Hooray! You made it through stage two and are ready to proceed to stage three. In this stage, you will be able to bring your frying pan back out that has been packed away to make way for all of your sauce pans 🙂
One of the biggest questions for everyone who is leaving stage two is: am I ready? Stage two offers a great amount of healing, and as you begin to experience feeling better and having a degree of good health that you may not have experienced before, it can be somewhat frightening to move on. The first time we did Intro, I often ignored symptoms that we need to slow down and was just trying to survive Intro and run toward Full GAPS™. The second time, I really wanted to slow down and work our way through the stages slowly.
So, how do you know? The hard part is, everyone is very individual. What may be the right time for one person may not be the right time for another, which can be challenging when you are all doing it together as a family.
The second time we did Intro, we had horrible egg reactions on stage two. We ended up having to remove them from the diet and continue to move forward, reintroducing them at a later time. This time when we did Intro, we had no reactions at all to eggs. However, as we have spent a week on stage two, I am debating whether or not it is time to move on. I’ve introduced some soft scrambled eggs from stage three, which the boys tolerated very well and are loving. I’m planning on introducing the kraut and fermented vegetables soon and see how that goes. However, the avocado and anything made with nuts is going to wait for a little while. From past experiences, I know that we need more healing from broths and ferments before we move on to anything more than that, especially nuts and fruits. I also would like to hover at this stage two/stage three area for several weeks and see how much healing we can achieve in a shorter amount of time by doing so.
If you are doing Intro for the first time, you may not know how to move forward unless you try. So continue to move forward through the stages, and if you find that you’re not ready for the next stage based on any reactions to have to foods introduced, then go back a stage. It takes a little work, but I promise, it does get easier with time.
On this stage, you can continue to eat all previous foods and begin to introduce the following:
- Ripe avocado. Mash the avocado and mix it into your soups, starting with 1-3 tsp. a day and gradually increasing.
- Pancakes. Make pancakes with three ingredients: organic nut butter (see below for tips on how to use nuts), eggs, and a piece of fresh winter squash or zucchini (peeled, deseeded and blended in a food processor). Fry small thin pancakes using ghee or animal fat (do not burn them). Start with one pancake a day and gradually increase the amount consumed.
- Scrambled eggs. Soft scramble your eggs with plenty of fat (ghee or animal fat). Serve it with avocado (if you tolerate it) and cooked vegetables.
- Cooked onion. Melt 4-5 Tbs. of any animal fat or ghee in a pan, add a sliced large white onion, cover and cook for 20-30 minutes on low until soft, sweet and translucent. Cooked onion is very good for the digestive and immune systems.
- Sauerkraut and fermented vegetables. You’ve been drinking the juice from these fermented foods, now you get to actually eat them! Start with a very small amount as tolerated, and gradually increase to 1-4 tsp. of kraut or fermented veggies with every meal.
- Fully cooked vegetables. You may now introduce cabbage, celery and asparagus.
- Probiotics. Now is the time to add in a GAPS-legal probiotic. (See my article on probiotics here )
** A quick note on nuts: To make nuts more digestible, it is important to soak them before eating them. Nuts contain phytic acids and other compounds that can make digestion difficult. (For directions on how to soak nuts, please see my article: “Nuts-Delicious and Nutritious (just soak them first!)”)
Place your nuts (almonds, cashews, pecans, etc.) in a glass Mason jar along with some sea salt (about 1-2 Tbs.) and fill the jar with water. Cover with a cheesecloth or a coffee filter. Let them sit at room temperature for 12-24 hours.
When they are done soaking, rinse them well. You can either proceed to make nut butter out of them at this time in your food processor, or you can dry them in your dehydrator or oven and store them for months. After they are dried, you can also make nut flour out of them that you will use in stage four.
So, that’s stage three! With it comes a few of my favorite things (like scrambled eggs and pancakes), and it also is a big step forward toward future stages as you begin to reintroduce nuts. If you feel you may have a sensitivity or intolerance to nuts, please remember to do the sensitivity test on your wrist prior to ingesting any nuts. Always remember to start slowly and gradually introduce new foods.
Information from this post was obtained from the books “Gut and Psychology Syndrome” by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride and “The Heal Your Gut Cookbook” by Hilary Boynton and Mary G. Brackett (with a foreword by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride). The information contained in this article is not a substitute for medical advice; feel free to contact your medical professional prior to beginning any new diet program. I am not a medical doctor, nutritionist or dietician and do not claim to be such. I do not diagnose, treat, or offer individualized diet treatment plans. This information is for educational purposes only and serves as a guideline according to the Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet as outlined by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, MD, MMedSci (neurology), MMedSci (nutrition).