The Skinny Girl Margarita

28 10 2009

This weekend in NYC, I discovered the “Skinny Girl” Margarita. I turned 21 on Saturday, so I had my first real drinks over the weekend. As surprising and rare as it may be at OU, I don’t drink alcohol very often. Actually, I haven’t drank at all here. Now that I follow SCD, drinking really isn’t a top priority and there aren’t many options for alcoholic beverages that I’ve found. I guess some of you who have been on SCD longer may know more about this than me. Anyways, we went to Planet Hollywood to celebrate turning 21 at midnight and the waitress suggested a “Skinny Girl” Margarita. Now, that name right there sounds like something for me. I am, indeed, a very skinny girl. According to my internet research, the Skinny Girl is for women watching their waistlines, but in my case, I’m just watching out for those sugars. Said margarita is not like typical ones because usually there’s margarita mix made with a concentrate that has tons of sugar in it. This drink, however, has freshly squeezed lime and lemon juice instead of the concentrate and they topped mine off with some club soda. It was pretty tasty, but definitely not something I could drink all the time. I think if I want an adult beverage, I’ll stick to my very dry red wine for now.

The Skinny Girl Margarita On the Rocks

* 2 oz of clear Tequila (100% agave, Patron Silver)

* (count 1, 2 while you pour, no need for measuring)
* A splash of fresh lime juice
* A splash of Cointreau, Grand Marnier or Triple Sec ((for SCDers, a liqueur is a no-no, so skip this step, or add something else in))

Combine all ingredients over a glass of ice.

Garnish with a lime wedge and salt  if you’d like.

Also this YouTube video of how to make the Skinny Girl Margarita

SCD Cakes for a Very Happy Birthday

22 10 2009

Well, readers, I have an announcement to make: On Saturday, I will be turning 21 years old. Yes, it’s a big day in a young lady’s life. Instead of getting way intoxicated with my friends, I am going the the Big Apple with the family. That, however, is not the topic of this evening’s post. Instead I would like to take this time to talk about birthday cakes.

When I first started SCD, I was bummed because I thought that would be the end to my cake-eating days. Fortunately for me, I have discovered a whole new world of cakes!

I went in search of some recipes for yummy-sounding cakes today and this is is my top three:

Nut Butter Cake

Courtesy of

1 cup SCD Nut butter
1/2 cup pure honey
1/3 teaspoon of baking soda
2 eggs

Preheat oven at 300 degrees.
Beat eggs, honey and baking soda together.
Then add nut butter.
Pour mixture into greased pyrex dish and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Frosting: I made the below recipe and added a few drops of red and yellow food coloring to turn it orange. For those who don’t want to d this the frosting is kind of a golden white when finished. A couple of drops of beet juice might turn it orange. The green stalk is a piece of celery.

Sheila’s PB & butter frosting.

1 Cup butter
3/4 C honey
1-1.5 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/4 Nut butter

Cream room temperature butter (Mix it until it starts to lighten). Add honey and vanilla and mix well. Add peanut butter and mix well again.

This peanut butter cake = yum! It’s the next best thing after chocolate, which is sadly illegal. I also love the pumpkin smiley face decor.

Courtesy of Cooking for Celiacs, Colitis, Crohn’s and IBS
1.350 kg (2 lb 11 oz) green apples –
peeled, diced and cored
200 g (1 cup) frozen blueberries
1 Tbs orange juice
1 tsp lemon rind – grated
3 Tbs honey

100 g (1 cup) almond meal
60 g (¼ cup) cold butter
1 tsp honey

specialty Cakes from SCD Bakery!

These cakes look pretty delicious. I haven’t ordered one, but I think they’d be cool to try some day.

So, Everyone, eat cake and be merry! Go on, help me celebrate my birthday, eat your fave SCD-approved cake!

The Downside of SCD

20 10 2009

I generally try to be a positive person, and I completely 100% believe that the Specific Carbohydrate Diet is the proper treatment for me. I also realize it might not be the treatment for everyone. This diet is a challenge. Crohn’s is a challenge in itself, but I guess when you add on an unusually strict diet, you meet more challenges. I don’t think I’ve taken any time to really recognize the downside of SCD. Recently I felt like I was bombarded with some of these issues, so I think it’s time I mention them.

One challenge I’ve had in the now seven months on this diet is social gatherings. In the span of a year and a half  I’ve had or will have around four or five cousins getting married. In addition to that, there’s some family gatherings, friends-of-the-family weddings, and other big social events. One of my immediate fears is that I won’t be able to eat anything (yes, my first instinct is to think about food). It’s hard sometimes in situations where the food is catered or no one really knows about your dietary needs. Even in more every day social situations, I feel stuck. One a recent school organization’s trip to Columbus, the group I was with decided to go to Potbelly‘s for lunch. Now, I had no idea what that was, but I got the idea that it was a sandwich place. Trying not to draw too much attention to myself, I asked one of the officers if there were things other than sandwiches. There are salads there, but as far as SCD-approved salads, there is only one. It wasn’t a very good salad, either. After, maybe ten bites, I couldn’t bring myself to eat anymore and decided I would wait to eat until I got back to Athens. I guess to reason I went along with this is that I didn’t want to be a burden to the group. I didn’t want them to change they’ve dining decision based on my needs. I was stuck because I really couldn’t eat anything there, but I didn’t want to inconvenience the rest of the group.

In an off-shoot from social gatherings, I also get this paranoid feeling that people are silently judging my treatment decision. When I have to explain why I can’t eat bread or why processed meat will hurt me, it seems like people look at me oddly. I recognize that it’s not a conventional way (yet) for treating things, but I always try to explain why it’s so important to me. I feel like I have to make a case every time and defend my choice. There’s a little script that plays in my head, over and over again:

Me: Sorry, I can’t eat that.

Person: Why not?!

Me: Well, I have Crohn’s disease and I’m on this diet that supposed to keep me off medication. 

Person: Oh… okay….

Me: Yeah, it’s a little strict, but it’s keeping me so healthy. If I didn’t try this I’d be paying $200-500 a month on meds and would be taking 14-16 pills a day.

The dialogue varies, but that’s the gist of it. If I just said “I’m on a diet,” I think people would even be more critical of me. They might be thinking, “kid, you weight like 100 pounds, why the hell are you on a diet?” If I’m feeling lazy that day, I might just say I have food allergies and leave it at that. 

As I kind of mentioned before, there is a challenge when it comes to dining out. Sometimes my restaurant options are limited because there menus mostly contain illegal foods. Awhile ago, my mom, completely forgetting about my diet, asked me if I wanted to go to Benihana, which is a Japanese-style restaurant. Their food has soy sauce, rice, and starches written all over them, so naturally, there’s not likely to be anything for me there.  When I’m going out with friends, I had to give them a list of places I can go. Again, it’s like I’m burdening this friends of mine.

Delicious Mint Chocolate Chip from Graeter's

My last real issue with SCD, right now is the fact that I can’t go out for ice cream. This is sad and kind of juvenile, but definitely something I took for granted. I can’t count the number of times in my life when my parents have just taken me out for ice cream or stopped for ice cream on the way home. In my hometown, Graeter’s is the best ice cream you can get. It was always a treat to go to Graeter’s. Nowadays, if I want my ice cream, it’s got to be homemade (and, no, not the Homemade brand… real homemade ice cream). It’s hard having to say no to Cold Stone trips here in Athens, but if I did try to eat it, I’d be in a world of pain.

As I’ve been writing this post, I realized that this might seem a bit whiney or rambley. I apologize, but this has been on my mind, and I think it’s relevant to those trying to gain an understanding about SCD and, I hope, relatable to those who are on SCD. There are sometimes when I just want to give up. I want to go to my doctor and say, “okay, you win. I’ll go on meds.” but then I think about how much I hate meds, how much healthier I feel on this diet, and how it doesn’t matter what the rest of the world thinks, I’ve got to do what’s right for me.

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.