Last week we dove into the why of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. Why should you try it (a long list of ailments that improve with the diet), and why specific carbohydrates play an important role in the digestive process. If you want to read more about it click HERE.
This week we venture into the WHAT. What can you eat? Food is at the heart of healing your gut. So hold on to your hats and let’s eat!
The intro diet is an opportunity for you to get rid of any build-up of yuckies in your gut. In short, it’s a detox. Depending on your symptoms, you will be on the intro diet for 2-5 days. In general, if you’re still having diarrhea, constipation or stomach pain you should remain on the diet for another day.
Foods to help you detox on the Intro Diet:
Homemade Chicken Soup
Carrots, Cooked & Pureed
Grape Juice (Welch’s 100% Grape Juice)
Apple Cider – pure – no additives
MEAT (Roasted, Boiled, Broiled or Grilled): Fish, Chicken, Beef, Turkey, Lean Pork, Lean Wild Game
dry curd cottage cheese (uncreamed) also called “farmer’s cheese” – resembles the texture of feta because it does not have the milk added back in.
Grape Jello (made with gelatin, not the JELLO brand)
I put dairy, eggs and jello in the optional category because it is very common to have a reaction to one of these. If you are having diarrhea and you think it may be a reaction to some food on the intro diet, just leave it out for now. You can always try adding them back in later on.
AFTER the INTRO DIET
After the intro diet is completed, you add a new (cooked, peeled, seeded) vegetable or fruit (specific carbohydrates) from the legal list every 3 days. The first day, you eat 1/2 cup, 2nd day- 1 cup, 3rd day- 1 1/2 cups. If you have no reactions, the food can stay in your diet. If you have a reaction, leave it out. You can always try to re-introduce later after your body is more healed.
MEAT: Eggs, Chicken, Turkey, Beef, Fish, Pork, Wild Game, Bacon, Lamb
Vegetables: Fresh or frozen asparagus, beets, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, celery, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, kale, lettuce, mushrooms, onions, peas, peppers, pumpkin, spinach, squash, tomatoes and more.
Fruits: Fresh or Frozen or dried (with nothing added are acceptable): apples, avocados, bananas (ripe with black spots), berries of all kinds, coconut, dates, grapefruit, grapes, kiwi fruit, lemons, limes, mangoes, melons, nectarines, oranges, papayas, peaches, pears, pineapples, prunes, raisins, rhubarb, tangerines and more.
Dairy: SCD Homemade yogurt, natural 30-day aged cheeses (see full legal list HERE), Butter, Ghee, and Dry Curd Cottage Cheese (DCCC).
Nuts: Almonds, Pecans, Brazil nuts, Hazelnuts, Walnuts, Cashews, Chestnuts (be careful of roasted nuts, they usually have added starches)
Legumes: Peanuts, White beans, Navy Beans, Lentils, Split Peas, Lima beans, Kidney beans, Black beans – NOTE: Try dry beans only after you have been symptom free.
Spices: Most non-mixed spices are allowed, watch out for mixes that contain for anti-caking agents.
Here’s a brief overview of the illegal list. Again to see the complete list refer to link above:
NO Grains: Wheat, Barley, Corn, Rye, Oats, Rice, Buckwheat, Millet, Triticale, Bulgur, Spelt, Quinoa
Processed Meats: Ham, Processed Sausages, Lunch meats, Bratwurst, Turkey dogs, Hot dogs
No Canned Vegetables: Why? Canned are not allowed due to the usual addition of sugars, processing aids and preservative chemicals. Basically, yuckies you can’t see that are probably messing up your gut. 🙁
No Canned Fruits and Most fruit juices: Canned and most fruit juices are not allowed due because they often have added sweeteners, preservatives, and processing aids. aka – more yuckies.
Illegal Legumes: Soybeans, chick peas, bean sprouts, mungbeans, fava beans, garbanzo beans
Dairy: Commercial yogurts, milk of any kind, unnatural cheeses (Kraft and most other mainstream shredded cheeses fall into this group), all of the following cheeses: Cottage, Cream, Feta, Gejetost, Mozzarella, Neufchatel, Primost, Ricotta, any processed cheese spreads.
Starches/Tubers: Arrowroot,Cornstarch, Potatoes, Yams, Parsnip, Sweet potatoes, tapioca starch
No Sugar: none allowed. Sweeten with Honey. Yes, it’s hard, but your body will thank you over and over again. It is totally worth it!
I know this is a lot to take in. It really is. Anytime we start something new, especially related to food, there is a learning curve. Rest assured, you will quickly learn the basics. In general, eat whole foods, avoiding anything packaged – or at the very least question everything packaged. 🙂
Everyone moves through the diet at a different pace. I have been perhaps overly cautious. I am still eating only cooked foods after nearly a year on the diet. The good news? I’m not nauseous every other day and I don’t have blinding pain in my abdomen anymore. I have twinges here and there and there are still days I don’t feel great, but I can usually track it back to something I ate, lack of sleep or stress I am not managing well. Overall, I feel more alive, more energetic and more like my true self.
If you are feeling like there is no way you can navigate this diet on your own then I want to tell you, I get it- I was totally in that boat too. The idea of trying to work full-time, take care of two kids, cat, husband AND figure out a whole new diet. No thanks- I needed someone to show me how to do it.
My saving grace was a meal plan from SCDLifestyle.com. Their meal plan program tells you EXACTLY what to eat every day for 6 weeks of the diet. They lay out the diet in 5 Phases. Each phase has a different list of veggies and fruits which are laid out in such a way that you will progress from easiest to digest (cooked, peeled, de-seeded) all the way to raw foods in Phase 5. After one year, I can honestly say I still refer to the phase guides frequently. My children like to look at it too and figure out what mommy gets to eat next. Sometimes they can more excited for me than I do! 🙂
Anywho, I don’t want to sound all salesman-like, I just wanted to share how crucial it was for me to not only figure out the diet, but to also stick with it. Knowledge is power friends! If you are someone who needs a push or just need help with getting started and figuring it all out, then click HERE to sign up for the meal plan. It was totally worth it for me, I hope you find it equally as valuable.
There it is in a nutshell friends. On this diet, you will be amazed how much better you feel, how real food begins to taste so much better to you than anything processed. I have never appreciated a strawberry as much as I did today–after not eating them for nearly a year. Flavors are bright, rich, deep and you know what’s even better? Whole foods help heal your gut.
Stick around for next week. I am going to share some tricks of the trade. I’ve learned a lot along the way that may help you if you are thinking about the diet, starting it, or already knee-deep. So stay tuned!
Read Part I in this series.