You might already know this, but I am a capital H HUGE fan of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.
But even when you’re passionate about something with your whole heart, you can still find ways to make it even better.
Today, even though I couldn’t be more in love with the SCD and everything it can do to transform your life just the way it is, I’m going to tell you how you can make your SCD journey happen faster, better, and give you longer lasting results that have the power to stay with you for a lifetime.
We’re talking about:
And so much more!
After this episode, you can take the SCD revamps that work for you, scrap the ones that don’t, and make your gut healing journey the best adventure it can be.
Episode at a Glance:
Mentioned in This Episode:
Hey there my friend, you might already know this, but I am a capital H HUGE fan of the specific carbohydrate diet. I’m not being overly dramatic when I tell you that, almost 13 years ago, the SCD literally saved my life. But even when you’re passionate about something with your whole heart, you can still find ways to make it even better.
Think about your favorite relationship, maybe it’s the relationship you have with your spouse or your best friend or an amazing connection with a sibling… I bet you’re still working on that relationship, aren’t you? You don’t just get to amazing status and leave it alone. Because if you did, that relationship would stagnate and eventually, it would slowly die. When something’s important to you, you work at it to make it stronger, to make it the best damn thing it could possibly be. Today, even though I couldn’t be more in love with the SCD and everything it can do to transform your life just the way it is, I’m going to tell you how you can make your SCD journey happen faster, better, and give you longer lasting results that have the power to stay with you for a lifetime.
Cue the intro—
[02:12] Hey, hey, hey and welcome to The Cheeky Podcast my friend. Today, we’re talking about my favorite subject of all, besides my kids probably. It’s the specific carbohydrate diet and exactly what you can do to get results faster, better, and have them last longer so you can get on with your badass mom a life and rock the amazing health it can give you. Amen to that!
So, you know I love the specific carbohydrate diet. I have professed my adoration and gratitude for the SCD on more than one occasion. But just like any diet or eating plan, there’s always room for improvement. Improvements and modifications to the SCD are long overdue. The diet itself has been around for generations and there have been amazing advances in the world of health and medicine since its inception.
A DIET WORTH UPDATING.
I don’t know why someone hasn’t taken on an SCD revamp yet, but I really hope they do. In the meantime, I’m going to give my two cents, for anyone who’s listening, on how the specific carbohydrate diet could be even better. We’re talking about 9 changes you’ll want to consider if you decide to start the specific carbohydrate diet. And these changes can help you see results faster, better, and your IBD remission may even be longer lasting because of it. I’m not a doctor so I’m not making any medical claims here. This is just one SCD mamas opinion, but this is from my own experience as well as the experience many clients I’ve had the privilege of working with as they took their very own SCD journey too.
My 9 proposed SCD revamps, let’s do this.
#1 MAKE IT ORGANIC BABY!
The research is out, organic matters. The quality of the food we put into our body matters. It’s not just about eating healthy food like fruits and vegetables, it’s about the quality of that food, especially for those of us with gut disorders.
Now, from everything that I’ve read, Elaine Gottschall, the author of Breaking the Vicious Cycle, the amazing mama who introduced the SCD to the world, she knew all about the power of organic food. When Elaine was writing about the SCD, organic food was not mainstream. Elaine knew all about the power of eating organic, but she wanted this diet to be accessible to everyone. And that meant just getting this information in everyone’s hands, not about adding the burden of it having to be organic as well.
Today, we know better, we know that foods grown with pesticides, foods grown with chemical fertilizers, foods grown with artificial agents, and genetically modified foods have an impact on our digestive system. These types of chemicals are gut disruptors. We don’t need more gut disruptors. Eating organic fruit, vegetables, meat, eggs, and dairy ensures that when it comes to these foods especially, we are not putting gut disruptors in our body.
Now, as my clients know, I always say get the best that you can afford and the best you can find where you live. Even if it means that you can buy some things organic and other things not. I encourage you to do the best you can with organic. But if someone were to revamp the specific carbohydrate diet, I know that they would talk about the importance of eating organic when it comes to gut health because organic matters.
#2 STEP OFF THE YOGURT.
[06:45] At least for a little while, and maybe always. Many people start the specific carbohydrate diet with the yogurt. It’s the crux of the SCD and for many it can be a very powerful healer. It definitely was for me. But I’ve seen way too many clients and friends give up on the specific carbohydrate diet too early, not realizing that the problem was the homemade fermented 24-hour yogurt.
I remember vividly my client Kim (know that every time I mention a client on the podcast I have slightly changed their name to protect their privacy). Kim had ulcerative colitis and was trying the specific carbohydrate diet to help manage her symptoms. Kim went for it with the SCD yogurt. She was so excited about it because after being so hungry during the SCD intro diet period, this was something that actually tasted good and it was filling. It was like a treat and she wanted to indulge in this creamy goodness.
The problem was that even though Kim was doing everything right on the diet, and that’s very hard to do especially at the beginning, Kim’s abdominal pain persisted, her diarrhea continued, she was still seeing blood in the toilet. Kim was at the beginning stages of the diet, her foods were well cooked and deseeded which helps you with better digestion and absorption. Nothing Kim was eating should be bothering her.
WHY WASN’T KIM FEELING BETTER?
Because I knew that even though SCD yogurt is virtually lactose free, it still does not work for everyone, I suggested that Kim stop the yogurt and see if it made a difference. It only took about a week. Everything turned around for Kim. Her diarrhea went away, the bleeding lessened, and her abdominal pain subsided. SCD yogurt was not a friend to Kim. She was sensitive to the casein in the yogurt and in other dairy products that are allowed on the diet. After removing the yogurt, it was a game changer for Kim.
If you’re on the SCD, and you’re eating the yogurt, and things are not turning around for you with your Crohn’s or colitis, think about stopping the yogurt for a little while. Just a week or two to see if it makes a difference. There’s no crystal ball or magic eight ball to decide this for you, it’s more of a trial and error to see if it makes a difference. It’s definitely a worthwhile experiment.
And going off the yogurt doesn’t necessarily mean forever. Many IBD mamas start the SCD without yogurt. When some healing has taken place and inflammation has subsided in the gut, usually after a month or two, some moms are able to bring yogurt in—slowly, very slowly starting with just a tablespoon at first. Heck, I’ve seen clients start with just putting the tip of their tongue to it. But start slow, whatever you do, start slow.
And if you’re never able to tolerate the yogurt on the specific carbohydrate diet, that’s OK. There’s lots of other ways to get your probiotics and beneficial bacteria in. I have many clients who not only feel better on coconut milk yogurt, but they also like the taste of it better. The bottom line is that SCD yogurt may not be for you. Don’t take it personally, move up and onward knowing that you and yogurt’s path may cross again.
And speaking of going slow, that’s brings us to my proposed SCD revamp #3—
HOW SLOW CAN YOU GO?
When you think you’re going slow with adding in new foods, take it down a notch and go even slower. I bet when you met your mate, you didn’t move in together on the first date. No, you took it slow. You went on a few dates, you met some of their friends, eventually met the important people in their life (parents, maybe siblings) and commitment came down the line. Now of course some of us did the first date to commitment faster than others. I knew my hubby was the guy for me after one month of dating, but that’s only because I had already dated all the frogs on the market before I met him. The point is, there is an order to things and the SCD is no different.
After the intro diet, I see so many ladies diving in with wild abandon, only to waste so much time because then they have to back it all up and start over. All the fruits, all the vegetables, the meats, the almond flour, the dry curd cottage cheese… all of it, all at once. If you do this and you don’t feel any better, how will you know why you don’t feel better? How will you know what foods are bothering you? The answer is simple, you won’t. You won’t know what foods you’re reacting to and what foods are treating you just fine.
When it comes to SCD, if you want to be successful, think like a baby. Remember when your child came into this world and you started feeding them. You didn’t throw every food in the house at them. You added one new food at a time, you waited a few days between each food because you wanted to know how they would react. Trust me, I know firsthand that this is a very tedious and annoying process. But do it. Do it because it will serve you. Do it because it’s your best chance at long lasting remission.
Along the same lines as my proposed revamp #3, when you think you’re going slow, go slower, is proposed SCD revamp #4:
STOP ADDING IN FOODS WILLY NILLY!
The traditional SCD has no stages. Yes, it has an intro diet and the intro diet is crucial. It’s amazingly laid out, it’s the start of everything that follows after. But even if you know about my proposed revamp #3 and you’re going slow with all of your new foods, you may not achieve remission because you’re adding in the wrong foods at the wrong time.
[14:30] Timing is everything, we know this about life. How many times have we said to ourselves, I’m so glad that didn’t happen to me at that particular time because I wouldn’t have been able to appreciate it. Getting back to my husband, wow he’s making an appearance in this episode quite a lot, but I’ve told him over and over again that if I would’ve met him 10 years sooner, five years sooner, hell even six months sooner, he wouldn’t have been the guy for me. He was the guy for me because of the place I was at in my life. Timing is everything.
If you want the SCD to work at its peak performance for you, if you want to get there faster, do yourself a favor and follow the stages on the pecan bread website. I will link to them in the show notes so you can see exactly what I’m talking about. They have the best laid out SCD stages I’ve seen. These stages help you with the timing of the SCD. They help you know when it’s right to add in which foods. These stages take all the guesswork out of what you should eat and when.
If you’re on the specific carbohydrate diet and you’re still struggling, or even better, right from the start if you’re thinking about the specific carbohydrate diet, when you get started, use the stages found at pecanbread.com because timing is everything.
Let’s keep this revamp party going with change #5:
TOO MUCH FRUIT!
I Love fruit just as much as the next mama, and thankfully many fruits are full of simple carbohydrates making them perfect for the specific carbohydrate diet and your gut healing. The problem with many of these fruits is that they are also high in sugar. Now of course, I’m not talking white table sugar, which we know is bad for your gut and your waistline, I’m talking about the naturally occurring sugars in fruit. Unfortunately, when we eat lots of fruit on the specific carbohydrate diet, we keep the bacteria out of balance in our digestive system because sugar feeds bacteria. Between all of the allowed fruit with no limit in its consumption, plus the allowed fruit juices like 100% pineapple or grape juice, we can fail to move forward towards remission.
So, what should you do? Enjoy the SCD legal fruits… in moderation, especially in the beginning as you are trying to bring your microbiome back into balance. When you choose fruit, choose it wisely. Choose fruits that are full of nutrients and antioxidants. Berries are perfect for this—strawberries, raspberries, blueberries all pack a nutrient punch. Go for it in their whole, natural, raw state when you are healed enough for raw fruits. Until then, you can still enjoy berries. You can create a berry compote topper (which is just a fruit puree) for all your SCD goodies or blend them into a smoothie in a high-speed blender so all the seeds get ground up and are easier to digest.
Propose revamp a #6 is a part B to limiting your fruit.
Revamp #6 is:
[19:36] WATCH OUT FOR THE HONEY, HONEY!
Just like fruit, honey is high in a simple sugar called fructose. Fructose intolerance is very common for people with IBD. Just like with the yogurt I mentioned earlier, how some people may quit the SCD early on because they think it’s not working for them when in reality they need to remove yogurt. Honey works very much the same way. The current SCD does not provide any guidance on limitations for honey so many people can overdo this sweetener. And you won’t have to overdo it by much if you’re already sensitive to fructose.
And what makes honey consumption even more challenging is that fructose intolerance symptoms are very similar to Crohn’s and colitis symptoms. Bloating, abdominal pain, and diarrhea are the most common symptoms. If you’re thinking those issues sound very familiar to your IBD symptoms, you’re not wrong. See why it’s really difficult to figure out if it’s actually the honey that’s not working in your favor?
So, what do you do? Well, I wish there was a magic formula, but like I said there is no magic eight ball when it comes to healing and the SCD. Trial and error will be your best friend here. If you think that honey may be an issue for you, if you think you are sensitive to fructose, hold up on it for a week or two. See what happens. How do you feel? Did it make any difference?
THE TENACIOUS MOM WINS EVERY TIME!
So much of the SCD is really about trying new things and seeing how you feel. This is why tenacious and inquisitive mamas usually do best on this diet. Those who put in the time and effort to figure out what works best for their own body—keeping what works and getting rid of what doesn’t– tend to be the ones who do best on the specific carbohydrate diet.
Moving on to #7 on our list of SCD revamps:
YOU GET A LITTLE TOO NUTTY WITH THE NUT FLOUR.
It’s been almost 13 years since I began my SCD journey, but I still remember the day I tried flour for the first time—pumpkin muffins. If you’ve been on SCD before and like me waited to try nut flour until about three or four months in, I know you know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s a right of passage, it’s like a graduation in the world of SCD. Finally, baked goods like cookies and bread and muffins are part of your world. It’s a very empowering and exciting feeling.
It’s very normalizing.
And nut flour definitely has its benefits. It adds valuable nutrients to your diet like protein and good fat. Nut flours are high in gut healing minerals like magnesium, selenium, zinc, manganese and copper.
But a little nut goes a long way.
Let’s take almond flour for example. Almond flour contains good amounts of omega-3’s which are good for lowering inflammation, but it also contains omega-6’s and too much omega-6 can increase inflammation throughout your body. Almonds, as a nut, are also high in phytic acid. A compound that’s high in anti-nutrients. It’s a naturally occurring coating that covers the nut and protects it as it grows, but phytic acid can keep us with sensitive guts from absorbing the nutrients in our food. Too many nuts can equal nutrient deficiencies and gut dysbiosis. When it comes to choosing almond flour, I always recommend blanched almond flour because it’s lower in phytic acid since most of the phytic acid hangs out on the outer skin of the almond. When almonds are blanched to make blanched almond flour, and this outer coating is removed, mostly. Small amounts may still remain which is one of the reasons why you don’t want to go overboard with the nut flour.
So, am I saying not to use almond flour at all? Absolutely not. I’m a huge fan of almond flour and other nut flours for so many reasons. Just keep in mind a couple things when using it. #1: it’s a good idea to rotate your nut flours. Almond flour isn’t the only nut flour out there. Pecan flour is really tasty in baked goods and of course, coconut flour is wonderful, and has more nutritional value than almond flour. Also #2, as I mentioned in the beginning, limit your nut flour. Definitely not in every meal or even every day. Keep almond flour, for the most part, as a side dish or dessert, and not the meal itself. Doing this will help you heal inflammation sooner and therefore help you get to IBD remission that much faster.
There’s two more proposed SCD revamps coming your way.
[25:59] Revamp #8:
MOVE OVER CHICKEN SOUP, THERE’S SOMETHING THAT MIGHT BE EVEN BETTER.
Let me give you a little background here. Chicken soup is liquid gold for SCDer’s. It’s the gut healer of choice on this diet with good reason. It’s cooked for hours and hours and it’s full of leaky gut busting, inflammation lowering, and bacterial balancing properties. Good stuff right?
Chicken soup is what I used when I started the specific carbohydrate diet close to 13 years ago. And I have to be honest with you, it worked for me. I ate chicken soup for a full two years, every day, before taking any break whatsoever.
But since then, I’ve learned about the difference between chicken soup/or bone broth if you drink just the broth vs meat stock. Meat stock is made with less water, so the water goes just over your bones and ingredients, and meat stocked is cooked for a shorter amount of time. What you’re left with is a super-rich, concentrated, nutrient dense powerhouse.
Think of it this way, meat stock is for flares. Bone broth or chicken soup is for helping you sustain remission. I don’t think you can go wrong with either one, but remember these SCD revamps are all about getting you there faster, better, and with long-term remission in mind.
If you’re new to the world of meat stock and you’re looking for a couple recipes to get you started, DM me on Facebook. I’ll be happy to shoot some recipes your way. On Facebook, you can find me @TheIBDHealthCoach.
LET’S CONNECT ON FACEBOOK!
OK there’s one final SCD revamp I want to propose to you.
GET YOUR HERBAL TEA ON.
Tea is a complicated thing when it comes to the specific carbohydrate diet. Currently, only a handful of teas are allowed. Weak black tea, peppermint or spearmint tea and ginger tea. Having seen the gut healing power of several herbal teas over the years for myself as well as clients, I would love to see the SCD expand some of these tea options.
I completely get why Elaine did not include other herbal teas on the diet. Some herbal teas are high in polysaccharides which can work to keep your digestive system inflamed and keep your microbiome out of balance. But some of these herbal teas have so much benefit when it comes to gut healing that they really should not be ignored.
Teas like fennel tea, chamomile, licorice root, slippery elm, lemon balm, holy basil… just to name a few.
Other herbal teas are definitely worth considering when it comes to updating the SCD to serve IBDer’s best. Just some tea for thought.
LET’S WRAP THIS UP AND BRING IT HOME.
[30:10] Let’s recap those 9 proposed revamps one more time so you can get one last look and see if you want to make any of these changes for yourself.
#1 Make it organic baby!
#2 Step off the yogurt.
#3 When you think you’re going slow, go slower.
#4 Stop adding foods in willy nilly.
#5 Too much fruit.
#6 Watch out for the honey, honey.
#7 You get a little too nutty for nut flour.
#8 Move over chicken soup.
#9 Get your herbal tea on.
Alright, what do you think mama? Do you agree with my revamps?
Have you tried SCD and made it your own? What changes have you made? Get in touch on Facebook and let me know. We can all learn together. @TheIBDHealthCoach
Let’s wrap up this episode with one last bonus overall ‘Do it Like a Mom’ tip.
YOU DON’T WANT TO SKIP THIS!
You may have noticed that that there was a common theme running throughout all 9 proposed SCD revamps. And that theme is trial and error. No matter how you do SCD, do it like a mom by being willing to go that extra mile, add something in, remove something that isn’t working, take a step back or start over if you need to. Be tenacious, be persistent, be fearless. The SCD might just give you your life back. Isn’t it worth it to give it all you’ve got before deciding if it works for you?
The best way I know to make trial and error work for you is to keep track of everything you try through food journaling. You know, a journal where you keep track of the food you eat and how it affects your body? Food journaling allows you to see the patterns in what you are putting in your body, and how it affects the way you feel. When it comes to food journaling, I’ve got resource to help you get started. It’s my Food-Mood-Poop Journal. It’s everything you need to get started on your trial and error journey right away. You can get your Food-Mood-Poop journal by going to karynhaley.com/journal. I’ll also leave a link in the show notes to make it as easy as SCD pie for you.
And know that if you try all these things and you’re still stumped, know that I’m here for you. I work with clients to make the SCD work for them every day. If you’re struggling to figure the SCD out, get in touch and we’ll figure it out together. Reach out on Facebook or email me at email@example.com. I’m here for you my friend.
Don’t give up. Keep fighting and listening to your gut instinct. It will never steer you wrong.
Until we meet again, I’m wishing you a cheeky and healthy IBD healing journey.
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.
[36:36] 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.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This podcast, video, and blog post is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.