It's so Easy - GAPS Intro Stage 2

Mama at The Liberated Kitchen

Mama with some home-canned goodness

Once you’ve been able to introduce probiotic foods, and your digestion is working smoothly on Intro Stage 1, of the GAPS diet, it’s time to move on to Stage 2. I think it’s important not to rush the stages. If you have been having issues, it can be very hard to tell what is causing what. Some people have delayed reactions to problem foods, and it will take some time to get to a new normal. Giving your system enough time to work out any past reactions from foods before introducing new ones will make it much easier to evaluate whether new foods are a problem or not.

If you’ve had digestive troubles for a while it can be hard to know whether your digestive system is working well. The Bristol Stool Scale can be used to help determine whether you are in good shape to move forward.

In the second stage, you continue all the same foods from the first stage.

You also add in:

  • Raw, organic egg yolks, followed by soft-boiled eggs, if the sensitivity test is passed and no allergy is suspected.
  • Stews and casseroles made of meat, vegetables, and animal fat
  • Increased amounts of the probiotic foods from Stage 1
  • Fermented fish or Sweedish gravlax
  • Homemade ghee

Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride

Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride

As with Stage 1, any food to which an allergy is suspected should be treated with extreme caution. You may wish to consult your health care practitioner. In the GAPS book, Dr. Campbell-McBride says that if a sensitivity is suspected, one should perform the sensitivity test by rubbing a small amount of the liquefied food on the inside of the wrist before bed and then checking for a reaction in the morning. If there is a reaction, do not introduce the food and try again in a couple weeks.

Now for a bit more info on working these foods into your routine and diet:

Raw, organic egg yolks, followed by soft-boiled eggs
If the sensitivity test is passed and no allergy is suspected, start with raw, organic egg yolks. You can raise your own hens, buy from a farmer or neighbor, or even find them at the grocery store. However, don’t be confused by words like “natural,” “free-range,” or “Omega-3.” You want ORGANIC!!! Drop the yolk into your soup, and stir. It will add flavor and easily absorbed nutrition to your soup. Start with one egg yolk per day, and increase to an egg yolk in each bowl of soup.
Once you are tolerating egg yolks in your soup, you can try adding soft-boiled whole eggs to the soup, with the whites cooked and the yolks still runny.

Stews and casseroles made of meat, vegetables, and animal fat
At this stage avoid spices, but you may season your stews and casseroles with fresh herbs and salt. Choose meats with a lot of fat for these meals!

Increased amounts of the probiotic foods from Stage 1
Gradually increase all the fermented foods you have already added.

Fermented fish or Sweedish gravlax
Here are the abridged recipes from the book, Gut and Psychology Syndrome, Revised and Expanded Edition by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, MD, MMedSci(neurology), MMedSci(nutrition), pages 189 and 190.

Swedish Gravlax:
skinless and boneless salmon fillet
1 liter water at room temperature
1.5 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp honey
fresh dill and coarsely ground black pepper

The fish has to be very fresh. Cut the fish into 0.5 cm thick slices and place in a dip tray. Sprinkle with finely chopped dill and black pepper. Dissolve the salt and the honey in the water to make a brine. Cover the fish with the brine and leave at room temperature for 1-1.5 hours. Pour the water out and serve the fish.

Fermented Fish
3-4 very fresh large herrings or mackeral
1 small white onion (optional)
1-2 Tbsp peppercorns
5-7 bay leaves
1 tsp coriander seeds
fresh dill or some dill seeds
1 cup of kefir whey
clean glass jar and tight-fitting lid

Skin the fish and remove large bones, cut into bite-size pieces. Peel and slice the onion. Put the pieces o the fish into the glass jar, mixing with all the herbs and spices. In a separate jug, dissolve 1 Tbsp o sea salt into some water and add 1/2 cup of the kefir whey. Pour this brine into the jar until the fish is completely covered. If the fish is not covered add water until it is. Close the jar tightly and leave to ferment for 3-5 days at room temperature, then store in the fridge. Consume within 1-3 weeks.

Homemade ghee
Even if you have not introduced other dairy products, you can try introducing ghee. (Of course, do not introduce anything to which you have a known allergy and always consult your health care practitioner if you are concerned about introducing a particular food.) In the book (page 149), it states:

“Ghee is usually well tolerated by most GAPS people, regardless of diarrhoea or constipation and regardless of reactions to other dairy products. So, I recommend that all GAPS people try to introduce it, even if other dairy products have not been introduced yet.”

Ghee is clarified butter. Butter is already naturally low in lactose, because the lactose stays in the liquid that comes off in the churning process. When you make ghee, you remove the casein protein from the butter. This changes the butter so that it can be used to cook with at high temperatures, and makes it safer for some people who are sensitive to casein. Here is how we make ghee.

Prep for Stage 3
In Stage 3 you’ll start using your food processor and dehydrator in earnest. You’ll also start eating your fermented veggies! You’ll want to make sure you have some room carved out so that these projects don’t take over the house!

If you need a bit more guidance on getting all set up to start GAPS, check out these related posts:

This post is part of the Probiotic Food Challenge on Real Food Forager!

Related posts:

11 comments to It’s so Easy – GAPS Intro Stage 2

  • Natalia

    My mother just moved to the second stage and tried making fermented fish (herring). I was wondering how it is supposed to taste. She says that the texture of the fish became very soft and the liquid of the fish is bubbly. Is it supposed to be?

    • Mama

      It’s really hard to say if it’s good without seeing, smelling, or tasting it myself! Fermented fish does get softer, and fermenting liquid can be bubbly. I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful!

  • Erica Johnson

    Organic isn’t always all its cracked up to be, technically speaking you want PASTURED eggs, chickens that feed on bugs, not soy beans and corn (which is what you are getting if it says the chickens are fed vegetarian. Chickens are not vegetarians. Toxic food is toxic food regardless of whether it is organically grown. Chickens need to be eating the foods that they were created to eat, and be in the sun. Organic or free range doesnt’ necessarily mean either of those things.

    Free range is a term which OUTSIDE of the United States denotes a method of farming husbandry where the animals are allowed to roam freely instead of being contained in any manner. In the United States, USDA regulations apply only to poultry and indicate that the animal has been allowed access to the outside.[1] The USDA regulations do not specify the quality or size of the outside range nor the duration of time an animal must have access to the outside.[2] ( )

    Pastured poultry is a sustainable agriculture technique that calls for the raising of laying chickens, meat chickens (broilers), and/or turkeys on pasture, as opposed to indoor confinement. Humane treatment, the perceived health benefits of pastured poultry, in addition to superior texture and flavor, are causing an increase in demand for such products.

    It is so confusing going to the store trying to figure out what is the right thing to buy. Weeding through the labeling loopholes takes detective skills! In my experience it is imperative to find eggs from a local farm, because at our Whole Foods store, there is only one brand of eggs that come from pastured chickens and they are $6 a dozen, while eggs are $2-3 per dozen from the farm.

  • Ana

    Please, tell me, how do u make kefir whey?

    Thank you.

    • There are a couple of different methods, depending on how much you want.. You can line a fine mesh strainer with a few layers of cheesecloth or coffee filters, dump in the kefir, and let it sit for several hours. The whey will drip out. If you just want a little bit, you can skim off the yellowish liquid that forms in your jar of kefir.

  • kimchi_on_ruis

    I don’t know where you found that recipe for gravlax but that’s NOT how you make it…at all.

    The point is to cure the fish and turn it into buttery-melt-in-the-mouth deliciousness. If you want sweet and salty raw salmon, other names may be found.

    I don’t mean to sound like an ass but I’ve been living in Helsinki for five years now and the above recipe would get alot of people here quite flustered. Not as much as abusing the word sauna when speaking of anything other than a proper sauna(a Finnish word), but pretty flustered nonetheless.

    Finnish Graavilohi aka Gravlax (Swedish)

    Ingredients: (if this is your first go, you may want to scale this to half just in case you discover you aren’t a fan, very unlikely though)

    – 1kg-ish Salmon/trout fillet SKIN ON
    * Skin on is required as it helps keep the magic contained in the muscle tissue and makes it way, way easier to cut later on. Things should work out with skinless but I haven’t tried, uncertain about the resulting saltiness.

    * it helps to have two pieces approx same size but not necessary

    – bunch of fresh dill (dried can be used but fresh gives a more gentle and full taste IMHO)

    – 3 tbs white sugar (honey will not, I repeat NOT, help in the curing process. An apiary’s gift of anti-microbials is not wanted here.)

    – 3 tbs sea salt (coarse may be better as it is slower to dissolve)

    – plastic wrap (easiest way to keep things happy as they become delicious)

    – Rinse your fresh fish (no vacuum sealed stuff please) in cold water and pat dry
    – mix salt and sugar together and sprinkle evenly on the fish (meaty side only)
    – cut dill bunch into pieces small enough to place lengthwise on fish.
    – if the salmoniod is in two pieces place one on top of the other facedown (meat on meat action) with dill in between.
    – wrap firmly with plastic wrap and place in the fridge in a dish
    – check the next day, unwrap and drain the liquid that has been drawn out of the fish

    – rewrap with the plastic and put it back for another day

    – At this point it should be infused with a mild dill flavour but not that strong, Mc D’s pickle nastiness.

    – Slice off a small piece, rinse to remove any surface salt/sugar, and taste. It should be mildly salty and have an almost buttery (as fish goes) texture in the mouth. Please note that since you took it from an outside edge, it will be a bit saltier than most of the rest.

    – Time to take away the dill and cold rinse, pat dry. (A third day can be wasted letting it cure but I’ve never had the patience.)

    – Time for the first serving. Get a sharp knife and slice at a shallow angle to remove slices from the skin

    – Enjoy

    Traditional Finnish rye bread, thinly sliced is my preferred support base. The bread btw is a wild ferment and has a very dense crumb.
    If you think that pale, caraway seed garbage is rye bread, yee have been deceived. (rye flour, salt, water, time). A starter can be begot with a pinch of yeast but it is the lactobacilli that end up doing the work. It has a proper sourness that pairs well with the oiliness of the graavi.

    Graavi can also be made with other fish, but you’d better check for yourself that it isn’t a species that carries parasites. Seriously.

    After the first attempt you may want to reduce the amount of time you let things sit if it was too salty or you can increase the amount of salt and sugar if desired (careful though). Cracked pepper, no dill, mo dill, etc

    Good luck

    • The recipe here is straight from the GAPS book – the author is Russian and lives in the UK. So thanks for sharing the Finnish real deal with us! No rye bread for us as we are strictly gluten-free.

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Berkey Water Filter