Plants Cleanse, Animal Protein heals.

Plant foods are cleansers and help detoxify the body.  Animal foods are healers and nourish the cells in the gut and body.

Plants in a raw state contribute live enzymes and antioxidants, which clean and detoxify the body. But, they do not nourish us as raw plants are largely indigestible. Cooking plants makes them more digestible but the live enzymes will be destroyed by heat.


This is why fermentation is a big part of the GAPS diet.  It makes plants more digestible and full of enzymes, as well as probiotic microbes – and there is no cooking or heat involved. Fermented plants are a great choice as they are superior to raw or cooked vegetables/plants.  Have you noticed that in all traditional diets, plant foods were largely consumed fermented.  Think of canning and fermenting and storing jars over the winter when less fresh produce was available.  Here is a recipe for my fermented cabbage to try.

Sauerkraut/Fermented Cabbage

Animal products, whether consumed raw or cooked contain amino acids (protein), which are the building blocks of every cell in your body.  They are therefore healing and they nourish the cells of the body.  Eating meat is essential to healing on the GAPS protocol.


Dairy should be consumed either raw or fermented and preferably sourced from unpasteurised, organic dairy.  The only time you wouldn’t have dairy is if you have a dairy allergy.  Otherwise, it is a highly nourishing and healing food for the gut and the body.  If you can only source pasteurised milk that is not organic, then I wouldn’t recommend having dairy.  It must at least be organic.

Raw Cheese

Egg yolks should be consumed raw and egg whites can be consumed raw as well, but their slimy consistency and taste can be an issue for many people.  You can gently cook the whites, leaving yolks raw or minimally cooked.

Raw meat can be a source of parasites and infections, particularly in our modern world where food travels long distances. Yes, raw meat is full of active enzymes and other good things, but we can add enzymes to the meal by eating cooked meat with fermented and raw vegetables.

If you have a chance to get organic meat fresh from your local farmer, then you can preserve some cuts of it yourself without cooking by salting it in a traditional way, fermenting or making meat jerky.

You can eat softer cuts, such as fillet steak raw and use it in dishes such as steak tartar. Many lean muscle meats can be cooked rare or medium rare, particularly lamb (which is considered to be the cleanest meat).

Apart from wild salmon, eating raw fish is not recommended.  It is easy to pick up parasites, which is a common problem in Japan where they eat raw fish regularly. You cannot eat bones and joints of animals or fish raw, so it is best make meat stocks and bone broths from them. That way nothing gets wasted and you will find that there is a lot of collagen and healing glycine in stocks and broths, which are essential to healing the gut.  (More info about stocks vs broths coming soon).

So, as you can see it is possible to combine Primal/carnivore diets and GAPS. It is a matter of balancing your meals to include cooked foods and raw foods, which you feel comfortable and safe eating, and find tasty and appealing. It is important to enjoy your food, not only focus on its nutritional value!

This is why the GAPS protocol has been compared to the Paleo lifestyle – plenty of salad with meat, chicken or fish and cooked vegetables with stews and soups.  It is a wonderful, fulfilling way to eat especially if you suffer from IBS, SIBO, gut imbalances or autoimmune conditions.

Here is a recipe for a lovely stew and here is a recipe for a great salad.

GAPS Lamb Stew    Asian Inspired Broccoli Salad

I will be uploading more salad recipe variations soon.  I will keep you posted.