Butternut soup (GAPS)


With GAPS, the philosophy is based around trying one food at a time, checking to see if the body likes it or not.  I chose butternut as my vege for my first bone broth soup.  This cheap as chips vege turns out a sweet, beautifully coloured, silky smooth soup.  I could devour a whole lot of this!  And once the bone broth is made, the soup is SOOO easy.


Butternut bone broth soup

Chop one butternut into cubes.  Put into a pot.  Pour over enough bone broth to just cover the butternut.  I added a continental stockpot liquid stock, however if you were doing 100% GAPS you would only add himalayan or celtic salt to taste.  Bring to the boil, then simmer until butternut is tender.  Cool.

Blend until silky smooth.

This soup is sweet and nourishing.


Bone broth soup and the GAPS program


If you’re familiar with GAPS (Gut and psychology Syndrome), you’ll recognise the importance of bone broth for its gut healing properties.  The difference between bone broth and meat broth is that bone broth is simmered for 6-24 hours whereas meat broth is simmered for 2-3 hours at a higher heat. 

Bone broth is the main component of the GAPS 6 stage introductory diet.  The broth is said to help remineralise your body  and heal/seal the gut as its rich in collagen and gelatin.

The GAPS diet is said to help with a range of neurological and psychiatric conditions like autism, ADHD, dyslexia, depression, bi-polar.  As well as the obvious gut issues like leaky gut, crohns, IBS and immune system dysfunction (auto immune disease) and skin conditions like acne, eczema and psoraisis.  The common maladies like brain fog, chronic fatigue, headaches and sleep issues will naturally rectify by resolving any gut imbalances.

Without going into the theory too much – there is a firm link between gut and brain health.  In previous posts I’ve talked about the gut being the producer of 90% of seratonin.  Its also the site for the production of  our immune system.  Thats why I harp on about the gut being the seat for so many chronic and degenerative diseases. Hippocrates – the father of modern medicine states this many times in many different ways:

All disease begins in the gut

Everything in excess is opposed to nature

Natural forces within us are the true healers of disease

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food

Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes a matter of opportunity

The GAPS process is based off the SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Diet) which excludes all grains, legumes, soy and refined sugar.  It works off a process of elimation – taking out and then reintroducing foods very slowly in order to discover the foods that produce an inflammatory response in the gut.

So far I’ve discovered dairy does it for me..but I’m very impatient and haven’t spent the time to  do one food at a time – this is important! 

The GAPS introductory diet is a 6 stage process before going onto the full GAPS diet.

Due to the detoxification process that takes place on GAPS, the advice is to start with the meat stock (only takes 3 hours as opposed to 6-24 hours cooking) as the detox symptoms are more mild.  You can read more about GAPS by asking Uncle google.  Its fascinating reading.

A friend of mine who did GAPS for 8 weeks based at the Koanga institute had her teeth turn temporarily black as her liver detoxed.  This is a common side effect but easily solved by brushing your teeth!  This maybe TMI but she also mentioned the huge eliminations she was having – biggest EVER!  (I can vouch for this just from a week of having just the meat stock!)

Her colleague who teaches the GAPS principals is a huge advocate  as he manages his type 1 diabetes using the GAPS diet alone.  He doesn’t take insulin.  Amazing stories!

This recipe courtesy of Sally Fallons Nourishing Traditions

Bone broth

2-3 kgs bones (beef marrow, knuckle, meaty ribs, neck bones)
3-4 litres cold water
1/2  cup vinegar
2-3 onions coarsely chopped
3 carrots, coarsely chopped
3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
Several sprigs fresh thyme, tied together
1 tsp green peppercorns, crushed or tsp black peppercorns

Place the bonier bones (not much meat) in a very large pot with vinegar and cover with water.  Let stand for 1 hour.

Meanwhile place the meatier bones in a roasting pan and brown at 180C.  When well browned, add to the pot along with vegetables.

Add additional water if necessary but water should come no higher than an inch from rim of pot.  Bring to the boil.  Add thyme and crushed peppercorns.

Simmer 12-72 hours.

You’ll now have a pot of repulsive looking brown liquid containing globs of gelatinous and fatty material.  Strain the lot.  Let cool in fridge.  Then remove congealed fat from the top.  Divide and freeze what you don’t need to use.  The broth will keep for several days in the fridge.

How I did it!

I made a meat stock rather than a broth which doesn’t contain so many of the nutrients or concentration of gelatin.

I roasted the bones for 30 minutes, simmered them in water for 3 hours, then added in chopped vegetables – whatever I had in the fridge – brocolli, cauliflower, swede, leek, onion, carrot.  I also added in a further concentrated liquid stock to taste, fresh parsley and garlic and 1 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp curry powder and 1 tsp coriander powder.

I’ve been eating this all week and its gotten even tastier as the weeks progressed!

You could make this in the slow cooker which is what I’m going to try next for a 24 hour cook.


GAPS website
Natures food (gut supplements and to buy the book)

Raw Sauerkraut


Today I’m making tangy, crunchy
Sauerkraut.  This delicious, cultured sidedish provides lots of gut-loving bacteria enabling good digestion.  If you love the crunch of raw veges but your gut struggles, fermented veges are the way to get all that nutrition and fibre into you!

Recipe credit Elaina Love – Pure Joy Academy

Yields 4 cups

1 head cabbage, red or green
1/2 – 1 tsp high mineral salt (hinalayan ir celtic)
1/2 cup lemon juice or 3/4 cup lime juice
4 T dried dill or 1/2 cup fresh dill chopped
2 T caraway seeds
4-8 cloves garlic crushed

1.  Slice the cabbage using the 1mm setting on mandolin or food processor or cut paper thin with a knife. 
2.  Mix all ingredients together and massage with hands.  Continue to work until liquid starts to release.
3.  You may need to rest so leave the cabbage for 1/2 an hour and  come back to it until when you press on the cabbage, the liquid rises to the top.
4.  Place in a jar and press down until the liquid rises above the cabbage.  The juice may sink back down.  This is ok.
5.  Place a lid or towel on jar and let set for 1-4 days at room temperature depending on desired sourness.
6.  Once sauerkraut is ready, store for up to 8 months in fridge.

Leaky gut fixer smoothie


Women in New Zealand have the highest rate of bowel cancer in the OECD.

Men in New Zealand have the third highest rate of bowel cancer in the OECD.

Overall NZ has the highest rate of bowel cancer in the developed world.

Based on the above stats, as a kiwi, it pays to get checked out if you have any changes or abnormality in your bowel habits.  This website is a good reference to check symptoms.

I’ve had issues of my own in the past linked to a diet lacking in enough fibre.  When I popped into see Eric Bakker, a prominent NZ naturopath based in Havelock North, he told me I have the sigmoid of someone much older.  Its not a recent issue, more like 20 years of abuse!!  I just didn’t realise what was ‘normal’.  And I’ve always had high stress jobs (& personality!).  I just didn’t pay any attention to my gut.  And once your gut is out of balance, a whole bunch of other issues ensue including leaky gut, crohns, Irritable Bowel syndrome, candida and…depression.

90% of seratonin is produced in the gut

At the risk of providing too much information, going no.2’s at least daily is very important.  However at its best, just like kids, our bowels should move within an hour after each meal!

The bristol stool chart is a simple way to check your gut health.


Soooo…now that I have my diet under control, its time to heal my gut.

The recipe for a natural approach to gut health for me are:

-Organic or sprayfree (easy to digest) wholefood
-Less stress (exercise, yoga, lifestyle)
-Cultured foods like yoghurt, sauerkraut, miso, kimchi
-Kefir, kombucha
-Bone broth
-Slippery elm powder
-Aloe vera juice
-Collagen hydrolysate
-Linseed, psyllium husks
-Good mix of soluable and insoluable fibre

The theory I use is Cleanse, Heal and Nourish.

Cleanse – 2 week lntestinal cleanse like Malcolm Harkers first, combined with a 5 day juice fast and liver flush to get rid of any bacteria and parasite build up.
Heal – very light, easy to digest diet of smoothies, blended soups, bone broths, supplements.
Nourish – focus on diet..portion sizes..eating the right stuff…Food as medicine!

I’ve put some key components in this smoothie.  A mixture of blended soluable and insoluable fibre and some supplements to kickstart your gut health.

Leaky gut smoothie


1/4 cup blueberries (add more if you love ’em)
Handful spinach
6 tsp aloe vera juice
2 tsp slippery elm powder
2 rounded T collagen hydrolysate
1 sml lemon
1 kiwifruit
1 cup kefir or water
1cm ginger root
1 T linseed (soaked in water)
*1 T honey or maple syrup or date puree

Blend all and drink immediately.