Ep 5: The Top 3 SCD Missteps Everyone Makes

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet seems to work like gangbusters for many with Crohn’s or colitis, while others are left feeling like they’ve lost their invitation to this great SCD healing party.

If you’ve ever tried the SCD and felt like a failure or if you’ve heard about the diet, but didn’t really know how to get started, this is the episode for you. Today, we’re pulling back the covers on the most common missteps I see moms making when it comes to this eating plan. After listening to this podcast, you’ll be able to start (or go back to) the SCD with confidence, knowing what went wrong the first time and how to make sure that doesn’t happen in round two.

The SCD is confusing and overwhelming at first. There’s no doubt about it. In this episode we cover what all the confusion is about as we talk about how, with the right information, you can go from SCD Zero to SCD Hero in no time.

Episode at a Glance:

  • [0:50] Today, we’ll be talking about the 3 common missteps that are keeping you from being successful on the SCD
  • [5:01] Misstep #1 that many people make when trying the SCD is that you don’t do the introductory diet or you do it, but you don’t do it correctly. And yes, there is an incorrect and a correct way, and it will be the difference between becoming an SCD completer and an SCD drop out.
  • [12:06] The Intro Diet are helps correct malabsorption quickly and efficiently. It brings your intestines back into working order in just a matter of days, and then it prepares your body for an amazing healing journey.
  • [17:41] This is the place to listen if you want to know exactly what you’ll be eating on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet- Intro phase. The general overview of foods, plus sample meal plans will help you get started with confidence that you’re doing it right.
  • [23:00] Misstep #2 happens when you introduce all the SCD foods, all in their health and glory all at once, or just too fast for your gut in it’s healing fragile state. Please do yourself a favor if you want to reach remission with the SCD, go slow.
  • [27:27] After the intro diet is complete, introduce one new food at a time. Once that new food is part of your rotation, you continue to eat it and you move on to the next food.
  • [28:49] If a food you eat on the SCD doesn’t agree with you, set it aside for now. You can always go back and try that food again later after more intestinal healing has taken place.
  • [37:24] Misstep #3 Not knowing the difference between “die-off” and a true food reaction can keep you in the dark when it comes to knowing your symptoms and what they mean for you.
  • [39:47] Anytime you are adding in new fermented foods or supplements, “die-off” may occur. Although die-off seems bad in the moment, it’s actually a good thing and should settle rather quickly.
  • [44:40] Do it like a mom: We’re all running our own race here. I appreciate and support you without judgment, wherever you are on your IBD journey. That’s how you can do it like a mom. You can do it like it fits for you
  • [46:54] One last thing, if you’re still with me, and if you are, you’re definitely my kinda girl, we have to get to know each other better. Go to karynhaley.com, and schedule your very own free 30-minute IBD root cause troubleshooting 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.

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Episode Links:

The Top 3 SCD Missteps Everyone Makes


00:05 INTRO You’re listening to The Cheeky Podcast for Moms with IBD, a safe space where 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 KARYN: Well, hello there lovely mama. Today, we’re gonna talk about one of my absolute favorite topics in the world, the specific carbohydrate diet, SCD, as it’s often called, and you’ll definitely hear me say that on this episode. I love this topic. The SCD is the diet I work with most in my coaching practice. It’s the gut-healing diet you hear about in many Crohn’s and colitis Facebook groups, in internet searches, on social media, and it’s the diet that worked for me 12 years ago when I finally decided I was never gonna get any better with a medication-only approach. Where are you at in your experience with the SCD? Is this an idea that’s completely new to you? Have you dabbled in it, or are you an SCD pro? No matter what your SCD status, if you’ve got IBD, you’re gonna benefit from what we’re talking about today. It’s the top three SCD missteps everyone makes. As moms, we make mistakes all the time. We might yell at our kids when they don’t deserve it in a moment of stress. That would never be me, of course. We might accidentally leave one of our children at a park because we thought our spouse had him. That’s certainly not me. [chuckle]

02:16: We might even get busted trying to add zucchini to the spaghetti sauce. Definitely never me. But if it was me, it may have happened earlier this week. Thankfully, with most mom pitfalls, we get a do-over the next day, we get a second chance to turn the beat around as Gloria Estefan would say. We’re moms, we’re human, we have to give ourselves a break. And if you struggle with that, I’m giving you the grace. So please, please give yourself a break when you mess up. It isn’t always our fault. As moms we’re learning, we’re growing, we’re evolving all the time. When we know better, we do better. Same goes for the specific carbohydrate diet. And let me just get this out of the way right from the beginning of this episode. When you’re first learning about the diet, it’s confusing as hell. Can I get an amen? It’s frighteningly confusing actually. If we can allow ourselves the room to make mistakes in our daily mom life, and get to do daily do-overs, why can’t we do that with the SCD too? When we know, it’s just like motherhood, it can be confusing, overwhelming, and stressful at times. Today, I’m gonna help give you that do-over. We’re going to become a bit of a detective here, a nutrition detective, if you will, so you can get absolutely clear on why the SCD might not be working for you.

03:55: And if you haven’t tried the SCD yet, you’ll never have to fall for these missteps ever. You’ll be set up for SCD success right from the get-go. If this is your first time hearing about the specific carbohydrate diet or you don’t really know much about it, do yourself a favor, grab a copy of Breaking the Vicious Cycle by Elaine Gottschall, BTVC as I like to call it, and lots of other people like to call it too. You’ll hear me say that today in the episode. There’s a link for Breaking the Vicious Cycle in the show notes, so be sure to click there and you can grab yourself a copy. We won’t be going into all the details and all the why’s behind the diet today, a little, but not really very heavy and not enough to where I really would like you to be if you’re starting the diet. So for now, if you’re an SCD newbie, know that the SCD is a way of eating that’s nutrient-dense, it’s gut healing with food that can help bring that Crohn’s or colitis into remission.

Are you making Misstep # 1?

05:01: With that said, are you ready for misstep number one? Let’s dive in. Misstep number one. You don’t do the introductory diet or you do it, but you don’t do it correctly. And yes, I have to tell you, there is an incorrect and a correct way, and it will be the difference between becoming an SCD completer and an SCD drop out. The intro diet matters. I really never like to be a strict schoolmarm about most things when it comes to health because the truth is there’s so many different ways to transform your health successfully, but if you are choosing the SCD to heal your IBD, the introductory diet matters, doing it right matters. If you’ve made the mistake of trying the SCD without starting the intro or you did the intro, but you didn’t do it with complete adherence, it’s all good. It’s all okay, mama. It’s time for a do-over. The good news is that you can go back. You can go back and do the intro any time. Even though I started the SCD 12 years ago, I still go back to the intro diet for tune-ups and to crush a flare-up flat right in its tracks before it gets out of control. You can always go back and start again. And if you’re on the SCD somewhere in the beginning stages and it’s not going well, I want you to pay special attention to this episode because I’m gonna help you get out of SCD hell and into SCD swell. Yes, I actually wrote that. [chuckle]

06:49: And now I’m laughing at myself saying it, it didn’t sound corny when I thought of it earlier. Moving on, it’s not your fault, don’t go beating yourself up over this. Don’t go thinking that your IBD is hopeless either because it isn’t your fault. For those who have read the Breaking the Vicious Cycle book cover to cover, it’s 200-plus pages, but the actual introductory eating plan, the foundation for the diet, it takes up one page, one. It’s no wonder the introductory diet didn’t work for you, it’s no wonder you didn’t do it correctly, it’s a blip in the book. I never thought that I would get it right, and I wouldn’t have got it right if I didn’t work with a health coach to help me along the way. Now, I know some of you mamas, you have the BTVC book handy and you’re looking at it, and you’re looking in it, and you’re seeing a whole chapter dedicated to the introductory diet, and you’re saying to me, “No way, that’s not true. There is more than one page to the intro, there’s a whole chapter, Karyn.”

08:01: But if you look a little bit closer, the part of the chapter that actually tells you what to eat during the introductory period is one page long. Not even a page, I have to amend that, it’s one half a page long. Now, before the stoning begins on me from the SCD Elaine-loving purists, I know you’re out there, just know that I love this book. I think Elaine Gottschall was a goddess on high. The best mama in all the land for helping her child heal from ulcerative colitis. But there are parts of this book that are just confusing for us lay mamas who are desperate for a way out, stressed about how to get there and want someone to take us by the hand and lead us step by step through how all this just works, especially the intro part. This book just doesn’t do that. I don’t know about you but after I read The Intro Diet chapter, I didn’t feel confident that I even had a clue what to do next. Here’s just a little glimpse of what it looked like for me after reading this part, the intro part of the book.

09:14: Here’s me. “Okay, so I’m currently eating a diet that consists of a bagel with cream cheese for breakfast, a healthy… ” She said in quotes, “Healthy whole wheat sandwich with deli meat and Kraft American cheese slices for lunch. I’m having spaghetti and meatballs for dinner then some Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey Ice Cream for dessert, and you want me to eat dry-curd cottage, what? What the hell even is that? Where do I even buy that? And besides this dry-curd stuff, what is there to eat on this besides like three or four things on this diet? What? What? What?” Okay, that’s just a small glimpse into the craziness that went on in my brain after reading that particular part of the book. So it’s no wonder you’re confused. I was too. Why do you think I read Breaking the Vicious Cycle, screamed at the front cover, threw it in a corner and never picked it up again for five years? This intro diet misstep is not your fault. This is all so confusing and different from what we’re used to. On top of that, only one half a page of the BTVC book is dedicated to what you’ll eat on the intro. It’s no wonder you didn’t do the intro right, or you didn’t do it at all.

10:40: And I really can’t stress the importance of this part of the diet enough. Seriously, I just have to say it one more time. Doing this part correctly is crucial for gut repair. I’ve seen it be the difference between SCD success and failure for many. The intro part of the diet is all about giving your digestive tract what it needs to heal. As we go through and talk about this misstep number one, not completing the intro part of the diet, I want you to know that if you’re on the fence about the SCD or if you’ve never heard of it, but you’re curious about what it might mean for your IBD health or if you’ve tried it and it didn’t work, this part… This part in particular, I want you to pay close attention to because I really want you to understand the why behind this. The why behind it is so important, and if you’re multi-tasking, come back to me for this part, ’cause this part is key. For those of us who are dealing with gut struggles like Crohn’s and colitis, and we have an imbalance of gut flora, sometimes it’s called intestinal bacteria, if there’s an imbalance there, the intro part of the SCD is the first step to help clear out these damaged microbes and it happens in the quickest way possible.

The power of the SCD Intro Diet, when done correctly, is HUGE.

12:06: Elaine Gottschall, that awesome SCD leader, along with Dr. Sidney Haas championed the Specific Carbohydrate Diet movement. After Dr. Haas had studied the benefits of the elemental diet where a feeding tube is used to bypass the gut and allow it time to heal, he saw the amazing results people had on the elemental diet, and he decided to create an elemental diet style without the feeding tube that anyone could do. The elemental diet and The Intro Diet are really similar in that they both correct malabsorption quickly and efficiently. The Intro Diet, it brings your intestines back into working order in just a matter of days, and then it prepares your body for an amazing healing journey, powerful stuff. Think of it like a detox, only in my opinion, it’s a much healthier option, and it’s something that is very different from a traditional detox that’s really just truly harsh on your system. This detox is specifically designed for IBDer’s, so it’s gentle, it’s healthy, and it’s truly transformational.

13:22: Now that we have fully embraced the gut transforming why’s behind the intro diet, let’s talk about the how. How does this intro part work? The intro diet, it usually lasts between one and five days, and the number of days you complete the intro will depend on your symptoms, and frankly, if you tolerate the boringness of the food you’ll be eating. It’s advised by Elaine that you never go more than five days as additional time becomes counterproductive to your healing. One to two days of the diet is usually sufficient if you have mild disease or mild diarrhea. Three to four days is usually recommended and needed if your disease is more active and you have increased diarrhea. And then the five days is reserved for those with severe disease. I’ve been blessed to be a witness as a coach during enough intro phases to know that you’ll know when it’s time to move on, both physically and emotionally. When diarrhea starts to subside, and you’ve had that last piece of bland chicken that you can stomach, it’s time to move on. Don’t be frightened if you’re not having a, “Praise Jesus, I am healed,” kind of moment. Gut healing doesn’t really work that way, at least for not anyone that I’ve met.

14:47: But it’s a starting place. It’s a sign of good things to come. It’s a rite of passage. It’s kind of like crossing the stage when you graduate from high school. There’s a feeling of completion, but also the knowledge that the future awaits. It’s a bright future where you aren’t exactly sure what comes next, but you’re hopeful and you’re willing to put the time in to get to the place you want to be. That’s the story of starting and finishing the intro part of the diet. It’s like high school, but a lot shorter and hopefully a lot less hair spray. Is the intro diet fun? Is it a cleansing party with balloons and confetti? Not unless you live with a family of crazy people who are partying it up with you to help you get through the intro. The truth is, it’s actually kind of boring, and unless you take some pretty drastic steps in preparation, you will be hangry and you won’t be eating a lot of variety in the foods you’re eating for those few days. But, but what will you get in exchange? A lot, my friend. I mean, life-transforming a lot. It’s worth every annoying second you’re in it, so don’t give up. You’ve got this. You’ve got this. I know you can get through it. And of course, you know I’m here for you for moral support.

16:17: Okay, we’ve got the why, we’ve got the how, now let’s dive into the what. What exactly will you be eating? This is the part where I see lots of missteps happening, so I wanna go over this. Keep in mind that what you’ll be eating is the same few foods, but these foods are known for their nutrients, the nutrients that are in them, as well as the crap that’s not in there. So there’s no gluten, no grains, no refined sugar, no lactose from dairy, sounds tasty, right? Actually, it is, and over time, I’m willing to bet that you are going to capital L-O-V-E, love this food just as much as I do. Just not the intro part of it. What Elaine does really well in the BTCV book is provide recipes for the SCD legal food. So I am going to let you look to her book for those recipes, between her book and a great little website called PecanBread. I know kind of a funny title, but PecanBread, if you’re on the SCD, it probably does make sense to you with all the nut flour. But look there, and you’ll definitely get some recipes. I will leave a link in the show notes for PecanBread so that you can just click it and go there when you’re ready.

Your step-by-step, what to eat and when, guide to the SCD intro diet.

17:41: There’s lots of recipes between there, between the book, I know you’ll be set. So for today, let’s focus on what eating will look like during those five days. Here’s what you’ll be eating, here’s what’s included in the intro diet. Various broiled meats like chicken, turkey, ground beef, or pork. You can also have white fish, dry curd cottage cheese with a bit of homemade yogurt, a homemade chicken soup, well-cooked. I mean, well-cooked, like four hours cooked. Pureed carrots, eggs, and those are okay once your diarrhea has cleared. SCD legal apple cider or Welch’s Grape Juice, homemade gelatin. And what those are like are, maybe when you were little, you had those jello jigglers or Knox blocks, they’re kind of like that. And also homemade cheesecake, so you’re not gonna have to desert dessert. And it’s a cheesecake without a crust, so it’s more like a cheesecake pudding, I’d say, but it’s tasty.

18:44: There’s homemade pear sauce, water, of course, is allowed. And Elaine would say that you could have SCD legal diluted juice, so you’re diluting that half juice, half water. And I would say probably weak black tea would be okay. So what would an actual day look like in this SCD intro diet part? Let me give you a couple of different examples so that you could see what you might be eating during this time. So for breakfast, you might have homemade pear sauce, dry curd cottage cheese moistened with a little bit of homemade yogurt, some weak black tea, and a cup of chicken soup. That’s the chicken soup, but just the broth, not with the chicken, just the broth for breakfast. Another breakfast might be two scrambled eggs. If you don’t have any diarrhea, you could have scrambled eggs. Some homemade pear sauce, Welch’s Grape Juice diluted with water, and that cup of homemade chicken broth. For lunch, you might have a bowl of the chicken soup this time with the chicken and maybe with some pureed carrots added in, a homemade smoothie that would be consisting of a half of a frozen very ripe banana, one half cup of SCD approved juice, like Welch’s or Dole pineapple juice.

20:08: You could also put in the smoothie a small dollop of yogurt, puree that up, probably would be delicious, and you could also have the homemade gelatin, that might be one option for lunch. Another option could be some ground pork patties broiled, and you might have that with a bowl of chicken soup with that carrot puree, some gelatin squares and the same smoothie. Dinner… What would dinner look like? Dinner could be broiled ground beef meat balls with pureed carrots, SCD legal apple cider and another cup of the chicken soup, just the broth, with some cheesecake for dessert. Another option for dinner might be some broiled white fish with that dry-curd cottage cheese topped with a dollop of yogurt, some pureed carrots and again that cup of chicken broth, just the broth with of course some cheesecake for dessert. I’m sure you’re getting the picture here of how this might look for you, lots of variations on the same few foods. Love it or hate it, you can’t get around the fact that The Intro Diet, if it’s done correctly, it works, it works for many. Most of the evidence that the SCD works is based on personal accounts, but there are some research studies conducted that have been really promising. I’m gonna leave some research links in the show notes below, just in case you’re a research girl like me.

21:37: Is the SCD perfect? No, of course it’s not perfect, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you that there’s actually some things about the SCD in general and The Intro Diet specifically that I find a little bit questionable. After using the diet myself religiously for two years and then being on a modified version of it for the last 10 years, plus seeing what works and what doesn’t work for others, it’s given me a good perspective on the diet. A future episode is already in the works to chat about some of the possible limitations or the questionable parts of this diet, so that it can help you make the best decision possible for you. I’m definitely looking forward to that conversation. But for the most part, if you do this diet with fanatical adherence, that’s Elaine Gottschall’s words, not mine, it works. Yes, for most people, it works. What’s the bottom line for you with misstep number one, mama? The bottom line is this, don’t skip the intro. Do the intro as directed by Elaine, follow the additional info I gave you in this episode regarding the intro, and you will be set up for SCD success from day one, even if you have to go back and start it again.

Are you falling for SCD Misstep #2?

23:00: It’s worth it. You’ve got this. You know you can do it. I know you can do it. You’ll be glad you did. I’ve been there too, and I’m here to walk this journey with you. So let’s say that you went ahead and you followed the intro steps to a tee and you’re ready to move on, what’s next. Well, for you, that’s not going to be misstep number two, because you’ll listen to this episode. For those other IBDer’s out there what’s misstep number two for them? Misstep number two happens when you introduce all the SCD foods, all in their health and glory all at once, or just too fast for your gut in it’s healing fragile state. Please do yourself a favor if you want to reach remission with the SCD, go slow. And I know, I know what you’re thinking, I can hear you, I can hear you in my ear, I can hear you telling me, “Karyn, I do go slow.” When you think you’re going slow, I say go slower, like creeper slow, like introducing foods to a baby slow, like tortoise slow. Remember, who wins the race between the tortoise and the hare in the end? It’s not the hare, right?

24:27: Maybe you’ve completed the intro and you’re feeling pretty well. I know it’s tempting to want to move ahead fast, but every single mama I know who’s done this has lived to regret it. The Breaking the Vicious Cycle book doesn’t even mention this, and it certainly doesn’t mention stages of food, but that little website I mentioned earlier, Pecanbread, it does. In fact, they have a great SCD Stages Chart on their site, and I highly recommend checking out that and following it religiously. The SCD works best in stages, it works best when we think of ourselves like babies beginning to eat new foods again. You wouldn’t introduce all the fruit and all the meat and all the veggies to a baby all in one day, right. And why not? Because you know, you’d never have any idea what worked for them and what didn’t. What’s going on with that rash that little Johnny has on his cheek? I have no idea. He ate 57 foods today. Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the idea, you can’t introduce it all at once. As soon as you successfully complete the intro phase, do yourself a massive favor, only adding one new food at a time, don’t add in anything else, nothing else during this time, and I’m not just talking about food here either, not the new hair product that promises no frizz and no fly-aways, not that new laundry detergent with the dream fresh scent, not even a new supplement, nothing.

26:11: Eat this one food, this one food for three days in a row, and see how you feel. Use your food/mood/poop journal that we talked about in episode four to see how that particular food is treating you. And if you haven’t listened to that episode, go back and take a listen when you’re done with this one. You’ll learn all about the FMP journal, complete your FMP journal, and if you feel after three days that that food has worked for you, you make it a part of your diet and then you move on to the next food.

26:44: Sorry guys, Karyn here breaking into the episode for just a sec. I realized that after I recorded the episode, I might have confused you a little bit with this part, so let me clear it up. While you’re introducing new foods with just one food at a time for three days, you aren’t just eating that one food and only that one food for three days. That would be ridiculously torturous. Instead, you’re eating everything from The Intro Diet that agrees with you, and all other foods you’ve added in so far plus that one new food. Of course, you can continue to eat everything you’ve tried successfully and things you know that work for your body.

27:27: Once that new food is part of your rotation, you continue to eat it and you move on to the next food. So in an ideal world, the amount of food you eat would be increasing every three days, you start out with just a few foods on The Intro Diet, but by the time you reach the full diet, there’s zillions of foods out there that you’re eating and you’ll continue to move in that direction all the time. Sorry if I made you say, “What?” Hope it clears up any confusion. Now, back to the episode. If you experienced any symptoms with that food, like it could be abdominal pain, bloating, excessive gas, diarrhea, constipation, lots of symptoms out there you might experience, and you’ll know, you’ll know if you had any of these symptoms because you’ve been tracking them in your FMP journal. If you have any of those symptoms, it’s time to stop eating that food, not forever just for now. Remember back in Episode 3, Let’s Talk About Poop, Part One, I mentioned that there are so many other things that affect how you feel both physically and emotionally, it may not be the food, it may not be the food that’s causing this current reaction, so that’s why you don’t wanna say goodbye forever.

What to do if you eat a food on the diet that doesn’t agree with you.

28:49: Remember, it’s your hormones, your sleep, stress, anxiety, depression, just to name a few things, so it’s always good to be sure before you set a food aside for a while. Now you’ll hear all kinds of theories, all kinds of theories on when to try that food again. If you have a food that doesn’t agree with you, when do you try it again, and from all of those theories, really, they’re probably all good. For what it’s worth, here’s what I like to recommend. If a food on the SCD bothers you, set it aside for one week, this gives your hormones, your mood, etcetera, all those other things, it gives them time to settle down, then try the food again. Still have a reaction, I want you to set it aside for three months. Three months. It’s a long time, especially in SCD land. Remember in SCD land, things are moving at a snail’s pace. Can you even imagine all of the intestinal healing that’s taking place in those three months, give it three months. Try again, if the food works, now you can add it to your rotation, if it doesn’t work, now it’s time to ditch it.

30:03: Ditch it for about a year. That’s a lifetime in SCD land. And in that time, if you try it again and the food still doesn’t work, I’m willing to bet that it’s probably a no-go for you. Sorry, there’s just some foods that won’t work no matter how much time we give them. Now that we’ve spent a moment on what to do when food doesn’t work, let’s get back to adding in new foods that do work. Let’s say you complete the intro phase and you’re ready to start adding new foods. In the SCD Stages Chart, like the one we see on the Pecanbread website, we move following a direct and logical SCD path, first by adding in well-cooked, peeled and deseeded foods. Next by adding in well-cooked foods that have peels and seeds, and then finally raw foods. There’s other delights along the way, like larger helpings of SCD yogurt and nut butters and nut milks and nut flours. Ham and bacon is in there too, along with some truly delicious desserts. That’s a process, and it flows nicely with the healing process that’s going on in your gut at the same time. You see, as your digestive system becomes stronger, as your mucosal lining and the epithelial cells regenerate in your intestine, you will be able to tolerate and digest more foods.

31:35: Doesn’t it completely makes sense that a food you couldn’t tolerate a month ago, now that more healing has taken place, it’s a food you can tolerate now. It’s always worth a try. Remember the key here, the key in adding new foods in this phase is to go tortoise slow, adding in only one new food at a time, one new food every few days. When we go at this pace, we know exactly what’s working for us and what isn’t, and then we can make necessary modifications. When we go at this pace, we allow our gut the time it needs to heal. It’s been quite a while for me, back in 2008 when I started the SCD, but I do remember. I remember being advised to go slow and yes, it was hard, but I adhered to it. I clung to every last rule because I knew that it was important and it was working for me, I remember trying pickles for the first time. Oh, oh what a taste that was. I remember that I hadn’t had pickles and years and I was so excited. I picked a standard pickle brand, a brand that shall not be named, but they were SCD legal. After about a day of eating those pickles, I started to get heartburn and then a rumbling in my belly and bloating after I ate them. I tried them for one more day, but experienced the same thing, so sadly, I knew that pickles were not for me, at least not for now.

33:14: A week later, I tried again and the same reaction occured, definitely the pickles. Cut to three months later, three months later, the next time I ate those pickles, I picked a different brand. I picked a different brand, and this brand I will name ’cause they are truly the best pickles in the world, Bubbies. Bubbies pickles are different. First of all, they are the best-tasting things on the planet, and secondly, they’re just healthier. They have more natural ingredients, and they’re a very traditional pickle. And I just love them. And guess what? No symptoms. No symptoms at all. Bubbies are now a staple in my house, and I’ve gotten my hubby into them as well. Reintroducing a food with success is great, but it doesn’t always work that way. And I have that story too. Take bell peppers, for instance. For me, peppers are my kryptonite. I’ve tried them over and over, raw and cooked with no luck. Diarrhea and abdominal pain is the outcome for me. I did figure out though that I can tolerate a roasted red pepper without the skin and they’re delish, but that’s the only kind of pepper that works for me.

34:33: I know it might be hard to believe that you’ll know your body so well. Just like what I’m talking about here, you’ll know your body so well that you know what kind of pepper you tolerate or the only brand of pickles that works for you while others don’t. But if you stay this course and you don’t fall prey to step number two by going too fast with your diet and you commit to keeping some type of food journal, this kind of freedom and delight in all the healthy delicious amazing foods you can eat, it will be your reality too. Well, we’ve made it to misstep number three. As promised, the last pitfall we’re gonna cover in this episode, today we’re covering the top three missteps I see most often, pitfalls that will really hold IBDers back when it comes to successfully using the SCD to quiet IBD symptoms. In coming up with these three, I actually whittled this list down from a much larger list of pitfalls, but I wanted to pick the ones that you needed right now, the ones that I knew you needed to get started. But it’s those smaller mistakes, those other ones that I can’t mention that we don’t have time to talk about today, they’re still in my mind, and I don’t like to keep any information that I have that might be helpful for you.

35:57: So with that in mind, I thought that I would go ahead and create a PDF for you with all of the pitfalls that I couldn’t fit into this episode today. So if you’re gonna be starting the SCD soon or if you know that you’ve tried it before, it didn’t work so well, and you were just waiting for a more step-by-step approach or heck, even if you’re rolling along fine and everything is great, but I don’t know, information is just always better, right? Even if any of those scenarios fit for you, I wanna encourage you to download this new guide that I have, 10 More SCD Mistakes to Avoid. You can get it by going to the show notes. You can click on it there, or you can also go to karynhaley.com/missteps. That’s K-A-R-Y-N-H-A-L-E-Y dot com forward slash missteps. M-I-S-S-T-E-P-S Karynhaley.com/missteps. The information from today plus my new guide, 10 More SCD Missteps to Avoid. It will definitely help you. It will come in handy as you navigate your way through this eating plan. I want success for you. I want healing for you. This information today on this episode, plus the PDF guide, it’s gonna help you on your way.

Has SCD Misstep #3 been a stumbling block for you?

37:24: Okay. We’ve made it to misstep number three, misstep number three that I see SCD-ers making all too often. This is a big one and a challenging one for many. You’re not sure about the difference between die-off and a true food reaction. I have to say that one more time. You’re not sure about the difference between die-off and a true food reaction. This one is gonna take a little bit of explaining, and it’s good information either for those who have never tried SCD and you’ve never heard of die-off, all the way to those who know exactly what I’m talking about, but are struggling to still… To figure out what is going on when they don’t feel well on the SCD. Let’s start this misstep with the term die-off. What is die-off? The proper name is the herxheimer reaction, but nobody calls it that. It’s most commonly called die-off. The most common place where people on the SCD usually experience die-off is in the intro phase.

38:33: It’s very typical here. The point of the intro period is to clear out your body of toxins and bacterial overgrowth. The bad bacteria while they’re thriving in your gut, they have this warm and cozy home, and of course, they wanna keep it that way. But the intro diet provides them with a losing battle for this bacteria because you’re not giving them what they need to thrive. You’re not giving them the complex starches and the refined sugars. As this unhealthy bacteria die, toxins are released in your body. Rest assured, even though it sounds terrible, this is actually a good thing. In fact, it’s a great thing. It means that your body is moving towards health, but unfortunately, the toxins, they can create this die-off, meaning that the bad bacteria is releasing toxins. During this time, diarrhea might get worse, brain fog can also occur. Irritability, moodiness, anxiety, bloating and gas are also common symptoms of die-off. There’s several things that you could experience that could be due to this die-off reaction.

39:47: When else during the SCD can you experience this die-off? Any time you’re adding in fermented foods or supplements. The crux of the SCD that homemade fermented yogurt, that’s a very common place. There’s a strong possibility that you will experience some die-off here because all the new gut bugs that are entering and leaving your system and the toxin release that it creates, that creates this die-off. This should balance out and eventually you should be able to get back to feeling more normal, but there can be some bacterial upset before that occurs. Other times you might feel those die-off symptoms when you add in other fermented foods, maybe later in the eating plan, you enter in sauerkraut or Kimchi. You might also experience a die-off reaction if you add in a supplement like a probiotic for your healing regime. And again, for that same reason, adding in good bacteria, adding in the ferments can create that die-off reaction for a little while, although things should settle out. There’s a common theme here, right? With the die-off. It’s the bacteria. Whenever you change the bacterial balance in your gut, you might experience those die-off symptoms. That’s why when mamas are adding in these new foods or supplements, I always recommend going slow, slow, slow. Can I say that again? [chuckle] Slow. Going slow will help your body adjust over time.

41:29: Sure, you can go from zero yogurt to two cups a day, but I wouldn’t recommend it. The die-off from the fermented yogurt is just too strong. So that’s die-off. The question is, what’s happening when you’re introducing a new food and you have a reaction to it, is that die-off too? Let’s get back to my pepper sensitivity, I think this is gonna help with this. How about the diarrhea and the abdominal pain that I experienced there when I tried those peppers? Was that die-off? Well, chances are probably no. Die-off usually occurs from fermented food and supplements, and over time, it’ll subside and you’ll actually be healthier for it. Whereas with a true food sensitivity from a food you just don’t tolerate because of inflammation in your intestines or leaky gut where food particles break through the gut wall, and they make their way into your bloodstream, it’s more a true food reaction here. And the reaction doesn’t usually change over a few days, it’s longer-lasting, and a good reason to stay away from that particular food for a while. Now, when you’re feeling not quite right on the SCD, whether it’s gut symptoms like diarrhea, abdominal pain, or other symptoms like headaches, skin rash, brain fog, remember to think about what you’ve been eating lately. If you’re using the FNP journal, you’ll know what to do.

43:04: One last note worth mentioning about die-off. In the BTVC book, Elaine talks about two times on the SCD when die-off is common. Number one is what we talked about here, in the intro phase. Number two is after about two to three months into the diet. If you’re sailing along swimmingly, feeling great on the eating plan, and then out of nowhere, wham, you start having any of those gut or non-gut symptoms, think about the possibility it could be die-off. Apparently, it’s a last-ditch effort by those gut bugs who are hanging on for dear life. Just like any die-off experience, it will disappear. I’ve seen die-off go away in anywhere from three days to two weeks, no matter when you experience it. In all honesty, I have to say that this two to three month die-off period, it didn’t happen for me, and I rarely see it happen with my SCD clients. It can happen though. So definitely it’s something to watch out for. All right, ladies, we did it. We made it. We made it through another episode together. Good for you girlfriend. You have got your mind on your health and you’re rocking this thing. You’re working it every day. I know you are. I see you, I feel you. There’s an army of IBD mamas out there in the world, and we’re all beautifully and forever connected by our hope, our drive, and our commitment to good health and good motherhood.

Do it like a mom!

44:40: Now, one last thing before we wrap up, we’re gonna talk about how you’re gonna do this like a mom. How are you gonna make sure that these missteps don’t befall you? How are you gonna do this like a mom? Well, maybe, maybe today is the day you start a gut-healing diet like the SCD. Maybe it’s next week or next month, whatever that day, and whenever that day comes for you, it’s all good. When the time is right, you’ll do it like a mom and you’ll know. Don’t forget it took me five years. Even after I knew about the SCD, it took me five years to give it a try. We’re all running our own race here. I appreciate and support you without judgment, wherever you are on your IBD journey. So that’s how you can do it. That’s how you can do it like a mom. You can do it like it fits for you. Do it however it fits in your life. Don’t forget if this information was helpful for you and you wanna take it one step further, don’t forget, check out my hot off the press PDF about other possible missteps you might encounter on this SCD eating plan. You can get your hands on the free PDF, 10 More SCD Missteps to Avoid by checking the show notes for the link, or by going directly to karynhaley.com/missteps.

46:17: 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 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.


Are you ready to take your gut healing to the next level?

46:54: 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, spell my name with a Y. So it’s K-A-R-Y-N-H-A-L-E-Y dot com, and schedule your very own free 30-minute IBD root cause troubleshooting 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 gut 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.

48:02: 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 too. 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 troubleshooting session today at karynhaley.com. Click on the Work With Me tab and I’ll see you soon.

48:29: 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, 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 the 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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