Before I Start GAPS, What Should I Do to Prepare?

Pin It

In January 2012, we did the 30-Day GAPS Challenge here at Our Nourishing Roots.  For 30 days, it was all about drinking stock, detoxifying, replenishing with probiotics, and healing with nourishing foods.  Of course, beforehand there was a little preparation that took place.  Let’s take a look at what you should do before starting GAPS.

I highly recommend getting a copy of the What Can I Eat Now? 30 Days on the GAPS Introduction Diet ebook.  Those of you who have already purchased a copy of the ebook, you will see that there are recommendations for what to do 2 weeks before starting GAPS.  Go ahead and open the ebook and start following the directions.  You can do this!

Here are my recommendations, listed below.  You may want to consider buying the books, kitchen items, and food items below to prepare adequately for GAPS.

  • Find the books you need to be successful!:
    • Find a copy of Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natascha Campbell-McBride and read it, especially about your own particular ailments.  You can find where to buy a copy of the book on my resource page here (click on Cultures For Health).
    • Purchase a copy of GAPS Guide by Baden Lashkov: I found this book to be invaluable while I went through GAPS Intro last year.  It’s very small and condensed, and works perfectly in tandem with Cara’s ebook.  You can find where to buy a copy of the book on my resource page here (click on Cultures for Health).
    • Which brings me to the What Can I Eat Now? 30 Days on GAPS Intro Diet ebook: if you haven’t gotten a copy yet, consider getting a copy.  Not to mention: it’s inexpensive, easy to follow, and takes you through GAPS Intro diet day by day and meal by meal.
  • Source quality foods:
    • grass-fed meats and bones so that you can order them in time for your start date.  Source them here.
    • Make quality stocks like beef stock and shellfish stock.  You can even try my quick fish stock hereBut most of all I would recommend this soothing chicken stock.
    • find organic GAPS foods that you will be eating on Intro or Full GAPS; find a therapeautic-grade probiotic; find detox bath supplies; see the ebook for an extensive list.
  • Buy kitchen equipment you will need:
    • A large stockpot, French oven, or slow cooker: for making soups, stews, stocks and broths.  I prefer the combination of my slow cooker and French oven.  I use the slow cooker outside perpetually for making basic stocks, and the French oven on my stovetop for making specific pots of soup or stew.
    • A good quality juicer: for making fresh pressed vegetable-based juice in the morning for aid in detoxification.  Juicing begins in stage 4 of Intro diet and starts with carrots only, moving then to celery, lettuce, and mint added in.  When I started juicing on GAPS I felt so much more energy!
    • For other kitchen items, see the ebook for more details.

What Should I Expect from the 30-Day GAPS Challenge?  GAPS has two major sections: GAPS Intro Diet and Full GAPS Diet.  On Intro you start with fewer foods to eliminate reactions, more bone broths and stock, and the focus is on detoxification and triggering “die-off”.  Intro diet tends to be more intensely healing.  But regardless of which part of GAPS you decide to commit to, you will be doing a lot of good for healing and sealing your gut.

The first time I went through Intro diet it took me about 5 weeks to work through all six stages until my bowels were normalized.  However, I didn’t take advantage of juicing in the morning or doing detox baths at night.  I think that if I had, I would have been able to move a little more quickly (and comfortably!) through GAPS Intro.  I did Intro again last October and was able to go through the six stages much more quickly with my son.

Die-off is the process of flushing out “bad” bacteria, such as Candida overgrowth, while replenishing it with “good” bacteria.  You will be taking a therapeutic-grade probiotic to replenish your body with good bacteria while the grain- and starch-free foods, especially meat stock, flushes the bad bacteria from your digestive tract.

You will probably feel tired, but in a way that lets you know that you are doing something very good for your body.  When I was tired from Intro Diet, I wasn’t tired in the same way I had been where I felt like there was never going to be an end to the tiredness.  When I started GAPS I felt tired, but like I was doing something about it.  I hope that some of you have the same experience as you start GAPS for yourself.

As you prepare for the 30-Day GAPS Challenge, try checking out my recipes for sauerkraut and chicken stock, beef stock and shellfish stock, and of course the 30 Days on Intro ebook to get plenty of recipes to help you prepare for your own personal healing on GAPS.  Leave any questions you have in comments, and I promise to get to them and offer you the support you need.

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

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.


Get Notified Of New Posts

Add your email address here to receive email updates each time I publish a new post or recipe. This makes life a lot easier when you don’t have time to look me up. I’ll deliver my latest to your inbox, so you won’t miss a thing!

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner


  1. I was planning on using ferment juice, beet kavas, kombucha, whey and home made yogurt for my sources of probiotics. Do I also need an industrial strength probiotic pill? I’ve had problems with them in the past but seem fine with kombucha and yogurt. Haven’t tried ferments yet.

  2. I have a question. We are ordering a whole hog to be delivered in a few weeks (pastured and grass fed of course). I see info posted all of the time about chicken and beef stock – could we make stock out of our pork bones? Thanks for the information and support. (We are not going full GAPS, but I need to get back to the basics as much as possible.)

    Happy 2012!

    • I don’t see why you couldn’t make pork stock. The trick would just be to make a stock that works with the pork flavors. Perhaps just the classic celery, carrot, onion combo would work.

      I googled pork stock and found this recipe, as an example.

    • Cindy, I thought of something else! I am making baked beans tomorrow with this recipe, and it calls for chicken stock. But it’s made with beans and either ham hock, salt pork, or bacon. The pork stock would work in this I think! And it’s a GAPS recipe (though full GAPS because of the beans, but still.)

    • I’ve been making stock from turkey necks and pigs feet. It’s really good. I use it for things like chicken noodle soup and can’t really tell the difference.

  3. Jessica B. says:

    While I won’t be able to participate myself, I did want to let folks know that Bulk Herb Store ( has the Gut and Psychology Syndrome book on sale for the month of January. Use coupon code ‘JANGPS’ to get this normally $29.95 book for $25.95.

    I hope that proves helpful to someone that is able to move forward with this. I also hope to be joining you someday. 🙂

  4. Great advice. I also want to second the point that even though there are so many resources online these days, reading the book is important! It will help you understand the principles behind it, and help you make good choices based on what your body is telling you as you go through the intro.

    Here’s our GAPS prep list:

    I wish I could be redoing intro with you all right now, but I’ve got to finish my gluten-challenge and celiac testing first. I will keep on enjoying soup, though!

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

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

  6. This sounds like great challenge. I might as well participate. Thanks.

  7. I am very excited to enter this challenge but where I live is really hard to find organic meat and other organic produce.
    Should I quit the idea or try it anyway? Will it be useless? 🙁

    • No, don’t quit. You will also be fine doing GAPS even if you just use what is available locally only. Make your stock and veggie ferments, it’s still worth it! Rest assured that others who have been in your shoes have asked the same question and gotten a favorable and positive answer. Check out this post Cara did after her last 30 Intro Diet run through: How Important is Organic/Free-Range/Grass-fed on GAPS?

      I truly believe that everything that you can manage to pull off is very worth it with GAPS. Find the best ingredients that you can, and maybe order online for the things that you really want or need based on what you cannot find locally. Use this produce guide from EWG to choose which organic foods you will bend over backwards for, and order your meats from U.S. Wellness or another reputable source that can ship to you. You can still do this! Let me know if this helps or not.

  8. Is there a specific seaweed that is used for detox? And how is a detox bath done?

    • Plz tell me more about the alternating detox epsom baths!

      I have vinegar braggs brand and coconut oil here and epsom salt. I’m doing healing naturally by bee 🙂

      I just ordered gutpro probiotic 🙂

      I like epsom baths at night. I need serious healing for 5 weeks because of vacation I don’t want to have to stop a few hours a day to be stuck in bathroom…


  9. I’d love to know about the detox bath too.

  10. This is a great idea! I would add one thing: clear your calendar, as much as possible! We found that it was just about all we could do, the first two+ weeks on intro, to just eat, make food, and for my husband, do his normal day job; my “day job” was making sure there was enough food to eat! (at least for those weeks — its far more manageable now!!) Good luck and good job getting this together!

    (Here’s a post I did a while ago, an overview of GAPS intro:

  11. This great post is featured at Sunday Snippets this week! Thanks for sharing! Come and check it out!

  12. Hi Kendahl,
    This is a great post and full of really good information for all of us. Hope you are having a great week end and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  13. We have HORRIBLE dairy allergies in our house, how long would you recommend waiting before trying to introduce raw dairy, if at all?

    • I would be cautious. Definitely use beef tallow as a fat, or go through the process of making ghee (I need to post that soon!) and see if you can tolerate it. But only add one new dairy-based food at a time, and try using the wrist test where you rub a little of the food on the inside of your wrist at night and see if it’s red/rashy the next morning. Hopefully you will heal up from all the broth/veggies in intro diet enough to where you can tolerate the dairy!


  1. […] 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 […]

  2. […] Before I Start GAPS What Should I Prepare? by Our Nourishing Roots. This is a fabulous list of things you will need before starting the GAPS diet and will help you stay organized. […]

  3. […] 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 Intro ebook here to help you in the challenge. […]

  4. […] GAPS Challenge is all about.  In fact, you can still join us!  Just get ready by checking out my Before I Start GAPS, What Should I Do to Prepare? post.  There are steps you can take, support you can get here, and you will know that you are not […]

  5. […] reading Kendahl’s helpful article “Before I Start GAPS™, What Should I do to Prepare?”.  I got to thinking about what resources I would […]

  6. […] GAPS Challenge is all about.  In fact, you can still join us!  Just get ready by checking out my Before I Start GAPS, What Should I Do to Prepare? post.  There are steps you can take, support you can get here, and you will know that you are not […]

  7. […] GAPS Challenge is all about.  In fact, you can still join us!  Just get ready by checking out my Before I Start GAPS, What Should I Do to Prepare? post.  There are steps you can take, support you can get here, and you will know that you are not […]

  8. […] If you still want to join the Challenge, please don’t feel like it is too late.  You can read about the GAPS Challenge here, and it starts January 15.  Buy a copy of the ebook here, which is still on sale through the end of today for 30% off: $14.  Read how to prepare for the GAPS Challenge here. […]

  9. […] a GAPS-legal food. . If you are on GAPS, you may want to get your hands on this book (and read my how to do GAPS post), but do be careful not to use almond flour too often as it is high in oxalates.  However, it is […]

  10. […] However, I do recommend GAPS as a 30-day cleanse.  Using the GAPS Intro Diet E-book is the best possible way to do that.  And if you want to continue with GAPS, then you have a month already done.  I also recommend reading my post on how to get enough carbs on GAPS, and how to start the GAPS diet. […]

Speak Your Mind