Questions? Need Help?

Whether searching out information for your own use, or to help out a fellow GAPSter, there are a number of resources at your disposal. Below are the steps I take, in approximately this order, to find information pertaining to GAPS. The steps set out below will lead you to the same information I have access to, such that you will be able to fully support yourself, family members and patients…all without having to wait for a reply!

All of this said, I do warmly welcome your comments and questions -just please be aware that it often takes up to a week -and sometimes longer- for your comment to appear and/or for me to reply.

Note: The diet part of GAPS is simply the specific carbohydrate diet (SCD) slightly modified. For details of the differences, please click here. In this post, “BTVC” stands for Breaking the Vicious Cycle, the book by Elaine Gottschall upon which the diet part of GAPS is based.


1. Google it. Typing your key phrase + gaps (or gut and psychology syndrome or SCD or specific carbohydrate diet) will often bring up surprisingly helpful results! For example, if you are wondering about cocoa, you might Google cocoa GAPS. If few or no results appear, try cocoa gut and psychology syndrome then cocoa SCD then cocoa specific carbohydrate diet. These searches will bring up some (but not all) of the databases referenced in the subsequent steps listed here.

2. Look in the GAPS recommended/not recommended lists.

3. Look in the book GAPS Guide 2nd Edition: Simple Steps to Heal Bowels, Body and Brain. (Using the 1st Edition? Look through the webpage of 1st Edition updates.) Note: The 2nd Edition is a very comprehensive ‘how to’ resource for GAPS. Most of your questions will be answered within it.

4. Apply the tips found here to researching via this website.

5. Peruse Dr Campbell-McBride’s website, including her regularly updated FAQ page.

6. Search the chapter headings and/or index of the book Gut and Psychology Syndrome.

7. Search the GAPShelp message archives. For a step-by-step guide to this in pdf, click Searching Yahoo Archives. Update: This list has apparently become less active, while others have sprouted up. Please see more online support group options here.

8. Ask if anyone on the GAPShelp list has received specific word on your topic of interest or question from Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride.

9. Look at the BTVC Legal/Illegal list. Not all of the information here will apply to GAPS, but where Dr. Natasha’s presentations do not mention it one way or the other, I go with this.

10. Look at the BTVC Knowledge Base.  Not all of the information here will apply to GAPS, but where no GAPS materials mentions it one way or the other, I go with this.

11. Use the BTVC search function.  Not all of the information here will apply to GAPS, but where no GAPS materials mentions it one way or the other, I go with this.

12. Search the chapter headings and/or index of the book Breaking the Vicious Cycle by Elaine Gottschall. Not all of the information here will apply to GAPS, but where no GAPS materials mentions it one way or the other, I go with this.

13. Search the BTVC message archives.  Not all of the information here will apply to GAPS, but where no GAPS materials mentions it one way or the other, I go with this.

14. Ask on the BTVC list.  Not all of the information here will apply to GAPS, but where no GAPS materials mentions it one way or the other, I go with this. Note: If you are not a member of the BTVC list and do not wish to subscribe to another very busy list, just ask someone on the GAPShelp list to post for you.

15. If you are researching answers for a fellow list member, also take some time to meditate on/recall your own experience. Details of your own journey can be invaluable to the member in need while also providing important considerations for the program’s ongoing development.

16. With questions that are of general GAPS interest, ie. not case-specific, and which are also unanswered through any of the above steps, email  Questions which are relevant to a wide variety of people doing GAPS will be forwarded by the administrators of that email address to Dr Natasha and subsequently answered within Dr. Natasha’s FAQ document.

17. For questions that are truly unique to a given person (ie. case-specific), information about consulting with Dr Natasha or another health practitioner familiar with GAPS is available on this blog’s ‘Support for You’ page here. Scroll down to the final resource listed on that page.

18. Need more science? For research references, papers, etc, relating to the specific mechanisms of the diet and its effects on the body, please review the sources listed in the bibliographies of Elaine Gottschall’s Breaking the Vicious Cycle and Dr Natasha’s Gut and Psychology Syndrome.

Tip: If after three days a message to an online support list has still received no replies, hit ‘reply’ on your own post, type the word ‘bump’ as though a reply, and hit send. “Bumping” your post to the top of the message list will let people know yours still needs an answer.

872 Replies to “Questions? Need Help?”

  1. Hi, I’m three weeks into Intro diet, still at stage one. I am healing from rather extreme dysbiosis, and other digestive issues as well as insomnia.
    My insomnia is off the charts since I started the diet and it is wearing me out. I’m getting maybe two or three hours of light sleep per night.
    My guess is that this is the die off, so I know the diet is working. I’m just doing the diet, no BK and no saurkraut.
    Any suggestions for surviving this period of the process?
    Thanks, Thomas

    • Hi Thomas,

      If the insomnia is a result of die-off (and die-off will often exacerbate the issues that brought us to the program), then the suggestions here should help:

      I also recommend checking in with the support group, putting ‘insomnia during intro’ in the subject line. It’s quite possible others have experienced something similar and can give you more specific remedies and tips.

      All my best,

  2. In a previous answer to a post you noted:

    “Certain foods are not permitted because they have (a) been determined to involve a too-complex process for breakdown (digestion), (b) been observed to cause issues in people with gut issues, or (c) been determined to hold other properties of concern to the diet’s developers. (Stevia and cocoa fall under ‘c’.)”

    My question is in regards to the use of Stevia. I didn’t see this addressed in any of the FAQs nor in the support group message boards, so I thought I’d ask it here.

    I know that there have been controversies over the use of Stevia fueled by studies that have shown that it can affect fertility. However, from that little that I have read on the issue, it appears that those studies were inconclusive. Also, as evidenced in the widespread use of Stevia over a long period of time in countries such as Japan, infertility is a non-issue.

    In Asia and other parts of the world, Stevia is used as a remedy for digestive problems.

    While Stevia is available in commercially processed forms, the leaves of the plant can also be readily used–raw and unprocessed. The plant can be easily grown at home.

    In light of all this, what are the “properties of concern” that would put this natural, organic, herb, that supposedly can be used as a digestive remedy, on the “illegal” list?

    I greatly appreciate and anticipate your thoughts on this.



    • Dear Paolo,

      I appreciate the sincerity of your question, and the fact that you have included your background research and ponderings.

      The matter of stevia sits as a question for many. Elaine Gottschall answered it to the best of her ability and her thoughts can be found by following the steps listed here:, especially from steps 8 onward.

      This said, some people doing GAPS do choose to use stevia, especially when no other sweets (fruit, orange vegetables, etc) are tolerated. That choice is, of course, yours.

      Please do share with us the information you find upon following the steps provided in the link above.

      All my best,

  3. I have just started the intro diet after struggling with severe IBS for many years now. After only two days I am finding myself absolutely exhausted, I could sleep all day. I assume this is due to die-off. and made me realize how unhealthy my digestive system and body really is. I am wondering if acceptable beans and legumes can be added to the soup during these early stages.
    Thank you!

    • Hi Zelda,

      Go ahead and drink the water. Just try to give your body a chance -and support via ferments, etc- to digest for as long as possible. But liquid is important, too, so go ahead and listen to your body’s needs.

      All my best,

  4. Hi!
    Another question has come up for me. It is recommended in Gaps Guide that you don’t drink water for at least 2.5 hrs after meals. This has been very difficult for me. I am very active and drink a lot of water. My lunch time is also set, making it tough to drink any water between eating around 10am and lunch time at 12pm. Any thoughts or insights from other’s experiences would be appreciated.

  5. Thank you so much Baden.
    At the moment I am feeling great! My GI tract has not felt this good in many years!

    Thank you for your support with my still-confused-finding-the-way questions 🙂


  6. I hope this is the best place for questions.

    We are trying to move our family onto grain after being on the gaps diet.

    We have introduced millet first. Is there a normal progression? What grain should be next? And then what?

    When does one introduce dairy?

  7. Hi Baden.
    I have been on Gaps now for around 2 months and I am using it to heal my digestion and food allergies. I was given antibiotics at age 19 for acne and was on them for 6 years.
    I am also hoping that my emotional issues may clear up from this as I am very insecure, weepy and melt down at the slightest thing. Although I did suffer some pretty severe emotional and physical abuse as a child which I have done therapy for and hasn’t really helped much.
    I am taking supplements for my adrenals as I have quite severe adrenal fatigue.
    I have become so sensitive to foods that I find that most veggies cause me bloating and gas and abdominal pain. And so I have been focusing on fruit and honey and Young coconut water kefir as my carbs sources as I haven’t wanted to go low carb as I have been kinda following more of a schwarzbien approach to help with the adrenals.
    But I am still so overly emotional and am wondering if I need to pull the fruit and honey for a while to help with that. Not sure it will make any difference I did do Bee’s candida diet a few years back and seem to remember being less emotional on it but felt hungry a lot of the time
    My only concern is that I won’t have many foods to choose from, meat, avocado, egg yolks, sauerkraut, ghee, broth. I’m not getting hardly any fibre in here.
    I’m wondering what your thoughts on this might be as I know you suffered similar issues to me around the self esteem stuff.
    Thanks for the feedback

    • Hi Pip,

      I would definitely proceed with the GAPS intro, in which honey and fruit are removed at the beginning.

      Don’t worry about fibre: GAPS does not rely on the false action of fibre to move the bowels, but rather on healthy populations and balances of bacteria.

      On GAPS, it is normal to feel very hungry for the first six weeks. The body is healing. Eat lots and frequently, including fat. This will subside.

      Meat, avocado, egg yolks, ghee, broth and sauerkraut would be an amazingly healing diet! Many people coming to GAPS cannot yet tolerate vegetables so skip those initially and eat only what you’ve listed. That’s totally fine.

      For more info about any of these, check in with the support group.

      I’m excited for your upcoming healing!!

      All my best,

  8. Is there any chance of info out there of people who have a hard time with their livers being successful with GAPS? I do not have any diagnosed liver disease, but from ‘alternative’ methods, can definitely see that the liver is a weakness for me. I have been trying to begin to ease myself into GAPS to prepare for intro around the new year, and am really noticing my liver feeling very full and congested and having some bowel issues from that. I also know that I can not tolerate olive oil, CLO, any sort of EFAs, and am now having trouble with the broths and my stomach really bothering me (feeling like it’s been hit with a huge hard lump of bread dough that it has no idea how to handle!). I realize these questions may be more in the realm of a consult with NCM, but until that can be lined up I was wondering if there is any knowledge out there that I am missing on how to work with this. I would ask the Yahoo group, but find it hard to navigate that site with my computer skills. 🙂 If there are any ideas, I’d sure appreciate any input. Thank you !

    • Hi Carol,

      Several people with struggling livers have posted to the support list. It’s too bad you’re not able to get the hang of that system, because it’s invaluable! In the meantime, hopefully someone will read your comment here and respond.

      Briefly, though:

      The juicing aspect of GAPS will help the liver to gently detox.

      Some people -especially folks with gall bladder issues- are not able to tolerate fats (or much fats) or broth at the beginning but are able to start then build their tolerance up after a short time on GAPS. The “hard lump of bread dough” thing I remembering experiencing (except with almond flour). I had to remove that, allow more time for healing and then was fine with it.

      Including digestive aids such as excellent, thorough, slow chewing; fermented veggies; the sipping of apple cider vinegar can help greatly with digestion and lighten the load on the body. If these do not suffice, Betaine can be considered.

      All my best,

  9. Hi Baden,

    Thoroughly enjoyed your book as a means to getting started and have ordered NCM’s book as well.

    Like so many it seems (like posted above) I have exhausted adrenals, gut inflammation and a congested liver which ache’s periodically, so plenty of work/gut healing to do me thinks!

    I wondered whether you had any advice on helping to distinguish between a reaction/intolerance to a food which you should aim to work through, or one that should signal removing the food from the diet for a period, i.e. the intolerance vs healing/detox response.

    For me a food I’m trialling in small doses is eggs. Symptoms wise I generally feel a consistent low level wiredness, more saliva and more brain fog. Nothing really changing digestively or anything by way of rashes, nausea etc. I’m wondering if it is autoimmune’ish. On the boards I’ve only found one post that might be relavent to these symptoms which is that an excess of histamine can cause excess saliva from unhealthy gut flora.

    I am functional so I’m tempted to continue on. Interestingly I get this same symptom set with sauerkraut, although made the mistake of not going low and slow to start with.

    What do you think?

    Might my body be adjusting to the jolt in nutrient intake and sulphur and thus be a positive thing? albeit slightly uncomfortable. Or am I continuing to aggrevate an already inflammed gut.

    Many thanks,


    • Hi Matt,

      Thanks for your kind words about the book!.

      Your question is one that many continue to sit with: Is it die-off or is it intolerance? Unfortunately, there seems to be little way to tell and I’m sad to say I have no wisdom for you on this count! I know I was terribly confused by this when we were starting out. Except with anything probiotic, which we counted on to trigger die-off, we generally chose to leave out anything causing any noticeable response and to try it again later. It’s certainly a hard call and the early process demands a lot of patience and faith! But as time passes, the path start to become clearer and more efficient. I’m sorry I could not be of more help!

      Dr Natasha does reflect briefly on this question on her FAQ page here:

      How do I tell whether a reaction to food means “back off of this food” or a die-off that means “go slowly but go ahead”?. For example, when I introduced yoghurt both my son and I got eczema. I though it meant that we needed to stop dairy, but you told me to “push through” – and sure enough, after a while eczema did resolve?

      There are two reasons for reacting: damaged “leaky” gut wall and “die-off”. Damaged gut wall allows through partially digested foods which cause reactions. If the reaction is very severe and you know which particular food you have reacted to, avoid that food for a few weeks, then try to eat a tiny amount. If you still react, again wait for a few weeks and try again. As your gut wall starts healing, the food in question will get the chance to be digested properly before absorbing and the reaction will disappear. In order to heal and seal the gut lining follow the GAPS Introduction Diet. This also applies to phenols and salicylates in foods (please read more about that in the GAPS book). In the case of probiotic foods, such as yoghurt and kefir (they are the first dairy we introduce on the Introduction Diet) most reactions are “die-off”. It means that the beneficial microbes in the probiotic food are killing the pathogens in your gut; when those pathogens die, they release toxins which cause unpleasant symptoms – a “die-off reaction”. It is important to control this reaction by introducing probiotic foods gradually starting from small amounts. The introduction process is always individual: some people sail through it, others take a very long time to introduce a few teaspoonfuls of yoghurt or kefir.

      All my best,

  10. Are there any dairy free probiotics that you recommend? My son has an anaphalactic dairy allergy and it looks like the recommended Bio Kult has traces of dairy. The Baby biotics don’t say for sure…



  11. Chris,

    My apologies – Somehow I missed your question earlier.

    You said: We are trying to move our family onto grain after being on the gaps diet. We have introduced millet first. Is there a normal progression? What grain should be next? And then what? When does one introduce dairy?

    My reply: For the post-GAPS progression, please see: There, Dr Natasha says: In about 1 – 1.5 years you may be able to introduce new potatoes, fermented buckwheat, millet and quinoa, starting from very small amounts and observing any reaction.

    Fermented dairy is included early in the GAPS program. (See the handout that came with your GAPS Guide book.) Unfermented dairy can be tested after the healing program has been completed.

    All my best,

  12. I read in the GAPS book and your guide about stopping Dairy
    for 4 -6 weeks, however, my children are very young, 2 1/2 yrs and 13 months. Is it really safe to go that long w/o dairy? My 13 month old is lactose intolerant and eats yogurt and I already worry about him. We really want to start soon and have gone through a few of your baby steps. Thanks for your help!

    • Hi Sarah,

      Actually, so long as we are getting all our nutritional requirements met, it is safe to go without dairy even permanently! So, yes, it is fine to go 4-6 weeks or longer without.

      Which aspect of dairy’s nutrition are you specifically concerned about missing? Often people are concerned about calcium, but GAPS offers many other excellent sources of that, including broth, sesame seeds, greens, etc. GAPS promotes the use of dairy, preferably unpasteurized from pastured animals and definitely fermented, for its health-giving qualities, but as many GAPSters have found, dairy is not critical.

      To hear people’s direct experiences with going dairy-free short or longer term, please do check in with the support group.

      All my best,

  13. Help! I’ve been doing GAPS for the last month for a case of thrush I developed in relation to breast feeding. I was given several doses of antibiotics during my pregnancy and have suffered from the thrush since the baby was born 10 weeks ago. I’m now trying to use the GAPS diet to get rid of the thrush and get my body back on track.

    Things have been going well, though. After the first two weeks I began to see a steady easing of my symptoms till they were almost negligible at the end of last week. Suddenly, the last three days the symptoms have flared up again very intensely. I’ve been in tears from the pain tonight, but more than anything, I’m just frustrated at this apparent reversal and I don’t understand why this is happening! The only thing I’ve done differently is that three days ago I had a few teaspoons of freshly pressed elderberry juice because I read somewhere that it is a very strong antifungal. I haven’t had any since because I was afraid it might have been related to the pain I’ve since experienced.

    Anyway, I guess I’m just wondering if this means I’m regressing or if its normal and whether it might just be a die-off symptom?


    • Dear Jackie,

      I am so sorry you are in pain!!

      Good work on getting this far. Like you, I would suspect the elderberry juice. Yes, any anti-fungal or anti-bacterial program can temporarily exacerbate (trigger excess die-off in) the issue one is aiming to treat. If this is the case here, die-off relief baths may help.

      I would go gently. Steer clear of more potent approaches for now and just follow the usual GAPS approach. Allow the body to heal slowly, gently, methodically. I also strongly recommend posting to the support list to ask others for ideas of what to do for your specific symptoms.

      All my best,

  14. Hi Baden
    I am due to commence the GAPS diet due to severe leaky gut and coeliac disease since 2006. My book has finally arrived from overseas, now I note there is a guide available. Where can I buy that? A local universitity shop ordered it in for me here in nz. Thanks

  15. I´ve been on GAPS for about 2 weeks now (eating paleo/grain free for 6 month & gluten free for about 3 years) I feel great but I have lost a lot of weight (almost 9 lbs) since eliminating starches like sweet potatoes, & yams,Im currently 115 lbs 5´6 28 y/o male.
    Im doing the elimination part by cutting dairy & eggs (I dont eat the rest of the allergens) but Im concern about losing more weight.
    Could you please give me a clue on this issue?

    Best wishes,

    • Hi Marc,

      It is very common to lose weight at the beginning of GAPS and also very common to become concerned about this! Dr Natasha discusses this briefly on her FAQ page at Once your body comes into balance through healing, the weight will stabilize and you will land at a healthy one. Be sure to incorporate lots of GAPS fats into everything you eat. I also strongly recommend doing the GAPS intro (elimination) the way it’s presented in GAPS Guide.

      All my best,

  16. Hello Baden
    This was a personal response from Dr Natasha.

    You have a low grade allergy to dairy.
    Please, look at and consider doing the Introduction Diet, giving each stage a few days. It will help you to normalise your gut flora and re-balance your immune system. Another measure is to populate your mucous membranes in the nose and throat with beneficial flora: use a good quality probiotic, such as Bio-Kult, open 2 caps on your tongue last thing before bed and let the powder dissolve in your mouth.

    I’m already doing the probiotic bit. Will your book be better for the limited info I need ? and if so, how on earth can we get it in the UK ??!! It is so expensive to have it shipped from the USA.

    • Hi Julie,

      What was your original question, please? I’m not sure what “limited info” you are seeking.

      I strongly, strongly recommend the GAPS intro progression, and that is laid out very simply in GAPS Guide. Avoiding the intro will prolong any issues unnecessarily. ships worldwide. Shipping can be costly, yes; unfortunately those rates are determined by the postal companies and not by the distributor. For what it’s worth, feedback we’ve received is that the cost of book plus shipping is well compensated for, and several times over, by the cost-saving tips in the book.

      All my best,

  17. I’m in the beginning stages of following the plan. However, I have certain restrictions, such as:

    1. No juice
    2. I need to eat fruit at each meal
    3. Three meals a day and nothing in-between

    I already feel better just stopping rice and potatoes. I know she is adamant about doing this precisely by the instructions, but I’m hoping it is ok to do what I can. I just got the fermented cod liver oil (blllccch tastes just awful – I had to get the plain one) and am starting to incorporate the fermented cabbage into my plan, along with a good probiotic and digestive enzyme. A bit nervous about the ghee as it is dairy and I don’t react well to it, but I have it here anyway.

    Is it ok if I start in with the cooked meats and broth and go from there?

    Also, I know you are supposed to cook the ghee and fermented veggies yourself, but if I get organic and they are really pure, I’m hoping that is ok too.

    I have a huge amount of food and chemical sensitivities (In fact, I think I am already itching from the 1/8 tsp of cod liver oil).

    I guess my question is whether it is better to do this imperfectly than not at all.


    • Hi Susan,

      Yes, definitely it is better to do it imperfectly than not at all.

      Some other thoughts:

      1. Most people will end up doing it “imperfectly” anyway. We’ll make mistakes, succumb to cravings, realize we’d inadvertantly been eating an “illegal” ingredient for several weeks, etc. We still heal. Granted, the closer we stick to the program, the faster our results will come. But yes, there is room for error and wellness will still come.

      2. In the GAPS Guide book, I recommend people transition slowly from their current lifestyle to GAPS (with a step-by-step plan as to how to do that). That is basically what you are looking at doing. That works great, and keeps one from getting overwhelmed.

      In time, you will find yourself having transitioned completely -in your gentle, methodical way- to GAPS, and then you will be in a position to follow the instructions more “perfectly”. Also, at any point in your journey, you can restart the program as set out. In the meantime, yes, proceed as fits for you.

      I’m curious about where your current restrictions come from. Feel free to fill me in if you like.

      Re: ghee and fermented veggies. If you totally trust your source, then it is your prerogative to buy products made by others. With the fermented vegetables, the key is to find not only pure and organic, but unpasteurized, so that the elements we are eating it for (bacteria, HCL stimulation, etc) are actually present.

      Re: Fermented CLO. One of my closest friends eats pretty much everything under the sun, including things that most others insist are beyond the pale, but he will not touch the fermented CLO 🙂 My six year old son, on the the other hand, licks it up like it’s candy and has done so from the start! To each his own, I guess! lol

      All my best,

  18. One other question. Do you need both the guidebook and the book? The diet is on the website, so I’m wondering if you need both to get going with it.

    Thanks again,

    • Hi Susan,

      If a person is diligent enough, and willing and able to organize the information and themselves enough, I would say neither book is critical to getting started. As you note, the intro progression is posted on websites and that can be enough information. The books just make it all easier, explain what’s happening (which can help us through tough times), give practical pointers, etc. However, if for any reason the books are inaccessible to you at this time, I would recommend following intro from the website and, very definitely, participating in the support list. If finances are a grave issue for you, I suggest asking your local library or health resource center to order it in for loan to you.

      All my best,

  19. Hello,

    I am on the GAPs diet. Have been for about 7 months. I belive I have a long
    history of an overgrowth of yeast. In the past when I have tried to do
    priobiotics I have gotten bad die off and have discontinued. But have never
    started really low doses..just full doses. I wan to try one of the
    probiotics on the GAPs site but don’t know which to try. I also have 2 boys ages 5 (asthma) and 10 (stomach issues) who I want to start on probiotics, shoud I do the baby biotic for them?

    For me:

    Bio-Kult Probiotic 120ct


    NTV Adult Complete BioticNTV Adult
    Complete Biotic

    Can you please advise which is best.

    Thank you.

    • Hi Kelly,

      I am not familiar with the second one, only with BioKult and only because that is the one recommended by Dr Natasha.

      BioKult is fine for children.

      I’m happy to report that all of your questions, including dosing for children, and more, are answered in the GAPS Guide book pages 104-110.

      If after reviewing that section, you have more questions, please do write again.

      All my best,

  20. Baden,

    First, thank you so much for being a resourse to us all, it means a great deal to know you have someone to turn to with these types of questions.

    The second probiotic I mentioned is on the GAPs website, so I was assuming that was recommened by Dr. Natasha. It has more types of bacteria in it and says it is dairy, gluten, etc. free.

    I’m just wondering if one is better than the other or if it really does not matter that much.


    • Hi Kelly,

      Thanks so much for your kind words of appreciation. Helps keep me going on this end of the internet 🙂

      I’m not familiar with the second probiotic, so really can’t comment on it. I suggest contacting the folks whose website you’re looking at (there are a few GAPS websites and I’m not sure which one you’re looking at) about differences. So long as a probiotic meets the criteria Dr Natasha sets out, and as reiterated in GAPS Guide, any is fine. You’ll need to compare strengths per gram, too, to ensure you’re hitting the amounts recommended by Dr Natasha. The folks selling the product will be able to help you with that.

      All my best,

  21. I am in the stages of trying to research, understand and prepare to embark on this journey after the holidays. I have been following the WAP diet for about 6 months as faithfully as I can. I have major abdominal issues, a daughter with eczema and bedwetting, two boys with ADHD and another daughter with chronic nasal stuffiness. My hubby also has lots of joint issues. I am hoping this will help us all.

    I have two questions. My kids are competitive athletes and I worry about how they will get the calorie intake they need for daily strenuous exercise for 2 1/2 hours plus competitions (Swimming). The second question is about raw milk-which is all we drink. Will this be acceptable when we start adding fermented milk or not?


    • Dear Sharon,

      Athletes – Millie, a very active GAPS moderator for a long while, is an aerobics instructor, leading classes daily. She found GAPS to be excellent for fueling her very active body. Her main advice was to ensure a good intake of fats.

      Dairy – Yes, raw is fine.

      To connect with other people with similar lifestyles, etc, do check out one of the support lists noted on the ‘support’ page of this blog.

      All my best,

  22. I have questions. I got a list of “legal’ and “illegal” foods online, and it mentions cocoa and carob as being illegal. Why? I’d just like to know. (Am waiting for my GAPS book, in case the answer is there.)

    The list does not cover all supplements. My dr put me on Magnesium glycinate, as I had leg cramps, and intracellular Mg levels low. Other Mg didn’t work. I also use glucosamine hydrochloride. Judging by the names of these supplements, I’m afraid they may not be legal, but would like to KNOW for sure before stopping them. Anybody know?

  23. Hello,

    2 questions. First I have not started the diet yet, but have trouble with sinus infections on cows milk or products. I switched to goat a year ago, and have done very well with that.

    I cannot find info about whether I can consume goat’s kefir, yogurt, or cheeses instead of cow. Can I?

    Question 2 is about kombucha – we all enjoy quite a bit of it at our house, homemade according to Sally Fallon’s cookbook. Is kombucha allowed on GAPS?

    Thanks so much for your help.


    • Hi Katherine,

      I had to check in about the kombucha before replying. (We receive this question a lot, but have also received conflicting information about it in relation to GAPS.)

      1. Yes, any source of milk is fine.

      2. The folks at International Nutrition note: “Dr. Natasha had previously said Kombucha could be used if all the sugar was fermented out.” We are inquiring further as to how one determines if that condition has been met. Personally, I would remove it at the beginning of intro then test it.


  24. Baden,

    I appreciate your response very much, thank you.

    I can probably do some trial and error with kombucha to detect whether the sugar has fermented out or not. I imagine if it has – I won’t have any die off symptoms.

    I am fairly good at determining when it’s ready, I guess I will learn if my opinion is right. 🙂


  25. where to get my fat?

    cannot do dairy at all.

    chicken fat is very minimal in any chicken I get from ANY antibiotic and hormone free chicken available to me where I live, which is really only Whole Foods Market and Greenwise Publix.

    They don’t sell lard or any kind of chicken , duck or goose fat in any store.

    they don’t sell chicken parts, necks, backs or feet in any grocery store (eta: they do sell chicken parts but it’s not organic or antibiotic and hormone free)

    and ghee and eggs I am super sensitive to dairy and eggs (ie. flu symptoms, sore throat, MAJOR headaches, major fatigue to where I must stay in bed for days – and I’m single and work full time)

    So do you have any suggestion on how to up my fat intake that seems to be absolutely necessary to heal?

    Should I use those to get my fat?

    thank you so much for your kindness in responding to all these other people. It’s so appreciated.


    • Dear Patty,

      I merged your two comments into one post 🙂

      Great sources of fat for GAPS:

      *coconut oil – use generously, eat by the tablespoon, cook in or with it, spread it on food
      *for others reading this post who are not sensitive to dairy: butter – use generously, eat by the tablespoon, cook in or with it, spread it on food
      *eat naturally fatty foods such as avocado
      *olive oil – use generously, eat by the tablespoon, spread it on food
      *cook a whole animal (chicken, duck) or the fatty parts of an animal, rendering the fat (check in with our support lists for details)
      *ask your local butcher (not food store) or farmer for tubs of fat -duck is abundant and lovely- as well as for animal parts
      *ask your favourite GAPS support list for members’ preferred online sources for any of the above; meats + are sold online as well

      Please stick with organic -and preferably pastured- meats if at all possible. Otherwise, just use what you can get. Financially speaking, some people have no option and, so long as they are not particularly sensitive to the hormones, etc, they heal well.

      Skip the eggs, ghee and dairy for now and look forward to your body healing 🙂

      All my best,

  26. Dear Baden,

    thank you for your phenomenal response ! You have opened my eyes to something I could not see and have been thinking about for over a month !

    thank you, thank you, thank you,

    and sincerely all my best to you too,


  27. Hi there, I have had chronic fatigue syndrome for 13 years, my eldest son has aspergers and my younger son has dysbiosis related issues. We started on GAPS at the end of 2008 (on the full diet – didn’t know about the intro back then!). We were told to stay on it for 9 months. Within a week I had no nausea (for the first time in 10 years) and within a few months was back out walking and felt the best I had since getting CFS ! About a year into it everything got so chaotic I just didn’t have time to do all the cooking and I added in some rice and home made gluten free bread. We were all okay for a few months then started to notice we were all getting a bit cranky and I especially started to go downhill. We went back on full GAPS in July (so hard to let go of that bread…..). I expected to have my miraculous recovery within the week again and have been so disappointed! Months later I haev still not picked up. We went back and started the introductory diet a week ago hoping that it helps, so far are just exhausted and cranky but persevering…
    Just wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience with coming off the diet and going back on, and also if anyone else has CFS and doing GAPS.

    • Hi Julie,

      Yes, sadly, people have reported the experience of having less dramatic results the second time starting. But fear not! Results are likely to come yet, especially with you doing intro this time. (And exhaustion and crankiness are par for the course in that.)

      Yes, people have had success with CFS via GAPS. For more info, put ‘chronic fatigue’ in this site’s search engine and also in the subject line of a post to one of the support lists.

      All my best,

  28. My husband and I are age 50, have no major GAPS issues and have been eating traditional, WAPF foods for four years. I have the new edition of the Gaps book after hearing Dr. NCM at the Weston Price conference in November, and we plan to start the Intro Diet on February 1. Our primary goals are to address lifelong underweight issues for my husband, to ward off possible future Alzheimer’s that runs in his family (by removing accumulated heavy metals and other risk factors), to do general gut healing and detox for overall health and vitality for both of us, and to resolve my lifelong problem with migraines.

    I’m concerned about my husband losing weight on the intro diet, because he has always been naturally slim and healthy, but cannot afford to lose any weight. Is losing weight in the intro unavoidable for everyone, or is there anything he can do to prevent this? I know one of the conditions GAPS can resolve, as listed on the home page, is being underweight, so if he does GAPS is it truly likely that he will be able to gain weight in the future? Any tips on NOT losing weight in the process would be helpful.

    Also, if people have been on WAPF for several years and don’t have huge health challenges, do you need to do the Intro Diet in the same way, with the same slow minuscule introductions of foods? We’re currently accustomed to having 1 – 2 cups of raw goat milk kefir daily, as well as fermented vegetables, FCLO, homemade kombucha, raw cheese, raw goat milk, etc. So, for example, can you use larger amounts of kefir and kraut or kraut juice in the intro if you’re accustomed to it already? Or since you’re essentially re-setting your entire system, do you need to cut everything and start at square one, following the instructions to the letter, to heal and seal the gut?

    I am also wondering if someone is midway through the Intro, and has to travel for work for several days without the ability to bring or eat special food, will the progress they’ve made on the Intro be negated and must they then start over?

    Lastly, can you make sour cream using raw cow’s cream and raw goat kefir?

    Thank you for your consideration and guidance!

    • Hi BC,

      Re: losing weight. Yes, most people lose weight initially, and then, if needed, they gain to a balanced weight. It needn’t be a concern. Please see Dr Natasha’s FAQ page at Ensuring lots of GAPS fats, as well as eating every hour or two in the first weeks, will help.

      Yes, do the intro as presented in the GAPS Guide book, including the very slow, methodical introduction of kraut juices, etc, even if you’ve been doing WAPF for an extended period. People in this position are amazed at the changes the body goes through!

      It is possible (quite easy, in fact) to continue intro while travelling. For tips, please see the GAPS Guide book. If a person chooses to go off intro for a few days, it is wise to return to Stage 1 for a day or two before she can likely progress quite quickly to where she left off.

      Yes, sour cream can be made from those foods and are suitable for GAPS.

      All my best,

  29. Hi,
    If I have a fairly healthy gut, no known digestive disorders, and have begun GAPS to see if I have leaky gut that may have led to my arthritis, and if I am great at eating fermented foods 3 times a day, is there some point when you know you dont need to use biokult but can eat probiotic foods solely as the source of bacteria?


    • Hi Meredith,

      In the GAPS Guide book (p. 107), the guidelines for how long to take a commercial probiotic are outlined. Beyond that, no, there is no way of knowing when one can begin transitioning off it. I suggest reducing slowly, slowly while building one’s range and amounts of fermented foods, and just watching how your body does in response, from week to week. If all stays well, just keep reducing until you’re done.

      All my best,

  30. Hi,

    I’ve been trying to do the intro diet but my son and I have been reacting to the bone broth. It is likely due to the natural glutamates or amines in it. Have you heard of this? Do the reactions gradually subside?


    • Hi Jill,

      While some families choose to use bone broth, what Dr Natasha recommends is actually meat broth, so a cooking period of 1-3 hours depending on the type of meat. Please see the GAPS Guide book. Yes, many do react to bone broth and should stick with meat broth until healing allows bone broth.

      All my best,

  31. Baden,

    I have a couple of questions about yeasts & parasites.

    At what point in the diet do you consider treating these? And are there die-off symptoms with both approaches for yeasts as well as parasites?

    What else do you know about them, and why don’t they exit the body on their own?


    • Hi Katherine,

      By doing the diet, we are treating them.

      This said, in some cases the body needs support beyond the diet itself. If one has major symptoms persisting continously after 4-6 months, despite doing intro, one might look at a more aggressive approach (medications, herbs). I say 4-6 months, with intro an essential part of that, because most of us will experience a temporary regression at about the three month mark, a sign of deeper healing and good things just around the corner!

      Any additional approaches are best determined by a health care professional.

      Note that most people will not need these extra steps because, yes, through the diet the body will rebalance itself (ie. some degree of parasitic and yeast life will exit, and remaining amounts are fine). For a bit more information, see the ‘Worms & Parasites’ section here:

      Yes, there are often die-off symptoms associated with both yeast and parasites.

      All my best,

  32. Baden,

    I have been doing GAPs since March 2010. I started to introduce some soaked grains midway with ok results. No dairy outside of some yogurt which tends to give me acid refluxI have been doing grains very sparingly and am ok. I just started biokult about 2 weeks ago and have broken open the capsule and use a tiny scoop mixed with water in the am. So I am only getting about maybe 1/10th of a cap a day if that. Anyways I have been getting acid reflux which I have had in the past and have also had when trying to do a probiotic. Is this an indication that I should back off on probiotic or proceed as I am. Is the acid a die off or something else? Outside of the acid my stools have been normal but smell very toxic – sorry to be so graphic. Some headaches and fatigue.


    • Hi Kelly,

      Reflux can be a sign of too much *or* too little acid. In GAPS patients, it is more commonly too little. For this, do the following: 10-15 minutes before each meal, take a tablespoon of fermented vegetables (or fermented veggie juice) or Apple Cider Vinegar (which can be diluted in a glass of water).

      Please try the above, and let me know if the reflux resolves.

      Headache, fatigue and stool changes and smell are common die-off signs.

      Just to mention for other readers: Normally grains would be introduced only after doing GAPS for a year and a half or so. Also, the buckwheat, millet or quinoa need to be fermented, not only soaked.

      All my best,

  33. Hi Baden,
    I do so appreciate all this information. I have also been part of the Yahoo Group and it is really helpful.
    I have this question: My 24 yo daughter and I are doing this GAPS together and started Jan 17 with the intro. We are both healthy with no digestive issues. We are looking for help with migraines for her with candida and acid reflux in the past, not current. For me, long standing osteoarthritis and post menopausal weight gain.
    So, my point is, this has been very easy so far and both of us have had no reactions in any of the intro stages. We have been careful and diligent about introducing each item and cooking/preparing as GAPS says. Fermented foods and broths and fats make up most of our meals with meats and fish and cooked veges, some raw veges and vege juice. We have also been having dairy whey, yogurt and some kefir and creme fraiche. These are mostly foods I have been eating daily for more than 1 year also.
    As far as I can tell, we should just move on into full GAPS all the while continuing to monitor our digestive and other responses, especially watching for episodes of die-off.

    Is this the way it can play out?

    Thanks so much for your help.
    Meredith Thomas

    • Hi Meredith,

      Absolutely! I, too, had quite an easy time of intro the first time I did it. (I did, though, keep dairy out for some time.)

      Yes, proceed as planned!


  34. A word of warning top those who know they have problems w-gluten:

    DO NOT use Biokult!!! Use the Kirkman Labs two probiotics that add up to the same microbes. (One is the Bifido and the other Lactobacillus, get the “no inulin” kind) .

    Here is my tale of woe: Started Gaps w-no symptoms of die-off, increased Biokult, no problems, everything going well, did everything by the book, then WHAM! the most terrible colitis!

    I’ve NEVER had colitis in my life! The pain is like transition labor in the bowel. I can only think it’s due to the maltodextrin (the supposed “not enough to matter” amount). I stopped Biokult immediately, and started feeling better, but it’ll be a long time yet. It started 4 days ago, and today I can sit up a little, but if I stand, I still get too dizzy.

    And NO, I do NOT believe colitis is a “symptom of die-off”, not after doing SCD for 2 months, then GAPS intro for one month. If I was going to have die-off symptoms, they’d have shown up when I started taking probiotics, six per day to start with. (Since I’d already been taking some probiotics, I elected to start at 6, and had no problems except mild tiredness.) I believe the maltodextrin simply built up to the point my GI tract couldn’t take it anymore.

    • Dear Emily,

      I’m very sad that you are in pain/inflammation. I’m so glad you are starting to feel better after four days of horrendous pain!

      There are several important things to consider in recovering your health:

      1. Maltodextrin is gluten-free. This said, as I present in the GAPS Guide book I do believe it is possible for other reasons for any given person to be sensitive to any given ingredient in any product, including for example the maltodextrin in BioKult, in which case, again as noted in the GAPS Guide book, alternatives should be used.

      2. In taking six capsules per day one month into GAPS, you were virtually guaranteed to experience terrible symptoms. (It took me many months to build up to that, despite having done SCD for several months previously, etc.) The recommendation in GAPS Guide is, no matter one’s starting point and history, to start with 1/4 capsule max (1/10th if sensitive or ill), building up by only that much again approximately once per week. It should take many months to reach the therapeutic dose. Doing otherwise is harmful.

      3. We know that die-off happens if (a) one takes too much probiotic, and (b) approximately three months into the SCD or GAPS programs, regardless of what one is doing.

      Again, I am so sorry you are experiencing pain. I hope any of the above information, as shared in the GAPS Guide book, is helpful.

      All my best,

  35. I beg to differ. I took Biokult for months with no issues, and built up the dose gradually exactly as instructed, except for starting at 6, which I realised had some risk, but had been taking probiotics for such a long time at high doses anyway, I decided it was OK.

    I did have some very mild symptoms of die-off, which I did recognise (mostly fatigue). I’d been on the dose for quite some time. Many sites I visited when simply doing GF, CF said to avoid maltodextrin. (Did you ever see it when congealed? It looked exactly like what I pooped out.)

    Maltodextrin is a dextrin, a product of incomplete hydrolysis of STARCH. The molecular structure of some maltodextrins/dextrins look alarmingly similar to that of Splenda (sucralose). The whole point of gouing CF when going GF, is that the gluten and casein molecules are similar in size, appearance, and structure.

    As a polysaccharide, maltodextrin can have up to 20 glucose molecules. Maltodextrin does contain MSG, and the site lists it as such. I had been able to tolerate small amts of MSG in “flavorings” (on the rare times I ate anything that had them), but usually had avoided maltodextrin like the plague.

    I dutifully did not progress until whatever mild symptoms I did have, were gone. After all, it does state you CAN progress when not noticing any symptoms, not that you have to wait for who-kows-how-long, waiting for symptoms to appear that never end up appearing!

    (And, according to your own book, you were a LOT sicker than I ever was to start with. I’d already given up almost all sweet things, ate fruit for dessert, took probiotics, was GF/CF/rice free for years and avoided corn as much as possible, couldn’t stand the sweetness of honey…that doesn’t exactly describe you, so no wonder you had to build up very slowly.)

    I know I probably shouldn’t even have started it, but I did, and I stand by my conviction that the maltodextrin is not for people who should be gluten or MSG-free.

    • Dear Emily,

      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and perspectives, so that people can consider them. I always feel that all information is important in the research aspects of the program, and when you share your concerns and concepts, you add to the body of thought under consideration.

      I wanted to share the following from a GAPS perspective:

      GAPS assumes that all people needing GAPS are very sensitive to gluten, that some are sensitive to MSG, etc, and also supports the use of BioKult (or other commercial probiotics which include maltodextrin) for most people. For most people needing GAPS, BioKult is found to be fine. The dosing details are important.

      I do recognize the various sources, and the components, of maltodextrin. I don’t think that’s in question.

      In a sense, MSG is another topic entirely, and something that certainly some people are very sensitive to (thus early on cannot even manage bone broth, for example).

      For the sake of other readers, I feel duty-bound to emphasis the danger of starting at six capsules of any high-count probiotic and urge people not to do so, and to start at and build at the amounts noted in the book. We have found over and over this to be extremely important, including for people who previously followed an excellent diet for several years, took large amounts of commercial probiotics or ferments, etc. We regularly hear from people who for those reasons are confident in their ability to start at more or to increase at larger intervals or higher frequency, who then run into major problems. We consistently urge them to reduce or eliminate, then start over per the book’s recommendations. They report a great difference and incredible gains.

      Readers should note that the frequency for increasing is not left to ‘who knows when’, but weekly, so long as the most recent round of die-off has passed.

      Emily, I hope your body recovers soon and, with the reduced (or, in your case, eliminated) dose, I fully trust it will!

      All my best,

  36. Yes, I’m fine, started getting better 2/1/11, been great since 2/3/11, and taking the Kirkman equivalent to Biokult, with no problems…

  37. Hi Baden. I was just wondering if there’s another probiotic that I can use aside from Biokult? I mentioned before that my 3 yr old and I use an SCD-legal one but it only has 1 strain. It would be nice to get one comparable to Biokult. We are not going to use Biokult because of the maltodextrin and here in the US that’s usually corn-derived and we are sensitive to corn.

    What about enzymes? Any enzymes allowed for a 3 yr old? I’m sorry, I just received my GAPS book and just started reading and I haven’t stumbled on anything about enzymes yet.

    Thank you and have a nice day!

    • Hi Scarlett,

      I’m not familiar with any probiotics beyond BioKult and the two SCD ones mentioned in GAPS Guide Chapter 7. However, in her comments below, Emily suggests:

      “…Kirkman Labs two probiotics that add up to the same microbes (one is the Bifido and the other Lactobacillus, get the “no inulin” kind).”

      People can take digestive enzymes if they choose; Dr Natasha feels they are not necessary, thus an unnecessary expenditure. However, some on the lists have said they found them helpful. It is up to you. Personally, I prefer to see people do GAPS exactly as presented for at least 3-6 months before exploring additions. (You’ll read more about that as you make your way through GAPS Guide.)

      All my best,

  38. Thanks. I saw her post that but I wanted your opinion. I got the GAPS book now, I can’t afford to get the Guide right now. I’ll wait.

    I already take digestive enzymes and it really helps me. However I haven’t been taking it everyday. I just can’t find one that’s suitable for a 3 yr old that doesn’t have maltose or anything not SCD-legal. Hopefully someone will chime in on this.

  39. Baden,
    I recently started GAPS and it was not a success. I was a week into the intro diet before I stopped it quickly and progressed to the full diet. Not because I was ready, but because I was severely constipated. Now, another week into the diet my constipation hasn’t resolved and I caved and had some starches and sugar because I wanted to see how it would affect my bowel movements.
    The issues that bring me to the diet are vague and not as concrete as some of the others on it. I am tired, unmotivated, depressed and can’t digest milk or gluten. I used to have violent temper tantrums as a child and developed anorexia and then bulimia as a teenager. I believe my gut to be severely compromised, but I am scared that I will not be able to deal with the die-off symptoms that brought me to the diet. Some of which are extreme cravings for the foods I can’t have, apathy (esp. regarding the diet), etc.
    To deal with the constipation, I first tried juicing carrots, then I did an epsom salt bath, then bitters, castor oil packs and finally an enema. How can I know how long I have to give myself enemas for? I was not eating very much fermented food, and I do not have Bio-Kult yet. I don’t know what I am doing wrong, or why my body can’t pass anything through. I don’t know if the constipation is a good sign or a bad sign. I want to do the diet, but I am worried I won’t be able to cope. Do the symptoms get worse? Do they improve? I’ve read your book and the GAPS book, but I still feel lost and like I don’t know how to read my body. Any tips?

    • Hi Marie,

      I feel for you.

      1. As noted on pg 89 of GAPS Guide, constipation is extremely common during intro. This is not the result of you doing anything incorrectly. You did many of the potential remedies, that’s great. Many people need to do enemas every 24-36 hours for some days or even weeks. You’ll know you can skip/stop them when you have a bowel movement on your own within 24 hours after your last enema.

      2. Apathy, ambivalence and strong cravings are common. The strong cravings usually pass after about four days on intro. The apathy, ambivalence, depression, and lack of motivation create a bit of a Catch 22, in that we need energy and motivation to do the program, and the very reasons we need the program can, of course, interfere! The good news is that as we take each small step forward, our capacity increases. There are down days along the way, but we can manage those better and better as we progress.

      3. In die-off, the symptoms that brought one to the diet often worsen temporarily, but then they go away.

      4. Die-off relief baths, as described in the GAPS Guide book, are very important. You must have one daily, and a different kind each day.

      5. Probiotics are essential; they are what create most of the stool.

      Based on your history, it does sound like GAPS is the right fit for you. You just need to support yourself through the challenging points so that you can come out the other side.

      I don’t feel you have not succeeded, not at all! I see you as having given GAPS a good first go, learned a lot about it in the process, and then took a break to reassess, reevaluate, and reach out for needed support. That’s perfect! I suggest you simply start again, this time this way:

      1. Start on p. 28 of GAPS Guide – ‘Preparing for Intro’, with one adjustment:
      2. From the day you start p. 28, do a different die-off relief bath every day, and take 1/10th cap of BioKult (or a teaspoon of juice from homemade sauerkraut).

      Other than that adjustment, just follow the steps as presented.

      All my best,

  40. After reading your response to Marie and re-reading that section in your Guide, I have a question. My reason for doing the GAPS program is extreme constipation for many years, accompanied by chronic abdominal pain. I am only 1 week into the Intro and really enjoy the soups I am experimenting with! I have also had 2 colonics and done the detox baths after each one…just can’t fit them in daily. If constipation is my problem, how will I know when to progress from stage 1?


    • Hi Sharon,

      Even though constipation was your reason for coming to GAPS, definitely move forward with the stages despite the constipation. Just keep moving forward with the stages, skipping foods only if you show a new symptom to them, and the constipation will resolve.

      All my best,

  41. Hi again Baden

    As I have explained to you already, my son is on week 3 on the Intro diet. He has started eating foods like eggs he has never consumed and in massiv edoses. He is eating casserole, alos in huge doses. When I say huge…yesterday he ate a weeks worth of casserole, on his own and left nothing.

    We can’t keep up with him.

    Can you tell me though, he still has days where it feels like he is regressing. He is sometimes, easily upset, irritable and displaying behaviour that alerted us to his condition in the first place.

    I know it’s probably different for everyone but how long can die off last and is it normal for them to appear as though they are regressing and going backwards? Do die off symptoms keep coming and going for sometime?



    • Hi Andrew,

      Yep!. I remember the days in those first six weeks in which my then three year old would eat an entire chicken in one sitting! I had to shop almost every day to reload the fridge! This passes after about six weeks. They are getting super nourished.

      It is normal to see some regression in the first weeks and months. What can help (though not entirely eradicate) this is:

    • *lots* of fats: smother everything in it
      a meal -especially fatty protein- offered upon waking, then every hour or so all day, and before bed
      daily die-off baths, a different kind each day
      bowel movements, 1-3 daily
    • All my best,

  42. Baden,
    Thank-you so much for your valuable input and quick response.. You’re blog is such a big motivation for me. Now I think I can start again once I have everything I need.
    I also want to applaud you for always being a compassionate, thoughtful and even-tempered voice. You value what everyone says and are graceful and wise in response to every comment- aggressive or helpless, and everything in between. It shows that you intimately understand what we all are going through, and that you really care about our results.
    Thank you so much for all of the time and effort you put into making sure all our questions are answered.
    I wish you all the best. 🙂

  43. Hi Baden

    I am in need of a sympathetic ear and the voice of reason as I am a little panicked and feeling down.

    I have given you the run down of whats happening with my son. (aged 3)

    Now, 2 weeks in, I feel we have introduced some foods that are not agreeing with him…eggs and stews. When I say eggs, I dont mean yolks, I mean scrambled eggs which he just loves.

    His diarrhea has gotton so much worse and it’s like he has totally regressed to the state he started in. Crying, no chatter etc etc…

    Is it best to go back to Day 1 and start the Intro diet again? If so, although this will be very difficult to take foods off him again, is this wise? How will we know when it’s time for Stage 2?

    Is it a matter of his diarrhea ending or some other way of knowing?

    I guess right now we are so desperate for him to heal and feel the progress he was making is over already.

    I have done so much reading as to the Intro Diet recipes but can you please give me a rundown of exactly what he should be consuming at this early stage. Is it a simple matter of only soup and stock? Is coconut water still ok?

    What veggies must he not have? I’m sorry for all the questions but am in need of something positive.

    Thanks mate.


  44. Baden,
    Thank you for all of your support, you are a wealth of information! I am slowly progressing into stage 2 of the intro. My question is about my reluctant teenager I am trying to bring along. He will eat the broth/soups for dinner no problem but I am not going to get him to stay on the intro for breakfast and lunch. He has no problem with the full gaps, it is the intro he won’t do without more of a fight than it is worth. I want him on this because he has inattentive ADD with a history of gut issues as a toddler that I know must still be an issue but otherwise is a very healthy kid. Will he still benefit from only GAPS legal foods for those two meals and soup for dinner? Any hope of complete healing and sealing?


    • Hi Sharon,

      A teenager willing to eat the broth/soups for dinner is already a great achievement! As you have noted, teenagers are at a level of independence such that they cannot be ‘forced’ to eat a specific set of foods, so if your son is willing to do full GAPS for breakfast and lunch, with broth/soup for supper, that would be awesome! Yes, it’s highly possible he will see benefits from this. If there are lingering concerns, he may become willing to do intro later. This is the approach I recommend in the GAPS Guide book anyway: first a slow transition to full GAPS, then full GAPS, then intro.

      All my best,

  45. Baden,

    The sentiments above are certainly shared by many of us. Thanks to the articlulate person who sent them in. And thank you to you for your continued support.

    I don’t recall reading anything specific – and I have both books – about raw milk. Is it allowed? Specifically goats milk? I have been preparing and using it for kefir- but have had to cut back considerably on probiotic foods since suffering from vertigo. I am not sure what to do with the excess I am getting and would love to be able to ingest it.

    What are your thoughts?


    • Hi Katherine,

      Thank you for your kind feedback 🙂

      With your GAPS Guide book, you should have received a paper insert about milk. Did it not come?

      Yes, raw milk –if fermented per GAPS standards– is definitely supported, as is the milk from any animal, including goat and cow, depending on a person’s tolerance.

      After completing 1.5-2 years of healing through GAPS, one might be able to take raw milk directly, unfermented.

      All my best,

  46. Hi again Baden,

    Forgive me if I am sending this a second time but the first one didn’t post…I think. If this is a repeat, I’m sorry.

    My son has had horrible diarrhea and we feel that it’s necessary to go back and start the Intro Diet again as we have probably rushed into stage 2 and 3.

    I have some questions though and have been unable to get a definitive answer so hoping you can assist.

    1) Knowing when to move to Stage 2, is it a simple matter of waiting for solid stools ?
    2) How long is it on each stage or it measured by his stools?
    3) He loves coconut water and won’t drink anything else. He loves it plain with nothing added. Is this ok to consume during Intro stage 1 and beyond?

    That’s all for now and hoping you can help with some answers for me.

    Cheers Baden.


    • Hi Andrew,

      My apologies for the delay in responding, especially while you were feeling down and panicked! I just completed a move, had lots of trouble getting my internet going in the new place, etc.

      1) Where there is true diarrhea, do Stage 1 without veggies (just meat broth, boiled meat, fats) for up to seven days. If the diarrhea resolves sooner, move at that point on to Stage 2. If after seven days of Stage 1 there is still true diarrhea, move forward regardless. Continue skipping vegetables, though, until the diarrhea resolves, at which point introduce just one veggie, de-seeded. Zucchini or carrot is a good place to start for most people.

      Introduce a probiotic, making sure to follow the notes in the GAPS Guide book about starting at tiny amount (1/10th cap BioKult or equivalent, or 1/4 teaspoon juice from home-fermented veggies, working up in only that increment, not more than once a week).

      2) After that, introduce a new food or new style of preparation (eg. grilled, raw, etc) every four or five days. If no new and obvious issues develop, continue that food and keep moving forward. If there is a new, obvious symptom after any new thing, go back just to the previous step, stay there 4-5 days, skip the problematic food, and move on to the next food in the intro progression. Except for true diarrhea, do not rely on stools as a measuring sticks. Stool consistency if often random in the first few months in any case.

      3) If the coconut water is raw, freshly extracted at home from a raw coconut, I would allow that, up to one cup per day. If it is pasteurized, commercial, etc, I would not. Coconut water is very sweet, thus can feed candida as well as limit one’s appetite for the super healing foods (fats, broth, meats). Even raw and freshly pressed I would limit it to a cup each day, using it only as a ‘reward’ for eating lots of animal fats, meats and broth.

      Andrew, again, I’m sorry I could not get back to you sooner on this. I hope you and your son are feeling better already. But in case not, hopefully these answers help.

      All my best,
      Baden p.s. Andrew, please be sure to read a subsequent comment posted to you on this page from Scarlett!

  47. Hi Baden! Sorry to bother you again but I was wondering about the nut pancakes that’s mentioned in the GAPS book. The ingredients are nut butter, egg and squash/courgette. Anyway it doesn’t specify how much nut butter and how much egg. Have you made this before? If so, how much of each did you use? Can I use something else to sub for squash? My daughter is allergic to squash.

    Thanks and sorry for the bother. I couldn’t find anything on the forum and in the book.

    • Hi Scarlett,

      I did make the nut butter pancakes, but three years ago and I don’t remember what I did exactly.

      I googled ‘gaps nut butter pancakes’ (without the apostrophes) and found this: as well as many others. One uses banana, but if you are in early intro, this won’t be suitable. I suggest looking through the links on that Google search result page and seeing if there are other non-squash substitutes. If not, just skip these and move on to the next item in the intro progression, trying nut butter with other ingredients later. Perhaps an avocado, nut butter, egg pudding? I just made that up, but it might be yummy. Google is a great friend for GAPSters!

      All my best,

  48. Thanks Baden, that’s a lot of eggs! LOL wow. I think I’ve seen that recipe. I’ve been googling everything but haven’t seen anything I wanted. I’ll just have to experiment, I just hate to waste expensive organic nut butter and for it not even to turn out good so I was wondering about the measurements.

    Not sure about the zucchini, it’s in the squash family, I hope she’ll tolerate it. I personally don’t like zucchini, it has a bitter taste but I guess all that nut butter will mask the taste.

    Btw I thought I’d tell you, I haven’t officially started GAPS yet but I’ve been drinking bone broth for nearly 2 weeks now and cut off the coffee for good(I’m already grain/dairy and soy-free) and I feel better, no more big D, and the stomachaches/cramping are not here everyday. So I’m thinking maybe I can skip the intro and go do full GAPS? LOL I’m wishful thinking.

  49. To Andrew, coconut water has a laxative effect, that could be why your LO is still having loose stools. My mother would give us coconut water when we were younger if we were constipated and it worked good. Just a thought.

    • Scarlett, you rock. How kind of you to read and respond with your knowledge to another’s comments, even while you are yet finding your own way! Bless you!

      All my best,
      Baden p.s. And I learned from you! I didn’t know about the laxative effect of coconut water. I am very grateful for this information!

  50. Baden,

    I feel embarrassed to ask this question, but I am wondering if you can give me advice about how to stop the diet midstream? It’s just too much right now, and I have no idea how to get off without going into a tailspin.

    I imagine I am not the only one who faces this dilemma at some point or another, so in the hopes that his post is helpful for another person in addition to me, I humbly ask for your guidance.

    I started with the intro and am about 7 weeks in. It may come to pass that I don’t have to stop, but circumstances have come up that make this very challenging to continue.

    Thank you so much.

    • Hi Katherine,

      I’m sorry you’re experiencing challenging circumstances.

      If truly impossible to continue the intro progression, I would just go to full GAPS. If even that feels impossible, I would just do as much GAPS food as possible, supplementing with any other foods you choose. I don’t think you’ll go into a tailspin. You may experience a more acute version of any issues you were previously experiencing in a more masked way, but that’s about it -and the issues will eventually morph to the ‘masked’ version again. (See GAPS Guide book page 57-58.)

      I hope things resolve for you soon!

      All my best,

  51. Hi Baden and welcome back!

    My boy is at Day 6 of the Intro now and I stopped giving him coconut water 2 days ago. His watery stools stopped almost immediately. They are now very dark, very smelly and appear almost like tar. I must say though for the first time in a long time, there are no undigested food stuffs in it which we are very happy to see.

    As this is the case, would we be best still to go another day or two of stage 1 or progress to stage 2?

    He still won’t eat soup but has been living for the past 6 days on beef stock and the meat in the stock. Incredibly he has eaten it all week. We are keen to move on and give him something else.

    Are veggies ok at this point and is so which ones? Also, is carrot juice going to be ok as he is desperate for it!!

    Cheers Baden and again, thanks for all your support.


    • Andrew, I am so happy to hear about your son’s progress!! Those stools sound excellent for this stage, and smelly simply means lots of toxins are exiting.

      What he is eating is wonderful! Good job, parents!!

      I’m so happy you and Scarlett have connected, too. This is just the kind of relationship that makes GAPS work for folks! Each person on GAPS has gems to share. It’s so important that we all connect.

      I’m a bit wary about your son moving on to carrot juice. He craved coconut water like mad. This and carrot juice are very, very sweet. I do suspect your son is battling candida overgrowth and its associated cravings. I strongly recommend steering clear of the sweet stuff -especially in an easily ingested form like water/juice that will allow him to take in a lot of the sugars. (A few carrots in a stew, on the other hand, I wouldn’t worry about.) Except for in cases of severe constipation, carrot juice doesn’t come in until a later stage. In eliminating coconut water, you’ve seen the profound effects of following the stages exactly as set out, and this is definitely the course I recommend.

      With the diarrhea ended, I would go ahead and add vegetables, with caution. Those gentler for people with a history of diarrhea tend to be: carrots, zucchini that is peeled and deseeded (I know that doesn’t leave much of this veggie, but it’s still something). When you move on to broccoli/cauliflower, use the florets (not stalks/stems) initially.

      Andrew, you are so welcome for the support. It fills my heart to be ‘paying it forward’ to another parent of a three year old starting this journey 🙂

      All my best,

  52. @Baden you’re welcome, I didn’t want to at first because I didn’t want to offend you or anyone. But Andrew sounded so desperate so I had to share. My mom’s from the Philippines and she’s the one that was doing the coconut water thing with us lol. She knows all these old traditions, like the broth thing, fermenting veggies, basically stuff their people have been doing of hundreds of years, maybe more. She taught them to me but of course me being raised in the USA I kind of just shoved them to the side. Now I’m going back to my roots. Back to broth, lard, real food, fermentation(which I am completely appalled at) :).

    When I told her I was making “broth” with pigs feet she laughed at me saying “see I told you that’s good for you, you won’t listen to me!.” Ok I’m listening now.

    Have a blessed day!

    @Andrew so glad your son is doing better. Glad I could help. Keep in mind that coconut flour will have a similar effect, something for when you’re ready to introduce it in later stages.

    • Scarlett: It’s neat what you say about returning to your mum’s traditional ways because my grandparents are from Romania/Ukraine/Russia (depending on where the border is pushed to in a given time period) and this is true for me, too! It’s much what Dr Weston Price found: That traditionally, all tribes had certain things (animal ends, ferments, etc) in common. My sister-in-law is (very recently) from the Philippines and recently asked me if I would teach her new daughter how to eat well like my son does. Now I can just encourage her to offer the very foods her grandparents ate! lol

      I relate to what you say about ferments, too. I was so scared of my first batch of sauerkraut I didn’t taste it for a month. And then I made my dad (raised on the stuff) try it first 🙂


  53. I just discovered the GAP diet today and have been reading on it for hours online. Will likely order at least your guide soon. But two things are a major concern.

    Constipation is a common problem when starting, I read. Its been a life long problem for me and for over a year absolutely major. Laxatives don’t work at all. Enemas only partially help and are painful. (A colonoscopy eliminated any visible problem.)

    Recently I started (again, since I drifted away from it last year) soaking grains and legumes according to Nourishing Traditions. I have cut way back on protein, have been making a yogurt, only incubating it in the Yogourmet machine for around 10-12 hours. And the problem has been easing so long as I eat enough of the grains and legumes. I have started using broth again; coincidently I had a pot simmering when I discovered all this information. It has been maybe one pot a week but I could easily make more and enjoy using it.

    I know the diet would be beneficial if I could possibly stick to it, but at seventy years old, who knows if I’ll even live long enough to get back on grains!

    Another suggestion is baths to control some of the symptoms. With fibromyalgia, chronic myofascia trigger point problems, and arthritis, I haven’t been able to get in and out of a tub for six years. The last time I did, the hard surface was extremely painful because of fibro tenderness, so even if I could afford one of those walk in tubs, it wouldn’t work. I’m relatively used to pain though so perhaps I could tolerate the “die off.” Are the baths used for more than easing pain?

    I did join the Yahoo groups today and will keep reading.

    I guess what I’m asking is if there any use at my age and with these limitations to try the GAP?

    • Dear Peggy,

      All I can think when I read your last question is of my grandmother, who just turned 95 and is going strong (with aches and pains, mind you). You might well have 25 or more years to go! So, yes, I think it’s worth doing 🙂

      Die-off is not primarily “pain” per se, but most often constipation, a feeling of flu, and/or an increase in the symptoms that brought one to the diet. The die-off relief options assist with those. If you cannot access a tub, I would suggest doing foot baths. The primary purpose of the detox (or ‘die-off relief’) baths is to draw toxins out of the body. It’s ideal to immerse the whole body, but where that is not an option, soaking the feet in the same solution can help a lot. The GAPS Guide book suggests several other die-off relief options.

      The GAPS Guide book also sets out several other options for relieving constipation. Any of those might help. It’s really trial and error, the solution different for each person.

      For GAPS, please ensure the yogurt ferments 24-29 hours, not more and not less.

      All my best,

  54. I have a question re. juicers. I know it’s recommended to have clear juice w-no pulp, but why? Is it because the pulp is deemed “too rough” or what? Or, is it because more veggies are used to make the pulp-less juice, (and therefore result in more vitamins, etc)? I haven’t bought one yet. I am eating nuts, which surely have more fiber/roughness than veggies.

    So how necessary is it to remove the pulp? I rather lean to thinking the WHOLE veggie, not just juice, is good for you…

    • Hi Emily,

      I’m not absolutely certain, but I believe the issue of concern is the uncooked fibre, which many, many people cannot handle at the stage in intro in which juices are introduced.

      If you know for sure your body is able to handle the uncooked fibres this early, feel free. Otherwise, folks tend to increase the amount of fibre in their juices over time (or continue leaving them out altogether, while eventually getting whole uncooked veggies in salads, etc).

      All my best,

  55. Hi again Baden

    Thank you so much for your prompt replies. I’m not sure where we would be without your assistance!!

    We started Stage 2 about 3 days ago. His stools as you know were greatly improved. However, 3 days in and he has done another wet stool with what appeared to be bit of undigested food from his casserole.

    Should we take a step back and go back to stock with meat? He still will not eat soup under any circumstances and regardless of the ingredients. He ate stock with the stock beef in it for a week and we are thinking maybe we should go back to that for a few days.

    Or, should we just assume that some stools will still have undigested food in it and continue to move forward?

    Thanks again.


    • Hi Andrew,

      Absolutely I would expect to see both undigested food and varying stool consistency for the first few weeks or even months. In my own son, who was also then three, I observed ever-changing consistency for the first several months, even though I was very careful with the program, and regardless of what he ate. Otherwise, he showed progress (with regressions, also par for the course) and the stools eventually resolved. So, I wouldn’t necessarily worry about it.

      This said, the reason we give each new thing four days to show effects is because it can take that long to. What was introduced three days ago? You might want to pull that food or prep out (until a date a few weeks from now), wait four days, then move to the subsequent food in the intro progression.

      It’s okay that he won’t eat soup. So long as he’s getting the components -boiled meat, fats, meat broth (which can be ingested in any of the creative ways listed here), it’s fine.

      All my best,

  56. Thank you for the encouragement, Baden. I made the “legal” yogurt. Propped the lid on the machine just a bit to keep the thermometer on the right temperature since it seemed a bit high. Tart enough to make my toes curl, but somehow pleasant. I’m planning on fermenting veggies in my oven with the light on. I used a canning jar to ferment beets and sauerkraut a couple of years ago and it turned out good.

    Tomorrow I will order the guide. Brain fog makes it hard to put all the info together so the guide will be helpful.

    My Mom lived until age 91 and would still be alive except for a freak accident. She was in better health than most sixty year olds. I miss her. Give your mother a hug for me, will you?


  57. Baden, might the 24 hour yogurt worsen already severe constipation to extreme? Could it be a die off reaction? It was worse than usual today. I have been drinking (a thick drink) the 8-10 hour yogurt a lot. At least a half quart a day. I used a bit more than half of that and mixed it with the sweeter yogurt. Maybe it was too much to start with.

    I don’t have the guide yet though I got an email that it was shipped. So as far as I know I’m not doing anything different than in the past couple of weeks. Bone broth in the morning and sometimes later in the day or evening hasn’t caused a problem. No other diet changes yet.

    I was looking at juicers on Amazon, and reviews. The reviewers who didn’t get good customer service have an influence on me. Would hate to spend all that money and have a problem with no customer service.

    Dr. Campbell-McBride used the term “pressing” to get juice. Doesn’t that take a very expensive machine? I’ve never been a juice lover. If the GAPS diet helps and I don’t need to continue juicing it would be an expensive counter decoration. Since it needs to be fresh pressed I can’t buy it at the health food store. Am hoping your guide recommends a less expensive alternative. I gave up milk for a year (last year) and made my own almond milk by soaking and blending the almonds, then draining it in a bag that came from the Yogourmet maker. Not being patient I ended up sqeezing the liquid out. I wonder if juice could be made that way?

    Thank you so much for being there.

    • Hi Peggy,

      Yes, the SCD/GAPS yogurt can indeed make constipation worse, by increasing die-off. This is why we start with a teaspoon (if that) of the yogurt and work up very slowly.

      Yes, the good juicers are very expensive and, yes, it does not make sense to purchase an appliance we will not use regularly. A good juicer will extract the most juice from the produce and also will do so without heating the juice in the process. People seem to be very happy with the Champion Juicer. I loved my Omega 8005, but returned it to the store after pieces broke off the auger and the Omega company refused to replace the piece without charge, despite the warranty. One tip offered in the GAPS Guide book around appliances is to buy second-hand. Why? So many people, yes, buy these new then don’t use them. Thus, they are often available used, but in excellent condition. The GAPS Guide book gives some ideas of where to find those. Yes, some people do make their juice the way you describe. That might be a good way to start.


  58. Thank you. The bad news is that I was so reckless. The good news is that the yogurt I made seems to be effective. I haven’t had any today and will try a small amount tomorrow.

    When I start intro, after I receive the guide, I think there is no yogurt right away. Hopefully I can still use some of the batch while it is still good. If not I’ll be sure to make a smaller amount when it’s time.

    Reminds me I need to order the Cod Liver Oil and Gee and the probiotic tonight so I won’t have to wait too long after the book comes.

    Bless you,

  59. Baden,

    Help! I made the sauerkraut, it’s been fermenting for a week. I can’t get myself past the smell! Any tips? If I can’t eat this how will my 3 yr old eat it? Also there’s mold on top, I was told to scrape it off.

    I have water kefir, can we just drink that instead of the fermented veggies?

    Another question, my DD is sensitive to pork, lamb, beef and chicken. I can only make broth from turkey, quail and lamb. The problem is I notice that the broth from those are not jelling, what am I doing wrong? I tried doing the broth for 8 hrs, I tried 24 hrs. I know the quail is really tiny and there’s barely anything. Am I just wasting my time? Should I try giving my DD broth from pork and beef? I’m desperate, I just feel like she’s drinking the broth and it’s got nothing in it.

    Also my DD might be switching to Neocate, it’s an elemental formula, the nutritionist assured me there are no corn proteins in it(there’s corn in the ingredients). I’m worried and not sure what to do. I know you told me earlier that it’s fine for her to be on formula while on GAPS. The one she’s on right now is called Alimentum RTF. What do you think? Is Neocate ok? Apparently it has no proteins at all, just amino acid based.

    Sorry for all my questions. Thanks!

    • Hi Scarlett,

      Sauerkraut – Without being able to sniff it, it’s impossible for me to know whether it’s a healthy -just strong- sauerkraut smell or an ‘off’ batch. My only suggestion would be to take it to a friend who enjoys sauerkraut -even a health food store worker if necessary- and ask them what they think of the scent. There is a difference between mould and what we call ‘bloom’. Bloom is fine to just scrape off; mould (eg. black, fuzzy, yucky looking) is another matter. A batch with unhealthy mould I would throw out.

      Probiotics – You can start with water kefir, yes. Be aware that kefir is very powerful, having both yeasts and bacteria. Start with a teaspoon or less. You’ll still want to get on the fermented veggies, though, for their stomach acid enhancing properties, etc.

      Broths – Don’t worry about them gelling, just carry on as-is. Some animals gel better than others, as do some parts of some animals. This said, sometimes bringing the broth to a boil can prevent gelling, and peaking it at a temperature just below that can help it gel. Gel or no gel, the meat broths are super nutritious and she is getting good stuff in drinking it!

      Formula – I would go ahead with the Neocate. I’m not a fan of formulas except in emergencies, and to me all commercial ones are similar in value -most if not all have stuff in them that aren’t ideal- but when circumstances dictate these to be essential to a family’s current circumstance, I wouldn’t worry too much about which one is being used. You’re a super conscientious mom and all will be well! One thing to be aware of is that the formulas may be exacerbating her allergies/intolerances as well as her general GAPS condition. It may be that when your circumstances allow her to come off the formula, her body will be able to move forward that much more easily.

      Besides formula, what does her food day look like in terms of foods, frequency and amounts?

      All my best,

  60. Hi Baden thanks so much for your kind reply. The sauerkraut is not good, well my dad tasted it and he said it’s too weak. Dh also said it’s too weak so do I just throw this away? I don’t get it, I got quite a bit of white mold or whatever it was on top, I did skim it. But maybe it needs to ferment longer?

    I just bought a picklemeister, that should help.

    Formula – yeah the one she’s on right now believe it or not(Alimentum RTF) contains sucrose. And DHA/ARA. It’s just a hypoallergenic formula so there will be still some proteins in there, the Neocate is amino-acid based, it’s for kids with GI problems and severe multiple food allergies. My DD is/was failure to thrive for a while, she’s still small and doesn’t eat much and her diet is so limited due to food allergies, I’m going insane I think.

    Broth – thanks, I’ll keep trying, so far she refuses to drink any broth except one made from turkey. She got a sip of one made from beef and liked it but she’s intolerant to beef. I don’t know what to do if I should just give her some beef broth, she seems ok when she had some last time, though in the test it showed she’s intolerant to it.

    As far as her diet, like I said it’s so limited. She’s been grain-free for a while, also dairy, soy-free. She does eat peanut butter and a few other nuts, I realized peanut is actually a legume. I’ll have to skip that for now, I’m so worried there’s nothing she can eat now. She’s intolerant to a bunch of stuff, it’s upsetting. So far she eats turkey, cod, quail, a few veggies that she’s ok with and a few fruits. Some nuts. I could not take them all right away as she was not eating, not sure if it’s ok to do a gradual switch.

    Thanks again! Sorry this is long! I appreciate your help so much!

    • Hi Scarlett,

      Sauerkraut – If it’s just ‘weak’ (as opposed to “gross”), I wouldn’t throw it away. I would eat it. What directions did you use? The ones in GAPS Guide? If so, did you ensure the correct temperature for the full seven days? Veggies submerged in liquid when the lid went on? Lid on tight? Kraut will also get stronger over time, ie. when opened then closed again and stored in the fridge. The ingredients will also make a difference: krauts with lots of garlic and onion will taste much stronger than ones made of just cabbage. You may also need more salt in your next batch. Enough salt -and submerging- will help the batch work and minimize or prevent mould.

      What are your daughter’s intolerance reactions? (Because of the experiences of many people on GAPS, my own son included, I don’t put much -if any- stock in food intolerance tests. Anything short of anaphylaxis or an otherwise severe reaction I would ignore.)

      You said above that you need to skip peanuts, too. Why is this? Just for intro, do you mean?

      It’s possible she will eat more if she goes onto GAPS minus formula via: Note that many children were diagnosed failure to thrive pre-GAPS, or were extraordinarily “picky” eaters, or literally could not keep food down -and that this changed with GAPS.

      All my best,

  61. I received the guide and a quick reading helped me understand the why of some things. I’m trying to work my way towards the diet slowly. Many things I’ve already been doing or doing without. I need to work at eliminating all dairy (raw cheese will be difficult, I don’t eat a lot but enjoy a small piece every day). Also my one cup of decf coffee has become a ritual. This morning I made it weaker and will make it weaker each morning until it’s not much different than water.

    One question, Baden: Some of the bones [from the broth], especially chicken or turkey, become quite soft and I enjoy chewing the soft ends off and eating the soft smaller bones. I have no idea if there is fiber in the bone itself. Do you know if this is a problem?


    • Hi Peggy,

      Sounds like you’ve got a great plan!

      And not only is your bone-gnawing habit not a problem, it’s a precious gift to your health! If only all of us were game to do this! So long as you’re avoiding any choking risks, of course, this is strongly recommended, as these parts are highly nourishing. Carry on!

      All my best,

  62. Baden, thank you for the encouraging words. When I read the messages from others, especially mothers trying so hard for their children, my problems seem small.

    Your guide also shows some of what you have gone through and still do for your child and yourself. With all that, you take so much time to help others. You are one special woman.

  63. Hi Baden, thanks again. I did follow the sauerkraut recipe on the GAPS book however the jar I used was very large and there was a huge gap. I put a glass to help submerge the cabbage(I used red cabbage). They still kept floating on top though. I guess I can keep it and see if it gets stronger. I’ll let you know. I’ll make another batch, my Dad said it needs to ferment longer. I wasn’t sure what temperature it was fermenting in, I left it on my countertop for 7 days, covered with a dishtowel. The lid wasn’t tight, I was told to not tighten it so the gasses can escape.

    I think I have to start from the beginning again, this whole week has been horrendous already. DD was not eating much at all and she’s so gassy, I’m assuming from the turkey broth. I may have put too much meat/skin/bones and not enough water to cook for 12 hrs. It was very oily and not appetizing at all. So frustrating, I feel I can’t ever get this thing started right.

    About food, I meant allergies, sorry. She does have food intolerances but she has IgE mediated allergies. Symptoms are usually stomachache, sometimes blood/mucus stool, irritable, not sleeping, raccoon eyes, rashes. The meats showed up as 2 positive on her last skin prick testing in Dec. I was wondering if I could at least give her the broth from those meats, you said as long as not anaphylaptic it’s ok right?

    Peanuts, I screwed up and let her have the peanut butter/egg pancake the other day, she wasn’t eating so I freaked out and gave in. 🙁

    Thanks again Baden, have a nice day! I appreciate your help.

    • Hi Scarlett,

      Frustration – I hear you! It sounds like it’s been a very difficult week indeed! Some weeks are like that, for sure. GAPS has a steep learning curve -so many new things!

      Sauerkraut – When fermenting, it’s key to follow instructions exactly as-is in whichever recipe you choose. (Actually, I find this key for anything I’m doing for a first, second or third time.) So, when following the one in GAPS Guide, it’s fine to have more than the minimum space between the veggies and the lid, we don’t use a plate or glass to submerge, we do use cabbage leaves to submerge, the lid is on tight, and the temperature must be held (therefore, monitored). There are other ways of making sauerkraut -plate submerge, no lid, etc, and those can work fine too, but it’s key that you choose one method and use it in a given batch, rather than mix and match approaches from various methods in one. Also, I find red cabbage more fussy than green. For some workshops, I rewrote the instructions. You might prefer this version.

      Broth – What Dr Natasha recommends is meat broth initially. This is a 1-3 hour simmer, depending on the type of meat. Please see GAPS Guide p 135.

      Allergies – Definitely give nothing that is known or suspected to produce a life-threatening or potentially life-threatening reaction. Beyond that, the matter of allergies is tricky. Have you read Dr Natasha’s article here?

      All my best,

  64. Thanks Baden, sorry I feel like I’m bothering you!

    Broth – I use a slow cooker(Crockpot), seems like a lot of the GAPS members do that too so that’s how I’ve been doing it.

    She’s not severely allergic to beef, pork and chicken so I thought I’d go ahead and give her the broth, just broth. No meats, maybe less reaction? This is so confusing. As I said she’s a 2 plus on those meats I mentioned.

    I did stick with the recipe on Dr. NCM’s book but I used red cabbage. Unfortunately I only have Dr. NCM’s revised book, I don’t have yours just yet. I’m waiting for someone to give it to me for my birthday.

    I think I’ll make the kraut with regular cabbage next time. Or maybe I’ll make something entirely different.

    Thanks for all your help!

    • Hi Scarlett,

      Many members make bone broth, hence the slow cooker/12 hours. When you get your GAPS Guide book (which I’m confident will be extremely useful/helpful to you), you’ll find detailed info on that there. In the meantime, stick with the meat broths, as many children react to the natural MSG -or perhaps other elements- in the bone broth.

      All my best,

  65. Oh ok, I got confused. I was confusing meat and bone broth. I thought in the intro that you’re supposed to use bone broth and the meat there too, I’ll have to check the book. I don’t remember seeing meat separate from the bone broth.

    I’m still confused and continue to be confused with this diet. 🙁

    I’d love to get your book but I can’t afford it right now.

  66. Hi Baden,
    I just started with intro three weeks ago, I am now on stage 3. I’ve been trying to recover from hormonal and digestive issues for about two years now without a lot of success. I am trying GAPS as a last resort after being gluten and dairy free for a while, and also after removing many other foods that I was supposed to be intolerant to (although after removing them I never felt anything good or bad). Pretty discouraging, but I am hanging there. I found your story very inspiring, since I also had mental issues, especially when I was a child. Thank you for writing your book and for the advise that you offer, it is very encouraging.
    I wanted to ask you something about the detox baths. I am worried about the toxins in tap water. I could use a chlorine filter, but there are so many other nasty things such as fluorine that I’m not sure if the baths may do more harm than good. Could you please comment on this?
    Thank you,

    • Hi Monica,

      Thank you very much for the kind words! And huge congratulations on three weeks of intro!

      I totally understand your concern. I have wanted a filtration system since I started GAPS, but still don’t have one. I think it would be ideal to have one, yes, but in my experience the baths work well regardless. My son and I both experience the effects of the baths, so I do believe the good of the detox to outweigh the negative of the chemicals in the water.

      Hope this helps…

      All my best,

  67. Hi Baden,
    Thank you! It feels great to have feedback from you, you are very generous. After so much struggle with my diet the GAPS protocol is not so bad after all. I will definitely try the baths, maybe with one of those chlorine shower filters. I think I might be having die off issues at half a capsule of biokult. It is amazing how I can feel fatigued with this small amount, when I could perfectly take a much larger amount of my old probiotic without noticing anything special. I am usually skeptical of everything before I experience it, but I just quit taking biokult for a couple of days during a weekend trip and felt much better. That’s why I think I need the baths. I will keep you posted in case someone else can benefit from this.
    Thank you again, you are awesome!

    • Hi Monica,

      Yes, 1/2 cap of BK can really do it! Did you start with 1/4 (or, if more sensitive/ill 1/10th cap)? If not, feel free to start again at that amount and work up by that increment weekly.

      The die-off relief baths should definitely help!

      All my best,

  68. Hello, I’d be very interested to know if you/someone zou know has had success with Alzheimer using the GAPS diet, please? If so, I would be very grateful for some feedback – prevention/reversal/general health and well-being…? Thank you!

    • Hi Cheerful,


      Two resources for you:
      1. Post to one of the support lists to ask your question there, to receive input from a wider range of people.
      2. Check out the work of the late Dr Abram Hoffer, who prescribed a diet very similar to GAPS to successfully alleviate symptoms of Alzheimers.

      The GAPS Guide book will walk you through how to do (or help someone else do) the program.

      All my best,

  69. Hi Baden,

    May I ask for recommendation on essential fatty acids supplements? We are currently using Nordic Naturals Pro-EFA and Barlean’s Omega Twin but these are now not available in Singapore. What other brands comply with GAPS?



  70. I have two foods that I just cannot figure out if they are legal or not. Is water kefir GAPS legal? Is bacon fat legal? I’m doing Intro right now, and I’m in Stage 2. If it’s not legal now, when will it be? (I’m pretty sure both of these foods are allowed on full GAPS, right?) Thanks!

    • Hi K,

      As far as I understand, the fat from any animal is fine, and right from the start (though bacon with its sugar would be avoided for some time).

      As far as I know, all types of kefir are permitted. You can start with a teaspoon of its whey (or, alternatively, water kefir) from Stage 1 and work up in tiny amounts and then to the actual kefir. However, please see in the GAPS Guide book, at the start of the “intro” information, my personal recommendation about when to start probiotics (including kefir’s whey).

      All my best,

  71. Hello Baden, is it normal to experience constipation at stage 1, after 3 days eating boiled meat and vegetables with stock ? I did not really have a bowel movement today. I eat red meat everyday, I can’t eat only chicken… Some people says red meat too much is bad. I don’t know what Dr. Natasha says about it. In stage 2 it says “soft boiled eggs in the soup”. That means I can eat whole eggs ? Because at the beginning of state 2 it says to take raw egg yolks. I don’t really want to waste eggs so that I may eat only the yolk. As I understand in stage 2, I can eat the whole egg ? Or should I only start with egg yolks ?


    • Hi Francois,

      Re: Constipation in intro. Yes. Please see the note at the top of p. 89 in GAPS Guide and follow the steps offered in that chapter.

      Red meat is fine and encouraged on GAPS. (It is likely die-off that is triggering the constipation, so the tips in the chapter referred to -as well as those in the die-off relief chapter starting p. 87- will help.)

      Re: Progression of eggs (as well as other people’s dietary ideas) – Do start with yolks dropped into soups, as intro states. With questions about doing anything differently than set out, please see this post.

      All my best,

  72. Hi Baden,

    I am a holistic health & nutrition counselor who works with GAPS. I am looking into continuing my education and receiving GAPS practitioner training. I understand that Dr. Natasha is developing a program for release in 2012. Do you know when it will be available and where I might find resources to learn more about it?

    Thank you,


    • Hi Emily,

      This sounds very, very exciting! I know not a thing about it so far. I suggest contacting Dr Natasha via her website at

      I look forward to hearing more!

      All my best,

  73. Hi Baden,

    Thanks so much to your reply on my enquiry re essential fatty acid supplements.

    I have another question. We have gone back to intro diet and already on stage 4. My son’s stools have a lot of undigested foods still but more worrying is that there are always lots of white specs even if he has not eaten any white veggies. Could this be fats that solidified into soaplike pieces? What could be done about this?

    Thanks and I’m looking forward to your reply and if anyone else can help, that would be highly appreciated.


    • Hi Mayette,

      I don’t know. I don’t worry about stools for the first few months after starting intro because they are so variable.

      Longer term, though, have you tried having him take a tablespoon of ACV in a cup of water 10-15 mins before each meal? (Maybe 1/3-1/2 of this would be enough for a child.) This can help digestion a lot.

      If you don’t hear from others here, please do also post to the support list.

      All my best,

  74. Thank you Baden. I did get a reply from the support list that a possibility could be a parasite called fluke. His most recent complete stool analysis did not show any parasite though.

    Best regards,

  75. Hello Baden,

    I was vegetarian before I went on GAPS. At the beginning I craved meat, and ate it every day. After a year and three months, I have stopped wanting to eat meat, and begun to feel physical revulsion to it, including fat ( though I am still having plenty of fish).
    At the same time, I still unable to tolerate any dairy whatsoever, or any beans, nuts or seeds, though I can now have lentils.

    I know you and your son are partly vegetarian. Do you know how far the vegetarianism can be taken without compromising healing? Can one depend on coconut oil and avocadoes, plus oily fish, for fat?

    Do you have any other advice about this?

    Many thanks,

    from Prem

    • Hi Prem,

      To be clear: My son and I are definitely not vegetarian, and very much omnivorous.

      My thoughts on vegetarianism are set out in the GAPS Guide book under the FAQ section. Have you read that over?

      On hot summer days I do not generally want meat and animal fats and allow myself what my body requests -salads, etc. However, the vast majority of days throughout the year we are eating primarily meats, animal fats, cooked veggies and eggs.

      In GAPS, animal fats are considered one of the critical healing foods. How you would fare without these, I really couldn’t say. My intuitive thought is that fish is a good source of daily protein, and so long as you are also getting its broth, as well organ meats for their unique offerings, you might be good to go for meat.

      I’m concerned that after 15 months on GAPS, your diet is limited to fish, coconut oil and vegetables and that you are repulsed by or intolerant to other healthy foods.
      Some questions:

      How are you feeling in general? How is your happiness, energy, will, weight, etc?
      Did you do intro?
      What has your experience with 24 hour fermented dairy kefir been?
      Are you fermenting your beans, nuts and seeds?

      All my best,

  76. Hi Baden,
    I’m hoping you can shed some light on a problem I’m having. Ive been doing the GAPS diet for about 7 months. I am definitely not ready to end the diet yet as I get a recurrence of symptoms (specifically some joint pain) if I try to eat any potatoes. But, I have noticed that over the last month or so I have been getting extremely tired, so tired that I might even call it lethargy. My sleep is not the best (I still have an infant in the house after all, and he still wants to nurse throughout the night), but the tiredness seems to be more than just lack of sleep. My gut feeling is that perhaps I am not consuming enough carbs, and this is leading to the extreme tiredness. Can the body function okay without many carbs? Do you know why I felt fine for the first six months on the diet, but now seem to have this problem? We aren’t really eating any lentils or white beans, so my carbs are limited to veggies and the 1-2 pieces of fruit I eat each day, plus a small amount in baked goods (that are only eaten a couple times/week).


    • Hi Sarah,

      Sorry you’re going through this incredible fatigue!

      I tend to trust one’s gut; at the same time, I offer these perspectives:

      GAPS is not a low-carb diet. For more info, please click here.

      Our energy comes from various sources, including fat.

      You might well be going through another round of die-off. It is common and normal (and desirable) to go through many rounds of die-off. Generally, most people seem to go through them about every three months. I remember that at about the same point, I experienced a profound round of die-off. Until I realized what was happening and began supporting myself around it, I could barely walk! I suggest the remedies here and seeing what happens. Let me know…

      All my best,

  77. Thanks Baden, for all of the info. I think that the way I’m eating GAPS, it has been low carb as I’m not eating nearly as many veggies as you. (I’m still in shock at your 15 cups/day!!) I think I’m probably averaging more like 4-7 cups of veggies/day. I think I will try increasing the veggies and maybe even fruits to see if it makes a difference. Starting intro again on the 11th should help with increasing the veggies! And thanks for letting me know it could be more die-off.

    • Hi Sarah,

      To clarify: That’s what I was eating during the ravenous part of intro. I eat less veggies than that now -probably more like what you are.


  78. I want to share that I was experiencing a lot of fatigue. Yesterday I took a lot of vitamin C until bowel tolerance, and then my symptoms (fatigue) disapeared to 70%. And I am feeling better today. Like my energy level increased a lot. So I’m taking vitamin c of good quality during the treatment (less than bowel tolerance, some grams), and I believe it can help for the die-off.

    I am forwarding in stage 2, though without taking the saukraut because I am waiting for the die-off symptoms to cease. I wanted to know something, tomorrow I am going to the restaurant with my family, I am only going to introduce cooked meat next week, so I wanted to know if it would bother that much if I take a roasted chicken tomorrow ? Now I am eating a lot of boiled eggs, I ate like 7 eggs today, is that too much for the intro ?

    If you find it would not be good for the roasted chicken I’ll try to find an egg salad without the sauce ;).

    Thanks ! 🙂

    • Hi Francois,

      Great that you have had some relief from the fatigue!! I know that’s been really hard for you.

      Anything that moves the bowels will definitely relieve die-off, as the toxins are able to leave the body. Perhaps you mean also that the Vitamin C helped relieve die-off even short of the direct exiting of toxins? (Please let me know, as I am curious about your experience.) If so, great! And thank you for letting readers know what has helped you!

      I strongly recommend not having restaurant food at this stage. It is up to you, of course, but since you asked I will say that I believe in the early stages of healing that it is best to eat pure food prepared at home. Many of us have learned the hard way that most restaurants do not understand the concept of limited ingredients. We ask for salad, they pour a sugared dressing on top, etc. They forget that their soup has potatoes in it or “they were just small ones”, etc. It’s just too hard to ensure the purest dishes unless we are creating them ourselves. You’ve worked so hard, Francois, to get this far on intro. I’d love to see you reap the full benefits, as efficiently as possible, with no unnecessary setbacks. My suggestion would be to eat before you go out, order a water, and enjoy wonderful conversation with your family! Alternatively, bring a thermos of stew to the restaurant, let your waiter know you are temporarily eating a restricted diet, and ask for a bowl to pour your stew into. (If you’re shy, you needn’t say anything at all and just ask a family member to request, while ordering, an extra bowl for your use.)

      Regarding introducing roasted meat earlier than scheduled, I refer you again to the post ‘Doing GAPS Just So’ 😉

      Eggs – It is fine to eat lots of them. It is important, though, that your primary foods continue to be broth, meat, fats. ie. Eat lots of eggs if you like, but not to the exclusion of these base foods.

      All my best,

  79. Thanks for the clarification about the veggies. I was wondering how anyone was able to keep up 15 cups/day after the intro. I’ll see how I feel on intro next week with more veggies than I’m having now, and hopefully things will improve. Thanks again.

  80. Hi Baden,

    Many thanks for letting me have your thoughts. I have just re-read the section on vegetarianism.

    To clarify – I am still eating goose fat once per day, ( a good tablespoon) when I disguise it in a stir fry with lots of ginger and garlic; and I am having two big mug fulls of fish bone broth with raw egg yolk, plus a generous serving of fish every day. I also have SKJ with every meal, beet kvass every day, and coconut kefir in the mornings.

    I can’t bring myself to eat more goose fat than that. I have lots of coconut and olive oil, plus daily servings of fish oil and seed oils, also nut oil.

    If I wanted meat, I wouldn’t hesitate to eat it – and am ready for this to happen.

    Yes, I did intro in June last year, and a relaxed version of it (with avocadoes and other vegs cooked, from day 1 ) again in February this year. Still, the only raw vegs I can eat are avocadoes and a small amount of SK (plus morning juice).

    I feel very healed from my terrible fatigue where I dared not even go upstairs unnecessarily, ( I can run for 20 minutes now, and do gardening for hours at a time!) and mentally in a much more positive space- but I still feel “droopy”, and as if I have not really shaken off the bad cold I got in September last year, or another I got in February this year. I have been losing weight since the second intro, but am still slightly overweight.

    Another problem I am having is that if I take ANY probiotics, I get insomnia. My solution is to have my probiotics in the morning, and even then I wake every night for between 5 mins and 2 hours.

    I have only tried 24 hour fermented yoghurt and also ghee (goats, and cows). 1 tsp was OK but 2 have me mucus. Would it be worth trying kefir instead, in your opinion? NCM says only to have it once a cup per day of yoghurt is tolerated – but this might be a personal thing? I do have an intuition that kefir may be OK Maybe that is just wishful thinking. It is magic stuff though.

    Are you fermenting your beans, nuts and seeds?

    I soak the lentils for 24 hours – is this right? I have muscle tested for nuts and beans, ( and got a no) and not dared to try them since the last time was such a disaster (pain and gas).


    • Hi Prem,

      Great that your capacity has increased so much!

      Your diet has a lot of great stuff in it! It sounds largely excellent!

      What happens when you eat raw veggies?

      My intuition is that you need to move forward with probiotics, working through the die-off to come out the other side. Tips:

      -mucous in stool is a common part of the healing process
      -mucous in nasal passages, etc, in response to probiotics I would consider/experiment with pushing through (see the FAQs re: ‘pushing through die-off’ at
      -you may be a person that needs to start with less probiotic and move up. See GG p. 109.
      -try fermenting your yogurt/kefir 36 hours; kefir is excellent to introduce -just be gentle as with its friendly yeasts it is more powerful than yogurt
      -lentils, etc, are to be soaked in water with a probiotic (kefir, whey, etc) added to it; I would forgo legumes for now and focus on probiotics

      All my best,

  81. Hi there !
    I’m on the gaps introduction for 2 days now but I’ve been following scd/gaps rules for a few months. Well I often cheated but now I feel like doing it seriously because I really think it’s worthwhile and my condition needs it.

    I’d like to ask you 2 things.
    I have to manage a chronic severe urinary infection with e.coli (usually no pain) since I’m a baby. I’m a 24 years old woman today. In fact, I was given lots of antibiotics to treat a cystisis (e.coli and pseudomonas in particular) in my childhood that made the bacteria super resistant. More and more antibiotics were given to treat the recurrent infection. Stupid strategy but I had nothing to say at this time ! So it’s still there and I learned this bacteria, beneficial or pathogen, normally lives in the intestine, it has nothing to do in the urinary canal. I’ve always experienced serious problems with the gut and the digestive system (indigestion, nausea, constipation, diarrhea,..), the vicious cycle is not broken yet.

    Any advices concerning urinary infection in the gaps diet ? Campbell said on gaps faqs : avoid foods rich in oxalates (nuts, tea, tomato, fruits of the forest, beetroot, spinach…) and salicylates (nuts, fruits, honey, olive and coconut oil, tea and so on. I got the list), drink plenty of water, etc. I think I have to manage a tricky pathogens overgrowth because when I eat fibres (fruits, cooked vegetables) nuts or honey, I don’t feel good and my digestion is bad. Luckily I feel very happy and satisfied with various meats and eggs and lots of fats so having a limited diet is not a frustration at all but my deep intention is to rebuild a good gut flora on the long run. Do you know somebody who experienced this type of pathology, I mean with e.coli or other urinary infection and what would be the advices for that ? I’m wondering how long it takes to recover.

    Secondly, I have ordered Bio-kult and plan to begin after one week or 2 on the intro diet. But with my condition I’m afraid about the maltodextrin it does contain. And I don’t want to eat the capsule, do you know if it is okay to open it and just take the powder with water or food without losing the benefits ? Is maltodextrin in the capsule or in the powder ?
    Can you tell me more about the best time to take it ? If I have to take it first thing in the morning and wait to eat for example or if it is better to have it with the meal, etc. I easily experience stomach crampings in the morning and take hot water. Does hot water kill the good bacteria when taken with the probiotics ? I’m looking for the rules around this probiotic. I found the official advices when I googled it but I miss the experience of people who tried it, in real life I mean 🙂

    I hope I don’t bother you with all these questions ! I’m so curious and like to have good informations and precisions and you seem to be a reliable source ! Good information enables me to make appropriate choices.

    It’s nice to share your knowledge and experience and it’s a great support.

    C. from Belgium

  82. Hi Baden,

    Thank you for those suggestions.
    The situation with probiotics is that I worked up VERY slowly to therapeutic dose and was fine for a long time. Then, when I started feeling better, three months after intro, I also suddenly foind I was allergic to everything. Cod liver oil and probiotics were the number one reactions – I would get a racing heart and insomnia. I tried six or so different brands of probiotics and CLO, but it makes no difference. Also, even a small amount is enough to trigger the reaction.

    It is only with dairy that I get the mucus – even 2 teaspoons are enough to make me full of mucus and sneezing.

    I will try 36 hour kefir. If I don’t even tolerate ghee, perhaps this won’t make a difference, but I think I should try it.

    With any raw vegs I get copious amounts of bad smelling gas. I thought this might be candida related, but if I have fruit, I don’t get this.

    I will definitely try fermenting my lentils with some whey. Thank you very much for your response.

    I would like to make some suggestions to “COYOTE”. I used to get recurring urinary tract infections which would quickly turn nasty. I discovered a formula which worked for me every time, very quickly, and was much more effective than antibiotics and Chinese herbs.

    Herbal tea made from dried

    cornsilk 50g
    marshmallow root 25g
    agrimony 25g and
    uva ursi 25g

    Steep 2 tsp of mixture to a cup of boiling water as you would make tea, for at least 5 minutes.

    Make endless cups of this and drink throughout the day instead of water.

    In addition, do not drink fruit juice, tea, coffee or alcohol, or eat anything acidic, eg cooked tomatoes or spinach. (If non- Gaps, avoid sugar also).

    In addition, you need to have 2 cups per day of unsweetened cranberry juice diluted with plenty of water.

    These are the instructions for the acute case. They would need to be modified for a long term treatment. A herbalist would probably advise.

    With best wishes,


  83. Hi Baden,

    Fingers crossed that this posts ok!

    I’m so excited your book as just been dispatched to me! I’m not sure if is going to be here in time for me to do my online shopping for the 11th so having gleaned as much as I can on your fabulous site through the brain fog and made a best guess – the shopping I’m about to order is listed below, please could you let me know if there is anything I should not order or anything I am missing? Thank you!

    Oh I should also mention that I do not have diarrhea, what I do have is a list of Neuro symptoms, brain fog, joint pain, heartburn/back between shoulders pain and total tiredness/insomnia.

    Milk thistle, spearmint and fennel

    romanie lettuce
    pak choi
    shitake mushroom
    onions red and white
    coconut water
    coconut oil
    olive oil
    salt pepper
    Apple Cider Vinegar
    frozen cranberries and blueberries
    Whole Chicken
    Beef plus bones
    Ground Almonds
    Coconut flour

    My supplements are
    Fish oil
    Bifidus …
    Wild oregano oil
    Extra ginger/turmeric/garlic
    Epsom salts for the bath

    Thank you so much for being there and doing what you do!

    I’m looking forward to taking this journey with you (all) 🙂

    Kind thoughts

    Nicola Ann <3

    • Hi Nicola Ann,

      For the first few days of intro, you need only:

      -meat and bones
      cookable GAPS-friendly veggies
      -fat from inside animals
      -sea salt
      -black peppercorns
      -whole ginger
      -everything referenced in the die-off relief post (enema kit, etc)
      -ingredients for homemade sauerkraut

      Shortly you will add egg yolk.

      The following will not be used for some weeks: raw veggies, coconut oil, ground almonds, fruits, other supplements, etc.

      Online shopping in advance will be tricky: Some people suddenly want immense amounts of the food starting a few days in.

      All my best,

  84. Hi Baden,

    Hearing you loud and clear thank you so very much … having you here is like having a most beautiful light at the end of maze of messy tunnels!

    Thank you,

    Kind thoughts


  85. Hi Baden,
    Is water kefir allowed during intro? I know that milk kefir is, as long as I have introduced it slowly, a spoonful at a time in my soups.

    But I am wondering if water kefir is different since the bacteria eat the sugar in the sugar water vs. the milk sugars in the milk.

    Should I try having a spoonful of water kefir each day to see if I react? Thank you!

  86. Hi Baden,
    I would like to get your thoughts on fermented foods. My husband and I have been on GAPS for 8 months now. I love everything fermented and eat tons of sauerkraut, fermented carrots, beet kvass etc. My husband however, cannot stand fermented veggies (he does eat yogurt and kiefer). I am trying to sneak in other varieties of fermented foods as I can with fermented condiments, fermented apple cider and such, to give him at least some variety of these crucial foods. I am wondering if ginger beer would be legal. Every recipe I have found calls for the use of sugar for fermentation (I have read that using honey slows down the fermentation process). I have found yeast-free recipes, but all contains sugar. I know that the fermentation process does break down the sugar, but don’t know if it does so enough for it to be GAPS legal. Summer is coming and a big frustration for him is that he can’t have much other than water (which is a good thing, but still frustrating for him) as he does not like any of the teas allowed on the diet. I was thinking that something like ginger beer may be a nice treat, if it doesn’t conflict with GAPS guidelines.

    Thank you in advance for your thoughts on this! I follow your blog closely and so appreciate all you do for the GAPS community.


  87. Hi Baden,
    So sorry for the loss of your job. I believe that all will be well for you and your son. Prayers going your way. 🙂

    I would like to know if drinking GT Kombucha is OK during Intro. I know that homemade kombucha is not recommended until full GAPS, but I wondered about the GT brand because it is not sweet at all.

    Thanks for your help, when you have the time.

  88. Hey all! We are gapsters for about 6 months, but between my cooking challenged self and my kids sensitivities to veggies, I feel like we haven’t made it that far (part of me has just been timid as to how to do this!). Can someone give an idea if I should worry about all that sulfur, oxalate, etc stuff, or just plow through. We get a lot of onry/aggressive/hyperactive behaviors with all these healing foods and I am prepared to push through and not worry about veggies (we don’t do the sweet ones), if it seems like there is a track record that “not worry” will work out. I just think sometimes that I have to figure out if my kid has a sulfur or oxalate sensitivity to succeed. Of course I try to examine the bigger sensitivies closer, like dairy and eggs.

    Thanks for your thoughts. I hope that wasn’t confusing.

    • Hi Tracy,

      My suggestion is to ignore stuff about oxalates, unfiltered water, sulfur, cruciferous + thyroid, etc, for the first few months. For simplicity’s sake, I suggest doing GAPS as presented for the first three months including intro. At that point, you’ll have a good idea of progress, what still needs attention, etc, then experiment with one tweak at a time, for example, removing oxalates.


  89. Thanks for those thoughts. We are 6 months along, so we are already at that timeline. I know certain veggies are difficult for my kid, but it is so difficult to figure it out and then there is also the multiplicative effect, etc. I live near Millie and have met with her a couple times and she is clearly the “walk through the fire” gal with great success. I just wonder if you have “oxlate/sulfur/whatever” issues if they will just resolve with time or do you need to figure them out.

    Not sure if there is an answer to that. 🙂


    • Hi Tracy,

      I can share our experience with oxalates, at least. We were on GAPS for ages when I decided to look into my son’s only persistent issues: nightwakings and bedwetting. It seemed that for the former there was a correlation to oxalates. Over time I slowly increased his oxalates until he was having ‘whatever’ and his sleep continued sound (except when ill, like the three nights previous to yesterday). You can read about our oxalate experiment here.

      In short, I think in some cases things will resolve in time, and in some cases things need to be ‘figured out’ and removed or treated.

      You can trial your kids on two weeks of low-oxalate, then add them back in, and see if there was a difference upon their removal or reintroduction. Then try another ‘family’ of potential culprit.


  90. Hi Baden,
    I have reactions with salicylates and also have to be very careful with my blood sugar level but tonight I craved for… raw apples ! And I feel so bad ! I was so happy not to eat sugary things (fruits and so on) In my bodymind I’m okay about avoiding certain foods but it’s like there was something wrong in my body as something was “disconnected”. Maybe some parasites need sugar to survive ? I feel like a slave… As if I had to feed something inside me but not me !!!
    Have you heard about Julia Ross (The mood cure) ? Do you have some tips to manage strong cravings for foods especially sugary foods ?
    (Well after all I’m happy I didn’t crave for the chocolate muffins that were on the table!!)
    Thanks !

    • Hi Vera,

      For GAPSy people, reactions to salicylates as well as blood sugar imbalances are common.

      Bacterial and yeast imbalances will cause our bodies to ‘cry out’ for sugars, etc. (They need them to survive, thrive and multiply.) It is important to override the cravings until the bacterias and yeasts are balanced out. Generally the worst of the cravings resolves after 4-5 days on intro.

      A favourite remedy for sugar cravings is fat. Spoonfuls and spoonfuls of it. Managing die-off, as detailed in the GAPS Guide book, is also critical.

      In avoiding the chocolate muffins sitting right on your table, you are my hero!!


  91. Hi Baden,
    Thanks !! You are such a good support !
    For me, the hardest thing to manage in the GAPSdiet is not the diet itself or the practical aspect of it (cooking everything at home for example) but it’s the emotions. What a business !
    And when you are alone and you have to face strong negative emotions, it’s hard to let it go (I speak for myself)
    Next time I’ll try to have a shower 🙂
    Thanks again !
    Have a nice day ! (here it’s the end of the day)

    • Hi Vera,

      Yes, somehow when we are doing physical healing, the emotional aspect can be huge and profound. I have lots of posts on my blog about the relationship between emotional stress and the gut, and it’s certainly true that when we start healing the gut, emotional stuff comes up for healing, too. It’s wild!

      Goodnight (where you are), dear Vera.


  92. Baden,
    Now that you’re back would you mind telling me your thoughts on water kefir? Can I do it during intro? I usually do strawberry, but I haven’t had any since starting intro, just making it for the family. But I prefer it over milk kefir, so I am wondering if it’s legal during intro (or just on full GAPS).

    • Hi K,

      Sorry I couldn’t answer you earlier (in the post job loss turmoil). There were several questions about ferment variations submitted around that time which I don’t know the answer to, so I collated them to send to Dr Natasha. She has kindly offered to answer those on her FAQ page at the end of this month. In the meantime, my best guess would be to go ahead and use the water kefir on intro, yes.

      Thanks for your understanding and patience, K, while I was unable to respond.


  93. No problem 🙂 I’m just glad that you’re here to answer. I don’t feel so overwhelmed knowing that other people are here doing GAPS too. I’ll start with a spoonful of water kefir and see how it goes. I’m in stage 4 now, but I’ll still go gradually.

  94. Hello Baden,

    My doctor recommended me to take flax seeds to help with constipation. So I introduced it 1 week ago and it seemed to help, I could have sometimes 2 bowel movement in the same day. Do you think flax seeds are a good thing for the intro ? I am finishing stage 3 soon.

    Thank you.

    • Hi Francois,

      For the answer, please see the post ‘Doing GAPS Just So’. To discuss doing things differently, please use the GAPShelp support list.


  95. @ François :
    please look at this :
    sometimes we think we have to take more fiber, it’s apparently helping us but in fact if you have a gut inflammation (constipation or diarrhea or both) fiber can irritate more your gut wall ! So in the long run it’s not the solution. I think Campbell is right when she says that the first thing is to heal the gut. Elaine Gottschal (SCD diet) didn’t recommend flax seeds, thinking they could feed some pathogens bacteria :
    look also there :
    Bone broth can help you healing the gut, avoiding fiber at the same time maybe for a few days ? But the transition can be hard !
    ((((((Do you speak french ? I do….)))))) 🙂

  96. I’m sure I’m missing something somewhere, but when do we stop peeling vegetables? I’m assuming at some point, they are healthy to include?

  97. I originally started my son on this diet for severe constipation. He was only going every 4-10 days. So I was delighted when last week he started going every day and then 2 times per day, then 3! I never thought I’d be saying this, but I’m now worried that he’s having diarrhea. He’s been going 3-4 times per day and it is very wet and most of the time it is leaking out of the diaper.

    I did start him on Bk around the time it started. Would the Bio Kult cause this if I’m giving him too much? I been trying to only give him 1/10 of a capsule, but the capsules are small, so it can be hard to judge sometimes. Or perhaps this is just normal is the only thing he is eating is soups, broth, and eggs?

    • Hi criabenson,

      Stools are tricky. In my son, they were totally random -all over the map- the first few months, yet he was healing very well!

      With multiple loose stools daily, it is important to make sure your son stays hydrated. Do you know where that post is on my blog? (Do a search for ‘electrolyte drinks’ or ‘surviving die-off’.)

      Yes, it’s possible that the probiotic (either through die-off or through additives) has triggered the loose stools. This said, it can also be any one of the foods. In my son, eggs were at one time a culprit, and orange squash was our primary remedy for constipation in him.

      Is he eating any fibrous veggies? Besides the 3-4 loose stools, how is he? Is he uncomfortable, energetic, happy, sad?


  98. @Vera, thank you for the information 🙂 Yes I speak french.

    @Baden, Hello Baden, I just introduced sauerkraut (1 teaspoon) yesterday and I feel tired again by introducing probiotic food. I was not feeling tired anymore when I stopped the probiotics. Should I take one teaspoon of Sauerkraut everyday even though ?

    • Hi Francois,

      You might be one of the super sensitive folks who need to start with even less probiotic. I suggest

      -two or more die-off relief baths daily
      -decreasing the amount of probiotic to, say, 1/4 teaspoon

      See how that goes…


  99. Hi Baden

    Its been a while since I was in touch but wanting to ask a question about Pro-Biotics. My son had been through the Intro Diet and is now on the full diet and doing well.

    He still has his melt downs and tantrum but it’s still early days and they are more manageable and less frequent since commencing GAPS.

    He is having one capsule of pro-biotic every day but is also having 2 cups of Water Kefir every day. Since adding the capsule, his diarrhea has started again.

    Is there such a thing as too much pro-biotic and could it be the factor that has triggered the diarrhea again?

    Also, can you tell me out of curiosity, did you do ABA with your son and if so, how significant was it?


    • Hi Andrew,

      Good to hear from you again! Great on your son’s progress -and on you for recognizing that there is still much time ahead to complete his healing!

      Definitely there is such a thing as too much probiotic, yes! Two cups of water kefir plus a commercial probiotic is a lot, especially for a child. Of course, different capsuled probiotics have different numbers of live units, so I can’t say off hand if it’s a lot or “a lot a lot”. The added amount could indeed be triggering the diarrhea. Did you start the commercial stuff at a portion of a capsule and work up? That can make all the difference.

      Re: ABA and my son. Pre-GAPS my son had several workers doing different things with him. I don’t know if any of it was called ABA (none of it was named for us); I do know that none of it seemed to help one iota. It merely helped me feel more sane, in that other people could see what was going on! Whatever it was that we were accessing and that wasn’t helping my son, Dr Natasha feels ABA is a wonderful support for kids, in tandem with GAPS. My son is still exceptional in some areas and I regularly consider whether additional supports might be a positive thing for him. It’s tricky, though, because he’s so healthy and happy! Appointments, costs over and above GAPS, etc, for a very healthy, happy boy… A tough call!


  100. Aside from the 3-4 loose stools, he seems like he’s doing well. He’s happy, eating and drinking well, seems that his energy is back up and he’s not nearly as sad and cranky as he was in the first 2 weeks of die off.

    I was very much ready to move forwards this past weekend with some stage 3 foods. He’d been on stage 1 and 2 for 2 weeks ( now getting closer to 3 weeks). His stools were nice and soft and he seemed to be recovering from all his die off issues.

    He’s been drinking the broth, eating meat, carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, onions, garlic, eggplant, peppers, egg yolks, cod liver oil, and about 6 teaspoons of sauerkraut juices, for a couple weeks now. I also recently introduced avocado and he’s been doing well with that.

    So, this past weekend i introduced scrambled eggs and a 1/10 capsule of BK and it’s been really loose ever since. I’ve now taken him off of BK for the past 2 days with no improvement.

    I’m now trying to consider 2 things:

    1) How long would it take BK to get out of his system if that were the cause?

    Should I remove scrambled eggs since he was doing fine on the yolks? If so, do i need to go back to stage 1 and start over in order to clear his system of that food? Also, what should I move forward with in the diet if eggs are out? Is there a recipe to make the nut butter pancakes that doesn’t have egg?

    Thank you for all your help. Having two kids on GAPS at the same time makes life interesting. Every time I solve one of their issues, the other child starts having new worries:)

    • Hi criabenson,

      Great on how your son is doing other than the new development of looser stool! With how well he’s doing otherwise, I wouldn’t worry too much about the stools. Sometimes they do their own thing for some weeks or months.

      This said, the stool change could be due to one of any number of things, including either the introduction of BK or scrambled eggs (or both), yes. Very early on, eggs triggered liquid stools in my son. What I would do is this: Take both out for now. Keep him at the stage he was most recently doing well on, so all those foods, CLO, etc. (Do not return him to Stage 1. It’s probably not going to be necessary.) Keep him there for about four days, or until the stools firm up, whichever comes first. Then intro scrambled eggs and see what happens. Then get back to me 🙂

      All my best,

  101. Baden,
    Do you know of any Type 1 diabetics who have been successful getting off of insulin injections through the GAPS diet? I’ve been off of all grains, sugars, and fruits for 17 years. And I haven’t eaten processed foods for over 30 years. Do you think it’s necessary for me to go on the Introduction diet?

    • Hi Aimee,

      I haven’t yet heard directly from anyone dealing with T1D, but Dr Natasha has, and has wonderful information on ‘Diabetes’ (both types) on her FAQ page here.

      Yes, do intro.

      All my best,

  102. Hi,
    I have been on the intro diet for almost two weeks. First week was rough, tiredness, headaches every day, nausea… it passed and i started adding egg yolks, but my stomach does not seem to appreciate that. The major issue is that I am still constipated! I did buy a juicer yesterday and hope that will help. My digestive issues have not been too bad, so I don’t understand why I continue to be constipated. I had a very difficult time digesting fats, but I think this is improving some.

    • Hi Elena,

      The constipation you are experiencing is quite common in intro, regardless of what our elimination was like previous to it. Yes, proceed with the juiced carrot + CLO and hopefully that helps. If not, work through each of the tips under the ‘constipation’ and ‘die-off relief’ sections of your GAPS Guide book and see which one does the trick for your body.

      All my best,

  103. Hi Baden , I’ m in 2nd. and third stages of Gap Intro diet. Can I introduce greens cooked like spinach, chard, kale, cabbage? Also do I need to continue cooking all the veggies for 25-30 minutes. Or is it sufficient to cook them for 10-15 minutes. When I add herbs like parsley, cilantro, oregano and thyme –fresh—can I add at end of cooking just before serving? Thanks for your answers in advance. Valarie Read

    • Hi Valarie,

      Yes, from the beginning you can add any veggies you can tolerate. Folks with hurting digestive tracts need to avoid fibrous ones (cabbage, celery, etc) but once a person is ready for them, these can also be introduced.

      With time and healing, you will be able to gradually reduce your veggie cooking time. Stage 2 is still 25+ mins, soon you’ll be at stove-cooked onions at 20 mins, etc.

      Simmer the fresh herbs with everything else for now. After some healing, you can add these later and later to the dishes for less and less cooking time, as with the veggies.

      All my best,

  104. Hi Baden,
    I am struggling with how to approach GAPS for my family. I am breastfeeding a 5 month old who has multiple food intolerances and a lot of digestive pain (which is what brought me to GAPS). I’m sure that I have leaky gut (severe hayfever) and candida issues and passed this on to the baby. I know that it’s not recommended to do the intro while breastfeeding but I want to heal quickly to help my baby heal.
    My husband and toddler will do the full intro and I will start introducing solids for the baby as described by Dr. Natasha. If I’m cooking intro for them….I’ll probably be close to the intro for myself. Will I still be able to heal this way? I’ll be breastfeeding for at least another year and I don’t know if I can wait that long to heal. I also want to help my infant to heal as quickly as possible. Currently we are getting no sleep and the poor little guy is in so much pain. Do you have any advice? Thank you,

    • Hi Colleen,

      So sorry I missed answering yours earlier!

      I think your plan, as follows, is excellent!

      -husband and toddler (non-nursing) = intro
      -baby (nursing) = GAPS progression for babies per baby pages at, or intro plus breastmilk
      -you (nursing the baby) = full GAPS; similar to the hubby and toddler you’ll cook for, but with full GAPS foods supplementing those dishes to keep your milk supply and energy up and the detox offload to your baby minimal. Be sure to read the notes under ‘Breastfeeding’ here.

      As always, I strongly recommend the whole family start on p. 28 of GAPS Guide.

      Yes, you will heal well this way. You can do intro later for an extra boost, like so many of us are doing right now.

      All my best,

  105. Dear Baden

    I wrote to you several days ago on the issue of Helicobacter Pylori.

    I have a link to Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride so I am writing to her to see if she can suggest a practioner in the United Kingdom as there is no one listed.

    I am struggling at the moment as my symptoms are so overwhelming and I have a son to look after. Did you keep a copy of the letter I sent to you as I would like to send this to Dr Campbell-McBride rather than start from scratch?

    Kind Regards


    • Dear Carol,

      Yes, your original comment is (currently) second from the bottom on this page: (with my response below it).

      Again, while I understand the preference to consult live where possible, if you cannot locate an available practitioner in your area, many of the ones listed through this site and the GAPS Guide book are very skilled at assisting people by phone or email, from anywhere in the world. Of course, Dr Natasha herself practices out of the UK and, schedule permitting, is available both live and by email/phone, with excellent results to people near and far.

      Carol, if you do receive more specific information on targeting pylori, please do fill us in.

      All my best,

  106. Baden,

    Question for you. I’m on Stage 5 and feeling good on all the foods. I note Stage 6 is apples. However, my body does not seem to want apples right now (and I actually do love them normally), but I do want to move onto some other things in Full GAPs such as other dairies.

    My dilemma is surrounding your advice to do GAPs as laid out, yet I’m conflicted with listening to when I’m ready for foods. Which do you think should take preference? Should I eat the apple to move through Stage 6 officially or wait until my body is desiring fruit?

    • Hi Colleen,

      I suggest reviewing the information about this on page 44. In short, though: Feel free to skip the fruits and move on to full GAPS.

      And CONGRATS on getting to this point!! Well done! 🙂

      All my best,

  107. Dear Baden

    This is the reply from Dr Campbell-McBride.

    You can do the programme with H Pylori and gastritis. Start with Gaps Intro Diet, giving first stage 1-2 days, 2nd stage a bit longer – get the stomach pain going away, then move on through the stages.

    Introduce a good probiotic, she recommends Bio-Kult, start from 1 caps per day for 3-5 days, then 2 per day etc until you get up to 10 per day. Stay on this dose for 6-8 months, then gradually reduce to a maintenance level of 2-4 caps per day.

    Take cod liver oil from – at least 1 full teaspoon per day for a year at least.

    No other supplements at this stage.

    H pylori is an opportunist, it only causes trouble when you gut flora is abnormal. Once you restore your gut you will not need to eradicate it. More than 90% of people on this planet have H Pylori and about 80% of them have no symptoms.

    Best Wishes


    • Carol,

      Thanks so much for sharing this with us all! I imagine it must feel very affirming and reassuring to hear it from Dr Natasha herself 🙂

      My own recommendation re: BioKult is to start at 1/10th-1/4 cap, in your case 1/10th.

      All my best,

  108. Baden
    I’d like to do the intro but I feel stuck on how to properly prepare the soups and boiled meats. Can you pass along some simple soup recipes for the early stages (1-3)? The last time I did the intro I was worried about being tired so I went overboard with the veggies in the soup. Also I’ve never boiled meat or vegetables. Am I doing this in water or in stock? How much liquid? How much time?

    I cook all the time but I’ve never prepared my meat or vegetables in this way.

    Thanks in advance for your assistance!

    • Hi Charisse,

      In the ‘Preparing for GAPS’ section of the GAPS Guide book I present my approach to making soups. I don’t have any one combination I follow; it’s a bit of a free for all in my kitchen. When I did measure early in my first round of GAPS’ intro, I know I did about 15 cups of veggies to 500 grams of beef, which is a lot of veggies, but what my body likes. A person can use less.

      Please review that section in GAPS Guide then let me know how you’re doing.

      All my best,

  109. Good day Baden,

    I was wondering if you know anything about homeopathy and gaps. Since homeopathy contains lactose and sugar, I don’t know if the amount can interfere with the healing with gaps. I know that Dr. Natasha Campbell recommands it for cold. But if I take it everyday, like 6 pills a day, and once a week 15 pills of another remedy, I don’t know if it can bother. The naturopath told me that it would not.

    • Hi Francois,

      Sorry, I know nothing about homeopathics, and the relationship between their amounts and GAPS.

      I would try the steps set out under the ‘Questions? box at the top of the blog’s homepage and see what you might be able to find out.

      All my best,

  110. Hello Baden,

    I can’t say Thank You enough for your site and all you do to help Gapsters! I just made it through my first week on Gap’s and there is no way I could have survived without all the support I found thru reading your site.

    I just had a quick question for you. I don’t have any major health issues. Just some IBS type stuff and other little things going on. I am feeling really good already, but I have noticed when I wake up in the morning I have some heartburn/acid reflux. It is actually causing me to have a hoarse throat. I do not have heartburn during the day. I’ve been taking HCL with my meals. Alot of Lacto ferments.
    I wanted to see what you thought I should do? Wait it out a couple more weeks, or stop the HCL?

    Thank you!!!!!! 😉


    • Hi Jody,

      I’m so sorry for the long delay in responding…

      Did you find Nicola Ann’s response to your query? If so, are her tips helping?

      I’m not familiar with heartburn that happens only first thing in the morning and not after meals, but… I would suggest trying the tips listed here and see if it makes a difference. It’s *possible* that’s what’s happening is the HCL is, after some healing, now too much for your body and it no longer needs it. (A slight “burning” sensation is the indication to start reducing/weaning off the HCL.) Which to try first -starting the ACV, etc, before meals or reducing the HCL- I’m not sure, though I think I would start with adding the acid-increasers before meals.

      Please do let us all know how things develop…

      All my best,

  111. Hi Jody … My mum has been having acid reflux and she has found the apple cider vinegar before food and salt soaked almonds after food to have helped amazingly well (2 days to be pain free) … whether this would work for you with your last meal/snack of the day and hold the symptoms at bay through into the morning I don’t know – but worth a try!

    Good Luck

    Kind and Healthy Thoughts

    Nicola Ann

  112. Hi Baden,

    Update …

    1. Spoke to Dr he says all my tests are normal – and suggested beta blockers … I asked him if he would take them for this and he said no …

    2. Friend suggested hypoglycemia … it would tally with the hunger, heart racing and fatigue

    hmmmmmm what to do …


  113. Dear Baden,
    I honestly cannot thank you enough for your book, blog and generosity in answering all these questions! I can’t believe you are so kind to do that for us and that you respond so graciously every time. I have just spent hours reading all of these questions and answers so that I could find the answers to my questions! I have found MANY answers. I also listened to your interview with Starlene and it was awesome!
    I come from a “Nourishing Traditions” background and so I’m adjusting to the differences in the INTRO. I have a couple of questions I hope you don’t mind answering!
    Can you saute the onions (or veggies) before putting them in the soup? If so, is lard okay to use? (I have good Amish Lard) or is it okay to use coconut oil? or should I look for goose or duck fat?
    It seems like you say it’s okay to put small amounts of honey in ginger tea during intro, Is 1 tsp to a full 16 oz. cup okay? Or is 1/2 better? What should I limit my honey to daily? I don’t want to go overboard with honey because I’m having some sugar cravings!
    If I’ve been taking fermented cod liver oil for a while, should I cut it out during intro and then reintroduce it when it’s time to introduce ghee? I’m assuming the same for high vitamin butter oil?
    Also, are red bell peppers allowed in soups on intro?

    Thank you so much for your kindness!!


    PS I’m the same Suzy that left you a comment on Friday about how much I loved your book!

    • Hi Suzy,

      Thanks so much for reading the GAPS Guide book and so much of the blog material before posting questions! That really helps me out a lot!

      1. Sauteeing for soups – I’m not sure what Dr Natasha’s answer would be, but to be safe I would start by not sauteeing and only boiling. I would start sauteeing only after the stage of long-simmered onions. In intro, use any fat from the inside of any animal and/or, when introduced, ghee. Do not use coconut in intro.

      2. Honey tolerance is different for everyone. Some can have none, some a few teaspoons -spread over the course of the day- in teas. Up to a teaspoon in 16 oz of tea will be fine for many. This said, the fastest way to kill sugar cravings is to avoid all sweets. This would then make moot the question of how much honey 🙂

      3. Yes, take out the FCLO for the start of intro. Add it back in -at a starting dose- whenever you wish. (You will likely want to focus on adding various foods first.)

      4. Yes, same goes for the HVBO, which can be added at the ghee point.

      5. Yes, include any tolerated, lower-fibre, GAPS veggie, including red bell peppers, right from the start.

      All my best,

  114. Hi Baden,
    Thank you so much for your time in answering these questions. I got your book last week and am finding it helpful.
    I am exclusively breastfeeding an infant that has some horrible digestive issues. I started full GAPS a few weeks ago and havent seen much improvement–he must still be reacting to foods I’m eating. My husband and toddler will start the intro on Friday and I will continue to supplement with full GAPS.

    My question: I’m not sure how to proceed– how do I figure out if the baby is reacting to my ‘die-off’ or reacting to a food that I ate? On a FAQ from Dr. Natasha she recommends juicing while breastfeeding and focussing on animal fats– but my baby definitely reacts to eggs and dairy…I’m confused. …and really wishing I found this diet before getting pregnant! Any advice would be appreciated.
    Thank you!

    • Hi Colleen,

      Neither dairy nor eggs is necessary for GAPS, so you can eliminate these, as well as any other foods you know or suspect your baby to be reactive to.

      By animal fats, we are generally referring to those coming from the insides of animals. Use these in plenty. Your infant may (or may not) be okay with ghee, which could be tested two weeks after removing all dairy.

      The ‘differentiating die-off vs intolerance’ question is probably the most difficult one on GAPS, and one we only figure out by trial and error, and coming to know our bodies.

      For now, what you can do is

      -take out any foods you know or suspect your baby to be reactive to
      -see where things are at
      -if there are still indications of intolerance, pull out one more food or food group for two weeks, and see what happens

      Yes, I think all of us Mamas wish we’d found the program before pregnancy, but rest assured you and your baby will heal, just like the rest of us! 🙂

      Have you located the post called ‘Intro Blogs’ (see the this blog’s ‘Support’ page)? It has other breastfeeding mamas working through similar questions.

      All my best,

  115. As a follow up to that last question…
    With what foods could I supplement intro, if baby isn’t tolerating eggs, dairy and ( I suspect) nuts?

    • Hi Colleen,

      Meats, copious fats, veggies, and probiotics will be a sufficient diet -even for a nursing mom. As a nursing mom whose baby is not yet tolerating dairy, nuts and eggs, you can also include fruit. Over time, more will be able to be added.

      Yes, the blogs of nursing moms who have opted to do intro or something very close to it will likely prove very helpful to you! When you comment on their blogs, they will be able to tell you how they are getting calories in, satiated, etc.

      My own son was 100% dependent on breastmilk to age two, and still nursing heavily when we started SCD at his age 3.25. All was well! 🙂

      All my best,

  116. Thank you, Baden! I hadn’t seen that intro blog page and I just checked out a few of them– they will definitely help. I really appreciate your reassurance.

  117. Hello Baden,

    I am still on GAPS. I have difficulty to drink the chicken broth, it’s like I had enough of this :P. So now I’m doing the diet without drinking it a lot… My question was if it’s okay if I like to eat nuts, like peanut butter and almond butter. Is it okay if I take it kind of a lot ? Like sometimes when I am hungry ? I could increase a little bit my probiotics intake, so I guess it’s a sign that I am improving. I was at 1/8 of a teaspoon of sauerkraut a week, now I am like at twice a week.



    • Hi Francois,

      Please try to drink broth of some animal daily.

      Yes, nuts are included on GAPS. Eating a lot of them is an issue, though. They should be a supplement in your diet, not a staple. Most of your food should be meat, fats, veggies.

      Great that you have been able to increase the probiotics! How is your fatigue doing?

      All my best,

  118. Thank you Baden for your answer. I’ll try to drink broth daily, but it’s like I am fed up of it 😛 And I can’t eat vegetables other than during my lunch and dinner usually. I feel good energy as long as I don’t take too much probiotics. Is being able to increase probiotics a sign of healing ?

    • Hi Francois,

      In addition to Vera’s wonderful tip, you might also enjoy the post I made regarding kids not keen on broth. You’re not a kid, of course, but the tips are still delicious:

      Yes, being able to increase the probiotics is indeed a sign of healing! One of the biggest and best! I’m so excited for you, Francois!

      Great news on the improved energy, too!!

      All my best,

  119. Francois: I understand you, I had the same as you, especially with the weather, a little hot broth while that is no longer as attractive ‘Winter …
    So for now, I’m more broth but rather a kind of stew cooked in the oven. I get bone marrow and meat (it could be chicken wings, boiled beef, the lamb neck meat … cheap! but good quality). It is important that there is any bone, if you put no bone marrow. I baste the meat with spices (freshly ground black pepper, sea salt, herbs de provence, cumin, fennel, coriander, etc.) and I put everything in a casserole with a little water. You let cook at low temperature, + / – 85 ° (approximate course) for 1h30, then you should check from time to time it depends, sometimes it’s less. The bone marrow cooked in this way is to die … And the meat comes out delicious, very different from when it leaves the stock. But you still feeding the liquid in which everything was cooked without the broth aside.
    Anyway I do not take the stock all day, maybe I am a bad student, at least I feel really good like that …
    Me, I’m not of probiotics for the moment and that’s ok 🙂 I just started making yogurt 24. Biokult and remains in a corner of my kitchen very good. It is also true that Campbell does not recommend the use of probiotics right away because the diet itself is already very powerful and wanting to do too much, maybe we give too much work to the body.

    @ François (sorry for the english-speaking….) : je te comprends j’ai eu le même que toi, d’autant plus qu’avec le temps qu’il fait, un petit bouillon tout chaud n’est plus aussi attirant qu’en hiver…
    Alors pour le moment, je fais plus de bouillons mais plutôt des sortes de ragoût cuits au four. Je me procure des os à moëlle et de la viande (ça peut être des ailes de poulet, du bouilli, du collier d’agneau… des viandes pas chères !! mais de bonne qualité). C’est important qu’il y a ait de l’os, si tu ne mets pas d’os à moëlle. Je badigeonne la viande d’épices (poivre noir fraichement moulu, sel marin, herbes de provence, cumin, fenouil, coriandre, etc) et je mets tout dans une cocotte avec un fond d’eau. Tu laisses cuire à basse température, +/- 85° (approximatif bien sur) pendant 1h30, enfin il faut vérifier de temps en temps ça dépend, parfois c’est moins. La moëlle de l’os cuite de cette manière c’est à mourir… Et la viande en ressort délicieuse, très différente de quand elle sort du bouillon. Mais tu as quand même le liquide nourrissant dans lequel tout a cuit sans avoir ce côté bouillon.
    Quoiqu’il en soit je ne prends pas du bouillon tous les jours, peut-être que je suis une mauvaise élève, en tout cas je me sens vraiment bien comme ça…
    Perso, je prends pas non plus de probiotiques pour le moment et c’est ok 🙂 J’ai juste commencé à faire du yaourt 24h. Et le biokult reste dans un coin de ma cuisine bien sage. C’est vrai aussi que Campbell déconseille de recourir tout de suite aux probiotiques car la diète en elle-même est déjà très puissante et en voulant faire trop, on donne peut-être trop de travail au corps.

  120. Dear Baden

    I am having trouble making Sauerkraut. I cannot tolerate kefir or dairy whey so it seems to be the only probiotic food I can introduce. I wonder if you have tried.

    I have attempted to make it 3 times. The first 2 times it had definitely gone off. This time I am not sure. Is it meant to test acidic? Mine doesn’t.

    I asked my German friend for help. She said people in Germany do not make it in Germany anymore instead they buy it from jars in the shop. This is not an alternative for me for various reasons. People used to make big barrels or jars and store it for at least 3 weeks in the cellar. According to my friend it is not ready before this. It was never put in the fridge but could be kept all winter in the cellar.

    If you have had success making this I would appreciate any advice you can give me as I am very confused and uncertain about how to make this.

    Dr Campbell Mcbride recommended a practioner to me. I had one consultation with her but can afford no more. This practioner said I must not introduce probiotics but try to introduce saukerkraut.

    Kind Regards


    • Hi Carol,

      Yes, I make sauerkraut. Please see the recipe and directions in your GAPS Guide book. That is how I do it. There are many different ways one can make sauerkraut. The way I present is simplest and can be done anywhere. It does not need to be in a cellar, nor left for three weeks, and we don’t test for acidity levels.

      When unable to tolerate dairy, you also have the option of non-dairy kefir, such as water kefir and coconut kefir. You can Google for instructions on these.

      All my best,

  121. Dear Baden

    Thank you for your quick reply.

    I have never heard of water kefir. I looked it up on the internet but couldn’t find what it is specifically made from. I cannot tolerate coconut if this is what it is. Do you know?

    It would be great if I could use it because I could ferment vegetables and fish. It will be hard to be totally reliant on sauerkraut as my only fermented food. It is not easy to make with a bad back.

    I wonder if I can remove the juice from the cabbage by juicing. Then just add the remains of the cabbage to the juice. If it was that easy I am sure it would be in the recipe but I will try anyway and see what happens.

    Thanks for your help.

    Kind Regards


  122. Hi Baden,

    Thanks for your site and your book. My two daughters and I are on the intro of gaps stage 2/stage 3. I have lots more symptoms than they do, and they seem to be doing lots better than I did, until recently, and as nearly as I can figure from what I have been reading it’s because I upped the probiotic too fast.

    From reading on here I realize that I have done all sorts of little things wrong, like sauteing onions before putting them in broth, maybe not staying long enough on one food before adding in the next. I have been giving magnesium for constipation instead of enemas. The kit is pretty expensive and i was hoping I wouldn’t need it. I think I might have started ghee too early, I thought the more fat would help with my daughter’s constipation, but now I worry that I didn’t leave milk products out long enough. I started butter for them a couple weeks ago (after all except the ghee had been out for 6 weeks), but that was about the same time I went up too fast on probiotics, so I’m not sure if it was the probiotics or the butter that bothered them.

    I’m having a lot of exhaustion and brain fog which has made it hard to orchestrate this for three different people, and life is very stressful at the moment. still I feel very strongly that this diet is good for us. When I get myself back together a little I think I will re-start myself on the intro as I have had problems from the beginning, but have tried to keep things moving for them. Now I’m concerned that with my being not quite right with the intro that I should start them again, too. I just don’t want to have messed up their healing process.

    Thanks for any insight you might have, and for taking time. You are wonderful

  123. Hi Mary,

    Yes, increasing the probiotics too fast is probably the most common mistake. (The next most common would be not ensuring daily bowel movements and/or die-off relief baths.)

    The body appreciates all support toward its natural inclination to heal, so I’m confident your bodies are progressing despite the small mistakes, which we all make.

    Dairy (except ghee) out for six weeks is excellent. I understand that by introducing butter at the same time as increasing probiotics it’s impossible to tell which triggered issues, but I don’t think you need to start over. (If we all started over every time we made a misstep in intro, none of us would ever complete it!)

    What I would do is this:

    -reduce the probiotics to starting doses
    -continue moving forward through intro
    -get to and enjoy full GAPS
    -do intro again after six months to a year

    Just to note: Enema supplies should not be expensive. Besides the child-friendly tip noted in the GAPS Guide book, the only thing needed is the ‘hot water bottle’ type bag from your local pharmacy. However, magnesium works great for many people. As long as the stool is exiting the body, and via GAPS-friendly ingredients, that’s the important thing.

    All my best,

  124. Thanks Baden, for the quick reply. You and your site/book are a God-send.

    I didn’t realize how important the baths are. We don’t actually have a bathtub so I use a big bin for the girls (usually they just get a shower), and it’s a bit of a work-out to dump and all, but I will get more baths in. And I noticed earlier your suggestion to someone else for foot-baths so I will try that for me.

    Thanks again for the encouraging words and advice!


  125. Hi Baden,

    I wonder whether the terrible three (relapse after 3 months into intro) can also be the terrible two… About 2 months in Intro and am experiencing my worse time in terms of liquid stools and sometimes true diarrhea, stomach cramps and obsessive thoughts, hopelessness, anger… you name it. I was doing fairly OK and introduced some juicing, increased kefir and sauerkraut, and continued with soups, eggs, detox baths, etc. My stools were improving and I felt good. I did not have major cravings and apart from some painkillers I did not depart from the diet. I removed kefir and fermented vegetables and am back to stage 1-2. I have been like that for 6 days now and I noticed my anger increases at each moment and I have not seen any improvements. I cannot stand the thought of all the limitations my gaps-state has given me throughout my life, while most of my friends my age have never even gone to the doctor once. How am I going to fulfill my dreams and live the life I long for if I am so constantly in pain and prone to so many problems? I feel very nasty inside, does this happens to other gapsters? I am so negative, today I do not see any light, any meaning…why is this happening now? I am also using the concept of “habit” you wrote about to turn around each ‘negative habit’ in me, but really this week nothing is working.


    • Hi Jo,

      As I said in another reply (a few minutes ago), I will be posting soon about relapses. In the meantime, one can read in their GAPS Guide book under ‘ Unexplained Relapse ‘. But I wanted to reply to you directly in the meantime…

      YES! Other GAPSters go through this. Mood changes, the return of any previous symptom, etc, are common. Terrible, but true. It is temporary. I’m so sorry you’re going through such an awful time of it. It is indeed incredibly frustrating to experience poor health when friends who’ve not invested energy in health are feeling tickedyboo, I know.

      Question: How many (different) die-off relief baths and bowel movements are you having daily?

      All my best,

  126. A comment about water kefir for Carol:

    I make it with water kefir grains, water, peeled and chopped ginger root and honey.

    I find it better if you briefly boil the ginger first, but that’s not neccessary. Just make sure you let it cool so it doesn’t kill your culture.

  127. Dear Jo

    I understand how you feel Jo. I have been ill myself for a very long time – exhausted all the time, migraines, difficult to walk, I can only potter around the house so I have missed out greatly on my son growing up (now 12 years old), limited use of my arms. I went on an Elimination Diet and found I could hardly introduce anything. I became intolerant to the few foods I was eating and ended up eating ice cube portions of food. I will not bother telling you the rest. I am only trying to show you that it has not been easy.

    I now realise I have been my worse enemy – too impatient, often panicking (eg running out of money),putting my life on hold until I got better.

    I couple of years ago I did improve by using Neutralisation which Dr Campbell McBride recommends in her book. I do not recommend this treatment until the gut is healed. The only reason it worked for me was because I was taking a drug called Denol (which coats the upper gut protecting it from inflammation). Even then the injections were very unstable because of my leaky gut. I have now developed bismuth toxicity (a metal toxicity) from taking this drug and have since found that Denol interferes with the absorption of fat. I am still recovering from this effect. When I came off Denol the injections became even more unstable. I am just writing this down so no one considers this option! It would be much better to allow the gut to heal so you can eat the food without having to rely on injections which are costly.

    I had tests done to measure levels of fatty acids in my body. I found I had extremely low levels of the fatty acids derived from animal fat. In particular arachidonic acid and adrenic acid. Arachidonic acid is needed to fight infection and inflammation. I think I am right in saying that all our pain and discomfort is caused by inflammation. Adrenic acid is made from arachidonic acid. It is necessary to produce hormones (without hormones we are on a downward spiral) – adrenal glands, thyroid glands etc. When we have a lot of inflammation and infection (parasites etc) we use up these two fatty acids very quickly so we need a lot to recover. So you can see how important animal fat is (which includes dairy). Eggs are an excellent source of arachodonic acid and will help you to heal in lots of ways. If you can eat eggs that is brilliant!

    So you can see from the above how essential animal fat is for you to heal. It will take a while to build these fatty acids up so you will need to be patient on this. I know this is not easy when you cannot see this happening and just have to take someones word for it that it will happen. My suggestion is just to be thankful you can eat the foods that contain these so you recover eventually. In the United Kingdom we are given the impression that animal fat and dairy is bad for us. It makes me wonder if this is why so many of us are in poor health.

    By the way you can live with a parasite in your gut. My husband has one and is fit and well.

    I may be wrong but I get the impression that you have deteriorated recently because you have increased your intake of probiotic food so although it is hard and definitely goes against the grain for me, maybe you need to be very patient and proceed more slowly. Could you try only taking a little bit of juice and watering it down? It is so discouraging to go backwards. I know in the past all I wanted to see was progress. However from my own experience in trying to get better, I believe in the long run proceeding slowly will achieve quicker results.

    It is very hard to watch people of your age leading normal lives. My friends are what keeps me going at the moment (and my family). When I listen to them telling me about there busy lives, when I am cooped up in the house all day, I try to be pleased for them. It is hard to feel you are missing out but maybe things could be worse.

    For example, I could walk until my son was 7. When I could no longer, I wished I could just go back to when I could. I did not appreciate how wonderful it is to be able to walk until I could no longer do so.

    Following a Chelation Therapy to remove heavy metal toxicity I became rapidly worse. I now have autonomous neuropathy which causes burning pain in the nerves throughout my body including my digestive system. It also can cause a feeling of anxiety in the nerves throughout my body – a feeling I have never experienced before and is unbearable. Now I wish I could go back to when I was living with just pain and tiredness! However I know someone who is bedridden and can eat no fat so I could be worse!

    I often think my friends do not appreciate their good health. They tell me their problems and worries and I think to myself I wish I had problems like that! I do not comment though because their problems are still a real problem to them. I wonder if I had not been ill would I be happy? It seems to me that because some of my friends do not have bigger problems to occupy their mind they worry about little things which we maybe would just dismiss. Would I be doing the same? I don’t necessarily have to be right on this.

    I have been stuck on meat/fish and stock/broth for 2 months and can only eat a small amount of 3 types of vegetables. I tried a spoonful of sauerkraut juice the other day and had a massive reaction – inflammation in the stomach – pain, burning nerves especially my eyes, tongue, teeth and throat. Every time I woke up during the night my heart was racing and I was sweating. I am waiting to go into a multidisciplinary Clinic in a hospital. A year ago I could have got better using the GAPS programme only.

    I hope you can find consolation that it is not to late for you to get better by following the gaps programme even though it will require patience and for you not to feel despair and frustation when it does not go smoothly. Not being patient enough has been my downfall. This is a non invasive healing treatment. I believe having tried other quick fix treatments that this is the right way because the body will heal slowly at its own pace. Any reaction experienced, I would guess, is telling you to slow down.

    I am constantly being told not to keep looking forward but live in the present, appreciate the times I do not feel so bad. Feeling despair and fighting the pain makes the pain or discomfort feel even worse. You will have to accept it for the time being. Not easy to do though.

    I hope you are not offended by anything I have written. I completely understand how you are feeling because I have been there myself. However I am trying to stop thinking this way because it has been counterproductive. In particular despairing and not being patient and consequently rushing into things has been my downfall.

    Incidentally since the allergies/inflammation have spread throughout my body the impact on my upper and lower back has lessened so I am more mobile. If I had typed this e mail before I would not have been able to have used my arm for the rest of the day and had to pin my arm by my side. So I am grateful for that improvement. One doctor told me allergies/inflammation always find your weakest point.

    I would guess some of your negative thoughts are down to your body not working properly. Once it starts healing maybe your low mood will naturally lift of its own accord.

    I hope all the information in this email is correct. If Baden or anyone else see any errors please can correct me. I cannot believe I am offering advice when I am so new to the programme.

    All the best Jo.


    • Carol: To add to Jo’s response, I just wanted to say bless you for your kindness in writing such a long and thoughtful reply to dear Jo! Your empathy and compassion which triggered you to type is incredibly generous. Absolutely you are correct that digestive illness -and temporary relapse/healing crisis- can crash our mood, yes. (Also of note: It sounds like you are one of the people so sensitive/ill that you will need to introduce probiotic sources at profoundly small amounts, like that which can rest on the tip of a knife, or that much once a week to start, or a capsule dissolved in water then taken by dropper.) Thank you so much for sharing all this experience and wisdom with us all!

      Jo: Two comments ago you were reading my mind. I had decided it was time to post on this very subject, and your comment came up! Yes, a two-month relapse may well be happening for you. Until my post comes along, please see the section “Unexplained Relapse” in your GAPS Guide book.

  128. Hi Carol,

    I am touched that you devoted so much care in responding to me, despite your pain. I could not contain my tears when reading your email. I am also touched by what you say and by your generosity. I am not there yet, perhaps am just a very bad person, but my dominant feelings are anger, jealousy, fear, distrust. I think you are right that these feelings carry an additional burden, but for now it is difficult for me to let them go.

    I am honest, am especially distressed at the idea that I might never make real my dream of being a mother and that my life will just be a meaningless series of pains. I think you are right that most of my negativity comes from my body feeling bad but also my attitude. For instance, at this very moment I am holding my stomach because I do not want to experience diarrhea again: this is me, if I could I would force my body into not feeling what it is feeling!.

    And at the same time I cannot stop fighting and cannot take no as an answer. There must be a way, I say to myself, even if this means praying with all the intensity I can put together… There is something in me that does not let me accept, let go, let be. And this constant fight, I know, is weakening me. I wish I could hold you, and me and all the people in pain and give us all respite, comfort, full and complete healing. There is so much we could give to the world, why can’t we just lift this heavy blanket of pain off our shoulders and start giving and receiving as we would like to?

    For many years I thought my troubles were mostly due to my difficult past, to the difficult way I was brought up, to the lack of love. I think these issues played a big role, but there is something more and the gaps diet is a very hopeful discovery. I am trying to work in both direction, the emotional and the physical, but I still feel I have not found my way, my tools, am still searching and this, too, is another exhausting thing.

    I am in owe at the amazing things you were able to do and accept. Before people like you I feel little, like a little brat, I bow to your patience and character. I cannot even imagine how I could get to that point. I thought I was becoming more mature, but am regressing quickly each time the pain lasts too long or get too unbearable. I also notice that each episode creates in me a new layer of trauma, so I entangle myself even more in this situation. I retrace back to all the times I felt sick and at this point a surge of anger and “it’s not fair” kicks in.

    But your post is so incredibly generous that I feel I want to find little daily ways to increase my patience. Perhaps I could channel this negative energy and inability to let go into something more constructive. Even if I do not have a clue how.

    I feel like virtually hugging you and sending you blessings, prays, good wishes.

    Thank you,


  129. Dear Jo

    Thank you for your kind words. I am so sorry to hear your poor health is preventing you from having a child. It is no wonder you feel the way you do.

    I am not a better person than you. I wrote to you because your email struck a cord with me. I have felt a lot of anger particularly towards the people whose advice and treatment have made me worse. However I know this anger is doing me harm and they did not do it on purpose. It has happened and I have to go forward.

    I am lucky to have a lovely son to keep fighting for. I feel you are right not to have a baby until your health has improved. I have found it a real struggle to bring up my son and have only been able to do it with the help of my wonderful parents.

    I do believe that you will get better on this programme. After 12 years of trying to find the answers I finally have, but too late! For so long practioners have talked to me about leaky guts and good and bad bacteria and I must heal the gut wall. For the last couple of years I have learnt the importance of fats in your body. Every cell in your body has a membrane made up of fats (fatty acids). Your nerves need fats for the myelin sheath and nerves are how are body registers pain.

    This programme addresses these issues. It also removes the food the bad bacteria thrive on.

    I have seen numerous private doctors over the past 12 years and when I read the GAPs book all the missing pieces slotted into place.

    Try not to be discouraged every time you have a setback. It seems to be a normal part of the process. Of course you want to be better now, not some unknown time in the future but don’t push forward too fast. If so your body will let you know that you are going faster than it can cope with.

    Instead of holding on to your abdomen through fear of diarrhoea, I try to relax the area between my lower ribs (stomach) and my abdomen. Maybe you could try doing this.

    Negative thoughts will effect your physical health. Maybe this makes you feel even more hopeless because you feel you cannot stop them. However the fact that you can take probiotics to replenish the gut flora and you did feel better indicates to me that you can correct your gut flora and consequently heal the gut wall. I am guessing you will have to proceed slowly with this because the die-off from taking these may make your bowel movements worse. If I was you I would proceed slowly so as not to be discouraged by setbacks and so your body does not have to recover each time which slows things down in the long run. Maybe going at a slower pace will achieve quicker results in the end.

    They have proved that a cancer patient is far more likely to be cured if they are positive.

    Please don’t feel you are a bad person. I have felt like you and sometimes still do. I am not an expert so the advice I have given is only my gut instinct. Baden, please can you correct anything you disagree with.

    Best Wishes


  130. Dear Baden

    I did not see your email to me until I had written to Jo.

    I would like to thank you for all the time and effort you devote to helping us.

    Thank you for the comment on probiotics. I will try this.

    Best Wishes


  131. Dear Baden,

    Thank you for your concern. In the last week I had about 3-4 liquid stools a day and often feel bad after eating. I am often hungry and perhaps eat too much animal meat. The sauerkraut and kefir were helping me digesting it (ACV is not great for me) and now that I am in a strict stage 1 I miss their effect, but if I eat them the cramps and diarrhea kicks in. As for detox baths I have one a day during week days and twice in the weekend.
    I guess you and Caron are right about going slowly. I have also many things that make me pretty unhappy and increasing laughter can only help. I am also convinced that I need to make a bigger effort to reach out and find like-minded people, I am way too isolated and closed up. Thank you once again for your concerns!

    Dear Carol,

    Thank you once again for sharing your story and opening up. I am sure this does not come easy and I appreciate your advice enormously. Your emails made me realize I need to make a bigger effort to reach out in my community and look for people like you, sharing more of me and feeling I can receive but also give. One of the things I miss is a sense of purpose, of being helpful. What is my calling? At the moment I feel am just consuming so many resources without giving back, because I have just enough health to survive not to contribute. Perhaps in a bigger circle of people I can find additional strength, what you all have showed me here, in this forum, which has been invaluable. So perhaps Baden’s suggestion to laugh more can be for me to laugh more with other people. Easy said than done…

    ps. today am not holding my stomach and just let it be what it wants to be… thank you!


  132. Dear Jo

    You portray your emotions with much clarity and I can understand how you feel.

    You have no need to feel guilty because you are suffering and did not inflict this upon yourself.

    I have a few friends that do raise my spirits but I must be honest there are other friends who I avoid in as far as I can who are inclined, at present, to drag me down.

    The time I am with my good friends gives me a period of relief and distraction from my health problems. Their company can lessen severe pain and discomfort and lift my spirits. I always try to be happy when I am with them because I want them to remain my friends and keep visiting me! My friends say they like to come and see me because it provides them with time to relax from their busy lives so it is of mutual benefit.

    I will leave it to Baden to provide advice on your medical condition. However I am sure you can and will get better. I have despaired in the past and was certain it was impossible for me to get better when infact there was an answer out there.

    Keep persevering Jo. You will get there.

    Best Wishes


  133. Hi Baden

    My name is Simone and I live in Australia.

    I am really enjoying your blog as we are in the process of following the GAPS diet but I have a question to ask you on eczema.

    My 5 year old has had eczema for about 4 years and I am finding that with following some GAPS diet protocols its starting to get better but with die off I find its up and down with eczema flare ups due to die off.

    I have tried all the natural things such as coconut oil etc that people say to try to try and get the eczema healed but these things only make it worse and it never clears with natural treatments and it gets worse to the point it bleeds, gets raw etc and we are so worried that it will get infected (as it has before) that we use a cortisone/steroid cream to treat it as its the only thing we have found to heal it. I don’t like using it but it does get rid of it.

    My question to you is what did you use to treat eczema or what do others use to treat it that has helped other than steroid creams and does using steroid creams short term undo all the work that the die off has done?


    • Hi Simone,

      Great to have you with us!

      Have you seen this blog’s eczema post? It is a compilation of all the tips submitted so far. What works is different for everyone, so one would need to work through the list methodically. It’s normal for eczema to flare during healing, however, as you note it’s also very important to prevent infection. Here is the post:

      I know the natural healing world generally discourages to use of steroid creams; at the same time I don’t think using a small amount from time to time would necessarily undo healing. (Generally, ‘toxicity’ is all about amounts.) On the page I’ve linked to is a product called Dermamed which is supposed to be a natural alternative to cortisone. You might find this helpful in conjunction with the other healing supports outlined in that post.

      All my best,

  134. Thanks for replying about my question in regards to eczema, I found the eczema information very helpful. I actually ordered some of the Algoo eczema seaweed stuff about a week ago so I can’t wait to get this and use it.

    I wanted to also ask you if my son is very sensitive to dairy and can’t tolerate even butter or ghee, what can I use as a butter substitute on muffins etc as he likes butter on his muffins? I would love to have a nice tasty alternative to this but not sure what to use?

    Also are you able to suggest any lunch subsitutes that I can use in place of his usual sandwiches that he has been used to in the past, I need easy subsitutes for sandwiches for his preschool lunches. I just don’t think he will eat stews and soup at preschool and they won’t heat it up for him anyway. So it needs to be cold things and preferably something that is like a sandwich so he can feel like the other kids. Thanks.

    • Hi Simone,

      Tasty is subjective, so what will work for your son on muffins will depend on him. Coconut oil, olive oil, banana slices or jam, duck fat + salt, etc, are all possibilities.

      For lunches, it’s best to get a child (and adult) bringing the food that keeps them healthiest rather than that which most closely resembles their peers’. GAPS is a great opportunity to teach our kids and ourselves an emotional/psychological freedom, which will serve them well in many areas. A heat-conditioned Thermos will allow food to be eaten hot anywhere. This said, sandwhich bread can be made with coconut flour or almond flour, as can crepes to serve as ‘wraps’ for any ingredients. Sandwich ingredients can also be wrapped in large lettuce or kale leaves. Crackers can also be made.

      All my best,

  135. Dear Baden,
    For people with a new diagnosis of cancer and who are looking to boost the immune system prior to starting chemotherapy, I would imagine it would be helpful to do GAPS. In your experience, have you known people who found this to be so? If so, would it be best to start with the full GAPS or the Intro?
    All best,

    • Hi Beth,

      I don’t specifically know of anyone who has trialed a relationship between GAPS and pre-chemotherapy immunity. Where a person is looking to heal cancer, I recommend speaking to a practitioner. It might also be worth a phone consult to the office of Dr Karen Parmar is familiar with and supportive of GAPS, and Dr Gurdev Parmar runs a cutting-edge, progressive, international clinic for healing cancer. (They are a husband/wife team, with several other practitioners on site as well.) I’m sure there are other great resources out there, too.

      All my best,

  136. Hi Baden

    My son has been quite hyperactive today and I am not sure if its die off or food intolerance reactions. His symptoms have been bloated, wind and he has been hyperactive and also silly and laughing inappropriately at things and very impulsive, these have been his die off reactions before so it may be die off or the only other thing is I gave him some almond bread (almond flour, duck fat and organic eggs) and he had 2 thin slices today and I don’t know if its a food intolerance reaction to that?

    I just don’t know though if a food intolerance reaction would cause the silly and inapproriate behaviour?

    What are your thoughts on this?

    • Hi Simone,

      Your son sounds uncannily like mine!

      If the almond flour was new to him, I’d suspect that. Yes, both food reactions (allergic or intensively healing) and die-off can definitely produce behavioural oddities. The only way to know is to take the almonds back out (assuming this was a new addition), give him lots of die-off relief support, wait til he’s back to normal, then try the almonds again.

      All my best,

  137. Dear Jo

    I have just picked up on your email posted under ‘laughter’ in response to my email on 5 June. I was not aware I put it under this section.

    Great that you are eating liver but I felt I should caution you about onions. I know a lot of people who are relatively well who cannot eat onions without it upsetting their tummy.

    I feel I have lectured you a lot in my emails which I hate to do please accept my intentions are good. However you have borne it very well.

    Onions and leeks are great foods for feeding the beneficial bacteria in the lower gut. However, these bacteria can move up into the upper gut (stomach and small intestine). If this has happened leeks and onions will also feed this bacteria there – upper gut fermentation.

    I believe if you have a fungal overgrowth only this will not be a problem.

    I have a bacterial overgrowth rather than fungal. When the bacteria in my upper gut was suppressed by herbal products I could eat leeks and onions. I found after eating them I felt so much better.This has something to do with the process of fermentation by the bacteria on these foods producing a substantial amount of energy in the form of heat . Not too sure about the details – too complicated. I found after eating these foods I was not reaching for my usual cup of coffee in the afternoon and my general mood was better. Maybe they will do the same for you.

    I used to slice up the leeks and cook them in coconut oil in the oven. I am sure the oil helped as well.

    If I stopped taking the herbal products, after several weeks, my problem with these foods would return. For me this was gurgling in the stomach (between the ribs). I did not understand what was going on at the time.

    If you have a problem with these foods is it possible it is contributing to you loose stools.

    All the best


    Dear Baden

    Can you correct my if you differ on any of the above.

    Did you reply to Jo’s email on 5 June? I just wanted to check in case you missed it.

    Kind Regards


  138. Dear Carol,

    Thank you once again for sharing your experience. You make me realize that perhaps I do not know how to read the signals that come from my body. I have all sorts of gurgling and my stools are loose or worse every day. Plus, this week I vomited twice and then felt better afterwards. I am convinced that most of it is emotional – there are so many emotions I am processing at the moment, I think this is a very intense time in my life in terms of inner changes. Yet, I seem to be failing at getting better. I have chicken broth several times a day, minimal fermented foods, am careful on almost anything, but I seem to be vomiting for no apparent reason – if not the emotional one. The only thing that might contributing and that am unable to correct is that I eat a lot, I use food perhaps to compensate for my emotional needs, even if it is all good foods and and have no apparent cravings. Today I am trying to eat less, but I feel I am going into circles, trying to reduce, correct, monitor without getting anywhere. I thought the gurgling was the least of the things I should worry about, but perhaps I should start from there and listen to when it happens.
    I realize faith is such a crucial resource: having faith, trusting that I will get where I want to be. But most of the time is a blind trust, without assurance, without knowing absolutely anything.
    I am very grateful that you are sharing your experience, this is all so useful for me! Please do not think for a second this is something to “bear”, this is a gift!


  139. Dear Jo

    You are having a tough time. I hope it is of some consolation to you that I am too. I know it is not going to be easy. The uncertainty is hard to cope with especially when you do not feel you are making progress but you must never give up hope Jo.

    I can tell you what I have experienced so far on the programme and my interpretations. I do like to understand what is going on in my body. However, I have found in the past sometimes my interpretations have been wrong and lead me down the wrong path.

    One comment made on the GAPsdiet support list seemed to make sense . It said

    ‘ It seems like we have to experiment. I think part of why these diets take so long to heal is because it might take a year before we get settled into the right routine for our own individual body.’

    I wouldn’t pay too much attention to gurgling sensations in your body. It is estimated 85% of people with IBS have ‘upper gut fermentation’.

    I doctor told me that gut problems always starts with abnormal gut flora in the lower bowel so unless you correct it here first, you cannot resolve the problem further up in the gut. I have managed to suppress the problem in the upper gut in the past with herbal drugs and other products (but I am certain in the long run these did me more harm than good) however, without the lower gut flora being corrected it will always come back. Some one on the Gapsdiet support list said the diet in itself is like an antibiotic course.

    If you have pain located around the lower ribs, there will be inflammation in the stomach. I have this but the diet has made it so much better. Before I started, some days I was curled up all day on the settee with excruciating pain in my stomach and abdomen. Now I have the pain on and off only mildly.

    I have been sick a few times. Twice this was due to consuming too much fat. The other time was when I introduced egg yolk. I felt like I was doing okay with egg although my hands became sore and dry. I have never had eczema before. My stools gradually deteriorated and muscles throughout my body began to ache intensely. It hurt to move. The pain in my stomach and abdomen returned, just to touch these areas made me feel sick and I was violently sick.

    Dr Campbell-Mcbride recommends only eating meat stock/broth and meat if you feel up to it when there is profuse watery diarrhoea. So I went back to this for a few days and my stools improved. The intense pain also went.

    I then went on to reintroduce some vegetables – 1 at a time. I am only eating 4 vegetables at the moment. If you have a fungal overgrowth it seems you will have to miss out sweet vegetables such as carrots and squash. I think a problem with fruit would indicate a fungal overgrowth. Not 100 percent sure on this.

    Up until recently I was eating chicken, turkey and beef but I am cutting out turkey because I have a feeling it is making me ill. It has never felt right when I eat it, like I do not want to eat any more. So maybe the comment above that we will have to experiment is true. It is good that you are eating chicken. I find chicken easier to digest.

    It is unusual to be intolerant to lamb. It might be worth trying. I relied very heavily on lamb at one time and eventually became intolerant to it but this took a long time. However it maybe harder to digest than chicken.

    I only eat as much as my body would like. As soon as I do not feel like any more I stop. Some days I do not feel like much meat.

    Chicken is not very fatty so I buy chicken skins from my butcher. I heat them in the oven and add the fat that comes off to the stock. I buy fatty cuts of beef so I do not have to add extra fat to this. It is also cheaper! Fat is what keeps my hunger at bay.

    I would guess you are like me and will have a problem digesting fat. If so you will gradually have to increase your bodies ability to digest fat by slowly eating more and more. Stools turn yellowish when there is undigested fat. Mine almost always are at the moment.

    I find baths with Epsom Salts provide some relief.

    Today I am trying a teaspoonful of sauerkraut juice from a jar I purchased from the internet (fingers crossed!). Baden has said in one of her replies that it will not so potent as homemade sauerkraut. I also want to know what sauerkraut should taste like for when I make it myself.

    I hope the above is of some help Jo.



  140. Hi Carol,

    The problem with digesting fat makes sense to me. This week I tried the broth with bone marrow only (I usually have meat broth), and after a few hours I was vomiting and stools got very greasy. Lard and duck fat are ok only in small quantities and from time to time. Chicken broth seems to be working best for me but I try to diversify and have lamb and beef too. Even liver was ok but I did not feel very good afterward, I will do without onions next time, just liver in the broth and nothing else. Sardines seem ok and am usually having a broth made with the heads and grill the rest, but not more than once a week or so. I guess as you said it is all a question of portions: I can have a yolk from time to time, but too many or at the wrong time in the day (in the evening) and I react.

    Fat is indeed essential and perhaps my inability to absorbe them properly is the cause of my many hormonal problems. I have to increase the fat I can stand, such as the chicken’s one and perhaps I can use the idea of the skin! I mostly buy chicken in the store labeled as organic and free range, but a proper pasture one would be different, I know…

    I like the idea of experimenting, and I know that there is a huge resistance in me in going by the book – I always want to skip the steps and jump forward. if I could just go slowly, half of my problems would be gone in weeks.

    Good luck with sauerkraut! I did exactly the same: first I bought one and then I made it myself. But the taste is still pretty different… An alternative to store bought sauerkraut could be to let it ferment 7-8 days, I notice that I can digest it better (well, just the juice mostly) if it ferments longer. If I let it out only 4-5 days is never enough for me.

    Have a good weekend, Carol, and bless you for your wisdom and the gifts you are giving me,


  141. Hi Baden,

    You certainly have a full plate, I can see, with the many queries you receive regarding GAPS…I don’t want to take much more of your time. I wanted to tell you that I have been reading the GAPS Guide book you wrote and already have had my husband request that I give it to a friend. And I have already promised my McBride GAPS book to someone else, LOL!

    So, I have a question for you… In the years that I have been teaching and consulting with people for their healing, I have given away numerous important books. I began buying them wholesale when I could so that I could afford to give them away…I have encountered many people who are financially challenged and I just cannot leave them without information.

    Do you sell your book wholesale? Might I purchase some copies directly from you? This is not a business for me…it is a ministry. I was hoping to purchase McBride’s book wholesale but am unsure of how to contact her to ask… I hope you do not mind the request; I understand if you cannot sell to me wholesale, but I thought it wouldn’t hurt to ask.

    I’m very excited about our progress with GAPS; now that I have my arms around it, I am able to add my previous body of knowledge and I understand what I’m seeing in my family; I’m also tweaking the protocol with herbs for healing. I know so many people who need this healing program and I am going to start proselytizing a.s.a.p! 🙂

    Thanks again for your time and bless you! Gabi

    PS…feel free to contact me directly by email if you wish.

    • Hi Gabi,

      Thank you so much for your generosity to so many! I don’t have or handle copies of GAPS Guide myself. International Nutrition ( does make it available wholesale/bulk, though. Please do contact them about this.

      I’m so happy you’re already seeing results in your family! Have you considered taking the GAPS Practitioner course, Gabi? Your education and experience would make you invaluable in this specific field!

      All my best,

  142. Hi Baden

    I am trying to get my kids to eat more of the softer gelatinous parts of the chicken meat, so I boiled up a chicken and then took off all the skin, chicken from around the bones and everywhere else as well as the gelatin that set after it was boiled. I then took it all and threw it in the food processor to blend it all up into a chicken puree type things. This way I think it will be a lot easier for my kids to eat as they don’t like chicken skin by itself, so this way they can’t see it. I just wanted to check first if this is ok for them to eat all of this on the GAPS diet, I think it is but wanted to check?

    • Absolutely, Simone! This is an excellent approach. I use and recommend it, calling it a pâté. Adding a bit of white meat can give it a heartier, less fatty consistency which might be preferred by some. My son digs into this with a spoon!

      Your intuition about how to live GAPS day to day is working splendidly!

      All my best,

  143. Dear Jo

    Thank you for the suggestion on sauerkraut. I will try leaving it longer. Do you put it in the fridge after 7-8 days? My friend from Germany tells me to put it in a cool place and it will keep for years but when I tried, it went off after 2 weeks from making it?

    You have a good selection of meats. Did you see Simone’s suggestion above, on 12 June, on blending together the meat with the gelatinous parts to make a pate? I am going to try this. I have a feeling it will be much easier for me to digest.

    Your reluctance to follow the strict guidelines, ‘going by the book’, may hint at why you are struggling. It suggests to me that you have a mind of your own. As I read it the GAPs diet requires individuals to modify it to suit their own body’s requirements. However by experimenting I take it to mean minor adjustments. As I see it you are unlikely to find the answer at random. I think it has to be progressive and not haphazard introducing the foods as they suggest because after all someone has made a study of it.

    I quite realise the desire to relieve all the symptoms and to become well again can make you impatient. I would think we all feel that way. Perhaps if you slow down and allow yourself to feel some success it may give you the encouragement to work through the diet steadily.

    I personally have suffered a great deal from the die-off of probiotics. I would not know for sure but maybe this is the root of your problem.

    Starting probiotics in such small ways does seem impossible that you will ever achieve a result. However it could be that the benefits which maybe slow at first will snowball.

    If you are able to afford a single consultation with a practitioner they would be able to advise you on probiotics and set you on the right lines. I feel some attention needs to be paid to the fact you are vomiting which must be awful. The advice of a practitioner may sort it out.

    All the best


  144. We’re on a modified intro for my son (18 months) who is suffering from digestive issues. He is very averse to broth, in any form. He won’t drink it, doesn’t like soups, and doesn’t like vegetables I boil in broth. The one way I’ve been able to incorporate broth is by making a mash of chicken and vegetables that I cook in a cup or more of broth and simmer until the liquid boils away. I bake this mash at a low temperature in mini muffin tins so he can eat it with his hands. He loves this.

    My question is, is he still reaping the benefits of the nutrients and minerals from the broth in this form? I know it’s not ideal, but it’s what I can do for now. Is it worth it? Or do I need to keep encouraging the broth in the liquid form. I feel like he really needs a break from me encouraging him to drink/eat broth in a form he really isn’t open to, yet.

    And lastly, if you read this Baden, I am moved by your generous spirit, empathic heart and devotion to helping others heal. This is truly a very special place you have created. I don’t even know you, but I can feel the presence of who you are.

    With gratitude,


    • Dear Brynn,

      My apologies for such a delayed response! A big week (including a bad cold)…

      If the ‘broth muffins’ are what you can do right now, then I say fantastic! Really. We must do what we can: improvise, play, etc. Once a week offer him broth in another form, eg. lukewarm with a straw, and just allow him to adjust over time to the taste and texture. But yes, I totally think what you’re doing is worth it! He is definitely gaining important nutrients this way, yes.

      Brynn, although I didn’t get a chance to respond until now, I did read your note when it first came through and I want to tell you I carried your kind and supportive words with me all week. Notes like this remind me why I do what I do. I want to be present for people, that’s my whole gig 🙂 So it is a huge blessing for me to hear this from you. Thank you so much.

      All my best,

  145. Hi Carol,
    I usually leave the sauerkraut out for a week and then put it in the fridge. After a few initial failed attempts, so far it has turned out yummy. It seems to last a lot (I am taking so little that it seems to last forever!).
    Vomiting has stopped and am going super slowly. After my body gave me this alt, I need to accept that my progression will be slower for now. I still struggle to fully understand why I got this big relapse, but for now I have to accept it. I was hoping to enjoy some juicing and raw vegetables after more than 2 months in Intro (and am a bit worried about lack of nutrients at this stage).
    I love the chicken pate that Baden taught us, and in general I have no problem eating all sorts of soft tissues around the bones! My problem is that I eat too much of it, especially since animal proteins is all I am left with (more or less, eggs are about to go out of the list…). This is a concern of mine, I admit.


    • Hi Jo and Carol,

      I just wanted to pop into your conversation to say hello 🙂 I’m so glad to see you supporting each other through this blog! (I read every post as they come through, even if I don’t have time to respond right away.)

      Jo, I’m so glad your vomiting has stopped. Yes, for some people initial progression is slow, and like Carol said, the more methodically we can go at the outset the faster we often see gains. Please don’t remove too many foods from your list. Some people will struggle regardless of how many foods they remove, because the issue is not really ‘food reaction’, but a generally compromised gut, which means anything we do creates a challenge for the body. In these cases, we want to find a balance in nourishing ourselves and moving forward while also being gentle and self-caring in not inducing unnecessary symptoms. A lot of folks with the worst of illnesses did a lot of diarrhea, vomiting, sweating, etc, in the initial weeks then came out very strong. Be sure to stay hydrated!

      One day you’ll re-try something like juiced or raw veggies and be pleasantly surprised, finding your body has healed further.

      All my best,

  146. Dear Jo

    Really pleased to hear things have calmed down.

    You have only been on the diet a few months so I would not worry unduly yet.

    Dr Campbell Mcbride’s advice is

    ‘ As long as plenty of good quality proteins and fats are consumed and freshly pressed juices, there is no harm in adhering to the Intro Diet long term’

    She goes on to give further advice for people stuck on a particular stage.

    You can find this under Baden’s articles ‘Dr Natasha and FAQs’ – January 6 2011, under the section listed ‘Diet’ No. 5. It is quicker to click on FAQs under ‘Categories’ on the side of the homepage.

    However I would be concerned if you went away and did this by yourself. I feel you need the individual advice of a practitioner to get you over this hurdle.

    Best Wishes


  147. Dear Jo

    I wanted to check you are taking Cod Liver Oil.

    Dr Campbell-McBride says the gut lining cannot heal without Vitamin A.

    I cannot take CLO but am eating liver which is high in it.

    CLO also contains vitamin D which she says is vitamin A’s partner. The two do not work properly without each other and a deficiency in one creates an excess in the other.

    Sunlight is the main source but also liver, oily fish and egg yolk.

    I am sure you know this because it is in the book but I thought I should mention it because you will not make progress without these vitamins.

    All the best


  148. Hello Baden,

    It is hard to follow everything perfectly always into the GAPS diet, like I ate maybe too much nuts, it’s hard to not eat it when someone bought it for you… I’ll just not buy them or give them to others. Also it is hard to not eat a lot of fruits, I can eat like 3 or 4 fruits like apples and oranges per day. I see that I can tolerate little by little more probiotics, but the process is really slow. Is it normal ? Like it takes 1 month to me to improve a little in the probiotics intake. Sometimes I even doubt that I have improve at this level.

    Thank you

    • Hi Francois,

      Good to hear from you! How’s your new place working for you?

      Yes, indeed it is very hard for many people (myself included) to limit our consumption of nuts and fruits. Just do your best to fill up on the fats, eggs, meats, and veggies and limit the rest. Giving away foods received as gifts is a wonderful idea! And yes, not bringing them into the house in the first place is key. 3-4 fruits per day is quite a lot. Is it that you get big cravings for them? What was it like for you transitioning on intro from no fruit to fruit? Did you notice changes in your body? Did introducing this much fruit increase or decrease your overall energy?

      Probiotics – Great that you’ve been able to increase again! Yes, for some people the increments and frequency of increase is really, really slow initially. At some point, it will shift, and you’ll be able to increase by much larger amounts. For now, it’s fine that your body needs to go so slow and gently. Even though they are very small, the amounts you are taking are working for your body. Healing does take time, but it comes! Many people have had a similar probiotic journey as you are having, with great results. Just keep being gentle with yourself on this.

      All my best,

  149. Hi Carol,

    I was taking CLO but stopped with the relapse and have not started back yet. Perhaps I will give it a try this week starting with a super tiny amount. I will also start with some juicing, since I do not mind staying on stage 2-3 as long as I can have vegetable juices. Carrot juice for vitamin A plus some liver and egg yolks for vitamin D would be great!!!! I hope I will stand it!
    I am also getting more clue about the relapse, I fell that with intro my body is much more sensitive to foods and immediately screen out those I am intolerant to, sometimes in a matter of minutes after ingestion. What I am grateful for is that despite all of this I am not giving up and giving in to cravings – actually I do not really have cravings (apart from one day I tried a super tiny bit of gaps-legal cheese and that was it). This week I will work more on expressing feelings of gratitude and uplifting activities and continue taking it slowly and methodically.

    Good luck to you, now am thinking of you each time I get myself a serving of liver!!!


  150. Hi again Baden, thanks for your kind reply and the info about your book. I’ll look into options at the nutrivene website. I would LOVE to take the course if time allowed…i’ll look at that, too!

    Wanted to let you know I finally wrote my blog post about GAPS and i mentioned your site and your book. If you’re interested, check it out…

    Thanks!! Blessings, gabi

  151. Hi Baden
    Hope you are well. A few days ago I was going through some emotional stuff and had a few (minor) cheats for a couple of days. I didn’t have any serious reactions (that I am aware of). What are your recommendations for getting going again? Just get back “on the wagon” or should I consider going the intro.

    As always thanks for your guidance. Thanks!


    P.S. Are sprouted flax seeds okay? I eat these “crackers” with sprouted flax seeds, sprouted sunflower seeds, and sprouted sesame seeds.

    • Hi Angela,

      Thank you for your well wishes 🙂

      With ‘cheats’ that you regard as minor, and which brought up no reactions that you’re aware of, I would pick up where you left on and carry on. The fact is, we will all at points even accidentally ingest some stuff off of our individual program. For most of us, our bodies can tolerate the (relative) ‘toxin’ so long as we’re supporting it by otherwise being 100%. (If you’d had reactions, I would have recommended a couple of days of Stage 1, then picking up where you’d otherwise left off.)

      Anything sprouted is not recommended. Some might tolerate small amounts after some healing, but there can be issues with these early on. Both the SCD and GAPS communities have lots of wonderful cracker recipes, though, so you can still indulge and enjoy! You can do a search on my blog for ‘recipes’ for lots of great links.

      All my best,

  152. I got some Aalgo seaweed powder from the UK today and I put it in the bath for Quinn and he soaked in it for about 15 minutes. Its pure seaweed powder and its meant to be really good for eczema and I also read its good detox bath for die off. Anyway, since having the bath he has been hyperactive and he has had more wind, I really didn’t think it would do this, I thought it would calm him down. Has anyone else tried this stuff with their kids and did it have this affect on them? Do you think seaweed would have this affect?

    • Hi Simone,

      I hope your son is feeling better today.

      I haven’t heard of this reaction to the seaweed, but I really believe anything is possible. It’s amazing how our bodies respond to all sorts of things!

      If you haven’t already, you might want to post this query to the GAPShelp list. You’d have a better chance of finding out if other families have noted a similar or parallel response.

      I feel like there’s something else in me to say in response, but I can’t “find” it yet; I may follow up later…

      All my best,

  153. Hi Jo

    Really pleased to hear the good news.

    I also eat beef kidney which once cooked in the slow cooker I find easier to eat than the meat. I don’t know if it contains Vitamin A or D though.

    All the best


  154. Hi Jo

    In case you do not belong to the gaps diet yahoo group I am posting this email from a lady who very kindly shared this information.

    Hello All

    I wanted to share what I learned from the visit. Dr Volmert in Montrose CA was amazing. She really seemed sincere about helping find a plan that would help Elijah. He also liked her.

    1. Eating fats is primary she recommends that we get some bone marrow
    Note: Fats and broth primary function is to heal the gut

    2. Drinking or adding broth to each meal- she did say that broth may cause die off and to take it slow if you there are reactions. She also said that the broth should have a gel like texture( my broth didn’t so this was totally helpful.

    3. Fermented veggies is important she said that homemade is best but the brand Bubbies is the next best thing

    Note- Fermented veggies and probiotics helps to get rid of bad bacteria and pathogens.

    4. Adding egg yolks to the broth aids in the healing process. She said to get pastured eggs ideally from a farmers market( I was getting free range organic eggs from Traders Joes) this was also helpful. Dr Volmert also said to make sure to wash eggs will cut down on any bacteria being transferred.

    5. Making sure you have a trusted and reliable meat supplier. The meat has to be free range. Some companies calm that the meats are but they are not. She recommend crestons farm meats or any sources from the Weston A. Price Foundation booklets.

    6. Supplements since Eli has severe food allergies she recommended Probiotics without fillers She gave me a website( let me know if anyone needs it) Betaine HCI to balance stomach acid and Saccharomyce Boulardi to help with yeast overgrowth.

    7. Making foods that is easily digestible

    8. Juicing and detox baths- Dr. Volmert said that if you can’t tolerate detox baths try juicing. She did say that Dr natasha recommends that we juice daily. She told me to read the chapter on juicing

    Questions I asked
    How much time should you boil bones
    Chicken 24 hours
    Beef 48 hours

    What is abnormal die off-
    when you or your children are out of control. When this occur pull back and slow down.

    Dr Volmert said to expect allot of die off in the beginning. Supplements and ferments can cause severe die if you go to fast

    The book Nourishing traditions is a good source

    Lastly she strongly recommends getting cartilaginous pieces and chicken feet to get more gel in broth. After the visit I concluded that buying quality meats and consuming lots of fats is key to the healing process.

    Dr. Volmert said that she believes Elijah prognosis will be favorable since he is so young.

    I hope this email encourages someone. Hang in there for all who are having a hard time.Its been a tough road for me as well.


    Hope you find something useful in it.

    Best Wishes


  155. Hi Carol, Baden,

    Thank you so much for your posts and suggestions. I have been going very slowly and tried to incorporate a leaf of lettuce or a spoon of carrot juice here and there. I’ve also noticed that after about 3 days of going slowly and methodically I almost unconsciously manage to eat more than I should (even if it is only good food). It seems that I cannot stand a good pace for more than a couple of days and then I feel I ruin everything and guilt pops up. I decided to use NAET with a practitioner and EFT on my own to help me understand more of these unconscious mechanisms. I tried many things in the past and I know I do not want supplements or homeopathic remedies at the moment and these two approaches appealed to me – and they are the most affordable solutions for the time being. Many nervous tics I had as a kid have also come back, which is quite fascinating (Dr Campbell says it is quite common and often exacerbated by cod liver oil).

    Carol, thank you for the post from the yahoo group! I am going to save it. It is amazing that this weekend I found chicken feet to help with the gelatinous consistency of my broth and also a less expensive source of grass-fed beef. I felt it was a real gift from the sky! I am also wondering whether I am washing the eggs in an appropriate way. They told me that if I want to eat raw eggs, it is better to ask the vendor to let them unwashed, but am not sure I am doing a good job at it. I will google for suggestions. Thank you!!!


    • Hi Jo,

      Great stuff!!

      I’m curious about what you mean about eating “more than [you] should”. How are you determining ideal amounts?

      Many of us find that during intensive and effective healing phases, we require and do well with much more food than we are accustomed to eating. Sometimes it seems like truly phenomenal amounts of food! So long as this is all “good food”, I would strongly recommend one simply eat away and enjoy! The body is using and in need of it.

      All my best,

  156. Hi Baden,

    I agree with you. However, I am prone to shoveling food down my throat even without any real appetite. This is the way I was fed as a kid, with the best of intentions am sure, and on top of that I’ve always eaten fast, too fast, without even realizing what or why I was eating. Since I have always been excessively skinny I thought it was OK, without realizing that most likely I was absorbing very little of the huge amounts of food I was eating. The good thing of this healing moment is that I can see the perils of this way of eating, it scares me and it moves me into action. It all seems to be linked together.

    Once again, thank you for taking such good care of us!


  157. Can someone please help me determine what to do? I am on the beginning of the introductory diet, first stage. I am traveling to Spain; finding somewhere to make or have meat soups made should not be a problem. However, I can not make sauerkraut there. Is store bought sauerkraut acceptable for the juice for three weeks? Are there local Spanish fermented non-dairy foods that would be acceptable in lieu of sauerkraut? All these will be processed and even if I find item freshly made in a deli, I’m pretty sure they will have some amount of sugar added. Thank you, in advance,

  158. Hi Jo

    This is really good news that you can introduce food and it sounds promising that if you can introduce a food a teaspoon at a time your body will eventually overcome the intolerance.

    What I mistook as impatience, I can see now, is more, as you describe, a compulsion to over eat.

    Many people eat too quickly. The philosophy of chewing our food 30 – 50 times until it is a liquid and to chew our drinks as well feels very tedious to me. However indirectly this may curb your impulse to overeat. By slowing you down it may make you less impulsive.

    Could it be that you are suffering from anxiety whilst you are eating. With the limited knowledge I have on the subject I do understand that the jaw muscles should chew in a relaxed way (not under tension). So whilst eating be conscious of chewing in a slow relaxed manner.

    Not being able to eat regular meals makes the situation more difficult.

    These are only suggestions. It is good you are receiving some help from a qualified practitioner. I have had EFT explained to me and I would agree with the principles.

    Regards washing the eggs I would think it is no different to washing fruit before you eat it.

    Congratulations on finding chicken feet!

    All the best with your therapy.


  159. Hi Jo

    I’ve just had an idea.

    You mentioned that many nervous tics you had as a child have returned. I wonder if the same applies to your compulsion to overeat.

    According to Dr Campbell-McBride obsessive behaviour is caused by abnormal gut flora.

    The GAPS diet and consequent die-off with the healing process maybe exacerbating your compulsion. I don’t know what Baden’s opinion would be on this matter.

    There is no reason to feel guilty about it and guilt is counter productive.

    It is just a thought.

    Best Wishes


  160. I can’t seem to find this answer anywhere, but I’m curious about your thoughts on drinking apple cider vinegar? There is a lot info out there about it’s health benefits and i know we are to take detox baths with ACV, but can’t seem to find a GAPS recommendation for a daily tonic? What are your thoughts on this and what dosage would you give to an adult, 3 year old, and 1 year old?

  161. So, you would recommend the same amount for a small child as an adult? I’ve heard it can damage the enamel on your teeth? have you found this to be a concern? My children aren’t old enough to gargle water afterwards…

    • Hi criabenson,

      I can’t provide specific advice. I can say that for us, we take it (diluted) regularly and our dentist says we have excellent teeth. I don’t measure amounts, I just make the dilution, offer my son to drink however much or little of it he wants, and do likewise myself. It’s strong tasting (even diluted) and my son likes only a small amount, while I drink about a cup of the mix whenever I remember to.

      All my best,

  162. Hi Carol,

    That’s an interesting point. I believe my digestive problems and my obsessive behavior have a common root, but I wonder whether it is because of the bacterias, because of the environment I was exposed to since birth or because those same bacterias affected my caretakers at the time? Maybe problems are passed from one generation to the next partly because of attitudes and beliefs and partly because of the way bacterias influence our brain. I do not think anyone has a clear answer, but it intrigues me a lot later…

    Have you ever experienced anything similar? Has anyone else done any investigation on the subject?


  163. Hello community,

    I am wondering whether a child might ever react to an introduced food with mild fever. My son (18 months) has a pattern of mild fever, followed by diarrhea, fatigue and poor appetite for a few days, some healing from that and then repeat. We have not introduced anything that would exacerbate die off in these situations, but the cycles may coincide with introducing new foods, different fruits, actually — I am just starting to explore this pattern, so I am not certain. I am stumped as to whether there is some sort of cyclical “bug” he is dealing with, or if it is worth digging further to determine whether these cycles are related to food introduction. Any thoughts/experiences?

    Thank you,


    • Hi Brynn,

      I hope you do hear from others on this, too -if not, please do check in with the email support lists.

      I would not hesitate to believe that mild fever could be a reaction to food, as opposed to a bug. All flu-like symptoms, for example, are common die-off responses, and any powerful/healing food can trigger the same. If the response is to a specific group of foods -for example, fruits- it could be a reaction to a natural chemical within that group, for example salycilates, oxalates, etc. You don’t necessarily need to identify the element responded to; you can remove the food group for awhile (couple of weeks), then apply the ‘low and slow’ method outlined in the GAPS Guide book. This often resolves the issue. If it doesn’t, you would leave it out for a longer period then try again.

      All my best,

  164. Hi Baden
    Quick question. I’m on the anti-candida version of GAPS and I’m only supposed to have fermented milk, specifically yogurt and kefir. I’m wondering if it would be okay to have cream if I cultured it with kefir therefore it would be a kefir cream. Cream is basically fat and I’ve read that it’s not good to use the kefir grains to ferment cream because there would not be enough food, i.e., sugar for them to eat. You would ferment it with kefir itself.



    • Hi Angela,

      It is definitely fine to have fermented cream on GAPS. I don’t, however, know about fermenting it with kefir vs with grains. I would imagine grains to be a stronger starter than kefir itself, but I really don’t know. I imagine someone on one of the email support lists would know, however.

      All my best,

  165. Hi Jo

    I know my gut digestive problems affect my thinking. When symptoms are really bad I can find my mind is going round and round in circles and I am spelling out words in my head without realising ( almost unconciously ) like a bent record, and then I suddenly become aware I am doing it. Sounds weird! It is almost as if my mind is trying to distract me from the pain and discomfort.

    My brother has OCD. It showed up in his childhood. I never had obsessive tendencies only colic,tonsilitis and glue ear. When my digestive problems started I really felt the affects on my mind. It must be awful for these children who have never experienced anything else.

    Having said that, I read once that most people have some form of compulsion such as going back to check that they locked the door. It is only obsessive if it interferes with their life. It is in us all – a survival instinct. I understand this instinct can be stronger in some of us – Back in the days when we needed it, it would have been an advantage to us.

    I never feel guilty about things because I know it is outside my control.

    I am only guessing at most of this as I have had no counselling, only what I have gleaned from books. I think our genetic makeup can predisposes us to such things. For example, I believe some peoples’ nervous systems are more tightly wired (highly strung) making them highly sensitive – which can be both a gift and a curse.

    A book I found very interesting which I think you will also is called ‘The Edge Effect’ by Dr Eric R Braverman – all about brain chemistry and neurotransmitters. It covers OCD.

    It will be interesting to see what your practitioner makes of it.

    I can’t tell from your emails if you are reacting in anyway to overeating. If you don’t feel you have a reaction I would say that there wasn’t a problem and just try and curb the impulse the next time.

    Best Wishes


  166. Hi Baden and Brynn,

    I wanted to answer Brynn’s question regarding fever…based on my years of experience with allergic/sensitive kids, yes, fever can be a reaction symptom (especially to salicylates/phenols, as Baden mentioned, which most fruits are high in…but the fever can be a reaction to anything the body isn’t tolerating well). It’s not uncommon in younger children and is often accompanied by red ears and cheeks, even a racing heart. I’ve seen this firsthand numerous times (and one of my sons had this constitution). Of course, when on GAPS, there will be detoxing/die off and that could produce the same “symptoms.” But based on your description (lack of die off opportunity), it sounds like your son is reacting to foods you are introducing. You might want to go easy on the high salicylate fruits and see if that helps. Here’s a great salicylate/food guide link:
    And you’ll find more info on phenols/salicylates at:
    If you want to ease a reaction when it happens, activated charcoal is so helpful (use 1/2 tsp in cup water…if your son cannot drink it, you can administer it in a dropper). I hope this helps!

    Baden, I find myself wanting to pick your brain, LOL…As I’m trying to decide whether to progress to Full GAPS or continue on Intro, I wonder what you would suggest. Different members of the family are going at different rates, of course, and my initial plan was to stay on Intro until we finished die off and/or the major symptoms (like eczema and constipation) were gone. But now I’m wondering if this is unrealistic and I should move us forward… What are your thoughts? I recall McBride saying in the book that one should not move forward until digestive complaints are resolved…I’m assuming that means normal/healthy stools daily?

    I cannot remember if your book detailed this, sorry…I gave away my copy the 3rd day after I’d rec’d it and read it…LOL. OK, thanks for your input if you’d like to share and have a great weekend! Cheers, gabi

    • Hi Gabi,

      Most people should move forward with a new food every four days. If a food is reacted to, remove it, wait four days, then introduce the subsequent food in the progression.

      Definitely do not wait for all symptoms to resolve or stools to become consistent before moving forward to the next food or to full GAPS.

      Please do try to get your book back, as it should be referenced regularly over the next two years 🙂

      All my best,

  167. Thanks Baden! I have a bad habit of giving books away, LOL…just so badly want to pass knowledge on! But I did order some wholesale, so will be getting them soon. 🙂

    I think I was a tad cautious b/c McBride says in the GAPS book not to leave Intro until the digestive complaints are resolved and that some people do Intro for a year (don’t know if I could, LOL). In my world, constipation is included in “digestive complaints.” So is that an incorrect assumption with GAPS?

    Will we continue to see healing as we progress to Full even though the strict “healing/sealing” diet would be left behind? Our chronic constipation problems have me frustrated (one of the things for which I need to see healing in my family) and I had thought that after 4 weeks on Intro we’d be past it, but….the body works at its own time, yes?

    In your experience, do people continue to go thru die off and repopulation even thru the first year on Full GAPS?

    thanks so much for your insight…i love building this body of knowledge and experience!! Cheers, gabi

    • Hi Gabi,

      While constipation could definitely be categorized as a digestive complaint, it is also a very common sign of die-off. Many people find this resolves only as they (a) focus on addressing die-off and/or (b) move on to foods which help their body move the bowels.

      Yes, you will definitely continue to see healing even as you move forward and onto full GAPS. Even without trying to trigger die-off (with additional supplements, restrictions, etc), you can expect to experience significant die-off at least every few months for the first year or so, with additional, progressive healing!

      All my best,

  168. Hi Baden,

    Can liver be eaten during the intro diet, and if so, at what stage?
    Also, what if the patient is anemic – will eating liver continue to feed the pathogens that eat the iron? Or is this something not to worry about if the patient is on the probiotic?

    Thank you,


    • Hi Jovana,

      Yes, liver and other organ meats can and should be eaten from intro forward (as tolerated), even from the first day. Just treat them like meat, preparing it according to each stage’s prescription.

      Please don’t worry about iron feeding pathogens. Just eat up! 🙂 The body needs the vital nutrition found in organ meats.

      All my best,

  169. Hi Carol,

    Thank you for the book suggestion, I’ll definitely have a look at it.
    I guess people come to gaps from many different backgrounds and for many of them the environment where they grew up cannot explain much. For others the traumas affected their bodies to such an extent that sickness was the end result. But I do not really have many answers. All I know is that I start feeling the pain instead of judging it or running away from it. Gaps is really giving me the strength to stay there and listen to whatever needs to emerge. There’s a very long way to go and hope not to suffer too much in the process, although I know it won’t be a piece of cake!

    By the way, EFT seems to increase my awareness each time I eat and help me figure out why I am eating (true hunger or compulsion to cover up emotions?). I am also realizing that each method has a chance to work when we truly, truly want to heal and make it work…

    Forgot to ask you how the sauerkraut experiment went, have you tried a tiny bit?

    Best wishes,


  170. Hi Baden, Thanks so much for all the support you give. We are a family of nine doing the intro. We are just starting week 3. I am stuck on a few things and don’t know where to go from here.
    1) Does gas after a food specifically eggs, mean it is not tolerated yet and should not be consumed?
    2) Some of my children have started to have very loose stools which was never the case prior to this diet (except for my 3 year old- he became normal for the time prior to introducing the eggs, but even with removing them continues to have loose stool). They all had normal non-constipated stool. I have not started the probiotic other than fermented foods. We worked up very slowly with those even though we have eaten them for the last couple years. I am stuck on stage 3 not knowing whether to move forward or if this was from the eggs.
    3) I seem to bloat a little after the eggs too. I feel like we need them to help fill us but at the same time I don’t want to slow healing. As it is, we are holding off on the dairy.
    4) My one year old went straight to GAPS, but has always been gasey and reactive to the foods I eat. This has continued to be the case so I don’t know how to figure out what he can eat that isn’t upsetting his sensitive stomach, let alone limit my diet further to do so.
    Thank you for any help you can offer.

    • Hi Lisa,

      1) Yes, gas after any food indicates an intolerance. Remove the food (eggs), wait a week or two, try them again. If they still cause a problem then, leave them out for a few months.

      2) It is very normal to see stool changes in the first several months. So long as this is not a true, dehydrating diarrhea, I would not worry about it. This said, eggs are one food that seem to trigger loose stools in quite a number of people. Removing them to resolve the gas and bloating may also resolve the looser stools.

      3) Many people do GAPS without eggs for many months, if not years. They are not necessary. Rely on fats, then protein, veggies and quantities to fill up.

      4) Because your son is reacting to foods you eat, I assume he’s nursing. At age one, weaning is viable, so you could do that and take him through the intro stages. Otherwise, you can continue nursing him, rotating each of your own food (groupings) out of your diet for two weeks at a time each, then adding that food (grouping) back in to see the impacts of it. This might help identify the issue.

      All my best,

  171. Hi Jo

    The book I recommended is very scientific. It may not suit you if you prefer an alternative approach.

    Another book which may interest you is ‘The Highly Sensitive Person’ by Elaine Aron. For these people, their brain picks up on more, they see more than others and reflect on it more deeply. However, as a result, they are easily overwhelmed (over simulation). If a child cannot cope with new situations it could be they are highly sensitive. How it affects a person varies. Apparently they are prone to IBS. Would you think, though, the better this person’s health the more they can cope with?

    I forgot to mention that people with poor detoxification by the liver are prone to anxiety and depression. All the bad symptoms that go on in our body seem to be caused by inflammation (the die-off with its release of toxins into the body. I am guessing this to be true also of OCD.

    I took a drug which was inflammatory for 3 days and then had an antiinflammatory effect. On the third day my brain (mind) felt wonderfully clear – I have not felt that way for years. It was amazing. Unfortunately my gut could not cope with the period of inflammation.

    Some one once told me the following – that your strengths are sometimes your weaknesses , it depends on the circumstances you are in. If you have one virtue it is usually at the sake of another. Nobody is perfect , nobody has it all.
    Sorry it I am preaching – but the above certainly helped me!

    All the best


  172. Hi Jo

    Last email Jo! Sorry Baden!

    One constant throughout your emails is the effects of your childhood on your present condition.

    Even though I was fortunate enough to have a happy childhood, I realise that experiences of your childhood do reflect on your life as an adult.

    Being of a sensitive nature I am inclined to reflect on events that have happened. My husband and son, however, are more resilient and can pass things over. It would suggest the temperament we are born with or acquire is the deciding factor.

    I think the best we can do is make allowances for this before we let events affect us.

    It is fatal to live in the past. You cannot change it. At some point we have to make a conscience decision to not let it spoil the present. So many peoples’ lives are spoilt by dwelling on the past.

    I am so glad to hear you are coming to terms with this. I know you will get there.

    I sent another email previously to the one above so some of it may not make sense!

    Best Wishes


  173. Dear Jo

    I sent an email to you yesterday which did not register. This is what I can remember of it. It will help make more sense of the email of June 27 at 4:16.

    I thought I’d better mention that consumption of liver can build up Vitamin A toxicity as it is fat soluble. Though I am sure it would take a while. How much I would not have a clue. Personally I eat a portion a week spread throughout the days. A dietician told me this is fine.

    It was nice of you to remember the sauerkraut and ask how it is going. Unfortunately I cannot manage any at the moment. I think it contributes to the inflammation in my stomach.

    I am certain you are already aware of the fact that some of us have to look after ourselves to stay healthy whereas others can take more abuse. This was really brought home to me when I had genetic testing. It revealed that I was poor at detoxification due to my parents sharing the same gene and lots of other things I did not want to know! Poor detoxification can make you prone to anxiety and depression.

    I know from experience my state of health plays a big part in my sense of well being. I feel this will be the same for you and once your health improves the past will not affect you so greatly. You have been ill for so long, you may not be able to imagine anything else.

    I am going into hospital (hopefully very soon). I may not pick up on emails.

    All the very best in the meantime.


  174. Hi Baden,

    Is organic palm oil allowed on the GAPS diet? If so is palm oil good for you, is there any benefit in using palm oil?

    Simone 🙂

    • Hi Simone,

      Palm oil is not specifically listed in the recommended/not recommended lists for GAPS. Personally, I prefer sticking with the list of recommended foods only. However, when a food is listed in neither column and I have a strong interest in it anyway, I look to the SCD information. The SCD supports the use of a wide range of oils, so while I’m not 100% certain, my assumption is that palm oil would be fine. Here is a post that touches on this product:

      I don’t know anything specific about palm oil, it’s nutritional benefits, etc. Sorry!

      All my best,

  175. Hi Carol,

    I am so sorry to hear you will be hospitalized. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I hope that many little miracles of healing will happen!

    Thank you for all your support. I went to the library to pick the book by E. Aron on the highly sensitive person and cannot stop reading it… I’ve heard of it many times but never read till now.

    It is interesting what you say about genes, since my grandparents were close relatives and my father has been troubled all his life. But despite all of this, I trust the healing process we undertook will take us to a better place and perhaps we can make more meaningful the lives that preceded us.

    Plenty of good wishes and good vib!


  176. Hi Baden

    My Autistic son has been on GAPS for nearly 4 months now and his progress has been great. He has exceeded many of my hopes and expectations to this point but I was hoping you could help me understand what may be happening to him at the moment.

    He is on the full diet and we have started to introduce small amounts of dairy for him. Since the introduction of dairy, his stools have once again become runny. Before the dairy, they were starting to look more normal than at any time previously. Is it a good idea in this case to take the dairy away again for a while?

    He has had a few days of regression too which I know is normal but hard to watch as when it does occur, you feel as though he is back to how he was months ago. We are still doing the die off baths of Apple Cidar Vinegar, Epsom Salt and Bi-Carb.

    If I may, I’d like to run you through what we are feeding him and hope you can tell me if anything we are giving him should or shouldn’t be there.

    His breakfast in normally one scrambled egg and 2 small almond meal pancakes with a little honey on them (sometimes with blueberries in them – are they ok?). Lunch is either beef stock with the cooked beef still in it, like a soup. Or a chicken casserole with cooked vegies. And then something similar for his dinner. We have been giving him Chicken Korma which he could eat all day he loves it so much but I think the coconut milk is giving him diarreah. What do you think?

    He snacks on things like an apple or nuts.

    He does have probiotic in the form of half a cup of Water Kefir every morning too.

    I guess my question is, does that diet sound ok and is there anything more or less we should be doing. And by the way, we are close to starting an ABA program with him so can’t wait for that.

    Cheers Baden, appreciate your help as always!!


    • Hi Andrew,

      Great to hear from you again, and I’m so happy about your son’s progress!!

      Awesome on continuing the rotated baths, too! This is so key!

      What is the form of dairy you’ve introduced? If it’s yogurt or kefir, I would suspect the stool changes to most likely be due to die-off. (This could also explain the regression.) If it’s other dairy -cheese, butter, etc- I would say his body is not liking it and woulld suggest removing it for another month. (My son and I initially left out all dairy for six months or more.)

      Through comments on this blog I learned that coconut water/milk can trigger looser stools/diarrhea, so I suspect your intuition is correct there.

      His diet sounds quite good. If he were generally struggling, I’d be looking at rotating out the nuts and fruit, but with his gains being so solid and awesome, I would carry on with what you’re doing. As long as he’s continuing to improve, there’s no reason to restrict his diet further. His food sounds varied, nutritious, healing and yummy! You might want to look at increasing his problotics, either in the amount or variations of homemade stuff (kraut, etc) or commercial.

      Keep us posted!

      All my best,

  177. Hi Baden,

    You are one busy lady; I admire your knowledge and your willingness to help others thru this journey. I am excited to receive my first wholesale book order as I have a handful of friends I have “talked into” GAPS, LOL. But here’s the rub…I find myself struggling to explain the roller-coaster we’re on with progress vs. healing crisis (at least, that’s what i’m calling it).

    My most sensitive child had a terrible eczema flareup starting last week, and my headaches came back…and this after we’d been doing so well! We haven’t done anything majorly different, but are hovering between Intro stage 5 and 6. I did increase probiotics, but I also suspect a sensitivity to the coconut flour I’ve been using daily. Since he’s tree nut anaphylactic, I cannot use those flours and am hesitant to test them for some time. I assumed coconut flour would be tolerated and allowed at this stage (he’s consumed coconut oil since he began eating food at age one, and I never discerned a real problem with it). So I’m experimenting this week by taking out coconut flour and then adding it back in. Is coconut flour frowned upon during Intro?

    And then today, we were in a real bind, out of town errands, and I neglected to take enough of our food. So we stopped at an organic shop and bought blueberries, cherries and dried pineapple…hubby has been itching to introduce fruit. I told him that I knew it would cause issues, and it did. Lots of diarrhea for most sensitive child and gas for the rest of us. And I am frustrated that I cannot fully explain why this happens. My previous understanding of gut issues/flora/healing tells me that our bodies on this protocol are not ready yet for the fruits…could be that the balance of flora is still in favor of the baddies and the fruit fed them…could be that our bodies are uber-sensitive b/c we’ve been consuming nearly all extremely easily digestible foods and the fruit fibers/sugars are too much for the gut processes. could be…could be….hmmmm? I find myself uncertain how to explain what’s happening…I hate feeling like a “GAPS dummy.” 🙂 Do you have any insight on this particular issue?

    Sorry to take your time and thanks again for your help. I’m going to bop over to the yahoo group…Cheers! gabi

    • Hi Gabi,

      Yes, the ups and downs/ebb and flow of healing can be difficult to explain to others, never mind to go through!

      Anything triggering an anaphylactic reaction we would not reintroduce at any point.

      Anything not explicitly listed in the intro material is not to be used during intro. Coconut flour is a food for well beyond intro -it’s super fibrous. Great to use on occasion upon sufficient healing, but to be avoided for the first several months.

      Any increase in probiotics can trigger healing crisis/flare.

      Fruit can trigger reactions because of its naturally occurring chemicals, but my guess in this case is that the fruit likely triggered a surge in yeast. (Hubby’s distinct cravings for it indicate a possible yeast overgrowth not yet addressed.)

      GAPS involves such a huge and intense learning curve. Regardless of how much information and knowledge we have coming in to it, we’ll each still become utterly bamboozled by what the actual experience throws at us! Ultimately, there are so many things we just don’t know for certain -so much of it is best guesses and theory. I think a very important thing is becoming comfortable with ‘not knowing’ everything, and simply listening to our bodies, which is precisely what you’re doing regarding, for example, the coconut flour. So, although I hear your frustration with not having solid answers for each piece, I feel you’re totally on the right track!

      All my best,

  178. Hi Baden, I’m hoping you can help. My husband has ulcerative colitis. He has been drug and symptom for the last 2.5 years through diet alone but he recently had a sever flare up and it has gotten bad enough (and weak enough) that he went to the emergency room yesterday. I had just learned about the GAPS diet and had ordered the book plus your guide, but they won’t arrive until sometime next week after the holiday. But I don’t feel like I can wait for the book in order to start. From the website and blogs, I got the diet basics and have made yogurt, chicken and sauerkraut today. But what else needs to happen during the Intro phase? I saw a reference to daily baths above and realized that there must be other aspects to the intro that I don’t know about yet. Many thanks if you can give me a brief rundown of what else I need to have him do for Intro phase.

    • Hi Sandy,

      The intro diet is available online at

      In GAPS Guide, though, I recommend that people transition slowly to intro, starting by increasing their number of ‘full GAPS’ meals, then enjoying full GAPS for a month or so, then starting intro. Whether jumping straight into intro or transitioning gently (both possible to start with online info) the GAPS Guide book will help you tremendously.

      Die-off relief will be essential from the start. There are many aspects to die-off relief, all outlined in the GG book, but you can see an overview, including some info about the baths, here.

      All my best,

  179. Hi Baden,

    Thanks for the wonderful and informative website and book! I have been learning a lot for both!

    Silly question… I know baking soda isn’t allowed but I wonder… Would it be ok to use it if it has been neutralized with lemon juice to the point where there is still lots of acidity left from the lemon juice? I make an electrolyte drink with it, lots of lemon juice, salt and honey and I would like to keep using it.



    • Hi Dee,

      There is some controversy within the community over baking soda. Some choose to follow Dr Natasha’s recommendation in not ingesting it; others believe it is neutralized in the body and/or by being mixed with lemon juice and choose to use it. Honestly, I simply don’t know the scientific ins and outs of baking soda 🙂 My recommendation is to follow Dr Natasha’s recommendations initially and, after significant healing, to feel free to test specific foods on your body. This said, I do support the use of baking soda as an ingredient in the electrolyte drink. What I’ve seen of this drink is that its benefits seems to outweigh any challenges potentially presented by the baking soda, fruit or honey within it.

      Does this help?

      All my best,

  180. Dear Jo

    I have just been talking to a person about washing eggs. They said that the bigger farmers have special washing machines whereas the smaller farmers do not.

    The egg has a film of oil/fat around the shell which forms a protective layer against infection. So it is probably best to wash/scrub the egg in warm water just before you eat it because you do not want to remove this protective film.

    I now have my date to go into hospital – 27 July.

    Hope all is well with you.


  181. Hi again Baden

    All good with little Jake. His stools have become runny again. It’s been 4 months so how long can it take for these to regulate and harden up a little?



    • Hi Andrew,

      In my son, I remember it as being several months -four, five or six- for his stools to regulate. Main, identifiable culprits for him were fibrous foods: celery, almond flour, etc. And yet, the changes were random, not always about food (so, more about his internal eco-system shifting). Also, I continued using the AF in limited amounts/frequency, and eventually it no longer caused this issue.

      If the runny stools are consistent enough or otherwise a concern, you could start rotating out a group of foods at a time, each for two weeks. A ‘group’ can be anything you decide: fibrous, high oxalate, sweet, etc.

      At the four month mark, though, it could also just be another round of deep die-off.

      All my best,

  182. Hi Baden, we are wanting to give Jake some breakfast alternatives but find Dr McBrides book lacking in that area. Other than casseroles which he eats loads of, can you suggest some breakfast meals. We want to give him something other than scrambled egg and almond meal pancakes. He has them every day!

    Thanks again.

    • Hi Andrew,

      My son and I simply eat the same types of things for breakfast as we do for lunch or supper: soup, any style of eggs, stews, casserole, frittata, chicken cold from the fridge, salmon, a giant salad with sauerkraut and cubed cheddar mixed in, slices of cheese dipped in guacamole, grated cauliflower done in oil and spices… This morning we had reheated leftovers from last night’s supper: a multi-meat and veggie stir-fry. (Only occasionally will we have pancakes, nuts or fruit. Most of our breakfasts are meat and veggies.)

      All my best,

  183. Hi Baden,

    I am very eager to start the diet but I am worried about hypoglycemia. I have read some info in your Guide book but was wondering if you might have some more input.

    I have symptoms of hypoglycemia no matter what I eat. I have to eat every 2 hours or so even if not hungry or I get very shaky, nausea, anxiety, dizzy, crying spells etc. I can have eggs and bacon for breakfast and a couple hours later, I get low blood sugar symptoms. I’m much better if I have some starch, not a lot but some. I don’t have sugar cravings in general unless my snacks are very delayed. I also have a lot of fatigue.

    I have done low-carb diets before and they just make the anxiety soo much worse. Even moderately low carb (120g/day) cause worsening of symptoms.

    I have some symptoms that can seem like insulin resistance, so practitioners have given me herbs that actually drop blood sugar (most don’t seem interested in what I feel). They make me much much worse.

    No one seems to have any idea what is going on. I know a lot of people have way worse problems but most don’t realize how miserable it is to not be able to go places unless scheduled around “snacks” or feeling terrible if you do or having to eat something even if the idea of eating makes you sick. Frankly, most people think it is nonsense.

    Have you ever heard of anyone having this problem? Any idea why this (the hypoglycemia specifically) is happening or if it will resolve with GAPS? Any suggestion how to implement the diet with these symptoms? Any help you can offer would greatly appreciated.



    • Hi Dee,

      Yes, many people needing GAPS have symptoms of hypoglycemia. GAPS has resolved this for many people. You may also be dealing with poor adrenal function.

      My main tips are these three:

      1. GAPS need not be low carb. Please see this post.
      2. Eat a fatty protein meal upon waking, every hour or so, then right before bed. As time passes, the need for this frequency will reduce. You will find yourself feeling fine for longer and longer stretches.
      3. Feel free to sip on an electrolyte drink throughout the day.

      Although addiction is not an issue for you, please also see the tip under that topic on Dr Natasha’s FAQ here.

      All my best,

  184. Hi Baden, I’ve had my husband on the diet for a week and a half. We went straight into the intro phase because he was so weak and we have been eating Paleo and gluten free for 2.5 years plus he was taking a good-quality probiotic daily before symptoms started. He has severe diarrhea with blood in it and he hasn’t seen an improvement on that front yet. He has a little more appetite and energy but no letup with the diarrhea. The first week, I fed him broth, chicken soup, the broth from vegetables, a little bone broth, sauerkraut juice, a little yoghurt and tea. After the first week, I’ve started introducing some phase 2 foods since he’s hungry and Dr. Campbell-McBride mentioned that adding eggs and sour cream are good for reducing diarrhea. So far, neither have made a difference. He started at a very fit 160 pounds with only 7% body fat and he’s lost 15 pounds in the last couple of weeks and the diarrhea isn’t stopping. Any thoughts about what I can fine tune to help get the diarrhea under control? Many thanks for any insights! Oh, one other note–I’m using organic free range chickens which don’t have as much fat. Since fat is so important, should I try a regular chicken instead? I’m going to look for a duck or goose today to get more fat and will introduce ghee.

    • Hi Sandy,

      Gosh, I’m sorry your husband is experiencing all this!

      Do I have the information right? ie. About 10 tens ago, he was very fit and 160lbs but was also very weak, with severe diarrhea with blood in it. He started intro plus yogurt and in a week and a half, has experienced an increase in appetite and energy, but no improvement in the diarrhea or blood.

      Was the chicken soup free of vegetables?

      Definitely fat from inside animals is key. Chicken is said to be especially soothing for the intestines, but variety is great. He should be having quite a bit of fat from the inside of animals daily. How much has he been having to date?

      Purchasing a liter of duck (or whatever) fat directly is a good way to supply the house. Buy also marrow bones from any animals and simmer those for a great source of soothing nutrition. Your butcher can direct you to meaty bone pieces that supply more marrow/fat than others. I use only organic, free-run chicken and often get a nice supply of fat off these. Is your broth gelling?

      I might also ease off on the probiotic foods (sauerkraut juice, yogurt).

      In some bodies, the healing process can look quite scary. I think of “Joe“, a young man who healed himself from Crohn’s, and Jordan Ruben, author of The Maker’s Diet. Their bodies did frightening purging before beginning to rebuild. With all the information we have now, such a long stretch of purging is not usually necessary, but I hope you can take comfort in other people’s extreme experiences toward health. ie. They went through some scary stuff, but now are healthy, robust people!

      All my best,

  185. Dear Carol,

    I am glad you have a date for your treatment and hope it will bring you the healing you expect and more. Will think of you. Hope you have plenty of people bringing you nourishing broth in the hospital…

    Thank you for the tips on eggs. I found a place selling unwashed eggs and have been buying them for the last few weeks. All well so far. I also realized I can stand only the yolk for the time being and that’s OK.

    I finished reading the highly sensitive person book and am more determined than ever to live according to my sensitivity, or more generally to live according to what I really am, no matter what I constructed during these years to look stronger or different than I am.

    With gratitude,


  186. Hi Jo

    Being of a sensitive nature I have always cared too much what people think of me. However I now realise it is what you think of yourself that counts, not what other people think of you.

    The other book I suggested might be of interest to you (‘The Edge Effect’ by Eric Braverman). I would have thought it would interest everybody but when I lent it to a friend who has a holistic approach to medicine she returned it unread! She said it wasn’t for her. The book tries to explain why this would be and why we are all so different. The first part of the book is very heavy going!

    Great that you can eat egg yolks as they are the important part for healing.

    Well done Jo, all the very best


  187. Hi Baden, thanks for your concern and advice. It’s so great to have someone to go to with questions when the answers are so important to those we love.

    To answer questions, Alex’s symptoms didn’t get bad until about 3 weeks ago. At that point, he was still fit, working out, and 160 pounds. Now he’s weak from the ongoing frequent bloody diarrhea and had lost 15 pounds at the beginning of the week.

    The chicken soup has been free of vegetables (I boil them then strain out the veggies and keep the broth). The first batch of broth gelled well but several of the subsequent ones have not despite buying the same organic free range chickens from Whole Foods. I like the duck fat idea. I’ll figure out where to find it. I’d been looking for a whole duck or goose at several places but so far no one has had them. I tried doing bone broth with beef marrow bones but I don’t think I boiled them long enough. I’m boiling more today from grass fed beef bones.

    I did ease off of the yogurt and sauerkraut juice the last several days but only because I have focused on the active sour cream since Dr. Campbell-McBride mentioned that it is good for addressing diarrhea. Should I continue that or ease off on that as well? Even though improvement has been slight so far, there has been a little improvement. Like many others, it is hard to know when the suffering is productive die-off and when it is just more of the same. Thanks again.


  188. Hi Carol,

    The Edge Effect sounds fascinating. I am reading something on it on the internet and will look for the book. I do not have any prejudice, this book sounds as holistic as many other resources and in any case it seems well researched. I cannot afford to skip any suggestion… my health needs all I can give it.

    I have noticed I am calmer even if I am going through another time of dis-ease and another ‘attack’ (it seems to come monthly). It is a mixture of hormones and gut problems, in other words GAPS!

    On a different note, I wonder whether you have installed any water filtration system? How is water in your area? The more I read about it the more I believe some of us need to address the water problem very soon to help healing. I am looking into it myself.

    Warm hugs,


  189. Hi Jo

    We have a reverse osmosis Filtration System. Our water is hard so we have a water softener and the filtration system removes the salt from the water softener. I think that is right. I am not mechanically minded, I leave that to my husband.

    I hear a lot about filtration systems that produce negative or positive ions (not sure which) but they are very expensive.

    Also ozonated water but I have not tried it myself.

    Hormones! Of course that would have an influence. I hadn’t thought of that.

    Very best


  190. Hi Carol,

    Thank you for sharing. I am looking at simple filters, something countertop. Perhaps I should post the results of my research once is done, since I find there is little on the internet on this subject – or better there is a lot but so much disagreement!

    All my best,


  191. I’ve been (sorta) following the Nourishing Traditions protocol for a few years now. Specifically, I’ve been making my own bone broth according to Sally Fallon’s recommendations. She suggests that when making chicken broth that you refrigerate the broth and then skim the fat off the top. If I remember right, it’s because it can be full of toxins. GAPS protocol suggests that you eat this fat along with the broth.
    Do you have any thoughts on this?

    • Hi Andrea,

      I really don’t know one way or the other about toxins in the fat of chicken broth. Personally, I gobble it up 🙂

      All my best,

  192. Dear Andrea

    My understanding is that most toxins are fat soluble but if the chicken comes from an organic farm they will not use antibiotics or pesticides. Also I can remember a doctor saying once we need a good intake of good fats for the toxins to dissolve in and be removed from the body. Without a good intake toxins will accumulate in the body.

    This is only my interpretation though.


  193. Carol,

    Just wanted to send you an extra hug and extra good vibs for your approaching hospitalization. I will think of you and hope you will find out important bits of information for your health puzzle. (sorry Baden, it is not really on Gaps this message!)


  194. Hi Andrea Dean,

    If Baden does not mind my “butting in,” LOL, I wanted to address your question about toxins in the chicken fat. As a nutritional therapist, my biggest piece of advice to people is to avoid toxic food…and we do that by eating clean food. If the chicken you are buying is a typical “industry” bird, it will be toxic. If you purchase pastured organic chicken (preferably free-ranged in open sunshine/air), you can be far less concerned about toxins. Toxins are stored in the fat (which is one reason you will lose weight on a detox program), so any animal that is being raised/fed improperly will likely contain toxins that we all need to avoid. I believe this is one reason that Fallon, WAPF and McBride advise organic, pastured, free-range animal protein sources. It’s really important to buy the cleanest food you can find/afford. I hope this is helpful. Let me know if you have any questions. If this is not new/helpful info, I apologize for my intrusion. Wish you all the best! Cheers!

  195. And now a question for you, Baden…

    I have begun counseling a woman who is in need of healing thru the GAPS protocol…she is mentally/emotionally and physically malfunctioning and I want so much to see her healed. The catch is that she’s 4 months pregnant. Normally, I don’t recommend women to do any detox protocol while pregnant. But in her case, I think the benefits would outweigh the risks to the baby. She has a child already suffering due to her “state” during that pregnancy. She very much wants to get on the path to wellness without any further delay. Do you have any thoughts on this? THanks so much for your time! Cheers!

    • Hi Gabi,

      I love it when people respond to others’ questions/thoughts, making this blog a community! Thank you.

      Definitely your client can proceed with GAPS during pregnancy. Dr Natasha offers specific recommendations for starting during pregnancy, including going straight to full GAPS (ie. skipping intro). Please see or the revised edition of Dr Natasha’s book for details of GAPS during pregnancy.

      All my best,

  196. Thank you Jo

    It is really sweet of you to remember.

    More information about eggs from my organic butcher! As eggs are so healing I wondered if you can increase your egg intake by eating eggs from other birds. Duck eggs are porous and so should never be cooked in their shell (i.e. boiled). Whilst cooking it is possible that some of the water could get through the shell into the egg and carry any infection on the shell with it. Ducks will lay their eggs anywhere in mud, pooh etc.

    Chickens are a lot cleaner and only lay their eggs in their nesting boxes, probably on straw or woodshavings, then they go back outside.

    I do hope you are making progress. It is hard to do this diet alone. The gapsdiet yahoo group could provide you with support and encouragement as well as this site (if you have not already joined).

    Geese are similar to chickens.

    All the best

    Love Carol x

  197. I guess I was under the assumption that SF had suggested skimming fat off all chickens, regardless of how it was raised.
    So, thank you all for the feedback! I appreciate the help!

  198. Dear Baden

    Would you mind sending this question to Gabi if you do not know the answer yourself.

    Thank you

    Dear Gabi

    I wonder if you could help answer this question which was posted on the GAPSDIET Yahoo group but I do not think anyone could answer.

    ‘I am wondering if anyone can clarify some confusion. I have not been skimming beef fat from my stock. However, a Weston Price Chapter leader sent me information stating that it could be oxidized after cooking more than 6 hours (beef only, not chicken). Anyone have any more thoughts on this since I believe NCM says to not skim the fat? I assume that is on beef as well as chicken.’

    Thank you


  199. Another question…
    I’ve been trying to make yogurt out of raw goats milk. I’ve been very successful with raw cow’s milk in the past, but my goats milk keeps separating within about 12 hours, so I can’t ever get it to culture for a full 24 hours.
    I’m using a Yogourmet yogurt maker, with a lamp dimmer to keep the temperature more stable.
    Does goat’s milk culture quicker than cow’s milk, or does it need to be kept at a lower temp?

  200. Hi Carol, I will give my opinion on the skimming fat question and would love to also hear Baden’s thoughts…

    Saturated fat (from real food sources) is quite stable and I believe we should definitely be consuming the fat…it’s one of the cornerstones to GAPS healing and also to general health (very protective of multiple bodily organs/functions, including brain). The issue of oxidation is a bit of a sticky wicket…the truth is that EVERYTHING oxidizes…the moment you slice a food, cook a food, expose a food to air, open a bottle of olive oil, juice fruits/veggies, etc, etc…you have begun the oxidizing process. It is unavoidable. Of all foods, saturated fats are some of the most resistant to oxidation and will remain stable far longer (as opposed to olive oil, for example). When we talk about using “heat-stable” fats for frying, sauteeing, etc, we are talking about these saturated fats (coconut, palm and animal fats). The stability of the fat is highly dependent upon its chemical components. Animals, just like people, end up with “toxic” fats when they consume the wrong foods. Animal fats will be more subject to rancidity when the animals are fed a modern industry diet. You can actually see, feel and smell the difference between fat from beeves fed exclusively on grass and beeves on other diets.

    I would be interested in seeing the info given by the WAPF chapter leader regarding oxidation if you could provide a link…if not, no worries…I’m just curious what is being shared. In my knowledge/experience, as long as your beef/chicken/turkey/bison/lamb is being properly raised/fed (pastured for the herbivores, not fed GMO grains or soy for the poultry, lots of sunshine, clean water and ability to roam/graze) then you are eating a health-giving food and the fats would be beneficial to consume. You want to be sure that you are slowly and gently simmering the bones…a hot, brisk boil will break things down faster and introduce more “oxidation.” Lower heat for a longer period of time really does produce nourishing stock…it pulls the minerals from the bones, which is really important. I also think adding ACV at the beginning of the process increases stock nutrient and also works to protect against micro-organism development.

    I am aware of a study that discusses the issue of lipid oxidation occurring in stock from beef marrow bones…it is a complex bio-chemical thesis focusing on how oxidation affects the flavor of stocks. (I should admit up front that I am not overly impressed with “scientific studies” and always judge them in light of my anti-establishment holistic presuppositions.) The most important thing to note about the study is that it was conducted using INDUSTRY commercial stock bones. Any result must be considered in light of this. In the end, everything oxidizes…it’s just a matter of time and original stability. If you wanted to peruse the study, here’s a link:

    Also, older beeves tend to produce more oxidation upon cooking, as does irradiated beef. This fits into my “common sense/simplistic” approach to understanding what is good for us and what isn’t. Modern agricultural practices simply defy reason.
    (Here’s a link to a study regarding the irradiation/oxidation link if you are interested:

    One of the most important tools we should use in determining the viability/safety of our food is our noses. If you simmer stock and it smells “off,” there is a problem and you might want to consider re-sourcing. I believe skimming the fat from “clean” stock reduces its healing constituents. Again, sorry to sound like a broken record, but sourcing clean food is really the key…it helps to know your provider and ask questions. I hope this is helpful and I am certainly open to reading material that may present a different view…I am privileged to be part of a forum where we all can learn and heal together.

    Cheers! gabi

  201. Hi Carol,

    Thank you for continuing your research on eggs! Unfortunately I cannot eat duck eggs, they really make me sick – at least for now! I stick to chicken egg yolks and pray I can continue having them, since I truly love them! I sometimes think that the yolk is what makes me digest my vegetable juices.

    I love the gapsdiet group and their posts, I wish I had more time to read them regularly, that’s a wealth of information there. Perhaps one day I’ll participate more fully in their discussions.

    Take very good care

    Bless you,


  202. About fat in broth:

    I don’t have any idea what happens chemically, but when I cook fatty broth for a long time, it begins to smell rancid to me. If I eat it, it makes me sick to my stomach. My husband and children don’t notice, however. If I plan on cooking the bones a long time, it is usually bones from a previous cooking where I cooked enough to get the meat and soft tissues off the first time. At that time I remove all the fat and eat it. I can either eat the broth with fat then, too, or save it to add to my bone broth *after* it is done cooking the second time. When I do it this way, removing all the fats before the long simmering, the broth tastes better and digests easier to me, and I still eat the fats, just separately, or added back in after cooking.

  203. Do you think GAPS could help my 11 year old autisic daughter? We have done Body Ecology for about the last year, but she has had a few cheats. Everytime she has had cheats she gets brain fog and her communication suffers. She is moderate functioning autism, and educationally at about a second grade level. Do you think coconut kefir would be ok for the intro diet?

    • Hi Summer,

      I absolutely believe GAPS could help, yes! The BED is also excellent. Both will depend on adherence and time for optimal results.

      Yes, any type of kefir -including coconut- will be fine for the appropriate stage of intro.

      All my best,

  204. Thank you Baden. I keep hearing how it is best to start diet young for recovery, and I wish I had found diet when I daughter was younger. Do you think GAPS is better for autisitic children because it restricts more foods in the beginning? I sometimes wonder how I can be helping my daughter heal by feeding her potatos, quinoa, blue corn chips, etc. Do you think autistic children can start drinking milk kefir after four weeks? Or is it better to stay away from for a longer amount of time. Sorry for all the questions!

    • Hi Summer,

      Yes, starting in childhood is best, but we’ve seen amazing recovery in children starting even at 9+ years of age, so there is much hope for your daughter’s increased wellness.

      GAPS is my favourite program for many reasons, including its intro progression, yes.

      Yes, many children with ASD can start drinking dairy kefir four weeks into the program.

      For details of my recommendations and answers to additional questions, please see the GAPS Guide book and dairy insert.

      All my best,

  205. Hi Baden,

    I know this is going to sound like a ridiculous questions but I have looked it up and looked it up everywhere and I think I have confused myself to no end.

    When to move on during intro if you have a bad reaction to the introduced food. Do you just skip that food and try other foods but keep moving forward? Or do you stay put until you can tolerate that food? What if you have some sensitivity to that food in the past? For example, I have never tolerated nuts in the past, so do I skip nuts since I have a sensitivity. But I have never had a problem with avocados. If I react to avocados during intro, do I stop and wait until I can tolerate avocado or do I move to the next item?

    I know this sounds like an un-researched question but I think they question is because I over-researched it!!!!

    Thanks for your patience!!



    • Hi Dee,

      For the answer to this question, please see your GAPS Guide book and also the updates page here.

      In brief: Except for anaphylaxis, ignore previous reactions and proceed on the assumption that all foods are fine for you. If you do react to something, skip it, and move on to the next food. Continuing moving forward, re-testing the reactive food every few weeks.

      All my best,

  206. Hi Baden

    Hope your well!

    I just wanted to ask you on average (i know its different for everyone), but just on average how many days/weeks do most people do for each stage of intro?


    • Hi Simone,

      On average, most people move through intro (or most of it, with some choosing to stay on a late stage for several months) in 6-8 weeks. That would average about one week per stage, but one might be on one stage for two days and another for two weeks, and so on.

      Hope that helps.

      All my best,

  207. For an autistic child, does healing continue on the full GAPS diet or only on intro? Should we stay on intro until all autistic sympoms are gone, or can we move to full GAPS?

    • Hi Summer,

      For all conditions, intro merely kick-starts the intensive healing. The healing will definitely continue throughout the entire program (1.5-2.5 years). While most people do see clear gains already during intro, one will still have some symptoms by the end of that kick-start. Please be sure to move on to full GAPS regardless. You may need to delay the inclusion of some foods (usually legumes, coconut flour, etc), if reacted to at this early point in healing, but otherwise you’ll be on “full GAPS”.

      All my best,

  208. Oh, I do have a question, Baden.
    You’ve been on GAPS for over 3 years now, right? I know that even if you both were completely healed, you would probably stay on the diet just because it’s good for you and it’s done so much to improve your health. BUT: I was wondering, it seems like in all the posts where you try illegal foods, something ends up going wrong. Have you actually had your kid bash his head on the wall recently, or are his symptoms completely and permanently resolved now?

    • Hi Summoora,

      My son and I did strict GAPS for about 2.5 years. In the year since, we have veered from strict GAPS, at different points consuming more and less non-GAPS foods as we choose -all part of life’s experiment.

      It very definitely holds true that the more we stay on strict GAPS, the better we do, and the more non-GAPS we eat, the worse we both do.

      For the past two weeks my son’s diet has been about 2/3 GAPS and 1/3 non-GAPS (with my ratios even worse), and his reading, behaviour and mind are clearly affected, with episodes of contrariness, belligerence, fears, obsessions and learning disability returning. He’s still way, way better than he was pre-GAPS, and pooping, largely happy, etc, but it’s clear we have to return to strict GAPS six days a week, with just one day including one or two non-GAPS items. I’m always looking for the balance of what keeps him healthiest while allowing him to also try out foods and restaurants he’s been curious about for 3.5 years.

      In short, both of us can have non-GAPS foods now and then with no problem whatsoever, while both of us are clearly affected by eating non-GAPS foods regularly.

      All my best,

  209. Dear Gabi

    Thank you for your long and thoughtful reply to my question on beef fat. Sorry I have taken so long to reply.

    I didn’t post the original question on GAPSDIET yahoo group so I do not have the original information but I will copy your reply to the group.

    I am also sending a comment to Mary below on the subject.

    Kind Regards


    Dear Mary

    Thank you for taking the trouble to comment on your observations regarding my question above.

    I also find beef fat that has been cooking for a long time (overnight in the slow cooker) hard to stomach.

    My butcher has found me some pure beef fat (beef dripping). So I have started cooking lean pieces of beef with the bones. I then melt the beef fat in the morning in the oven and adding this to the stock. I can cope with consuming a lot of this. My butcher commented that it is less greasy?

    I hope you and your daughters are okay and making progress.

    Kind Regards


  210. Hi Jo

    Great to hear you can eat more varieties of vegetables. That is brilliant!

    The consultants have to now decide how they are going to approach my treatment. It is going to take a long time and need a multi-disciplinary approach.

    Have you noticed that people on the GAPSDIET yahoo group seem to tolerate seeds better than nuts? It might be something to bear in mind when you are ready for this step.

    I am posting a suggestion below. Hope it doesn’t seem to weird as it makes sense to me.

    Get in the dirt every day, ideally this would mean hikes in the woods, gardening, swimming in unpolluted rivers and lakes. You need to be exposed to the bacteria and other organisms in soil. Be smart, don’t rub dirt into cuts, by exposure I mean some should end up in your digestive tract, on your skin, in your lungs. Every day. Breathing dust is good, in moderation. If this is not practical eat some small amount of dirt from natural source every day. The practice is called Pica, and not just humans, but animals, have and do practice it, and have for millennia. Go to the woods, to areas you know they don’t spread fertiliser or herbicides. Mix it up. You can bring a week’s worth back with you, just store it in an open container and don’t refrigerate it. Quantity is not important, frequency is. If you garden eat tomatoes or carrots with minimal washing out of the garden, for instance.

    Repopulate your intestinal tract with the organisms your modern life, either by lack of exposure or by use of antibiotics, etc., has denied it and that you have evolved to live cooperatively with. See eating dirt above. We used to live in close contact with the soil and the organisms it contains, it was in our food, on our skin, we breathed in dust every day. Food preservation was largely fermentation or drying. Eat natural yoghurt’s, seek out odd fermented foods,

    It is also suggested to drink a glass of water a day from a river or spring because of the organisms in it. Not to sure about the river for our sensitive stomachs! However, if you could find a spring and bottle it at source.

    Love Carol

  211. Is this the place to ask questions? Can anyone share experience with the gaps intro diet and constipation?

    I’ve been eating chicken broth for a year and I don’t seem to get anywhere. Have recently added sauerkraut and Biokult – still nowhere. Am traveling now but will add carrot juice and cod liver oil in mornings as soon as I get to where I’m going and can order the oil from the website. I would be grateful for any support, suggestions available. I’ve got fungal overgrowth in my intestines from antibiotics and feel desperate. I crave raw vegetables but but whenever I do eat salad, I end up bloated and miserable.

    Also, I haven’t made it to putting a raw egg in my soup – how do people tolerate the taste of that?

    I wish someone would create a GAPS Intro Diet retreat where you could go through the stages of the diet with someone’s guidance and rest…


    • Hi Anna,

      Yes, this is one of several places one can ask questions! Welcome! For more places, including live forums of several thousand people who can share their experiences with you, please see this blog’s ‘Support’ page.

      Yes, so many of us wish to attend or create a GAPS Intro Retreat! It would be a great service, for sure! If it’s any consolation, though, all of us so far have done it on our own and, while definitely experiencing frustration and a huge learning curve, have seen excellent results -and the GAPS Guide book was developed to walk a person through the transition and beyond as much as possible.

      You say you’ve been eating chicken broth for a year. Is this in tandem with the GAPS intro program, or with other dietary approaches? I’m a huge advocate of doing intro, exactly as presented in your GAPS Guide book, preferably starting at page 28 and otherwise at page 35. Also in your book is a section devoted to constipation -a very common die-off issue- and to die-off itself. As noted there, generally probiotics will initially trigger -as opposed to resolve- constipation. Managing die-off, then, is key. Again, please see the relevant sections in your GAPS Guide book for more information.

      All my best,

      • Hi Baden, OK! I can do this on my own! Everyone is so kind and supportive here. And I did read again the relevant sections. So I have two questions. To start the morning, instead of mineral water, I am to start with a small amount of juiced and filtered carrot juice and cod
        Liver oil (should I buy it from the website? Also, she says to do enemas and Epson salt baths daily. Are daily enemas safe? For how long? Should I be concerned about becoming dependent? I did not see anything about die off contributing to constipation. Any advice? I will do the diet exactly as started. One other question – If I am having broth and ginger tea, should I be drinking water during the day as well? Concerned about dehydration… Thank you so much! I feel hopeful already!

        • Hi Anna,

          Way to go on the great attitude! Yes, you can do this!!

          Yes, start your day with the constipation juice. I recommend buying GAPS supplements from or (same company, each site serving different regions of the world). I suggest not epsom salt baths daily, but in a rotation with the other die-off relief baths. (For some people, ES baths daily irritate the skin, plus you’d miss the benefits of the other baths.) Yes, many people do daily enemas for the first while, and do not become dependent. When the bowels move themselves within 36 hours of an enema, you can skip it. As noted in the GAPS Guide book, applying all the other die-off and constipation relief options will minimize the need for enemas.

          Feel free to drink water as you desire it. (For many people, adding sea salt or creating electrolyte drinks is very beneficial.)

          All my best,

  212. Hi I have a couple of questions. I was doing SCD for a few months and recently quit due to some complications after surgery. Long story. I want to start GAPS intro. So here are my questions.
    #1 I can’t stand eating boiled meats, I hate them. Can I do slow cooker meats instead? Also I buy a roast beef at the natural foods store that is very soft and seems to be easy on my digestion. The only ingredient is beef. Is that okay for intro?
    #2 When is licorice tea allowed? I drink peppermint and ginger but they both get to be kind of harsh on my stomach. I used to drink Yogi brand tea and did just fine with that but I quit because of the stevia and licorice.
    #3 Is kombucha allowed on intro?
    #4 I recently had my gallbladder removed and I use quite a bit of coconut oil because it is very well tolerated by the liver/gallbladder. Is coconut oil okay on intro?
    #5 I seem to not be able to eat any vegetables lately. Everything I eat no matter how well cooked does not sit well in my gut. Is it ok to do intro for a while without eating any veggies?
    #6 How essential are probiotics? I am on an extremely limited budget and I just cannot afford them. I was forced to quit my job because of my health. So, can I do the intro diet and just use fermented foods in place of the probiotics? My assumption is that doing the diet 99% of the way is better than not doing it at all.
    Thanks so much.
    P.S – The reason I want to do GAPS is for my severe IBS. I have not been tested for IBD as of yet.

    • Hi Robyn,

      1. In the initial stage of intro, having the meats simmered in plenty of water is ideal for digestion/healing. If in the slow cooker you are simmering meat in lots of water, this will work. Roasts are for a later stage. Each style of preparation has its own impact on digestibility. For what it’s worth, many adults and most children totally hate meat, boiled foods, etc, when they go to start intro. For the vast majority of people, eating the despised foods changes not only one’s digestive state, but also our taste! (I had been vegetarian for 22 years when I started intro. Believe me, I was repelled!) The beef cooked by your food store is fine at a later (roast) stage of intro, so long as truly nothing else has been added in the cooking process or final product.

      2. I suggest incorporating additional tea flavours at the ‘dried herb’ stage of intro.

      3. Kombucha is supported on full GAPS (not intro).

      4. Coconut oil is great for GAPS. However, intro itself will trigger a lot of die-off, and coconut oil will increase that effect very much. I recommend people only introduce coconut oil -and starting with a very small amount- when they have reached full GAPS *or* are game for a big round of die-off.

      5. It is totally fine -and in cases of IBS, etc, recommended- to do the early stages without vegetables and other sources of fibre.

      6. Commercial probiotics are essential for some and not for others. Start with homemade ones, working up slowly and using a variety (kefir, sauerkraut, etc) and see how things go. If after a few months it seems like a boost is needed, you might want to look at adding a commercial probiotic just for the sheer volume of bacteria these can provide -but this may not be necessary. I totally agree that doing 99% of the program is better than not doing it at all! 🙂 Going by your questions, I have a feeling you’re going to do great!

      All my best,

  213. Baden, I am on my fifth month of GAPS, and I just got a burst of energy a few days ago after feeling like I was plateauing for the last few weeks before. I realized that the difference laid in the fact that I had starting eating earlier and earlier in the day over the last couple of months, until I wasn’t giving myself time in the morning to rest from digestion (I started out on intro and followed the rule to not eat food until 10am, only having the probiotic and lemon water until then). I started waiting until 10am the last week, and I finally felt better yesterday: not as much gas or pain, more energy, etc. I’m amazed at that! I just thought I would share, and ask if that is normal?

    I also have a question for the long term: when I finish GAPS, can I ever have beer again? I know it might take a long time for me to tolerate it, and I’m not in a hurry. But I would like to know that I can have it again someday, like my beloved raw milk that I miss so much 🙂 After my gut is completely healed, would it be okay to have beer? How often? I love beer, and we have a lovely microbrewery nearby that I miss going to.

    • Hi kmillecam,

      Wonderful on the discovery and resulting gain!! Thank you for sharing this with all of us. Yes, anything we do to support digestion will give us a boost, and what you’re doing is one of those things.

      What we can each tolerate post-GAPS is different for everyone. Definitely some people are able to tolerate a beer now and then. For me, beer was never something I could tolerate pre-GAPS, and then I didn’t have any while healing. I’m able to have a beer now and then no problem. (I do probably once every two to three months.) How often is a tricky one -only your body, and through trial and error, will be able to tell you that 🙂

      All my best,

  214. Hi Carol,

    Nice to have you back! I hope the treatment will be effective and especially that you feel ownership of it, that you trust it to the point of being willing to go through all it takes.

    Once again you pointed to something that is critical at this time of my journey. I seem to have quite a lot of worms and parasites and I was contemplating to start the parasite cleanse Dr Natasha recommends in the FAQ: started with garlic, then adding olive leaf, then oil of oregano… But someone recommended food grade diatomaceous earth, which I think is very close to your advice. I had a few important gains so far with Gaps Intro but I believe it is now time to address the parasites and do something more than just the diet. I seem to suffer enormously before my period, which has become a real agony. i think what Dr Natasha says concerning the second half of the menstrual cycle with the change in progesterone levels giving more freedom to the parasites to upset the system to be very true in my case. Vomiting and feeling unwell coincides with my period and by now am sure of the link. I will see what the doctor suggests re:parasites but I am not willing to start anything aggressive, since I believe my body will not stand it. On the plus side, I saw a reduction on facial hair (first time in my life, never thought it possible!), which means my hormones are somewhat regulated by the diet, but perhaps this is not enough.

    Thank you once again for being so intuitive! My thoughts are with you while you embark on the new treatment.


  215. Hi again, I tried to post this yesterday but it looks like it didn’t work? I was quite a bit out of my brain yesterday so I don’t know if I even did it right. I have a couple more questions – I will apologize in advance for them. Unfortunately because I am out of a job I cannot possibly afford to buy the GAPS Guide, otherwise I would.
    #1 I have trouble making sauerkraut – for some reason it turns pink, which obviously means it’s growing some kind of funk that shouldn’t be there. I do however make cabbage tonic from Nourishing Traditions and have no trouble with that. Is that ok to use? I’m assuming it’s less potent. Oh, and beet kvass from the beginning?
    #2 I have partial jars of Bubbies relish and Bubbies sauerkraut. Is it ok to use the juice from those?
    #3 Is kefir ok from the beginning? I know on SCD they call it an advanced food and it shouldn’t be used until significant healing has taken place, but it is in the GAPS book. Sometimes I get a little confused reading that book as to whether it’s referring to beginning stages or not! I do make the 24 hour yogurt, but I love kefir. Since I have IBS-D I’m hoping kefir will help!
    #4 Do you know why teas other than plain peppermint and plain ginger are allowed on full GAPS? I love chamomile and licorice in my tea and it would be nice to be able to look forward to those one day, but I know they are never allowed on SCD. I certainly don’t want to set back my healing by consuming something I shouldn’t. I’m particularly concerned about the licorice.
    #5 Which Yahoo group is the best for GAPS information? I did join one (can’t remember which) but it hasn’t been very informative. There’s a lot of stuff on it that is totally unrelated to the diet, and quite often the moderators don’t have answers when there is a question that does pertain to the diet.

    Thank you so much.

    • Hi Robyn,

      I so get it about tight finances. I’m in the same boat. Hope you find work soon!

      Your previous comment, though not yesterday, about licorice tea did post and I answered it. Not immediately sure which post it was attached to, but you should be able to quickly find your comment and my answer at least via the ‘More Comments’ RSS via this blog’s navigation.

      Limited computer/internet this week and many comments coming in, so briefly (but hopefully still helpfully):

      1. Are you using beets in your recipe? I’m not familiar with the NT cabbage tonic recipe, so cannot comment on that for intro. However, if on my blog you do a search for ‘fermented veggies’ a nice pdf will come up for you, offering the simplest and tastiest method I know of. Re: Kvass – Feel free to use any vegetable-based, homemade, long-fermented drinks in intro.

      2. Bubbies is a good product and you might use that in an ’emergency’, but it’s best to use homemade -for potency, practice, ingredients control, etc.

      3. Kefir is highly recommended in GAPS, from early on. Personally, I recommend most (though not all) people keep dairy out at the beginning, but one might make a coconut or water kefir, for example. If you do tolerate dairy kefir, it too is great to use from early on.

      4. I don’t know why other teas are not specifically listed for GAPS’ intro. My assumption is that mint and ginger are listed for early on because they specifically aide digestion, which is extra help in early intro. Personally, I would go ahead and use additional ones at the stage dried herbs are permitted.

      5. Of the two main GAPS forums, one is extremely populated, less moderated, and allows off-topic posts. On the other hand, it also has a number of very experienced GAPSters whose brains are so worth connecting with! The second forum is smaller, more controlled, etc, resulting in less overwhelm for participants. So, which is best depends on what you specifically seek. I would say to try them both out then drop your least favourite.

      All my best,

  216. Dear Jo

    It does sound like things are changing for you.

    I’m sorry I can’t offer you any advice regarding parasite/worm cleanse. It might be worth trying GAPSDIET group for advice.

    I have never heard of diatomaceous earth but it sounds like it fits in with the ‘too clean’ hypothesis.

    If you can buy vegetables which have not been washed (still have the dirt attached to them) or from the garden, then do not wash them thoroughly. This is a more ‘normal’ way of ingesting dirt!

    Love Carol

  217. Hi Baden, thank you! I can do this! Everyone is so kind and supportive!
    I re-read the relevant sections in the book and have a couple questions.
    1. So instead of starting the morning with mineral water, I am to start with a gradually increased amount of juiced and filtered carrot juice with the cod liver oil, right.
    2. Should I get the fermented cod liver oil off the website?
    3. She says enemas and Epsom salts daily. Daily enemas for how long? Is this safe?
    4. I would be drinking only broth, soup and ginger tea. Should I drink water as well – concerned about dehydration.
    I want to do this exactly as instructed – otherwise no point!
    Thank you,

  218. Ooops, one more question from Anna. There was something about constipation being a part of die off- I don’t really understand this. Are there any additional suggestions to mitigate this? I have a feeling the answer is, just do the diet exactly as written with the constipation things included, do not add coconut oil or anything until the time is right, right? And I will know when to go to the next stage based on how I’m doing in the the eliminations (bathroom), correct?

    • Hi Anna,

      Die-off creates an overload of toxins and one of the side-effects of this is sluggish elimination. Please see in your GAPS Guide book (and the ‘book updates’ page on this website) suggestions about minimizing die-off and addressing constipation.

      Toileting is not always an accurate indication of when to move forward in the stages. For my best wording about that, please see the Book Updates page on this website.

      All my best,

  219. Hi Baden

    I am going crazy with lack of sleep of my 5 year old who is on stage 4 of intro,
    3 weeks doing intro so far. I have seen some good changes such as he eats all
    his vegies and meat now and sits still at the table (never used to do this), his
    eczema has improved a lot, but after 3 weeks he still wakes 2-4 times per night,
    he is easy to get back to sleep but he just wakes and doesn’t sleep well!
    Before intro he wasn’t a good sleeper but he would only wake 1-2 times per
    night, I have read so many times that a lot of kids that are bad sleepers sleep
    through after 2 or 3 days on intro. The other thing is he is having meltdowns
    again a few times a day and he seemed to have got over this a few months before
    intro and he was happy and now he seems to be having emotional meltdowns, not
    very interested in anything but food and not interacting well with us.

    I wanted to ask anyone out there who may know why he might not be sleeping well
    as I am finding this very hard as I am sure he is and why he may be having more
    meltdowns, it could be die off but we are going very slow with the probiotics.
    He is also a little constipated and we are doing enemas and belly rubs etc and
    he seems to go every day but still look quite bloated and constipated but
    definately no dioreah and as far as I can tell not reacting to foods.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.


    • Oh dear, Simone… Parents without sleep, oy! I so feel for you…

      The progress he’s made so far is indeed excellent. Great job!

      Yes, both sleep disturbances and meltdowns are quite common in die-off/early GAPS. I wonder if in your son’s case magnesium might be a help. This is good for sleep as well as for moving the bowels. He might have an Epsom Salt bath before bed or take something like Natural Calm orally. Ideally he will be moving his bowels 2-3 times per day, which should help all symptoms.

      I do know of one child who reacted with sleep disturbances and meltdowns to long-simmered bone broth.

      I think other parents will have more suggestions. (I’m on the road and literally didn’t sleep last night myself, so feeling a bit brain-less today.) Hopefully they will see your post and respond as well.

      All my best,

  220. Dear Simone, have you perhaps considered some kind of internal parasite, as I understand that some can also cause us to wake up in the middle of the night? Perhaps get a test done? Consider which foods might be feeding parasites? If tolerated, perhaps add some some raw garlic to some food, as this will deter some, though not all, internal critters. Best wishes – good luck!

  221. Hi Baden,
    Thank you, thank you! So grateful to you. I am definitely supporting this site with a contribution and encourage everyone else to do so! I am sure every little bit helps! So, I have 3 more questions at this point:

    1. In the section about using enemas, the book says to add a probiotic powder, preferably without additives that can induce gas (as though I don’t already have that… lol!) The closest thing I am able to find right now is Dr. Udo’s Super 8. What do you think? I have the BioKult and could get more and open the capsules if needed – it’s not clear how much probiotic powder to add to the water and also, could you recommend a probiotic for the enema?

    2. On your comment regarding toiling not being the best indicator of when to move forward and referring to the book – the book is at home and I am now 5,000 miles away from it. Can you direct me to the area on this website where I can read additional information about that?

    3. When making the soup stock, I am following the recipe in the book and am using, at the moment, whole organic chicken (oy, so expensive!) I am putting the chicken in whole, in water with salt, boiling and simmering, then sieving, taking off the skin, breaking up the bones, putting the marrow and gelatinous parts back in the stock, saving the tissues and adding them with vegetables as I go along. And sauerkraut juice (not making my own yet but not using Bubbies either although that one is so yummy!) That’s all ok. But some recipes for bone broth soup I’ve seen say: 1) add Apple Cider Vinegar, 2) let the bones and tissues soak for 1 hour before turning on heat and 3) then simmer for 24-48 hours WITHOUT bringing the meat to a boil. Can you tell me what you think of this recipe, especially the part of not boiling the meat first? Isn’t that dangerous? I’ve heard that the vinegar brings out the calcium and marrow from the bones? What do you think?

    All the best to you,

    • Hi Annapurna,

      Thank you so much for planning to make a contribution to the site over and above your purchase of the GAPS Guide book. Yes, every bit does indeed help! In fact, it makes all the difference…

      1. I’m not familiar with Udo’s Super 8 or really the ingredients of most commercial probiotics, so cannot recommend any specifically. When my son and I did the enemas, we added BioKult and had no issues (gas). I don’t remember how much we added and my book is also six hours away from where I currently sit, so I too cannot check 🙂

      2. For ‘pacing/when to move forward’, please see the ‘Book Updates’ page on this website.

      3. At the beginning of GAPS, you should be making meat broths, which is what you’re doing. Later, you can start making bone broths, which will involve the other details you’re referring to. For all my details on bone broth, please see that section in your GAPS Guide book. (Hopefully you will be reunited with it before you are ready for that stage.) When I make a broth, I bring it just to a simmer as opposed to a rolling boil. In checking the temperature of your meat with a thermometer, you’ll find that a long simmer will bring the meat to a safe internal temperature. Finally, if ACV is currently tolerated, feel free to add a tablespoon to the cooking of your meat broths/soups. Yes, this helps draw out wonderful minerals.

      All my best,

  222. Hi Baden,

    I would like you opinion on when to take biokult – all at once or divided dose.

    As per your book, I have been doing divided dose. Started with 1 in the morn then 2 in the morn. die-off both times. When I added the 3rd capsule (2 morn + 1 night), didn’t have much die-off. Same for the 4th (2 morn + 2 night). However, the 5th one (2 morn + 3 night) was a doozy.

    It seems like I don’t trigger much die off if I don’t increase the dose I take all at once. I’m wondering if dividing the dose is easier on me but also not as effective on the bad bugs?



    PS: I asked on the group but haven’t gotten an answer 🙁

    • Hi Dee,

      I don’t know whether it makes a major difference in terms of overall healing. What I have seen, though, is the following:

      1. A stronger die-off experience does not correlate 100% with depth of healing. Healing is just as -or more- effective when the die-off we feel is light and gentle over a longer period of time. A feeling of intense die-off results from overwhelming our bodies with healing protocols. We want to aim for healing, but not for an intense die-off experience.

      2. As with other powerful stuff, probiotic doses seem to act cumulatively. That is, we don’t notice much impact at an increased dose or two, or with a new dose after four days, but all of a sudden, the body says, “OH!” And we feel it. This is why I suggest ‘low and slow’ increases.

      3. As we heal, our bodies become generally able to accommodate bigger jumps/increases.

      4. Die-off will also happen regardless of whether we’re increasing probiotics, so it’s always possible that you were in a natural point for die-off at #5, and this factored in to what was happening for you.

      I would stick with the divided dose, and continue increasing once a week.

      Does this help at all?

      All my best,

  223. Hi Baden,
    I love your website and your GAPS Guide. Thank you for all your work! I would like to suggest you include a page of explanations of acronyms related to GAPS, such as ACV, NT, BTVC, ABA, WAPF, SCD. It took me a while to figure some of them out. GAPS is a pretty time-consuming program, so it would be helpful to not have to search and wonder about these and other terms.

  224. Hi Baden,

    Thank you for your GAPS guide book! I finally got it last night!
    You and your son’s story are so touching and the information is super helpful. (I wish I had read it before I started the Intro!)

    I am three weeks into Intro and have been struggling with significant die-off symptoms (I made mistakes such as premature introduction of coconut oil and introducing too much kraut juice too soon…): I developed persistent ear and sinus infections, low-grade fever, phlegm-producing cough, which my doctor (Dr. Cowan) said that he could not say if the symptoms were die-off or regular infections.

    I have two questions, which I could not find answer in your book.

    My questions are:
    1. Do you (or Dr. NCM) recommend that I go back to stage 1 when I developed these flu-like symptoms? (I read that NCM recommends going back to Intro when in virus.) If so, when the symptoms get better, shall I need to take each stage again to go back to the stage I was in (Stage4) before the symptoms flared up? Or can I jump to the stage?

    2. I am only taking a teaspoonful of kraut juice for now as I feel the previous amount triggered my die-off. If I cannot tolerate more than this, how should I introduce supplements such as BioKult or FCLO? Shall I wait to introduce them until I can tolerate suggested amount (1-4 tsp/meal) sauerkraut?

    I would appreciate if you would answer to my questions when you have time.



    • Hi Kyoko,

      1. Cold or flu-like symptoms are a very common die-off symptom, thus I would just focus on reducing/managing die-off as laid out in the GAPS Guide book and continue moving forward. Where a person has a new virus, returning to Stage 1 for a day or two is helpful. After that, jump ahead again to where you left off.

      2. Do not attempt to introduce BioKult nor FCLO for now. Focus on introducing new whole foods, and on slowly increasing your sauerkraut juice, then actual sauerkraut. It may be a good month or so before you will look at introducing the commercial supplements.

      All my best,

  225. I’m trying to find out whether purslane is a legal vegetable. I don’t find it on any list. It is often considered a weed, but this year I bought seeds ot a cultivated variety for my garden. It is high in Omega 3s and I like the taste.

  226. Hi Baden,

    I have started the GAPS introduction diet a few days ago (I’ve bought and read several of the books and guides), but I’m still overwhelmed. I’ve been existing on chicken broth and veggies for the last several days. I currently have (at least) two questions. One is how strict I really need to be on the intro (I have major food sensitivity reactions and had a long history of undiagnosed Celiac Disease, antibiotic use, etc.). For example, I wonder if I can keep taking my vitamins and fish oil. The second question that I have is related to what’s in my crock pot right now. I searched hard to find pasture fed beef marrow bones to make broth, but after cooking them for the last 12 hours in the crock pot, I find myself disgusted by the smell (I don’t mind chicken broth). Is it normal for beef broth to smell peculiar (it doesn’t smell like it’s gone bad)? Will I need to have variety in my meats and to have fish broth (fermented or otherwise)? Thanks so much for the reply!

    • Hi Suzanne,

      Just to be clear, are you also eating meat and fat with your broth and veggies? Please be sure to do so.

      Generally, the more strict we are on intro, the better our results.

      As noted in your GAPS Guide book, ideally all supplements (fish oil, vitamins) are removed from one’s program before starting intro, with the GAPS-friendly or practitioner-recommended ones added back in later, one at a time.

      Beef broth should not, and does not normally, smell yucky but rather quite nice and appetizing. Perhaps ask a friend to sniff it and see if the sense of it is universal. At the beginning of GAPS, it is best to use meat broth (see your GAPS Guide book page 135) as opposed to bone broth (GG page 135-138).

      Variety is ideal, yes. This will bring you a wider range of nutrients, as well as help prevent a new intolerance from forming. It’s great to include fish and fish broths, but not absolutely necessary.

      All my best,

  227. Hi,

    I posted questions earlier, but since my situation changed and I need some advice now, I am writing you again.

    I started the Intro on August 5th, and soon developed ear/sinus/chest infections plus severe jaw/cheek pains and headache. After suffering from persistent phlegm-producing cough, runny nose, ear infection for more than 10 days, I finally went to see Dr. Cownan. He first prescribed me some supplements (Broncafect, Andrographis Complex, Vitamin C and D) to clear up the infections but they didn’t work much. Then he prescribed me a course of antibiotics over the phone. Reluctantly, I started to take the antibiotics last night. After two hours, I had severe diarrhea…

    My question is what should I do with Intro diet when I got diarrhea cause by antibiotics? I was at the beginning of Stage 4 when I went to see the doctor. Should I go back to Stage 1 until diarrhea clears up? Dr. Cowan said that “don’t go back to Stage 1, just moving up.” Since I don’t have any appetite, I am eating Stage 1-like meals such as boiled chicken meat, boiled vegetables in chicken broth + egg yolks. It seems that NCM recommends going back to Intro Stage 1 when people get a virus or after a course of antibiotics (I didn’t find what she recommends during a course of antibiotics). The antibiotics I am on are 5-days ones, so most likely my diarrhea won’t go away for at least 5 days or more. Do I have to stay at Stage 1 until diarrhea clears up? (That means, I need to stay at Stage 1 for 10 days or more…) If I need to stay Stage 1 for a while, should I exclude all the veggies until I finish the antibiotics and diarrhea clears up?

    Also, as far as I understand, when people go through a course of antibiotics, after finishing the antibiotics, we need to take probiotics. I haven’t started BioKult as my die-off symptoms have been so harsh. I cut back on probiotic food and am only taking 1ts of kraut juice. Should I increase kraut juice or should I start taking BioKult in addition to kraut juice (1tsp/day) to protect my gut from devastating effects of antibiotics? Also, when should I start taking BioKult?

    Thank you for your time, knowledge and help!!!


    • Hi Kyoko,

      This is a difficult situation for me to comment on. I would have suggested just sticking with the program and allowing the issues to work themselves out. My son had something like this (intense cough, pink eye, ear infection, etc) last year and came through it without supplements or antibiotics. However, you have the care of an excellent doctor, and are currently on antibiotics, so what to do? Here are my thoughts regarding where you are at today:

      With virus or diarrhea, it is helpful to go to Stage 1, so generally I would do that. However, intro + antibiotics does seem a very unfortunate combination of approaches, in terms of impact on the body, die-off, balancing, etc. If this combo is too hard on your body, I might do full GAPS -or, more specifically, whatever GAPS foods you have appetite for just as you are currently doing- until the antibiotics are done.

      With antibiotics, it is helpful to take a commercial probiotic a few hours away from that to help re-establish bacterial levels. It is very early in intro for you to be taking commercial probiotics, but when one is taking antibiotics, I would think this would override the normal probiotic introduction progression.

      I would not exclude veggies yet, as it seems like your diarrhea is not triggered by fibrous foods, so I would continue with those until you suspect them to be an actual cause.

      I also suggest doing lots of die-off relief stuff, like in the post I linked to just a couple of comments ago to another reader.

      Kyoko, I hope things resolve for you soon!

      All my best,

  228. Hello Baden,

    I really appreciate your comment and suggestions.

    Both Dr. Cowan and you suggested taking BioKult, so I started to take 1/2 BioKult last night and plan to increase the dose today. Yes, I am experimenting the die-off relief stuff in your book and your post:)

    Regarding the Intro, I went back to Stage III and am thinking about moving forward quickly as soon as diarrhea gets better so I can have more balanced diet and more appetite to fight with the infections. This crazy die-off symptoms made me realized that I may have Candida overgrowth (I somehow feel that the symptoms were triggered by drinking coconut oil everyday). Do you think it is okay to take some fruits and/or honey in Stage 5 if I plan to move slowly? Or should I cut sweets so I won’t feed Candida?

    Unfortunately, the antibiotics that Dr. Cowan put me on hasn’t be so effective and he said that he may need to prescribe another antibiotics…I am so sad about this situation. I started the Intro to improve the balance of my gut bacteria, but I am hurting my gut with antibiotics in addition to getting worst ear/sinus/chest infections. This is so ironic…

    Thank you,


    • Hi Kyoko,

      Has Dr Cowan shared with you his concerns about what might happen if you don’t take a second course of antibiotics? I like the section in Dr Natasha’s book on ear infections. We found an onion poultice to immediately take the pain from my son, allowing him to sleep thus heal. We used this recipe from a naturopath:

      Dice one onion, sauté in liberal amount of oil, add 1 cup flaxseed and mix. Add enough vinegar to cover mixture, stir and cook for 3 min. Place mixture on cotton muslin (cheese cloth works) and apply to ear 2x daily if possible. Leave on for 40 minutes.

      Please also do a search on my blog for GOOT (chest poultice), cough, etc. Lovely home remedies that helped my son immensely.

      I think most (if not all) people coming to GAPS have major candida issues. For some, small amounts of fruit and honey are fine; for others they’re not. I like your idea of going to pretty much full GAPS right now to give you more oomph to get through this. All things considered, I would include honey and fruit in your program. Personally, I would focus only on getting past the antibiotics and diarrhea, and nothing more right now.

      Yes, taking coconut oil during intro may well have overwhelmed the body. I beg people not to add this -or any other non-intro food- to intro 🙂 But you will recover!

      All my best,

  229. Hi Baden,
    I began my intro diet again 3 days ago and I was willing to make the 2 year commitment to heal everything once and for all. I was also doing the yeast ellimination diet along with it, which really limits me as well. I found out that I am preagnant, and now I don’t know what I should do with this. I want to heal my body so that I can have a healthy baby and not pass my problems down, but I am not sure if I should not limit my diet so much anymore. I really want to get rid of yeast as well… What would you recommend I do with the diet?

    • Hi Elena,

      Congratulations on your pregnancy!

      In pregnancy, full GAPS is recommended. To reduce candida at the same time, simply reduce your sweet foods (fruits, honey, etc) and include coconut oil. I also recommend checking out -and interacting with- the blogs of other women who did GAPS while pregnant. You can find them via this blog’s ‘Support’ page. They may be able to share specific tips and aspects of their journey with you.

      All my best,

  230. Hi Baden,

    Thanks for a recent reply to a question that I had, recently. Now I have another–if bad bacteria dying in our gut can cause a die-off reaction, then why don’t we see/feel that when given antibiotics. Just curious. Thanks.


    • Hi Suzanne,

      It’s been so many years since I last took antibiotics that I don’t remember what it felt like to take them, but many people believe antibiotics do trigger die-off. Here’s a note from one lyme disease website:

      An unusual characteristic of this disease is what is known as a Herxheimer reaction (named after a guy named Herxheimer who discovered the phenomenon).

      When treatment begins, the antibiotics or other drugs start to kill the bacteria. As the bacteria die off, they release neurotoxins which will actually cause the infected person to have symptoms much worse than they did before they started treatment.

      Lyme patients refer to this reaction as a “herx” or as “herxing.” Patients and doctors can use these reactions to determine how well a patient is responding to treatment.

      A strong reaction says that the treatment is working well. Also, in cases where a diagnosis was made based on symptoms alone, with a negative test for the disease, a Herxheimer reaction can confirm that a person is actually infected with the disease.

      Bee Wilder offers a different theory about what the die-off or Herx symptoms arise from, but shares a belief that the effects can result from any program (dietary anti-fungal, antibiotic, etc) targeting bacteria or yeast.

      All my best,

      • Thanks, Baden. I have avoided antibiotics like the plague the last few years, too (I’ve developed severe allergies to most of them–scary). However, when I did take them in the past, I just usually felt better to be relieved of whatever infection I had at the time (strep, etc.). I don’t remember any die-off symptoms. Certainly, antibiotics absolutely hurt me in the long run, though–so I keep myself and my kids off of all of them now, unless life or death.

  231. Hi Baden, summer has been busy…I’ve been offline a bit, LOL.

    OK, I need your input if you don’t mind…

    I phased my family onto Full GAPS after three months on Intro. We have been taking biokult since stage 5 of Intro, and we have been doing the SBoulardii 3wk on/3wk off protocol.

    Since moving to my version of “full” GAPS, we have been eating a lot of fruit (fresh and dried)…and my instinct told/tells me that this is a problem…but my kids (and me, too, if truth be told) were so ecstatic to be able to have fruits again…. And we’ve moved to having the broths/soups only once daily.

    So, to make a long story short, my middle son’s eczema has been flared up terribly for a few weeks and his night terrors came back this week (they had left after one week on GAPS Intro back in May…we were so pleased!). I have gained back two pounds of the toxic weight I lost during GAPS Intro (wow, that had me feeling great!) and am now feeling bloated.

    I am leaning toward the fruit being the cause of the worsenings, b/c we’ve been doing probiotic foods (sauerkraut and raw kefir whey) and probiotic supplements all along. I’m thinking of taking us back to stage 6 of Intro, upping the broth consumption, taking out all fruit…and this will bring emotional agony back into the family, as the kids hate the deprivation.

    But, I want to determine exactly what is causing the flareups…and I am unlikely to assign cause just to die off. What do you think?

    Do you have any insight before I go thru the terror of telling my kiddos we have to move backward again? (we had to move backward in july for a bit after taking a trip that messed up our eating….it was not fun.)

    Thanks so much for any input you may have based on your experiences.

    Cheers! gabi

    • Hello dear Gabi 🙂

      Flare-ups are so tricky! As noted in GAPS Guide, they can be simply due to timing -the body will cycle through die-off regardless of what we’re doing and not doing. That’s good, in that we continue healing, but it can be frustrating because we can’t control the timing. Where this could be the case, I recommend doing intensive die-off relief (ensuring 1-3 good bowel movements daily; die-off relief baths; etc) every day for a week or so and see if things budge.

      Fruit is often a problem for many. Most of us tend to go overboard with it every time we introduce it.

      I, too, must take my kid back to simpler stages at times. He groans, but within a day he has readjusted, is feeling the benefits, and is happy enough again.

      I like your plan. I totally support your doing exactly that. If you feel like it might help, you might consider including one serving of fruit per person per day -see if that’s reduction enough. (Personally, I do -and feel emotionally- better eliminating all triggers altogether, but everyone is different.)

      All my best,

  232. Baden,

    I have a question concerning parasites cleanses. NCM in her FAQs says to start with garlic extract, then add olive leaf extract, then oil of oregano and finally grapefruit seed extract. In various posts here you reported that you rotated these oils/herbs taking each of them one week per month. Does the rotation increase their effectiveness? Did you experiment both rotating and taking them together? Is there another rationale behind your choice?

    Thanks once again for your input!


    • Hi Jo,

      In my post about rotating these substances, I’m looking at addressing yeast overgrowth as opposed to parasites. Many of us rotate (vs add/combine) based on a theory that this will prevent candida from adjusting to any given substance. I opted for a schedule of ‘one week per’ just to make it simple enough for me to remain willing to do it, and to keep track.

      All my best,

  233. Hi Baden,

    I’m getting ready to start intro in a week, and I’ve been looking everywhere to find out whether kombucha is allowed at any point in the diet (either intro or full GAPS). It is not listed on either the legal or the illegal food lists, but my instinct tells me it would be okay to consume – what do you think? I have been making it at home for the last year or so, but have put my culture in the fridge for now so it will sit dormant until I know whether I can continue drinking it on GAPS. I’d love your insight on this.

    Thanks so much,

  234. Baden,

    Can you tell me how to know when candida issues are not present anymore – or specifically where I can find more info about this on this site?

    Also curious about dry skin rubbing – or whatever it’s called. Looking for more info about this as well.


    • Hi Katherine,

      I wanted to chime in on skin brushing…if that’s what you were curious about? I LOVE dry skin brushing and we’ve done it for years as a general skin “tonic” and detoxifying process. There are various methods, but I need to keep things simple, so I just use a natural soft-bristled brush (like a baby’s hair brush) and stroke it across the skin. You want to be stimulating, but not harsh. I focus on limbs and avoid really sensitive areas like belly. You brush upward, toward the heart. This helps to increase circulation. The brushing will loosen dried skin and debris, allowing your skin to breathe, increasing circulation and detoxification ability. Hope that helps! Cheers, gabi

    • Hi Katherine,

      It’s difficult to know objectively when candida has moved from overgrowth to an ideal balance. Generally, we go by symptoms. If we feel great, we’re good to go! If we feel poorly in any regard, we can continue allowing time -or doing some tweaking- to make further gains.

      Hope you saw Gabi’s response about the dry skin brushing?

      All my best,

  235. Thank you for your input, Baden!

    I am going to do as you suggest with the fruit…I had been doing the detox baths and expecting flare-up/die off cycles; we’ve been seeing them thru the process, but this is a bit over the top. And, admittedly, our fruit consumption has been over the top! LOL It was like an oasis in the desert! I’ll pull back significantly rather than eliminate fruit altogether and increase our detox regimen and see what happens.

    This certainly is a journey…I’ve now gotten three other families committed to beginning GAPS and they are watching us intently as their test case…it is a bit disconcerting to be under the microscope, LOL. I’ve done so many health consultations over the years that I now want to go back and rework to include GAPS. But if I don’t get my own family figured out, what help am I to others? 🙂

    Thanks again! Bless you! Gabi

  236. A quick note to Suzanne, re: kombucha…

    We, also, are a kombucha family. When we began Intro, I put my culture in the fridge to await our transition to Full GAPS. I agree with McBride’s assessment that kombucha could be a problematic food because of the sugars involved and the potential for remaining sugar in the brew.

    Last week we had some kombucha and I noticed it much sweeter than I remembered. We currently are having some flareups due to overzealous fruit consumption, LOL (you might see my post to Baden above). My current plan on reintroducing kombucha is to make it with honey rather than the organic sugar I typically use, and to reduce the amount of sugar in my recipe. Then, I’m planning to culture it longer than I normally would (it will certainly taste like vinegar, I’m sure). I want to be certain no active sugars remain, but that we still get the health tonic effects.

    I just wanted to share that with you, maybe it will help. Cheers! gabi

  237. Baden,

    Thank you for your reply, the distinction is now clearer. I might experiment with the 2 approaches and see how it goes. I am glad that I can use the same products for parasites and candida!

    Best wishes,


  238. Hi Baden,

    I was wondering if you (or anyone else) might have any ideas about fish stock and die-off. Yesterday, I just consumed my first fish stock–made with halibut (prior to this I had only had access to beef and chicken) and at no point in the day did I add anything else that was usual or that would trigger extra die-off but low and behold, this morning I woke up with all of my usual die-off symptoms. At present, I am not thrilled at this development as I have just started a new teaching job yesterday and do not want to deal with this on top of everything else. On the other hand, I am happy to do more healing and am very curious as to why fish would trigger this reaction. Any ideas?

    With thanks,

    • Hi Anisa,

      In my experience, all powerful foods can trigger die-off symptoms or a ‘healing crisis’. This includes stocks, fish oils, marrow, etc. In terms of planning, it is safest to assume we will react with healing crisis or intolerance to any newly introduced food, so we can avoid new intros before key points in our lives. It’s also possible, though, that you were reacting to something introduced several days before the fish stock. Some responses are delayed, while others hinge on cumulative amounts, suprising us with a reaction four days in to a new and consistent dose of any given item. So many variables! When experiencing die-off, remember to apply all the tips found in the die-off relief section of your GAPS Guide book.

      All my best,

  239. Hi Baden,

    My family is about to start the intro diet and there is just one thing I’m not sure about. Are probiotic supplements started in the intro with the sauerkraut juice? I don’t understand when supplements are to be introduced.


  240. Hi Baden, Happy Friday!

    Just wanted to give you a quick update, in case you want to file it away in your “experiential database,” LOL.

    I have determined that it is the fruits creating havoc in our more sensitive family members. Worse culprits seem to be dried mango and dates (bummer, they are my favorites!)

    We are doing a weekend detox of going back to Intro stage one and then will do some days of just soups and juicing (plus other detox protocols) and see if we can sort our systems out more next week.

    Progress, progress…the journey continues! 🙂 Cheers, gabi

    • Awesome, Gabi!

      By the way, the blog software allows me to edit comments, which I sometimes do when a person follows up their own with a correction, but sometimes, as with yours above, the follow-up/correction is too fun and funny and I can’t bear to edit it away 🙂

      Thanks for all the happy communications!

      I’m really excited about what you’re bringing, and will increasingly be bringing, to the GAPS community and larger world!

      All my best,

  241. Ugh…my grammar…I meant to say “worst cuprits…” haha…friday brain. LOL couldn’t find an edit button, but needed to clarify that. cheers! 🙂

  242. Hi Baden,

    Thanks so much for all of the amazing help you provide here! I don’t know how you manage to find the time! 🙂
    I’ve been visiting the Yahoo GAPS group (joined a few days ago) several times a day for info. Just received a Google notice that the site has been tagged for malware. I’m staying away from it for now so our computer doesn’t get infected 🙁
    On day 6 of the Intro. and almost at the end of stage two. I’m a vegetarian (not vegan) and husband isn’t. (Thanks for your prev. help about doing GAPS as a vegetarian) We’re both noticing increased amts. of energy. YEA!! I’d been feeling really sluggish prior to the Intro. and never understood why until starting GAPS. Even though I’m a vegetarian, I’d enjoy lots of baked goods and ice-cream but I thought that was ok as long as I watched everything else. WRONG! 🙂 It’s challenging doing the Intro. as a non-meat eater but I’m loading up on the super fatty broths and eggs and doing well. No big die off issues even though up to 2Tb. of veg. ferment daily and have added 2 tsp of sour cream a day for now. Only issue is not having much poo and wondering if it’s because I’m not getting much “food” to make much with or if it’s something else. I tried 1 tsp ACV in water yesterday a.m and that helped. Had same this a.m with a C.O.L. capsule. Nothing yet for today. Doing foot soaks (no tub) twice a day. Wondering if magnesium would be ok.? Also, would it be ok to add more dairy at this point since I can’t do fruit yet? Boy, I miss white nectarines!
    Not sure about dairy with the constipation (that’s why I’ve been doing s.c. only.
    Thanks in advance for any help and for the precious time that you take to do the good and important work that you do here!!

    • Hi Sammi,

      I’m so glad the previous info was helpful to you. Thanks for letting me know, as well as for all your supportive and kind words! It’s directly because of folks like you buying the GAPS Guide book that I’m able to devote time and energy to blogging and to answering comments, so it’s a positive circle!

      It’s great that you’re doing well without meat and with a focus on the super fatty broths and eggs, etc.

      On GAPS, we’re not depending so much on amounts or types of food to achieve bowel movements as we are relying on healthy, prolific gut flora. Constipation is common in early GAPS/die-off. The amounts of ferments you’re at already may be exacerbating this somewhat. For information and tips, please see in your GAPS Guide book the sections on die-off and constipation. (Yes, magnesium is one of the many tips listed within those sections.)

      At this stage, you could start adding ghee or butter, and then so on through the stages.

      All my best,

  243. Hi Baden,
    I purchased your GAPS Guide book, which is great! I have a question that I didn’t find the answer to in your book. Can I use whey from raw goat’s milk? It is made by allowing the raw milk to separate, not first fermenting the milk into yoghurt or kefir. Is this whey the same or should I only use whey dripped from fermented milk?
    Thank you so much,

  244. Hi Baden,

    Thanks so much for your speedy reply!

    Had some sour cream, ACV in water, CLO (1 cap. at 1000mg), 1 mag. cap (400mg) & 1/2 c fresh carrot juice yesterday and had the most bowel relief this morning since starting diet 🙂 Yippee!

    Will repeat same plan today except that I”ll be leaving out the ferm. veg. juice for today to see if that helps with the constipation.Feeling happy to move from type 1 poo to type 2. Hoping to keep progressing. Otherwise, all is well…losing weight, more energy, noticing less cravings for carbs.

    The GAPS guide (pg39) deals with pacing. Other than constipation (which is improving), no symptoms. So as far as cautiously proceeding with a new food,amt.,style pf prep., or supplement every few days, can I move a bit quicker than that if all is well? Knowing it varies from person to person, I suppose using my common sense and letting my body guide me would be the best. (?)

    Thanks again for all of your kind help Baden!!


  245. Hi Sammi,

    Right on about letting your body guide you, yes!

    Just also be aware that sometimes effects can be delayed and/or cumulative, so a slow-go can be really helpful for determining intolerances, avoiding excessive problems, etc. See the section in your GAPS Guide book re: ‘Slow and Methodical’.

    All my best,

  246. Baden, what do you think of the ingredients in supplements like 5-HTP? I have been struggling with an appropriate brand, because they either have cellulose, gelatin (that is probably not grass-fed, ha!), maltodextrin, rice flour, silica, or other vegetable cellulose-type ingredients in the capsule. The Solaray brand I have been taking for 5 days has

    I know that I can take the capsules apart and stir the 5-HTP into a smoothie or something, but I am so low in serotonin that I need three capsules of 50mg 5-HTP twice a day, which is a lot of capsule material, but also a lot of powder to take in a smoothie.

    After reading The Mood Cure and making sure that GAPS DOES allow for the possibility of taking amino acids, I started a 5-HTP regimen 5 days ago and I am finally sleeping! I was so tired when I started GAPS that my sleep disorder and depression were masked. But after finding out that I am low in serotonin, I would rather take 5-HTP than an anti-depressant and sleeping pill every day.

    Also, I only know that 5-HTP is something that is helping me now because of how much GAPS has helped me over the last 6 months being on the diet. I am healing in so many ways, and getting my energy and my true self back! Unfortunately, the real me likes to stay up late and get stuck in the napping/staying up late cycle. That cycle resurfacing at 6 months into GAPS is what had me reading The Mood Cure and trying 5-HTP in the first place. What do you think?

  247. Sorry, I forgot to say what’s in my Solaray brand of 5-HTP: cellulose, vegetable cellulose capsule, alpha galactoside and magnesium stearate. These capsules are enteric coated so that they are absorbed not in the stomach, but in the small intestine. I can’t tell if that is good or bad for GAPS.

    Also, today I bought the NOW brand since it seemed the simplest. It’s ingredients are only 5-HTP extracted from griffonia simplicifonia (seed), rice flour and gelatin. I figured these ones might be doable for taking the powder out of the capsules.

    I’m so confused about what to do!

    • Hi kmillecam,

      I think you’re right on track! While people who are very sensitive or ill can indeed be affected by secondary ingredients in a product, this is not the case for everyone. If you are using a specific brand and are experiencing increasing healing, go for it! Some people need to use a supplement or prescription that has additional ingredients, but their bodies can deal with these just fine while they are on such a body-supportive program as GAPS.

      All my best,

  248. Hi Baden

    Hope your well!

    Do you know if raw organic cultured butter can give you die off because its cultured? My son has symptoms like die off and this is a new food I am giving him.


    • Hi Simone,

      Another phrase for ‘die-off’ is ‘healing crisis’. A healing crisis can be triggered by any powerful food, and I would definitely categorize raw, organic, cultured butter as a super healing food! You can back off with it a bit, starting with a lower amount and/or, for the fat, tandemly offer him other butters that are less powerful (pasteurized, non-cultured, etc).

      All my best,

  249. Hi Baden,

    I am unable to add many foods as I proceed through the intro diet due to old, chronic food sensitivity issues (which is why I’m doing this diet in the first place). For example, I still react STRONGLY with hives and feeling sick to dairy (and that was with testing one half teaspoon of yogurt), although I am delighted to find that I tolerate ghee, to nuts/seeds (I reacted strongly to a tiny amount of sunflower butter, and I also still reacted to coconut oil). I haven’t been able to tolerate apples in years, and many other foods. So, how do I proceed on this diet? I would LOVE to be able to tolerate dairy and nuts. Should I stay on an early intro stage for a much longer time than others (although, I’m so tired of deprivation–after years of it), or proceed adding the few things that I can, such as juicing some veggies and adding some fruits? I know that I’ll probably need to be on GAPS for a long time to heal this damaged gut of mine, but I’d like to at least go on and add a few more foods than is allowed in the into. What do you think? Thanks SO MUCH for you input!


    • Hi Suzanne,

      My strong recommendation is that most people -for faster, deeper healing- do intro without dairy, without coconut oil, and without other things that are not listed in intro. I know Dr Natasha now recommends dairy in intro for some people. Some people do best with dairy in; others do best with dairy out for some time.

      No, do not stay on an early stage longer than suggested. Deprivation will bring both physical and psychological barriers; moving forward is important. Please follow the usual guidelines, as set out in your GAPS Guide book.

      Many people doing GAPS need to skip nuts, dairy, fruit, etc, for some time. Simply focus on the meats, fats, non-dairy ferments, juiced veggies, etc, initially, testing each of the other items every couple of weeks. At some point, you will find your body has healed and will surprise you by accepting the foods you currently don’t tolerate.

      All my best,

  250. Thank you so much for your reply, Baden–that is very helpful! One more quick additional question…I’m assuming that even without intolerance to some fruits (e.g., watermelon is one that I can eat, and strawberries) that I should leave those out completely until more healing has occurred??? Would you concur? I would LOVE to add some fruits, but I don’t know if it’s my body guiding me, or my yeasts talking to me! Thanks, again! –Suzanne

    • Hi Suzanne,

      I would do intro exactly as outlined in your GAPS Guide book, keeping all fruit out for the first 4-6 weeks, then testing a mouthful and, if that’s tolerated, having a small amount every few days or so.

      All my best,

  251. Thanks so much for the follow-up, Baden! I’ll check my GAPS Guide book, again. Fruits are a challenge to me as I’d like to eat them several times a day! 🙂 Best, Suzanne

  252. Hi Baden,

    I’d been doing so well on the Intro…other than the constipation issues I written you about a couple of days ago. After the clo,carrot juice,mag. caps,detox foot soaks,sour cream, I went from constipated (not a prob. before Intro…usually had 2-3 good bm a day) to having true diarrhea… once Tues. night & then next day (yesterday) 3 episodes of liquid poo. Last bm ( most recent) at about 1am was more of the very soft forms (stage right above the diarrhea). Really dehydrated (almost went to ER last night from the intense cramping in stomach & lower gut). Very weak. Drinking electrolyte drink (1/2 nat. oj with 1/2 water and some salt) & that’s helped energy level a bit. Still cramping. Called my naturopath & she’s rec. no solids for today….just the electrolytes & water & if I do broth, for it to have no fat,ie vegie broth. She thinks the level of fat in broth I’ve been having may be hard for the liver & gallbladder to process for now. Also rec. I go back to doing the castor oil heat packs she’s had me do in the past.
    My question is, I’d skipped to stage 3 (before diarrhea) and had scrambled eggs in ghee. (other than that, have been on target very consistently) Did sensitivity test to egg yolks..they’re ok. Could that have contributed to the diarrhea? Should I go back to soft boiled when on solid food again? Are the scrambled eggs introduced later ’cause they’re harder to digest?

    Still feeling really nauseous & cramping in stomach area. Not sure if there’s anything to help with that.

    Thanks for being there Baden. It’s a real comfort to have your kind help. 🙂
    (Called Dr. Cowan’s office in SF & he’s booked for 3 weeks…no space for a phone consult. That’s why I called my naturopath this am). Another reason why the help you provide here is so vital & appreciated 🙂


    • Hi Sammi,

      For some reason, scrambled eggs often trigger diarrhea in people.

      Yes, things introduced later are (generally speaking) harder to digest, hence the specific order.

      Excellent of you to be so on top of things with the electrolytes and call to your naturopath! If reduced fats help you, please do that. Dr Natasha also recommends removing veggies where there is diarrhea. Meats, broths, smaller amounts of fats -ie. Stage One- should be fine.

      Thanks so much for your kind and supportive words 🙂

      All my best,

    • Hi Rita,

      For the list of recommended foods, please see the food list linked to in the post you’ve commented on here.

      Anything not named on the list of recommended foods (eg. chia) should not be used.

      All my best,

  253. Baden, when do you think it’s okay to add whole raw milk? I have only been on GAPS 6 months, but I still miss milk terribly. Everything else (like grains, starches, etc) I haven’t missed, but milk I miss terribly. I come from Irish stock that had a lot of dairy, and I tend to not have any trouble digesting it when I have it. I eat butter, yogurt, sour cream, and cheese everyday with no digestive issues. Do I need to wait to introduce raw milk? Is it ever GAPS legal on the full GAPS diet if you can tolerate milk to have it (like cocoa powder–you can add it in if you can tolerate it), or is it strictly a food you wait to add after you’ve been on GAPS for longer? Thanks!

    • Hi kmillecam,

      Everyone is different; some can reintroduce unfermented raw milk sooner vs later (while others are never able to tolerate unfermented dairy). I would start by making the raw milk into kefir, see how that goes, and after a few months of that try raw milk unfermented.

      Unfermented milk is not part of GAPS (while cocoa -after sufficient healing- can be), but GAPS is simply a starting point anyway. Once our health is firmly established, each of us will develop a personal program which isn’t “GAPS” per se, but rather our personal program which was preceded by -and is likely still largely influenced by- GAPS.

      All my best,

  254. Hi Baden 🙂

    Hoping you’ll have the answer…
    When is it ok to use spices like dried red chilies and such? We’re on stage 4.5 of Intro. and can’t see where spices come in. Is that in full Gaps? I’ve mainly cooked Indian food for years & use lots of cardamom,mustard seeds,turmeric,etc. I make my own spice blends from scratch (roasting the spices & then grinding them for each dish)…does that make a difference. Can’t find the answers & it may be because the spices are more exotic.
    Thank-you for any help Baden 🙂 Hope all is well with you! We are well (and that’s due in part to your great help!!)

    • Hi Sammi,

      So glad you folks are doing well!! Thank you for the lovely wishes for us, too. We are happy and healthy, yes!

      Dried spices are included in recipes for fermented fish, which is late Stage 2. Once you’ve incorporated that, I would go ahead with dried spices in other recipes as well.

      All my best,

      • Hi Baden, For Stage 2, it does say to eat fermented fish but it also says to avoid spices:

        Add stews and casseroles made with meats and vegetables. Avoid spices at this stage; just make the stew with salt and fresh herbs (look for a recipe of Italian Casserole in the recipe section of the book).

        It then doesn’t say when it’s safer to introduce them into the Intro diet…


        • Hi AnAn,

          The spice-free casseroles come earlier in Stage 3. The spice-inclusive fermented fish comes a bit (generally about a week) later. Many people are able to start using dried herbs and spices as the fermented fish point.

          All my best,

          • Hi Baden!

            Totally got it, thanks for the clarification! I do have a few other questions I am trying to clarify with regard to the Introduction Diet. I am currently just starting it but want to make sure I do it as standard as possible so that I get the best results without deviation and having to add more time to it.

            -When can I start using honey & coconut oil (avoiding dairy) combo every 30 mins or so on the intro diet? I see that honey is allowed on Stage 1 but no mention of coconut oil, only intro of olive oil on Stage 4.
            -Can one start juicing on Stage 1 as opposed to waiting until Stage 2 if one is already experiencing constipation from the fats in stocks or is it better to wait as she says?
            -When can I start using ACV on the intro diet?
            -When or can I at all use balsamic vinegars on the intro diet?

            Additionally, I get migraine headaches frequently and have tried using cold packs as a pain reliever but it doesn’t always work. Does the doctor make any recommendations about how to naturally relieve headaches or minimize the pain in any way?

            Lastly, I have next to no energy most of the day and worse when I eat due to leaky gut…I pretty much feel bad no matter what I eat. I am thinking that more liquid foods such as broth by itself, juice and the teas are best as my gut is so “leaky” but sometimes, I still feel extremely lethargic and can barely stay awake and am wondering if there is anything she says that can help with this whether drink, food, supplement, etc.

            Thanks so much for all of your incredible help! It is greatly appreciated!

            Much Love,

            • Hi AnAn,

              Sorry I could not reply sooner. I hope you found answers in the meantime. In case not…

              It is best to avoid coconut oil during intro, as it will exacerbate the die-off. The blood sugar balancer would be best used during your Preparing for GAPS months, as presented in your GAPS Guide book, and then again from the ghee stage onward if using ghee, or during Full GAPS. During Intro, stabilize blood sugar by eating fat and protein upon waking, every hour or so, then again right before bed. If the balancer feels essential, though, go ahead and use it, as in extreme cases its benefits may outweigh the additional die-off that comes with using coconut oil.

              A person is on Stage 1 for just 1-3 days, so juicing as a constipation remedy in that stage is generally moot.

              If tolerated, ACV is fine from Stage 1.

              I don’t know about balsamic vinegars.

              An enema is often great for headache. You might also want to look at Dr Natasha’s FAQ document.

              If your fatigue is new (ie. with Intro) it is likely die-off and will pass. Be sure to implement the tips for minimizing and remedying die-off, as presented in your GAPS Guide book. Fats are key for energy. Carbohydrates, such as in orange squash and carrots, can also help. Protein is important, too.

              All my best,

              • Thanks so much Baden! I am officially starting my first day of Stage 1 though I have been trying to eat soups and stocks for at least 1 meal per day for the last month. You mentioned that Stage 1 should really be for just 1 – 3 days which is fantastic news as I feel with all that I have going on with my leaky gut symptoms for the lat 13 years, it would take me a lot longer. I have read that some people stay on each stage for a lot longer although some people can be very fast. I have strong doubt that in 3 days, I will not have stomach pains, etc. which are not supposed to be present for one to move forward to the next stage. I would LOVE more information along these lines as I was feeling rather overwhelmed by the thought of doing stage 1 for weeks or months…and then all of the reminder stages which could take a long time as well. My main daily symptoms for the last 13 years have been lethargy where I yawn a lot and it’s hard to stay awake with mental fog throughout a lot of the day. Then after I eat just about anything and in any amounts, I get intense nausea, bloating, stomach aches, flatulence, headaches along with heavier mental fog and lethargy. I always overeat in every meal I consume and even when I am completely full, I still have an excessive appetite for some sort of snack or sweets though I refrain from it most of the time. That on top of migraines 1 – 4 times per month that last for 1 – 3 days. These are my primary symptoms which are the most difficult to deal with though there are more ranging from neck, shoulder and back problems, ringing in the ears, menstruation problems, canker sores, etc. Thank you again for all of your incredible help!

                Best Regards,

                • Hi AnAn,

                  You are right that not all symptoms will resolve before it’s time to move forward. If stomach pains (cramping) are an issue, you can stay on Stage 1 for up to 7 days, but then you need to move forward.

                  So…Start with Stage 1. Do that for 1-3 days (or up to seven if you have cramping, bleeding, or true diarrhea). Then add the first food from Stage 2 (yolk into soup). Stay at that for four days. Then move to the next food. Stay at that for four days. Then add the next food. Keep doing this. If in this process you develop a new or increased symptom, remove the food that triggered the new or increased symptom, continue with all previous foods for four days, then add the subsequent food in the progression.

                  Be sure to do die-off relief baths, bowel movements, etc, daily, as these are critical to removing the toxins.

                  All my best,

                  • Thanks so much for the clarification and info. It’s my 2nd week of working on Stage 1…having a really rough time in terms of carb cravings! I have mainly been eating fruit due to sugar cravings and justifying it with the fact that it’s something natural. My husband is a junk food addict and I crave chips, bread, cheese, ice cream, deserts, etc. all the time. On the weekends, it gets terribly tough to not eat out at restaurants, fairs, etc. I also have dinner with my family every other week or so along with regular client lunches which is unavoidable so following the Intro exactly as laid out is an impossibility for me as I will stray from it minimally every few days to a week either due to my own cravings or obligations. I also found it difficult to make soups without adding spices, seasonings, fresh squeezed lemon, raw herbs like scallions, basil, mint, onions, garlic and to not cook my veggies until they are super soft as I like my veggies al dente. I don’t know that someone like myself will get very far deviating as much as I am on the Intro diet. I have a ton of things I am dealing with physically as mentioned so I definitely need to do the Intro and not the full Gaps Diet to start with but my cravings and obligations make getting through the Intro standardly is practically impossible. I have thought about maybe doing the full Gaps Diet first but my symptoms are so bad that I feel the return for doing that may not be enough for me to stick with it as it’s a much slower process even though one will see change in time. I have stated to increase my fat intake even more to aid with blood sugar and cravings but nothings changed yet. I don’t know if a certain supplement/s or any other bright ideas would assist me with the cravings…There is an herbal supplement called gymnema sylvestre that is supposedly helpful for sweet cravings but my cravings are more for carbs, fried foods, chips, snacks, cheese, deserts and fruit…Thanks again for your help!

                    Best Wishes,

                    • Hi AnAn,

                      It is important that you recognize that your situation is that of most people’s: cravings, obligations, habits, and routines that are different than what Intro suggests. People doing Intro are facing all of these situations and are doing Intro anyway. If you want to make Intro work for you, and kill your cravings, follow Intro. Also, eat a fatty protein upon waking, every hour or so, and again right before bed. If you continue eating fruit, starches, and foods outside of your stage, your health will continue as is. I would propose that you are better off doing Full GAPS (this would be more healing than regularly eating non-GAPS foods and fruits during “Intro”) until you are ready to commit to Intro as is.

                      Also, no one should be on Stage 1 for two weeks. That stage is 1-3 days for most people.

                      The only way to resolve cravings is to stop eating the foods you crave, and the other non-GAPS foods that perpetuate the cravings. Most people experience cravings for 1-5 days of strict Intro, and then the cravings are gone for as long as they stick with the program and they are eating a fatty protein (or even just fat) upon waking, every hour or so, and again right before bed. You can include up to three teaspoons of honey, or small amounts of high-carbohydrate GAPS foods like carrots or butternut squash, even into the earliest stages.

                      Also, ask your husband to please eat his non-GAPS food out of the house and while apart from you. Even seeing non-GAPS foods for hours on end, eg. in your home or car, can make cravings unmanageable at the beginning.

                      All my best,

                  • OK, got it. Time to toughen up and do the Intro or go onto full Gaps until I can do Intro. I will try more fats…are there certain fats and fatty proteins you recommend that one can eat as frequently as every hour on Stage 1 and the next earlier stages?


  255. Hi Baden

    Thanks for the wonderful site!

    I’m wondering why is Gruyere cheese legal on SCD, but on the GAPs illegal list? Can’t find a reason for this anywhere. Hoped you might know.



    • Hi Chris,

      I have no idea! I’m fascinated!

      It’s a cheese that seems to be aged a minimum of five months, so I would think it would be fine for GAPS.

      I’m stumped! Anyone??

      All my best,

    • That’s a really good question…I’ve been pondering the legal/illegal cheeses myself. I’m wondering if it has to do with the different strains of molds/bacteria used to culture each individual cheese? Maybe some are more “potent” and problematic for the gut?

      Will be researching this one, LOL!!! Cheers! gabi

  256. Hi Baden,

    I’ve been doing the introductory diet for a while but can’t get past the beginning due to food sensitivities (which is why I started the diet in the first place). Every time that I try to introduce something new like dairy, nuts, mustard flour to make homemade mayonnaise, I feel AWFUL (headache, severe fatigue, unusual irritability) and develop my usual symptom of hives under my eyes (sometimes very severe with only a tiny bit of the food) that linger for a day or two, and look terrible.

    I am only able to eat meats, broths, eggs, ghee, olive oil, and most allowed veggies (not kale or green beans). I’m not even sure if I might be reacting to the sauerkraut. I tried jumping to some berries (I’m intolerant to most fruits), but I’ve reacted big time to those recently, too. I’m not sure how to proceed with the diet. Do I need to stay at this stage for longer? I would be SO excited if I could eat even half of what’s in the GAPS diet. I’m growing really frustrated and feel hopeless at times–I wonder, why do I react to everything and how can I get better? Any thoughts or suggestions? Thanks!



    • Hi Suzanne,

      I’m going to jump in and try to encourage you b/c I’m in a very similar boat. I’ve been “sickly” and allergic all my life and have produced hyper-sensitive children. We have been on the protocol since May. After doing GAPS Intro for 4 months and Intro/Full hybrid for another month, we have seen so many things clear up; it’s such a blessing. I can tell you, though, that whenever we try to move to new foods (into GAPS Full), my middle son and I flare up. I am the worst of the bunch.

      I know it isn’t easy to hear, but when McBride says in her book that some people need to progress thru GAPS Intro slowly for a year, I think that applies to people like us. I am sticking as close to stage 6 of Intro as I can with allowances for traveling and “cycle-driven” fruit cravings, LOL.

      I have much experience as a health consultant in the realm of allergies/sensitivities and I can assure you that the process of cleansing the body and strengthening your constitution is slow and often roller-coaster-like. Just when you think you have made progress, you may see a “set-back.” Do not despair, this is part of the healing crisis. You just need to be willing to let your body heal at its own rate.

      If you accept slow progress and take your time, and after a few months you still are hyper-reactive, you could have other issues that need to be addressed…environmental toxins, electronic pollution, stress, chemical reactions, pollen, etc. can complicate our health picture.

      I do not want to answer for Baden, and I’m sure she will have wonderful advice for you, but I want to encourage you to hover around Intro stage 5/6 for a few more weeks and then introduce only one new food beyond Intro…do not introduce anything else (not even an herb/spice) for three days. Don’t start by introducing the more difficult foods, such as dairy. And don’t despair if you need to go back to stage 1 and rework Intro again…I’ve done it three times now, and seem to get better results each time.

      Baden, if this is bad advice, I apologize and look forward to reading your thoughts. I hope I’ve been able to help you know, Suzanne, that you are not alone. Hang in there!

      • Hi Suzanne,
        I sympathize even though my limitations have been much less than yours! I think it is probably just a matter of time and agree that you should make sure you have eliminated sources of toxins such as deodorants, shampoos, makeup, detergents, bleached hygiene products, etc.
        If after several more months you aren’t seeing improvement, look into the NAET technique. It seems to have helped many people with a wide range of ailments.
        Best wishes,

    • Hi Suzanne,

      The comments from Vonnie and Gabi, above, are wonderful. I will add just a few thoughts:

      1. How long is “awhile”? ie. How long have you been doing strict GAPS?

      2. Are you doing the non-food aspects, like ensuring 1-3 bowel movements daily, doing the detox baths in a rotation, including loads of fat from the insides of animals, including the three GAPS oils, etc?

      3. For healing, it’s critical to be including a source of probiotics. This can be a commercial one, homemade yogurt, homemade kefir (dairy or non-dairy such as coconut), sauerkraut, etc.

      Dairy, nuts, spices, etc, are hard for many people. Some must forgo these for longer periods, but often critical changes in our overall program can make all the difference -allowing for expansion. It’s from this perspective that I ask the above questions.

      All my best,

  257. Thank you to Baden, as well as to Gabi, and Vonnie! You all have no idea (maybe you do!) how much I appreciate your input. I must apologize for the length of my response, but a little more detail may be called for, at least this once.

    I have been trying to do this diet for about two months (perhaps too soon to be as impatient as I’ve been feeling). I am a single (sick) parent raising two hungry teenagers (boys), who are not on this diet fully with me. I have multiple food/ medication/environmental sensitivities, unspecified autoimmune markers (e.g., elevated ANA, thyroid antibodies, etc.), I never feel well, and often feel worse with flare-ups. Trying to shop, cook, work (I am a psychologist), manage economically, and all the rest for all three of our different needs has been challenging at best. I have explored many other options and treatments– traditional, alternative, and integrative, all really without fundamental success. I am very hopeful though, with GAPS–it just finally makes a lot of sense, particularly with my history of unbelievable amounts of antibiotics while growing up, untreated/undiagnosed celiac disease most of my life, lots of processed food and sugar earlier in my life, etc. I think that I must have developed very terrible gut ecology.

    I stuck pretty closely to the introductory diet for the first month, although I didn’t do the baths, and I also haven’t done the cod liver oil because of concerns about my frequent allergic reactions. One other infraction has been that I also allowed myself a couple of cups of organic green tea each day, too. Perhaps the baths and CLO, and no tea are crucial–I don’t know. The second month, I felt that I needed to improvise and I added some raw veggies and tried some fruit (I was supposed to juice veggies first, I think). I didn’t do well with the fruit and withdrew it each time due to hypersensitivity reactions. However, I also reacted very badly with angioedema (large hives around my eyes–a frequent symptom of food intolerance for me) to trying one tiny teaspoon of yogurt, one tiny teaspoon of sunflower butter, a little coconut oil (and a taste of plain coconut), honey, and several other experiments in GAPS progression. I can’t even seem to tolerate the introductory diet, much less the full GAPS diet.

    Likely I have begun feeling sorry for myself, but I don’t see how I can survive much longer on broths, cooked veggies, sauerkraut, ghee and olive oil, eggs, and meats (I don’t mean to sound so dramatic!). It doesn’t sound so bad when I look at that list now, but I am really tired of not being able to proceed forward and add in all of the delicious sounding recipes that have nuts, seeds, dairy, spices, coconut, or other foods that I can’t tolerate. I long for other foods (perhaps my yeasts are crying out for them as well?). Like you, Baden, I started this diet having already been on a modified version of it for a long time. For me, it’s been years of deprivation and meats/veggies (although prior to GAPS I also filled up on rice, potatoes, and sweet potatoes, and sometimes gluten-free/dairy-free treats). The regular use of broths and fermented veggies are a good addition and make sense to me as healing foods, but doing with even less than I have been living on for several years has been just plain hard. I am taking the probiotics, and get DHA and EPA.

    I bought and decided that it might make sense to try and add food enzymes, saccharomyces boulardii (it comes also with mannanOligosaccharides–I hope that’s okay), and I am considering adding l-glutamine to facilitate healing. I try and eat garlic and onions regularly, too with my veggies–good for the gut, I believe. I am trying to remember to take some ACV before meals, too. I am having normal bowel movements one to three times per day.

    So, that is a bit of my story. Am I being too impatient and rushing too quickly through? Are my infractions (no baths, CLO, some green tea) ruining my progress? I know that we have to listen to our own bodies to some degree with this diet, but perhaps I haven’t followed it as exactly as I need to? It’s a challenge, because I also can’t follow it exactly because of intolerances even to the foods allowed on the diet–therefore, I have to improvise some because I can’t eat at this point as laid out in the book.

    Anyway, in answer to my question about progress, I appreciate the advice and I think that it does make good sense to try to be as strict as possible and give it more time. I do want to keep in the raw veggies (a salad) if I can, as I seem to do well with them as far as I can tell. Does it make sense to just give it longer? To add those additional supplements?

    Again, sorry for the long response to your questions–I hope that it’s not too much. I know that this is not an exact science, and I don’t expect anyone to have exact answers, but I am very appreciative of the help and thought it might be important to give some background.

    Best to you,


    • Hi Suzanne,

      I really, really feel for you. I hear your acknowledgement that, on the one hand, your diet is healthy, varied, and nutritionally rich and that you are blessed to have access to it but that on the other hand, psychologically -and perhaps also physically- you crave “fun” foods: sweets, baked treats, etc. This is so normal. We definitely want you to get to that happy place! The question is how…

      I’m super glad to hear you’re already doing the probiotics -that’s great!

      I doubt the two cups of green tea per day are an issue. It’s possible (anything is a possible trigger), but this wouldn’t be my first guess. My sense is that it’s fine to continue the salads.

      We’ve heard from several people with a similar experience (ie. degree of illness/sensitivity as starting point) as yours. I hope you can connect with some of them by posting through the GAPShelp support list. Their words to you will, I believe, be invaluable.

      For these people, some keys have been:

      -yes, proceed slowly
      -stick with an early stage (2-4), as much as humanly possible, for a good while
      -definitely do the baths, aiming for daily, and rotating the type each time

      Some in this position like to connect with a practitioner well-versed in GAPS, at the very least for emotional support while intentionally going so slowly.

      Generally I suggest people allow the diet a good three months, minimum, to do its work before “proceeding further”, eg. adding in something like saccharomyces boulardii. Boulardii is an excellent healer, thus very potent/challenging in some people’s bodies. If you do try it, please start with just a pinch of it. Be prepared for intense die-off. Any supplement may help, and any supplement may aggravate the gut condition or simply push the body too hard, so I really couldn’t say which ones to go with or avoid. Again, here is where a practitioner may be an additional help to you.

      My other thought is about lifestyle in general. As a single parent working as a psychologist and raising two teenagers and trying to implement a healing diet, you are living a very challenging life. This alone will impact your body’s ability to heal. Is it at all possible to reduce your hours at work, or to take two months off?

      All my best,

    • Hi Suzanne,

      My original “specialty” focus as a health consultant/herbalist began in the realm of allergies and I am especially sympathetic to your situation; I understand first-hand much of what you have been experiencing. I would very much like to help you as much as I can if you are interested. I am currently getting over a short flu so my brain is a bit foggy, LOL. I won’t go into much detail here today. But if you would like to discuss more, please let me know.

      Baden’s advice is excellent, and I would just briefly like to add to it… (I hope this is not offensive!)

      I believe it behooves any of us with severe reactions (like hives) and sensitivity ailments (like you described above: “I have multiple food/ medication/environmental sensitivities, unspecified autoimmune markers (e.g., elevated ANA, thyroid antibodies, etc.), I never feel well, and often feel worse with flare-ups.”) to stay on GAPS Intro for a longer time than “normal.” I think it would benefit you to work thru Intro for at least 6 months. You should focus on the soups as your mainstay and LOTS of good saturated fats. I have ideas of how to tweak the protocol of Intro for the long haul and would be happy to share meal ideas….

      You will feel “icky” as you detox (ie die off), and see many of your old ailments flare up…I think the detox baths are critical. I also highly recommend that you drink activated charcoal daily. Buy AC powder and mix 1 tsp. into a glass of pure water, drink 3x daily. This is one of the most effective and gentle ways to capture and remove toxins (it will not displace necessary nutrients). I also recommend that you drink 1 oz. water per 1 lb. of your body weight daily. Be sure to consume at least 1/2 tsp. mineral-rich real salt for every gallon of water consumed (in addition to generously salting your food to taste). Another important tonic that cleanses and boosts the ailing sensitive system is apple cider vinegar. You should begin each morning with 1 to 2 Tb. ACV in a liter of pure water.

      OK, I have other ideas, but my eyes are watering and I’m having trouble seeing the screen, LOL. I want you to know that you are NOT alone! And, you are not the only one feeling sorry for yourself (understandable) and feeling cravings (natural)…I can’t tell you how many days I wanted to throw things because of my body’s reactions to my cleansing protocols. It takes time, but this, too, will pass. Your life situation is stressful…that is going to complicate your physiological healing process. If you can “let something go” to simplify life, that would help greatly.

      I very much like the S. Boulardii supplement and find it to be effective for candida overgrowth…I concur with Baden that you may want to wait until your healing crisis peaks and you begin to settle down in your flare-ups. When you take the S. Boulardii, be sure to rotate 3wks on, 3wks off. I really like the Blue Ice butter/CLO blend (cinnamon tingle) from Green Pastures and I find it has been well tolerated by my most reactive child since graduating from GAPS Intro stage 5. Again, listen to your body and go slowly; the bone broth soups, ghee and olive oil will nourish you…don’t rush into supplements if you don’t feel ready. Finally, avoid all dairy. Some of us uber-sensitive people just cannot tolerate even well-fermented raw grass-fed dairy until significant healing progress has been made. My advice is to use only the whey from raw kefir and add it into your soups…don’t try to introduce any other dairy until you have reached Intro stage 6 (assuming the “long haul” plan I think would benefit you).

      OK, I wish you well! Let me know if I can help… Blessings, gabi

  258. Drug-like reactions to dairy? Do anyone else experience these? Whenever I eat any dairy product (milk, cheese, cream, yogurt) I get a “high” (like a drug) which lasts for a few days then a severe crash which also lasts for a few days. Even a 1/3 of a glass of milk causes symptoms. I’ve been trying to research this and the closest I’ve come is Dr. Natasha’s GapsDiet website where she mentions that in many Gaps patients, proteins are only partially digested and are absorbed as peptides, which bind to receptors causing drug like reactions similar to morphine, heroin, cocaine. I am not intolerant or allergic to dairy, since I don’t have diarrhea or allergy-like symptoms. All dairy just causes me to feel drugged in a very severe way. Does anyone have any any similar experience? Some years ago I could tolerate dairy without any issues. How can I heal this?

    • Yes. Not uncommon, and actually considered to be a sign of dairy intolerance or “sensitivity;” adding gut dysbiosis to our understanding of these things gives us a fuller picture of what happens to people with dairy issues. Your body is not processing it; the molecules crossing the blood-brain barrier are causing the “drug” effect. Your best course is to heal your gut, which is what GAPS is all about. If you don’t already have McBride’s book and Baden’s GAPS Guide, you should get them and start the protocol. Your body will thank you! Cheers!

    • Hi Fred,

      Gabi’s reply to your post was right on. I just wanted to add that intolerance/allergy can show up in many other ways besides diarrhea, hives, etc. The drugged effect you describe is common to many, yes, and many have healed this issue through GAPS, in which we leave dairy out for a bit (see my latest post on this blog), then introduce only dairy free of lactose and casein. Lots more info in the GAPS Guide book and on this blog. Welcome to the community!

      All my best,

  259. Wow–thank you, Baden and Gabi. The support and encouragement feels wonderful! In spite of my periods of discouragement, I actually feel more hopeful than I have in years! I have been looking for so long for a “meta-theory” (if there is such a word!) to understand what is causing all of the symptoms. It feels like physicians are often “symptom chasers” and “symptom treaters.” All in one fell swoop, GAPS provides an explanation for all of the symptoms, a treatment, hope, and an approach that just seems healthy. While there may be individual disease labels for my problems (e.g., celiac disease, autoimmune disease, mast cell disorder, food allergies/sensitivities, or whatever), GAPS provides the “why,” the “how,” and the “what” to do about it (gee, I sure am using a lot of quotations in this note).

    Thank you for you input and suggestions. I shall add a number of them, such as the baths, a longer time on earlier intro for healing, etc. It has been frustrating–not so much that I can’t have sweets and “fun” foods, but that I can’t even seem to do the intro as written (with dairy, nuts, coconut oil, etc.), much less full GAPS–especially after years of major food restrictions. But, yesterday and today, I think that I might have felt a little better and a little clearer-headed (could it really be helping a little???)–so, that was very encouraging!

    Both of my teenaged boys have some of these issues (not surprising), including eczema, allergies, celiac disease (in one), food reactions, cravings, etc.. So, after I’m a bit stronger, I will be leading them more strictly through this process. They are taking note my progress and of my different food offerings, and are gradually changing their ideas on healthy foods, too. Sometimes it’s best to ease into things a bit with teenagers.

    Again, thank you for taking the time to write and help–your words and thoughts are so greatly appreciated!



    P.S. Gabi–You offered to dialogue further–I would love to. How might we do that?

    • Don’t despair, I can empathize…doing GAPS has required much creativity on my part b/c my 2nd son is nearly anaphylactic to all nuts, so we’re limited on the alternative flours allowed on GAPS. But I have figured things out that work for us. It’s definitely a journey and we can’t rush the process. I’m glad you had a better day…I believe you’ll see more and more of them, and then you’ll have the personal encouragement and fortitude to continue.

      I generally don’t give out my email online b/c I seem to end up with spam problems, LOL. But if you want to email me, you can try me at sushi for 5 (make that all one word) at yahoo dot com. Sorry for being so “mysterious” about it, 🙂 I have a blog but currently don’t have a way for people to contact me b/c my schedule doesn’t allow me the freedom to respond and interact. I regret it, but need to respect the limitations as they exist now. I hope you have a great weekend! Cheers!

  260. I am confused about whey. Whey (powder or liquid) is on the “Foods to Avoid” list. However, in the GAPS book, whey is used in many recipes and is recommended for those with diarrhea. Can whey dripped from raw milk be consumed on the GAPS diet? Or is whey supposed to be dripped only from homemade yogurt or kefir?? Please advise. Thank you. Chris

    • Hi Chris,

      Homemade whey, properly fermented for GAPS, is allowed; commercial whey is not.

      After some healing, whey dripped from raw milk might be tolerated, but at first it should be from home-fermented yogurt, kefir, etc.

      All my best,

  261. I have a question about the detox baths. I don’t have a bathtub that I fit in (plus its all old and icky!) and I only shower about once a week. I started doing the baths just as foot baths…is that OK? Will I still get some benefit from that? I do feel better after.
    I also dry-brush all my skin every morning and drink a glass of carrot juice with my FCLO and probiotic.

    • Hi Síle,

      Foot baths are an excellent second choice to the full-body baths. Yes, your body will benefit from this.

      Wonderful on the dry-brushing, juicing, etc, too! All great stuff!

      All my best,

  262. Hi Baden,

    Quick question….I am starting Gaps because of very severe cronic constipation. I have read the whole Gaps book and wasn’t sure weather I should stay on phase 1 of the intro until I have had a bowel movement. I have followed a weston price diet for quite a few years and have always eaten many fermented things and taken probiotics regularly so I definitely know the constipation is not a die off reaction. I am on day 3. I know this is definitely not a quick fix, but was hoping to have had a bowel movement by now. I stopped taking my herbal laxative when I started intro.If you have heard of any other situations like this or any success stories would be much appreciated! Thank you so much!

    • Hi Jennifer,

      Many people have come to GAPS from WAPF, lots of home ferments, large doses of probiotics, etc, and still experience intense healing and die-off in intro. This is good! Please see in your GAPS Guide book the sections on constipation and on die-off and apply the tips suggested, including the instructions for an enema any time 24-36 hours have passed without a bowel movement. In any case, definitely move on from Stage 1 today or tomorrow even while symptoms and constipation are present.

      All my best,

      • Hi Jennifer & Baden,

        I am among the recent graduates of Dr. Natasha’s Certified GAPS Practitioners.

        In our training, she recommended that those with chronic constipation start with Full GAPS and emphasize animal fats, fermented vegetable juices from sauerkraut or the veggie medley, homemade 24 hr sour cream (strained yogurt), and to ease into juicing from the start. You can try making a juice smoothie or shake with juice, sour cream or avocado, and a pastured raw egg. The recommendations for enemas is also great. You want to get those bowels movin’! =)

        Hope this helps.

        Certified GAPS Practitioner & Health Counselor
        Core Wisdom Wellness

  263. Thank you for the info Emily and Baden! In your personal opinion do you think this is going to take 2 years? Have you ever heard of anybody doing this diet just because of cronic constipation? Thanks again!


    • Hi Jennifer,

      No, the healing of chronic constipation won’t take two years. The timing will, though, depend on how many aspects of the program you’re implementing (fats, supplemented oils, probiotics, baths, low-toxin lifestyle, daily bowel movements even if with enema, intro, etc). If you’re really on it, your gut bacterial levels could be supporting regular movements within about six weeks or so.

      All my best,