GAPS Intro Diet, Day 4: Surviving Die-Off


(organic & grass-fed) beef soup bones from a local ranch

It’s day four of our family being on the GAP Diet (Intro). I can honestly say it’s been a bit tumultuous. I was ill-prepared for the amount of die-off (where the bad bacteria that is overgrown in your gut begins to starve and die off) that would occur. I think I way underestimated just how addicted my body was to starchy foods. This, however, has also served to confirm to me how much we needed to do it (there have also been a few improvements in various ailments and concerns, which I’ll get to later).

Let me give you the rundown of the last few days:

(DAY 1) Monday, we woke up, and it almost felt like Christmas… such anticipation in the air! I jumped out of bed and took the stock pot from the fridge, full of broth and veggies, and put it on the stove to simmer. Isaac watched “trains” (a few Thomas episodes we’ve recorded from TV) to keep him distracted in the meantime. Soon enough we were sitting down to breakfast… chicken and veggie soup! Isaac actually did quite well – he ate his bowlful without complaining, and again for lunch. By suppertime, however, he seemed to wondering what the deal was. Were Mommy and Daddy losing it? Nothing but soup all day? We ended up eating every 2-3 hours that day to stay satisfied. We went to bed, feeling pretty good.

By the middle of the night, when I got up to nurse Aliza, I was feeling kind of woozy. The first time I got up (1am or so), I hardly noticed, because I’m normally a very heavy sleeper, and barely wake up to nurse, often falling asleep in the rocking chair. By 5:30am though (Day 2), the next time Aliza woke up, I was feeling quite weak and woozy. I had Chris bring me some broth, which I drank and went back to sleep for a little bit. I got up, ate some more soup, and we decided to add eggs to the diet (a little earlier than recommended, but I need to be careful about getting enough food in me because I’m nursing). A boiled egg or two, some mint tea, some more soup and broth… and I was feeling much better by noon and onwards. We continued eating lots of soup and broth.

Then the same thing happened yesterday morning (Day 3) – feeling very woozy and weak by the early morning hours, so I had Chris bring me a spoonful of peanut butter (again, it was early to be adding nuts, but I thought it would be ok). Well, apparently my body couldn’t handle nuts yet (especially not a great big spoonful on an empty stomach), because I started feeling sick, and threw everything up 10 minutes later. I was now figuring out that my body was actually intensely detoxing from the starches/grains/sugars that it was used to. I can’t remember a day in my life that has not included at least a little bit of one of those things, so this was fairly significant, which I had underestimated. Again, started feeling better by noon-ish.

Yesterday we all got out of the house and went to get a few groceries (the healthiest grocery order I’ve ever done… not a hint of sugar/processed foods, etc.), which was great. We decided to add bananas in to the diet (also a few days early), which seemed to be a great decision because we all felt great after eating one. Supper was a treat – pancakes made from winter squash, eggs, and almond butter, and fried in ghee. After several days of soup for every meal, they tasted AMAZING! We were a little doubtful that they’d actually taste good, given the simple ingredients, and considering there’s a LOT of squash in them, but they actually tasted really good. We put just a little bit of honey and cinnamon on top… mmm, heavenly!

(Day 4) Today we added a fried eggs (as opposed to boiled), and avocados. We are still eating lots of soup, broth, and meat (these will continue to be staples in our diet because of their healing properties for our guts).

This morning Aliza woke up at 6:30 (and I think she would have slept longer if she wasn’t such a wiggly-worm – she had somehow managed to get both of her legs out of her buttoned sleeper(!!), and she also has a bad hacking cough that caused her to throw up last night, twice.

I got up at 6:30am… and instead of feeling completely groggy and mentally fogged like I normally do for an hour or so after waking up, I felt alert, awake, not sleepy, and fairly energetic. I played with Aliza on the floor, changed her diaper, and got her dressed (normally I would have hardly had the energy for that until much later in the morning, or sometimes not at all, other than a diaper change, of course).

We had eggs and avocado for breakfast, with mint tea – I made breakfast, served it to my family, and worked on cleaning up until I had to put Aliza down for a nap. I’ve been feeling somewhat lethargic/woozy today, but nothing like the last couple days. I feel like there’s energy in me that has suddenly appeared that I haven’t felt in years. Energetic underneath of the lethargy, if that makes any sense at all…


We’re moving onward and upward to the last few stages of the Intro Diet in the next few days, and will be adding in things like cooked apples, then some soft raw veggies (like cucumber), then more far fruits and veggies, olive oil, freshly-pressed juices (if we can figure out how to do that with no food processor and no juicer), roasted meats (instead of just boiled), bread made with nut flour, baked goods with coconut or nut flour, and honey. Exciting!

I’m very, very glad to be over the first few days, and am very happy to say that we are already seeing improvement in Isaac’s behaviour, and in both kids’ sleeping (Aliza has been napping over two hours now, as I write this, and she had a 1.5 hour nap this morning). I feel more alert, with less “brain fog”, and less moody. We are all still battling constipation however, which is common at this stage. All in all, I’m encouraged, and am pushing onward, anticipating the changes to come!


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7 Responses to GAPS Intro Diet, Day 4: Surviving Die-Off

  1. Lola says:

    Now I’m completely freaked out to start. Plus, I’m feeling so great just being grain free and from adding fermented veggies into my diet that I dread going through feeling yucky. But I want to eat dairy again, so I will do it come February. I’m so glad you are documenting this.

    also, just by adding probiotics, fermented foods and eliminating grains my skin is amazing. My psoriasis has been bad for so long I’ve forgotten what it’s like to not have huge sores all over my scalp. It’s bliss.

  2. redandhoney says:

    Aw, I didn’t mean to freak you out. However, you’ve been duly prepared 🙂 So glad to hear you’ve been feeling better too – that’s so great! I forgot to mention the probiotics and fermented stuff. Next post.

  3. The Tea Bag says:

    I’m so impressed with you and how you can focus on the long-term gain while going through the short-term misery.
    You’re an amazing woman.

    • redandhoney says:

      Wow, that’s so kind of you to say… and you’re quite the amazing woman yourself. I don’t know how you do all that you do! 🙂

  4. Emily says:

    I am on Day 3 of GAPS and delighted to know I’m not alone. I had some tiredness on day 1 & 2 and took nice naps. After my nap on Day 2 I had a nice burst of energy and accomplished a lot, taking pleasure in this new found clarity. Today, Day 3, I continued with clarity and energy and enjoyed spending the day in the kitchen preparing food items for the week to come and getting excited about adding in more variety of cooked veggies. I have also been enjoying gently scrambled eggs with avocados and Mmmm….delish! I am feeling positive changes in my body after a couple of days of discomfort from die off and am optimistic of what’s to come.

  5. Jen says:

    Wow amazing and nursing, go you!! I am on day six of intro and stage 1. It was suggested I stay here for three weeks! Read: soup three times a day for 21 days. I am super woozy in am ( oddly comforting to hear you were too although sorry you were!) and added an egg today bc I’m just thinking maybe it’s a blood sugar thing. I am working on a pretty serious digestive issue though so maybe that’s why it was suggested. Your approach sounds much more sane! Good luck!

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