In a previous post, I've discussed what the GAPS diet is. So, how does one go about planning Full GAPS meals for oneself (or, in my case, a family of seven!)? The following is my basic outline for planning meals for a week. Feel free to use as as an outline for yourself and your family, rearranging or adding as needed.
Each day of the week, we have a different breakfast, but it is the same breakfast from week to week. This is one less thing to plan, and makes it easy for my oldest daughter to help get breakfast started (while I am still rolling out of bed)!
- Cup of hot broth with 1 T fat (lard, butter, or coconut oil) and 1 T fermented liquid (like sauerkraut juice) stirred in
- Entree of the Day:
- Sunday- Granola and yogurt
- Monday- Strawberry Kefir Smoothies
- Tuesday- Scrambled Eggs and Sausage
- Wednesday- Peanut Butter Coconut Milk Smoothie
- Thursday- Sunny Top Eggs and Bacon
- Friday- Yogurt, Berries, and Seeds
- Saturday- Pancakes and Toppings
Every day at lunch, we eat leftovers from supper the night before (see below). Since I'm a homeschooling mom, this allows me to spend the morning with school, rather than food prep. I just have to make a large enough supper each evening! I try to remember to stick the leftovers in the oven about 1/2 hour before we need to eat for a nice, hot meal. We usually do not drink a beverage (other than water) with our lunch.
We eat an early lunch, and a late supper, so we are always hungry mid-afternoon. (We hardly ever eat a morning snack!)
- a piece of fruit (apple, a few clementines, pear, raisins, banana, etc.)
- small amount of non-meat protein (nuts, cube of cheese, yogurt)
- Ideally, this is when I juice some veggies for myself, but I don't get to that as often as I'd like to.
We are blessed to be able to have most of our meals together as a family. However, I still think of supper as "special" and try to have a main dish and a few sides dishes, even though we have many restrictions on GAPS. But, with a little creativity, most of us fill up and are satisfied until morning. I also eat leftovers or fry up a frozen fish fillet on nights when I feed my family eggs or beef, since I am intolerant to those.
- Beverage, such as milk kefir, water kefir, kombucha, or kvass
- Fermented Veggie, such as sauerkraut, carrots, veggie medley, or pickles
- Cooked Vegetable, with fat stirred in (see below)
- Side Dish (see below)
- Entree of the Day:
- Sunday: Cheese-Based, like cheese and crackers or cheese pizza
- Monday: Fish, often salmon patties or fillets
- Tuesday: Chicken, such as soup, drumsticks, or a roast
- Wednesday: Pork, like chops, ribs, soup, or a roast
- Thursday: Turkey, often ground into hamburgers or meatloaf
- Friday: Beef, such as steaks, taco meat, or a roast
- Saturday: Egg based, such as egg bake or fruit-and-custard bake
Cooked Vegetable Choices:
Bake, Steam, Mash, Roast, Stir-fry or Boil any of the following:
- Brussel Sprouts
- Winter Squash
- Spaghetti Squash
- Green Beans
- Summer Squash/Zucchini
- Medley of any of the above
Side Dish Choices:
Use an extra virgin olive oil dressing liberally for extra calories and healing with any of the raw veggies.
- Additional cooked veggie from above
- Raw veggies and dip
- "Ants on a Log"
- Lettuce Salad
- Raw pea salad with onion and bacon
- Carrot/Raisin Salad with nuts
- Gelatin made from fresh juice
- Cucumber/Tomato Salad
- Cranberry sauce
- Veggie-based soup
Notice that there are more cooked veggie choices, and more side dish choices, than there are days of the week. That means you could assign one from each category to each day of the week, and further simplify your menu planning. (I do!=)
Treats and Desserts
We don't have treats or desserts every day (does honey in my coffee count?), but I try to make something special at least every Sunday for supper, and oftentimes once mid-week, as an encouragement to the children to finish a not-so-favorite meal. Here are a list of some of our favorite treats:
- Marshmallows (Homemade, of course!)
- Coconut or Banana Ice Cream
- Nut flour-based bars or cookies
- Fruit Salad
- Baked Apples
- Chocolate-covered strawberries
- Coconut flour-baked cupcakes
- Fruit Sherbet
- Honey/Coconut oil candies
- Date/Nut/Coconut balls
- Trail Mix with nuts, marshmallows, and dried fruit
This kind of menu-planning may not work well for the type of person who likes to "wing-it," but I find that it takes a lot of thinking out of the equation for me. On GAPS, if you don't make it, you don't eat it, and this "formula" really helps me stay organized so I can answer the question, "Mom, what are we having?" This plan helps me buy in bulk and have a great plan for using things up before they spoil. Even when I have chosen meats weeks in advance, I still have some wiggle room when it comes to side dishes and ferments. This leaves me feeling like I have enough freedom to keep things interesting and not too predictable, yet I still feel organized and planned. Remember to choose organic whenever possible to avoid toxins and increase vitamin content.
I will provide recipes with links in the future. With all of these choices, I hardly miss bread!