Hi! I’ve been gone a while haven’t I? I had a much needed New Years break, and now I’m rearing to go again. Of course, there is a slight hiccup – I’ve been quite unwell lately, and as a result I’ve had to start a gut healing diet, called the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. This post goes into what this diet is, what it entails and why I have to do it, and I talk about just how sick I’ve been. To be honest, I needed this New Years break because as a consequence of having digestive issues, my mood has been low as well. This diet has been a necessity for my family, and I hope to explain just exactly what’s going on!
What is the S.C.D.?
“SCD” stands for Specific Carbohydrate Diet; this diet was created and popularised back in the early 1900s, and was developed in order to “[restrict] complex carbohydrates and [eliminate] refined sugars from the diet” (Cohen, et al., 2014). These carbohydrates and sugars in Western diets can sometimes fail to digest properly in certain people who have experienced stresses in their lives; this lack of proper digestion can cause issues such as irritable bowel syndrome and celiac disease (Cohen, et al., 2014, Science Behind the Diet, n.d.). The whole point of restricting the aforementioned carbs and sugars is to starve out the “microbial overgrowth in the intestine” as according to the Breaking the Vicious Cycle’s website – you starve them by eating foods that are easily digestible… and completely digestible, thereby leaving nothing behind for little creatures to feed on! This leaves your gut in a better state to begin healing again, and to begin digesting properly.
What does this diet entail?
The short version of what this diet entails is that you begin with an intro diet (phase 0, if you will), following with 5 other phases (Reasoner & Wright, 2009). As mentioned before, starving out the overgrowth is very important, and the intro diet does just that – it’s so simple and contains only easily digestible foods. During this intro, the starving over growth will complain; this complaining shows itself in “die-off”. Reasoner and Wright summarise die-off as getting worse, before you get better. Some of the symptoms they have discovered include body aches, fever, nausea, vomiting, etc. After the intro, you may begin introducing new foods (that have, well, specific carbohydrates), and specific cooking methods. For instance, in the beginning… you must cook well and purée all vegetables. In the intro diet, that’s only carrot. Reasoner and Wright provide a guideline for what foods to add each phase, but sometimes you just need to listen to your own body. For instance, last time I did the diet, I had to replace the fruits with low fructose fruits as I have a slight intolerance to high fructose.
Why am I doing this?
This probably sounds like a really difficult diet, doesn’t it? It is. However, it is so worth it! We’ve barely been through a week, and I’ve suffered horrible die-off, and yet feel so much better already. I’m not completely better yet though; it’s going to take time. How did my digestive system fail me enough that I had to put myself through this? I recently came out of a job that pushed my limits, involved high-stress work, and worked with angry customers. It left me overly stressed and anxious; I already have genetic dispositions to anxiety and an inability to cope with stress (pyroluria is the cause; I’ll save that condition for another post!), so you can imagine just how messed up my body must have been. I wasn’t digesting food properly, so I gained weight quickly, felt down and unmotivated all the time, felt nauseated after eating, was frequently visiting the bathroom each day, and ended up with sulphur burps – a rotten egg taste and smell that originates from the stomach, and travels up your throat! It became so bad, that over 30 minute walks every 2nd day, and healthier choices didn’t make a lick of difference. Like I said, the diet is worth it, but it is hard – so although I’m sad my whole family is suffering issues too, I’m glad that we can all support each other through this!
What will happen to Noodle Bake?
So what will happen to Noodle Bake?! I certainly can’t post many, sugary baking treats! That’s true, I can’t – but I can post about the S.C.D, share some recipes, and share my successes and failures. For this season of Noodle Bake, we will be supporting those who are also going through digestive stresses, and I hope to build relationships in those areas! I’ll do my research, and bring content relating to the S.C.D that may not always contain recipes. Sometimes I may just journal, or show off my meal diary as a guide to those who are just starting; I’m hoping to keep the schedule relatively the same, but as the beginning of the diet involves plenty of repetition… I think our Instagram may go quiet for a while, due to a lack of fresh content!
All in all, Noodle Bake isn’t going anywhere. Once the brain fog has cleared up, and I am on a better path to well-being, Noodle Bake will get back on its feet to spread the word and acceptance of mental health issues!
Cohen, Stanley A., et al. “Clinical and mucosal improvement with specific carbohydrate diet in pediatric Crohn disease.” Journal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition 59.4 (2014): 516-521.
Reasoner, Jordan & Wright, Steven. SCD Lifestyle. SFK LLC, 2009. www.scdlifestylebook.com. Web. 25 January 2018.
“Science Behind the Diet.” Breaking the Vicious Cycle, www.breakingtheviciouscycle.info/p/science-behind-the-diet/. Visited 25 January 2018.