Tanya Kurzbock Naturopathy   

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Gut and Psychology Syndrome Introduction Diet

The Introduction Diet will not be found in the book Gut and Psychology Syndrome.  Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride has provided this information free of charge to all families interested in starting the GAPS diet.  It is essential to have the book Gut and Psychology Syndrome to implement the GAPS diet effectively. You can buy this is our shop.

Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride recommends that GAPS patients follow the Introduction Diet before going into the Full GAPS Diet.  Depending on the severity of the condition, you can move through the Introduction Diet as fast or as slow as the condition will permit. 

Following the Introduction Diet fully is essential for people with serious digestive symptoms: diarrhoea, abdominal pain, bloating, some cases of constipation, etc.  The Introduction Diet will reduce the symptoms quickly and initiate the healing process in the digestive system.  Even for healthy people, following the Introduction Diet when experiencing a "tummy bug" or diarrhoea will clear the symptoms quickly and permanently usually without needing medication.

In cases of stubborn constipation, introduce freshly pressed juices earlier in the diet, from stage 2: start from carrot juice first thing in the morning and take your cod liver oil at the same time.  The juice will stimulate bile production as many cases of persistent constipation are due to poor bile production.  When there is not enough bile, the fats in the food do not digest well; instead they react with salts and form soap in the gut, causing constipation.  Removing dairy will also help.  

Food Allergies and Intolerances
People with food allergies and intolerances should go through the Introduction Diet in order to heal and seal their gut lining.  The reason for allergies and food intolerances is gastrointestinal permeability (so-called "leaky gut"), when the gut lining is damaged by abnormal micro flora.  Foods do not get the chance to be digested properly before they get absorbed through this damaged wall and cause the immune system to react to them.  Many people try to identify which foods they react to.  However, with damaged gut wall they are likely to absorb most of their foods partially digested, which may cause an immediate reaction or a delayed reaction (a day, a few days or even a couple of weeks later).  As these reactions overlap with each other, you can never be sure what exactly you are reacting to on any given day.  Testing for food allergies is notoriously unreliable: if one had enough resources to test twice a day for two weeks, they would find that they are "allergic" to everything they eat.  As long as the gut wall is damaged and stays damaged, you can be juggling your diet forever removing different foods and never get anywhere.  From my clinical experience it is best to concentrate on healing the gut wall with the Introduction Diet.  Once the gut wall is healed, the foods will be digested properly before being absorbed, which will remove most food intolerances and allergies.

Those without serious digestive problems and food intolerances can move through the Introduction Diet quite quickly.  However, please do not be tempted to skip the Introduction Diet and go straight into the Full GAPS Diet, because the Introduction Diet will give you the best chance to optimise the healing process in the gut and the rest of the body.  Skipping the Introduction Diet may lead to long-term lingering problems, difficult to deal with.

If you have decided to go straight into the Full GAPS Diet, keep in mind that about 85% of everything you eat daily should be made out of meats, fish, eggs, fermented dairy and vegetables (some well-cooked, some fermented and some raw).  Baking and fruit should be kept out of the diet for a few weeks, and then be limited to snacks between meals and should not replace the main meals.  Homemade meat stock, soups, stews and natural fats are not optional - they should be your staples.

*Note:  Those who start with the Introduction Diet will introduce dairy earlier than those who go right into the full GAPS diet.  Always do a sensitivity test prior to introducing dairy.

GAPS Introduction Diet - IMPLEMENTING

Provided by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride

Start the day with two or three cups of still mineral or filtered water.  Take the probiotic.  Make sure that the water is warm or room temperature, not cold, as cold will aggravate the condition. 

Only foods listed are allowed: your patient must not have anything else.  On the First Stage the most drastic symptoms of abdominal pain, diarrhoea and constipation will quickly subside.  If, when you introduce a new food, you get back diarrhoea, pain or any other digestive symptoms then you are not ready for that food to be introduced.  Wait for a week and try again. 

If you suspect an allergy to any particular food, before introducing it do the Sensitivity Test

Take a drop of the food in question (if the food is solid, mash and mix with a bit of water) and place it on the inside of your wrist.  Do it at bedtime.  Let the drop dry on the skin, then go to sleep.  In the morning check the spot: if there is an angry red reaction, then avoid that food for a few weeks, and then try again.  If there is no reaction, then go ahead and introduce it gradually starting from a small amount.

Homemade meat or fish stock. 
Meat and fish stocks provide building blocks for the rapidly growing cells of the gut lining and they have a soothing effect on any areas of inflammation in the gut.  That is why they aid digestion and have been known for centuries as healing folk remedies for the digestive tract.  Do not use commercially available soup stock granules or bullion cubes, they are highly processed and are full of detrimental ingredients.  Chicken stock is particularly gentle on the stomach and is very good to start from.  To make good meat stock you need joints, bones, a piece of meat on the bone, a whole chicken, giblets from chicken, goose or duck, whole pigeons, pheasants or other inexpensive meats.  It is essential to use bones and joints, as they provide the healing substances, not so much the muscle meats.  Ask the butcher to cut in half the large tubular bones, so you can get the bone marrow out of them after cooking.  Put the bones, joints and meats into a large pan and fill it with water, add natural unprocessed salt to your taste at the beginning of cooking and about a teaspoon of black peppercorns, roughly crushed.  Bring to boil, cover and simmer on a low heat for 2.5-3 hours.  You can make fish stock the same way using a whole fish or fish fins, bones and heads.  After cooking take the bones and meats out and sieve the stock to remove small bones and peppercorns.  Strip off all the soft tissues from the bones as best you can to later add to blended soups or eat all the soft tissues on the bones.  Extract the bone marrow out of large tubular bones while they are still warm: to do that bang the bone on a thick wooden chopping board.  The gelatinous soft tissues around the bones and the bone marrow provide some of the best healing remedies for the gut lining and the immune system; you need to consume them with every meal.  Take off all the soft tissues from fish bones and heads and reserve for adding to soups later.  The meat or fish stock will keep well in the fridge for at least 7 days or it can be frozen. Consume warm meat stock as a drink all day with meals and between meals.  Do not use microwaves for warming up the stock, use a conventional stove as microwaves destroy food.  It is very important for you to consume all the fat in the stock and off the bones as these fats are essential for the healing process.  Add some probiotic food into every cup of stock (the details about introducing probiotic food follow).

Homemade soup with your homemade meat or fish stock.
Please look for some recipe ideas in the recipe section of the book.  Here we will go through some details, specific for the Introduction Diet.  Bring some of the meat stock to boil, add chopped or sliced vegetables: onions, carrots, broccoli, leeks, cauliflower, zucchini, marrow, squash, pumpkin, etc. and simmer for 25-35 minutes.  You can choose any combination of available vegetables avoiding very fibrous ones, such as all varieties of cabbage and celery.  All particularly fibrous parts of vegetables need to be removed, such as skin and seeds on pumpkins, marrows and squashes, stalk of broccoli and cauliflower and any other parts that look too fibrous.  Cook the vegetables reasonably well, so they are soft.  When vegetables are well cooked, 
add 1-2 tablespoons of chopped garlic, bring to boil and turn the heat off. Take this soup with the bone marrow and meats and other soft tissues, which you cut off the bones.  You can blend the soup using a soup blender or serve it as it is.  Add some probiotic food into every bowl of soup (the details about introducing probiotic foods follow).  You should eat these soups with boiled meat and other soft tissues off the bones as often as you want to all day.

Probiotic foods are essential to introduce right from the beginning.
These can be dairy based or vegetable based.  To avoid any reactions introduce probiotic foods gradually, starting from 1-2 teaspoons a day for 2-5 days, then 3-4 teaspoons a day for 2-5 days and so on until you can add a few teaspoons of the probiotic food into every cup of meat stock and every bowl of soup.  If you are ready to introduce dairy, then use your homemade yogurt or kefir.  If dairy is still out [by results of sensitivity test or negative reaction when introducing it], then into every cup of meat stock or soup add juice from your homemade sauerkraut, fermented vegetables or vegetable medley (please look in the recipe section of the book).  Make sure that the food is not too hot when adding the probiotic foods, as the heat would destroy the beneficial probiotic bacteria (38 degrees C).

Ginger tea with a little honey between meals.
To make ginger tea, grate some fresh ginger root (about a teaspoonful) into your teapot and pour some boiling water over it, cover and leave for 3-5 minutes.  Pour through a small sieve and add honey to taste (optional).

Continue with Stage 1.
Keep taking the soups with bone marrow, boiled meats or fish and other soft tissues off the bones.  Keep drinking the meat stock and ginger tea.  Keep adding some probiotic food into every cup of meat stock and every bowl of soup: juices from sauerkraut, fermented vegetables or vegetable medley, or homemade kefir/yogurt.

Add raw organic egg yolks.
It is best to have egg yolks raw added to every bowl of soup and every cup of meat stock.  Start from 1 egg yolk a day and gradually increase until you have an egg yolk with every bowl of soup.  When egg yolks are well tolerated add soft-boiled 
eggs to the soups (the whites cooked and the yolks still runny).  If you have any concerns about egg allergy, do the sensitivity test first.  There is no need to limit number of egg yolks per day, as they absorb quickly almost without needing any digestion and will provide you with wonderful and most needed nutrition.  Get your eggs from a source you trust: fresh, free range and organic.

Add stews and casseroles made with meats and vegetables.
Avoid spices at this stage; just make the stew with salt and fresh herbs (look for a recipe of Italian Casserole in the recipe section of the book).  The fat content of these meals must be quite high: the more fresh animal fats you consume, the quicker you will recover.  Add some probiotic food into every serving.

Increase daily amount of homemade yogurt and kefir, if introduced.  Increase the amount of juice from sauerkraut, fermented vegetables or vegetable medley.

Introduce fermented fish, starting from one piece a day and gradually increasing. 
Look for recipes in recipe section.

Introduce homemade ghee, starting from 1 teaspoon a day and gradually increasing.  Look for recipe in recipe section.

Carry on with all the previous foods.

Add ripe avocado mashed into soups, starting from 1-3 teaspoons and gradually increasing the amount.

Add pancakes, starting from one pancake a day and gradually increasing the amount.
Make these pancakes with three ingredients: 1) organic nut butter (almond, walnut, peanut, etc); 2) eggs; 3) a piece of fresh winter squash, marrow or zucchini (peeled, de-seeded and well blended in a food processor).  Fry small thin pancakes using ghee, goose fat or duck fat.  Make sure not to burn them.

Egg scrambled with plenty of ghee, goose fat or duck fat.
Serve it with avocado (if well tolerated) and cooked vegetables.  Cooked onion is particularly good for the digestive system and the immune 
system: melt 3 tablespoons of duck fat or ghee in the pan, add sliced large white onion, cover and cook for 20-30 minutes on low heat.

Introduce the sauerkraut and your fermented vegetables (you have been drinking the juices from them for a while now).
Start from a small amount, gradually increasing to 1-2 tablespoons of sauerkraut or fermented vegetables per every meal.

Carry on with all previous foods.

Gradually add meats cooked by roasting and grilling (but not barbecued or fried yet).
Avoid bits, which are burned or too brown.  Eat the meat with cooked vegetables and sauerkraut (or other fermented vegetables).

Start adding cold pressed olive oil to the meals, starting from a few drops per meal and gradually increasing the amount to 1-2 tablespoons per meal.

Introduce freshly pressed juices, starting from a few spoonfuls of carrot juice.
Make sure that the juice is clear, filter it well. Drink it slowly or diluted with warm water or mixed with some homemade yogurt.  If well tolerated gradually increase to a full cup a day.  When a full cup of carrot juice is well tolerated try to add to it juice from celery, lettuce and fresh mint leaves.  You should drink the juice on an empty stomach, so first thing in the morning and middle of afternoon are good times.

Try to bake bread with ground almonds or any other nut and seeds ground into flour.
The recipe (please look in recipe section of the book) requires only four ingredients: 1) nut flour; 2) eggs; 3) piece of fresh winter squash, marrow or zucchini (peeled, de-seeded and finely sliced); 4) some natural fat (ghee, butter, goose or duck fat) and some salt to taste.  You should start from a small piece of bread per day and gradually increase the amount.

If all the previous foods are well tolerated try to add cooked apple as an apple pure.
Peel and core ripe cooking apples and stew them with a bit of water until soft.  When cooked add some ghee to it and mash with a potato masher. 
If ghee has not bee introduced yet add duck or goose fat.  Start from a few spoonfuls a day.  Watch for any reaction.  If there is none gradually increase the amount.

Add raw vegetables starting from softer parts of lettuce and peeled cucumber.
Watch your stools.  Again start from a small amount and gradually increase if well tolerated.  After those two vegetables are well tolerated gradually add other raw vegetables such as: carrot, tomato, onion, cabbage, etc.

If the juice made from carrot, celery, lettuce and mint is well tolerated, start adding fruit to it: apple, pineapple and mango.  Avoid citrus fruit at this stage.

If all the introduced foods are well tolerated try some peeled raw apple.  Gradually introduce raw fruit and more honey.

Gradually introduce baking cakes and other sweet things allowed on the diet.  Use dried fruit as a sweetener in the baking.

As I mentioned before, you may be able to move through the Introduction Diet faster or slower depending on the stool changes: let the diarrhoea start clearing before moving to the next stage.  You may have to introduce some foods later than in the program depending on sensitivities.  Make sure that you carry on with the soups and meat stock after you have completed the Introduction Diet at least once a day.

After the Introduction Diet is completed and when you have more or less normal stools move into the Full GAPS Diet that follows.

A Typical Menu:

Start the day with plenty of water. Use still mineral water or filtered water and finish the intake with a glass that includes 10% lemon juice. It can be warm or room temperature to personal preference.

If you have a crushing type juicer (or other) you can start the day with a glass of freshly pressed fruit/vegetable juice diluted with water. A good juice to start the day is 20% apple + 50% carrot + 10% celery + 10% beetroot + 10% lemon + ginger (all raw of course).  You can make all sorts of juice mixes, but generally try to have 70% of therapeutic ingredients: carrot, small amount of beetroot (no more than 5-10% of juice mixture), celery, cabbage, lettuce, greens (spinach, parsley, dill, basil, fresh nettle leaves, beet tops, carrot tops), white and red cabbage, turmeric, lemon, lime, ginger and 30% of some tasty ingredients to disguise the taste of therapeutic ingredients: pineapple, apple, orange, grapefruit, grapes, mango, etc.  You can have these juices as they are, or with some yogurt or diluted with water.

Every day our bodies go through a 24 hour cycle of activity and rest, feeding and cleaning up (detoxifying).  From about 1 am till about 7 am the body is in the cleaning up or detoxification mode.  Drinking water and freshly pressed juices first up will assist in this process. Have a wholesome and substantial breakfast about 30 - 60 mins after the water or juice, when your body has completed the detox stage and is ready for feeding.  At that stage we usually start feeling hungry.  Children may be ready for their breakfast earlier than adults.


A variation of English breakfast: eggs cooked to personal liking and served with low carbohydrate, gluten free sausages and vegetables, some cooked, some fresh as a salad (tomato, cucumber, onions, celery, and fresh salad greens, etc.) and/or avocado and/or meat.  The yolks are best uncooked and the whites cooked.  Use plenty of cold pressed olive oil as a dressing on the salad and eggs.  Mix a tablespoon of pre-soaked or sprouted sunflower and/or sesame and/or pumpkin seeds with the salad.  Sausages (full fat) should be made of pure minced meat with only salt and pepper added.  Make sure that there are no commercial seasonings or MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) in the sausages.  I recommend finding a local butcher, who would make pure meat sausages for you on order

Avocado with meat, or fish, vegetables raw and cooked, lemon and cold pressed olive oil.  Serve a cup of warm meat stock as a drink with food.

Pancakes made with ground nuts.  These pancakes are delicious with some butter with honey, or as a savoury snack. If you blend some fresh or defrosted berries with honey, it will make a delicious jam to have with pancakes. Weak tea with lemon, ginger tea or mint tea.

Any of the home baked goods: muffins, fruit cake and bread.

Homemade vegetable soup or stew in a homemade meat stock.

Avocado with meat, fish, and raw and/or cooked vegetables. Use olive oil with some lemon squeezed over it as a dressing. Serve a cup of warm homemade meat stock as a drink.

Any meat/fish dish with vegetables.

One of the dishes from the lunch or breakfast choices. 


For many GAPS patients, the diet should be followed for two years at least.  The book Gut & Psychology Syndrome will provide recipes and more explanation about the diet. 

The best foods are eggs (if tolerated), fresh meats (not preserved), carefully selected deep sea fish, fresh vegetables and fruit, prepared nuts and seeds, garlic and olive oil.  Apart from eating vegetables cooked, it is important to have some raw vegetables with meals, as they contain vital enzymes to assist digestion of the meats.  Fruits should generally be eaten on their own, not with meals, as they have a very different digestion pattern and can make the work harder for the stomach.  Fruit is usually best given as a snack between meals.

It is very important to have plenty of natural fats in every meal from meats, butter, ghee, coconut (if tolerated) and cold pressed olive oil.  Animal fats on meats are particularly valuable.  Fully fermented, unsweetened foods (sauerkraut, yogurt, and kefir) are also a very important part of this diet in addition to homemade meat or fish stock.  It is recommended to take a cup of warm meat or fish stock with every meal as a drink as well as soups and stews made with the meat or fish stock.  The stock, kefir and fermented vegetables will over time restore the stomach acid production, which will improve digestion.

It is best to avoid processed foods (any packet or tinned foods).  They are stripped from most nutrients that were present in the fresh ingredients used for making these foods.  They are hard work for the digestive system and they damage the healthy gut flora balance.  On top of that they usually contain a lot of artificial chemicals, detrimental to health, like preservatives, colorants, etc.  Try to buy foods in the form that nature made them, as fresh as possible.


The Bristol Stool Form Scale

The Bristol Stool Scale or Bristol Stool Chart is a medical aid designed to classify the form of human faeces into seven groups.  It was developed by Heaton and Lewis at the University of Bristol and was first published in the Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology in 1997.  The form of the stool depends on the time it spends in the colon. 

Type 1 has spent the longest time in the colon and type 7 has spent the least.  Stools at the lumpy end of the scale are hard to pass and often require a lot of straining.  Stools at the loose or liquid end of the spectrum can be too easy to pass - the need to pass them is urgent and accidents can happen.  The ideal stools are types 3 and 4, especially type 4, as they are most likely to glide out without any fuss.

  • The feeling you need to go is definite but not irresistible
  • Once you sit down on the toilet there is no delay
  • No conscious effort or straining is needed
  • The stool glides out smoothly and comfortably
  • Afterwards there is only a pleasant feeling of relief
  • All this is most likely if the stool is Bristol Stool Form Scale, type 4

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