GAPS Introduction Diet Stage 1

Two weeks ago we got started on our long awaited GAPS Intro Diet Journey. Here’s our experience of GAPS Introduction Diet Stage 1.

The weekend before we began we visited a local farmers market and stocked up on produce for our first week. The farmers market haul included:

  • Lamb Shanks
  • Osso Bucco
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Beetroot
  • Zucchini
  • Leeks
  • Garlic
  • Carrots
  • Pumpkin

The freezer was also full of stock and veg I made while preparing for the GAPS Diet – it was good to know I had it all there as back up.

What does Stage 1 of GAPS Introduction Include? 

This is the strictest of all phases, consisting of stock at every meal, soup at least once a day and all vegetables and meat must be boiled and softened in stock in order to be eaten. For more details on the intricacies of The GAPS Diet, be sure to get yourself a copy of The GAPS Diet Book – essential reading if you’re embarking on a GAPS Diet journey.

I made a fresh pot of stock each day, firstly with the shanks I bought at the farmers market and followed that by making chicken stock with 1.5kgs of mixed drumsticks and wings. {I had wanted to make that batch of stock with a whole chicken, but the day I went to buy whole organic chickens they were all out, so I ended up with  a mix of wings and drumsticks instead!}

Meals for Stage 1 Of GAPS Intro included:

  • Pumpkin Soup
  • Cauliflower Soup
  • Carrot and Zucchini Sticks cooked in stock
  • Beetroot Soup
  • Zucchini, Leek and Broccoli Soup
  • Burgers (beef mince mixed with grated leek, carrots, salt & pepper) cooked in stock
  • Raw Honey & Coconut Oil “Treats” – I simply mixed the 2 together and stored in the fridge in chocolate molds and we each had one “treat” a day.

The meat/chicken from the stock making was added to the soups as we went along and also eaten on it’s own on the side at mealtimes.

A family favorite vegetable dish was cauliflower “rice”. I grated a few cauliflower florets into some stock to cook and then simply eat like rice. With a little imagination it makes for a good rice substitution.


Another veggie favorite has been Zucchini “noodles”. I simply use a clean vegetable peeler to peel a zucchini into “noodles” and then cook briefly in stock. The boys LOVED them! If you’d prefer your noodles a little more uniform, then a Vegetable Spiralizer is a must have!

With such a limited diet, I tried to serve a variety of vegetables with each meal, to keep their plates exciting and colourful and ensure they were getting a nourishing array of nutrients. This colourful meal includes meat from stock making, homemade tomato sauce for dipping, red peppers/capsicum, tomato, pumpkin, carrots and broccoli. The boys let out a collective “wow” when they saw their bright, colourful meals, before tucking into them.

How did we go? 

I suspected that changing the boys diet would be met with some resistance… and yes, they did argue at first, but soon they began to slowly embrace the new food and ate pumpkin soup or whatever I presented them with. It did take a tiny bit of bribery at first, for example on the very first morning when they both turned their noses up and WALKED AWAY from the table, I eventually resorted to “eat 4 mouthfuls and you’ll get a present”…. ok, not 100% the best strategy, but I knew I had to get them started somehow, and it’s not something that has been repeated often since… it was a way to get them to at least TASTE the pumpkin soup… and you know what – they both LOVED it and after the 4 mouthfuls and the present (a $2.29 hot wheels car!) – they ate the rest of the bowl and have been happy to do so since, with no further bribery.

I’ve been referring to Cara from Health, Home and Happiness’ 30 Days On GAPS Intro Handbook – constantly (Download It Now), it’s invaluable for making sure you’re staying on track and keeps you organized and inspired with meal ideas. I highly recommend the book if you’re thinking about going onto the GAPS Diet, or are about the start the GAPS Diet – purchasing the book will be a lifesaver for you! (Download It Now)

We were on Stage 1 of the GAPS Introduction Diet for 3 days before progressing onto Stage 2. The 1st stage of the GAPS Diet Introduction wasn’t as overwhelming as I thought it would be, thankfully we breezed through it and the boys ate well and began their healing. Stage 2 details to come in a couple of days.

I’d love to hear from you – have you been on the GAPS Diet? How did you find the introduction diet? Any tips would be much appreciated. 🙂

GAPS Introduction Diet Stage 1

Edited to add: NOW Available – GAPS Starter Package – complete with EVERYTHING you need to succeed! Click here to learn more!

More GAPS Diet Information:
GAPS Diet Preparation
GAPS Introduction Diet Stage 1
GAPS Introduction Diet Stage 2
GAPS Introduction Diet Stage 3
GAPS Introduction Diet Stage 4
GAPS Introduction Diet Stage 5
GAPS Introduction Diet Stage 6

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Disclaimer – this post should not be treated as medical advice. It is meant for informational purposes only – please consult with your health professional if you have any concerns for the health of you or your family. Thank you.

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  1. Thank you for posting this detailed summary! It’s so helpful!! I will definitely be following you and your progress. xx

  2. I just LOVE intro posts. Excellent information. I will be sharing this post tonight on Allergy-Free Wednesday.

    Be Well,

  3. Kristy HV says:

    We just started the diet on Sunday and at first we thought we were going to starve to death because we only drank broth and ate soup with no meat. (I misunderstood that we couldn’t eat the meat from the soups until stage 2). We have had days of tiredness, headaches, nauseousness, stomach pains. Did you guys experience this too? We got on the diet to heal our gut, some have constipation issues, toe fungus, endometriosis, and our youngest daughter has very very mild autism. None of it has affected us too badly but we are ready to move on to optimal health. For the last year, we have incorporated bone broth soup (maybe 2 times a week), fermented foods, sourdough bread (my hubby is from Europe and so he ate bread with every meal so I switched him over to sourdough thinking that it could be better), milk and water kefir and kombucha.

    All that to say, do we move to the next stage when we feel better? We feel bad in the mornings and then start to feel better in the afternoons. I’m puzzled as to know what to do…thanks!

    • Thank you for sharing your experience. We moved onto the next stage when we felt ready, and if new foods brought on any reactions, we paused and gave it a few days before trying again.

      It’s probably best to speak with a GAPS Practitioner who can help you on your journey. 🙂 All the best!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Thanks so much for posting this, my hubby and I are preparing to go on GAPS next school holidays. The cauliflower rice and zucchini pasta were great ideas.