Ep 12: Your Top 10 SCD Yogurt Questions Answered

SCD Yogurt.

It’s the crux of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, which might just be at the heart of unlocking your IBD healing potential. SCD yogurt is full of beneficial bacteria to help balance your gut flora and bring your IBD into remission.

And when it comes to this homemade fermented yogurt, you know that learning how to make it is only half the battle. Questions about how long to ferment it, how best to store it and for how long, how much to eat, which yogurt maker is best, etc… these questions come up as soon as we hear about it.

Today, on the podcast, we’re tackling your most asked SCD yogurt questions so you can eat this creamy and delicious gut rebuilder with the confidence of an IBD mama who knows she’s doing everything right.

We’re talking about:

  • What to do if you leave your yogurt on too long or forget to put it in the frig from the Instant Pot (it happens to all of us!)
  • How much yogurt should you be eating every day
  • The one IBD ailment that should have you stepping away from yogurt

And so much more!

After the episode, you’ll have all the knowledge you need to be sure that the next time you make SCD yogurt, it’ll be as easy as 1-2-3.

Episode at a Glance:

  • [07:21] Your free bonus: The SCD Yogurt Recipe Collection with Most Asked FAQ’s  is waiting for you at karynhaley.com/yogurt
  • [10:52] Which yogurt makers I recommend over all others.
  • [12:20] Your options for making non-dairy yogurt.
  • [14:18] I left my yogurt on too long. What do I do?
  • [21:59] How much yogurt should you eat?
  • [28:11] I started the yogurt and now I don’t feel well. What happened?
  • [36:26] Are you ready to take your gut healing to the next level? Schedule your free IBD Root Cause Troubleshooting Session with me today.

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Episode Links:

Get my free SCD Yogurt Recipe Collection to help you get stared making your own yogurt (dairy and non-dairy) right away

Also Mentioned in the Episode:

How to Make SCD Yogurt Video

Yogourmet Yogurt Maker

Luvele Yogurt Maker

Euro Cuisine Yogurt Maker

Euro Cuisine Yogurt Strainer

Episode Transcript:


INTRO: You are listening to The Cheeky Podcast for Moms with IBD, a safe space for moms with Crohn’s and colitis, connect, explore powerful tools for healing and transform our lives to thrive in motherhood and in life. I’m your host, Karyn Haley, IBD health coach, integrative wellness enthusiast, and mom to three outstanding kids. After having Crohn’s disease for 30 years and working as a health advocate exclusively with IBD clients for the last 10 years, I know it’s time to bring the types of candid conversations I have with my clients out into the open. It’s our time to go on an IBD healing journey and do it like only a mom can. Let’s do this.


[00:50] Hello my friend, it’s Karyn here and welcome to the podcast. How’s it going for you today? Has it been a challenging day for you with your IBD or are you feeling well? Lots of ups and downs with IBD, right? Either way, know that I’m thinking of you, sending positive vibes and gratitude your way. I’m excited to have a conversation with you on this episode on an important topic within Specific Carbohydrate Diet. Some of my favorite conversations start with, “On the SCD…” this diet is near and dear to my heart because it’s the diet I started twelve years ago that finally made a difference for my Crohn’s and allowed me to reach remission.

Since then, the SCD has been my place of grounding and centering, every time I need an IBD tune up. I still follow the principles of the diet even today, although now I’m able to tolerate foods outside the plan. But for 2 years, SCD and fanatical adherence was my life. I never purposely strayed, and it served me well. On the SCD, I was able to get off all my Crohn’s medicines, I was able to really be there for my kids in a way I hadn’t been before, and I was able to eat things most people without IBD take for granted. The first time I ate a strawberry without any negative impact, I swear I heard birds singing. Whole raw nuts, pumpkin seeds, leafy green salads, an apple with the skin on… most people take these foods for granted, but not us. And on the SCD, my life opened, transformed, and gave me a new lease on life.

It’s because of the SCD that I do the work I do today, helping moms like you find your best life with IBD. I did learn early on that the SCD doesn’t work for everyone with Crohn’s and colitis, either because it doesn’t fit their lifestyle (it does have a lot of rules and there’s a lot more cooking at home) or because it just doesn’t work for their body. But it does work for the majority of my clients who try it out and when it comes to the SCD, if there’s one thing that stumps IBD moms out there more than anything else, it’s the SCD yogurt. For most moms, it’s different than anything they’ve ever tried before. It has several steps, and you feel like if you make one misstep, you’ll ruin everything. Once you learn to make it though, I swear, it’s like riding a bike. You never forget. At this point, I’ll sometimes go years without having it and then decide it’s time to make some SCD yogurt again. The recipe never leaves me. Once you try it out a couple times, you’ll see how easy it can be. It looks more complicated than it is, just like riding a bike.

Are you wondering how to make SCD yogurt?

[04:49] Now, I know for some of you, you don’t have questions about the process of making the SCD yogurt. You’re just wondering what the heck I’m even talking about, will it benefit you, and how to you make it? If you’re at this stage in your healing journey, I’ve got you covered mama—in two ways. #1 I’ve got a collection of step by step, hold you by the hand, recipes for SCD yogurt. There’s four recipes in total in this collection. One is for dairy yogurt in a yogurt maker. The second is for diary yogurt in an instant pot because I know many people have seen the yogurt function on your I.P. and you’ve wondered, could I make my SCD yogurt in that? Yes, you can! And because I know you’ve asked for it for a while now, I’ve recently added a recipe for non-dairy yogurt with a yogurt maker and non-dairy yogurt with an I.P.

I told you I’ve got you covered mama, any which way you want to make it. If you’re completely new to the world of SCD or GAPS legal yogurt, I’ve got you covered. And if you’re more of a visual person like me, I’ve got you covered there as well. You can check out my SCD Yogurt Making video on YouTube right now on my YouTube channel IBD Health Coach. Long ago in a galaxy way far away (can you tell I’ve been watching Star Wars lately), I think this video was made when I didn’t even know how to video horizontally,(I think it’s vertical- I haven’t watched it in a while), but I made a video about making SCD yogurt for my YouTube channel. While the video structure is a bit dated, the content is still good.

I’ve got an SCD yogurt making tutorial with your name on it.

[07:21] So, if you want a recipe for SCD yogurt (made any way you want to make it) in paper form or in video form, go to the show notes. There’s links there for whichever method works best for you. Heck, feel free to take advantage of both the paper and the video. That’s what they’re there for. If you want to skip the show notes and go straight to the SCD yogurt recipes, you can get them by going to karynhaley.com/yogurt. That’s k-a-r-y-n-h-a-l-e-y.com/yogurt.

Since I already have recipes out in the eithers for SCD legal and GAPS compliant yogurt (BTW, those are both IBD healing diets you should check out and you can by going to Episode 7: 7 Gut Healing Diets for IBD. I’ll link that in the show notes as well) I thought today’s focus on SCD yogurt would be best if I answered your most asked questions. I get tons of questions about SCD yogurt, probably on a daily basis, so today, we’re going to address the ones I get most often.

These questions will be great for you if you’re in the beginning stages of SCD making and you’re struggling to find answers to your most pressing yogurt making questions or before you’ve decided to dive into yogurt. This is a great time because we’ll get all your questions out of the way before you even begin.

And BTW, whether you’re on SCD, or GAPS, or just eating for IBD healing in general, I highly recommend eating homemade fermented yogurt. It’s just about the best source to improve the quality of the bacteria in your microbiome, and give you relief from your IBD symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea… even IBD related conditions like arthritis and skin rashes. Balancing the flora in your gut is key to healing IBD so whether you’re on a SCD or not, this yogurt (dairy or non-dairy) is crucial for when you use food on your healing journey.

There’s only one type of IBD ailment that I don’t recommend yogurt for and wait and see, because I’ll talk about that later in this episode.

So without further ado, let’s get to it.

Your Top 10 SCD Yogurt Making Stumpers I get asked all the time starts here.

[10:52] #1 Do you recommend one yogurt maker over another?

Yes, I do. I have 3 favorites. The Yogourmet is the one I use. I’ve had it forever with no problems. There’s a link for it in the show notes. Also, there’s a newer, top of the line yogurt maker called the Luvele. It’s supposed to be really great too. I haven’t used it myself, but I’ve recommended it to several clients who love it. The Luvele even has an automatic shut off feature, something the older yogurt makers don’t have. For an economy option, I like the Euro Cuisine yogurt maker. It’s less money, but not less on functionality. These yogurt makers are also linked in the show notes so you can check them out.

[12:20] #2 Is it possible to make a non-dairy yogurt (meaning no lactose- the milk sugar and no casein- the protein found in dairy) and will I still get the same probiotic benefit?

Yes, it is possible to make SCD legal or GAPS friendly yogurt that’s dairy free. My favorite option for non-dairy yogurt is using coconut milk, but you can also make yogurt with almond milk (though I think this one takes patience and practice to perfect). If you have had has success with almond or cashew milk yogurt, please let me know. I’ll share your suggestions with our Gut Love Community of IBD Mamas.

Remember I’ve got recipes for non-dairy yogurt in the show notes or at karynhaley.com/yogurt if you need a good recipe. And yes, to answer the other part of the question about the probiotic benefit, yes, the probiotic benefits will still be intact. Making yogurt dairy free is a great way to get the same benefit from the SCD yogurt without the dairy that may increase your inflammation in your body.

[14:18] #3 I stated making my yogurt and didn’t realize I wouldn’t be home when my 24 hours were up. What can I do?

Most yogurt makers do not have automatic shut off options. As far as I know, the only option that has an automatic shut off is the Luvele yogurt maker. You do have a fairly large window of time for fermenting though (24-30 hours). As long as you put the yogurt in the frig to “set” during that timeframe, you should be fine leaving it on a bit longer than planned.  According to Elaine Gottschall, the author of Breaking the Vicious Cycle, and ultimate SCD mama herself, fermented yogurt for up to 29 hours is fine. After 30 it starts to kill the good bacteria. After 36 hours and it will not last for you in the frig as long as it normally would. Plus, the longer it goes the more tart it tastes.

There’s also a very similar question I get is from Instant Potters.

[16:07] #4 I made my yogurt in the Instant Pot. It turned off after 24 hours (while I was sleeping). Can I still put it in the refrigerator in the morning and eat it?

For moms who use the I.P. to make their yogurt, I hear this question all the time. So, just to give you an example of how this might play out: let’s say there’s an IBD mama who left her yogurt in the instant pot overnight, and it turned off at 11pm) but she forgot to put it in the frig. She’s wondering: can I still use it? The answer is usually yes, but follow the rules above for best results. So, up to 30 hours is fine. When you get above that (because remember it still ferments at room temp) so you will start killing off some of the beneficial bacteria. In my opinion, if you get over 32 hours, it’s probably best to discard it and start again.

Bottom line here, no matter which device you use: a yogurt maker that doesn’t have auto shut off, and yogurt maker with auto shut off, an instant pot or even a crockpot…  accidents happen to us all. Give yourself a break knowing we are all human and make mistakes and move on with confidence that the next batch will turn out better.

[18:15] #5 What is yogurt dripping and do I have to drip my yogurt?

Regular SCD yogurt is not as thick as commercial yogurt. If you like a thicker, creamier, Greek style yogurt, you can “drip” it to remove the whey and make it thicker. The whey is the whitish, watery substance that rises to the top of the yogurt and makes the milk less creamy.

There’s several methods to drip your yogurt. The easiest involves a tool called the Euro Cuisine Yogurt Strainer. I’ll link to it in the show notes so you can check it out. It’s so simple to use. Just add your yogurt to the top of the container, place it in the refrigerator and let the magic happen. The whey will drip to the bottom, leaving a creamy yogurt at the top. You can then place the yogurt in a glass container and put it in your refrigerator.

You can drip anywhere from 3-24 hours. At the 3-hour mark, it will be like the yogurt you get in the grocery store. At the 24 mark, it will be drier and thicker like cream cheese. In fact, you can use it as a cream cheese replacement in recipes quite nicely. Feel free to play around the amount of time you drip and use your dripped yogurt in recipes in place of anything from Greek yogurt to cream cheese.

So, let’s say you don’t have a Euro Cuisine? You can also drip your yogurt with a cheese cloth and a strainer or use coffee filters.

Unless I’m making my yogurt for a particular recipe, I don’t usually drip it at all. I’ve been making yogurt so long that I came up in a generation of non-drippers, but it seems like now that there are appliances for “dripping” yogurt, it’s all the range. Use your personal preference as your guide.

[21:59] #6 How much yogurt should I eat?

Most people can eat up to 2 cups of yogurt a day. You can divide this into 2 portions or eat it at once. Let your symptoms and your intuition be your guide. For some people ½ a cup of yogurt is enough to bring their digestive challenges into balance. Some people find that more yogurt than even ½ a cup gives them constipation. Elaine said that a person could go up to 3 cups a day, but more than that would be detrimental to their health.

A follow up question I get to this question is: So, can I then start with my recommended amount?

No, I would not start with, let’s say, 1 cup of yogurt a day. I would start with just a spoonful a day and work your way up. Most of my clients can start with a spoonful and tolerate it well. Keep in mind, you are adding in loads of beneficial bacteria and there is bound to be some “die off” here. Die off is what happens when we add in beneficial bacteria to help the gut heal. During the early stages of this, the body releases toxins due to a flushing out of the old to make room for a new, healthier system. Symptoms like diarrhea, stomach cramping, bloating, gas, brain fog, poor concentration, irritation, anxiety, etc… are all normal when adding any type of probiotic into your body. The yogurt as you’ll see when you look at the recipe, is a probiotic at its core. Be patient, but persistent. The symptoms should clear up in a few days to a couple weeks.

Occasionally, I have worked with clients whose bodies are so sensitive that they cannot tolerate even a spoonful of yogurt a day. Moms with super sensitive guts should not give up. I have had clients that start by just putting the yogurt to the tip of their tongue and working their way up from there.

The key is to listen to your body. It will tell you all you need to know.

[26:03] #7 How long will my yogurt keep in the frig?

The probiotic benefit will usually last about 2 weeks, though you can keep eating the yogurt if it’s still fresh.

[26:25] #8 If I use my yogurt in baking or cooking, will I still get the probiotic benefit?

No, you will not. Heating up the yogurt diminishes the probiotic benefit, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use your yogurt in baking or cooking. I use mine all the time in homemade salad dressings, sauces, cookies, pancakes, breads, etc… It’s a great way to add “milk” to a recipe without the lactose or dairy if you make the non-dairy version.

[27:22] #9 Can I freeze my yogurt?

Yes, you can freeze your yogurt when it’s done and you can also freeze the milk and starter before you use them. However, do not eat it frozen if you want to get a probiotic benefit from it. You will need to thaw it back to refrigerator temperature. You may also lose a bit of the probiotic if you freeze it.

[28:11] #10 I’m having digestive troubles after starting the yogurt. What should I do?

What we have to do here is figure out if you are having a “die-off” reaction or a true food sensitivity.

#1- if you think you are sensitive to dairy (all dairy, not just the lactose in dairy), it’s best to hold off on adding dairy into your SCD diet for about a month after starting the SCD.

#2- When you do introduce yogurt, whenever the time is right, do it very slowly. Never start with a whole cup. It’s likely you’ll experience the die off symptoms I mentioned before. Remember, start with about 1 tsp, do that for a few days, then increase to a tbsp, and so on until you reach your desired amount. If that is too much for you, you can even start with just the whey of the yogurt (the watery part of the yogurt). My client Leslie was so sensitive to the yogurt that she started with a tiny drop of whey in a full glass of water. She kept increasing the whey and lessening the water. Over time, she was able to move into yogurt. This can take time, but trust me, it’s worth all the effort. Balancing the bacteria in your microbiome is a key step to healing your IBD.

What if dairy doesn’t work for me?

[30:46] #3- Please know that you never have to have dairy yogurt. If you know without a shadow of a doubt that dairy yogurt doesn’t work for you, don’t make it. Make diary free yogurt instead. You may be able to avoid digestive symptoms all together if you avoid dairy.

Everyone is different. I see some clients who thrive on diary yogurt and some who do horribly on it. Everyone is unique. Spend the time finding the right yogurt for you to help balance your gut bacteria.

Yogurt may not be the answer for you at all if you have constipation.

[31:49] Lastly, yogurt isn’t for everyone, especially if you tend more toward constipation. And here we are at the one case where I don’t recommend yogurt. In cases like these, I often recommend sauerkraut instead of yogurt. Sauerkraut is also fermented, it’s alot like yogurt and full of beneficial gut bacteria. This fermented cabbage is an awesome probiotic for the system and a great way for you to get into other fermented veggies, which is really the ultimate goal as your digestive tract heals. Most IBD guts are not ready for this in the beginning, so we work our way to up it with homemade fermented yogurt first.

See how the bottom line here is, no matter how you do it, with dairy yogurt, with non-dairy yogurt or with fermented vegetables– find a way to balance the bacteria in your gut. It’s crucial and it’s key. The way you do this will differ from one IBD mom to the next because our digestive symptoms are all different.

Well, that’s a wrap on my Top 10 SCD Yogurt Making Stumpers I Get Asked All the Time. These are my most frequently asked questions. I know there’s more questions out there and in all four of your SCD yogurt making recipes, the ones you can download at karynhaley.com/yogurt, you’ll see even more of these yogurt making questions answered. There’s a pretty extensive FAQ section there with even more common questions that come up for IBD mamas.

[34:14] How can you Do it Like a Mom when it comes to SCD yogurt?

  1. Get really comfortable with the yogurt making steps before you start. If you need to listen to this episode again and take notes, do it.
  2. Ask questions when you don’t understand something. There’s bound to be a part of the process that confuses you. Get the facts before you try it out.
  3. Know that you will make missteps with yogurt. It’s OK, we all do it. Try to laugh it out and know that you’re in good company. bbb
  4. Go slow, slow, slow. This isn’t a race to the finish line. Go slow with yogurt and it will serve you well.

Remember, I love connecting with you. If questions come up that I haven’t answered for you, please reach out. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll definitely have fun finding it out for you. I geek out on IBD healing foods like SCD yogurt and I love finding out more facts about this IBD miracle food every day.

As we wrap up, know that I’m thinking of you as you move along on your IBD journey. We’re in this together mom friend. No matter where we are in the world, we’re in this together, supporting each other as we do our best to heal our IBD every day.

Sending you love and support and cheeky mama healing vibes.

Chat soon!

[36:26] Thank you so much for joining me today and for listening to today’s episode. When it comes to IBD, I know there’s a lot of resources out there, and I’m truly honored that you chose the Cheeky Podcast to get your IBD information today. If you found this information helpful, please give us a rating and review. It helps other moms find the podcast and see what we’re doing over here to help IBD moms everywhere. And if you feel called feel a call to do it, share this podcast with an IBD mom who you know could really use an uplifting message today, ’cause that’s what we’re all about over here at the Cheeky Podcast.

One last thing, if you’re still with me, and if you are, you’re definitely my kind of gal. We have to get to know each other better. If you’re tired of living on the hamster wheel of IBD with all the ups and downs between flares and remission, if you’re struggling to get control of your abdominal pain, gas, bloating, diarrhea and other troubling IBD symptoms, go to my website. It’s karynhaley.com, and my mom had to be just a little bit different, she spelled my name with the Y. So it’s K-A-R-Y-N H-A-L-E-Y.com and schedule your very own free 30-minute IBD root cause trouble-shooting session with me where we discuss the challenges you’ve been having, we set goals to help you move forward, and we talk about how we can work together to help you get your life back. It’s a power packed 30 minutes. You don’t have to live in IBD status quo. There’s so much that can be done to transform your life so you can thrive in motherhood and thrive with IBD. I’ve seen my clients walk this path and it gives me so much joy to take that journey with them.

My entire coaching practice is run online, so you never have to leave your house and you never have to get out of your jammy or yoga pants for us to work together. You know I’m wearing them to. If you’re ready to take your first amazing step towards healing, I’m ready to chat with you. Schedule your free 30-minute IBD root cause trouble shooting sesh today at karynhaley.com. Click on the work with me tab and I’ll see you soon. It’s important to note that the information in this podcast and in this episode is for general information purposes only and not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The statements made in the Cheeky Podcast for moms with IBD, either by me or my guests, is not intended to diagnose, treat, to cure, or prevent any disease. Before implementing any new treatment protocols, do yourself a favor and consult your physician first.

Thank you so much for listening, for being here, for saving this space for us to spend some time together. Until we chat again, I’m wishing you a cheeky and healthy IBD journey.

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