Tag Archives: SCD Problems

The Only Constant is Change

The only constant is change.

We’ve moved from the scorching furnace of summer into the harvest-time of fall.

The days gradually shorten. With an abundance of darkness, I’m tempted to try hibernation.

But I digress, I like to celebrate this time of year- it is Halloween.

I usually don’t go overboard with costumes and decorations, but I embrace the holiday in my own way.

My city holds an annual pumpkin festival. It is held in the park down the street.

While enjoying the activities and booths of arts and crafts last year, my husband and I came upon a pumpkin carver.

He sculpted the most wonderful jack o’ lanterns.

Aren’t they great?

As the tree leaves turn color and the autumn weather turns more crisp, I continue my journey on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.

The SCD has revealed itself to be much more of a journey than I expected.

One of the biggest ways that I welcome the transition into fall is by altering what I cook.

These are my most recent undertakings:

I’ve been roasting pumpkins and seeds.

Who doesn’t love pumpkin? Wonderful in soups, amazing in baked goods.

And the seeds are great simply prepared with ghee and salt.

Or if I feel more adventurous, I add a few generous dashes of Penzy’s Spice mixtures.

The pumpkin seeds are crunchy and I was surprised that they didn’t give me trouble- I must be healing! 🙂

(After 7 months, I hope so!!)

Baking meats…

This turkey made a great dinner – with plenty of leftovers!

Don’t you love how the act of oven-roasting heats up the whole house?

Nice and warm and full of great scents.

I totally enjoy squashes…. roasted butternut squash is tasty.

Especially if I leave it until there is a touch of brown caramelization.

Add a bit of chopped parsley and it makes a perfect side dish!

It is so sweet that it is almost like dessert.

(But I’m sure you already knew that).

And speaking of dessert…. I whipped up this cheesecake. The recipe is in Breaking the Vicious Cycle.

Now that my diet is stable, I’m really drilling down to make sure I know what my sensitivities are.

That means that I need to try new things. So I baked up a batch of cheesecake, which is made with dry curd cottage cheese.

It went well at first…. then after dealing with my body reacting negatively over the course of a week or two, I realized that dairy and I don’t get along.

HUGE epiphany.

And yes, dairy includes yogurt….maybe I won’t cut yogurt out completely yet.

I’m surprised by the foods that I thought were my friends!

Now that I’ve cut way back on dairy, except for ghee,  I feel better!

Dairy is now the enemy.

I want to substitute  yogurt and dairy treats like cheesecake for a little meaty snack…

Something to keep on hand when I need some extra calories. Something safe.

I’m considering beef jerky.

Know of any good recipes? 🙂

Have I told you how much I like pecans and cashews?

I soak and dehydrate nuts weekly. These little babies made excellent snacks.

We seem to get along pretty well if properly soaked.

Never forget to soak them. Trust me.

This concludes my latest endeavors.

The SCD has revealed itself to be much more of a journey than I expected.

I’m surprised by the foods that I can’t tolerate… I thought many of them were my friends. Apparently not.

I’m surprised by the need for constant evaluation. My food tolerances keep changing; it definitely keeps me on my toes.

But I can take the continual modification because it means that I will just feel better and better.

And that is always a good thing.

I couldn’t leave you without one last picture of the magnificent jack o’ lanterns!

Happy Halloween!

xo, Theresa ~SCD Griddle

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My Venture into Exercise

Yep, there she is. That’s my mountain bike, which I affectionately call Black Beauty.

I’ve missed my bike.  I will tell you why in a minute.

First, let me tell you about myself. It is obvious that I’m not your average mountain biker. By now you probably know that I’m not a twenty-something-year-old male. No, I’m a 37 year-old woman and I enjoy a wide range of activities that your typical almost-40-year-old-woman doesn’t; I enjoy riding my bicycle on trails.

Here’s the truth: I’m not a good mountain-biker, but I get a lot of satisfaction out of tackling my fears. I get afraid when I come upon steep, rutted hills or big rocks. Most of the time, I get off my bike and walk when I think a part of a trail is above my skill level, because I’ve encountered more than my share of falls. But there are times when I accept a physical challenge and I complete it successfully. I like that the best. It gives me confidence. And I love speeding down dirt trails on my nearly 15 year-old bike and feeling the wind in my face, the sun on my shoulders.

At this point, I should say thank you to by brother, Steve, for “lending” me those bar-ends seen in the picture above.

This is the Liberty Canyon connecting trail. It winds around, over and through those little hills. It is good for beginners and is one of my most favorite routes.

So back to why I haven’t been riding. I began the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) about 7 months ago. I had read Breaking the Vicious Cycle by Elaine Gottschall and decided to change how I was eating. My gastrointestinal problems were getting increasingly worse. I had had enough. But I was totally unprepared for the massive changes that I experienced when I began SCD.

Chicken soup and even plain old hamburger upset my stomach. It was rough. I had no energy. I couldn’t think very clearly. I lost a lot of weight. I kept myself on the introductory diet for a month (huge mistake) because I thought anything else I ate would probably send me to the bathroom, too. If I ever eat chicken soup again, it will be too soon.

But with the help of family members and a lot of research online, I figured out a few things. I progressed from the introductory diet into the phases. I made more mistakes, but they have informed me of what I can tolerate and what I cannot. And I’ve read a bunch of research about my GI issues.

For a few months, things have been going well. I’ve been feeling more full of pep and I’ve put on some weight.

I decided it was time to get back in the saddle again… the bike saddle.

I’ve gone on a few rides. I’m trying not to over do it. Firstly because I’m out of shape from inactivity. Secondly, because I’m afraid if I go too long, leaky gut could make another appearance in my life! Ugh, NO THANK YOU!

Since I began biking again, which was two weeks ago, I’ve gone on probably six rides and I’ve gained a few pounds from the additional muscle that I’ve built in those two weeks. I can see a difference in my body and I feel stronger, too. Things with my GI tract seem to be holding steady but I will continue to be cautious.

I’m telling you all of this because I know what it is like to have GI problems and to be unsure if SCD is going to help you. It is difficult to make it through low-energy times. It is disappointing to step on the scale only to find that you’ve lost more weight. I found it extremely hard not to be able to do activities that I enjoyed because I didn’t feel ready.

Hang in there. Do the work. Research your problems. Keep a food log. There is health and life ahead, just keep trying.

Next up, surfing! 😉

xo

Theresa ~SCD Griddle

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The Best Approach to Diet Modification: Contentment

Bad attitudes will get you no where quick.

Since the beginning of March, I harbored a bad attitude. See, I’m on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). I struggled for 4 months while I tried to solve a few gastrointestinal problems by modifying what I ate. I went about doing the physical work of eating the proper items listed in Breaking the Vicious Cycle and in the stages listed on Pecanbread. Little did I know that my attitude toward SCD, or any kind of diet modification, would ultimately determine my success.

Fast and furious.

I approached SCD with a fast and furious attitude. When I began, I attempted to power through the stages because the faster I progressed, the quicker I’d be able to eat like a “normal” American. Basically I was unsatisfied, wanted more variety and I was hungry. I missed my creamy (real cream) coffee with sugar, I longed for a piece of cake and I craved chocolate. I desperately ticked down the foods listed in the stages. I spent hours in the kitchen; peel, cook, puree! I ignored many of the signs that my body tried to give me. Like the time my stomach felt flip-floppy after I devoured bananas fried in olive oil. I carried on, grateful that I didn’t end up in the bathroom after that banana, although many, many other times I did.

My new way of eating took over my life. I constantly stopped by the market to pick up this or that. With all of the busy-work, I didn’t face my ingrained attitudes. They remained un-mined and unexamined. I put on blinders and endured months of little success on SCD. By June, things got so bad that I faced the decision: quit or keep going. I stayed on SCD. I had more work to do.  I researched my issues; fructose malabsorption, leaky gut and phenols.

I started over. From the beginning. But this time around, I was armed with way more information. After a meal, I listened to the signals that my body gave me. It has told me lots of things. I have been doing the physical work of food preparation, which has dramatically decreased, and I’ve also scrutinized my deeply-held beliefs.

This time around, I have an attitude of contentment.

Being satisfied is the most powerful health-building attitude. Previously, I endured a few frantic months of utter failure, but now SCD is working for me. I am advancing through the food stages slowly and purposefully. My bodily reactions are my guide and I am extremely grateful to have arrived at this point.

Who knows if I’ll ever get back to a semi-normal American diet. At this point, I don’t really care. I am just happy that I’m not in the bathroom.

 

How did you approach diet modification? Did it work for you?

 

xo,

Theresa ~SCD Griddle

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Fructose Malabsorption Series Part 2: My Fast from Fruit

In part 1 of this series, I wrote about being on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) and still having intestinal issues.

Fructose Malabsorption (FM) is the decreased ability to absorb fructose in the small intestine. As a result, there is undigested fructose in the gut, which in turn causes an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine. Just to reiterate, fructose is a monosaccharide, a simple sugar that is found in fruits, vegetables and honey. It is  abundant in high fructose corn syrup and granulated fructose, both of which are illegal on SCD.

After a process of elimination, I realized that I was suffering from FM. Apparently, this is a common problem among people with irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease. So I searched for answers. My research turned up a few internet websites that listed the fructose quantities in both fruits and vegetables. However, the measured levels weren’t consistent from site to site. They weren’t even close.

Well, of course! Amounts of fructose differ according to ripeness, fertilizer levels in the soil, even the type of soil the plant is grown in effects the fruits and veggies.

When I was about to give up, I discovered a chart published by the American Dietic Association that gave broad recommendations. This is what I needed!

I’ve altered them to be SCD-legal. Here they are:

 

 

 

In order to relieve my symptoms, I modified what I ate and fasted from fruit.

I cut all honey, fruit, and almost all vegetables  out of my diet. Essentially, I consumed mostly protein for a few days. And you know what?

I began to feel better.

Since then, I’ve found that when my meals consist of mostly protein, low-fructose vegetables and fruit (occasionally goat’s milk yogurt), I feel great. I am careful to keep the fruit at very limited quantities because it makes me hyper. I am careful to watch phenol levels in fruits and veggies, too, which also effect me from time to time.

If you are also on the SCD and you are still experiencing problems, I urge you to try your own fast from fruit.

It is difficult because it is July and there is tons of excellent fruit in the markets, but it could make a huge difference in your life. It has in mine.

xo,

~Theresa, SCD Griddle

*Don’t confuse fructose malabsorption with hereditary fructose intolerance, which is totally different. Hereditary fructose intolerance is a rare genetic disorder in which the individual lacks the protein needed to break down fructose. The problem is obvious when the individual is a newborn.

Photo credit: http://www.thekitchn.com

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Fructose Malabsorption Series, Part 1: More Work to Do

A few weeks ago, I was frustrated.

Although I had been fanatically following the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) for months, I was not getting better. I only felt okay. Sometimes after I ate, I’d experience gastrointestinal problems (read: an unsettled stomach, diarrhea and bloating). These symptoms reminded me of the same issues I had before I started the SCD. I ate according to the SCD way – no complex carbs, no refined sugar and no gluten –  (as outlined in Breaking the Vicious Cycle by Elaine Gottschall). What was I going to do now?

My health seemed to be improving for awhile, but now I couldn’t progress beyond phase 3 as described in the Stages of the Diet by the Pecanbread website. Surely I thought, I should be beyond phase 3. I was disappointed.  I wanted to quit.

Even though I wanted to give up, I didn’t. Instead, I gathered up my courage.

I decided to take action, because I obviously had more work to do.

This is how it went down:

Last month,  I noticed how my digestion seemed to suffer after I ate almond flour pancakes. Actually, I had known this fact for a while, I just didn’t want to acknowledge it. My digestion wasn’t terrible, but it definitely wasn’t good – you know what I mean. Reluctantly, I decided to take a step towards a healthier gut. I stopped eating food that contained almond flour. This was difficult because I loved the bread-like quality of almond flour, even if it made me feel bad.

My sporadic symptoms continued to bother me. The timing of my GI troubles told me that my yogurt, fruit and honey shake was bothering me. The odd thing was, my symptoms didn’t occur after every shake. Well, I shrugged my shoulders and assumed my problems were related to the yogurt. Hestitantly, I cut dairy out of my diet.

Then I noticed that my symptoms were not only still present, but were happening more frequently. I was totally flabbergasted.

I searched for answers. I stared at my Food Log. I went through it page by page. The answer had to be here.

And it was. The answer was in front of me in black and white:

It was the fruit!

I almost always had negative GI symptoms after I ate fruit lately. Of course! I had thoughtlessly tried to fill the voids in my diet left by the numerous food options now deemed illegal by SCD, the almond flour,  and yogurt with fruit. Some days, I consumed 5 servings of it.

This was really, really hard to accept because sticking to the SCD has been one of the toughest things that I have ever done. I am not exaggerating. When I first began SCD, like most other people on the American diet, it was difficult to give up sweets, chocolate and starch-filled vegetables like potatoes. However, I was comforted by the fact that most fruit was legal; I could still partake of what I considered to be the luscious jewels of summer.  Lately, my Food Log told me, I was gobbling it down.

My system obviously couldn’t absorb the fructose present in the quantity of fruit that I consumed and as a result, I had fructose malabsorption. I thought it couldn’t happen to me because I ingested mostly meat and vegetables (or so I thought).

Well, I had more work to do. I got about the business of healing myself. I madly researched fructose malabsorption and investigated levels of fructose in fruits and vegetables. I learned a lot about the subject. I intend on sharing it with you, especially since it is July and seasonal fruit is plentiful.

I’ll tell you what I learned and how I handled things. Stay tuned for part 2 of this series.

xo,

Theresa – SCD Griddle

photo credit: fruiter.org

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