Starting GAPS

Mama at The Liberated Kitchen

Mama with some home-canned goodness

The GAPS diet is a major change for most people. We get asked how to get started all the time, so we’ve finally worked out the basics of what you need to do to be ready for success, and given you a step by step series on doing Intro. Even though we were already gluten-free, into cooking from scratch, and all about whole, organic, locally sourced foods when we started, it was a huge challenge for us!

UPDATE: January 2014
GAPS Starter Kit

GAPS Starter Kit

For January only, Cara at Health, Home, Happy, is having a sale! She’s put together a GAPS diet Starter Kit that combines her What Can I Eat Now? GAPS Intro e-book, 2 months of meal plans suitable for the full GAPS diet, the GAPS Freezer Guide so you can have meals ready to go, and a Paperbook Cookbook with 80 favorite recipes.

By buying now, you’ll get a $90 value for just $50!

Figure Out Your Real Food Sources

You’ll need sources for:

  • organic, pastured meat, bones, and fats – if there are farmers in your area, buying direct from them is a good way to go. If you need to buy from a butcher, make sure that the meat is not cut, stored, or handled with equipment that is shared with processed meats. Also make sure that the meat has not been sprayed with corn or injected with saline!
  • organic vegetables – growing your own is the best, but for larger quantities or if you are not the gardening type, just make sure to buy certified organic. If you are going to buy from a farmer who is not certified but follows organic practices, make sure to ask questions to help you verify the claims.
  • free-range, fresh, organic eggs – again, growing your own is the best! If that is not practical in your space, see if there are local farmers or neighbors who can provide you with your eggs. If all else fails, you can buy a major brand at the store.
  • organic, pastured raw milk – you’ll be using this to make dairy kefir and yogurt, so make sure you have the highest quality milk. The FDA is currently cracking down on raw milk, so it can be difficult to source. In our area, we source our raw milk through a cow-share. We own a percentage of a specific cow who provides our milk and pay for her upkeep. The milk she produces is delivered by the farmer to a local drop-site every week. You may be able to find a herd-share or cow-share, or even raise your own milk-goat or cow.
  • water kefir grains – you may be able to get these from a friend. If not, you can order them from Cultures for Health
  • dairy kefir grains – you may be able to get these from a friend. If not, you can order them from Cultures for Health
  • nuts – nuts in the bulk bins or from most manufacturers are not gluten-free due to cross-contamination. You’ll want to buy plain nuts and go through the process of rinsing, then soaking and dehydrating them. For guaranteed gluten-free nuts (which you should also soak and dehydrate), you may buy them from NutsOnLine.
  • coconut oil – coconut oil is a saturated fat and and can be used as a moisturizer, salve for small cuts, and as a delicious ingredient in all sorts of recipes.
  • raw, local honey – You need pure honey that has not been heated. It’s best if it comes from your own area, too, because it will have been made from the same flowers that are spreading their pollen all around!
  • fermented cod liver oil – We like this post from Kitchen Stewardship on the subject of fermented cod liver oil. You can buy it from Green Pasture’s web site. Taking it from a spoon is the easiest way we’ve found. We take the Cinnamon Tingle flavor, but the new Emulsified Mint flavor is decent as well. Check out this video from Kelly the Kitchen Kop, where she gives her 5 year old a taste test. Super cute!

Get Your Kitchen Ready

If you weren’t already cooking from scratch all the time, you’re about to learn! Our Amazon store has the kitchen equipment we use most and recommend. In order to make the healing foods you need to eat on the GAPS diet, you’ll need to learn and prepare for:

  • making stock – get a big stainless steel stock pot and read up on how to make bone broth and stock from carcasses. We’ll have a post on that soon!
  • freezing foods – while it would be possible to do GAPS without a large chest freezer, I wouldn’t want to. Freezing is the easiest way to preserve extra stock, bulk purchases of meat, and leftovers. You’ll want freezer space and wide mouth, freezer safe jars.
  • dehydrating foods – while you can make your own out of a fan and a screen, it’s much more practical to buy a food dehydrater. We use the Nesco FD-75PR 700-Watt Food Dehydrator, but many folks swear by their Excalibur Food Dehydrators.
  • slow cooker (“crockpot”) cooking – Hamilton Beach is the only brand of slow cooker that currently claims to use lead-free glaze. Their 6 quart programmable slow cooker has a temperature probe and is big enough to fit a chicken. While not quite big enough to fit a chicken, the 3-in-1 Slow Cooker with 2-, 4-, and 6-Quart Crocks is like three cookers in one.
  • fermenting food – Sandor Katz’s book Wild Fermentation is a good place to start if you’re new to fermentation. Mason jars and a dark place are all you really need, but a fermenting crock is useful for making larger batches of sauerkraut.
  • pure water – you’ll need a good water filter. Reverse osmosis is the best, but we’re making do with an under the sink carbon filter. The best carbon filters I’ve seen so far are Berkey Stainless Steel filters. The Berkey doesn’t have to be hooked up to your plumbing to work. Bottled water is not ideal! See the documentary Tapped for more information on that!

Talk to Your Doctor

On the GAPS diet you will not be eating any grains. However, testing for celiac disease requires that you be eating a diet heavy in gluten for at least 3 months. If there is any chance you have celiac disease and may someday need a diagnosis, get tested now, before starting the GAPS diet!

Detoxify Your Kitchen

First, you must eliminate all gluten and known allergens from your kitchen and home. Go through every product in the house, read the label, and get rid of anything you can’t have. Next, get rid of contaminated utensils and appliances. Then it’s time for the first of two deep cleans. Use new sponges and clean rags for each deep clean.

I’ve got a big post coming with step by step instructions. (the post is here.) Or, if you live in Portland, OR, you can skip all that work and hire us to liberate your kitchen for you!

Next, take all of the foods not allowed on your current GAPS Intro stage out of sight. We designated a kitchen cabinet for foods we would get on later stages. This cabinet was totally off limits! We also moved some foods out to shelves in our garage. The main idea is to eliminate temptation in your home, and to focus yourself on what you can eat. The foods you see should be things you can eat!

Get the Food Started

  • stock up on stock – Make a big pot of stock. Actually, make many big pots of stock. Jar it up in wide mouth pint jars, put a bunch in the fridge, and freeze the rest. You will be eating soup for every meal at first, so you will definitely need more than you think! (Note: While pressure canning is not ideal or strictly GAPS legal, if you don’t have the freezer space and don’t have the time or space to continually have stock going, it beats not having any or buying some from the store.)
  • get good veggies – Get lots of vegetables to add to your soup. Make sure they are on the approved foods list!
  • start some kraut – Sauerkraut takes a few days, so you’ll want to get it started right away. We have a day by day series on the simple process.

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 Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesday and Simple Lives Thursday on GNOWFGLINS and Freaky Friday on Real Food Freaks, GAPS Legal Thursdays.

Related posts:

52 comments to Starting GAPS

  • Thanks, Mama! Wow-I will be hiring you as soon as feasible!
    A note on the corn sprayed meat. Most folks don’t realize that USDA meat (all the meat in the store I presume) has e-coli prevention (because you know how poopy those factory raised conditions are…?) and it is common that they have a corn based citric acid spray on all meat. I am sure that is what you were referring to in your article.

    I learned in conversation with farmers of local, pasture raised animals that in our state they have a choice-they can use the ODA standards (state) instead of USDA. ODA allows a vinegar rinse or a steam treatment instead of citric acid. Another advantage of doing business locally is that you can find out things like what kind of vinegar they use-and have a receptive response-like the farmer willing to change their practice to make it best for most people’s food sensitivities and concerns!!!!

    The GAPS changes are overwhelming and how fabulous that you are able to help folks through the shift to thriving health!

    Although we are not GAPS based-we did borrow some of the ideas. Just one change of halting the gluten free breads, pretzels and english muffins sent my kid into 3 days of hellish detox…but as predicted on the 3rd or 4th day her taste buds came alive and she craved raw and cooked vegies in abundance! After slashing our heavy grain reliance in all areas the changes were dramatic towards health!

    • Mama

      Thanks for your comment!
      Yes, I was referring to the corn based citric acid spray. We do buy our meat from local farmers who don’t use it as well. What kind of vinegar rinse do you think is best?
      We, too, have noticed the kids being much more open to all sorts of foods since we got away from all grains. I’ve noticed that now that we are no longer in the intro diet and are in the full GAPS diet, they are getting a little pickier. I guess with so many options they just naturally want their favorites.

  • Hi Mama,

    I am interested in doing the GASP Diet but have a family to feed here and they are not willing to give up their bread and pasta. What do I do?

    • Mama

      Hi Csilla,
      There are a few ways to approach it – but first a bit more info would help…

      How old are the kids?
      What does your partner have to say about it?
      What are your main reasons for wanting to try GAPS?
      Have you tried doing something like this in the past? If so, how did it go?


  • Laura

    We rent and have no place to put a chest freezer except outside in a hot & humid patio (not a good idea)… any suggestions on how we might approach GAPs without it??

    • Mama

      Hi Laura,
      You can still do GAPS without a chest freezer. It is really nice to have from the cost-saving benefit long term, but not a necessity. Here are some ideas:

      For Meat: You may not be able to get a half or even quarter cow all at once since you don’t have anywhere to put it, but you can still get locally raised meat at a good price by splitting an order with friends. If you don’t have friends who want to go in on it, try Craig’s List.

      Many butchers will sell you chicken feet, beef bones, and organ meats on a small scale. Most people don’t want to buy these things so if you establish a relationship with a butcher or natural foods store meat counter you may be able to keep up a good supply. You can buy meat in smaller quantities this way, too, of course.

      Stock: You can do perpetual stock on the stove or in a crockpot on the counter. You can keep it going for up to a week by adding water as it cooks down and you use it. Just ladle out what you need for soup each time.

      Veggies: Buy fresh, and go ahead and get imported veggies in the winter if you need to.

      Probiotic foods: You won’t need a freezer for these anyway!

      Canning instead of freezing: Many fruits and veggies can be canned in a water bath. It’s not ideal, but it’s better than buying industrial food! Pressure canning isn’t strictly GAPS legal, but sometimes we do it.

      Dehydrating: While dehydrated foods aren’t a staple on the GAPS diet, we do make beef jerky, fruit roll-ups, and crispy nuts this way. If you have extra and no place to freeze it, this is a good way to preserve foods.

      Good luck, and let us know what works for you!

  • Asma

    Hi Mama
    My autistic son is on the second stage of entro diet i couldn’t find wild salmon can i introduce the ordinary one ?
    2-can i introduce the water of the fermented vegetable between meals?
    how long approximately can we stay in each stage ?
    my good wishes

    • Mama

      Hi Asma,
      I want to start off by reminding everyone that I am not a health care practitioner at all, and even if I were, there is no way I could give any kind of medical advice without meeting you and your son in person! I’m just sharing my personal understanding of the Gut and Psychology Syndrome book by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, my personal experience, and my opinions.

      I would not introduce farm raised salmon. It is a completely different beast than wild-caught salmon. In addition, it is highly contaminated with PCBs. They are also fed dyes to turn their meat pink (which in wild salmon is naturally even more pink), antibiotics, and fed food they never would eat in the wild. There are environmental reasons to choose wild salmon as well.

      I think you are much better off without farmed salmon. If that is all that is available in your area, I’d eat something else! If you just can’t stand to go without salmon and want to order it, I’d choose Vital Choice.

      As for how long to stay on each stage of the diet, Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride says that is an individual decision. When gut issues are obvious, she recommends waiting until digestion is normalized before moving forward. My experience has been that sometimes adding the next thing can help with normalizing the gut. So if it were me, if things hadn’t gotten better in a few weeks, I might try adding the next foods, one at a time, to see if it helped. (Of course, backing off if any symptoms got worse). As far as I know, the juice of the fermented vegetables is recommended to be eaten with other foods. In stage 3, you’ll be introducing the actual fermented foods. If your child’s digestion is going well and die-off symptoms are not bad, you could start trying to see how the fermented foods or juice on it’s own is tolerated.

  • Asma

    thank you so much for your reply
    what about introducing the fermented sardines instead although Dr. didn’t mention it in the second stage in her book page 149

  • Asma

    Hi Mama
    I’ve entered site by the I phone they classified the food according to the stages but there are something I’d like to be sure about it
    They said in the second stage which my son on that these nutrients are allowed like
    Green beans- green peas- the vinegar in the making of stock
    The other nutrients which are not allowed like
    Butter –dill-coriander-mushrooms
    Do you agree with that please
    good wishes

  • Mama

    I just get my info from the GAPS book and, and of course can not give medical advice about what foods you and your family may or may not be able to tolerate.
    Here is my understanding of the foods you list and the GAPS Intro Stage 2:

    • Butter – not yet allowed, though it is ok on the full diet. Instead, at stage 2 you can make and introduce ghee!
    • Dill, Mushrooms – the book only mentions them specifically to say they are allowed on the recommended foods list (which is not specific to intro). Our family interpreted the use of the general “vegetables” allowed on stage 2 to include mushrooms and “herbs” to include dill. As with any food, if you choose to introduce it and are concerned about it, do so as the only new food for a couple days and use small amounts.
    • Coriander – coriander is a spice and is a recommended food. says that at stage 2 spices are still to be avoided, but I’ve seen people posting recipes at stage 1 that use it! I couldn’t find info on when exactly to introduce spices. We did use some spices during the intro.
  • Alicia

    Hi Mama,

    I came across the GAPS diet by following a link to your name (the liberated kitchen, llc) from a comment you made on the gluten free for celiacs. I have struggled with systemic candida for years. It flairs up from medications I take from time to time and also from too much sugar in y diet. I am very interested in this approach. Not sure what to make of some of the food suggestions in the different phases but would like very much for my digestive system to return to normal….. I have several food allergies that are constant and others that come and go. The ones that I always have to avoid are, gluten, eggs, dairy. I noticed that eggs and dairy are mentioned to add in to the diet in one of the phases. If I were to follow this diet and I did not eat the eggs or dairy, would the healing process still occur? How important are the eggs and dairy in this diet? I will buy the book if I do the diet but noticed that it is a little pricey…..

    thanks in advance,

    • Mama

      Hi Alicia,
      Thanks for checking out our website and the GAPS diet. I’m just going to start off with a reminder that I’m not a medical professional of any kind, and everything I say is my opinion based on my understanding of the things I’ve read, people I’ve talked with, and my own experience.

      Many people have found the GAPS diet has really helped their candida issues! Even if you don’t decide to do the diet, I highly recommend reading the GAPS book. It’s worth the money to get the new edition.

      Eggs and dairy do figure prominently in many of our GAPS recipes, but they are not required by the diet. In the book, Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride outlines a separate dairy introduction structure for people who have shown an reaction to dairy products and for those who skip the introduction portion of the GAPS diet. If you have a severe IgE allergy, introducing dairy is not recommended at all. Eggs are nutrient dense, and they are used early in the diet because the nutrition they have requires so little digestion to be absorbed. However, if you are allergic to them, they won’t be a good source of nutrition for you!

      The eggs an the dairy are not foods that are required for healing, but they do provide nutrition and calories that you’ll need to make sure you get elsewhere. Depending on the type of allergy you have, you may find you can eventually tolerate those foods, once you are more healed and your gut flora is in balance.

      I also want to mention that sometimes the source of the food can make a big difference. For example, I could not eat soy fed eggs, but when we switched to soy & corn free eggs, I could eat them with no problem. I didn’t do well with dairy my whole life, but now that we only use raw, organic milk, and culture it before eating it, I can enjoy yogurt, kefir, and some aged cheeses.

      I can’t guarantee what your experience will be, but I do recommend reading more and strongly considering giving GAPS a try!

      • Alicia

        Thanks so much for your quick response. I am very intereted in this approach but still have some concerns. In order for the gut to heal, the diet must followed, right? Or at least some type of treatment…. I am a little surprised that the diet includes so much animal protein…. I am not a vegetarian nor do I have high cholesterol, but I do try to eat healthy. Do you have any comments about the animal protein and about needing to consume the animal fat as well. I hope I am not asking you to explain too much. I am going to get the book. I saw that it costs about $130.00 through amazon. Do you know of any place else to get it cheaper?



        • Mama

          Hi Alicia,
          Sometimes Amazon has duplicate listings for books, or prices get thrown temporarily by low supply or people changing settings in their autopricing software. Right now the GAPS book is going for about $30.

          As for the meat… well, don’t get me started! I used to be a vegetarian and my kids’ dad was vegan for years, so I understand thinking that it’s bad to eat so many animal products. But I’ve changed my perspective.

          1. Most studies done on the negative effects of animal products were done using CAFO animals. Products from animals that are raised eating what they were made to eat, in conditions that are safe, clean, and not overly stressful, have very different properties than industrial animal products.

          2. Many doctors and researchers are finding that the heart disease/cholesterol in food connection is a myth. The real underlying problem seems to be inflammation – often caused by grains and sugar!

          3. Animal products are chock full of nutrients in more readily absorbed forms than you find in other foods.

          4. GAPS is heavy on animal protein, but that doesn’t mean it’s extremely low carb. Eat those veggies!

          This is totally postworthy! When I get the time, I’ll write up something with proper references.

        • Mama

          The link to the $30 price is in my other reply! It’s on Amazon 🙂

          • Alicia

            Thanks, figured that out after I replied to you. I ordered the book. I can’t wait to get it….. I can’t wait to read what you have to add about the meat studies. Is this covered in the book as well? I also oredered “Breaking the vicious cycle: Intestinal Health Through Diet”. What do you think about that book?

            And am planning to order “What Can I eat Now” and “Internal Bliss” next. Have y ou heard anything about these two books?



          • Mama

            Yay! You are going to be in for some great reading. I loved Breaking the Vicious Cycle. We have Internal Bliss. The pictures aren’t great and it’s strangely organized but it is nice to have a reference of GAPS legal recipes on hand. And I definitely recommend What Can I Eat Now – I’m an affiliate seller so if you buy it from a link on my website that will help support my blog!

  • Alicia

    I will definitely order “What Can I Eat Now” from your link. Do you suggest any other books that you think I should order?

    • Mama

      Thanks, Alicia!
      Hm, that depends on what you are looking for. Do you want cookbooks? Or books with a more scientific bent? Or books about real food?

      If you don’t already have it, Nourishing Traditions is a great place to start for learning about traditional food preparation techniques. While we don’t love all the recipes in it, the techniques and basic information are priceless. Anything by Sally Fallon is worth reading, actually!

      Wild Fermentation is another book no one should be without.

      If you eat out at all I highly recommend Let’s Eat Out with Celiac. This book (and the smaller, passport versions by cuisine) are great because it gives you lots of information about all kinds of cuisines and the ingredients and preparation methods for various typical dishes. It gives you lists of questions to ask as well as charts of other typical allergens you may find in the dishes. Even though I almost never eat out I found this book to be a stellar resource.

      I enjoyed the book Healthier Without Wheat a lot, but you might prefer to check it out from the library.

      I like anything by Michael Pollan as a general rallying cry to real food.

      For learning how to preserve your own food by canning, we like the book Canning for a New Generation. It’s not specific to GAPS or anti-candida, though.

      Just for full disclosure in case anyone was wondering – most of the links to products on our site are affiliate links.

      • Alicia

        Well, I’ve had to avoid gluten, most dairy, and eggs for sometime now. I wasn’t very serious about it until I had a massive heart attack in 2008. I have churg strauss syndrome. It is a collection of symptoms like most syndromes. Asthma, gluten allergy, asperin allergy, nasal polyps (sp?), gastrointestinal problems and a few others. Anyway, has to do with one of the white blood cell count being elevated and it attacking different organs in the body. At the time of my heart attack, it affected my vasular system. Anyway, needless to say, I don’t cheat anymore…… I’m hoping that in some of the readings I will find info on systemic candida and being able to eat fermented food as I noticed was on the GAPS site. I thought I had read that fermented food was not good for ppl who were prone to systmic candida. Been coming across a lot of stuff that is confusing me about what I thought was good to eat and what was taboo for ppl who were prone to candida. I am very interested in the info that would explain about the question i asked you about meat and meat fat in the GAPS diet……



        • Alicia

          Oh and thanks for the list of books……

          • Alicia

            This may seem like a silly question, but is it better to read the “GAPS” book first or “Breaking the Vicious Cycle” or does it matter?

          • Mama

            You’re welcome! Let us know what you think if you end up reading them 🙂

        • Mama

          Hi Alicia,
          It sounds like you’ve been through some very trying times 🙁 In light of the seriousness of your condition, I’d be very cautious about any changes you plan to make, and definitely involve a qualified health professional (which I most decidedly am not).

          I think the research and practices around systemic candida are changing. People used to think that any yeast was bad for systemic candida but there are of course many, many strains, and some are actually “good guys.” I think this is probably where the confusion around whether or not people with candida issues can eat fermented foods comes from.

          In my experience, candida die-off really sucks (and I did not have diagnosed systemic candida – just a patch of candida on my skin and some gut issues). Probiotic foods and reduction of sugar both fight it and starve it, leading to die-off. When the candida dies off first it cries out “FEED ME” giving you massive sugar cravings, then it dies and releases toxins and whatnot. While your body gets back in balance that can lead to flare ups of symptoms like itchy skin, eczema, sore throat, ear aches, general sinus nastiness, digestive unpleasantness, and probably more I’m not thinking of right now.

          My understanding is that the die-off triggered by the GAPS diet intro can be too intense for people with major candida overgrowth. One thing you might discuss with your health care practitioner is “backing into” the diet. In this case you would start with the full diet (minus probiotic foods). Basically you would just be cutting out refined sugar, grains, fresh and pasturized & homogenized dairy, starchy vegetables, and some legumes at first. You’d also be eating a lot more soup 🙂 You could take those foods out of your diet one at a time. That way the candida wouldn’t be starved out too quickly. Then you could ease into the intro stages starting with stage 6 and working backwards, still not introducing the ferments. After that, you could follow the introduction protocol back in the other direction, this time introducing fermented foods very, very slowly.

          No matter what happens, always listen to your body and trust your gut!

  • Alicia

    Thanks for responding and all of your help. I have done treatments for the candida in the past and am currently on a treatment now. I really appreciate the approach you suggested that I take into the GAPS diet. Just to make sure I understand, are you suggesting I back into the diet if I have the candida problems when I start the GAPS diet? Or even if I am already done with the candida treatment and am stable with it when I start the diet? And I would of course, discuss with my naturpath…… Just wanted your opinion

    Also, i am trying to get things gradually and was reading about the crock pot. The reviews are not good on either of the Hamilton Beach crock pots listed above. Which do you have and how has it worked for you?

    • Mama

      Yes, that is what I was suggesting. I think it might be a good idea in any case. Slow and steady wins the race 🙂

      As for the crock pot, I was concerned about the reviews as well but so far have been very happy. We had wanted to go with Hamilton Beach because they are the only ones that are guaranteed lead free. But we have since found out that other brands, when actually tested, don’t seem to be contaminated with lead. So that was a relief. We actually have 4 (yes, FOUR) crock pots!

      1. A really old Rival Crock Pot that is round and maybe 4 qts size. It’s still kicking and works just fine. The only thing is I like to make bigger batches than it can hold. I am still a wee bit concerned about the lead so we don’t use this one much.

      2. A programmable 6 qt oval Crock Pot. First the lid broke and had to be replaced, then the insert itself cracked, I think we might have replaced another part of it, too? Or maybe they sent us a whole new one? TinyHands dealt with that. Anyway, it has a hairline crack in the insert and the warranty is up, so I use it for roasts but not for broth. I’m not convinced about it being totally lead free, so I prefer to use the Hamilton Beach. Lots of times I just use this one for force-thawing meat in.

      3. A mini dipper Crock Pot. This is tiny and doesn’t get super hot. It’s good for fondue or dips at parties. We hardly ever use it but it’s got its place.

      4. A Hamilton Beach 8 qt slow cooker. I didn’t get the programmable one. I love this one, and so far nothing has gone wrong with it. It also has an elastic thingy to keep the lid on when you travel with it. This one, or the same brand in different sizes, is the one I recommend.

  • Alicia

    Well, I’ve been online looking for lead free crock pots with good reviews…… Exhausting! I’m more confused than ever….. What do you have? And what is your experience with it?

  • Alicia

    so, are all Hamilton Beach crock pots lead free? I have a couple of them. I had just been wanting to get the one with the elastic thing for traveling as well…. Also, I saw that you said you have the Nesco, Food dehydrator. I looked at both of them and see that they are constructed much differently than each other. Any comments on either of them? I already have cuisinart stainless steel pans which I love. I have the stock pot that came with the set. Those are ok for the soup stock pot right? I also have a tamale steamer that I can use for soups and stocks as well. This is what it is made of:

    Granite Ware Granite Ware 15.5 qt Tamale Pot with Lid and Steamer

    Granite Ware Stock Pots are made of a carbon steel core for strength. Porcelain is fused to the steel producing a non-porous, inert glass surface that is naturally non-stick and distributes heat evenly while also preserving the natural taste, color and nutritional value of foods……………… So would this be okay to cook in as well?

    Still concerned about the meat and meat fat info. I had just recently read about the RAVE diet and lifestyle. As I said i am not a vegetarian and changing to that concpt wasn’t really part of my reality. But it made sense to me. Now this! I did read where she gives the title of a book to read that will explain it. And I am about to order it now. But I also know that when studies are done, the results can be skewed to obtain the desired result. Is there any thing you can tell me that can ease my mind, lol.

    thanks again for all of your help…..


    • Alicia

      Btw, the name of the book suggested to read is, “Put your Heart in Your Mouth. What Really Causes Heart Disease and how to Prevent and Even Reverse it.” Have you read this?


      • Mama

        I haven’t read it yet but have been meaning to. I actually woke up thinking I should tell you to read that book, then totally forgot. It’s by the same author who wrote the GAPS book, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. 🙂

    • Mama

      Hi again! We do have the Nesco dehydrator and the reason we have it instead of the Excalibur is simply price. Excalibur is nice because you can take the trays out and use it to incubate your yogurt, too.

      The pots you are looking at are totally fine, and recommended.

      I understand what you mean about having to shift your whole mindset around. For a long time we’ve been told that grains, low fat, and vegetarian diets are good for you, and now stuff is coming out saying to eat a lot of saturated fat & meat and cut out grains! I like this article: You Bet Your Life An Epilogue to the Cholesterol Story.

      I do think you should read Put Your Heart in Your Mouth, and keep on reading!

      Anecdotally, there are people out there for EVERY diet imaginable claiming health benefits. In the end, we all need to decide what seems to have the most sound evidence behind it and pay attention to our own bodies as we make changes. What works for me may not work for you and vice versa. 🙂

      PS, Alicia,
      I wanted to you to know that I offer phone consultations 🙂 You can email me at if you want to set up a regular time to talk 🙂

      • Alicia

        🙂 lol, ya – might be a good idea…..

        • Alicia

          Also, I was thinking it might be a good idea to get the Candida under control before starting the GAPS diet….. What is your thought on this?


          • Mama

            Not a bad idea, definitely talk with your naturopath about it.

            If it were me I would at least start introducing broth at every meal and start cutting down on foods that aren’t on the GAPS Full diet.

            If you don’t mind me asking, what other kinds of treatment are you trying for your candida?

  • Alicia

    The Book, “What Can I Eat Now”; is it only an E book?


  • Matthew Duhamel

    I am very eager to try and start the GAPS diet to help treat my obesity, depression, and constant IBS. Unfortunately, I am a recent college grad trying to make a living in Chicago and can only put $100 a month towards food. This isn’t likely to change for a year or more.

    Is it impossible for me to do the GAPS diet without all these things you recommend?

    • All the gadgets just make things easier… especially when you are feeding a family and need to deal in large amounts. Just make sure you have gluten-free cookware and no teflon. You can get a used stainless steel pot and scrub it really well, and I’d want a crock-pot, too. You can get one for under $20. Next on my list would be a dehydrator. You don’t need a fancy model, or you can use the oven if you can get a low steady temperature. A juicer can usually be come by cheap – we got ours via facebook just by asking. A lot of people try juicing and give it up. It is harder to stay on a tight food budget when you cut out all grains and legumes, but for just one person, you should be able to do it!

  • Matthew Duhamel

    I’ve looked at farms around me and they either only sell beef in large half or quarter selections or by the lb at prices of $10-15. Organic veggies around here average $3-4 a lb.

    I eat roughly 2500 calories a day at my current weight. Which is about a 1.5lb of beef and some veggies cooked in oil.

    At those prices I’d be looking at $300-400 a month just for me.

    Can it be done with conventional food stuffs?

    • I don’t think using industrial food is *ideal,* but I also think you’ve got to work with what you’ve got. For us the three most dramatic things we did to improve our health as a part of GAPS were cutting out the gluten and the refined sugar and adding probiotic foods. You can do those things without going organic, and still see a huge change. You don’t have to buy expensive supplements to start getting probiotics – making sauerkraut is cheap. Getting away from packaged foods and toward whole foods is more important than going organic in my opinion.

      Then prioritize – the things you can get organic without increasing price too much (like in-season, local veggies or food you grow yourself) would be a good place to start. I’d try to prioritize pastured and organic meat, and wild caught fish instead of farmed fish. You should at least be able to get organic bones and variety meats for cheap. You can eat tuna. It doesn’t have to be steaks every night! Cutting out all grains and legumes is very expensive. If you can’t get completely away from them for budget reasons, the ones I’d keep around are those allowed on the Full GAPS protocol. That would soaked legumes: lentils, navy beans, and lima beans.

      As you are transitioning off of GAPS, you can add in soaked and sprouted buckwheat, quinoa, and rice.

  • Krysten

    HI Mama,

    I have a couple questions, I’m hoping you can help me with.

    My son is very active in sports and I want to make sure he’s getting enough carbs/electrolytes, etc… what do you recommend for this? Is doing the Gaps Intro recommended for a 8 year old that play sports? I don’t think he has any allergies, possibly just senstivies. He has a bit of an attention issue and a little eczema.

    Also, what do you recommend I pack my boys for lunches and snack during school? Do most people typically just do soups? My husband is worried that they won’t be getting enough food.

    I really appreciate your help!!

    • Hi Krysten,
      It is definitely possible to get enough to eat on the GAPS intro. A big misconception about GAPS is that intro means just broth. Even on intro stage 1 you can add in vegetables and meats. There are carbs in vegetables, and broth is a great source of electrolytes. If your son is pretty healthy overall and doesn’t experience many symptoms, he may be able to move through intro quite quickly, too.

      I think one reason people have a hard time getting enough to eat is that they expect to eat the same size portions of meat and veggies as before. When you are not eating any grains or starches, it takes more veggies, meat, and fat to fill you up! Another aspect can be withdrawal cravings for sweets, which can make you feel hungry.

      For an 8 year old, willingness to eat the soups can also be an issue. But I did find that even my picky eater got used to soup. Now that we’ve been on the full diet for a long time both of my kids have gotten pickier about soups again, but they still eat good food.

      Especially when we were doing intro, we relied on thermoses. We packed soups full of veggies and meat in them. Be careful not to pack soup close to the temperature he’ll want to eat it, or a bigger bowl to pour it into. In short breaks/school lunch times it can be tough to get the soup to cool fast enough to eat if it is too hot!

      As your child comes off intro, beef jerky makes a great, easy, portable snack. You can also make breads with nut-flour, but most schools I know of don’t allow nuts or products baked with nuts. Coconut flour is high fiber so not recommended on intro, but once off intro there are a lot of options using coconut flour.

      If you’d like to talk in person about your son’s individual situation and snack needs and preferences just let me know – I do provide coaching by phone or internet video conferencing.

  • Devorah

    I’m thinking of starting GAPS for acne that I can’t get rid of, and severe sugar cravings which I think is symptomatic of candida issues. My question is: Do I start with first 6 stages of GAPS? Or just go to the regular GAPS diet? If I am beginning with intro, what signs should I be looking for that will tell me it’s time to move to the next stage? It’s not like I’m in pain, or have allergies, etc. Just not sure where to start…

  • Kasey


    I am planning on beginning the GAPS diet in May. Right now, I am researching and preparing for the first few stages of the GAPS diet. Your site has been so helpful! Thank you!
    It is, unfortunately, nearly impossible to find raw milk in our area. I have, however, found one source. Their cow grazes on grass all day and feeds on alfalfa hay, but during milking time, they feed her grain that I believe may contain GMOs. Would this milk still be okay? 😛 It’s the closest thing to grass-fed / raw milk that I think I am going to be able to find. I am not sure how the grain effects the milk. Would it be better to go without milk? Your thoughts and imput would be very much appreciated. 🙂

    • Hi Kasey,
      I’m glad the site has helped. Dr. NCM mentions in her book and talks the idea of good, better, and best. Ideally, you’d have access to the most perfect pastured, organic, raw milk. But since you don’t, this sounds like the next best thing.

      I would never recommend conventional factory milk, especially homogenized. That is something I would avoid entirely if it were the only option. If you can’t get raw but you can get organic, pasture-fed, pasteurized organic milk, it would be a decent option in my opinion.

      Not everyone tolerates milk products well, remember to test for sensitivity with the dairy and then go slowly when introducing it.

      Good luck!

  • Gretchen

    According to the comments on this website ( from consumers that have researched the FAQs on the company website, Hamilton Beach DOES contain lead. KerryAnn at says the porcelain Nesco table top roaster is lead free.

  • ummi

    I am just wandering if turmeric , cumin, cardamom etc spices are allowed in intro diet. We eat indian food & GAP diet sounds everyday food we eat plus all above mentioned spices.

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