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 here! But 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.
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