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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No they don't bite, but they are the ideal size for a little nibble. A healthy treat to fill that little gap mid-morning or afternoon. Great for children's party's too. Ideal for diabetics as they contain no added sugar. I reckon they would make a quick breakfast too, especially if served with some sour cream. A good all rounder!
Simple ingredients: banana, egg, butter (or coconut oil), coconut flour and dessicated coconut.
Quick to make!
What are you waiting for - make some today! They won't last long!
Here's what to do:
Just a short post this time.
It's that time of year again. I know that last year I shared my favourite waffle recipe that we invented with you and you can find it here:
We make it in our new waffle maker now, so it's no longer chocolate banana pancake, but chocolate waffle.
But a couple more recipes have come my way and I though I would point them out to you.
The first (above) makes a great sandwich replacement which is great when husband has to travel or we go out for the day. Just be careful - it IS very filling, before you add a filling! So don't do too much. With my round waffle maker I can make four waffles and one is enough each. I like the sound of using it as a pizza base, but that's not for us yet!
I have to say that we don't indulge in waffles on Sunday as we are in too much of a hurry to get to church, but we do indulge on Saturdays.
The second has the lovely flavours of autumn and is delicious with honey and sour cream!
Being on the GAPS diet, soup is always at the top of my to do lists. It's either filling the slow cooker with bones and water, or emptying it, or cooking up the soup. Something needs doing every day.
If you don't know, bone broth or meat stock are the basics of the GAPS diet. They are the healing food for the gut. Soup is not an optional extra for us, but we should consume it ideally at every meal.
If you want to know why, read this article:
But there becomes a problem. Although we have the meat stock for breakfast as it is more flavoursome than bone broth, I have to make the bone broth into soup and when you do it so often you begin to get stuck in a rut of the same old flavours. So recently I've been trying to ring the changes. To these you can add whatever spices you like. My family are very plain eaters so I only add herbs. A little ginger goes well with carrots as does parsley. Basil goes with tomatoes.
Here are our top 10 mixtures: All have onion as a base. You should add garlic, but Husband cannot tolerate it, so we don't use it. Season well.
My routine for four adult portions is to make soup with 2 litres stock, which plus the vegetables makes a little over 2 litres. This lasts us for two days.
Following on from Meals with Mince and Meals with Fish, the next in the series is 'Meals with Chicken'.
I don't have so many of these, since at present we are very limited in what we can eat, being off nightshades (tomatoes and peppers) and cheese.
Tomatoes make a wonderful sauce for many dishes, especially stir-fry dishes and casseroles and were we able to tolerate it, I would certainly use them to make our meals more interesting. So if you can tolerate tomatoes, please feel free to use them in place of stock or water. Once again, we used to love cheese melted on the top of bakes and that is something you can do if you can tolerate cheese.
As Husbands TSH levels have shot up from almost nothing to 3 over the course of 12 weeks since we took out cheese and tomatoes, we daren't reintroduce them yet. How we do so, to test if it indeed was either of them triggering his Graves disease is another subject - we haven't got there yet! In the meantime, he continues to put off pressure to have radioactive Iodine treatment. However it isn't easy when your hormone levels are so unstable and he struggles with extreme tiredness. However, the improvement gives us fresh encouragement to keep going with GAPS.
I haven't given cooking guidelines and temperatures. Please consult a good cook book which should give some guidance on temperatures. It will depend on the size of your joint and how long you want it to cook for. I will often put a chicken casserole in the oven for three hours on 130 C. (fan) while I go out for the afternoon. But if I turn it up to 180 C. it will be done much faster.
Son 2 says I shouldn't include turkey with chicken, but it is 'bird', so I have! We sometimes do buy a wild pheasant/duck to add variety, though we find they are best pot roasted (with water) than dry roasted.
On a completely separate note, I was perusing the latest 'Tesco' Magazine looking for recipes inspiration when I came a cross an article on multi-tasking. Now, I often multi-task; not very well I have to confess. But they advised us to turn off our mobiles while we read it and I ticked that box, as I rarely have mine on in the house, unless I'm expecting a call on it. Suddenly, I was aware of something boiling over on the stove. True to form, I'd put the cream on to heat for our fermented sour cream, and sat down and got totally distracted!! Family laughed and laughed when I told them that I'd burnt the cream while reading how NOT to multitask as it increases the risk of error. Well today, I still haven't learnt. I put the cream on, sat down to quickly post this article and... well you can guess the rest! I'm not perfect!
Son 2 said I had to tell you!
I made this for Grandpa's 80th birthday tea. He had a chocolate cake for the proper family party, so this was a special pudding for the occasion. Despite the fact he is not a lover of GAPS diet food, by the mere connotation that it's restrictive, he actually enjoyed it and had seconds!
So I thought I'd share the recipe with you. The raspberries just make the chocolate a little more special. We served it with sour cream without the raspberry sauce. Do as you please.
Several folk have asked me over the holidays what a typical daily diet looks like for us. I thought others might find it helpful, so this is what we ate this week. We were on holiday still as we worked between Christmas and New Year. You can see it is not staggering! It is very simple fare, using up leftovers wherever possible.
Breakfast: Pork belly slices grilled, sauerkraut, mug of broth with added butter and olive oil.
Lunch: Roast beef, with roasted carrots and roasted squash, brussel sprouts and broccoli, served with the pan juices spooned over.
Chocolate pots for dessert.
Tea: Cauliflower and pea soup, with grilled mackeral (from pack of frozen fillets), served with extra butter and saurkraut.
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs/ leftover beefburger from saturday lunch/ banana pancake; mug of broth with butter and olive oil added; sauerkraut.
Yoghurt/milk kefir with honey.
Snack: Chocolate cake
Lunch: Pea and broad bean soup with cooked beef slices from the butchers warmed through in the soup; sauerkraut; butter and olive oil.
Cream and bananas for dessert
Tea: Roast chicken thighs and roast squash; sauerkraut; kale and broccoli with butter;
Leftover chocolate coconut tart with cream for dessert.
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs/ banana pancake; mug of broth with butter and olive oil added; sauerkraut.
Yoghurt/milk kefir with honey
Lunch: Pea and broad bean soup with a tin of salmon heated up with it served with butter and olive oil.
Cream pots with berries on top (we had a picnic today as we went out).
Tea: Lamb and lamb liver hot-pot, done in the slowcooker with lamb bones while we were out; cabbage and mashed cauliflower served with butter; sauerkraut.
Stewed apple and cream for pudding.
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs/ leftover pork from Sunday breakfast/ banana pancake; mug of broth with butter and olive oil added; sauerkraut.
Cream/milk kefir with honey.
Snack: chocolate cake
Lunch: Leftover beef, minced and turned into stew, with mashed swede and cabbage and broccoli; sauerkraut; lots of butter on the vegetables.
Bananas and cream for dessert.
Tea: Leftover lamb and kidney mixed in to carrot and leek soup, served with butter and sauerkraut and olive oil.
Pureed defrosted frozen strawberries mixed into cream for dessert.
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs/ banana pancake; mug of broth with butter and olive oil added; sauerkraut.
Cream/milk kefir with honey
Snack: butter tartlets
Lunch: Carrot and leek soup with leftover beef mince warmed up in it; butter and olive oil; sauerkraut.
Fruit for dessert and/or cream and honey.
Tea: Frozen salmon fillets baked and served with kale and broccoli and peas and carrots; butter; sauerkraut.
Stewed apple and cream for dessert.
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs/ banana pancake; mug of broth with butter and olive oil added; sauerkraut.
Cream/milk kefir with honey.
Snack: butter tartlet
Lunch: Broadbean and pea soup with meatballs (bought from freezer section of Waitrose - just beef, salt and pepper).
Cream and fruit pots - blueberries/blackberries (we were on an outing today).
Tea: Gluten free sausages (a butcher makes them especially for us with just meat, salt, pepper and sage) with squash chips; sauerkraut.
Bananas and cream for dessert.
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs/ chocolate banana pancake; mug of broth with butter and olive oil added; sauerkraut.
Cream/yoghurt/milk kefir with honey.
Snack: butter tartlet
Lunch: Home-made beefburgers and three vegetables; sauerkraut.
Bananas/stewed apple leftovers/chocolate cream for pudding
Tea: Broadbean and pea soup with grilled mackeral; sauerkraut; olive oil and butter.
Cream and fruit.
Our diet is still rather limited as we are still not eating nightshades or cheese.
One bit of good news is that Husband received his best yet blood test results at the start of December, with his TSH level actually measurable for the first time in a year and a quarter. Not sure if it's anything to do with having removed cheese, but we daren't now put it back in, in case. We await the next results in February. His TS3 and TS4 had both reduced substantially as well.
It has to be said, we are not great lovers of fish! Never-the-less, when you are eating a lot of meat it is easy to get tired of the same things over and over again. We are trying to be adventurous and have tried some wild duck legs, pheasant and partridge. Of course, we understand too that fish is very nutritious, so we try to include it at least twice a week in some form or another. Sometimes it's just a tin of salmon heated up in a pan of soup, or with salad in summer.
One thing I always struggle with and that's how to present the fish. Again we get tired of the same thing all the time. So here I have compiled for myself, as much as for anyone else, a list of five different ways to serve fish, of any kind, though I tend to use frozen fish from the supermarket. Salmon tends too, to be the most versatile. I pull out the crib sheet when I am planning the weeks menu, and I'm not trying to re-invent the wheel each time, neither do I have to be creative at that particular motive. When the time comes to cook the meal, I see what vegetables we have on hand and what's convenient to cook.
Once more, be adventurous in your choice of vegetables. Cauliflower rice goes well with fish meals, as do roasted vegetables. (That is not a GAPS web-site and so you will need to substitute fats you can tolerate to cook the rice.) Cougettes can be cut into 'noodles' and briefly cooked.
I find this handy little gadget great for knocking up quick 'spaghetti'. Vegetables that they wouldn't normally eat sliced normally, suddenly look attractive!
So here is my Fish Crib sheet. Download, print and laminate to make for easy meal planning!
Meal plans seem to be all the rage amongst special dieters. I have to confess I am not tempted to buy into a meal planning programme as very often the foods they suggest are just not the ones we eat, let alone the fact it seems so much cheaper to do it oneself! I much prefer to make my own, albeit a little more time-consuming. I am not somebody who can stick with a meal plan for long either... I soon get bored with it and want to search out new recipes. What I do for myself though, is to write a crib sheet of ideas for each type of meat so that when I am planning a week's menu I can look at the crib sheet and be inspired to serve the meat in a different way, as it's all too easy to just do things the same way each week and forget the different ways meals could be served.
So I have produced for myself a sheet to remind me of the varying ways there are in serving minced meat, be it beef, lamb, pork or turkey. I can keep it in the kitchen, so that when I plan the next week's meals I can refer to it. A different way of serving the same sort of meat can make it seem like a completely different meal. Actually, I have to confess that even planning my meals a week ahead is too rigid for me. I tend to state the meat we are having and leave it to last minute impulse as to how I cook it, which vegetables we have with it etc.. So I can pull out my sheet and see how the fancy takes me! If I'm short of time, then the 'Sausage meat' option is a good one - just mix it all together and press it into the bottom of a baking dish and stick it in the oven for half an hour Gas 5, 190C/170C fan. The Family like this with cheese melted on the top, though Husband is trying without cheese at the moment, so I won't mention it as it'll make him long for it! Or the Meals in a skillet is another quick one, with just one pan to wash. If I have more time, and feel like being a bit more adventurous, then a casserole or stew is good, or even shaping the meat into beef burgers or proper sausage shapes.
I deliberately haven't been too precise with cooking times as most can be done at any temperature (except for very high which will make the meat too dry). Mainly, mince takes half an hour at 190C./170c. fan, Gas 5. So if you don't mind it cooking longer, turn the oven down. Do make sure the meat is fully coked before consuming it. If I am using the oven, I will often pack it with vegetables too to make more economical use of power.
As to vegetables, we vary how they are served. We like roasted veg, mainly carrots and squash, but sometimes we have roasted broccoli/cauliflower. We also like to to have a mash potato alternative, so one day we'll mash the carrots with butter, another day the cauliflower. When I have the time I'll make the topping from the 'Pork Pie, and serve it as a side from the meat. It goes well with chicken stew/casserole as well. When I'm in a hurry, it's just boiled with plenty of butter, and if I remember, steamed (but it means another pan to wash!)
So click below for your copy of the crib sheet if you think it would be helpful!
One of the hardest things about changing to a grain free diet is what to have for breakfast.
Having been heavily grain dependant for years, it took us a while to find something we were happy with. Different members of the family have their preferred dishes. Sometimes we all have the same.
Most days we all have something different.
I scour other web-sites looking for ideas, but many are too complicated for every day use. So here I list easy to prepare nutritious breakfasts that are practical for a busy family.
Please share if you have other ideas, as we love to hear of new breakfasts to try!
We always have a mug of broth on the side and sauerkraut with our savoury course, followed by a serving of fermented dairy, either sour cream or milk kefir with a small portion of fruit when available. We are currently loving strawberries, raspberries and blueberries from our garden and cherries from the farm shop! We love berry season!
Egg based breakfasts:
Scrambled egg, plain or with mushrooms, spring onions, cheese, cooked in lots of butter. Serve with salad if desired. On a work day Husband just has cheese in it.
Omelette, again cooked with whatever you fancy: mushrooms, spring onions, cheese, tomatoes, other favoured throw ins. Serve with salad or on its own with home-made ketchup.
Fried eggs, poached eggs (my favourite), with salad and salt and butter melted on top.
Nitrate free, grain free sausages (we get ours from a farmer market stall) with/without eggs, with prosciutto ('Parma' nitrate free - most supermarkets have it), fried tomatoes and mushrooms - for when you have a laid back sort of day and have time to make it.
Pancake made in the traditional GAPS style with cooked squash mashed into the egg, and butter.
Son 2's favourite breakfast staple: banana pancake. Mash a ripe banana into the egg and fy gently. Serve with sour cream and honey! Delicious. We have used stewed apple and that was good too.
Waffles: we don't have a waffle maker but tried frying them and what we had was good.
Scrambled egg porridge: surprisingly not eggy at all.
You can of course always drop an egg into a mug of boiling broth and stir it in, to gently cook the white, and to add extra nutrition.
Don't forget a bowl of soup is also very nutritious and you can add an egg yolk or two into that to add extra protein.
French Toast Omelette - Grain free I'm not an eggy person, but I found this to my liking. I tried it the first day with the cheese filling (I used cheddar cheese), but the next day I just made the 'toast' bit and spread it with a dribble of honey, then put a good dollop of sour cream in place of the cheese and rolled it up - now that was a feast!
http://myhoneypie66.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Breakfast (scroll down the page to the bottom)
Non -egg based breakfasts
We like to have an egg free day every week to avoid allergy so these are our favourites:
Son 1 prefers to have left overs from our evening meals, so I try to cook more so he can have it the next morning. Reheat in stock. Serve in a bowl.
Fish is a great, light, wake-me-up. Our favourite is wild caught salmon from the frozen aisle of the supermarket. Trout is also very nice.
We have mackerel and herring in season. Son 2 and Husband like soused herring.
Serve with salad.
Pork belly slices. We discovered these on holiday and loved them so much they have become a regular fixture. Serve with salad, fried mushrooms, ketchup or on their own with a mug of broth or soup.
Kefir smoothies with fruit (occasionally chocolate!!)
Porridge thickened with chia/flax seeds - our favourite is in the above book (Aztec porridge - chocolate porridge MMmm!).
Two cauliflower porridges - worth trying though they sound strange!
Home-made GAPS friendly granola: Too expensive for every day, but a lovely weekend treat.
We like this one:
served with milk kefir/yoghurt/sourcream (or a combination of all three!) with summer berries on top if available and an extra drizzle of honey!
Son 2 is bending over fixing his boat, on shore.
It's summer and the desire to go out for picnics is strong, but how on earth do you cope with feeding the family easily without loads of preparation and stay to the diet?
This week was a bit like a holiday, though we stayed at home, but we were travelling to the beach every day for Son 2's sailing lessons. We had to be out of the door at a set time, so it was akin to a school run morning. Hectic!
The week before that we had a day outing, a long way by train and needed easily carried food (in rucksacks), as we did also on the day we went up to London.
I have found that buying the same packed lunches boxes for us all made things a lot easier, I could just lay the boxes on the table and fill them. Once on the picnic everyone had their food all contained in one box and for the days we just had rucksacks, then we could each carry our portion.
This is our basic picnic kit. When we have the car we have the luxury of being able to take soup too (not that Sons would call that a luxury!) So for that I use our food flask and take melamine mugs too.
When you start to become grain-free, replacing sandwiches is very hard. It takes a whole new way of thinking about packed lunches. I have found that the way to fill everyone up without bread is to make sure they have plenty of meat and fat, so included cheese and a boiled egg each day. It seems a bit strange at first to be eating hunks of meat with your fingers, without bread, but it soon becomes the norm.
So we had meat, cheese, eggs, salad (including soaked nuts and raisins for those who like), sauerkraut, snack and a pot of dessert. We also bought a Nak'd bar for the journey home on a long day.
The weekend before our sailing week, when we took the car, I planned the menu and roasted 2 meals worth of chicken quarters, and froze them Husband and son 1 can manage a whole one each, son 2 and myself need less meat.
I also bought turkey and beef slices from the butchers (with no additives). I made enough soup for the week ahead and froze it in 1 litre quantities. I baked enough treats for the week. We had chocolate muffins! (see recipe here - just make the batter and put it in individual muffin cases instead of cake tins, makes about 18 - bake for 25 mins). I also boiled a weeks worth of eggs. It helped to keep the menu fairly similar each day so that I wasn't spending time I hadn't got thinking up new things.
This meant that Sons could help put the boxes together as I just told them what each box needed and it was simply an assembly job. I pulled the frozen chicken out of the freezer the same morning and didn't put it in a cool bag and it was defrosted by lunchtime. I could have defrosted it the night before. Chicken made a handy finger food. Sometimes we marinate it for extra flavour but we didn't have time for that this time.
Don't forget enough spoons and serviettes for sticky fingers and to avoid wipes and all their chemicals we always pack a damp flannel in a re-sealable bag.
Plan ahead as well for your evening meal. It's not much fun to go out all day and come back to a meal to prepare, so while the children pack the picnic, prepare the veg for tea, and put it in the slow cooker all day with the meat then you can walk back in the door to a delicious aroma!
Both Sons at sea.
GAPS Party Menu
Son 2 had a birthday last week, and for the first time since starting the GAPs diet, we had twelve people to entertain. Not many, ok, and all family members, but lots of worries like how would they cope with our food? Would they wish we had all the sugary things we are famous for? Would there be enough to go round?
Thankfully the answer to all of these questions was YES! Like so many other folk have reported, there were many appreciative comments (genuine I think) about how satisfying the meal was and how simply delicious the spread was. Even the non-GAPS youngsters went back for seconds and thirds.
So having spent so long worrying what to serve, this is what I came up with. It was very simple fare, as I was also entertaining Grandparents for the weekend too and didn't have much time for elaborate preparation beforehand. It was all bite sized finger food.
Salad - see photo above:
A bowl of lettuce of varying kinds
I could have provided a salad dressing but didn't think many would take it, so didn't.
cheese cubes (lots needed as very popular)
mini pizzas - enough for one each (made from intro diet almond bread muffins, topped with tomato puree and cheese)
Cubes of meat loaf which I called 'sausage meat'. I made this the week before and froze it until the party.
Boiled eggs cut in half (I did 6, a half slice each and that seemed enough)
A Roast chicken cooled and sliced.
A quiche with and almond crust. My dear Mother made this for me which helped a lot.
'crackers' made from butter and ground almonds as per the GAPS diet handbook.
Strawberries and cream (standard for non-GAPS guests) with honey if needed
CHOCOLATE BIRTHDAY CAKE from Megan's Grain free and loving it book.
Chocolate bites (see here)
I have another one in three months time - time to go and think up some more ideas!
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!
For this diet to work you have to plan ahead - there is no option. You can't look in the fridge and say 'What shall we have for lunch today?' Meat broth (broth cooked using both meat and bones) has to be in generous supply, so my slow cooker is on all day everyday. That means always making sure I have meat/bones defrosting the day before I need them.
You will need a good calendar or spread sheet in order to plan. this helps with shopping trips too, to minimise time spent shopping.
I drew up a chart for Sunday through Saturday and starting with the first day worked out which meat we would eat with which broth at which time of day - bearing in mind I made one batch of meat and broth per day - in large quantities! Some days I had to do two to keep up. For stages 1 and 2 it is boiled meat and veg and broth all day and I founds that the boys needed meat at each meal to fill them up, with lots of carbs - i.e. squash or carrots. so these were the hardest stages food preparation wise.
Generally speaking I first decided which meat we would have for the broth each day. I found that in my 4.5l slow cooker I could make enough broth for all of us to have tea that night, and breakfast and lunch the next day. Then it was on all through the day ready for tea that night. Sometimes I eked it out with a bit of water. For stages 1 and 2 breakfast and lunch were broth/soup and we relied on a lot of fish for breakfast as it was quick and easy to prepare in the morning.
For stages 3 and 4, once we were happy on eggs, then breakfast was eggs how you like them or squash pancakes, sometimes with nut butter and sometimes without. These were served with a mug of broth, or soup if I had it. This helped reduce the demand for meat. One day a week we went egg free to help prevent allergies arising, and I made home-made sausages on those days, which lasted two meals on average.
For lunch we had soup, with all the cartilage bits whizzed up and hidden in it. This helped make the meat go further, but we needed a lot of soup and lots of carrot or squash in each bowl to fill us up. Sometimes we had boiled fish and when we got to stage 4 I would roast some meat for lunch as a treat some days.
Tea was our main meal on weekdays and we tried to make it as normal as possible, with meat, veg and gravy (made of stock and thickened with blended veg - mushrooms and onion go well though we liked a stock with peppers in too with chicken.)
We kept the 'bread' as a snack to have mid-morning and some apple puree after lunch followed by and increasingly large bowl of sour cream and a drop of honey after tea or for supper. We must still have our puddings , though I intend not to go back to feeling we must have something, so some days we don't.
The hardest part was varying the meals when we were pretty much rotating chicken, pork and beef using the cheapest cuts - i.e. chicken leg quarters and mince beef and pork chops (I bought I bulk from the butchers). I tried to supplement with liver and kidneys mixed in in small quantities whenever I could. Lamb was delicious, but a luxury kept for Sunday dinner. Similarly beef brisket and on one special occasion, stewed steak and kidney - now that was a birthday treat!
How much meat?
Well, an average weekly meat shop included 8 chicken legs (thighs and legs), 8 pork chops, 3 pounds beef mince, 1 pound pork mince (I could buy all of these in trays in bulk in our butchers - who specialises in local meat, but is not organic), one joint of beef/lamb for Sunday roast.
Sometimes I needed a bit more. This provided 7 main meals. Lunchtime as I said was supplemented with the fat/tissue round the bones. and then there was fish on top of this - I bought frozen wild salmon or cod fillets from the supermarket, or fresh mackerel filleted from the fish market. He used to fillet them for me, and give me the bones to take home and make stock. I can't say we love fish stock, but we could take a little mixed into a soup occasionally.
Some of our staples were: Beef balls, chicken stew/casserole varying the veg, cod casserole, and pork chops with thick mushroom and onion gravy. Getting to Stage 3 and being able to sauté the onions made a great difference to the taste of soups and gravies. I also varied the carrots - sometimes cut in circles, sometimes chipped, other times mashed with fat. The squash was nice mixed with the fried onion and mashed - or just mashed with ghee.
Sometimes 'accidents' turned out surprisingly well - the day I hadn't planned for lunch very well so we had boiled cod with peas and the broth made it into a sort of stew in a bowl - it was actually quite delicious. Or the day the slow cooker went wrong, so I threw the chicken pieces into a Pyrex casserole dish, threw the carrots and lots of celery on top and stuck it in the oven for 3 hours at 130 deg (fan oven). With some extra veg boiled separately - again delicious - the broth had all the flavours, even though it was plain broth in a mug. (Stage 4)
Adding fresh herbs at stage 3 and dried herbs at stage 4 certainly helped to add flavour.
We are a very English meat and two veg sort of family and not into much foreign food, except pizza!
I'm not one who makes up new recipes, but have found few sites helping with ideas for trying to feed a family 'normally'.
Packed lunches on intro:
A flask of soup
A boiled egg
Cold meat (wrapped in tin foil)
Boiled carrots/peas with salt (Stages 1-4)
Stage 4 plus
A small 'cake' of almond bread with butter on top/sour cream and a tiny bit of honey
Raw carrot (Stage 5 onward once tolerated)
Raw lettuce/tomatoes/cucumber (as tolerated)
And from here on it gets easier!
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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.