To make meat stock use a mixture of raw bones, consisting of three different types of bones: bones with meat on them, bones with marrow in them and joint bones. If hoof bones are available, they are extremely nourishing and beneficial to the protocol. Meat on the bone next to a joint will create a gelatinous stock; meat close to the bone does the same. If the stock does not gel, it’s no problem. Different cuts cause different nutrients and a different outcome in the stock. Ox tail is a favorite addition to stock. Hoof bones and connective tissues (joint bones) will give you good sticky stock.

Please note this is meat stock which heals and seals a Leaky Gut, not bone broth which is a soup base that originates from extensive cooking of the bones until they crumble. Click here to learn the history of bone broth and how to make bone broth.

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Bones with a little meat on them are the foundation of meat stock. Shank bones are perfect. The meat closer to the bone is easy to digest. These are considered gelatinous cuts. The further the meat is away from the bone the more it is considered muscle meat, not gelatinous meat. Muscle meat is more fibrous and more difficult to digest for those with the most damaged guts. Optimally, the meat on the bone should be no further than about an inch from the bone. A solid three week freeze and thorough cooking will prevent any potential virus or parasite from surviving.

Put all the bones in a large stock pot. This is a lobster potThis is a dutch oven and this is a dutch oven .

Fill with filtered water no more than one inch above the bones, one finger width is optimal, add salt and mashed peppercorns. Peppercorns can be cooked in a cache so they can be removed after cooking. The salt will pull vital nutrients out of the bones. You can also add apple cider vinegar, with the mother, to help pull nutrients and assist in breaking up the tissues in the meat (click here to read more). The amount of spices used is individual to each person, generally three to four pounds of bones take one tablespoon mineral salt, a tablespoon of crushed peppercorns and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Five to six bay leaves and fresh sprigs of herbs can be added; however, they should be removed after cooking as they are too fibrous for Stage One.

Bring the pot to a boil. Just before it is at a full boil a foamy film, scoobage, will begin to form on top. This is the bones cleaning themselves. With a slotted spoon scoop off the scoobage. By the time you’re done scooping scoobage, it’s at the full boil. Turn the heat down to a low simmer, cover with a lid and cook for 3 hours.

Cook time is very important. The longer the stock simmers the more you cook out the two essential amino acids vital to sealing and healing the gut lining. More specifically, the longer you cook the meat bones the more you cook out the most beneficial aspects of healing from the stock. If you cook too long in the pot these beneficial healers are absent. Meat stock is high in amino acids proline and glycine, bioten, collagen, elastin, glucosamine and gelatin. These are the elements that feed the enterocytes, the building blocks of the gut lining. Cooking the stock too long cooks out these amino acids, prolonging healing.

When it’s done cooking, remove the bones and pick off all the meat and connective tissues you can remove. It the connective tissue dissolves in your hands, it’s perfect to add back into the soup, however, if the connective tissue is hard, it can be added to another pot to cook further with new raw bones. Remove the peppercorns and herbs from the stock, add the connective tissue back to the pot and blend with a stick blender.

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connective tissue and marrow added back to the pot

Pour the stock into mason jars and refrigerate up to 7 days. Meat stock freezes well.

 Add whatever Stage One vegetables are desired and cook the vegetables for roughly 30 minutes, until soft, so that the remaining fiber is digestible. Garlic and onion should be added to every soup. If die off from garlic or onion is too strong, as some classify as a FODMAP issue, they should be removed until more healing has happened, then introduced in small quantities. Some people have such great sensitivities that they start with fermented garlic and onion, starting with the brine first. When tolerated, adding garlic and onion the size of an eyelash and increasing the amount from there reintroduces the vegetables.


Bone broth is cooked for longer periods of time; GAPS healing Meat Stock is cooked for a short period of time. The bones used for cooking Meat Stock can be used later for making Bone Broth.

People with extreme gut damage, sometimes see sensitivities arise with different stock choices. This histamine issue is difficult. Many see success with choosing wild game for stock, preferably fowl as these are the most digestible. Wild caught fish is often well tolerated. Chicken stock is known for being gentle, and is tolerated by most. Lamb stock, from pastured lamb, is generally well tolerated, even by those with the most severe sensitivities.

Processed meats often have additives or feed that is not tolerated in very damaged guts. Animals that ate soy often cause issues for a very damaged gut. Eating wild turkey and other birds removes this concern. Some farmers plant cornfields to attract deer for hunting season. Corn fed deer often cause issue for those with deeper damage in the microbiome.

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Fish stock is very gentle on the gut lining and is one of the most beneficial for damaged guts. Use fish heads, bones, tails and fins especially with some meat on the bones. Strain out all the bones after cooking for 1-1.5 hours. Warning – using oily fish will leave you a very smelly house.

2014-03-18 08.09.19Chicken is very gentle on the gut lining. If you have sensitive issues with stock, a good option is making the stock from pastured chickens who are not fed any supplementary feed – their only source of food is bugs, worms and grass. When cooking chicken stock follow the instructions above but only cook for 2 hours.

If you have extreme gut damage put half the stock in the refrigerator and half in the freezer. This ensures the most nutritional value for optimum healing. It is very important to continue taking high doses of probiotics from food sources like kraut juice, whey, home-fermented sour cream or yogurt, Biokult, Prescript Assist (click on the affiliate links to see the products) or Gut Pro while taking the meat stock. This will both heal and seal the gut lining while you are building the good bacteria up, repairing the gut lining.

Do not reheat cups of stock with the microwave as it is very damaging to the stock, killing the beneficial life giving enzymes and nutrients that are needed for healing.

For stages one and two of GAPS it is important to be drinking meat stock throughout the day continually. A good plan is to eat a soup for each meal and enjoy a cup of stock between meals. Add good quality grass fed butter like Kerrygold (affiliate link) to each cup as well as an egg yolk or two from pastured chickens. The more cholesterol you eat during the stages of healing the less cholesterol your body needs to make to heal. The less your body needs to do the more energy it can spend on healing.

*Nourishing Plot is written by Becky Plotner, ND, traditional naturopath, CGP, D.PSc. who sees clients in Rossville, Georgia. She works as a Certified GAPS Practitioner who sees clients in her office, Skype and phone. She has been published in Wise Traditions, spoken at two Weston A. Price Conferences, Certified GAPS Practitioner Trainings, has been on many radio shows, television shows and writes for Nourishing Plot. Since her son was delivered from the effects of autism (Asperger’s syndrome), ADHD, bipolar disorder/manic depression, hypoglycemia and dyslexia, through food, she continued her education specializing in Leaky Gut and parasitology through Duke University, finishing with distinction. She is a Chapter Leader for The Weston A. Price Foundation. [email protected]

“GAPS™ and Gut and Psychology Syndrome™ are the trademark and copyright of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. The right of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Patent and Designs Act 1988.

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