Mind the Gaps Diet
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We have just returned from our annual vacation, a week in a self-catering cottage in Wales. Amazingly, we didn't compromise at all on our diet. We made most of our own food, except for the very kind hospitality of a couple of good friends. We had bone/meat broth twice a day, with fermented cream and milk and water kefir daily, and sauerkraut too.
I thought some might be interested to know what equipment we took, and our menu plan for the week. The aim was to stick to the diet, while trying to make preparation easy. We did treat ourselves to more fruit than usual. We go to the same cottage each year, so we had an advantage in that we new what equipment is in the kitchen and it is a well stocked kitchen with baking trays and casserole dishes and several different size saucepans. We made use of all of these.
Before we went, we planned our menu. We also researched local butchers and farm shops where we could get supplies. I then ordered a grocery drop from a supermarket for some basics, like cheese, butter, loo rolls and things we would need for the first weekend. We did compromise on the quality of some products, but we felt it was a small price to pay for a holiday, keeping to the allowed foods.
It wasn't easy walking past our favourite fish and chip shop, or all the ice-cream parlours, but we managed. It wasn't that we were hungry, just the old associations of what accompanies a holiday. On the whole we were well fed and full.
The equipment I found helpful (obviously for four (adult) people).
A small 3.5 litre slow cooker. This was essential for making our broth every day. It went on each evening and was ready for breakfast the next morning as broth and I made the rest up into soup, put it in a flask and took it out with us for lunch.
A hand blender
Four flasks - I had 2 one litre flasks and two 500 ml flasks. One of the larger ones was full of cream souring every day, the other large one contained soup. The smaller ones came in useful for extras, like transporting milk kefir that was soured.
At least 6 jam jars for the milk kefir - I have two on the go at once, two in the fridge waiting to be drunk and two spare jars for the next 'swap'.
Three 1 litre clip top jars, for storing cream/soup etc...
Quite a number of medium size plastic boxes. I had intended to use them as packed lunch boxes, but they got used for storage instead and I should have taken picnic plates as well.
This did require careful packing, but was manageable in a family size car.
Food I took with me from home included:
organic tomato Passat (could have got organic tinned tomatoes from the supermarket)
dates (in case I couldn't find any, but found a date block in a supermarket.)
2 batches of milk kefir souring,
2 batches of water kefir in process
1litre jar of sauerkraut
2 jars of organic tomato passata
I discovered that the supermarket sold packets of frozen butternut squash, so we availed ourselves of a couple of packets to make life easier. Plus we discovered Nakd bars some of which only have allowed ingredients, so although expensive, they made a convenient journey snack. Do check the ingredients though as not all Nakd bars are GAPS legal.
I made 'Lara bars' into little 'nut balls' and took them for the journey, along with nuts and raisins (not hydrated as I don't have a dehydrator) and a batch of banana cookies. Then I made more as time allowed to keep us sustained during the week.
The slow cooker was on over night each day, ready for broth with breakfast and to quickly make a batch of soup to put in a flask for our picnic.
Most days, this was the same, eggs and salad with a mug of bone/meat broth/soup. Son 1 discovered pork belly slices and so he had those a couple of times for variation as he decided to go off squash pancakes and eggs! We followed this with a bowl of milk kefir and fruit (e.g banana slices, blueberries)
Lunch and Tea:
Lunch (on journey): Boiled eggs, salad, soup from a flask prepared that morning before travelling.
Tea: Fish pieces (cod for us) with roasted butternut squash and peas and broccoli
Stewed apple and sour cream
Lunch Roast chicken, roast squash with broccoli and mange tout.
Warm fruit salad, with dates, orange, banana, kiwi and apple (or other tolerated fruits) with
Tea Soup, with boiled eggs and cheese and salad
Sour cream with fruit
(A kind friend invited us for lunch and tea, so I didn't actually make these, but I think they would make an easy Sunday meal if I had to prepare it myself.)
Lunch Pork belly slices from the local farm shop with salad and tomato and mushroom soup
Tea Beefburgers (home-made) and carrots, broccoli and cauliflower served with plenty of butter
or other tolerated fat
Stewed apple and sour cream with 'toffee bars' (kindly made by our friend!)
Lunch Roast chicken slices (I roasted a couple of large chicken breasts), almond bread, salad and
Tea Salmon topped with cheese with cheese crisps, (mounds of cheddar on a baking tray in
oven until they turn crispy, allow to cool until hard).
Chocolate avocado pudding
Lunch Quiche and salad with pea soup (I had found some bacon ribs to make stock with in the local
Fruit and cream
Tea Lasagne - mince in tomato sauce with layers of cheese between, served with carrots and
green veg. as preferred.
Stewed apple and cream
Lunch Beef slices from the butchers, home-made with no additives other than salt with salad and
Leek and onion soup
Tea 1 lb Pork mince mixed with onion and sage, pressed into a dish and baked for 35 mins 170
(fan oven) served with sauerkraut and veg including either carrot or butternut squash or
Frozen raspberries (from supermarket) defrosted, with honey and sour cream
Lunch Turkey slices from the butchers with no additives other than salt, with salad and sauerkraut
Pea and squash soup
Tea Chicken legs roasted with carrots and broccoli and peas and prosciutto
Raspberries and sour cream
Saturday: (travelling home)
Lunch More beef slices - we liked them so got more for easy meal on journey home), with salad
and boiled eggs
snacks Nakd bar and coconut cookies, nuts and raisins
Tea (at home) Salmon and roast squash (had a packets of both in freezer) with frozen peas
strawberries and sour cream (bought a packet on way home, but could just have had
any fruit or frozen fruit stocked up before we left.)
Final word of advice
Holidays involve changes of routine and possible digestion of non-allowed foods from eating out etc...
I would advise against eating any new foods in the week prior to your departure, so that you are not dealing with reactions just as you start off.
Then expect to be de-railed! Don't be alarmed with an increase of bathroom trips, return of symptoms, etc... just keep watching what you eat and try and stay within allowed foods. If you get tummy bug, you will have to try and go back to plain intro foods for a few days until it settles, but otherwise hang on in there until you get home. You may then still have to go back to the intro for a few days to get back in gear, but in our experience, things settled again once we were at home. A GAPS holiday is not easy!
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Here you will find not only a record of our GAPS diet journey, with helpful hints and tips, but also mouthwatering, simple, adaptable, recipes for feeding a growing family without spending all day in the kitchen! Please stay and browse.