When I tell people that I am eating gluten-, grain-, sugar-, and dairy-free first they look at me like I'm crazy. Then they ask me what I can eat.
If you're a regular reader of my blog then you know I've been eating according to the Specific Carbohydrate Diet for the past 5 months. The first month or two were hard - cutting back on sugar (only honey is allowed), not eating potatoes or rice or chocolate were the hardest for me. But today, 5 months later, I am eating a more varied amount of fruits and vegetables and meats and complex carbohydrates than I've eaten since I was diagnosed with colitis nearly 13 years ago.
Prior to eating SCD, just the thought of eating most veggies and fruit made my gut churn. But today I'm eating all kinds of vegetables including kale, chard, leafy greens of all sorts, brocolli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, carrots, leeks, and on and on. In fact, I crave vegetables and now eat some sort with every meal.
It has been pretty interesting to me that by cutting out the things I previously thought were helping my gut stay calm - rice, potatoes, toast, cheese, and yogurt - has actually made my gut the most calm it has been in 13 years. A year ago, if I had eaten kale or chard or brussel sprouts I would have ended up in the bathroom for days and reverted back to eating white rice and baked chicken.
I believe the SCD is helping to heal my gut by taking out the poor quality simple carbs and starches. My gut is healing and as it heals I can increase the variety of foods that I'm eating - healthy, quality foods, not simple carbs that turn to sugar and irritate the gut.
Breakfast today consisted of sauted onions, garlic, bell pepper, shiitake mushrooms, black beans, 2 poached eggs, and 1/2 avocado. It was delicious and I had no gut issues afterwards. A year ago, the bell pepper and black beans - eaten at any time of the day - would have set my gut over the edge. While I could have eaten the onion and garlic and bell pepper a year ago, I couldn't have eaten them successfully first thing in the morning.
For all the hard work that the SCD is, the pay off is amazing for me so far. I'm eliminating foods that aren't nourishing my body and am finally able to eat the nourishing foods that my body needs to heal and thrive. My naturopath is happy with my progress and in February we'll do a little lab work to see where I am and consider beginning to lower the Asacol dose I take for my colitis.
Other than cooking in a different way than I did pre-SCD I don't even think about my gut on a day-to-day basis. It is currently a non-issue for me. I think that's pretty amazing. And if one day I can get off my medication partially or fully then it's even more amazing.
If you're interested, pick up the book Breaking the Vicious Cycle and talk to a nutrionist who can help you learn more of how the diet could help you.
Elizabeth is a Natural Foods Chef and has been living successfully with IBD for 13 years. Her book, Living with IBD & IBS can be found online.
Published On: December 14, 2011