Gaps Diet Meal Plan
GAPS is an acronym for Gut and Psychology Syndrome. It’s a term coined by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, who also designed the diet.
She hypothesizes that a leaky stomach (gut) is responsible for many brain-related conditions.
The leaky gut syndrome is the phrase used to illustrate an increase in the permeability of the stomach wall.
The GAPS hypothesis is that a leaky gut allows bacteria and chemicals from your food as well as your surroundings to permeate your blood when they wouldn’t typically do so.
This hypothesis goes on to claim that once these foreign substances enter your blood, they can impact brain development and function, causing conditions such as autism and ‘brain fog.’
The GAPS regimen is designed to cure the stomach by preventing toxins from reaching the bloodstream and lowering toxicity in the body.
However, it’s unclear if or how the stomach plays a role in the development of diseases.
In her book, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride indicates the GAPS regimen cured the first child’s autism.
Presently she’s widely promoting the regimen as a natural remedy for a lot of neurological and psychological conditions such as
- ADD and ADHD
- Bipolar disorder
- OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder)
- Tourette’s syndrome
The diet is often used for kids, particularly those with health conditions such as autism that typical medicine may not fully understand yet.
This regimen also claims to help children who have allergies or food intolerance.
Sticking to the GAPS regimen can be a years-long process that requires you to stop taking all foods Dr. Campbell-McBride thinks contribute to a leaky gut.
This includes all grains, pasteurized dairy products, refined carbs, and starchy vegetables.
The GAPS regimen comprises of three main stages
- The introductory phase
- The maintenance phase
- The reintroduction phase
The Introduction Phase
The introduction phase is the most severe part of the regimen because it gets rid of most foods. It’s also known as the ‘gut healing phase.’ Depending on your symptoms, it can last anywhere from three weeks to 12 months.
The introduction phase is split into six stages
Eat homemade bone broth, drink juices from ginger, mint leaves, and probiotic foods.
In addition, you can take chamomile tea with honey between meals. If you aren’t lactose intolerant, you can take unpasteurized homemade kefir and yogurt.
Add ghee, raw organic egg yolks, and stews made with meat, fish, or vegetables.
Take all previous foods plus avocado, GAPS-recipe pancakes, fermented vegetables, and scrambled eggs made with duck fat, ghee, or goose fat.
Add cold-pressed olive oil, GAPS-recipe bread, grilled and roasted meats, and vegetable juice.
Introduce cooked apple puree, fruit juice, peeled cucumber, raw vegetables starting cucumber and lettuce, and small amounts of raw fruits (no citrus fruits).
Finally, add more raw fruits; in this stage, you can add citrus fruits
The GAPS diet requires you to add foods slowly during this phase, starting with small amounts and building up gradually.
The regimen recommends that you move from one phase to the next once you can handle the foods you have introduced.
You are considered to be putting up with foods when your bowel movements are normal.
The Maintenance Phase
The entire GAPS regimen can last for 1- 2 years. During this phase of the diet, people are advised to base a huge part of their diet on the following foods:
- Animal fats such as duck fat, ghee, lamb fat, lard, raw butter, and tallow.
- Fermented foods such as homemade yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut.
- Fresh meat, preferably grass-fed and hormone-free.
- Organic eggs.
Followers of the GAPS regimen can also take moderate amounts of GAPS-recipe baked products made with nut flours and nuts. There are also a couple of extra recommendations that go along with the entire GAPS diet, and they include
- Avoid canned and packaged foods.
- Take animal fats, cold-pressed olive oil, and coconut oil with all meals.
- Take bone broth with all meals.
- Take large amounts of fermented foods if you can handle them.
- Take organic foods whenever possible.
- Don’t take fruits and meats together.
The Reintroduction Phase
If you’re fully sticking to the GAPS diet, you’ll be on the diet for about 1-2 years before you can start taking other foods.
This diet recommends you commence the reintroduction phase after you’ve experienced typical bowel movements and digestion for at least six months.
The diet suggests adding each food independently in small amounts. Then, if you don’t notice any digestive problems over 2- 3 days, you can steadily increase your portions.
The protocol recommends introducing foods individually in small amounts. However, it stipulates that you commence with gluten-free grains and fermented foods.
Even when you’re off the GAPS diet, you’re advised to continue staying away from all highly-processed and highly-refined sugar foods.
In addition, you’re advised to retain the whole-food principles of the regimen.
Sample 3 Meal Plan
- Breakfast: One glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice and one cup yogurt with mixed berries
- Lunch: Chicken breast and one bowl of ginger and vegetable soup
- Dinner: One cup Chinese style broccoli and beef and half a cup of kimchi
- Breakfast: Half a cup of sauerkraut, two scrambled eggs, and two strips of bacon
- Lunch: One cup beef and mushroom soup and one cup cranberry and kale salad
- Dinner: 5 ounces oven-baked salmon and roasted asparagus
- Breakfast: Two almond roasted pancakes topped with almond butter and banana slices
- Lunch: One collard green and tuna wrap and 28 grams of walnuts
- Dinner: One cup cauliflower rice and roasted chicken with fennel and turmeric
Although the reports are sketchy, some people feel they’ve benefited from this diet. The GAPS diet is very restrictive for long periods making it hard to stick to.
Therefore if you’re interested, seek help from a healthcare provider who can make sure you meet your nutritional needs.
|Day 1||Day 2||Day 3|
|One glass fresh-squeezed orange juice||Half a cup of sauerkraut||Two almond roasted pancakes topped with almond butter and banana slices|
|One cup yogurt with mixed berries||Two scrambled eggs|
|Two strips of bacon|
|Chicken breast||One cup beef and mushroom soup||One collard green and tuna wrap|
|One bowl of ginger and vegetable soup||One cup cranberry and kale salad||28 grams of walnuts|
|One cup Chinese style broccoli and beef and||5 ounces oven-baked salmon||One cup cauliflower rice|
|Half a cup of kimchi||Roasted asparagus||Roasted chicken with fennel and turmeric|