Your Comments, My Responses!

Ah, my dear friends and readers, I owe you all a hefty apology! This morning I received an email saying there was a comment to moderate. I was surprised, as there hadn’t been one in ages. Well, I logged in to approve and respond to the comment, only to find dozens more unprocessed! It seems that for the second time, my website stopped sending me notifications of comments. From now on, I will log in directly to the site -generally once a week- to keep on top of this. In the meantime, I have just spent several hours plowing through many of them, publishing and responding. (I believe I have now responded to all comments. If I missed yours despite my best effort, please let me know, or just post a fresh comment anywhere on this site.)

I truly apologize for not responding to your queries when you posted them. I know what a learning curve the program can be, how critical it can feel to have a question answered, and how important it is to know that someone is listening and cares.

I’m still here for you all! Please do feel free to post your queries, and I will check my site system directly for those generally once a week, publishing and responding to questions and comments received in the previous seven days.

Also, please know that several of the questions posted in the last batch are actually carefully covered in GAPS Guide 2nd Edition, details here. The book is available on Amazon (about $10 for the eBook, which can be read via a free Kindle reader on any computer, or $25 paperback, deliverable to almost any country). I strongly encourage you to read the whole book through before starting any stage of the program. Doing so can prevent all sorts of issues and make the whole journey so much easier for you. (It will also support you well in times that my website is being wonky on me!)

105 Replies to “Your Comments, My Responses!”

  1. Hello Baden,

    Please excuse my bad english.

    Thank God you exist and find the time to help us through GAPS. Million thanks. I’m impressed with your generosity.

    I’ve started Gaps 2 weeks ago and I thought I jumped too fast to the second stage. My stomach felt bloated so I decided to stay on the fermented juice before starting the dairy probiotics. I’m feeling the die-off but my stomach feels better.

    I have had my gall bladder taken off 2 years ago, because of polyps, and I find digesting all that fat is a big challenge. Is it ok if I do Gaps ? I find that if I take a little bit of vegetable fermentation or some electrolyte juice nausea goes away.

    I also suffer from chronic constipation and I’m doted with a very long colon too. I did have an enema 2 days ago because my lower stomach was extremely bloated. I had not read than that it was permited, and because of it even though I slept soundly I got up very depressed the next day because I thought I had blown GAPS. but since, I’ve not eliminated. I’m feeling extremely tired now still so I’m thinking of doing an other aenema.

    I also found, just now, the hint of electrolyte to overcome nausea. I have some coconut juice in my fridge but nothing else and it still worked,did not think of adding the salt. Is ginger very important in infusion because for more than a year I have developed an intolerance on it as for any spices and along with tooth paste. What can I take instead of ginger to calm the inflammation? If I take any of these my gums inflame. I would be afraid to try the ginger bath!

    Can you guide and tell me if I’m on the right track?

    Thank you for finding the time to reply. I hope my english will make sense to you.


    • Dear SG,

      Your note came to the site indirectly, so I removed your name (in case you didn’t want it made public) and posted it here for you.

      You were wise to delay the commercial probiotics while your gut adjusted to the fermented cabbage juice.

      Yes, many people who’ve had their gall bladder removed have done GAPS successfully. I have a very brief note on that in the 2nd Edition of GAPS Guide.

      Yes, enemas are fine on GAPS, and encouraged by Dr Campbell-McBride, so that wasn’t a mistake. However, if you find you do make mistakes along the way, please try not to get depressed about that. As I note in my book, we will all make errors in the GAPS journey. It is unavoidable. We only need to do an excellent job of GAPS -not a “perfect” one. Even after bigger errors, our body lets us start over and heal anyway.

      It’s great that you are finding ways to feel more comfortable, and that you are listening to your body. Be aware that coconut water can trigger loose stools in some people (that might be helpful to you right now, but if it becomes a problem, remove the coconut water from your program).

      Ginger is not essential. No one item within the GAPS program is, so if there are some GAPS items you do not tolerate, just skip those. (There are several other types of detox baths, besides the ginger one, that can be rotated.) The program itself will calm inflammation, as that’s one of its primary purposes.

      You are on the right track, yes! And your English is lovely.

      If you have any other questions or comments, please feel free to post those anywhere on this website.

      All my best,

  2. Dear Baden
    I wonder if you can help. I have been on diets for about 18 months (sugar free for 18 months) now to help with various medical problems including prosaic arthritis, vitiligo, cystitis, asthma etc. I have been on GAPS for five months now (I did intro). Prior to GAPS I also did 3 months of gut cleansing herbs and have been on medicinal strenght probiotics for two years. My die off (if that is what it was) was so extreme that I was off work for five months. Die off caused me to have severe arthritis relapses requiring steroid injections.
    This week just broke me. I have stuck religiously to the diet, done an enema most days (sometimes 3 a day), detox baths, yoga, mediation, massage, reflexology, walks, saunas etc but I was in such a bad way I realised I would not be able to hold down my job if I didn’t do something. I was literally lying on the floor at work. I assume this is die off. I am taking LDN too as i have come off my Aziothiaprine for the arthritis (it is relapsing all the time). I have stopped taking any probiotic foods (I was only taking kefir as sauerkraut etc just does not seem to work for me) and am only on two BK a day. I juice twice a day and have elderberry tea, ginger tea etc.
    IN one month I have put on half a stone, want to eat all the time, am having severe cravings and feel worse than ever. I think this may have got so bad as I was trying to take SB as I suspect severe candida .
    Never in my worst nightmares did I imagine I would feel like this after making so much effort. In the end I ate two plates of rice two days in a row, guessing that if this is die off then it might help. It did seem to take me out of the worst crisis.
    I am addicted to Nicorette lozenges (the only non-GAPS thing I consume) but finding it impossible to stop them as I am so exhausted and my mood is so low.
    I did try to speak to practitioners but none of them had any experience of healing people with inflammatory arthritis or vitiligo. I have a suspicion people with inflmmarory arthritis have especially serious gut issues. I have been taking charcoal and clay. I have in the past also taken parasite cleansers.
    I have now been having die off for about A YEAR in total. I don’t feel ANY BETTER, even worse, and I started all this out of desperation (I literally cannot have a relationship as I was getting cystisis everytime I had sex). I just cannot afford to spend money on tests etc. I have, though, booked myself in two months time to a residential fasting/colonics programme somewhere hot to see if this might assist and to help me get off the Nicotine.
    Do you have any suggestions for me? My idea now is to carry on with GAPS but to eat white rice perhaps 2 x a week, white potato once a week (I am usually nightshade free) and sweet potato once a week to calm things down and because somehow I am unable to feel full right now. Being stricter with the diet just seems impossible given my die off.
    I have one mercury filling.
    I just feel like I have nothing left to give now and am very disheartened. I don’t eat much fruit – an apple, a few berries, avedcao – but do have nuts as I just get so hungry.
    I am wondering if my only solution might be a feceal transplant but these are about five thousand dollars in the UK.
    Oh Baden, it is so horribly tough and I am aware of all the horror stories of the internet for whom GAPS does not work…
    Sorry for the long email.
    Sophie x

    • Dear Sophie,

      I am so sorry you have been having such a truly awful time of things.

      I’m really glad you’ve reached out. It’s really important to do that when times are tough! While I don’t assume GAPS would necessarily resolve every single symptom on the planet (especially given this is not its purpose), I do believe it’s worthwhile to reach out for ideas before giving up.

      So, you have been doing most aspects of GAPS, but with the addition of Nicorette lozenges, steroid injections, LDN, clay, and saccharomyces boulardii, for the past five months. You’ve done the enemas as well as detox baths, and also done additional therapies in this time.

      You have severe cravings, have gained weight, and feel awful.

      Sophie, as you know, I’m not a health practitioner. However, what jumps out at me in your notes are these, which concern me:

      1. You’re implementing a lot of different intense therapies at once, and then intense versions of each of them. When we implement a therapy, it has very real effects. Those effects can overwhelm the body. Doing too much too fast and/or too soon can backfire, and bring the body out of balance rather than support it to come into that. (I talk about this more in the 2nd Edition.) I would scale way, way, way back on the degree of intervention. Each “cleansing” or die-off-inducing approach should be implemented very carefully, one at a time, and built up very, very slowly, with lots of time -like, a month or so in many cases- between the start of each new therapy.

      Assuming your compromised, sensitive system required at least two months to move through Intro, five months seems extremely early, then, to have so many other therapies implemented. In my book, I recommend not starting “adjunct therapies” for several months.

      I know my body immediately tensed when you used the word “only” in relation to “two BioKult”, because this is actually a very high dose, intended for a body that has already established a firm foundation for healing. That leaves me worried that you might be overdoing other approaches as well, which could certainly be wearing on your body rather than supporting it. To be doing saunas and two capsules of BioKult and saccharomyces boulardii (intense die-off!) and juicing and a host of other therapies would challenge most bodies, if not all. I would expect even a fully healthy body to feel intense responses to this kind of combination, and all the moreso a compromised system.

      2. Further to the above, many people -and definitely those with very high levels of symptoms and/or clear sensitivity- would not be taking two capsules of BioKult only five months in. This early in the program, especially for a system as sensitive as yours, this is an enormous amount. I do understand you’ve been taking medicinal strength probiotics for two years, but as I note in GAPS Guide 2nd Edition, even where one had previously built up a tolerance for probiotics, it’s important to start from scratch upon starting Intro, otherwise the healing crisis can be too severe.

      3. I think it’s fine to do whatever you need to do (e.g., add rice) to feel well and to cope until you’ve developed a very gentle approach to healing. You’ll notice that the approach I present in GAPS Guide 2nd Edition is much slower, gentler, and more limited than the one you’ve been doing.

      4. I’m thinking of the fellow I saw at a WAPF conference, who healed using raw milk and little else. His healing crisis was indeed long and difficult. He experienced terrible symptoms for two years before he saw results. I wrote about him here: The story of Kevin, in the back of my book, shares a similar struggle. In both cases, though, they came out the other side with excellent results. This noted, I can understand how scary it would be to go through this kind of thing, and I don’t know that it’s necessary anymore, given what the community knows now about healing.

      5. If you choose to restart GAPS at a much more gentle level, as presented in the Guide (starting with “Preparing for GAPS”), I would then want to hear exactly what your daily meals are like. That might give me ideas into why you’re feeling so hungry. For example, some people limit their fats or animal proteins, in an attempt to honour other schools of thought, and this mix-and-match of approaches can backfire, leaving a person hungry as well as experiencing a delay in healing. Early in GAPS, both my son and I ate tremendous amounts of food, and often required food every 90 minutes. I believe that honouring this -the body’s need for infusion- from the start helped our healing very much.

      6. If you do find a practitioner you’re comfortable working with, or even if you post here again after starting over, I recommend this: Open your presentation with a list of every food, supplement and dose, detox bath (ingredient), and other therapy you’re doing in a given week. Note how many bowel movements (not just enemas) you’re having in a day or week. Collating these details within one section or paragraph (rather than dispersed through the larger piece) gives the listener a much clearer picture of what a person is doing, which can lead to more focused suggestions. When I did this collating in my head, gathering ALL the different things you’re doing into one relatively complete picture, points 1-5 are what came up, and I think those are worth considering in your case.

      Again, Sophie, I think you are very wise to be reaching out, and I’m glad you’re doing so. I can absolutely understand why you would be feeling disheartened at this point. Of course you would! Let me know what you think about potentially dialling your personal program way back, perhaps to the gentle version presented in my 2nd Edition.

      Whatever you do, I hope to hear back from you about what path you ultimately decide on, and which nuances help.

      All my best,

      • Further to the above, I want to emphasize that GAPS is at least as much about building (e.g., fats, animal proteins, other sources of dense nutrition, ingested as frequently as the body requires) as it is about cleansing. If we focus a lot on cleansing, and little on the “building”, we will struggle. In my book, I aim to present this, and with an approach that balances these for optimal results.

  3. Dear Baden,
    Thank you for answering so quickly, it was very helpful. I had not read all books and still am struggling with it, but I am managing. At time I find it contradictory for I’m fighting two issues that require different approach. And I felt so bad that I had to jump into it because I had to eat something that would soothe my stomach . Before I discovered the existence of GAPS I was seeing an acupuncturist for constipation; but it was not because I was clogged with hard stools but because there was no stools , therefore no bowel movement. I had enemas every 3 days. He helped me and in the end for a month I had stools every day but I had to take a lot of fibers. but than I experemented stomach blocage, nausea, losts of burps and winds. The other issue is that I was diagnose with presence of Candida overgrowth in my guts, the doctor at the time gave me an herbal therapy to take and it turned out it was too strong for me ( I should have stopped it when feeling cramps but I did not know better) and since than my bowel movements stopped; I have a coffee enema every 36 hours.
    I’m now at GAPS 2nd stage but I’m still on the fermented juice and have not touched the dairy’s. If it was not for the Candida I can take vegs quite well and probably will move on quickly to the 3rd stage. I”ve not touched the whey either ( fermented fish). Here in Canada, it is impossible to get raw dairy”s. I’m trying to make sour cream but without success yet, under the suggestion of Dr Mc Bride, in her book, to start slowly with sour cream with yogourt culture.
    I would like to get some juices but it seems that with Candida carrots and fruit might hold to much sugar ; I have a skin irruption on my legs which reacted to it. Maybe I did not go slowly enough but at the same time I do not want to aggravate my stomach state with whatever bugs live in there if there are any. What juice recipy could I use?
    And I started taking at the end of the 3 main meals the HCL with pepsine. I will see tonight with my enema if some stools appear.
    One thing that worries me also is my skin. For the last 5 years I started noticing that my skin is flabby and it is getting worse on my stomach, my fore arms and arms, my thighs…as if it not sticking to my body. And it is not because I suddenly lost weight. My weight has been quite steady around 115 pounds in the last 10 years. Though I’ve been quite sick in the last year taking to much antibiotics and also had to take Vermox for parasites ( I wonder if they’ve all gone, maybe I should take an other at it, ???) Though at the moment I have lost 5 pounds with the Gaps diet eating no fibers. My appetite has not been good in the last year and it is difficult for me to drink the stock between meals.
    Can I start taking Bio-K very slowly first thing in the morning instead of sour cream ?
    Last night I took my fermented juice at night away from the HCL and I experimented die-off in the form of insomnia. That was a bad move, maybe I should take a very small quantity at night or none at all…
    I hope you can comment on my descriptions. Hoping again I am writing clearly enough.
    Thank you for replying,
    Have a good day

    • Dear SG,

      The first thing I would do is read GAPS Guide 2nd Edition from cover to cover. That will address and/or prevent many issues.

      The issues you have listed do not, to me, seem to require different approaches. GAPS should address all of them.

      GAPS’ Intro, as presented, is excellent for Candida overgrowth; there is no need to restrict it further for this.

      In Canada, it is indeed very difficult to get raw dairy, but it is possible to do so by owning shares in a herd. This said, it is not necessary to access raw dairy to do GAPS successfully.

      At Intro Stage 2, fruit and vegetable juices are not yet included. Yes, sweet juices like carrot, apple, etc, can trigger Candida overgrowth symptoms and/or blood sugar issues. However, you are not at the juicing stage yet -by the time you are your body may be ready for them. When you are at that stage, my book has specific tips around implementing these.

      Normally a person would take Betaine with pepsin much later in the program, and only if necessary.

      I would not take another round of parasite-cleansing at this stage.

      If you are taking fermented cabbage juice, continue increasing that (instead of using Betaine with pepsin, or starting a commercial probiotic like BioKult). If you are NOT taking fermented cabbage juice, you can start a commercial probiotic such as BioKult. Whichever approach you use, please be sure to follow the instructions in my Guide for introducing and increasing these.

      SG, I worry that you are taking a bit of an “all over the map” approach. Again, I strongly recommend that you eat what is comfortable for you right now, read GAPS Guide 2nd Edition from cover to cover, then start the program at the part I call “Preparing for GAPS”. The step-by-step method presented in my book was painstakingly written in order to keep things as simple, productive, and efficient as possible.

      All my best,

  4. Hello Baden,
    thank you for replying,
    Please do not be crossed with me, I have done more homework than you think.
    And I really do need your support.
    I want to clarify with you that I’ve read your book 3 times and Dr C McBride’s twice. And many times some specific chapters in both your books. I did not want to take 3 months to start the intro, I felt too sick to wait and I’ve been doing well, I’m on the 2nd stage now and I’m trying every food the way you suggest it. I should move to the 3rd stage soon. I started GAPS 6 weeks ago. My stomach can only digest anything but that well cooked food; I tried all your suggestions before adopting the HCL supplements and in fact I’ve come to realise that I also need to take ox bile because the fat I’ve been eating for years is not distributed well in my body as I can see from the state of my drooping skin and , and the deterioration has gone much quicker since my gallbladder removal and in the last 3 months the aging process has speedily taken the state of it down. Dr McBride suggests in her book and on her FAQ site all I’ve been doing with also the coffee enemas to try to clean up my liver. I have to take enemas every 36 hours for constipation because it does not function otherwise, please tell me if you think this anomaly is not constipation, This is why I thought I should move to some veges juice and to home made sour cream made with yogurt culture instead of home made yogurt (under Dr McBride suggestions) that is also how I understood ox bile could come into place for me.
    Please try to be patient with me, your anger is making me very sad and stupid and I really need encouragements. As a Gapster I am very lonely in Montreal.
    But if you feel again that what I’m saying does not make sense, please say it again and I’ll stop everything and start all over.
    Please be there for me
    hopefully you will reply


    • Dear SG,

      Please be assured, I am not cross with you 🙂

      Also, when I replied previously, I was not at all angry with you. I’m so sorry that the way I wrote left you feeling I was! It can be so hard to read “tone” in email, but I hope you are assured that I replied only with peace, gentleness, and care in my heart.

      When I reply, especially to the comments that are very long and complex, I try to do so succinctly and clearly. I do that not in anger, but in an attempt to bring clarity and simplicity to the challenges faced by a person.

      When a person has read as much as you have, and is then implementing approaches with caution and thoughtfulness, I fully support that. So, when you read and research, and then make a decision to add a supplement, etc, be assured that I have no issue with this at all. Each person must find their optimal path within the program -that is indeed the right thing to do, yes.

      Yes, if a person is not having bowel movements daily, this is constipation.

      SG, it sounds to me like you are on the right track! You have read all of the 2nd Edition, have considered it carefully, and have developed a personalized program that you feel is the correct fit for your circumstances. That sounds excellent.

      Can you tell me more about your loneliness? Have you joined any of the online support groups? Have you looked to see if there is a live GAPS group in Montreal?

      SG, you might also wish to connect with a health practitioner familiar with GAPS. She would be able to guide you through any further adjustments you consider, and also provide some one-on-one listening and support, which can be really helpful, especially if you are feel lonely, etc. This is definitely a step I recommend for people who feel their situations are quite complex.

      I do welcome you to write again.

      All my best,

  5. Hello Baden,
    thank you for your kind support.
    I’m very clumsy with blogs and I find it difficult to manage my way around, I think I applied for some online support but I had no reply so maybe I did not click on the right spot…..Even in french sites it takes me ages to understand my way through so in english it is worse.
    I’m 60 years old and I’m not comfortable with computers. I will have to study it further more but I get impatient with searching.

    I’ve not found anyone yet who knows about Gaps. Though my butcher tells me there is a guy from Ontario who purchases the same strange stuff as me. I left my phone number so that maybe this man can call me but I have doubts he will. He seems to be very busy with his children also, so maybe He will not find time for me a perfect stranger, There is so little time in a day when getting busy with cooking, shopping and what have you….

    Also my finances are quite low. I lost a lot of money trying to cure myself for the last year and a half with acupuncturists, chinese herborists, and private doctors.

    I live alone but my ex comes during the weekends and just having him gives me more energy to cook and gives me courage to try new Gaps recipes.

    I must say that during the week I eat lots of fatty thick soups made with only ognion and one new veg. and lots of cartilage and a little bit of meat. My appetite is low and I find it difficult to have stocks between meals. the. 3 meals a day for now is plenty.

    I asked you about the juice because of my fat malabsorption condition.and you refer to ox bile, coffee enemas which I”m quite familiar with except that the site I learned it with suggest taking “mag malate Renew” before going to bed for five days before doing the enemas to ease the stones passage out of the liver, but every time I took those I woke up with cramps in my legs, do you know why? .

    The magnesium you suggest is not for the same purpose but do you think it might help? Though I do not do it more than once a week because it takes a good four hours when finishing with a hot bath. It takes a lot of litres to empty my track because of my very long colon and then I do the coffee enema. If only I could have formation of stools to get the tractus going. This hell has been lasting for more than a year. The acupuncturist finally got it started but with this I took quite a lot of fibre supplements and finally succeeded in blocking my stomach with probably an overgrowth of candida.

    I learned from my acupuncturist that my whole digestive system is extremely slow. So coming back to malabsorption I was intrigued with the shake Dr C. McBride suggests though just for the cream I’m not ready for it (I’d rather take the sour cream on it’s own little by little first, but for the juice the question was What veges could I use with fighting candida in mind. I would love to get the boost of a home made juice. sarting very slowly of course.

    An other question that comes to my mind : once I’m ok with the cream can I start the BioKult. I have no idea how much bacteria there is in my home made 36 hour sour cream whereas it seems the BioKult has also lots of different ones apart from a respectable amount. When speaking of the second stage Dr C McB says to finally keep increasing, when ready, both cream and juice from sauerkraut in the Italian casserole. Would those make enough different bacteria? Or is it better for me to only get BioKult since I’m taking Betaine HCL at meals?

    and last thing you say in your former reply that I should not need to take Betaine. do you think I should give an other go at fermented juice in my meals and leave Betaine for a while, it does say on the bottle I cannot take it more than 40 days ?

    I’m sorry I’m taking so much of your time.

    Hope you have a good day

    SG .

    • Dear SG,

      I will be writing succinctly again, only in hopes of bringing more clarity rather than confusion. Please know that my phrases, though relatively concise, are written with joy and love.

      I do understand that computers, blogs, etc, can be challenging for many people, yes. For some this is due to generation or age, for others due to illness/energy/sensitivities to electromagnetic fields, for others due to language. Here is a list of support options, at least one of which includes the option of telephone buddies: You might also post an ad on Montreal’s Craigslist, in its community newspaper, etc, offering to meet people who are doing the SCD or GAPS.

      I do not know why “mag malate Renew” before bed was followed by morning leg cramps; I’m not familiar with this product.

      The magnesium I mention in my book has multiple purposes. Added to a bath, it supports detoxification and, in many people, bowel movements. In the book, I recommend that everyone take a detox bath every day, using a different additive of four each time. e.g., A bath with ginger one day, a bath with apple cider vinegar another day, and so on. Using this approach, you would be taking a magnesium detox bath every four days.

      The complete range of tips I am familiar with for relieving constipation is presented in the Constipation section of my book. I suggest a person simply start with the basic program, as presented in the book, then if necessary try each of those suggestions, one at a time, practicing each one for some days before moving on to a different one. Different things work for different people. For some, the magnesium detox baths suffice. For others, propping their feet on a stool in front of the toilet -to bring their body closer to a squatting position- does the trick. For others, butternut squash does. Again, all the effective approaches I know of for constipation are listed there and can be tried one at a time until you find the one that your body most loves.

      SG, if you are open to it, I will also suggest in your situation that you spend just three minutes per day visualizing positive connections. i.e., Imagining that people are replying to you online with love and kindness, imagining that “a perfect stranger” does indeed care and reach out, and imagining warm friendships developing within a healing community. My intuition says this will be a very important part of your healing process.

      Like most aspects of GAPS, the shake that Dr Campbell-McBride recommends works synergistically. That is, it only works when all the parts are taken together. Each element alone is not expected to have the same results as all the elements taken together. So, I would not suggest taking just the juice part.

      To answer your question about what juices to consider while dealing with a candida overgrowth, I would again recommend that one not start the juices (alone) in a stage earlier than presented in Intro. This is because the early stages are very much geared to address this overgrowth; it’s one of the reasons the juices are not included earlier than they are. However, when a person determines that it is time for juicing, I offer in my book (2nd Edition) tips for exactly that. For example, there I suggest avoiding or severely limiting carrot or other sweet vegetables for the juices -in the case of continued candida overgrowth or blood sugar spikes, etc- and instead celery, cucumber, etc.

      Yes, you can start the BioKult at any time. In my book, I recommend including no probiotics in the first days, but you are past that now. I also recommend that one not start a commercial probiotic if they are already taking food probiotics such as fermented cabbage juice, until their body has become completely accustomed to that source. Finally, for a very sensitive system such as yours, I recommend starting with an incredibly tiny portion of one capsule and even then diluted in some cases. (Please see that section of the book for the very detailed instructions.)

      Yes, the range and amount of probiotics from fermented dairy and fermented cabbage juice will more than suffice at the early stages of healing. Adding another type, source, and amount can overwhelm the body and be counterproductive. No, there is no need for you to take BioKult -or any other commercial probiotic- simply because of using Betaine HCL. A commercial probiotic and a food-source probiotic work exactly the same way.

      Also, please note that if you do choose to start a commercial probiotic later in your healing, it does not need to be BioKult. BioKult is only one example of the type we would consider. Again, in my 2nd Edition there are many more details on choosing on commercial probiotic, as well as detailed information about calculating your first dose, which will be a tiny fraction of a capsule. (It also teaches you how to store the rest so that your money will stretch much further.)

      Betaine will not harm you, so you can take it if you like. However, in the interests of saving money, time, stress, and confusion, I recommend doing only what is actually needed. So in your case, unless you are seeing specific results from it, I would stop the Betaine and stick with the fermented juice or the other “digestive supports” I recommend in my book, such as apple cider vinegar, diluted, 15 minutes before each meal.

      Last but not least, SG you had mentioned you’ve read my 1st Edition. I recommend throwing that out now. You have the 2nd Edition, which includes all the information from the first one, but presented more effectively, with many more details. So, in the interests of reduced confusion, time, stress, etc, I would let the first one go and use only the 2nd.

      All my best,

  6. Hi Baden,
    Firstly let me thank you for the energy and effort you put into supporting people on the GAPS journey.
    I have a question regarding probiotics and yoghurt, specifically reaching a therapeutic dose of probiotics and whether this can best be achieved through making and consuming SCD/GAPS yoghurt or by taking Bio-Kult. In Dr. Natasha’s book she states that for an adult, the therapeutic dose of probiotics is around 15-20 billion bacterial cells per day for a period of 6 months. This would require that one take 8-10 Bio-Kult capsules per day.
    I have read on the SCD website that 24hr SCD yoghurt has a concentration of 3 billion cfu/ml which means that in just a cup of yoghurt (236ml) you’ll get 708 billion beneficial bacteria. In addition, certain properties in the milk may provide a helping hand to the bacteria affording them a better chance of getting through to the desired destination. There are other reasons listed on the SCD site as to why SCD yoghurt is better than a probiotic supplement and can be found here
    So I guess in summary, my question is this – probiotic supplement or SCD/GAPS yoghurt, which do you think is more beneficial?
    Thank you.

    • Hi Rachael,

      Thanks so much for your kind words!

      Regarding yogurt vs capsules, I really don’t know, so for my son and me, I hedged our bets by doing both. However, overall what I would suggest is that one start with food sources (fermented vegetables, fermented dairy, fermented fish) and see how much health is gained. If after a few months, you intuit that you might gain with more probiotics, I would start with the tiny dose I mention in my book, and work up slowly.

      I do know that some people have healed without massive doses of commercial probiotics, and that some have healed with no source of commercial probiotic, using only fermented foods instead. (Conversely, some people -sensitive to dairy- have healed by commercial sources rather than by yogurt.)

      I would start with food sources for several reasons: they may well be at least as beneficial as commercial sources; they may add features such as a superior method of carrying the probiotics to the gut; they add variety and volume to the diet; in the case of yogurt they add an additional source of dietary fat; and they are usually cheaper, which is an important consideration in a longterm lifestyle change.

      Finally, if you do choose to take a commercial probiotic, it is not necessary to use Bio-Kult specifically. If you find a cheaper one, or one that would allow you to take fewer capsules per day, that’s absolutely fine.

      All my best,

  7. Dear Baden,

    I need your help again;

    Yesterday I tried entering the 3rd stage with adding 1 tsp of avocado in my fatty soup and I do not tolerate it: I felt sick and had a lot of gaz and I’m still feeling nausea, plus fuggy brain and depression today. How can I move on then?
    In fact I do not tolerate raw food and I realised after going back for the last 5 days to stage 1 testing the vegies because I understood that gaz were probably to present . So for now only oignons, brocoli,cauliflowers and zucchini give me almost no gaz (which I presume those few gaz come from the candida) The others give me gaz, especially when doing the enema, it is full of gaz inside.
    Does it mean that I will have to stick to those 4 vegs for a while and do the low and slow in a month?
    I digest well the fat and meat if I do not exagerate, which happens sometimes unfortunatly. Eggs are ok, I’m working on adding a yolk in every bowl of soup and broth and also for the last 4 days I’m addig more egg white.
    But I’m also worried about my weight, I’ve gone down to 108 pounds and I look like an anorexic, my flesh is extremely saggy.
    When do we start to put on weight again? When do the muscles appear ? Will eating fat do it or will I have to do lots of exercise?
    At the moment the only exercise apart from walking is Qi-Gong when I have energy left.
    I”m good with yoga and Pilates but right now I need to save my energy for healing.
    Can you reassure me here?

    You say in your last answer:
    “No, there is no need for you to take BioKult -or any other commercial probiotic- simply because of using Betaine HCL. ”
    Sorry for the confusion, it can be a language barrier here.
    I read in your book that Probiotics had to be taken far away from the meals if taken with B.HCL. So Probiotics should be taken First thing in the morning and at night, because the hcl will burn them. Should I understand that B. HCL is a probiotic?
    I’ve been sipping lots of water/vinegar and it helps my stomach to unblock but I feel this time the stomach is blocked and I have to burp to ease the discomfort. Could a few capsules of Betaine HCL help during the day with this nausea ?
    If I decide to take ox bile, does it have to be taken away from the meals too ? I cannot recall anything on the subject…..
    God, I wish your book had been translated. Maybe I”ve not understood it well. Maybe I should read it again. But now, what is most important is that I get some weight on. And the problem is that now there is very little carbohydrate vegies I can eat.
    I”m distressed and on top of it my last ex-boyfriend from London England tells me that He has read on internet that people say GAPS does not work. That my constipation that has been lasting for years is psychological. My doctor told me 6 months ago that I need to go back to antidepressants(those never helped my constipation) I took them from 2002 to 2008. So, what I hear around me is that I’m crazy.

    I hope to read you soon,

    Have a good day,


    • Hi SG,

      I really think you are understanding things very, very well, despite English being a second language for you! For most of us doing GAPS, we do need to ask clarifying questions, even with language in common.

      It’s quite perfect that you saw a strong reaction to a food. What you do now is this: Eat no more avocado. For the next few days, continue with all the other foods you were fine with, allowing your body to settle again. Then, move to the next food in the progression, which is nut butter pancakes.

      Yes, stick with your four tolerated vegetables for now. This means you are having: broth, marrow, tissue, fat, different kinds of meat and fish, water, sea salt, black pepper, garlic, tea, homemade electrolyte drink if needed, raw egg yolk in soup, soft boiled eggs in soup, stews, casseroles, fermented fish, herbs and spices, ghee, and those four vegetables.

      You have tested and eliminated some vegetables from this point in your program -there are many more you can test if you would like more variety.

      You have tested and eliminated avocado from this point in your program.

      Please do not add exercise at this stage. Very gentle walking and Qi-Gong are perfect. For many people it is helpful to pause other exercise during Intro. The weight gain usually starts about six weeks into the program, but is entirely dependent on consuming enough fat and protein.

      re: Betaine/probiotics. I think I understand your question here. No, Betaine HCL is not a probiotic. So, if a person is taking both, they must be taken at different times of the day, yes. But taking Betaine does not mean one must take a commercial probiotic -food sources are fine.

      A simple approach to increasing stomach acid AND probiotics is to start with the fermented foods such as fermented cabbage juice and raw apple cider vinegar. These will serve both purposes.

      For digestion/nausea, I would increase the raw apple cider vinegar. Are you taking it about 15 minutes before each meal, as well as throughout the day? I would also sip lots of ginger tea -I think you said in a previous email that you do not tolerate ginger. Am I remembering this correctly? Might the tea be tolerable? If the Betaine helps, you can take it.

      Your friend is correct that some say GAPS does not work. In my opinion and experience, this is due to a variety of possibilities. Most often, people do not do the program as presented; they try to combine it with other approaches, or ignore some of the instructions, etc. In other cases, people become fearful during a healing crisis and quit. In other cases, people are very diligent and the program heals many symptoms but not all of them; however, this should be expected, as GAPS is to create a foundation for health, not necessarily cure every symptom a person has (that’s where I get into the adjunct therapies and post-GAPS stages in my book).

      I disagree with those that say constipation is due to psychology. Thousands of bodies have demonstrated constipation to be a result of imbalanced gut flora. It is resolved by balancing that.

      If you suffer from depression, then anti-depressant medication may also be a fit for you. Having depression doesn’t mean you are crazy, and a doctor recommending medication for depression doesn’t mean he or she thinks you are crazy, only that you have symptoms of depression. For what it’s worth, anti-depression medication saved my life. That was long before GAPS, but I just want to be clear that, as I say in my book, GAPS can be done even if we also need to take medication for a while.

      Of course there are many schools of thoughts about the causes for various symptoms and what resolves them. That’s okay. That there are different ideas in the world does not mean you are crazy for trying one of them out.

      You’re not crazy. You are clearly intelligent, committed, and hardworking. Of course it’s frustrating to have symptoms -constipation, low weight, nausea- but none of this indicates a lack in YOU.

      All my best,

  8. Hi Baden,

    I recently purchased your book. I have been doing the gaps diet for about 2 years now. It stabilized me for a while but unfortunately it has stopped working. I spoke with Dr. Natasha and she says I am one of the rare cases that requires a meat only version of the Gaps diet. My condition is very complex and I am looking for a doctor or practitioner that would have the knowledge to support me. I don’t feel comfortable taking advice from just anyone on the GAPS list so I am looking for recommendations. Do you have someone you recommend for severe cases? Thanks.


    • Hi David,

      You were very fortunate to get to speak with Dr Campbell-McBride! I’m not at all familiar with the details of any practitioner’s specific work, unfortunately. Perhaps one -or a client who has had success- will read your note here and reply with a practitioner’s contact information.

      I wish you much success, David. If you don’t find anyone very shortly, please send me a blurb about your situation (symptoms, history, needs, geographical area, contact info that can be posted publicly) and I will post it to my blog. A number of people are subscribed to it and read it, so this would get your situation into the hands of someone who might be able to help. Again, just make sure that anything you include in it is okay for me to post as-is/publicly (feel free to use a pseudonym in it and to create a separate gmail/yahoo account for that purpose).

      All my best,

  9. Dear Baden,

    I’m happy you answered so quickly, you are my only comfort. I surely appreciated your comments.
    The look of me in the mirror really scared me, I look like a prisoner from concentration camps. Not kidding.
    Baden, you did not say if my flabby skin will resolve or if I will have to thrive to get some muscles back when I’m ready for it….Can you tell me about this, please.
    I have intolerance to ginger, even when I put a slice into the soup for a few minutes and then withdraw it. it burns my gums which a few hours later start retracting and I found that all spices like curry, turmeric etc do the same as ginger. This intolerance started a year ago. At that time, they found I had the blatosystis hominis and worms that kids get at nursery school in my guts and because I had lots of symptoms they gave me antibiotics. I never tested again because I never had a proper stool except from an enema, (I could not get samples that had been in contact with water). just for a month in febuary when treated in acupuncture and I did not think of testing again than. During the full year 2014 and half of 2013 I was given lots of antibiotics for different things: throat and ear ache, dentist, worms and for something else which I cannot remember exactly and the vermox also, though I’m not sure if this is an antibiotic. I also rejected not identified worms with vermox but they were dead. Could there be more to kill in there? and when would be the best time to give it an other go?
    I use instead of ginger, camomile and it does the trick for nausea and of course since I’m trying not to use Betaine because I want to take my fermented juice at meal time, I sip a lot of apple cider for sure, Not sure it is good for the teeth enamel though…..
    I made the electrolyte drink, but I don’t feel good with the citrus. The coco water goes down better alone or with salt. Strangely enough a little bit of citrus is ok on very well cooked vedgs and fat on top when eaten with stew.
    You forgot to tell me if the Ox bile would have to be taken with the same restriction as Betaine. Also is it a pancreatic helper?
    I fear the reason why my skin is so saggy is probably that the nutriments are not well distributed starting from my congested stomach, than my liver not producing enough bile and my pancreas not distributing the nutriments at the right place. This is why I’m so eager to find something that will nourish my body better. So could something help while my body is trying to heal ?
    And my last question is:
    How many ounces of meat should I eat per meal (3) to gain my muscles back ? Should I put meat in my broth between meals or does the fat, marrow and cartilage suffice ?
    I was wondering if I could find a Pro Gapster in England with whom I could skype ….I”ve not come around to look for help yet. Gaps keeps busy!

    Thank you so much for your care,

    Have a good evening


    • Hi SG,

      I’m sorry I forgot to comment on the flabby skin and on the ox bile. I really know nothing about either of these (besides the brief reference to ox bile in the book), so have no information or ideas to pass along. The muscle, though, will build with healing, especially via the protein.

      Yes, there could be more parasites inside your body. Parasites are a tricky matter. For one, they may exist in many bodies and cause no problems whatsoever. They may cause problems only in a compromised body. For two, some people believe they may actually be helpful. On the other hand, where they do cause trouble, an aggressive intervention may be called for.

      SG, in very complex cases like yours, I do recommend accessing a health practitioner familiar with GAPS. As with the writer, David, above, I invite you to write a short blurb of your major issues and concerns, needs, geographical region, and contact information that can be posted publicly. Then I can post that to the blog and hopefully a practitioner, or a client with similar complex issues who has been helped by a specific practitioner, will hopefully respond. Likewise, if you’d like me to post a call for an experienced GAPS client in England (or anywhere else), just write it up and I’ll post it.

      Coconut water is an excellent choice of electrolyte drink, yes, especially for someone with constipation (as it can trigger loose stools).

      In terms of what else could help your body heal, everything I know is in the 2nd Edition, so your next best step for more ideas or adjunct therapies would be a practitioner.

      Meat – Basically, you just want to eat as much as you reasonably can! When I was at your stage of Intro, I was eating meat (with marrow and broth) at least every 60-90 minutes, even if just a cup. I was also eating about 15 cups of vegetables per day, in the volume of soup I was eating. But I was very hungry for it. At this stage, the body is looking for that infusion of nutrition. If we try to limit the nutrition in volume or in frequency, we’ll struggle.

      All my best,

      • Hello Baden,

        Long time since I wrote. I’m doing better now with GAPS. Well, I thought I was. My doctor just rang me up to let me know about my blood tests. My cholesterol which has always been perfect and low has raised to a very high critical point. She is afraid for my arteries. She does not give me much chance to live very long on that rate. She said that if she did not know I had changed my diet, she would be even more worried. She tells me to lower animal fat, that fish is good fat but red meat should be lowered. I told her there was no danger and also said that that diet was good for my guts.
        But I must admit it got me worried a little.
        What can you say about it, are your cholesterol ldl &hdl high ?
        She wants to go testing further for the liver. She said I might have a fat liver (which was fine a year and a half ago, when I took an ultrasound for my gallbladder which had to be removed).
        Is there something obvious I’m doing wrong? I am eating loads of animal fats, cartilage, stocks,eggs and so on……..still in the intro though.
        Hope to read you soon



        • Hi there SG,

          Good to hear from you!

          I don’t test, so I don’t know my own levels.

          Also, as I’m not a health practitioner of any sort, I really don’t know about such things at all. In such a case, I recommend (a) heeding the advice of a professional health practitioner, and (b) subsequently consulting with a health practitioner well-versed in GAPS. To the latter, bring a detailed journal of your daily foods and practices, so that she can assess based on your detailed information (amounts, etc).

          A person doing GAPS can have emergencies and emergency conditions just as anyone else can, so a physician’s advice in those areas must be heeded.

          SG, you might also post to one of the email support lists/forums to hear other people’s experience with this, and read Dr Campbell-McBride’s book Put Your Heart In Your Mouth, which may delve into this topic more directly and thoroughly.

          I hope to hear from you further, about what you find out!


  10. Hi Baden,
    Thank you so very much for such a quick response. Your dedication is admirable.

    I guess I have been hedging my bets too. I am 10 months in on this fascinating GAPS journey and am doing everything I can to improve my gut flora and deal with ongoing constipation, food sensitivities and bloating issues.

    For the first 7 months or so I relied solely on enemas for BMs. After having my appendix removed earlier this year I had an unplanned bump in the GAPS road with some hospital food and all the antibiotics that accompanied the experience…..After my stay in hospital I quickly increased my intake of sour cream and Bio-Kult. I was very surprised that I didn’t experience too much of a die-off reaction. I am currently taking 6 Bio-Kult per day, but am considering reducing this and experimenting with goat’s milk yoghurt, (for cost and bioavailability reasons).

    Desperate to stop having to enema every day, (especially whilst recovering from surgery) I added to my diet –
    lots of cooked beetroot (10 x 1inch2 size pieces per meal, approx. 30 per day)
    pureed prunes (approx. 10Tbsp per day) and
    juicing (orange + grapefruit first thing in the morning and various combinations of carrot, celery, apple, herbs, cucumber, lemon, lime, ginger etc. in the afternoon, I also add a raw egg to each juice)
    These changes relieved my constipation and I and began to poo 🙂 (not anything to win an award for, but poo…..) I am worried though that prunes are probably a great source of nutrition for the suspected candida overgrowth I have, so have stopped eating them, (bringing a return of the deaded constipation) and will experiment with a magnesium supplement, a spirulina supplement and Seagreens.

    I have read Dr. Natsha’s book a number of times and am trying to follow her recommendations for relieving constipation. I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of your book in the post.

    What I find a bit confusing is that many of the recommended constipation relievers have a relatively high sugar content and that this means they are feeding the candida, which might just be the cause of the constipation in the first place…..creating a vicious cycle. Does one ignore this fact for now and carry on, or should one be following the recommendation that when a suspected candida issue is present, stay on stage 2 until it subsides? What then does one do about constipation??
    If you have any suggestions I would appreciate it.

    • Hi Racheal,

      Perhaps there SHOULD be awards for poo! 🙂 I think anyone that’s struggled with constipation would think so. (Oh, actually, I did give my son awards for his poops!)

      Your idea for reducing the commercial probiotic while adding/increasing homemade yogurt is what I did for my son and me at a point. For us, reducing the capsules did trigger some constipation, so we had to slow the process down, but it did work out.

      I think the matter of sweet food + Candida overgrowth is one of the trickiest. On the one hand, we know that for most people, GAPS is entirely effective as an anti-Candida diet, even while it includes things like orange squash, carrot, a small amount of honey, etc. On the other, we know that some people are reactive to even these, including to juiced carrots.

      My take is this:
      Unless you are having a clear (obvious) reaction to a food on the GAPS list, go ahead and use it.
      Prunes (plums) are on the list, so I would carry on with them as needed.
      The cleansing action of the fibre may balance out the ingestion of the sugar.
      Ideally, we use only stage-friendly foods at each point in Intro.
      However, it is more important to get the poo out than to avoid a GAPS-friendly food, even if the food is not “stage-friendly”.
      In Intro, continue adding a new food every four days. Do not let constipation interfere with this movement forward.

      When my book arrives for you, though, you will see my longer list of stage-friendly approaches, including physical manipulations such as squatting over the toilet or massaging the colon. Different things work for different people, so it’s usually a matter of going through the whole list, trying each in turn. (Butternut squash is a high-sugar food, but it consistently worked to trigger a bowel movement in my son. A magnesium bath was his other surefire method.) Likely there is a way for you to move on from enemas.

      Rachael, does any of this help?

      All my best,

  11. Hi Baden,

    Thank you again for taking the time to reply to my message.

    I have a few questions relating to what you wrote –
    – Do you mind if I ask how much commercial probiotic you were taking and for how long before reducing it?
    – How much butternut squash was eaten to trigger a BM?
    – How much magnesium did you add to the bath for it to be a surefire method and how many baths were needed?

    I am aware that everyone is different, but it is good to have an idea of what works for others.

    In terms of having a clear and obvious reaction to a specific food – generally I seem to react to some degree to everything I eat. Yes, some days are worse than others and at different times of the day I look more pregnant than others and am more uncomfortable, but there is seldom a clear and obvious reaction. Due to the ongoing need to use enemas in the first 7 months, I was unable to use BMs as a gauge for a reaction to a food. Perhaps this might be possible if I continue to consume the beetroot, prunes and juices and continue to have semi regular BMs. Although I must say, eating all these sweet foods does seem counter-intuitive. But as with most people who suffer with any degree of constipation, pooing is right up there on my list of priorities.

    In terms of stage appropriate foods – I decided a couple of months ago, that I would abandon the intro diet, (although, except for the prunes and citrus fruit for juicing, I am still stage 3-4) as Dr. Natasha suggests that some who struggle with constipation may do better on the full GAPS diet.

    I have tried just about every suggestion that I have come across for relieving constipation, (too many to list here). I have a squatty potty, I have tried magnesium baths, massage, the cashew brownies you mentioned previously on your site, (I think my bowel bugs/yeasts liked these very much as I was unable to stop at just one, eating the lot in 2 sittings. In the days that followed I couldn’t stop thinking about bread and toast and bread rolls, etc.. With the exception of including prunes, beetroot and juicing into my diet, I have had no real success with anything I have tried.

    I look forward to reading your book generally, but obviously the section concerning constipation.

    Thanks again,

    • Hi Rachael,

      It’s hard for me to remember the details of what we did way back then 🙂 but all of the details I ever recorded or remembered are in the 2nd Edition. I think you’re going to be very happy with the amount of detail in it.

      Very briefly, though:
      We slowly increased our commercial probiotic until we reached the full dose. We then took that amount for six months before beginning to reduce it in favour of yogurt.
      Magnesium (epsom salts) were 1 cup per full tub, taken once every 4-6 days (depending on how many different detox bath types a person is incorporating) as part of the rotation I recommend in the book.
      Butternut squash – my son’s tiny but big-eating body probably had a cup of it; perhaps an adult’s body would need more, or a different person’s body responds to an entirely different food.

      Also in the book, I note that BMs are very rarely a reliable indicator of food reactions, so I recommend not using them for that except in the case of an obvious pattern. For example, every time my son had scrambled eggs, he had diarrhea, so I accepted that pattern and stopped the scrambled eggs. But aside from that, his BMs were all over the map for the first several months, regardless of what he was and wasn’t eating, so I ignored them and looked only for other obvious reactions. I recommend this for you, too.

      In your case, I would do exactly what you are doing, i.e., Eat Stage 3-4 foods PLUS your BM combo, AND continue adding a new food in the progression every four days until you’re at Full GAPS.

      All my best,

  12. Hi Baden,

    Thank you again for your advise and support. I am very much looking forward to receiving and reading your book, it sounds like I will find lots of good, helpful and detailed information there.

    I will carry on as you have suggested.

    Thanks again,

  13. Hi Baden,

    I’m really struggling to know what to do about my 13 month old son’s terrible eating habits.

    Weaning hasn’t been easy for us, right from the beginning he refused anything savoury and would only agree to eat sweet or high carb foods like crackers/rice cakes with cream cheese. We’ve tried offering healthy veggies and meat but he will refuse. He’s unbelievably fussy. Our families didn’t believe us at first until the saw how INSANE he went when we tried to feed him some chicken off a spoon. He was like a demon possessed.

    I’d like to start the GAPS diet with him and my husband (who has a candida problem) will also be joining us.

    My main problem is where to start. Now I’ve read the chapter of the book that talks about feeding time but I don’t think that’s going to work for us. In your experience would it be appropriate for us to go ‘cold turkey’ with him? We would of course make sure he was hydrated. My other main concern is his formula milk. He won’t sleep without having a bottle to go to bed with. Would we have to go cold turkey on that too?

    Everything I’ve read about GAPS and young children is either geared towards the ‘just about to try food for the first time’ baby or ‘not really drinking milk anymore’ toddler. My son is in between and still very much enjoys and needs his milk.

    He’s not a typical GAPS child in that his stool has always been normal. No reflux or anything like that but we’re concerned that his very, very fussy behaviour with food is a bad sign and we’d like to see if it improves with GAPS. Both my husband and I have atopic health issues (minor but still there). He was also a cesarean section delivery and formula fed from birth.

    Any advice you could offer us would be gratefully received.

    Thanks, Ellie

    • Hi Ellie,

      Ah, yes, I remember how stressful those “as though demon-possessed” moments were!

      To clarify, have you read the “feeding time” chapter in Dr Campbell-McBride’s book? Or the section in my 2nd Edition called Children (pages 136-142 in the paperback version)? If not the latter, I urge you to do that -as well as read the entire GAPS Guide- as soon as possible.

      I think the GAPS program will be excellent for him.

      Yes, if after all else fails, he refuses to try anything savoury, you may well need to go cold turkey, ensuring to keep him properly hydrated, as you mentioned. However, I suggest trying the gentler approaches (Rewards, then Transitioning as laid out in my book) first.

      The formula is tricky. At age 13 months, unless a child has medical complications, they don’t “need” formula. If he is using it in place of whole, healthy foods, he may continue avoiding those and simply hold out for his bottle every night. If he is using it to soothe himself enough for sleep, that’s a behaviour that can be replaced by other methods for soothing to sleep. However, I would leave that piece for now. He and his parents will have enough going on with the food rewards and food transitioning steps.

      Here’s what I would do at this point:

      1. Start with the Preparing for GAPS section in my book. As it notes there, you can initially let him eat exactly the way he’s currently eating -including the formula- and simply add some GAPS foods to his world. Those initial GAPS foods can be very sweet desserts, like a crustless butternut squash pie.

      2. Start adding tiny amounts of broth to his sweet foods. (See the 2nd Edition’s section Broth -page 229-230- for tips on getting it in.)

      3. Use his evening formula and other preferred foods as rewards for GAPS foods, as detailed in the 2nd Edition. Again, on the chance that he refuses even sweet GAPS foods like GAPS desserts, start rewarding these first. Work toward an increasing range of foods, from sweet (e.g., pie) to less sweet (e.g., bread) to savoury-yet-bland to savoury-with-more-flavour, etc.

      Again, if he refuses even the sweet foods with rewards, or will not accept an eventual savoury food, then you would need to go cold turkey.

      Ellie, please let me know if/when you’ve read the 2nd Edition of GAPS Guide, as that will give us a better base to explore this topic from.

      All my best,

  14. Hi Baden,

    Thank you so much for getting back to me. I came across your site the other day by chance. I was googling something along the lines of “how to get a fussy toddler to eat GAPs”. I have read Dr Natasha’s book from cover to cover as well as a host of Paleo books. I haven’t read your book but I ordered the 2nd edition on Amazon this morning and I’m very excited about it. A step by step guide is such a great idea especially for people like us who feel overwhelmed and don’t really know where to begin!

    I was also very interested to read the info on your blog about addictions and GAPS. We have both suffered with addiction problems in the past, my husband is still struggling with this and I now know he needs the GAPS diet (anxiety, depression, psoriasis, alcohol problems, bloody sugar problems, IBS). I too have had recurring health issues including gallbladder problems, recurrent infections, shingles and most recently a horrible case of strep throat which required a huge dose of antibiotics to shift it. I’m now suffering with digestive problems as a result.

    We’re all a spectacular mess. I can’t wait to read your book and start putting it in to practice. Enough is enough now and we need to make some huge dietary changes or our health will continue to suffer.

    My son appears to be perfectly healthy apart from his extremely picky eating. I’m not taking it at face value though, we could have problems down the line and he’s recently had MMR so I’m worried.

    Thanks again,

    • You’re very welcome, Ellie! I believe the Guide’s 2nd Edition and the program are going to be a huge boon for you and your family. I’m excited for you all!

      All my best,

  15. Hello Baden,

    Thank you for creating such a helpful blog and for writing a very useful and supportive book! I have a question that I am hoping you might be able to help me with……..

    I have chronic fatigue syndrome and am slowly starting to implement the advice given on Dr. Natasha’s FAQ page and that which you mention in your book relevant to CFS. In the past few weeks I have begun to do a water fast and coffee enema 1 day per week. My question is, should I be taking my BioKult on the day that I am fasting? I refrained on my first 2 fasts, but am wondering if I should or not? I am also wondering if I should perhaps add the BioKult to my enema, and if so, how many capsules, (I am currently taking 10 per day).

    Thank you,

    • Hi Sarah,

      Thank you for letting me know the book and blog are helpful to you! 🙂

      Yes, please take the oral probiotic on your fasting day. Do not add it, though, to the enema. Some enemas will include a probiotic, but each enema recipe is specific to the need. For you, just follow the directions for the CFS one at this point.

      All my best,

      • Hi Baden,
        Thank you for replying to my question, I really appreciate your support. I will take your advice and take my probiotic on the day I do my fast. Could you perhaps suggest when the best time for this might be? Should I take all 10 in the morning, or spread them out over the course of the day? I usually take 5 at the end of my first meal of the day and 5 at the end of my last meal of the day.
        Again, thank you for all the great work you do supporting people on their GAPS journey.

        • Hi Sarah,

          You’re welcome! 🙂

          A health practitioner would be the best person to answer how frequently to take the probiotics on fasting days, but my own sense is that half of the day’s dose in the morning and half of the day’s dose in the evening (e.g., approximately 12 hours apart, such as with 8am/8pm) is just fine.

          All my best,

          • Hi Baden,
            Thank you so very much for answering my questions. You offer such great support. I will do as you have suggested and what I believe makes sense and that is, take half in the morning and half at night.
            Thanks again,

            • Hi Baden,
              I have another question if you don’t mind me asking.
              I set out on the GAPS journey to help with digestive issues and came to see that there might be some benefit for my CFS.
              I am trying to decide whether to purchase Epsom Salts or Magnesium Chloride Flakes to add to my evening bath, (in rotation with the other detox baths). Do you know if one is preferable over the other? I currently use epsom salt primarily for relieving ongoing constipation, (sometimes it helps, other times not so much…). I know it has many other benefits and am just wondering if you recommend one of the above mentioned over the other.
              Thanks again,

              • Hi Sarah,

                I am not familiar at all with magnesium chloride flakes, so I have no recommendation of one over another. I’m a big fan of epsom salts, though!

                All my best,

            • Hello again,

              I hope you don’t mind me asking yet another question. My hope is some advice, but also I guess I hope my question might help someone else on their GAPS journey.
              I am implementing coffee enemas as suggested for CFS sufferers. The instructions for a coffee enema say to do cleansing enemas with warm water prior to the coffee enema to clean out the area of the bowel that will hold the coffee and to continue 2-4 times until the water comes out looking fairly clean. My question is this – How clean should this water be? Should it just be free of solids, or should it actually be clear like it is before it goes in? As I have stated in previous posts I suffer from CFS and from constipation. The first means that performing a number of enemas in a row can become quite taxing, (added to which I am doing the procedure on the day I am fasting as recommended) and the second, general mild – moderate constipation possibly adds to the fact that after 4 and 5 water enemas, there is still sometimes some solid matter on evacuation and the water that comes out is certainly still very brown, (conversely, often the first water enema produces only a couple of solid bits and the water is mostly clear).
              I give all this detail and ask the question, as I don’t want to be doing the wrong thing and suffer adverse effects from a procedure that is designed to be beneficial.
              I thank you in advance for your time and support.

              • Hi Sarah,

                I understand that your confusion lies in the co-existing instructions to do them “2-4 times” and “until the water is fairly clear”, while you are seeing unclear water even after 4 times.

                I would do a maximum of 4, regardless of how the water looks at that point. i.e., Any instructions that provide a minimum and maximum (e.g., “2-4”), always stay within that range. I would also suggest that 2 would usually be sufficient.

                Remember that the body can only heal so fast, so everything will take time in any case, and doing more is not always helpful. If results are “imperfect” in any aspect of the journey at the beginning, that’s normal and fine. The body appreciates the support you give it, and is simply taking its time to go through its healing stages.

                If any of this is a struggle for you, though, Sarah -too tiring, too confusing, too many unanticipated outcomes- I strongly encourage you to consult with a health practitioner well-versed in GAPS. CFS is one of the toughest manifestations to work through, so give yourself the extra support if you can.

                All my best,

  16. Hi Baden,
    Thank you once again for your invaluable support. You really are very generous with your time and assistance. Having read your book it is clear that you are a kind and generous person. It is so helpful to have someone like you who can offer some advice and support. I have seen you do this many times with many people on this website, thank you.
    Regarding my previous question, thank you for your suggestions. I certainly like the idea of only doing 2 water enemas in preparation for a coffee enema. My concern is that while retaining the coffee enema for 15min there will likely be faecal matter in that mix which would be circulating with the coffee as there is still faecal matter in my 3rd and 4th water enemas. Perhaps as you say though, results are unlikely to be perfect.
    Warm regards,

  17. Baden, I stumbled across your site as I was searching for more information about GAPS, and I want to tell you that I am impressed with the quality of your response to each question! Kind, compassionate, and insightful – very, very fine.

    The Lord bless you.

  18. Hi Baden,
    I was wondering if you might be able to tell me if turmeric is allowed on GAPS? I read so many good things about it, but am unable to find whether or not it is allowed.

    • Hi Sarah,

      Yes, turmeric is considered a spice, and all spices are allowed on GAPS. In Intro, you can start using this and any other at the point it says “herbs and spices”.


      • Hi Baden,
        Thanks for your message and for offering such valuable support on your site. I am looking forward to seeing if turmeric agrees with me.

  19. Hi Baden,
    I would like to ask about probiotic enemas.
    I have read about the process in your book and Dr. Natasha’s book but have a question or two if you don’t mind.
    #1 – what is the best way to administer a probiotic enema? I generally use a standard enema bucket and wonder whether the probiotic powder will just sit in the bottom of the bucket and not reach it’s intended destination, (I see this when I add salt, for example, to the water). Would it be better to use a rectal enema syringe?
    #2 – I am currently on 10 Bio-Kult per day, how should I decide how many capsules to open up and add to the enema water? Should I add 1 and then only take 9 orally on that day for example?
    Thank-you in advance,

    • Hi there, Sarah 🙂

      re #1. I used the bucket system myself, and support it. Some people do use rectal syringes, fleet enemas they’ve emptied out and replaced with the GAPS solution, etc. All are fine. I would try each and see which is happiest for your own body and comfort. If using the bucket system, you can stir the solution just before moving it through the hose, to get all the beneficial product dispersed throughout.

      re: #2. Yes, exactly. Whatever amount of probiotic you’re using in an enema, reduce that day’s oral intake by that amount.


      • Hi Baden,
        Thank you so much for answering my message so quickly. You offer such wonderful support for all us Gapsters.
        Can I ask how much water you used in the probiotic enemas?
        My bucket, which is the standard stainless steel bucket, always has some water left in the bottom when I do an enema, do you have a tip as to how to ensure all the water with the probiotic ends up reaching it’s intended destination? I have read about leaving the probiotic in water overnight, do you do this, or just empty the probiotic capsule into the water before doing the enema?
        Thanks again,

  20. Hi Baden,
    Sorry to bother you again, I really wish I would think of all my questions at the same time.
    I just wanted to ask about the probiotic enema process – I assume one should follow the coffee enema process in so far as performing 1 or 2 water enemas prior so as to clean things out?
    One other question I have is what is the maximum number of capsules, ( I use Bio-Kult ) you recommend using in a probiotic enema? I will certainly play it safe and start small, I am all to aware that die off is real!
    Thanks again,

    • Hi Sarah,

      No worries at all about posting questions separately 🙂

      I genuinely don’t know more than I present in the second edition of the book. In its section on Enemas, I cover what type of probiotic to use, minimum number of live cells per session, how much water to use and how long to retain the water for, and so on. For daily enemas for general detoxification or constipation, follow the steps in that section (that is, do not add steps from instructions for coffee enemas).

      Under the section Progressing Further, I also reference Enemas, Additional Types (page 125 in the print copy), in which case I refer readers to Dr Campbell-McBride’s write-up (FAQ document) for instructions.

      Other than what I have in the book, though, I can add that I wouldn’t worry about getting every last bit of water/probiotic from the bucket. Just move as much of it as you can; that much will suffice.

      Sarah, does all of this help? If after reviewing the steps for general enemas in the book you need clarification about any aspect within those, please do post again!


      • Hi Baden,
        Thank you so very much for replying to my questions. Your support and kindness are much appreciated.
        I am currently away from home, ( a very rare occurrence for me) and made the mistake of not packing my two most referenced books, Dr. Natasha’s book and yours.
        I believe I am currently experiencing lingering symptoms of food poisoning, (some lamb’s liver bought from a butcher other than my regular trusted butcher is the suspect). I might need to ask my husband to post me your book so I can follow to instructions you have written there for probiotic enemas. I have scoured Dr. Natasha’s FAQs, but am unable to find detailed instructions like those given for coffee enemas for example. I presume though that from what I read that the process for probiotic is more or less the same as for coffee enemas.
        I am trying to avoid having a scan as the doctor has suggested. I am hoping to remedy the situation before it comes to that. The pain/discomfort has lasted 2weeks and I am keen to resolve it.
        Is there anything else you might suggest for abdominal discomfort/burning?
        Thanks again,

        • Hi Sarah,

          I sure hope you’re feeling better! I aim to check and respond to comments once a week, so sometimes there is a delay in my processing comments (depending on when in that schedule one writes in).

          The instructions for coffee enemas are different than those for the general enemas given in GAPS Guide 2nd Edition. Hopefully you’ve now received the book posted by your husband and have all the details in front of you, though.

          What is the scan your doctor would like to do, and what prompts you to want to avoid it?

          Abdominal discomfort/burning can have any number of causes. Any remedies would need to pertain to the source. As I’m not a health practitioner, I really couldn’t make any assumptions (nor, I would say, could even a health care practitioner without seeing you and testing).

          It’s been five days since your post, and I’m really hoping you, or you and your health care practitioner, have managed to resolve the prominent symptom!


          • Hi Baden,
            Thanks again for your reply. I have received my GAPS books and have all the information I need with regards to the probiotic enemas.
            My abdominal pain/burning/discomfort continues. The doctor suggested a CT scan and I am reluctant for two reasons. The first is the radiation from the scan, as I have had numerous in the past and second, the toxic contrast they inject or give you to swallow… Anyway, I may have to give in and have the test as the problem has not resolved itself.
            Thanks again for your support.

            • Hi Sarah,

              Oh, I see. I understand your concerns about the test, yes. I’m glad to hear you’re considering both the pros and cons of testing. It sounds like you’re thinking quite reasonably about it. I hope you feel better -and get firm answers- soon!


  21. Hello, Baden!

    First of all, thank you for the tremendous resources you have offered here. I have gained so much through reading g the hundreds of comments on your site and learning about your responses to countless scenarios.

    I have been on GAPS intro for seven months – worked my way up to stage four twice, then got derailed twice due to some stressful family circumstances, and then trying a few foods I wasn’t ready for. Now, I am entering a solid stage four, and really enjoying the amazing changes I’m feeling in my body. I came on GAPS with severe gastric atrophy, and am happy to see my system adjusting to food, and learning how tobassimlatee nutrients again.

    I have a couple of questions:

    While starting GAPS, I didn’t do the tons of broth that I should have – I had severe tmj issues, couldn’t swallow, and almost threw up from it so many times, that it upset my stomach more to try it than not. So I didn’t start doing tons of it until about four months ago. What I did do, though, was take high doses of betaine plus by biotics. Pre GAPS, I had an impossible time digesting protein, and had cut out everything raw because it burned my stomach. Currently, I am reducing my enzyme dosages as I’m able, hoping to get to where I can say a cup of soup without any pain, bloating, gas, etc, without having to rely on HCL and pancreatic enzymes to alleviate those things for me.

    I seem to react to everything I introduce with loose stools, gas, some pain, etc, sometimes a day of diarrhea. However, after keeping myself very restricted for so many months (in a three month period, all it ate was savoury soups, broth between meals, and an occasional bit of honey/coconut oil, puuse of course, all the probiotic juices, data, etc). My body is craving more nutrients, and variety, but I don’t want to rush healing.

    I added carrot juice several weeks ago, and have done okay with it. But my stools are a little erratic. I plan to continue, while symptoms are subsiding.

    Do you think I am safe to continue slowly adding, even when I have continuous controlled reactions? I recently made a butter nut squash soup and added a little powdered ginger, turmeric, and cumin. It gives me gas when I eat it. But I never reacted to squahs before, so all I can think is that it’s the spices? Should I eliminate them? It’s becoming less, but just feeling cautious – I don’t want o derail myself by trying too much.

    Are there spices that are easier to handle than others? If so, is there an order to try them in?

    Also,I’ve worked up to 8 bio kult a day (I’m 23, 5′ 2″ and I weigh about 115lb). How long should that dosage be maintained? I find it to be very expensive.

    Because I was on a liquid diet for so long before starting GAPS, I have a very hard time consuming increasing amounts of fiber. Any tips? I just recently added sauerkraut, instead of just juice, and am working on bulking out my soups into stews.

    It took me a long time to work in bits of almond flour and stuff, and I have to be very. Careful with it. Is that okay, to continue consuming fodds that challenge your system? I estimate that it will take me another six months to get through intro, so it’d be nice to have a little variety in what I can eat (I made it through the whole holiday season and all I indulged in was a little homemade coconut/almond milk, and a little almond bread with some.apples baked in- that was it – besides that, just soup, some eggs, and carrot juice).

    So anyway, I apologize that that was all over the map, but I’m grayeful for your input.

    Thanks for your time!

    I appreciate your amazing work, and wish you all the best in the new year.


    • Hi Hannah,

      Thank you very much for your kind words 🙂

      It sounds like you’ve done a phenomenal job with the going slow! But you are very right, too, that it’s just as important that we keep moving forward as our body allows.

      To help me work through your post, I’m going to number each topic separately:

      1. Broth: A person will simply consume as much as they can in a day. For some people, that will be none for the first while. For others, it will be perhaps a tablespoon or two, for most it will be several cups. As noted in my book, a person who cannot tolerate bone broth may tolerate meat broth, and that’s generally what we start with in Intro.

      2. If a food not known to specifically produce die-off triggers problematic symptoms, do not continue it. So, this would be so with carrot juice in your case, for example.

      3. If you didn’t react to squash on Intro before adding spices, continue the squash and eliminate the spices. If you didn’t react to squash only in your pre-GAPS life, this may not indicate that the food is okay for your body. (For more information, please read the section in GAPS Guide 2nd Edition Food Sensitivities/Allergies.) That is, lack of noticeable reaction to a food before GAPS, or before Intro, should not be used as a guide in determining what is okay for your body. Reactions will simply show up more clearly while on Intro.

      4. Per the Intro progression, our first spices are black peppercorns (freshly ground) and teas from the plants listed in Stage 1. On Stage 2 are introduced fresh herbs. Any that are not dried or otherwise processed, that you do not react to, are fine. Then it’s dried herbs and spices (GAPS Guide 2nd Edition page 107). I do not know of any to generally be easier vs harder for most people.

      5. Seven months is quite early for a lot of people to be all the way up to 8 BioKult. A sensitive person with severe health issues (e.g., needing a liqud diet prior to GAPS) would usually need much longer than that. How soon did you reach this dose? Reaching too high a dose too early in one’s process can cause problems. I recommend either cutting back (maybe to 4) and working your way back up or starting the progression again as laid out in my book (e.g., starting with 1/10th capsule or less, and working up very slowly). Be aware, though, that cutting back too quickly on a probiotic can trigger constipation.

      6. When a person has completed the very slow progression toward the full dose of a probiotic, she would normally maintain that dose for about six months and then begin reducing it in tiny increments. However, if a person is taking lots of probiotic food, six months of a full dose may not be necessary. Again, please see GAPS Guide 2nd Edition for heaps of detail around this.

      7. I wouldn’t worry about getting additional fibre in. Just continue taking that slow and easy like you’re doing.

      8. Challenging foods: Again, if a food not known to specifically produce die-off triggers problematic symptoms, I would not use it, or only use the tiniest amount that will support you to otherwise stick with the program. Almond flour is one of the most challenging foods for most people (very fibrous).

      Hannah, your commitment to yourself is amazing and wonderful! You have done a phenomenal job of honouring your body. I hope any of the above information is helpful. It sounds like you don’t have GAPS Guide 2nd Edition yet and if that’s the case, I encourage you to get it, as all of the above and more is covered in it in some detail.

      If you have any questions about any of the above, feel free to comment again. I will be happy to answer what I can.


      • Dear Baden –

        Thank you so much for your incredibly helpful response! I so appreciate the time and thought you put into it. Per your suggestion, I did go and purchase the GAPs Guide 2nd edition – and WOW! What an amazing purchase! It was so helpful to be able to read through it, and then use the excellent index for quickly referencing answers to many questions that I had. GREAT work! I have several friends interested in GAPs, and that is the first resource I am recommending to them.

        I do have a few follow-up questions based on a few of the answers you gave me…

        1- Probiotics. It took me about 6 months to work up to the therapeutic dosage of probiotics. I took about 5 months to work up to 4 Biokult. Then, because of some of my TMJ issues, I’m working with microscrews (some pretty advanced orthodontic stuff) – unfortunately, one of the screws in my mouth became infected, leading to lots of soft tissue/gum swelling and even going down into my jawbone. My chiropractor recommended seriously moving from 4 to 8 capsules per day because the oral infection was wreaking a lot of digestive havoc. So, I doubled my dose from 4 to 8 in a matter of two weeks, and have maintained that dose since then (about three months). At the time, I was so sick that any major die-off that occurred just fit in under the infection and other stuff. So…. I’ve continued to maintain that dose, 4 in the morning, and 4 in the evening before bed, and that particularly doesn’t seem to be giving me any problems. I do a large amount of probiotic foods as well – 1-2 T. of sauerkraut with each meal, and several T. of kefir as well (probably about a cup of kefir each day. Along with probiotic foods, I have maintained 8 biokult a day for three months. Do you have any thoughts? Also, at one point does one know when they should begin cutting back on probiotics?

        2- Almond flour. Are blanched almonds ground into flour generally better tolerated than almonds with skins? I do very little to begin with, maybe 1-2 T. of almond butter each week, and one small slice of bread weekly, at the most.

        3- Olive oil. In addition to drizzling olive oil over each meal, is one supposed to add several additional tablespoons of animal fats to each meal, if tolerated? I’ve heard the phrase “copious animal fats” so many times, and I’m wondering how that exactly breaks down? Is there a goal per day?

        4- Animal fats. In your book, you mention fats from the “inside of the animal.” Would these differ from tallow, lard, or butter?

        5- Consuming pork products, or specifically, lard. What about the “unclean meat” factor? If pigs carry lots of parasites and other junk, how is lard so healthy? Do pastured pigs not carry the parasites that CAFO animals would? Also, if toxins are collected in fatty tissues, does that mean that lard is full of toxins?

        6- Stimulating digestion. Because of my former long-term inability to chew, which lead to gastric atrophy… it’s been ages since I’ve been able to tolerate raw vegetables. For the past almost 18 months, I have been able to only tolerate well-cooked non-fibrous vegetables, and meats simmered in broth (formerly it was all blended/liquified, now, I am able to chew soft things). I find myself craving raw veggies like crazy now. At times, I’ve been concerned about enzyme exhaustion (and I’ve gone to taking fairly large enzyme and HCL dosages on GAPS, with a lot of success). My digestion is kicking in more – improved sense of taste, increased salivation at meals, attempts at gentle and thorough chewing of soups, etc. What I’m wondering is – do you know of any additional ways to stimulate appetite and digestive juices? I’ve tried to continue with lots of fermented foods, and increase juicing a bit. Any other thoughts?

        Thanks again for your help! And thanks also for your amazing book! I’m recommending it to every GAPs friend I know!


        • Hi Hannah,

          I’m really happy the book feels like a great fit/resource for you! Thank you for that feedback 🙂

          1. Probiotics – That sounds good to me. Like you noted, any intense die-off upon doubling up (under a medical professional’s guidance, great!) would have been experienced along with the symptoms of illness. If you’re feeling strong with them now, I would continue as is. Usually, one takes commercial (capsule, powder) probiotics at the full therapeutic dose for six months, then starts reducing very slowly (details in the book). But aim to continue taking probiotic foods daily for life.

          2. Almonds – Yes, skinless almonds are often better tolerated than those with skins (less fibre overall). But with the very small amount you’re using (excellent!!), either may be fine. Sometimes, it seems to people like the flour from skinless almonds is less tolerated, but my sense is that this may be more a matter of volume. i.e., A person is more likely to eat much more almond product when it’s consumed in flour-form or nut butter form vs as whole almonds. But if you can manage the volume well, as it seems you can, you may not need to worry about skins or skinless.

          3. Animal fats – Yes, ideally we add those to most or all meals. We might smear some on that slice of almond toast, include it in a soup, take a cup of fatty broth with our vegetables, etc. There is no set/goal amount. Just keep adding more until your body says “enough.” A person who has had their gall bladder removed will tolerate much less fat than a person who hasn’t, for example. For one person, the ideal amount is two tablespoons per day, for another much more.

          4. Fats from inside animals – Yes, lard and tallow are among those that come from the insides of animals. Butter is a product from the outside (milk). For most people, all fats are fine and great. Just be sure to get a fair amount from the inside too, rather than relying just on butter + plant-based fats. You needn’t rely on lard if you’re uncomfortable with that. You can use any fat from any animal, even rendering it yourself. (More on this, and instructions for rendering fat, in my book.)

          5. Animal fat toxins – Some cultures regard some animals as unclean; a GAPSter in such a culture should feel free to avoid those. GAPS itself doesn’t regard some sources as clean and others unclean. It does encourage us to limit certain fish, for example, due to mercury concerns. But overall, all animal parts are considered fine and helpful. Dr Campbell-McBride has stated that nonorganic meat, though not ideal, is still acceptable for most people because, like humans, animals have a natural detoxification system which will already have filtered out much from the fatty tissues. Parasites may be present anywhere (including in many humans) but will be destroyed in cooking. The fats are healing not due to purity but due to specific elements that support our bodies.

          6. Increasing digestive juices – There’s a section on this in my book, encouraging steps like sipping the fermented vegetable juice or apple cider vinegar before each meal, avoiding or limiting drinking water near meal times, including live vegetable cultures with meals, and so on.

          Hannah, I hope any of that is helpful. Feel free to post any other questions you might have, as they come up 🙂


          • Hi Baden,
            Your comments several months ago have been such an help! I continue to regularly reference your book. I had another question regarding another area…. I have an extremely low tolerance level for carbohydrates, and also discovered that I have possible SIBO issues – haven’t been tested, just assuming that based on benefitting from a strict low-FODMAPS approach for several months. I realized that much of my intestinal distress that was persisting after a year of GAPs was because of high FODMAP foods (onions, garlic, cabbage, even sauerkraut, honey, etc.). I feel like my system’s too sensitive to undergo any types of SIBO treatments for awhile, but I wondered if you could suggest any gentle means by which this issue can be helped, besides just strict avoidance?

            Also, with extreme carbohydrate sensitivity, I do very poorly with juicing. Any suggestions?

            Thank you for your work – you’re amazing!!

            – Hannah

            • Hi Hannah,

              What great work you’ve done in narrowing down your issues, and figuring out where your body is at!

              I don’t have any specific ideas for gentle means of dealing with SIBO-aggravating foods. If the “low and slow” method of incorporating them is not acceptable to your body, I would continue avoidance until you feel up for SIBO treatment. I also encourage you to, at any point, consult with Dr Siebecker via

              With limited tolerance of carbohydrates, I would simply skip the juicing, or use lower carbohydrate, tolerated vegetables (e.g., cucumber vs carrot). Plenty of people (me and my child included) healed very well without juicing.

              You are right to listen to your body and to honour it! Please keep up the great work.


  22. Hi, I’ve been on full Gaps for 7 months and am loving it. My question is when should I drink my bone broth. Is it with meals, before meals or after? I once read drinking liquid with meals interferes with digestion. What is your suggestion? Thanks

    • Hi Candy,

      Wonderful that you are so enjoying GAPS! I recommend drinking the broth any time you like. You’re correct that drinking certain fluids (lots of plain water, fruit juice) can interfere with digestion, but things like juice from fermented vegetables, broth, apple cider vinegar, GAPS-friendly wine, etc, can all actually aid digestion. Broth away from meals will also be well digested and add excellent infusions of nutrients throughout the day.


  23. Hi, I’ve recently stumbled across GAPs and have read both Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride’s book and the 2nd edition of yours Baden. I’m still trying to get my head around most of it but I’m about to embark on the 4 week preparation weeks you outline in your book. I’m trying to sign up for the support group on Yahoo groups with no success and I cant seem to find any other online support network? I’m in Bristol, UK and wondered if you could point me in the right direction. Im very excited and equally scared to start this journey, but totally optimistic that I’ll see some good improvements in my mental health. Thanks in advance for any reply you manage to give.

    • Hi there, Jen,

      Your comment came in just shortly before I did my weekly check-in 🙂

      Which group have you been trying to sign up with? Some require a new application to be approved by a moderator, and that can take up to 48 hours. Might that be the issue?

      On this page, I have more supports listed: The first two under Online and/or Live Support Groups fit for people living anywhere.

      I’m excited for your journey. Please do get in touch with anything I can clarify for you from my book.


  24. Dear Baden,
    Thank you for your magnificent work, full of dignity, integrity and compassion.
    I am totally new in the program. I started the intro , stage 1 without reading your book. Then I purchased it and found it tremendously helpful. But I realized I jumped into the intro too quickly and after 3 days I stoped and went back to my regular eating.
    I have been taking probiotics for a couple of years and I also every morning for about two months I have been taking 2 table spoons of kefir with Flax seed oil and 2 spoons of ground flaxseeds. Should I continue taking the kefir with the seeds and oil! Or should I stop all together? They have constipated me a little but able to manage it with no intervention of any thing. Doing the stage 1 for 3 days really constipated me, but so far, I haventI done any enemas or baths. The fiver of the flax seeds and had some prunes plus vitamins C has helped me. I am planing on doing the full diet and then do the intro. Any suggestions?
    Thanks in advance!

    • Dear Rosario,

      Thank you very much for your kind and supportive words!

      I recommend stopping all supplements and foods—in this case the probiotics, kefir, flax seed oil, and ground flax seeds—before restarting Intro. When you restart Intro, you may well experience constipation, in which case I would rely on strategies such as magnesium (epsom salt) baths, enemas, Vitamin C as first-goes, and then cooked prunes if necessary. More detail is given on some of these in the book, under the section Constipation.

      Although I can publish and respond to comments generally just once every seven days or so, I am here for you, so please do write with any other questions as you go!


      • Hi Baden,
        Thank you for your clear reply. I appreciate.
        I also have another question: my husband has been in the Atkins diet for more then 14 years with some varieties and now he has been eating more the paleo diet. He eats bacon, eggs, meats, vegetables and limited fruits only berries. no grains and no breads ( the latter once a week only). If he starts the full gaps diet would he have die off symptoms as well? could it be difficult for him to preform in his business, which demands clarity, concentration and strength? as he is using his brain all day long and he meets with clients constantly? He told me he didn’t have any when he enter the Atkins diet.

        In the other hand. I have been doing the broth and introducing the full gaps diet gradually….I am excited! I have suffered for many, many years with hey fiver allergies, lactose intolerance for about 25 years. My stomach was a mess years ago, after I had a paradise and took antibiotics. It gradually improved after I saw Dr. D’ Adamo and fallow his protocol and with years of meditation. But i want to heal it completely! so I am determined to follow the Gaps diet!
        Thanks again and I value your advice!


        • Hi Rosario,

          If your husband moves from Atkins or paleo to Full GAPS, with no other changes, it’s possible that he would have die-off effects, but he likely wouldn’t.

          If he were moving from Atkins or paleo to GAPS’ Intro—or suddenly adding a high dose of probiotics or coconut oil, for example, to his Full GAPS—there would be a much greater chance, in which case I would schedule days off (or easier work days) for the first week or so of it.

          I am glad you are doing a gradual approach, and that you are excited!


          • Hi Baden,
            You haven’t heard from me for a while. Thank you for your contribution and answers.

            I started intro July 8th and I am starting the 5th stage. I have been doing fine with no intestinal pain or discomfort. Other then a couple of time feeling blown up. However, for the most part I have been either constipated or witht loose like pure type of bowel movements. I have been doing maybe 2 enemas a week and taking baths that are helpful. I started with yogurt only few days ago. I first took 2 spoons, the next day one spoon as I felt that constipation was occurring. Nothing makes my stomach feel bad when I eat any food. So basically is either loose stools or constipated. I wanted to ask you about the yogurt if I should continue. I stooped it yesterday and I had a vowel movement. I started to take magnesium 5 days ago and vitamin C and I think they are helpful.

            I have another important question. My husband and I are going to New York City for a week, on October 8th. We are flying. not going by train or bus. So I wanted to ask you if you have any suggestions about eating out. What kinds of things can I bring with me?…. eating in restaurants is not ideal…how do I deal with it? How can i protect my diet? By that time I hope my bowel movements will be regular and normalized. It will be 3 months on the diet. We are still almost 6 weeks away. Can’t wait to know what your feedback is.
            Also I wanted to ask you what are your thoughts about cooking on bacon fat?
            Thank you so much, your book is wonderful and has been a great guide on my journey. It is so well written and your experience is shared amazingly!

            Thank you soooo much and look forward to your reply.



            • Hi Baden,
              I have been doing great for the most part since my last email, other then the the usual or normal die of effects. My only concern is my trip to NY city in October. Would love to know your thoughts, I know you prefer us not to travel, but in situations where is a most, what kind of advice would you give? I am trying to avoid going, but there is a possibility I will go.

              Thank you so much for taking some time in your busy schedule. It us vert appreciated.



              • Hi Rosario,

                I’m so glad you’ve been doing great! I’m sorry I wasn’t able to respond to your earlier post in a more timely manner. Wonderful that you sorted it out!

                I think it’s just fine to travel. It does present some challenges, but it’s certainly doable. I’m referring to your earlier post to answer your travel q’s more thoroughly…

                You are flying to NY during a cooler season. Are you flying from within the US?

                Here are my thoughts/ideas:

                1. Check your flight’s permissions and restrictions about travelling with food (carry-on or below). Domestic is different from international. There may be restrictions on liquids. But you may be able to carry-on something like broth, and any other food, if you have a doctor’s note stating medical necessity.

                2. If the flight is long enough that you will need to eat on board, definitely have your food and medical note with you. Discuss this with the carrier well before your trip. Get any information/conversation in writing (email or otherwise). Personally, I’m willing (and able) to forgo food for a stretch of travel if necessary.

                3. Book a room with a kitchen or kitchenette (at least a sink, mini-fridge, one burner). Ask the motel or AirBnB what cookware is provided. Bring a large pot if they don’t have one. Buy a knife there.

                4. Prepare a grocery shopping list before the trip. When you land, get the groceries right away. Walk in and cook your first meal. One-pot meals like a stew is fast and easy.

                5. If you must eat out sometimes, order plain meat (including fish), and plain green vegetables. Make it as easy as possible on the staff. Explain that you are on a medical diet and want no toppings, flavourings, sauces, etc. Just plain meat, green vegetables, and salt. Saying green vegetables ensures they don’t put corn or potatoes in.

                Cooking with bacon fat is great!!!

                Thank you very much, Rosario, for your kind and enthusiastic words about my book and work! I sure appreciate it!

                And thank you very much for your understanding when I was not able to answer earlier, and for simply coming back with your updated needs 🙂


                • Wow! thank you for your quick and wise response Baden.
                  I will keep your suggestions, I am printing them to bring with me and of course studying them well. Thank you!

                  In the other hand for some reason even weeks after having fermented cabbage in every meal, I am starting to feel some symptoms of my stomach blown up. I stopped the fermented vegie for few days to rest. Is that the reason why I felt blown up again?
                  I was surprised that I feel this way, since I introduced fermented cabbage long ago. To relieve the symptoms, I take apple cider vinegar in water as well as baking soda, What do you think?. any suggestions? When I feel so bloated I can’t eat much. However when I am well, I am enjoying the food so much! the recipes are great!I can’t wait to cook with bacon oil, will I be able to eat commercial uncured bacon at some point? That would be great!!!

                  Thanks again Baden, I want to keep it brief so I don;t steel much time from you.



                  • Hi Rosario 🙂

                    It’s always hard to know what we are reacting to and, at different points in the program, why.

                    If it seems the fermented cabbage has become problematic, skip if for a while and then reintroduce it, starting with a tiny amount of its juice and working up again.

                    While we do use baking soda as a detox bath additive, Dr Campbell-McBride recommends that we not eat or drink baking soda. So, I would skip that. The ACV in water is great!

                    I’m so glad that, when you’re not feeling bloated, you’re enjoying the foods! GAPS is indeed delicious 🙂


                • Dear Baden,

                  I hope all is great with you and steel in the business of helping people deal with the gaps diet, as you are remarkably wonderful. You haven’t heard from me for a long while, as I was doing so great until now that I am experiencing problems again. I have been involved with the gaps diet since July 2016 and had great results until October 1017.
                  I did the diet for 15 to 26 month so great and my stomach really healed beautiful, I added chia seeds in the last 6 months or so to my diet and my bowels were working marvelous ( although I don’t know if that could contribute to my problems, I think chia is wonderful). However, 4 month after my success I started to do the full diet and then broke it a lot and started to eat often things that are not so great for the diet, like wheat, chili which is never been good for me, and some cakes and ice cream. However, I have steel been very good following the juicing every morning and the fermented sower cream and fermented food including cabbage (I haven’t had the cabbage lately though, I felt it was causing acidity). I took sodium bicarbonate and not so sure it has been great).
                  I also added to the diet, rice, lentils, and started to do my own sower bread, and all was doing great, until about two weeks ago that my stomach crashed. I have had a lot of trouble handling food, so I basically have done three days of rice, eggs and cooked carrots. I was thinking about doing the three days intro stage 1, with broth and cook meats, and vegies. What do you think? Or any other suggestions?
                  I also wanted to ask you about ¼ tea spoon of cream of tartar with ¼ tea spoon sea salt and lemon in a glass of water, it is supposed to be wonderful for the body and supplement the potassium. My, niece who is a homeopathic Dr recommended it to me. Any thoughts?

                  Any way would love to hear from you again. I never felt better as when was feeling my body healing so beautiful with the gaps diet and following your advice. However, “ It would be though to do the whole diet rigidly again. I was so good following it, bud to do it again, stage, by stage, would be too hard”

                  Thanks so much dear, can’t wait to hear from you,



                  • Dear Rosario,

                    I am still here! 🙂

                    I’m so glad you had such wonderful results when you were on the program, and even when you added chia seeds.

                    Yes, unfortunately going off the program prematurely will usually bring a return of symptoms. And I know that going back a second or third time can often feel harder to do than starting the first round!

                    But of course, that would be my only suggestion. The good news is: While psychologically it can feel more challenging to commit again, logistically it’s much easier! You’ve read the resources, you know how to do the recipes, you know how to do great self-care to keep those toxins moving out…

                    I would do this:

                    1. For now, return just to Full GAPS. Eat all GAPS-approved foods in any form.

                    2. Give that at least four weeks. If your body isn’t perfectly happy then, pick a date to start fresh Intro.

                    3. Find a few buddies (online) to start with you.

                    4. Do the preparation steps in GAPS Guide 2nd Edition, e.g., Write down what symptoms you’re experiencing currently, etc.

                    5. Start Intro, even though it’s hard to go stage by stage again.

                    6. When you’re tempted to veer from the program, reread that list of starting symptoms and also your post here. These will help affirm your desire to continue with a program that relieves symptoms and eventually heals the body.

                    7. Keep in mind that the program is expected to take a good 18-24 months to heal the body. After that, you may be able to eat some nonGAPS foods again without problems. But it’s necessary to let the body heal first 🙂

                    Regarding tartar, etc – I’m not a health practitioner and am really only familiar with GAPS. As such, I’m only able to support people in their efforts to do the program laid out by Dr Campbell-McBride. However, I fully support people to access a health practitioner directly. If yours (in your case, your niece with homeopathic expertise) recommends a nonGAPS idea and you wish to pursue it, that’s absolutely between you and your practitioner. Unfortunately, I can’t know what will and won’t be helpful to your own body.

                    Rosario, it’s always wonderful to hear from you. Please feel free to write again.


  25. Hello Baden,
    I wonder if you have any experience, (personal or anecdotal) of helicobactor pylori? I have been following the GAPS diet for close to 2 years, but sadly haven’t seen much change in my digestive issues. I continue to follow the diet as I believe it to be a nutrient dense, common sense way of eating.
    I have recently been experiencing symptoms of h. pylori, including, extreme bloating, reflux, heartburn, worse than usual food sensitivities, pain and discomfort in stomach and abdomen, feeling of fullness, etc.. I did the breath test and it came back negative. Considering my symptoms and the fact that my test came back just outside the positive range, (my score was 46 and the positive range is 50-200) my GP suggested I try antibiotics for eliminating h. pylori.
    I am sensitive to amoxicillin, so she has suggested the proton inhibitor – nexium, along with metronidazole, (flagyl).
    I am always SO reluctant to take antibiotics and wonder if you might have any suggestions. I know that you are not a doctor and I don’t expect a consultation……..I just wonder if you have any suggestions from the contact and experience you have with many people with digestive issues.
    I thank you in advance.

    • Hi Sarah,

      Good news (I hope)! I’ve just spent some time doing the following steps: searching my site, searching the comments on my site, checking a link from one comment on this on my site, all to no avail. I then checked Dr Campbell-McBride’s FAQ document, and found that she addresses this! On her FAQ page, type in not helicobactor pylori (as nothing will come up) but rather just pylori (or H. pylori) and then it will.

      There she provides a clear protocol, including the following: “If after a few months the symptoms persist it is a good idea to test for H pylori. If the test is positive I suggest asking your doctor for a prescription of oxytetracycline (500mg 4 times per day for 2 weeks) and bismuth salicylate (about 500mg 4 times per day for 2 weeks) – these are doses for adults. I recommend taking these antibiotics with a glass of water with ½ a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda dissolved in it. The soda will control yeast growth which always comes with every antibiotic use. This is a timeproven intervention for H pylori. Unfortunately, the standard recommended prescription of the triple antibiotics (clarithromycin, amoxicillin and metronidazole) does not work in many people due to high resistance of H pylori to these drugs. Make sure to take plenty of probiotics and fermented foods between the doses of antibiotics to maintain your gut flora.”

      Again, be sure to refer to the original document for context.

      The FAQ document is linked to in Step 5 of my ‘Questions? Need Help?’ page here:


  26. Hello Baden,
    Thank you for all the work you did to find information for me. I, along with many others I am sure, REALLY appreciate your kindness, dedication and support.

  27. We are looking to gain access to the application for the Apple devices. It sounds like exactly what we need to keep track of all this! Where can we purchase this APP for our journey?

  28. Hello Mrs. Lashkov,
    I’m 28 and I’m from Italy, so excuse me if my English isn’t perfect.

    I read Your book and I would start GAPS diet to recover my health, but I have fear that probiotics could harm me instead give me benefits and I’m going to explain why.

    I’ve had always digestive issues, but these worsened with puberty.
    It was 2005 and I started to have involuntary muscle spasms to arms, legs, neck, eyes and mouth.
    These were particularly intese when I laid in bed or when when I watch TV or stay in front of PC screen.
    There were many years since that nothing happened and I had again spasms in 2011, but only at neck after spending many time to drawing.
    Another little break and, when my health worsened more and more in 2014, I had eyes, mouth and legs spams again, almost exclusively at dinner time.
    Then, in 2015 spring I started a low-carb high protein diet and things seemed get better, but in August my nutrionist prescribed me Oregano oil for bloating.
    After three days of heavy dose of Oregano, I had a very strong and scary reaction: for 5 hours I had strong muscle spasms, swelling, hyperventilation and so many others symptoms.
    At that time I wasn’t aware that it’s crucial to start with a very slow dose.
    For months I woke up around 2:00 – 4:00 a.m., now I have muscles spams only to neck (like I’m nodding) and to my right leg when:

    – I’m in the car or bus or train;
    – I’m tired;
    – I slept less than 12 hours;
    – I take wrong position with my neck;
    – I’m lying without cushion (before this helped me to stop spams, but since this summer, I have to sleep with 3 cushion);
    – I do exercise, even stretching;
    – around 2:00 – 4:00 a.m. in summer, when my hyperventilation worsen;
    – I’m angry;
    – I feel anxious;
    – I’m fasting or has been a long time since the last proteic meal;
    – I hyperventilate;
    – I feel burning at ileocecal valve.

    NOTE: I started to take SSRI in 2005 autumn; it wasn’t prescribed me for spams, but for other health issues. Only in 2013 I realized that all my problems were related to my gut. Actually, I’m tapering my dose very slowly, because withdrawal symptoms are very strong.

    I’m not epileptic and I’m sure that these spams start in the gut, indeed I read in Gottschall’s book that other people experienced unusual movements due to poor intestinal healt and I’m sure that I still have Oregano oil’s side effects.

    Sometimes, however, I feel overwhelmed because this is a paradoxical situation: I have these spams but I can’t go to doctors because of them.
    I would start GAPS diet, but I’m afraid of taking probiotics, ghee, fermented foods and so on because it seems that every change affects my health.

    Please, can You tell me if I can start diet without fear even if I still have Oregano oil’s side effects and muscle spasms?


    • Dear Noemi,

      Thank you for writing 🙂

      I can truly understand your concerns. You have had direct experience of a sensitive physical system, with terrible new symptoms resulting unexpectedly with various triggers. You are right to consider your options and to proceed cautiously.

      In the book, I note that one can do the program without a commercial probiotic source. Also, if one is using a probiotic (whether food source such as sauerkraut, or a commercial powder), one should start with a wildly tiny amount. So tiny we think it’s ridiculous 🙂

      You have a few options:

      1. You can start your program with just the foods you are comfortable with—broth, meat, eggs, vegetables, etc—and use no probiotic, no ghee, etc.
      2. If you try food-source probiotics, following the instructions for the miniscule amounts and extremely slow increase.
      3. If you try a commercial probiotic, tapping 1/10th of a capsule into a glass of water, then ingesting only the amount of water that will sit on the tip of a butter knife.

      Be sure to note the recommendation of Dr Campbell-McBride re: people with tics not taking some of her supplement recommendations.

      You are not alone in your sensitivities, and you can heal!

      I’m so sorry you had such a terrible reaction to three large doses of oil of oregano. That must have been terrifying! And, you are so right to wean so slowly from Paxil, when it becomes right for you to do so. (I took Paxil, it was very helpful for me, and I was successful in weaning off very slowly without issue.)

      It’s so hard that you’ve had to experience such difficulties!

      Noemi, unfortunately there is no way for me or you or anyone else to know what effects you might experience as a result of any change (in diet, environment, medication, etc). I do understand your fear. It’s entirely possible you would see difficult effects from any change—this is always possible in any of us. Whether in GAPS or in a non-GAPS lifestyle, we really can’t know whether our next change will bring challenges.

      As you know, in my book I urge a very gentle, slow, mellow approach to healing, especially where the body has proven to be sensitive.

      I would recommend you work closely with a health practitioner well-versed in GAPS, and who uses GAPS Guide 2nd Edition. You can access a practitioner by email or Skype, so that you do not have to physically travel to one. Using one who is very familiar with my book will allow you to follow along with her plan, cross-reference her suggestions as you go, and ensure that the process for a highly sensitive person is what’s followed.

      I’m sorry I cannot offer you assurance. I don’t want to mislead you! I believe it’s best to go in with awareness and reasonable caution. You can rely on yourself to do exactly that, and that’s so good.

      Please let me know if I can be of support as you consider further.


      • Dear Mrs. Lashkov,

        I really thank You for Your reply. It seems that my response wasn’t published, so I try again.

        In all these years, I never find a practictioner that understand my sensitivity and it’s really hard for me trust in someone. For these reasons, I’d prefer to proceed only with the support of the online group, at least for the first months.

        So I thank You for giving me many options.

        I prefer to start diet with only foods and no probiotics and review whole things after some months have passed.

        Can I ask You other few questions, please?

        1) Do You confirm me that I don’t have to take any probiotics, ghee, yogurt or sauerkraut till my spasms have disappeard or at least after many months of diet?

        2) In the past, meat broth cause me heartburn. If this happens again, do I have to remove fat from broth or do I start diet without it?

        3) I’ve started a low-carb high protein diet and I gained 10 kilos. After reintroducing carrots, I lost 3 kg, but since then I have hairs on my chin and my glycemia is low even after meals. I’d want to add some carbs to my diet, but I’m afraid that this can cause me bloating or other unpleasant symptoms. I done stool test few months ago and it resulted that I have dysbiosis of medium intensity, low Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli, high Bacteroidetes and Escherichia Coli. In Your experience, could I reintroduce potatoes or honey without fear?

        4) I’m anemic since I was 6 months old and I take iron supplement. Recently I’ve changed brand and I’ve had gastro-intestinal distress. In these cases, what can I do to reduce inflammation and recover quickly?

        5) it can be helpful detox my body to remove Oregano oil’s residues? I know that in these cases Epsom salt baths could helpful, but I’m already very weak, an I have fear to have a strong reaction even to them. Could You suggest me other ways to remove toxins apart from Epsom salt bath?

        I thank You for Your work, Your support and Your understanding.



        • Dear Noemi,

          Please forgive the delay in my response. Every comment is held until I log in to publish it, and I answer it only then or later. I aim to log in at least once a week, so depending on when a comment is submitted, it can be up to seven days (or more) before I am able to publish it and then to respond.

          Also, just to be clear: I can offer about the same level of information as the online groups can. This is because I am not a health care practitioner, and have no specialized training. Everything I know about GAPS is in the 2nd Edition—I have no other information. However, I am always happy to clarify items covered the book, if something is a bit confusing.

          So, below are answers to your questions. (Sometimes you asked about several things under one number —I’ve hopefully answered each one in the order you asked them.)

          1. I cannot confirm what you personally do or do not need to do —only you and your health care practitioner could know that. I can only confirm that some people avoid probiotics, ghee, yogurt, and sauerkraut—and any other food that is aggravating for their body—for the first days, weeks, or months. One person must avoid broth, another must avoid meat, another must avoid all vegetables, one must avoid everything except meat and well-fermented or raw dairy. Each person is different.

          The vast majority of people coming to GAPS simply do the program as outlined in the Guide, and have great success. A minority do need specialized support, but only a health care practitioner can provide that.

          If a food is aggravating in the first days, I would avoid it and then try a miniscule amount of that food in broth. If even that is aggravating, I would avoid it again for a month or two, then try it again. Except in rare cases, where a person is reacting to a lot of foods (in which case they really should have a practitioner) I don’t recommend avoiding too many GAPS foods for an extended period. The range of food and variety is important, for multiple reasons.

          Also, probiotics in some form are critical for regaining health, so I would make sure to get even that miniscule amount in after not too long. Some people who react to cow yogurt do well with goat. Some who react to all dairy yogurts do well with coconut yogurt. And so on.

          2. Meat broth – If meat broth causes you heartburn, and you suspect it may be the fat content, I would do this:

          i. Start the program without broth.
          ii. After a few days, try meat broth with all the fat strained out.
          iii. If that goes well, continue the fat-free broth for another week.
          iv. If that goes well, add a teaspoon or less of fat to a bowl of broth, and see how that goes.

          3. I’m not familiar with low-carb diets, so cannot speak to that. I am only familiar with GAPS. GAPS can have quite a bit of carbohydrates, via onions, other vegetables, nuts, yogurt, etc. In my book, you can view sample carbohydrate amounts per GAPS food early in the program. It’s no problem to get in carbohydrates.

          Some people on GAPS do better with higher carbohydrate counts.
          Some people on GAPS cannot tolerate carbohydrates at all (see section in book) and rely entirely on meat and well-fermented dairy.
          Many people react to the higher-sugar veggies such as carrots and squash.

          Most people coming to GAPS will have imbalanced bacteria, along the lines that you noted. GAPS is intended to rebalance any such dysbiosis, usually without special variations/treatments. However, a person seeking special variations or treatments would definitely need to contact a health practitioner. I would recommend Dr Allison Siebecker, whose work you can read about here:

          For healing these issues, GAPS does not recommend potatoes, and uses honey in very small amounts.

          4. It is very common for people who need GAPS to be iron deficient. Upon my most recent reading of her work, Dr Campbell-McBride recommend that people not use iron supplements. If one wishes to use one anyway, from my personal experience I recommend avoiding synthetic sources and relying on one called Floravit. It is very gentle for most people.

          When a person has a “flare” of GI distress, GAPS recommends that one returns to Intro Stage 1 for a few days, then picks up in the program where they left off.

          5. I don’t know if detox methods will remove the residue of oil of oregano, specifically. The GAPS detox approaches (diet, probiotics, various baths, fresh air, gentle movement, etc) are intended to support the body to remove what it does not want or need, and to rebalance itself.

          In my book, I detail the various ways GAPS suggests supporting detox. The number one approach in GAPS, though, is the diet part. The other most important is daily bowel movements.

          Noemi, after you have read the Guide from cover to cover, please do feel free to send me any additional questions on points from the book that need clarification for you.

          As you now know, I cannot publish or respond to all questions right away, but I do try to within one week (though it could take me longer at some points).

          I do recommend relying on the book, the online support groups, and my guide book, but I am here to help as needed, too 🙂


          • Dear Mrs Lashkov,

            there’s no need to apologize: the error was mine, because I wrote You before 4th February, but I don’t click on “submit” button, so it’s me who is late.

            Obviously, I know that You arent’ a practictioner and that You can give me only support, but for me this is just enough. I don’t pretend from You more than what You’ve learned from Your own experience.

            I read again Your book and I have few more doubts; I’m sorry, but I’d want to clear them. Please, can You help me?

            After having GI flares up and spending few days back in stage 1, do you have to move forward and add new foods even if you still have GI distress? For example, I told You that new iron supplement caused me GI distress and, since 2 months, I’m eating only mashed foods. It’s wrong to eat this way for too long?

            In Your book You recommend to do a preparation for full GAPS/Intro, but I’ve removed from my diet gluten, dairies and all processed foods 4 years ago and now I eat a very narrow range of foods. In such cases, is convenient skip preparation for full GAPS/Intro and start right from the intro?

            Again, You recommend to do 3 months of preparation and to stay 1 week in each stage of Intro. You also wrote that one could be in one stage more, if needed, but not too long. I know that is nearly impossible give definite direction to someon, since each person is different from one another, but how can I know if I’m staying too much in one particular stage? I ask You this question because reintroduce each food with low/slow method it’ll took me much more than 1 week.

            Since You don’t mention that in Your book, is there an autoimmune version of GAPS diet? E.g. Do I have to avoid eggs if I suspect to have an autoimmune condition?

            I really thank You for the precious informations that You gave me.


            • Hi there Noemi,

              Yes, I am happy to continue clarifying anything from the book 🙂 In my responses below, I’ll include page numbers from the book so you can review the items in more depth.

              1. Many people coming to GAPS have no obvious symptoms of GI distress, but many others do. For both, we proceed as set out in the book. Most people will continue to have their starting symptoms for some time (p 104). This is because GAPS is not a quick fix (for most people), but takes up to two years to resolve the full issue. So, while some people will indeed have immediate relief of GI symptoms, most will continue to have at least some for several months, if not a year or more. You just keep moving forward until a newly introduced food proves itself to be aggravating (p 97).

              2. It is fine to eat mashed foods for a long time. The more important thing is that you build up a range (variety) of ingredients, so that you are getting the most amount of nutrition possible (p 104). Each food on GAPS has its own set of vitamins, minerals, etc. We want to eat as many of the foods as possible. If they are all mashed, that’s okay.

              3. I recommend that, except in cases of medical emergency (e.g. severe, bleeding Crohn’s or UC that might otherwise result in hospitalization, p 62), everyone transition first to Full GAPS, then start intro. Even people who have done very clean diets (WAPF, paleo, etc) can find the Intro too physically challenging otherwise (p 61-62). However, if you wish to jump straight to Intro, that is up to you.

              4. You will know if you’re in a stage too long if you have stopped trying new things for a week or more. You should be making a change at least once every 4-7 days (p 104). That change might be increasing amount of an ingredient (e.g., probiotic, eggs, etc), introducing a new style of preparation (e.g., roasting vs boiling), OR testing a teaspoon of a new food. It is up to you how gently to proceed, but for rebuilding the body it is important to keep moving forward.

              5. GAPS is intended as an autoimmune support program. It works for most people with autoimmune issues. Most people do find they cannot tolerate a few aspects of GAPS; those things will be avoided for that person (p 27). For example, one person will test egg in soup and find they do not tolerate them, so they will then avoid them (for a while). Another will find they tolerate egg in soup, but not scrambled eggs, so they will avoid those (for a while). Another will tolerate all eggs, but not tolerate sauerkraut, so will avoid that (for a while). Each person’s intolerances will be unique to them. Except in the case of known or suspected anaphylaxis, we test each item, observe our body’s response, and include or exclude that food accordingly (p 192-194).

              6. If you suspect a food, you can skip it (p 104) until you’ve had some more healing, then try it again (unless anaphylactic).

              You’re very welcome, dear Noemi 🙂


  29. Thank you for the wonderful resource you have provided in your GAPS Guide! I have been reading it continuously for several months now, trying to get up the courage to actually do the diet. I finally have got to the point of looking for support and since it doesn’t look like much is on offer for groups, I appreciate being able to ask you a direct question.

    Here is our situation:
    I have learned to culture yogurt and kefir and make broth. I have eliminated most of the processed food I had come to rely on over several very busy years and massively reduced sugar in our family diet. I have been growing sprouts and have gone back to baking bread with freshly ground flour as an intermediate step since I used to do those things and it seems healthier than store-bought, at least. I made some special jars but am kind of confused by the huge range of opinions on fermented vegetables, so they are just giving me guilt from the windowsill.
    My biggest hold-up, however, is trying to visualize doing intro, especially for a big family. There are 6 of us. It sounds like the success of GAPS leans heavily on personalization and close observation. I honestly can’t picture doing what I think sounds like the program and staying sane! At this point everyone in our family *looks* mostly healthy – a smattering of suspected food sensitivities, minor seasonal allergies, poop issues, mood swings and sleep issues aside. We have developed ways to cope and the balance is delicately maintained, making an upset feel intimidating but at the same time eventually necessary, if we are to achieve rigorous health.
    I have a lot to manage right now with a non-optional role in our family business and homeschooling 2 of our children (one of them because of emotional issues that I now suspect could be food related).

    Would waiting to try it be wise or should I jump in and risk possibly doing it poorly and having to quit. I am nervous about opening a can of worms health-wise, as it seems some people react strongly and develop more severe symptoms to just about everything when they start intro. The thought of extra issues to work through gives me a lot of anxiety and I don’t want to damage the health of the people I am responsible for more than I already have. I’m not confident I can manage cooking for multiple dietary needs. I have a tough enough time making sure ONE kind of healthy meal gets on the table 3 times a day, let alone trying to make sure the right kind of foods for what could develop into 6 different diets are available 24/7 – along with tracking symptoms and amounts! If things get too crazy would I be able to dial it back and have symptoms go back to normal? I can’t picture how that would look.

    • Dear Lorienne,

      Yes, I welcome requests for clarification! 🙂

      You’ve caught me on a more available day (snowed in!). Normally, it can take me up to a week (or longer) to publish and respond to a comment, so if sometimes I do take longer, please bear with me. Also, apparently Facebook is a great resource these days for daily support. One such group is linked to in the comments on the most recent post.

      Your comment about guilt from the windowsill made me laugh, thank you 🙂 I would simply select any ONE fermented vegetable recipe/process and stick with that. Each method has its own synergy, and every one I’ve heard of works just fine for GAPS. The one I offer in the book is my favourite.

      I definitely don’t recommend jumping in. For most of us, the program is simply too complex for that to be managed. I’m also firmly opposed to one person preparing a variety of dishes per meal—it’s simply too much work for one person. I’m a huge advocate of planning well, and waiting/preparing for an opportunity that allows for the greatest chance of success.

      What I would do first is transition the whole family to Full GAPS.

      After that, you would have some decisions to make. You might determine that everyone’s health is “good enough” on that, and allow Full GAPS to continue a slow healing process.

      If you decide that Intro seems necessary, you could take the whole family through Intro at the same time—this can be easier on everyone psychologically because there are no “other foods” around. However, it is difficult on the primary caregiver, because she and others would very likely be going through some detox or die-off (i.e., be exhausted, lethargic, and cranky) at the same time.

      In your case, I would do this:

      1. Transition the whole family to Full GAPS. After a month on Full GAPS, assess how everyone is doing.
      2. If you feel the need for Intro in some or all people, do the following:
      i. Prepare and freeze some extra meals of Full GAPS for your family to serve themselves while you are on Intro.
      ii. Prepare the base foods for your own Intro.
      iii. Take yourself through Intro.
      3. If your partner is willing to do Intro, take him or her through it next.
      4. Take all the children through Intro at the same time.

      Your assessments of the program, what is required, and what can come up are spot on.

      This said, many large families have successfully navigated Intro. That’s where a place like the online support groups (Yahoo forums, Facebook) can be crucial. They will be able to offer additional tips from their direct experience.

      Some families just take a slightly more relaxed approach, as yes, it can be impossible to track responses for every one of six people. If they do everyone’s Intro together, everyone is cranky together between Days 1 & 5, but otherwise it can go quite well. In this approach, you are increasing/introducing at the same time for everyone, so you’re tracking that information once, vs six times.

      Others take each family through Intro one at a time, going from oldest to youngest so that each one can help with the next.

      Overall, most people doing GAPS eat almost all GAPS foods. It is highly likely that all your family members would have dozens of tolerated foods in common, so even if ‘little Sally’ cannot eat scrambled eggs, for example, you would still be able to serve just one dish per meal (just not scrambled eggs) to everyone.

      The homeschooling makes it easier. I recommend planning your Intro while you are off work (if that can ever occur), and aligning the kids’ Intro with some time off school (whether conventional or homebased), e.g., a period of relaxing unschooling for all, or during spring break or summer break.

      Did I cover everything, Lorienne? Does this help at all?


      • Thank you very much Baden, all your comments were very helpful! It is good to have it confirmed that I would be unwise to leap in. Sometimes I get a gut feeling but don’t know if it is wisdom or cowardice speaking, since I can’t think of a time that I felt 100% ready for any big decision! 🙂
        I will definitely look for a group on FB when I am a little closer to ready for intro. For now I have found a GAPS grocery challenge starting in a couple weeks that sounds like it will step us through sourcing all the main foods in the diet. (Melanie Christner – Honest Body) I am thankful you have confirmed that it is better to take it slow – it takes the panic out of it. Thanks for your help!

  30. Hi,
    I am writing from Nigeria. Will the ingredients in the GAP cook books be available in Nigeria. I want to know before ordering the book.
    Can i read the book online?
    Please help
    Thank you


  31. Hello,
    I just started my13 yo daughter on the Gaps intro 2 days ago (this is day three). She has dyslexia and has started several food allergies. (Corn around 1-2 years ago and recently started in one week, apple, pistachio and peanut allergy -getting her allergy tested next month) my children have drank raw milk and raw cheeses for the last year and we’ve mostly always ate organic but she has always craved and ate lots of carbs. We started soaking and sprouting grains on and off last summer. I make and sold fermented food so my kids are used to eating them this past year. She’s used to lots of milk kefir (i make them lots of kefir smoothies) and some Kombucha. I’ve made my yogurt a lot with raw milk from grass fed Jersey cows. I just ordered her bio kult probiotics. How slow does she have to go? I did make her pastured pork from a local farmer but it’s not organic.. All our other food is. She almost cried thinking of both. The first day she went on about being hungry. She has an abnormally large appetite. I made soup and made her drink lots of broth, yesterday afternoon I added a raw egg yolk to her soup (she never seemed to have problems with them) she ate a whole egg this morning even though I wanted her to wait, and 1/4 avocado. (Our own fresh organic free ranged chickens egg) am I moving her too fast? I was planning on waiting for stage 3 till tomorrow. And making the intro pancakes Friday or Saturday. (We are going to a cabin this weekend so it’s going to be even harder, but I said there is always something that will make it an inconvenient time to start this diet. I homeschool her so this should be fairly easier to control her intake without cheats. Does this seem like I’m doing it correctly? I have made chicken, fish stock and I added the pork broth from the bone in shoulder roast I cooked in the instant pot. I’ll try to keep her away from the pork unless organic. I do have organic ribs I can make in the instant pot. Is this okay? I’m hoping this will help her learning difficulties as well as food allergies. I’m reading to her the importance of doing the diet correctly. I hope this is okay.

    • Dear Julie k,

      It sounds really, really good so far!

      You’re clearly very conscientious.

      Ideally, we go as slowly as I’ve set out in the 2nd Edition of my GAPS Guide (i.e, four days or so between new introductions). But sometimes people go faster. You can always take her through a slower intro later (e.g., after 6 or 12 months of Full GAPS). But if she is doing well on what you’ve been doing so far, just carry on as is.

      re: BioKult or any other commercial probiotic, please see the detailed steps in the 2nd Edition for introducing and increasing those. That’s a couple of pages of information 🙂

      Please do write again if after reading the Guide through you have additional questions!


  32. Dear Baden,
    I’ve been diagnosed with NCGS and sideropenic anemia unresponsive to iron. I can eat a very small range of foods, but I don’t started GAPS diet, since I’m very sensitive and I think that meat broth, fermented foods and probiotics are too powerful for me.
    Two years ago I’ve had a strong reaction to Oregano Oil and only now I feel better.
    Since then, however, it seems that I’ve become sensitive to strong odours such as:
    – seat cars;
    – nail polish;
    – fumes from other vehicles;
    – cigarettes smoke;
    – only certain type of ink, like those used for newspapers or coated paper;
    – and even sun-dried clothing.

    Is common for GAPS patients to develop intolerance to some odours?
    This condition is becoming really restrictive to me, since travelling by car cause me belching and muscle twtiches.

    Can You give me some suggestions, please?

    Thank You so much.

Leave a Reply to Baden Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.