Surviving GAPS Intro: Stage 4

For the next 6 weeks, I’ll be chronicling my journey through the GAPS Intro Diet with a little self-made questionnaire.

gapschiliWhat did I eat on Stage 4?

With Stage 4, I added olive oil, fresh juice, bread made with almond flour and roasted/grilled meats.

  • Scrambled Eggs in Tallow with Avocado and Sauerkraut (my typical breakfast.)
  • Poached Salmon and Chicken
  • Carrot and Squash Soup with poached eggs and avocado (you might have seen this one on Instagram)
  • Roasted Chicken and Vegetables
  • Squash and Almond Flour Bread (you can see one of the muffins in the photo above)
  • New Cooked Vegetables- spaghetti squash, tomatoes, green peppers
  • Fresh Juice- plain carrot or a mixture of carrot/apple/celery
  • Chicken Vegetable Soup with Turnips
  • Butternut Squash Fries (so good to have roasted squash again!)
  • High Protein Chili (pictured above, recipe below)
  • Avocado Chicken Salad (just mashed avocado mixed with garlic, salt and cooked chicken)
  • Lots of Bone Broth and Tallow and Salt and Garlic and Sauerkraut and Olive Oil

Did I see any changes or patterns in my symptoms?

For the most part, this stage went much better than expected. I have been fearful about trying new vegetables, but it seems to be going well. I did see a bit of a flare-up with my symptoms when I tried the almond flour bread. I tried a little bit at the beginning of the day and it went well, so then I had more later on.. but I think I overdid it. I’ll have to be careful about how much almond flour I take in.

I also feel like I am getting some real energy back- I actually thought about going out and exercising, which I haven’t felt like doing in quite some time. I’m looking forward to some exercise again after Intro is done- I don’t want to push it and start before my body is ready, since working out puts your body in fight-or-flight mode which interferes with proper digestion. And ya’ll know I don’t have time for that. 😉

Any practical advice from Stage 4?

Don’t assume that your body can handle any amount of new food, even if it tolerates a little bit. This was my lesson from the almond flour bread. It is just not worth it to overdo it and experience your symptoms again. Really try to savor the little bits of these foods that you do get to try, even if you end up deciding to leave it out of your diet for a while. You can always try it again later.

I wanted to note here that I did take some liberties with spices in Stage 4. In the recipe for chili posted below, I added some chili powder and paprika, which are not legal until Full GAPS. I was so excited to make chili with tomatoes that I couldn’t resist throwing the spices in. My advice here is that you know your body best. If you get to this point in the diet and you feel you can add in a few ingredients here or there that are allowed on Full GAPS, try it out. But use your judgement- if you have any symptoms, slow down.

Also, don’t quit your detox baths. They are worth doing! (I have been slacking a big- this is mainly a reminder for me.)

Any encouragement for people in Stage 4?

Don’t stop observing and listening to your body. Now that you are adding new foods so often, you want to be careful about recording your symptoms, looking for patterns and making changes accordingly. Hopefully you’ve gotten into a groove with the GAPS lifestyle and you’re making it work for you. But remember, this is a process. Every day will not be better than the last. Sometimes there are bumps in the road. Sometimes we mess up. Keep trying and don’t despair! You are on your way to better health and learning self-discipline along the way. (And don’t quit now- you’ll be able to eat fruit and honey in Stage 5!)

High Protein Chili
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

This is called “high protein” because it’s got three types of meat and is very nutrient dense.
Author:
Recipe type: GAPS legal, Main, Soup
Serves: 6-8

Ingredients
  • 1 pound grass-fed beef liver (pre-soaked the night before in the juice of one lemon and then covered with filtered water; cover and keep in the fridge)
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground venison, ground pork or other ground meat/sausage
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups crushed tomatoes (preferably homemade or not from a can with BPA)
  • water or beef broth to cover
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • cracked black pepper to taste
  • 4 cups winter squash (optional)

Instructions
  1. Drain the beef liver.
  2. In a blender or food processor, process the liver until it’s broken down (I like it pretty broken down, right before it reaches a paste. If you like it chopped, you can do that, too. I find it’s practically undetectable if you break it down in the blender first.)
  3. In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, cook the liver and ground meats until they are browned.
  4. Add onion, garlic, crushed tomatoes and mix. Add spices, if using. Cover with beef broth or water if necessary, stir, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  5. If you are adding the squash (or any other uncooked vegetable), you can add it to the chili about 30 minutes before you plan to serve it.

 

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