How to Start the GAPS Diet

If you decided to follow the protocol then congratulations! In my opinion and based on my experience, it is the most effective chronic digestive disorder diet I have tried. To make it easy, here is a simple guide to how to start the GAPS diet.

Two Options

You have the option to start with the GAPS introduction diet or the Full GAPS diet. Both have advantages and disadvantages.

Option 1: The Full GAPS Diet

I've found the Full GAPS diet is best for individuals who fit under any of the following:

  • The person has less severe or mild gastrointestinal disorders.
  • More food choices.
  • Eating outside in restaurants is allowed as long as you are still adhering to the GAPS guidelines.
  • The person is working long hours or traveling frequently. 
  • The person is not home often and busy.
  • The person has little cooking experience 
  • The person suffers from constipation and needs to maintain high amounts of fiber.
  • If the person follows a standard American diet (aka SAD) like frequent visits to fast-food restaurants therefore it would be easier for this person to start with the Full GAPS diet.

Option 2: The GAPS Introduction Diet

The GAPS Introduction diet is very therapeutic in healing and sealing the leaky gut and best for anyone who fits under any of the following:

1-The person has a serious health condition or disease in the gastrointestinal tract, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), ulcerative colitis, and chronic diarrhea.

2-Severe allergies and food intolerances.

3-Children and adults on the autism spectrum.

4-Diabetic individuals (Type 1).

5-Individuals who have cerebral palsy, down syndrome, and other severe learning disabilities.   

The introduction diet is low in fiber and focuses on different types of animal stocks such as chicken, beef, lamb, turkey, wild game, and fish. It also focuses on homemade, fermented vegetable and dairy foods, such as yogurt, sour cream, and sauerkraut. 

Final Thoughts

When an individual asks the question of “How to start the GAPS diet?”, there are a few things to put into consideration to minimize or even prevent failure and achieve full healing of the gut and imbalanced gut flora or dysbiosis:

-Don't become discouraged based on your progress. The GAPS protocol is very effective and goes directly to the root cause of the disease but even with this, we all know that everyone is a unique individual and not everyone is going to have identical results. It can take anywhere from a few months to many years depending on the condition of your digestive tract and whether or not you're staying faithful to the GAPS diet. 

-It’s necessary to learn and know how to prepare and cook food at home, as you will be doing a lot of the food prep and cooking yourself. 

-If you are hesitant to start the GAPS diet, I would suggest starting with the Full GAPS diet and then making the transition to the introduction diet if you still require further gut healing. 

-Don’t Despair.