SCD Banana Pops Video

13 10 2009

I really want to try to make these! I’m always looking for new easy-to-make treats. I love the internet and YouTube. I think I would be lost without the web. I most certainly wouldn’t have discovered SCD and wouldn’t have learn how to make certain SCD foods. I think I’ll try this this weekend, or in the next couple of days if I find time. We’ll see what happens.

Eating SCD in College is Doable!

6 10 2009

My freezer is so full that my roommate and I could survive a flu epidemic on campus but locking ourselves in our apartment and living off my food supply. My parents came to visit a week ago and stocked my freezer full of delicious home cooked frozen meals. This is my approach to eating SCD and surviving in college.

Since I’ve been diagnosed, I joined a helpful Yahoo! Group, BTVC-SCD, which is a group of people on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. The group enables you to as your SCD-related questions as well as to share your story. Over the summer, there was a question asking whether SCD can be followed in college. This was the first discussion post that I knew I could be helpful. I immediately responded with a few things that I did last year when I was living in the dorms. SCD in college is very possible. It’s not easy. I’m not going to lie; it’s really hard, but it’s so worth it.  I like to think of myself of living proof that you can be med-free, eating SCD and survive the dorm lifestyle.

The dining hall usually made me huge salads

The dining hall usually made me huge salads

One way to make the diet more manageable in college is to talk to the dining hall staff. At OU, students are required to live in the dorms the first two years and they must have a meal plan. My parents and I called Dining Services right after I started the diet to insure that my food could be taken care of at school.  Usually universities can provide students with special dietary needs with special meals. My mom and I had a meeting with the university’s head chef to discuss the diet. I had meals made specifically for me every day. The dining hall chefs, after stressing the importance of the diet, were able to cook my SCD meals. The head chef made yogurt for me, but my mom also made me yogurt and would drive it up to me, so I could make a shake in my dorm room.

Salad, watermelon, and french onion soup for lunch

Salad, watermelon, and french onion soup for lunch

Another helpful thing a second refrigerator/freezer in my dorm room. My mom, who is an amazing cook, was able to make and freeze me foods for snacks and breakfasts. My dorm freezer was always fully stocked with pancakes, ice cream, muffins and almond puffs. I believe most schools will provide an extra fridge or a larger one for students with food allergies or special dietary needs.

If you’re on SCD and considering going away for college, I want you to know that it’s doable! If you’re in college or looking at colleges and thinking about starting SCD, you can do it! As you search for the right place for you, don’t hesitate to ask questions. Ask how accommodating the university’s dining services is to special dietary needs. If they provide mirco-fridges in the dorm rooms, ask if you can get a larger one or an extra one in your room.

Eat well and feel well!

SCD Restaurant Dining Tips

24 09 2009

After eight hours of non-stop classes and work, I was starving, so I decided to pop into Wendy’s for a hamburger before my next class. Ordering fast food, or any food for that matter, gets kind of tricky, but this time I was sure I had it right. I asked for a double stack, no bread, and ONLY onions, lettuce and mustard. Well, they added the cheese on there too… it wouldn’t be a problem if Wendy’s actually used real cheese, but there are “illegals” in their cheese. I learned a lesson for next time: say NO CHEESE!

When you’re dining out while on the SCD, there are things that should be taken into consideration. If the idea of restaurant dining seems overwhelming to you, have no fear! I’m here to help! I have a few tips that I’ve learned since I’ve been on the diet.

First thing to remember is the Scouts motto: Be Prepared! This means a few things:

  • Check out the menu: In the wonderful age of the internet, many restaurants have web sites, and on those sites are menus! If it’s somewhere you’ve never been before, looking at the menu beforehand will ease the anxiety of making a decision while you’re sitting there.
  • Snacks: Think about packing your own snacks to bring along. When everyone else is munching on bread, you can whip out a homemade muffin.
  • Salad Dressing: If you’re planning to get a salad, it’s a good idea to pack your own homemade salad dressing.

SCD Restaurant card

When you’re at the restaurant, remember to stay calm. The menu may look overwhelming, but you’ll find something. Talk to your waiter. Tell him or her that you have special dietary needs and explain your circumstances. To aid your waiter, there’s a restaurant card that easily explains the yeses and nos of SCD. I found the restaurant card on a SCD website for kids with Autism (which I can’t seem to find anymore. If I find it, I’ll post the link). I decided to take the simple card and design my own. Feel free to use this for all your dining adventures. Print it, cut it out, laminate it, and you’re ready to dine like a pro.

If you find something on the menu that sound SCD-approved, ask about it. Don’t be afraid to ask your waiter questions. It’s a waiter’s job to help you out. Most restaurants should have a food ingredients binder in hand for customers with food allergies. I’ve had to look at one at Panera to find something to eat. Surprisingly, there’s not much for SCDers to eat at Panera, but that’s besides the point.

So, my SCD friends, don’t worry if you’re first dining experiences are ordering disasters. You’ll get better at it. It takes patience and practice. You can do it! We all do!

Happy Dining!

The Restaurant Anxiety

22 09 2009

If Jack Nicholson and I went to a restaurant together, we’d be set. He’d get the toast and I’d eat everything else!

When I went to Columbus to celebrate a friend’s birthday this weekend, I realized how far I’ve come in the past six months. I found myself sitting at the table at Buca di Beppo feeling calm, collected and ready to order. The restaurant anxiety lingered, but it was nothing compared to six months ago.

Flashback to March: I had just started the diet, and we (it doesn’t really matter who; it happened with everyone I ate out with) would go to a restaurant for dinner. I’d look at the menu and see all the delicious things I could NOT eat. All the wonderful pictures of dishes that were totally illegal seemed to be taunting me. I wouldn’t know what to eat, I’d get really anxious and then eventually, my eyes would fill up with tears. The waiter would look at me like I’m insane when I order a hamburger but ask them to hold the bread or when I say ask for celery sticks to go with my spinach dip instead of tortilla chips.  By the end of the meal, I would have apologized to my fellow diners and the waiter at least 20 times.

Have you ever experienced restaurant anxiety? If you’re on the diet and you know what I’m talking about, don’t worry. It gets better. With practice and going to the same places a few times, you’ll be a restaurant expert. Check back later this week and I’ll provide some restaurant tricks I’ve discovered.

SCD to the Rescue!

17 09 2009
I realized after I published my first entry that I had neglected to completely explain the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. SCD is a grain-free, lactose-free, and sugar-free diet that is geared toward starving out the intestinal bacteria, which causes pain and inflammatory bowel diseases. The diet is intended for Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, celiac disease, cystic fibrosis and other conditions, but it is a very healthy and balanced-diet that has health benefits for everyone.

Originally developed by Dr. Sidney Haas and later modified by Elaine Gottschall, the diet is strict on the types of foods you are allowed and not allowed to consume. The basic SCD guidelines include no grains, no flour, no starchy vegetables such as potatoes and yams, no canned vegetables, no processed foods, no sugar, no sweeteners other than honey and saccharin, and no milk products except for homemade yogurt fermented for 24 hours. To help follow the diet, Kim Hershe has complied a list of legal and illegal foods.

The SCD has a two-step approach: first, it removes the foods that harmful bacteria feed on and can’t be digested by an injured intestine. Second, the diet uses probiotics, usually in homemade yogurt, to restore the good bacteria.

Illustration by Alyse

Raman Prasad, author of Recipes for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, calls the state of the intestines during a “flare-up,” or severe inflammation, the “aftermath of a major hurricane.” The intestinal lining is injured. You are unable to digest and absorb complex sugars. As a result, there is an overgrowth of bacteria, which increases bacteria by-products and mucus. When food is eaten during inflammation, it only feeds “the storm.” By eliminating these “illegal” foods and consuming probiotics, the SCD gradually starves the bad bacteria, stops mucus production, controls inflammation, restores the good bacteria, and heals the intestine.

If you are interested in starting the idea or are just interested in more information, you can visit Elaine Gottschall web site, Breaking the Vicious Cycle. Other sites I found very helpful and encouraging were:
No More Crohn’s
Intestinal Health Through Diet

SCD has completely changed my life. I am proud to say that, because of this diet, I have gain half of my weight back and am feeling so much better. I no longer have excruciating stomach pains. I am no longer extremely fatigued. I am no longer malnourished. The SCD has been my miracle.

The Intro Post

14 09 2009

As I write my first blog post, it’s hard for me to know how to get the ball rolling. I thought about the typical opening post where the blogger opens with “HEY! Welcome to my blog!” but I didn’t know if that’s really how wanted to set myself up. Instead of opening like that, let me open like this:

Six months ago, I seriously thought my life was over. (It’s a good opener, isn’t it?) Malnourished and weighing only 98 pounds, I had finally found the answer to my health problems: Crohn’s disease. I had no idea what Crohn’s was, and I didn’t know anyone with it, but I knew my life was changing. Crohn’s is a chronic condition in which the lining of your digestive tract becomes inflamed, causing severe abdominal pain, unexplained weight loss, and other icky symptoms like diarrhea.  For more information on Crohn’s, you can visit WebMD, that’s where I learned the most about my disease early on.

So what now? Well, now we learn to heal. There’s no cure, but there are ways to treat the symptoms and keep your digestive tract healthy. The most common means of treating Crohn’s is through medication. Personally, I am not the medicine-taking kind, so I have chosen a different path for treatment. I started the Specific Carbohydrate Diet the same weekend I was diagnosed. The Specific Carbohydrate Diet, or SCD, is a grain-free, lactose-free, and sugar-free diet that is geared toward starving out the intestinal bacteria, which causes pain and inflammatory bowel diseases.

This blog is not about me. It’s about the Crohn’s and SCD experience. I know when I first was diagnosed I felt so alone, so confused, and so frustrated. People try to sympathize, but I think it’s easier to hear from someone who has been there. So, this blog is for those who have been diagnosed with Crohn’s and those who have been using SCD to treat Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, celiac disease, or cystic fibrosis. I’m new to this, so I am by no means an expert, but I am living and breathing SCD every day.

If your life has not been affected by Crohn’s disease or any other inflammatory bowl disease, I hope this blog brings you a new perspective.

Please stay tuned for more information about Crohn’s, SCD, and other food related information.


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