If I were starting out again on the GAPs diet intro, there are a few things I would like to have known, or at least have thought about in advance. So I'm going to tell them to you, so that if you are thinking of doing the GAPS intro diet, or even starting the full diet you will be prepared.
1. Make sure you have a large enough saucepan/crockpot/slow cooker to cook enough meat broth in for one whole day if not more. A slow cooker (or equivalent) is a very economical way to cook meat broth. Do some practice runs in the weeks before.
2. Make at least two 1 litre jars of Sauerkraut before you start, (that's for four adult sized portions - we have two strapping lads to feed). You only take the juices until stage three, but it starts to disappear fast after that and I unfortunately ran out as I was so busy trying to cope with the new routine and couldn't find an organic cabbage in time! If you make it before hand, it will keep and you'll be spared a job!
3. Buy enough storage containers to store the broth/yoghurt/sour cream/soup in the fridge. Glass is best. One litre size is best to fit in the fridge easily.
4. Have a selection of soups written down that you can rotate. You won't have time to keep reinventing the wheel. Some ideas: Pea (use frozen peas - quick and easy), carrot, spinach, tomato (organic Passat is a life saver - use straight from the bottle for a speedy soup they will all love), watercress, leek and onion. Always use onion as a base and vary the meat broths.
5. Think about the meats you will use to make meat broth. You will need a variety, or else after a few days you'll be sick of boiled chicken/beef! Also, once you get to stage 4 you might all decide you really want as little boiled meat as possible, but you've got to keep making it to get meat broth. So consider where you can buy bones with lots of meat on. Low cost cuts of chicken are ideal - quarters/wings for making meat broth without leaving you with lots of boiled meat to use up.
6. Start with some sort of menu plan, if you haven't got one from elsewhere (like http://www.healthhomeandhappiness.com/grain-free-2/30-days-on-gaps-intro-e-book.) It really will make your life a lot easier and ensure you defrost the right meat and bones at the right time and don't end up with nothing for tea!
7. Read up about food intolerances and 'die-off'. Judging by the number of questions on the web-site, this is an area many are confused about. We were too and I spent a long time trying to find answers as to whether our symptoms were food reactions or die-off. I concluded in the end that most were die-off. We did have a couple of times when it was obvious we needed to hold back on a food for a week or so and try again. I'm not GAPS trained, or a doctor, but especially in the first week, expect die-off and keep going. If the symptoms don't calm down, then look to food, but stay on Stage 1 or 2 until you have normalish stools. We only spent 2 days on stage 1, but our-die off didn't start until we were on stage 2, so we stayed there until we were comfortable.
8. Think how you will introduce your probiotics. Probiotics are the most important factor other then the foods you eat (or don't eat!) on this diet. They are in the end what is going to flush out the gut to bring about healing. We start with small amounts, building up to more and more. This includes the probiotic itself - Bio Kult, or whatever else you choose to use. I didn't realise when I started out that an average adult needs to work up to about 8-10 Bio-Kult capsules a day. If you have two adults, and two 12 pluses that works out to approx. 30 pills a day. We bought a box of 120 which will only last four days when we all reach therapeutic levels. That is very expensive! My main point then is count the cost!
Then think about the food probiotics, sauerkraut, fermented dairy. It really does become a juggling game trying to gradually increase the different ones and introduce Bio-Kult without suffering bad die-off symptoms. So care needs to be exercised. It's more tricky the larger number of people in the family. Close records need to be kept!
We decided (after suffering) to build up the food probiotics first to a good level and then to introduce Bio-Kult, so we wern't doing both at once. This worked better.
I hope I haven't put you off, as I would recommend the diet to anyone who needs it - it really works, but always remember, it is I believe, one of the hardest diets to implement. As much fore-thought as possible will ensure success.