This is the last scheduled post in my GAPS for Beginners Series. I may, however, add more posts at a later date if I think they’re warranted. Is there anything I’ve missed that you’d like me to cover? Or do you have any other questions? I’m happy to answer.
Today I want to spend a little bit of time talking about the GAPS introduction diet. (Or intro, for short.) I’ve left this until the end because I feel that reading about the introduction diet can be really overwhelming when you’re first learning about GAPS. The prospect of doing the introduction diet may even be enough to keep you from doing GAPS altogether. Since I think GAPS can be beneficial for so many people, I’d hate to see people scared off because they’re worried about intro.
Not Everyone Needs Intro
First off, I don’t think that everyone needs the introduction diet. If you only have minor health issues, you may heal very well on just the full GAPS diet. I do think that many people can benefit from doing the introduction diet, but don’t let the prospect of having to do the introduction diet deter you from GAPS if you think GAPS could really help you. Ultimately you get to make the choice about whether you do intro or not. The intro diet was actually a later addition to the GAPS protocol, so plenty of people have healed using only the full GAPS diet.
Waiting to Start Intro
Secondly, even if you do think that you need the introduction diet, in most cases there is no need to start the GAPS diet with the introduction diet. If you have severe digestive issues, such as diarrhea or abdominal pain, you will probably want to start GAPS with the introduction diet because it has a better chance of quickly relieving your symptoms. In most other cases, however, I think waiting to do the introduction diet is actually a better plan. Depending on your diet pre-GAPS, switching to the GAPS diet may be quite a dramatic change. Starting with the full GAPS diet will give you some time to figure out new meals and cooking habits without having to be so restrictive and regimented as you need to be on the intro diet.
When to Do Intro
Once you’re more comfortable eating and cooking GAPS food, you may decide that you’re ready to take on the intro diet. Whenever possible, I think the best strategy is to start the introduction diet during a period that you can afford to take things easy for a little while. The intro diet can be rather stressful because it involves a lot of cooking. It also tends to bring on die-off so you may feel lousy for a while. You’ll be setting yourself up for success if you schedule intro for a time that you can drop some responsibilities if you feel overwhelmed or unwell.
If you can’t find a good time for intro, I’d still say go for it and see how it goes. You may find that you manage well and feel just fine. If things do become too overwhelming, you can always go back to the full GAPS diet and retry intro at a later date.
Finding More Details on Intro
I’m not going to go into detail about how to actually implement the introduction diet. If you’re interested in reading more, though, this page gives some good directions.
Do you think you need the intro diet? If you’ve already done intro, when did you implement it? Were you happy with your decision or do you think you started too early/late?
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