Mind the Gaps Diet
Our site aims to give support/information for those on or considering the GAPS diet, or wishing to improve their health through a traditional diet. All the recipes are:
Grain-free and Refined sugar free
Straight forward English Food!
Watch your health bloom as your diet improves!
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You have made the brave decision to do the GAPS diet. You have studied the book, Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha Campbell Mc-Bride. Now it is time it put it into practice. However, doing the GAPS diet is no mean feat.
The Gaps diet requires determination. It requires many new skills. It requires patience.
And so, as well as hopefully bringing healing to your body, it will take you on an adventure you will never forget. You will learn to do many things that you have never even considered doing - let about knowing were there to be done! It requires a fair bit of pluck, but most probably, like many of us, you have been driven to it by a pressing health need. This is the motivation you will need to get you through the next few weeks.
Before you start
If you have time, it is best if you can read as much as you can about the GAPs diet, as well as becoming as poficient as you can with the new cooking/food preparation techniques. Here are some ideas for reading:
The GAPS guide by Baden Lashkov.
For me, next to the Gut and Psychology Syndrome book, this is a must have. I wish I had had it earlier on in our GAPS journey. It answers so many of the little questions that inevitably will arise as soon as you start the diet, and takes away so much of the mystery and anxiety. This is now my go-to companion. There are no recipes in this book - just much handy advice.
GAPS, Stage by Stage with Recipes by Becky Plotner
The author is an experienced GAPs practitioner and again answers many questions - this time with cooking help too.
These two authors share their experiences of the GAPS diet along with some helpful cooking tips and recipes. I haven't used all of the recipes, but many gave me inspiration by giving me ideas of what could be done.
Here are some helpful websites too with general GAPS help:
Health Home and Happiness
Body Wisdom Nutrition
GAPS cooking techniques
As well as the books above and other such ones, there is plenty of help on the web to get you up and running with cooking skills. The two main skills are making bone and meat broth and learning to ferment dairy and vegetables. Believe me - at first these seem to take so much time - but you will soon be doing them without thinking!
Here are some of my favourite sites:
Health Home and Happiness
Milk Kefir and sour cream
GAPS cooking equipment
There are so many gadgets about to fill our kitchens with - and you know, most of them end up unused at the bottom of the cupboard. They take too much time to set up, and then wash afterwards, that I end up not using them. However, there are some that I use all the time and couldn't be without while cooking GAPS diet food. Here they are!
A slow cooker is a must for volumes of meat and bone broth. It seems to be on all the time! Get as big a one as you have room for and fill it up each time. I have two - a 5 litre one for everyday use and a 3.5 litre one to take away on holiday.
My cast iron frying pan is great for those early intro stage, squash pancakes, progressing on up to breakfast waffles on full GAPS.
My mini food processor is my third most used item of kitchen equipment. I can use it to make delicious coconut flour cakes - whizzed up in a jiffy, or coconut flour pastry, for quiches or pies.
My hand blender never gets put away as it always being used - mainly for blending soups, but also for mixing banana pancakes for breakfast and making avacado chocolate pudding (which I have to confess becomes more of an everyday staple, rather than a treat!)
So that's my list! With these books and information I feel more confident and with these items of equipment I can easily knock up GAPS legal meals in a jiffy!
I wish you well on your GAPS journey!
I've been meaning to try making some sort of 'biscuit' for a while now, and today I decided to give it a go.
It had to be ginger - it's a warm comforting winter flavour!
These are not crisp and crunchy, but are definitely more-ish, seeing as I couldn't keep the Sons from trying to nab yet another one. They are not sweet, so hopefully will suit my diabetic readers, but the ginger and cinnamon make up for it.
1/2 cup nuts - I used mixed nuts
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup milled chia seed. I bought mine already milled, but you can whizz it in the food processor or in a smoothie maker/coffee grinder.
1 oz butter
1 egg, on the smallish side
2 oz dried fruit - either dates/raisins I used raisins
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Place the nuts in a food processor and blitz until finely ground.
Add the chia seed and coconut flour.
Add the butter and whizz until combined.
Add the egg and mix again.
Add in all the other ingredients.
Whizz until it sticks together in a big ball of dough.
Cut 2 large rectangles of greaseproof paper. Put the dough on one and place other on top. Roll it until about 1/4 inch thick.
Remove the upper paper and lift the flattened dough onto a baking tray and then put the tray in the oven.
Bake at Gas 4, 180 C, 160 C.fan, 350 F. for about 18 - 20 minutes, until golden brown.
Slice the cookie into however many you want - small or large - we made little ones.
Leave to cool.
Store in an air tight container, if there are any left.
Where to buy chia seeds: Health food shops, or supermarkets or online here. Supermarkets tend to be very expensive.
Seems like we've a long way to go and it's bit grim on so few foods!
Having started on Sunday, we all progressed to stage 2 on Tuesday with no digestive issues. However I had a rough first week with several sudden trips to the bathroom. I stayed on stage 2 whilst this was going on. So I had the conundrum that many seem to have trying to work out what is due to die-off from the probiotics or what is due to a reaction to a new food or how much is just toxin clearing. There was no clear cut answer, but I couldn’t see any pattern developing with what I eaten and it suddenly cleared on the 9th day.
We all picked up on Thursday and woke with better appetites (despite getting fed up with soup and mushy vegetables!) and more energy.
We tended to be really starving first thing in the morning, but that has improved so much that I don’t notice it now on day 9. I found that a teaspoon of coconut oil with a bit of honey tied me over while we made breakfast, otherwise the low blood sugar levels made me feel quite weak.
So we spent two days on stage 1 and four days on stage 2.
So how do we feel?
Husband and I both agree we can be tired without feeling heavy-eyed/headed. We wake feeling fresher and have more energy. The lads don’t complain of being tired anymore.
Husband and I have both lost a lot of weight. Not that I think anyone would put oneself through such a strict diet just to lose weight! Husband has lost 6lbs in the week and myself 5lb. They say you only lose the weight you need to lose to become your natural weight and size whatever that be, thin or stocky (on the GAPs diet). This is not a starvation diet. We can eat as much of the allowed foods as we like. We are focusing on healing the gut so that the nutrients we eat actually are absorbed properly by the body.
Amazingly we haven’t craved for much, probably because we had weaned ourselves off of a lot of carbs before starting. We have fond thoughts of sweet things, but don’t feel the need for them. Our food is satisfying. Naturally we all delight in a new food when it’s introduced (eggs and sour cream being the favourite at the moment), but I’m surprised that Son1 is keen to try scrambled eggs which he hated before, and Son 2 wants pancakes that he’s never been keen on. Even Husband said he wouldn’t mind a pancake (these are squash and egg pancakes fried in butter) with butter and sour cream on top and honey (OK, old habits die hard!)
I think we are over the hardest part now. We don’t enjoy soup three times a day, but we have learnt to accept it and it’s made easier with a widening range of vegetables.
Basically Stage 1 is hard because you are so limited in what you can eat. Stage 2 improves if you can tolerate eggs, which we all can. But we are all looking forward to the next stages - especially stage 64, as the fellows joke, when they can have cocoa back!! I did say we had a sweet tooth!
My new cookbook is here! Now available for Kindle or in print! Buy your copy today!
Welcome to Mind the GAPS!
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.