he could and couldn’t have, and I didn’t want him to be feeling like he was deprived and bad and needed to be sneaky with food), and he’s feeling pretty great. In general, we’re all getting less grains and more stock, which always will provide a certain amount of healing if it’s needed. I’m glad you’re in!

    • Annette, I just started my 15 mo old on GAPS intro. Do you have any suggestions or tips? He’s a good eater and was already accustomed to broth and boiled veggies and meat but is clearly struggling. By day 2 (today) he was getting really fussy, lunging for any food that wasn’t his (we’ve since taken to not eating in front of him) and he has reddish bags under his eyes. He vomited this morning but within an hr, had his appetite back. I’m just worried, as I’m sure you understand, especially since he can’t tell me how he’s feeling!

      I can’t find much on these blogs about people’s experience doing GAPS for such a young babe. Thanks for any advice you might have! BTW, for 2 months, he’s had horribly soft poops, eczema, and a spotty rash, and a cold that he just can’t shake. All corresponded with his self weaning from the breast at 12 months. SIGH. I will never let that happen again.

      Signs of detox: extra fussy, strange body odor, the vomiting (I think is a sign?), 1 semi-solid poop, but today it was back to being really soft. 🙁

  8. I love that so many people are trying GAPS! It has helped everyone in our family immensely. You can read our story at:
    Anyway, I want to put one very important thing out there – the GAPS diet eliminates gluten. I think this is a wonderful thing! However, once you get rid of gluten you have eliminate the possibility of getting tested for celiac disease without reintroducing vast quantities of it for a long period of time. While some people who have celiac don’t feel a thing when they reintroduce it (silent celiacs), most people with a gluten problem find it is a very miserable thing to do, and others are thrown into a major health crisis.

    I’m in the middle of doing a gluten challenge so that I can get tested. When we started this, it didn’t occur to me I’d need to be tested, but the more I’ve learned, the more I see the value in it.

    I have a series of posts in progress called “Celiac Testing Myths” that explains the why and how of how to get tested. I hope everyone will read them and get screened for celiac before before cutting gluten out of their lives! You can start here:

    Happy Healing in the New Year!

    • That’s really interesting. I had just recently read about how there are “silent celiacs”, and I think I am one of them! I’d be interested to get tested in the coming year, but definitely by the time I start to reintroduce quinoa and buckwheat on the way back to sprouted whole grains with gluten. I’ll wait until I am completely sure that my gut can handle gluten before I consume it again.

  9. I just found this blog through KellytheKitchenKop’s site. The challenge sounds like a great idea. I was going to begin GAPS “sometime” in January. I already have Cara’s ebook. Now I have a starting date and a plan. Thank you.

  10. I have been reading about the gaps diet since July but have been too intimidated to try it. I am the only one in my family that is intersted in following it. My husband doesn’t want to make big changes it his diet. He doesn’t have any health problems and always feels good. I on the other hand have very low energy, migraines… etc…
    I am deterimined to try it this time for the full 30 days. Starting on the 15th will give me time to get prepared.

    • Yes, and you sound like you mean to see this through. I will support you in that. And I’d also like to share that when I started the GAPS diet last March, I was also the only one in my family interested (though I did finally manage to get my 6-year-old on GAPS for the last two months and it really helped–he’s done now). And my husband is also pretty issue-free: good teeth, good physicality, etc. Plus, I thought about GAPS for over a year before I finally went ahead and did it. So you’re in good company 🙂

      You can do this. I actually think it’s easier to do one person at a time, personally. You will feel better at the end of the 30 days (though the detoxing is a bit tiring at first, but we’ll talk more about that next week with detox baths and juicing).

  11. I am excited to officially get started! My 4 yr old has extreme guts issues and toxins in her body. We have been seeing a DAN Dr, but need something else. I have chatted with Cara and she has experienced the same thing so I am ready for my daughter and myself.

  12. Perfect! I was planning on using Cara’s book and starting on the 6th, but the 15th will work just as well. My only concern is that my two boys both have their birthdays mid January and I am guessing that soup isn’t going to be the same as birthday cake! Maybe I’ll push the party back a week so it is right before we start. I’ve been enjoying your blog!

    • Yes, I would do that! I have my littlest turning 3 next week, and we’re going to be having cocoa powder AGAIN in his cake (we seem to handle it fine on GAPS). Maybe you could make a full GAPS recipe for the birthday cake? (Almond flour, honey-sweetened, etc?) I’ll post my almond flour chocolate cake recipe early next week if you’re interested! 🙂

  13. I think it’s so wonderful that more and more people are trying and promoting the GAPS diet. My dad became very ill and was threatened with surgery to remove part of his colon. I immediately took over his diet and put him on GAPS. His recovery was amazing! He avoided surgery and is feeling better then he has in many years. Here’s a post I wrote when we first started him on it:
    Here’s a post from 2 weeks later:
    I also have some GAPS friendly recipes on my blog too, if by chance any of them might help you or your readers out.
    Good luck to you and your family!

  14. Oh my goodness Kendahl,
    You have really given us a challenge for 2012, this is a great post. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday. Wishing you and your family a very Happy New Year and Abundant Blessings in 2012!
    Miz Helen

  15. I just started GAPS intro on Dec.26/11. I bought Cara’s book and its a great help! I am the only one in my house on it. I am allergic to multiple foods along with dairy that gives me acne about 5 days after eating it. I am hoping to heal my food allergies. I also have periodontal disease and my one tooth is very sensitive although I don’t have any cavities. One thing I noticed about being on this diet is that I get very irritable if I don’t have enough food, so I’m making sure to make lots of foods ahead.

    • Yes, some people get ravenously hungry on GAPS, which is to be expected. It’s a very common experience. I will be curious to see how your tooth heals on GAPS, especially with all the stock full of minerals.

  16. Ready for Change says:

    My two kids ages 7 and 8 started GAPS Friday, Dec 30, 2011. Let’s just say that yesterday was very very difficult. But we are feeling much better today. I am looking forward to all the posts that your will be writing on the 30 day challenge. Our hope is to cure an autoimmune issue that my daughter developed when she was 7. I was planning to go through each intro stage in 2 days, but I think we have to bump that up a bit. Hope to be through intro very quickly. None of us have severe digestive issues so I think it is doable.

    • Ready for Change says:

      I am also doing it with them. I wouldn’t expect them to go through anything without doing it myself!

    • The first time I went through Intro it took me 5 weeks. The second time I went through Intro it only took 2 weeks. I think that you should be fine to do a few days on each stage and move as quickly as you can through it (as long as you aren’t still having a LOT of intestinal distress before moving to the next stage). Juicing in the mornings to aid with detoxification and then using detox baths at night really helps to alleviate those symptoms and allow the body to process more quickly. Let us know how it goes!

  17. Just wanted to let you know I’ve been blogging about getting ready for GAPS. I’m very excited about this.


  18. We’ve been on GAPS for 2 years, but this holiday season have been cheating a lot. I’m excited to become newly commited to strict GAPS again this month to get us back on track. I’d love to join your challenge and get all the support I can.

  19. I have been wanting to do GAPS for over a year now. I was pregnant and now nursing, so that has kept me from starting. I am afraid I will detox into my breast milk and harm my little boy. I’m also nervous about how my older girls will take to the new diet. I have a 10 yr old, 7 yr old (addicted to bread) and 3 yr old who LOVES her oatmeal. I’ve also read that the expense is tremendous. We are a single-income family of 6 and I’m nervous about how much we will spend on this diet. We regularly drink Kefir and Kombucha, coudn’t the drink or eating the grains replace the costly Bio-Kult? Also, what is a good estimate of how much meat and bones we would need to buy to keep the stock going? I’d really like to start this challenge but I’m really nervous about it. Thanks

    • Just do what you can, realistically. Perhaps that means that only one or two of you starts GAPS right now. Or maybe you look at this as an investment in your health that will even out later by reducing costs in medication, doctor’s visits, etc.

      GAPS is one of those things that is yes, expensive, but it really just depends on how committed you are to make it work. If you want it, there’s a way to get it. For example, If there are places where you are spending money on things that are not as important to you as healing on GAPS, then move money from those items to GAPS foods. Or get creative with buying in bulk, making decisions to buy organic vs non-organic, etc. What are the things that you are most willing to pay for: pastured meats? Perhaps you care an awful lot about that, but not so much about organic cabbage which is one of the Clean 15 according to this: http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary/. So then you save money on the produce and have more to spend on Bio-kult or whatever.

      Feel free to hammer out your ideas here too if you are willing to give more details about what you are trying to figure out. I’m sure others could benefit from the conversation too!

  20. I have been reading about the GAPS diet, but didn’t think I could figure it all out just from reading the book, so the idea of a “GAPS challenge” with support and encouragement sounds like the perfect way to go. I work full time outside the home and am concerned about being able to make and do all the things that need to be done. I don’t have a juicer, but get the impression that one is needed on this diet. I tried my crock-pot to make broth, but it seemed to cook too hot on low and it had a kind of burnt taste. Maybe it’s the kind of crock pot. Any words of help or encouragement will help get me off the fence!

    • Hi Deborah, let’s see if I can get you off that fence 🙂

      If you can get a juicer, then go ahead. If not, it’s not a critical aspect, but still one that I recommend. That being said, I didn’t have a juicer when I started GAPS either, and I just incorporated it a few months ago. But that’s why I recommend it so highly, it’s truly worth it for the detox and energy aspects!

      The crock pot issue is strange. I make mine that way all the time, and I put it on high! You can see my method here. Is there anything that jumps out at you that is different than the way you made it? Perhaps we can troubleshoot the “burnt” taste issue you’re having. Also, I recommend a slow cooker by a lead-free brand like this Hamilton Beach one, not a Crock-Pot brand. Is it possible the glaze on your slow cooker is leaching and making the burned taste?

      And as for working and doing GAPS, I think that it only matters if you truly want to find a way to do GAPS. If you do, then you’ll find a way to do this, simple as that! I promise to brainstorm with you as much as you need to find a way that will work. I will look for some more information, and probably end up writing a post on it! But in the meantime, perhaps this post on how to stay on GAPS while traveling will spark some ideas for you. Let me know what you think…

      • Thanks Kendahl! I appreciate the information and encouragement. I ordered the GAPs e-book and will review it this weekend and see what else I’ll need to get ready. I like your broth recipe and will add more herbs to mine next time. I have the Crock-pot brand of crockpot, so it might be the problem. I’ll do the broth on the stove for now. I’m sure I will have more questions!

  21. Thanks Kendahl! I appreciate the information and encouragement. I ordered the GAPs e-book and will review it this weekend and see what else I’ll need to get ready. I like your broth recipe and will add more herbs to mine next time. I have the Crock-pot brand of crockpot, so it might be the problem. I’ll do the broth on the stove for now. I’m sure I will have more questions!

  22. Vanessa Drake says:

    I am so excited to have found this. I have 2 autoimmune diseases, Hashimotos and Sjogrens Syndrome. Didn’t you say GAPS cured you of autoimmunity? Which diseases specifically?
    It is amazing- because I have had stomach issues off and on since I was a teen- I took IBprofen like candy for TMJ and I think that really contributed to my stomach issues- also I ate a “fat free diet” with lots of sugar those teen years as well. My mom was formula fed and it just all fit together for me…described exactly as Dr NCM has said. My mom has lactose intolerance, strong PMS and hormonal heavy bleeding (had to have a hysterectomy) and now high blood pressure. I am trying to talk her into GAPS, do you know if it does anything for blood pressure?
    I feel like I have been led to the GAPS diet. I am feeling a little overwhelmed and scared, as I have 4 kids, age 1-7. My 7 year old has had behavioral issues in the past (ODD) and has had psoriasis for one year. Gluten free helped in the behavior dept but not the skin.
    My other three do not have anything noticably wrong yet (knock on wood) but I know they inherited my bacteria. I would like to do GAPS as a family- but wondering if the younger kids can go to full gaps? They have been gluten free about 3 months.
    I would love to get my hubby to do it- he has joint pain and fatigue and diarrhea and abd pain. He says he will do it at home- but not while at work. I guess I have to be grateful for that!
    Should I just bookmark this and look for new posts? I am so grateful to you walking us through this. It is the push I need!
    Is the ebook necessary? I have internal bliss and GAPS book. Is it your ebook or someone elses??????
    Thank you!

    • The ebook is written by Cara at Health, Home, and Happiness, a friend of mine and GAPS expert (her daughter has been on GAPS for 2 years). I highly recommend it, even in addition to the Internal Bliss and GAPS books. It’s very helpful!

      If I were you I would keep the kids gluten-free and give them plenty of stock and probiotics, but don’t worry too much about getting them on a strict GAPS diet. It’s better to focus on one of you at a time (or two). The rest of the family tends to get GAPS foods anyway if you’re doing it. Your husband should be able to do GAPS at work without much trouble. If you have a thermos you can send him with soups, and then add in other GAPS foods like jerky, fruits, salads and so on with his lunch.

  23. Vanessa Drake says:

    one more thing I am still nursing our 12 mo old. Can I do the intro?

    • It’s recommended to do the Full GAPS diet while breastfeeding, and to save the Intro Diet for after you wean. But don’t worry, both versions of the GAPS diet will render your body grateful for the healing aspects of going grain-free.

  24. Kristina W says:

    I am very reluctantly thinking I should do this…. I guess since I have done so many different diets over the last few years and have felt deprived of the things I enjoy that I really don’t want to cut anything else right now. I’m pretty much doing full Gaps/SCD right now (except for stevia and cocoa powder) and not seeing improvement. So I’m hesitant to do the intro. Plus I have such a hard time cooking meat and I know I’ll need a ton of broth. But if I want to heal, the time is now.

    • How long have you been on full GAPS/SCD? It’s possible that you don’t need to do Intro. If you don’t want to feel deprived, then don’t do that to yourself. Only do GAPS if you are at peace with the decision and you feel it’s the right time.

      • Kristina W says:

        A little over a month. The thing is I still have a lot of gas and bloating–seems like it actually increased once I started. I totally agree with waiting until the right time but…I don’t have a job right now and I’m planning to look for one soon, so I figure it will be easier if I do it now. I may give it a try and if I’m miserable, just go back to the full diet that I’m on now.

      • Give Intro a try and see how it goes. It took me 5 weeks to work through the 6 stages, but for most people it’s more like 4 weeks (or less!)

  25. Vanessa Drake says:

    I looked in the GAPS book or website…and it said once baby is not nursing for all his nourishment, but more to be “topped off” after meals it is okay to do the intro…what think ye?

  26. What updates will be available on your blog during the 30 day GAPS challenge? I purchased the ebook, so I have that piece of it for guidance. It doesn’t say specifically about how to do the detox baths and a few other things are not very detailed. Will your blog over ongoing support during this time or will it be in the form of Q & A, like this?
    Thank you,

  27. I jumped the gun and started GAPS intro on January 2nd. I did a trial run last November for 2 weeks as I wanted to see what would be most difficult. For me, that is remembering that I have to start a new batch of broth every other day! The thing that’s surprised me the most is how simple the recipes are, so even though I’m cooking everything from scratch, nothing takes an age to prepare (apart from the broth bubbling for 24 hours on the stove 🙂 )

    I’ve hit a low point today though and was wondering if I could pick someone’s brains. Since yesterdays introduction of egg white I’ve had really uncomfortable bloating and gas. Do I continue on with the intro without egg white, or do I need to stay on this stage until my symptoms disappear?

    • I would do the allergy test, especially since egg white is a common allergen. You put a little bit of egg white on the inside of your wrist before bed and see if the skin is red the next morning. If you have a reaction, back off and try again when you feel ready. But you should be able to eventually push through the egg white addition with all the stock and healing your body is doing. It’s very personal, so go with your gut (pun intended!)

      • Hi, thanks for the reply. I just wanted to clarify: how do you tell the difference between an intolerance and an allergy? I thought the skin test only worked for true allergies?

  28. I’ve been doing full GAPS (with some cheating) since October, and started the INTRO (NO cheating!) on Jan 13th. Just posted some thoughts on fasting — it’s been a hard four days ; )

    I’m using the 30-day Intro e-book from Cara at Health, Home & Happiness. It has been so helpful having every day laid out for me (with freedom to customize).

    Glad to see you gathering a community of people doing the intro right now!

  29. I have been on Cara’s Intro diet for a week and have followed it pretty closely. I forget my probiotics some days and the extra garlic. I feel like death warmed over. Tired, sleepy, weak, lethargic, weepy. I must be having some major “die off”. Is there anything I should do to get more energy, or do I have to just “power through” — which means lie around and suffer 🙂 ?

  30. I wasn’t able to start on the 15th as planned because of being in the middle of a move, but we are on day 7 now for our family of 6! Yesterday was the toughest day so far, but today has been better.

  31. Hi, I was wondering. My doctor told me to go on the GAPS diet.

    I have tried the intro diet about 5 or 6 times and never make it past day 2 or 3 because I am so incredibly sick I can hardly function.

    The nutritionist I am working with said that “I would feel great, like a totally new person”. She has no idea why I’m so sick. I think it might be the chicken broth.

    Have you had any readers complain of feeling worse instead of better on this diet?

    • Yes, I have. It could be die-off, so I would get the GAPS e-book and follow it carefully. Die-off baths, juicing, and going slow all really help. If you’re up for trying it again, then use all the resources you can to troubleshoot your symptoms. I cannot give medical advice, but that’s what I have done.

      Or it could be that you need to try a different approach like RRARFing in this Diet Recovery e-book. I would check out both and see which one feels right to you. After all, you are the expert on your body.

    • BTW, I should say that I feel just fine, no diarrhea, bloating etc. when I’m not on the diet but when go on it i start having horrible diarrhea.
      The put me on the diet to help with my CFS and Fibromyalgia.


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  2. […] weeks from today we embark on the 30-Day GAPS Challenge here at Our Nourishing Roots.  In two weeks before we all embark on GAPS together.  For 30 days, […]

  3. […] honor of the 30-Day GAPS Challenge that I am hosting here (we start January 15th! join us!), I think we need to celebrate with a […]

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  5. […] are preparing for the GAPS Challenge starting on January 15!  Read about how to prepare for the challenge here.  And you can get the 30 Days on GAPS […]

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