Preparing to start the GAPS Protocol (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) begs the desire to get started ahead of time. Early prep is not necessarily needed, but can definitely help, if so desired. When the GAPS protocol is started, different things happen. Some kids, when starting GAPS, thrive right from day one. They progress more and more each day, showing great strides in health. Not all fare this well since the damage in their microbiome is much deeper. There is a great deal of kitchen time needed on the protocol, pulling mom in directions she doesn’t usually go. 

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For a mom, this can be torture.

There are certain things on GAPS that can not be prepped ahead of time, but there are some that just simply need to be prepared as time goes by. These simple steps may help your journey by preparing ahead of time..

*Meat Stock – Properly made Meat Stock, is often confused with Bone Broth. It is important to know the difference since Meat Stock will cause healing and sealing of the microbiome while Bone Broth will not. Most GAPS Practitioners have encountered many people who have spent hours upon hours preparing stock for their GAPS journey only to find out it was Bone Broth, not Meat Stock as the protocol demands. To make Meat Stock which will fill the freezer, make Meat Stock or Chicken Stock and let it cool in mason jars or a large pyrex bowl, which has a lid, then put it in the refrigerator once it has cooled. Stock put into the fridge while it’s still hot will cause the temperature of the fridge to rise, causing the rest of the food in the fridge to potentially grow pathogenic bacteria and spoil. After the stock has been cooled in the refrigerator, it can be transferred to freezer bags. If the stock goes directly to freezer bags for the freezer, the warmth of the stock will extract chemicals from the plastic bag and contaminate the stock. Many, many mason jars have broken in the freezer by GAPS folks – even mason jars approved for the freezer, with ample headroom for expansion. The deeper the damage in the microbiome, the longer the person should stay on Stage 2, the most healing of the GAPS stages. Prepping early for prolonged periods on Stage 2 can be a lifesaver. It’s important to know preparing ahead of time can possibly lead to troubles. There’s no knowing telling how your child will tolerate each stock ahead of time and if you spend a lot of time and money preparing chicken stock ahead of time, then your child vomits with it, your time has been wasted and you could be more frustrated.

To read more on Meat Stock and Bone Broth, click here

* Kraut Juice – Preparing probiotic foods ahead of time, is wise. The older a fermented vegetable, the easier it is tolerated for those with deeper damage. Click here to learn how to make Kraut Juice. Kraut Juice is a very strong probiotic food, high in bifidobacteria and lactobacillus strains. For many, it is too strong to start with, and one drop is even too much. For these people putting one drop in a glass of water or dropping it into hot soup will kill some of the probiotic aspects, making it more tolerable. Other fermented vegetables are desireable to both create variety in probiotics strains but also to address specific weaknesses. Click here to prepare fermented garlic. Click here to prepare probiotic pickles. Click here to prepare kimchi. All vegetable ferments can be made ahead of time.

* Practice making home brewed whey, home brewed yogurt, home brewed sour cream and home brewed kefir. Fermented dairy does not have a shelf life like fermented vegetables. It is good to get comfortable making fermented dairy so that it is less stressful when you get started on the protocol. The first time you do something, it’s often scary, takes longer and raises questions. It’s best to get these concerns out of the way to make your GAPS journey smoother. 

* Establish contact with local farmers for resources. If you are not aware of which local farmers are best, contact your local Weston A. Price Chapter Leader, tell them you are on a strict GAPS protocol and need resources for pastured eggs, organ meats, milk, meat stock bones and meat. Establishing multiple outlets will assist if you need more yolks or are burning through stock bones. Stocking up on bones, chicken feet and hooves can be the most valuable thing in terms of prep. 

* Prepare detox bath products. Detox baths are a vital part of the GAPS protocol for pulling toxins out of the skin, the largest organ in the body. Detox baths should be a nightly occurrence, rotating epsom salts ( be sure it reads USP), baking soda, mineral salts, apple cider vinegar and seaweed in the bathtub. The goal, like most GAPS things, is to start slow and build up until a 20 minute bath using at least one cup of product is used nightly. One teaspoon in each bath of either vitamin C powder, or bentonite clay, can be added to the bath to assist in pulling the chlorine out of the water so it doesn’t absorb into you.

* Purchase iodine for iodine painting. Iodine painting is done by painting a 3 by 3 inch square of iodine on the inside of the arms, soft areas of the stomach and inside the legs. Rotating the painted location every day is best to prevent skin irritation. Most folks paint a picture of a snake, dog, bear or fish, because they are fun for the child. Whatever works for you is perfect.

There are things to be aware of during the GAPS protocol that can negatively affect your journey. Watch for these common mistakes.

* Gelatin, as a substitute for meat stock, is not gaps approved. Gelatin for the occasional marshmallow fluff, gummies, or emergency situation is often used, but is not for sealing the gut and is not GAPS approved. 

* Cutting up veggies ahead of time and storing them in the fridge, is not really healthful as they lose a great majority of nutrition when pre cut. Frozen veg is gaps approved but no where near as good as fresh veg. Dr Natasha and I discussed this at the 2017 Certified GAPS Practitioner Training and she said freezing changes the structure of the veg, making it less identifiable to the body. 

* Watch where your support information is sourced. The best places to receive the most accurate, true to GAPS, information are Dr. Natasha’s website, FAQS on, Dr. Natasha speaking at several conferences and radio shows are linked on YouTube, and reputable GAPS sites like Nourishing Plot. 

Unfortunately, GAPS is hard, takes a lot of time from mama and a lot of the cooking needs to be done each meal. There are small time savers, but preparing real food from scratch takes time. That said, before you start, if you don’t own a pair of Big Girl Panties, you may want to find a pair.


*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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