GAPS Diary: Stage 2

A GAPS Diary updated…

We began Stage 2 of the GAPS Intro on Thursday, October 13th. We were REALLY excited about the new food choices. We could now add in: egg yolk, then soft boiled eggs, ghee, and another way to cook meat and veggies. We were especially happy about the Italian Casserole recipe because that meant that we could enjoy a new texture. Everything gets very soft in the soup, so having meat that we could actually spend time chewing, while sipping broth on the side of course, was a nice addition.

On Friday I woke up at 5:30AM feeling completely alert and very hungry. I usually wake up with an alarm at 7AM, so this was out of the ordinary. I weighed myself and I had lost 3 pounds in one day! I by no means think this was all fat because I’ve felt rather weak and haven’t been capable of much physical exertion. I also continued to have random cravings for things I don’t eat often – today’s was banana bread at breakfast. Housemate and Man were also tired all day and still feeling constipated. Man declared that the carrot juice they made in the Vitamix was too much work to strain, so I agreed to order a juicer.

On Saturday I noticed that I started breaking out on my chin, and on my eyelid of all places! I expected this to happen because my skin is where everything shows up for me. Even though I have a few pimples, they aren’t angry looking and my overall skin tone is really nice so I just covered them with a little make-up.

I was working at the NTP school all day while Housemate and Man worked in the kitchen. I stopped out at the farm on my way home and picked up raw milk to make yogurt and sour cream. Housemate made kimchi, and both salmon gravalax and fermented salmon from the GAPS book.  Housemate and Man made the Italian casserole recipe with pork shoulder. The different chewing texture of this meat was so satisfying, but I overate. I feel like my stomach has shrank. We all decided our energy was too low to socialize so we skipped a friends’ jack-o-lantern carving birthday party.

On Sunday my energy was still a roller coaster, but I’m generally feeling better and better. We all think that our mental state and attitudes have improved and we generally feel happier. We all tried the gravalx and loved it – like eating sushi! Gravalax will be a mainstay for us. I had enough energy to start the mother cultures of Matsoni and Pima yogurt. I didn’t know this before, but Cultures for Health recommends that you make a small amount of yogurt as a “mother” when you’re starting with raw milk since there may be too many other competing microbes in it. Even if they’re beneficial, they might overtake the ones we’re aiming for!

Monday was another tough day. Man suffered from nausea at work, then had diarrhea later. He couldn’t pinpoint why this happened, but he felt a lot better afterward since he had been constipated for awhile. Housemate suggested that we should all get out in the sun for a bit, and that helped us feel better, although a 10 minute walk still made me tired. I’ve been taking baths roughly every other night with a detoxifying clay or epsom salts. I rarely take time to relax in a bath, and at a minimum this has helped me de-stress. Housemate was still suffering with constipation and used an enema for the first time. The only details that she shared was that it wasn’t that big of a deal and that it did help her get rid of the bloated feeling.

Tuesday was where things started to turn around for us. I mowed the lawn, raked leaves, and trimmed some shrubs and was not exhausted! We were all eating four times a day to keep us going, generally two meals of soup and two meals of casserole. We’ve been making a different Italian Casserole every night and tonight’s was my favorite – lamb. I had been craving lamb for a few days so this really hit the spot. I’ve also learned that my new portion size is what fits on a small plate. The cooking is getting easier between eating smaller portions, having a couple meal varieties, and getting in the habit of  chopping so many veggies and throwing things together. So much of the transition to better food is just making new habits. I also realized while at the grocery store that none of the sweets appeal to me at all!

Wednesday was the first morning that I’ve gotten up, walked downstairs, and haven’t felt like my legs were weak. It was also the first day that I ate only three meals and felt totally satisfied. Housemate is loving soft boiled eggs. Man had a special lunch out at a Moroccan restaurant with his co-workers. He ate lamb kabobs, and cheated a bit with olives and preserved lemon. The dessert tray was really hard for him to resist, but he managed. He felt fine after that meal and says that he no longer feels like he’s in food coma, as he felt often in the past. His mind is really clear. We all realized we’ve been feeling really good the past two days and have decided to move to Stage 3 now.

Up next is the addition of avocado, sauerkraut, eggs scrambled in ghee, and pancakes made of nut butter, eggs, and squash. We’re also really excited to try the yogurt and sour cream, which are just setting up as I write!

Read on for our Stage 3 experience.

For more details about what GAPS encompasses and how it’s treated, please see Dr. Campbell-McBride’s GAPS website, or my GAPS Diet overview page. You can also contact me for a GAPS Consultation.

This post is part of Fight Back Friday at!

6 Responses to GAPS Diary: Stage 2

  1. jennutrition October 25, 2011 at 6:44 PM #

    So far we have used pork shoulder, a whole chicken, and legs of lamb. We put it in a roasting pan, sprinkle it liberally with salt, thyme, rosemary, oregano, and marjoram, then fill the pan about half way up with water. We’ve been covering the pan with with foil since we don’t have a lid. Then we bake it in the oven at 300 for about 6 hours. About 45 minutes before we want it to be done we pull it out and add chopped veggies to the surrounding water. Stick it back in and then they’re soft and the meat pretty much falls apart by the end. We pour the remaining broth that’s in the pan into a separate container so we can sip some with the meal. So yummy! Probably a good crockpot meal too, but we don’t have a very big one.

  2. jennutrition October 25, 2011 at 6:54 PM #

    Yeah, the book says fresh herbs, but we couldn’t find many this time of year. The dried ones are in there steaming the whole time so they get really soft and we haven’t suspected they were any issue for our digestion.

  3. amy October 25, 2011 at 6:26 PM #

    My whole family is on the intro, like reading your journey! Can you tell me how you made the “italian casserole”? We are starting phase two tomorrow. 🙂

  4. amy October 25, 2011 at 6:47 PM #

    Thanks so much! However, aren’t we not supposed to have dried herbs this early in the diet? I thought we were only allowed fresh herbs, although I can’t see why dried would be a problem…!

  5. Maria November 2, 2011 at 5:53 PM #

    Would it be helpful to get the gaps cookbook for recipes? I think I can move on to stage 2 and notice you mentioned roasting. Is roasting (meats/veggies) allowed in stage 2? That would be heaven! Also, is it difficult to make yogurt/sour cream? Is that in the recipe book? Also, how does one know if they can move on from stage to stage – I noticed you moved forward rather quickly. I did intro for 3 days and have been in stage 1 for 4 days (symptoms pre-gaps was chronic 4-6 loose stools daily, hair loss). Stools aren’t as frequent (down to 1 a day!) and, with the exception of one day, less loose. Hair loss still the same – argh. I’d like to move forward, but also don’t want to rush it. How do I know when to move on to stage 2?? I have been eating soup/stews for the week with only meat and veggies and have grown mentally tired of it, especially since everyone else in the family is not eating this way and I’m the cook – it’s mentally tough. Sigh. My question – is decaf coffee not allowed on gaps at all? I do not like tea whatsoever. Darn. Thanks so much for this post and your time.

    • jennutrition November 2, 2011 at 10:23 PM #

      On Stage 2 you can make a roast that is covered while it’s baked. You add water to the pan so a broth is made at the same time and you sip that with the meal. You also add veggies in about 45 minutes before it’s done so you will have those with the meal also. A new texture is really nice!

      I think the GAPS cookbook is really helpful for ideas, and especially for recipes for things like condiments that only use honey as a sweetener. Unfortunately it doesn’t list which Stage each receipe can be started at and a lot of them are for Full GAPS. The Cooking With GAPS DVD is also helpful for the new preparation techniques.

      The yogurt and sour cream were easier to make than I expected, but we do have the Excalibur dehydrator to keep them warm in. You can also use a heat pack in a cooler. I used the directions from the started culture and just let if culture for 24+ hours.

      If you have loose stools that can be your guide on when to progress and which foods are not appropriate for you. Sounds like you’ve already made great progress there! We’ve had some consitpation issues, and it can help to move along with those so that we’ll have more fiber. You can also repeat the intro later if you think it will help – it seems a lot of people benefit from this.

      Coffe is not allowed is any form and the withdrawal goes quicker if you cut it out completely, if at all possible. Try the Traditional Medicinals brand of tea and it might take a few cups over time before you can handle it. Your tastes may change over time. Mine definitely have. 🙂