The GAPS Diet has two different parts, an Introduction Diet and a Full GAPS Diet.

The GAPS Intro Diet has 6 Stages. You begin at Stage 1 and add new foods and cooking methods as you progress through each Stage. Virtually all your food needs to be made at home and the Gut & Psychology Syndrome book includes recipes. I also highly recommend the Heal Your Gut Cookbook

Dr. Campbell-McBride recommends starting with the GAPS Introduction Diet in the following situations:

  • If you have severe digestive symptoms, such as diarrhea (which may be alternated with episodes of constipation), abdominal pain, bloating, or flatulence. It is particularly important to follow the Introduction Diet if you have an inflammatory bowel condition, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. Some cases of stubborn constipation respond well to the Introduction Diet too (particularly in children).
  • For children on the autism spectrum, since all of them have serious digestive problems (which may not have been diagnosed). Depending on the severity of the digestive symptoms, they can go through the GAPS Introduction Diet slower or quicker, guided by their symptoms.
  • Children and adults diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes or Celiac disease. These people have serious damage to their gut lining, which needs slow, methodical healing.
  • Kids and adults with severe learning disabilities, such as Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, severe autism, and others.
  • Anyone with severe food allergies and intolerances, since their gut lining is very damaged and needs slow healing.
  • Diarrhea of any type: from a virus, bacteria, parasite, travel, or other ‘tummy bug’.

You may be able to move through the Introduction Diet faster or slower depending on your stool: let diarrhea start clearing before moving to the next stage, but with most constipation you should just keep moving forward. You may have to introduce some foods later in the program depending on your sensitivities. Make sure that you continue to have soups and meat stocks at least once a day after you have completed the Introduction Diet.

“The only thing that would have been more helpful was to have worked with you from the very beginning of the GAPS Diet.” ~ January 2013

Here’s a brief summary of what’s on each Stage. This is not designed to walk you through the diet, just to give you a snapshot of what you have to look forward to. Please refer to the Gut & Psychology Syndrome book for the details.


  • Homemade meat or fish stock.
  • Homemade soup with your homemade meat or fish stock. Include the bone marrow, soft tissues, and meat, and use any or all of these veggies: onions, carrots, broccoli, leeks, cauliflower, zucchini, squash, and pumpkin. Simmer the veggies for 25-35 minutes, until they’re really soft.
  • Probiotic foods are essential to introduce right from the beginning. These can be dairy based or vegetable based. To avoid any reactions, introduce probiotic foods gradually, starting from 1-2 teaspoons a day for 2-5 days, then 3-4 teaspoons a day for 2-5 days and so on until you can add a few teaspoons of the probiotic food into every cup of meat stock and every bowl of soup once it’s cooled a bit.
  • Ginger tea with a little honey (if desired) between meals.


  • Continue with Stage 1 foods.
  • Raw organic egg yolks. When egg yolks are well tolerated, try soft-boiled eggs.
  • Stews and casseroles made with meats and vegetables.
  • Increase the amount of homemade yogurt and kefir each day, if it’s been introduced. Increase the amount of juice from sauerkraut, fermented vegetables, or vegetable medley.
  • Fermented fish.
  • Ghee, which is butter with the milk solids removed, also called “clarified butter.”


  • Carry on with all the previous foods.
  • Ripe avocado.
  • Nut butter pancakes.
  • Egg scrambled with plenty of ghee, goose fat, or duck fat.
  • Introduce the sauerkraut veggies and/or your fermented vegetables (you have just been drinking the juices from them up until now).


  • Carry on with all the previous foods.
  • Gradually add meats cooked by roasting and grilling (the British term for broiling).
  • Cold pressed organic extra virgin olive oil.
  • Introduce freshly pressed juices, starting from a few spoonful’s of carrot juice.
  • Almond or other nut flour bread.


  • Carry on with all the previous foods.
  • Cooked apple as an apple puree.
  • Raw vegetables, starting with the softer parts of lettuce and peeled cucumber.
  • If the juice made from carrot, celery, lettuce, and mint is well tolerated, start adding fruit to it: apple, pineapple and mango.


  • Carry on with all the previous foods.
  • Raw apple.
  • Gradually introduce other raw fruit and more honey.
  • Gradually introduce baking cakes with nut flour and other sweet things allowed on the Diet. Use dried fruit as a sweetener in baking.

When you complete the Introduction Diet and your stool is more or less normal, move to the Full GAPS Diet.

If you’re getting started on GAPS and would feel more confident with one-on-one guidance and answers to your questions, considering working with me. Find out how here.



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