Frequently asked questions from newcomers

Date: Mon, 28 Dec 1998 12:23:43 -0800
From: <>
Subject: Elaine Gottschall's phone and fax number

The answer to a very frequently asked question:

You can reach author Elaine Gottschall at:
Hm: (905) 349-3443
Fx: (905) 349-3420

Date: Fri, 8 Aug 97 20:07:49 CDT
From: (Ted Kyle)

Subject: Re: SCD DIET


I am new to this disease (my son has colitis) and I would like to know how many people have been helped by this diet, and in general do people who stick with the diet get a "cure", as in going to a more normal diet without symptoms or medication?


Date: Fri, 8 Aug 1997 21:34:10 -0500
From: Rachel Turet <>

Subject: Re: SCD DIET

Dear Ted,
Welcome to the list. Hope we can help. If your idea of "cure" is eventually going back to eating everything, I think that that may be out there in the future somewhere. For myself, ( diagnosed with UC over 10 years ago) I started the diet 2 & 1/2 years ago and have been totally symptom frre for over 2 of those years. Recently, I've tried introducing a little of this or that and although I don't actually get sick when I do, I don't feel right.
This diet has worked wonders for a lot of people and although I think it involves an extra challange when you have to put a child on this diet (birthday parties, playdates, ect.), I think that it could well be worth the effort. Lots of good luck.


Date: Sat, 9 Aug 1997 00:27:49 -0600
From: (Steve Hooker)

Subject: Re: SCD DIET

>I am new to this disease (my son has colitis) and I would like
>to know how many people have been helped by this diet, and in
>general do people who stick with the diet get a "cure", as in
>going to a more normal diet without symptoms or medication?

Hi Ted,
My son was recently diagnossed with Crohn's, so I'm am relatively new to
this too, but if you stay here a short while, you'll see that many people
have been helped by this diet. I hope that my son will be someday be able
to eat a few of the things that he can't eat now...even if only
occasionally. I gather that some people do this and get away with it, some
say they don't even have a desire to go off the diet, and still others have
found that they have little luck off the diet. On the subject of cures,
Elaine Gottschall's daughter was cured of UC in the 60's. Other than that,
I'm not sure. One thing I do know is that even if Matt (my son) finds that
he has trouble going off of the diet in the future, my wife and I and the
folks on this list will have already showed him how doable it really is,
and he will be able to go back to it no problem. Like any sane parent
though, I am hoping for the cure for my boy. He is doing great at two and a
half months. There is work involved in following it, but read up on the
conventional options (meds, side effects, and surgery), and I bet you'll
agree that it isn't too much work.
By the way, the hope of someday maybe being able to eat some of the food he
gave up has been a pretty good incentive for Matt to stay on the strait and
narrow. Also, sleeping over at friends' houses and birthday parties can be
handled as well. Matt has done both. he is now the visitor who comes
equipped with a kit and a few instructions. There are a number of parents
on the list who can help out as well. In a summer program he was in this
year, some of the other kids were really jealous of Matthew's lunches.
That's another thing that makes things easier: the food is good.
Good luck to you and your son,


Could you please tell me more about Elaine's diet because when I signed up for this forum I asked Benito if he could tell me something about this diet and I haven't heard anything.



Hi Vicki,

First of all, this is not a "forum" in the same sense as the CompuServe forums.
It is an e-mail support group.
Basically, "Elaine's diet" is the Specific Carb Diet. I'm on it for my Crohn's
disease. I've been on it since October 1995 and at that time, I was seriously
ill. The doctor wanted to prescribe prednisone for me, but when I saw the diet
being discussed in the Natural Medicine Forum of CompuServe, I asked the doctor
to give me one month to try it before putting me on steroids (which I'm very
afraid of, after hearing so many "horror" stories).

The diet is outlined in the book, Breaking the Vicious Cycle, by Elaine
Gottschall. The intention of the diet is to exclude all foods that are not
monosaccharides, and therefore, help the digestive tract to heal. The foods to
avoid are all grains (including corn and rice), all lactose (natural cheeses and
homemade yogurt are okay, though, as the lactose is removed), all refined sugar
(including corn syrup and molasses -- instead we use honey, fruit or saccharin
as sweeteners), and potatoes. (It's been so long since I've written a list of
"illegals" that I may have missed something, sorry.)

Since so many foods are outlawed, we are forced into being creative with our
diets -- that's why having a support group is so valuable. Also, when we feel
the urge to cheat, we have others to turn to and let us know that it just isn't
worth it. The diet has to be followed 100% to be effective -- and if it works
for you, you will know usually within a month. For me, I've avoided steroids,
gotten off azulfidine, avoided a second surgery and now have more energy than I
had ever thought possible. The energy is the most amazing thing to me. Other
people in our group are more enthusiastic about no longer bleeding, no longer
being near a bathroom, etc, etc, but for me, I'm most excited that I now have a
REAL life! I have never been as independent as I am now. My husband is away to
Germany for six weeks (he's got four weeks left there) and I am coping like a
normal person! I'm even letting my kids have sleepovers and we are going places
and I'm not having to call social services for an aide! My kids are 7, 6 and 3
and are quite active, as you can imagine -- their friends seem even more so,
maybe because they haven't been brought up having to respect a sick parent as my
children have been.

But, now, my kids also have the chance to be normal kids and not have to fend
for themselves as much as they have had to in the past. . . sometimes I thought
of myself as an alcoholic mother -- you know, the kind that you see on TV with
the hangover and the kids are pouring their own cereal and getting dressed on
their own while their mother is moaning and groaning in the background. Except,
for me, I was groaning from the bathroom. They invariably got into an argument
when I was having bad diarrhea and unable to leave the toilet. I would weep at
how helpless I was as a parent. It was very depressing.

I don't know what your current situation is, but if you have any form of IBD or
IBS, I would recommend finding the book (get it from the library and there will
be no money spent) and trying the diet for a month. It can't hurt to try, but
if it works, it will be such a good feeling!

Take care,

Hi Deborah and Vicki,

Perhaps Deborah whilst at the tail end of the diet may be introducing normal foods again has introduced potatoes into her diet, but initially potatoes(white or sweet), yams, parsnips are not allowed either. There are a few veges that are high in easily digestible complex carbohydrates that should be included as part of the diet also since they help your energy to last:-

Swede's(Rutagabas) and turnips, pumpkin and squash, green peas (if you can tolerate the skins, they have more energy than potatoes per 100g), Zuchini and other summer and winter squah and carrots.

I've experienced a substantial increase in energy and that means calories for those trying to pu on weight, since adding at least three of these veges to my lunch and dinner!



Date: Tue, 12 Aug 1997 19:24:26 -0700
From: Dempsey <>
Subject: Prateeksha's Questions

Hi Prateeksha!

> Side effects of either irritable bowel syndrome or ulcerative colitis - two
> doctors have given different diagnosis! Vertigo;

I've had the vertigo. No fun! As with everything else, mine improves
as my gut heals more and more. That one takes patience. Sometime even
when I'm not getting diarhea from a food, some still make me more tired
than others. Do others find this as well?
> Raw food intolerance - after 2 mos. on the diet, still cannot tolerate raw
> fruits or veggies. Wondering about veggie juice? Like carrot, mixed
> veggies. (snip) Fruit?

I believe that cooked stuff will be easier to tolerate. Don't rush it
if you think something will bother you. I find it easier to introduce
something new when I am feeling good and strong. It's better to wait
and feel healthy than have variety to eat but feel bad! (another humble
opinion of mine!)

> Food intolerance - Finding I am still quite limited in vegetables I can
> tolerate. I get diarrhea with eggplant; cramping with green beans, peas,
> asparagus. Cannot combine protein with fruits; have to eat fruits alone
> and even then, get gas and sometimes cramping. Does this change?

In my experience, it does change, will change. Has for me. For
example, I can eat apples now. But peaches and figs make me feel tired
and spacey. Haven't tried bananas. Almonds bother me but not pecans or
cashews. Go figure! :) But in the beginning, I couldn't eat apples.

> Fatigue - Find I have to eat more often than 3x a day as I now have no
> energy reserves since being on the diet! Anyone else have this? I used to
> be able to go to the gym and have a mild workout, but since being on the
> diet, have not been once -- have to conserve my energy for work, cooking
> this diet, etc.

I felt like that during the first few months of the diet. It can be
different things (of course) but first and foremost is that it takes a
lot more calories to heal the body than to just maintain it. So make
sure you really are getting enough food for yourself. When I first
started the diet I found I could eat four times as much as I did
before. In fact, if I didn't, I felt like I was starving. I'd be
curious about other's experience with this one.
> Exercise - what do people are on the diet do?

For me, I just stick to walks. Sometimes fast, sometimes slow. But
walking is what I do most consistentley. I used to run, practice
martial arts, yoga, cycling. But now I am happy to have the energy to
just get through the day. I find that my energy level stays pretty
consistent, will go donw if I've eat something that irrititates my gut
or if I've eaten too much. This one does get better!
> Weight Loss - I have lost about 10 pounds since being on the diet (2 mos)
> and my doctor says "no more weight loss!" Down to 112 and 5'3" and this is
> maybe a part of my fatigue. Maybe my body is still adjusting to change in
> diet, no exercise, etc. Has anyone else lost quite a bit of weight with
> this diet?

I lost weight but then it leveled out again. Try to eat,eat, eat! Eat
higher calorie foods like avocado if you can handle it. Eat the skin of
the chicken, etc. It takes practice, but you can get enough calories on
this diet, so don't think weight loss is a given.

> I have had to start eating fish and body is craving it, after
> 25 years of being a vegetarian!

I had that too. It wasn't that I was a vegetarian, but, man, can I pack
the protein foods away these days! I figure my body is craving them for
a reason, most likely repair of damaged tissue (yay!).

Regarding Progesterone, I for one was on natural progesterone for two
years! So I have a little understanding of it. Out of curiosity, which
pharmacy produces the natural progesterone you are on? Mine was
ApotheCure out of Dallas, Texas. (I could give you their phone number
if you want it.) I used to take capsules, then switched to a sublingual
(under the tongue) liquid. By the way, I am off of it now, weened
myself off slowly since last November and stopped this June. My need
for it decreased as my gut healed.

I don't know about the starch in it, but perhaps you could get a
sublingual liquid like I did. I am fairly sure there is no starch in
it. However, regarding the wild yam extract -- I personally would not
worry about the starch factor as it is doubtful that any remains. They
must break it down to the actual chemicals of progesterone so it is no
longer "starch." But the filler they use in the capsules, I'm not sure
about that. Anyway, for what it's worth, those are my humble opinions
on the progesterone!

I did not notice an aggravation in symptoms while I was on the
progesterone. But everyone is different.

Hope these experiences of mine as well as the humble opinions help you
out. Don't be afraid of asking too many questions. This is the place
for them! Glad you made it to the list!


Date: Thu, 14 Aug 97 9:32:46 MDT
From: "Daniel Woods" <>
To: (SCD mail list)
Subject: RE: appetite increase

Hi Denise,

You wrote... <snip>
> When I first started the diet I found I could eat four times as
> much as I did before. In fact, if I didn't, I felt like I was
> starving. I'd be curious about other's experience with this one.

Increase in appetite is a definite *side-effect* of any diet
like SCD. The increase shows that (IMHO) your stomach size increases
to accept more food coming in, since everything is so easy to digest.
In a previous diet I was on, this was certainly true as much as
being on the SCD now. At that time I was able to eat a whole
chicken, piles of mashed potatoes, and veggies all in one sitting.

Rignt now I tell others that I can eat like a pig (allowable SCD
foods of course), and not gain weight (although I really want to).

In any case, I find 3 meals and 3 snacks per day works well. By
experimenting, meals include one of hamburger/fish/chicken (eaten
first for better digestion by stomach acid), soup, cheesecake,
veggie. Snacks include 1/4 cup yogurt muffin, cookies, and jello
(grape gelatin). I try to avoid drinking water during meals in
order not to dilute stomach acid, only taking as much as required
to take my pills/vitamins. Most vitamins are taken after meals
so that they sit on top and have time to break down properly.

Hope this helps someone.

Thanks... Dan.

Date: Mon, 13 Oct 1997 17:29:15 -0400
From: DeborahIdol <cat@LANLINE.COM>
Subject: Re: SCD Studies

Hi everyone,

> I'm thinking about writing a letter to CCFA asking them why they
> choose to omit information about SCD. But I first want to ask
> if anyone knows if any formal studies have been done to see
> what percentage of people on SCD are helped. I have heard that
> up to 75% who try the diet are helped. But where does this statistic
> come from? And to what degree are the people helped? Does everyone
> reach a remission?

According to Elaine Gottschall, if I remember correctly that is, 95% of
people with CD are helped and 75% of those with UC. I'm sure the
percentage would be even higher if everyone who had parasites (a problem
that is *very* common these days and mostly overlooked by the medical
establishment) got rid of them, in addition to going on the diet.


Date: Thu, 29 Jan 1998 23:00:49 +0000
From: "Jackie Delaney" <>
Subject: Re: Candida vs. Bacteria/Honey Consumption

I wasn't going to write this until I'm sure that I'm on the right track but here goes (I hope I don't have to eat my words - there's not much else I can eat at the moment! :) ) Anyway, I've been sick for about 3 1/2 years with extreme weight loss, sickness, nausea, unable to eat anything sweet including all fruit, and not much carbohydrate or large amounts of food. For the last few months have been afraid to eat hardly anything, as my bowel and stomach have such a bad reaction. I've been cutting right down on carbohydrates and mainly having vegie juices, and getting pretty weak.

I went to a new gastroenterologist a couple of months ago, who recently performed a colonoscopy (my 4th I think, first time with him). I haven't had the result back yet, but he also made an appointment for me at the Allergy Clinic which is attached to one of our main teaching hospitals. It was free, so I figured I'd humour him and go along for the ride, as I couldn't convince him my problem was parasites and/or yeast (both of which have been diagnosed) which has resulted in colitis. I went there three days ago, and the interview lasted just over 3 hours. I was tested for allergies (skin prick test), which came up zilch. Then I saw a doctor, who took my medical history. Lastly I saw a very knowledgeable dietician (to my ears anyway!). The longer I sat there listening, the more upright I sat in my seat. Suddenly I felt renewed hope for orthodox medical practice! I haven't read Elaine's book, but judging by what some people are eating/not eating on this list, I imagine it's something similar to what she talks about (or maybe not).

The clinic told me about how all food contains chemicals and can be divided up into three main food groups - ie. Salicylates, Amines and Glutamines, and how some people react against these chemicals and they call this "intolerance" (as opposed to "allergy"). Every food has varying amounts of these chemicals, ranging from low, to moderate, to very high. These intolerances can be very severe, and debilitating in some people, and occasionally require hospitalisation. Other people get through life just feeling unwell and have varying degrees of diarrohea/constipation etc and feel not quite right, and others sail through life and eat all they like without any effect! I felt quite happy with this explanation, and glad they weren't going to tell me that I was making it all up!! and it was only a touch of irritable bowel or some other rubbish. Anyway, I came away loaded up with explanatory books, a food diary to keep for 2 to six weeks, & diets with yummy sweet foods in(!). I thought, well if I eat half this stuff I'm going to end up in hospital! I was a bit hesitant, but it didn't take me long to try out the rice flour pancakes with golden syrup or the Golden Carob Roll, not to mention the soup with more carbohydrates than I'd had in a week! I went to bed the first night thinking I wasn't going to be able to get out of the bloody thing the next day! I had nightmares about plane crashes and being lost in fog....but woke up the next day feeling fine, just a slight headache, nothing like I was expecting. Couldn't believe it. Apart from constipation, no reaction from my stomach or bowel, two parts of my body I would rather not be so intimately acquainted with!

Apparently, all sugar has chemicals in it, but the sugars with the lowest chemical makeup, is golden syrup, maple syrup, and white sugar. Honey is very high in natural chemicals, along with all jams, fruit flavourings, chocolate, mints, peppermints, and lemon butter. In the moderate range is molasses and raw sugar. Apparently because white sugar is refined it's had most of the chemicals removed. All fruit varies in its chemical makeup and ranges from low, moderate, high to very high. Lowest are pears (ripe and peeled - lots of salicylate in the rind) and is the only fruit permitted in initial stages of the diet. This approach ranges over a wide variety of vegies as well. Now I understood why I would eat some things which were ok for me but combined with food which weren't ok and made me feel ill, so I would put all those foods on the prohibited list.

Meanwhile physically I feel fairly good, and emotionally I feel over the moon. Of course tomorrow's another story, but if I can get through to the middle of next week without a flare I know this is my problem, and my search will be over! If not it'll be a double dose of anti-depressants and a straight-jacket - I'll keep you all posted.


Date: Mon, 20 Apr 1998 16:56:58 -0700
From: "Benke, Anna" <>
To: "SCD (E-mail)" <>
Subject: Carb deprivation / Tips on eating out

>Some questions remain unanswered and it prevents me from starting the

Feel free to ask any and all SCD questions on this list. That's what we're here for!

>Won't I be weak if I don't eat carbo like bread, pasta, etc? Finally,
>my job requires a lot of entertaining ( lunches and dinners with
>clients) : how can I eat in restaurant and still respect the diet?

In MY experience, I wasn't weak from not eating carbs, but I WAS extremely hungry all the time. This hunger problem went away after 3-4 weeks on the diet, and before that, the only thing I could do was try to load up on any allowable carbs such as squashes and carrots. I had to eat way more of the other foods than I normally would (such as eggs, meats, fish, poultry, cheeses, yogurt, and fruit) in order to keep from feeling hungry. Do you feel weak at all right now? Weakness can be attributed to the disease itself (overall malaise), as well as anemia from blood loss (even if you can't see it), and maybe even medications.

The key with this diet is GRADUAL introduction of the allowables. A big mistake a lot of newcomers make is jumping in too fast and eating beans, raw fruits and vegies, and nut flour baked goods before their gut is ready. The book explains that you should begin with the introductory foods only and then, as symptoms diminish, add more of the allowables. Some foods are easier to digest than others. For example, well cooked fruits and vegies without the skin or seeds is usually more tolerable than raw or crisp cooked vegies.

As far as restaurants go, it is POSSIBLE to eat out without making too much of a scene. I found that it's best to go to a Grill type restaurant. Know your restaurants ahead of time, and be the one to pick where to go. If you know what is on the menu, there will be no guesswork. I found a few restaurants where I knew I could find things to eat on the menu, and I stuck to those restaurants only. At one chain restaurant called Earl's (in my neck of the woods), they always have steamed or grilled fish, sauteed shrimp with garlic and butter, and steamed or grilled vegies. I ask for my vegies to be very well cooked, not al dente. Sometimes you have to stress this point with the server. Often I will say "hold the potatoes" or if I don't feel like it, I'll just get what comes with it and then not eat the things I can't have.

When I advanced on the diet to being able to eat raw vegies, I could always order salads, with oil and vinegar dressing on the side and no croutons. I would avoid any menu choices with sauces because they tend to have starches or sugars added. At one place where I couldn't find anything suitable on the menu, I created something by ordering a grilled chicken burger that came with lettuce and tomato and asked them to "hold the bun". It was a really nice plain grilled chicken breast on the plate with the lettuce and tomato.

If in doubt, ask if they marinate the meat in anything. Usually steak is a good bet because most restaurants don't put anything on them. There's nothing wrong with asking the server questions, and if they are not sure, having them check with the kitchen. These things can be asked in a tactful manner so as not to seem fussy. These days, many people have food allergies, so if anyone questions why you aren't eating something, and if you don't want to go into a discussion about your illness, you can simply say "food allergies" and people will tend to accept that excuse.

You can even have a glass of dry wine now and then. Personally, I like to mix water in when no-one is looking. Herbal tea with lemon and honey is a standard beverage I usually order, or just water. Breakfast is easy: steak and eggs or bacon and eggs, hold the toast and hashbrowns. If you are forced to go somewhere where there is really nothing you can have, then eat ahead of time at home (or bring food to work), and just order a dinner salad to pick at. When people ask why you aren't eating much, say that you had a big breakfast or lunch and aren't that hungry right now. So as you can see, there are ways around everything, and when you feel better and don't have to go to the bathroom as much, it will be all worth while.

We have many tips and pointers to offer on this list. So, keep thinking about it, and ask away.


Date: Mon, 20 Apr 1998 19:25:21 -0600
From: "William Laing" <>
To: "SCD List" <>
Subject: Re: Anna's "Hold the Toast and Hashbrowns"

Hi Group:

>As far as restaurants go, it is POSSIBLE to eat out without making too much
>of a scene.

My wife and I eat out in the order of three or four times a week. I am however in remission, near full time on the diet. I can cheat to a small degree on sugar, but stay completely away from the starch.I have no intentions of ever trying it again. The SCD has become a "Normal" diet for me, and I no longer not find it inconvienent.
In the restaurants I simply take the attitude that asking for what I want is not a crime.
So it is "Hold the toast, hashbrowns, and the gravey." I believe the easiest meal for anyone on this diet is the smorg. Because of the greater selection of meats veggies, and friut, it much simplier to avoid the foods we can not digest.
William Laing

Date: Wed, 17 Jun 1998 13:32:01 -0400
From: ruth <>
To:, "Montrel A. King" <>
Subject: Chinese Food

Montrel A. King wrote:

> The chinese food thing sounds too good to be true! Would the person who
> posted this info. kindly be willing to share what exactly it is that you
> ordered and what the cooks did differently to make it SDC safe?
> Missouri (which is where I live) is a long way from New York but I can
> already smell the aroma of chinese food!
> Thanks,
> Jennifer King

Hi Jennifer,
The key to eating out in a chinese restaurant is making sure they Eliminate all
cornstarch, soy and sugar. This restaurant I eat at uses fresh made stock for the
food preparation either fish, beef, chicken stock. This is important to know but
restaurants won't always reveal. Commercially pre-made powdered stock mixes is
industry standerd at most less expensive resturants. They all contain soy protein or
cornstarch. Btw, I know this stuff cause my husband was in the restaurant business.

In my neighborhood they have these dishes already on the menu under "special diet" .
It's basically wok stir fried food with sesame oil. I eat sautÈed Chinese eggplant
with garlic, Shrimp or beef with broccoli, Lemon or orange flavored chicken. The
orange and lemon is dried peels sautÈed with hot Chinese peppers and sesame oil. I
also eat steamed Chinese veggie's.

I don't eat snow peas because i haven't figured out if they are okay on scd, and i
definitely don't eat the water chestnuts.

Hope this helps.

Date: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 10:51:35 +-100
From: Stuart Firth <sfirth@CENTERLINE.COM>
Subject: Re: Entertaining and SCD

Dear Christiane,

Like yourself, I have to "do lunch" with business partners and customers and it can be a bit worrying - the temptation is strong to cheat with a sauce or potato or two! I've found a few things help:

1. Order salads a lot (with the dressing on the side) and pick items off the menu that are stand alone (for want of a better phrase) like steak with vegetables on the side, chicken with vegetables, etc. Deserts are tricky, but go for cheese if you can, or skip desert altogether.

2. Drinking with the meal is no problem - if you feel the others feel like drinking wine, you can order a dry one, or stick to mineral water - its perfectly acceptable these days.

3. If there is little you can eat on the menu, then mention you're on a diet. This allows you to eat less (without making the others feel awkward) and is also something which I've found a lot of people have an interest in ("I've tried a diet before", my wife's on a diet", "I lost 14 pounds in 3 months", etc.) and can be a good conversation topic in these sort of situations. Obviously, don't tell them that the diet is for a medical problem as then the conversation gets onto guts and diarrhoea which is not a good mealtime topic, but maybe say it is a new eastern diet or something. It really is surprising how much interest people have in dieting.

Don't let the dining out problem put you off the diet - remember, it is your health that is most important. It's not much use having good business contacts if you're too ill to meet with them. Set yourself the goal of sticking to the diet and you'll be amazed how good you feel when you negotiate a dining out experience without straying from the allowed foods.


Date: Mon, 27 Apr 1998 16:02:37 EDT
From: SKing93311 <SKing93311@AOL.COM>
Subject: Re: Entertaining and SCD


My husband has Crohn's disease and has been on the SCD diet quite successfully for two years. He, too, must entertain clients at lunch and had reservations about how to manage. In addition to the suggestions you've already gotten, here's another one: he chose several good restaurants in his area, and spoke to the owner or manager to explain his situation. Now he tries to always go to one of these places, where he is greeted as a good customer, asks for his usual order, and doesn't have to explain very much.

Good luck-the diet is fairly difficult to start, but has been well worth if for him.

Nancy King

Date: Mon, 27 Apr 1998 19:22:49 EDT
From: EllenAdams <EllenAdams@AOL.COM>
Subject: Re: Entertaining and SCD

I also take clients and employees out for meals and have been on the SCD since last summer. It hasn't been any big problem. It's easiest when I get to have some input on selecting the restaurant--I usually avoid Italian and Chinese, and prefer steak houses or other restaurants with pretty mainstream selections. I order steak, grilled fish, or roast chicken. I avoid marinated meat/fish/chicken. I often inquire directly and explicitly whether there is any flour, breading, or sauce with the food if there seems to be any chance of that. I ask that no croutons be put on my salad and request oil and vinegar dressing. I ask what the veggie is that day and usually just get extra veggies instead of rice or whatever starch they are serving. As far as an explanation, I merely explain to the server upfront that I have a number of severe food allergies--particularly to flour--and therefore I have to be careful about what I eat. This has proven to be the best course of action for me. If they think I'm just trying to eat a low-calorie diet, they won't work as hard at it. With the fear that I might have some unknown "reaction" in the middle of their restaurant, they are highly motivated to be careful and will often volunteer extra details that can prove helpful. (I point out the flour issue explicitly because I have an intense reaction to it and it is an ingredient that can be included in a meal in a lot of ways) I also find that the "food allergies" approach goes over fine with prospective customers and people like talking about the topic of what people can be allergic to. It's close enough to the truth that it's an easy conversation. I also find that it avoids the others feeling self conscious. If they think I'm "being good" on a low calorie diet then they might feel awkward about what they order if they think they could use to lose a few pounds too! In general, I've found that most people have some specifics that they ask for with regard to their meals and most people, in a business setting, don't ask for details unless they are offered.

One of my favorite treats is to go a great french place in my neighborhood and get chateaubriand with bernaise sauce (or grilled salmon with bernaise, or filet minon with get the idea.) Bernaise sauce is thickened with egg yolks and generally would only contain ingredients which are fine on SCD. In my case, I verified the ingredients with the chef at this place to ensure that I wouldn't get surprised. I believe Hollandaise Sauce is in the same category, but I would verify that they make it themselves from fresh ingredients and that the ingredients are what you expect--then enjoy! For those who are great cooks or married to one, you might want to explore these at home.

Oh...and I ask for fresh berries for my dessert.


Date: Fri, 22 Jan 1999 10:04:33 -0800
From: James & Cathy Yokota <>
Subject: Chinese Food

I don't remember who it was, but recently someone posted a message about how Chinese restaurant coat their meat with starch before they cook it. THANK YOU very much for making me aware of this! My husband and I have been eating at one particular Chinese restaurant for over six months now, and every time we go (about once every two weeks) I order plain steamed chicken with broccoli. After reading your post, I tested the chicken with iodine and sure enough it turned black. The worst part is, I've been cheating all of this time and I didn't even know it :


Date: Fri, 22 Jan 1999 11:21:37 -0500
From: Midas Gold <>
Subject: Eating Out (was: Chinese Food)

I've had the most success at a certain kosher roasted-chicken restaurant. They have rotisseried chickens which they *promise* have nothing on them but paprika (after I make sure to impress upon them that if I eat so much as one molecule of sugar or starch I will keel over in the middle of their restaurant, gasping for a phone to call my lawyer...). They also have Israeli salad (a mixture of diced cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, and peppers in nothing but fresh lemon juice), and fresh fruit salad made of nothing but cut-up citrus segments and melons. I feel like I'm having a feast when I eat there, even when the rest of my family is partaking of their all-you-can-eat carbo-loaded extravaganza (fried chicken, rice, pasta, muffins, etc.)...


Date: Sat, 23 Jan 1999 14:19:26 -0500
From: "david emerson" <>
To: <>
Subject: Re: Eating with a busy schedule

For those of us who try to maintain busy work schedules and do all the cooking related to this diet quick meals are a must. Here are some of my successful ideas.

I make large batches of the crunchy almond chicken nuggets from Deborah Dowd's receipe list. I freeze them in single serving bags and whenever I just don't want to cook or am in a hurry they are great with honey mustard sauce or plain.

Lunches: I eat soup almost every day. It can be made in large batches and frozen or refridgerated.

Tuna and chicken salad are great with a sliced tomato. Pickles and lots of olives go well with this (olives are great for calories as well).

For those who can't eat honey this won't help, but monster cookies are delicious and travel well.

Cinnamon raisin bread is great with peanut, and probably any other type of nut butter.

I make a couple of dessert things every weekend as well. Usually a cheesecake and something else. My best Christmas gift was a ice cream maker which I use to make wonderful batches of honey sweetened vanilla and peppermint ice cream with all cream. I eat lots of it - talk about calories.

Who can complain about a diet on which I get to eat ice cream and cheesecake on a daily basis?? Life is good.

Now if I could only get a few more hours in every day...

Oh - nut butters of all types are also great on celery sticks. I don't eat raw vegies at the moment, but this is a snack I've eaten all my life.

(Link to some recipes for sweet candy and snacks for the cinema....)

Date: Thu, 18 Jun 1998 21:38:49 -0500
From: "Montrel A. King" <>
Subject: Re: misc. wrote:
> Hi all!
> I'm new to the list & have a few questions that I'm hoping ya'll can help
> me with.
> I've been tentatively diagnosed with IBS & mostly have problems with
> blotting & or gas. I also have problems with acid reflux. The reason
> I'm mentioning this is that a lot of the things in Elaine's diet are
> things they told me to avoid due to 1 or both of the above things. I was
> wondering if anyone else had similar symptoms & if they had to modify the
> diet. If so, what did you do? Or did the diet take care of these
> symptoms so there was no need to avoid acidy or spicy foods?
> Also, are sorghum & or cane syrup permitted? How about lactose free milk
> that you can buy in the stores?
> My final question is to do with the amount & time spent cooking. I have
> fibromyalgia & don't have a lot of energy. Does anyone have any
> recommendations that would help me?
> Thanks!
> _____________________________________________________________________

To ",

My diagnosis is IBS--lots of gas, bloating, diarreah, and costipation.
I asked myself the same questions you did concerning the food. I was
"starch queen." I kept every meal "blah" meaning, mac and cheese,
potatoes, bread,etc... No veggies, salad, nuts, etc... The first 2
weeks of the SCD were fairly "loose" for my bowels, but I stuck with it
and after 1 month the SCD foods did not bother me. I began to enjoy
veggies, salads, fruits--things that tore me up before SCD. As the I
progressed with the diet, there were and still are certain foods that
caused me to be WAY TOO GASSY! I got so discouraged, but through trial
and error I eventually discovered what did and did not set well. This
diet has totally changed my life for the better. I am a new person.
You could ask my friends and family--they would reccommend this diet to
you in a heartbeat! It is work to stick firmly to the diet, but the
rewards are so worth it. You won't regret it.

Initially, I spent all my weekends cooking as well as my evenings, but
you quickly get the swing of it. You learn how long things will last.
You can double and triple recipes and you can get your cooking down to a
science. Don't be discouraged.

jennifer king

Date: Mon, 20 Jul 1998 00:02:48 -0600
From: Partridge <>
Subject: Re: Newcomer questions

The early "days" of the diet can be frought with so many "what ifs", "what'
causing this ..." One thing is that many have to be prepared to measure
improvement in possibly months not days and weeks as we did. Further, keep
in mind the early part of the book wherein, Elaine puts the GI condition
pre diet into true perspective. Your gut is in turmoil, any little thing
internal and external is going to affect you in some way, but keep on, you
will get over it. Do not be quick to discount the various foods because
they may appear as being problematic.

Your body is trying to fight back. One way is how Elaine discusses the
build up of mucous, it is a protective action by the body, it is also a
double edged sword in that you cannot absorb much through it. So along
comes food that is going to, in the long run, eliminate the food source for
the pesky bacteria that has "squatted" and taken over where you once had
friendly bacteria. This whole "eviction" process takes time and in the
interim you have to eat. Quite frankly, in the early stages of our daugter
being on the diet it seemed everything caused a problem. You will get over
over it and the reversal will take place if you are prepared to be
fanatical. This diet is not like weight watchers where a few months on and
an odd week off will bring results. This diet in a very powerful yet non
intrusive way changes the chemical and biological picture of your gut. That
all takes time.

Also, because of the probable poor condition of your nutritional levels, you
can become a breeding ground for a host of other problems, candida, prone to
parasitic invasions, home of other wonderful microbes and prone to aches,
nausea, poor eyesight, the list goes on. These will pass, do not worry
excessively about them. With each mouthful of the food on the SCD you are
reversing all that action.


Date: Mon, 20 Jul 1998 15:17:54 -0700
From: David Hyde <>
Subject: Re: Newcomer questions

A few things I might suggest to help a newcomer.
1. If you can manage it safely, fast for about 1-2 days before starting
the diet.
2. Drink a huge amount of good clean (not tap) water, a gallon or more a
3. Exercise. Take a short walk about 30 minutes after eating. I also
find swimming helps.
4. Be careful that the foods you are getting are actually OK, ie.
organic, not premade (may have added sugar, etc.)
5. Try to "Eat right" That is, chew well, eat slowly, don't drink water
until after the meal, cool, but not cold foods are best. Eat proteins
first, then veggies and if fruit at all, last and at least 15 minutes
after the rest of the food. Some also suggest not mixing fruits. ie. eat
strawberries only, and then an hout l;ater eat melon and so on.

Date: Fri, 31 Jul 1998 08:47:42 -0400
From: ruth <>
Subject: Re: New patient of Crohn's disease, need info and help
> Hi, I am a newly diagnosed patient of Crohn's disease.
> I'm on steroids and another anti-inflammatory drug.
> I'd like to hear from other patients of Crohn's about
> this "SCD diet" and how it has affected them or if
> it hasn't, that too. Obviously it seems that some have
> been affected positively, some have shown no effect.
> Secondly, I'm in the USA and am now going to try to
> get long term DISABILITY INSURANCE. I would like to
> hear from other people about how to go about applying
> for DISABILITY INSURANCE once a chronic disease has
> been diagnosed. Should I hide this fact?
> Thanks very much!

Hi C. Smith,
Welcome to the list.
Having this chronic disease might feel like the end of the world, but
it's not. Your lucky to find SCD so early on. If you don't already have
it Buy the book today (Breaking the Vicious Cycle) and follow exactly as
prescribed by Elaine Gottschall.

Why give up your career and live on long term disability, (unless you
have a hobby you'd rather do ; )> first try giving SCD an honest
chance to work before allowing the drugs and the disease to stop your

IMO Steroids compound the problems and add horrible side effects on top
of the disease symptoms. For me the havoc steroids created within my
mind and body was a 100% worse than the symptoms of the U colitis.. Talk
about tapering off the steroids asap while seeing results from scd..

You can also find wellness through what you eat and how you live. Now of
us are different than you. Some were actually much worse off on this
list and have positive results when carefully following the diet.

Hang in there your not alone :- )

Date: Thu, 06 Aug 1998 08:01:24 -0400
From: ruth <>
Subject: Re: Hard times

Midas Gold wrote:
> Hi, Gisele - I'm also just starting out on SCD. Mind if I join your
> pity-party?
> Gisele_B wrote:
> <snip>
> > I'm also feeling depressed because, this may sound crazy, but I feel
> > like I'm mourning a death (the death of, junk food, sugar, potatoes
> > (which I love) etc., etc.)
> > SO needless to say I'm having a real hard time. I know this sounds
> > like I'm whining, but I'm looking for some support out there.

The pity party will be over soon girrrls!

Soon you'll be able to have a the variety of nuts, dried and fresh fruits
NO Cooking involved..
They also make your fridge look beautiful . I put the nuts in zip lock
bags or jars in the fridge. I bought a beautiful basket for the fridge to
hold all of them and another basket for fruit. I also keep a basket of
fruits ripening on the table.

I buy a delicious variety of dried fruits without sulfites or sugar at the
health food store like mango, papaya, cherries, cranberries, pineapple,
dates, big fat thompson raisins, etc...

You'll be eating so healthy soon, and once your no longer addicted to
sugar you won't crave all the junk sweet food.


Date: Thu, 06 Aug 1998 09:10:00 -0400
From: ruth <>
Subject: Re: Hard times

I wanted to add that i always carry dried fruit and nuts in my purse.
This allows me to not feel deprived if I wind up in a situation where i want
to eat and can't find food that's good for me.

I save eating pistachio nuts for only in the movies.
The hell with popcorn if I can eat pistachios : )


Date: Thu, 20 Aug 1998 14:16:02 -0400
From: "Gauthier, A. (Arnie)" <>
To: "''" <>
Subject: newbie fears

Hi Folks,

My name's Arnie and I've just signed up on this mailing list. I'm
thinking of starting this diet to see if it will help out with the
Crohns Disease that I have. I've ordered the book and will start the
diet after I've read it. I'd be very interested in hearing from any
other Crohnies about what degree of help this diet has been to you. If
this is off topic for the mailing list please e-mail me.

I'd like to ask you folks a few questions.

Do you take your lunch to work with you?

Have you found many restaurants you can eat at?

How difficult have you found it to stay on this diet?


Date: Thu, 20 Aug 1998 14:35:12 -0400
Subject: Re: newbie fears

Hi Arnie -

I've been on the diet for almost a year. I almost always bring my lunch to
work. Usually restaurants will prepare foods special if there isn't
anything on the menu that is safe. I go places with a salid bar, if

The diet is difficult for me, because I used to live on all the things that
are forbidden, but it's worth it! I was so sick with Crohns that I could
barely function, and now I hardly know I have it at all. I feel like this
diet saved my life.


Date: Thu, 20 Aug 1998 13:12:37 -0600
From: "Brad Lait" <>
To: <>
Subject: Re: newbie fears

Hi Arnie
My husband Brad has been on the diet for 9 months. in 1997 he was
hospitalized 4X with terminal ileum blockages. He's had crohn's since 88.
after 3 weeks on the diet he went into remission, only going a few times or
less, down from 20X a day when he was really sick. The diet has given him
his life back. It is intimidating to get started, and it takes a lot of
time cooking, but the sacrifices are worth it. It is a lifestyle change,
though, unless you can get someone to cook for you and fill your freezer.
Actually, I'm the one who knocks herself out making his food, but its good
to have a husband who has enough energy to play with and take care of our
baby daughter! We haven't tried a lot of restaurants, but Brad eats out a
lot, often taking just the banana cake with him. He's on the road right now
and all he's taken with him is the banana cake. We find Red Lobster is
pretty accommodating. Some places have buffets. Good luck on trying the
diet. What part of canada are you in? Oh yes, Brad doesn't find sticking
to the diet very hard, because he fears the wrath of Alison if he cheats!
After 21 days anything becomes a habit, and Brad only rarely misses his
previous favorite foods.
Regards, Alison Lait


Date: Fri, 25 Sep 1998 14:42:24 -0400
From: ruth <>
Subject: Re: Compiled product list/processed foods question

> There must be a reason Elaine does not recommend canned or overly
> processed goods.

Processed foods have none of their own intricate nutritional value left after the
processing. Some foods have synthetic vitamins and minerals added during a
manufacturing process (cereals). Unprocessed fresh and live food has all their
natural inherent healing properties available for our bodies to use.

> I have heard that they allow a
> certain amount of dirt and bugs to go into things, as long as it is
> below the acceptable limit.

I remember reading an article in High School (early 1970's) about chocolate
manufacturers having a legal allowable amount to how much non food bug pieces can
be processed in chocolate. <yuck!>It's probably allowed industry wide for others
food also. Some canned foods are still packed in lead cans which leaches into the

> I would really like to
> know why she vehemently discourages refined foods.

I'm only making an educated guess here, I never spoke to Elaine ; )Because they
are "refined". Void of nutritional value.

Date: Fri, 25 Sep 1998 19:11:39, -0500
From: David Cournoyer, (MR DAVE COURNOYER)
Subject: Why No Canned

Michelle and those asking why Elaine says no canned food:

There's an excellent explanation from her on the web site, the specific
address is
She explains how things like sugar are added but not on the label, a
chemist tests for sweetness and adds sugar if necessary. Also, she
quotes Dr. Haas about what can happen if you eat small amounts of
carbohydrates. Scary. Everyone should read this.

Remember the big scandal with the apple juice a while back? I saw
something on 20/20 or primetime where they chemically analyzed juice
and it was so much sugar.

I agree, we can't trust what they say. Elaine has said, though, that if
an organic tomato company like Muir says in a letter that the product is
safe, then it's probably safe. In my opinion, it's because they have
more to lose if they are exposed adding things.


Date: Sun, 2 Aug 1998 20:09:30 EDT
From: <>
Subject: Re: SCD-list V1 #360

I appreciate everyone's concern with keeping the SCD "pure", and not
embellishing the diet with their own "interpretations" of what they "think is
o.k." Just to set the record straight for new SCD'ers: though soybeans are
prohibited (BTVC, P. 54); and soy products, including tofu, are not permitted
on this diet (BTVC, p.46); salad and cooking oils made from grains may be
used, therefore corn and soybean oils are permitted (BTVC, p.57). Hope that
this may clarify some confusion.

Date: Fri, 14 Aug 98 10:37:10 MDT
From: "Daniel Woods" <>
Subject: Re: beginning the diet

Hi Deanna and other SCD newbies,

> Well, so far I haven't received any replies about adding fruit and
> veggies (see my previous post under this subject)...

As I mention many times on this list (some may say "preach"), I found
it best to only introduce *ONE* new item at a time. If you try this
new item for 1-3 days, you chould notice if it agrees with you. As
long as you stick to *your* basic eating pattern, this will allow you
to judge what is OK for your body. After 8 months on the diet, I
tried shelled peanuts... not good. I tried again after 10 months,
and this time it was OK. My point is that "timing" can make a
difference when a food becomes OK for you. I had to wait until
2-3 months into the diet for eggs, cheese, honey, fruit and nut flour
to be OK for *me* (I did use honey and eggs in cheesecake recipe).
After more than a year on SCD, I still have problems with salad.

Since you only have some D., perhaps it's OK to try cooked veggies
such as squashes (zuchini, spaghetti,...) since (I'm sure you know)
these are the first things introduce to babies. Yes, your bowel is
like a baby's right now, and it needs to be retrained. I would
wait on the cooked fruit until you see things are ok with the
cooked veggies (also try carrots). After cooked fruit works for you,
you could try raw bananas (with black spots) as it seems to work
well with most people. I eat 2-3 bananas per day with my yogurt/honey.


Date: Tue, 25 Aug 1998 11:52:03 -0700
From: David Hyde <>
Subject: Re: acupuncture/relapse/bleeding

> >Is it anyone else's experience that the diet alone cannot alleviate
> >bleeding as, so far, two individuals on this list have shared to be their
> >experience? Please say it isn't so! That notion makes me quite
> >uncomfortable, as my son was bleeding when we began the diet and stopped
> >bleeding soon after.

By all means, add a few lifestyle changes with the diet.
1st exercise.
2nd drink too much water
3rd exercise and
4th supplement the vitamins (and herbs) you aren't absorbing well
(with SCD OK ones of course, available at many health food stores).
You may need a multiple, C (best in powder or of course fruit), E,
acidopholus, A, B complex, zinc, copper, folic acid, fish liver or flax seed oil,
slippery elm, cat's claw, paba, and some would argue for pure aloe juice
(yes, I know there is debate on this last one).
Do all that, the SCD, plus a full 8 hours of sleep a night and I bet you
won't need any drugs.


Date: Wed, 26 Aug 1998 11:19:28 +1000
Subject: Bleeding

ONe thing that I have learned from the diet is that the road to healing is
not a straight gradient leading gently uphill to perfect health at the peak
of the mountain. It is a very bumpy road with lots of potholes. After
being off all drugs for two months my daughter is now back on them. THis
after no cheating at all, 7 months on the diet. WHat precipitated this
flare was a cold virus.
Remember that Elaine says it took 2 full years on the diet before her
daughter was symptom-free.
Also, please everyone be aware that anti-inflammatory agents including
drugs, asprirn, vitamin E and possibly fish oils, are also blood thinners.
This means that if any bleeding is present, anti-inflammatories may make it


Date: Fri, 04 Sep 1998 09:41:40 -0700
From: David Hyde <>
Subject: Re: Newcomer....& scared.

Stephen & Claudette Weir wrote:
> 1.Should start the diet after he has been weened off the steroids ?
> otherwise how could we judge that the diet is working.

I'd say start the diet ASAP. If it's a little confusing at first, so
what, you're not trying to develop testable hypotheses, you're trying to
get your son well, if a mix does that, great. You'll find that the SCD
alone will work OK though, and if you combine it with the right
vitamins, herbs and most importantly, exercise, he'll be great.

> 2.The dieticien at the hospital recommended he stays away from salads
> by saying "lettuce leaves are hard to diggest(my son loves salads).The
> book says salads & raw veg are ok, who do we beleive ?(the same was
> said about nuts)

Salads and nuts are both NOT allowed on the SCD until major symptoms
(blood, loose stools) disapear, and for basically the reason the
dietician told you, they are both hard to digest (mechanically as
opposed to chemically or biologically, the problem with starches).

> 3.Any ideas on how you can "sell" this diet to a teenager ?

Tell him his frieds, MTV, and Greenday all recommend it.

> 4.Our Doctor has a great rapore with our son (the argued for over an
> hour
> about the need to resort to steroids !)Should we consult with him before
> leaping into this ?

Your son's doctor will most likely say this won't work As a matter of a
act, most GI's will say diet and IBD are unrelated. This is such utter
crap. Want proof? Have your son eat a butternut squash and some swiss
cheese (only) tonight. You will see some instant improvement. Torrow
have him eat a pastry and some coffee. You'll see him run for the
bathroom, I promise. Point is, it is SO connected you can't help but see
it. So how about the SCD? So far for me it seems to work the best of any
of the dietary approaches I've seen.

> 5.Life after steroid means Azacol according to our Doctor....should he take
> this whilst on the diet...the book tells us to continue.What do you
> think?

Start the diet and by the time you can ween the drugs he won't need them
anyway. Get him off of those ASAP or he'll be sorry when he's old. My
grandmother has taken steroids for 40 years and they have completely
destroyed her immune system, cuts and bruises just never heal. Her skin
is destoyed. Trust me, it's miserable. SCD may not "cure" (or it may)
but it will definately make life easily livable. The roughest part is
eating out with friends, pretty limited menu choices (I usually eat
omlettes or fish or fruit while out).

> Of course our sons welfare is paramount in our thinking...we are new to
> this & finding it a very scary thing to deal with.We full of doubt & guilt
> about it.A little help would be appreciated.
> Our hearts go out to all of you.
> Thanks
> Claudette & Stephen
> (

Date: Fri, 04 Sep 1998 15:47:39 -0600
From: Partridge <>
Subject: Re: Newcomer....& scared.

Claudette & Stephen
Probably a lot of this response may have been previously stated in some
form, but repetition is good for emphasis and we have all been scared at
one time or another with these malicious diseases, but as you said, here goes:

> 1.Should start the diet after he has been weened off the steroids ?

The diet is an adjunct to medication as has been stated publically by
Elaine, we all want to get of these drugs but in the *interim* don't fool
with medications like Prednisone. Coming of that has to be done extremely
s   l   o   w   l   y!! (Our daughter, diagnosed at 14, 7 years ago is
presently coming down on prednisone - she has been on it for about two
years) You need not worry about the diet working because the medications
only alleviate the symptoms while the SCD gets to the root of the problem -
starve the bacteria. This *soup* in the gut is in turmoil, it takes time
to reverse the biochemistry. The opening sections of the book describe in
simple terms what is happening. Not one of the medications (most borrowed
from other treatments) are a cure so you need not worry about whether the
diet or medication are affecting change.

> 2.The dieticien at the hospital recommended he stays away from salads

Well stated in other replies, even now, our daughter does not eat raw
salads or fruit as she finds digesting them hard. Nut flour was hard at
first, but now (after 3 years) she enjoys muffins, loafs and cookies made
with it, with no probelms

> 3.Any ideas on how you can "sell" this diet to a teenager ?
If he is willing get him to post his concerns to the group, many have
fought this disease through their teenage years. Without being negative,
it is often when they are faced with the threat of surgery (colostomy) that
many wake up and put 110% into staying on the diet. 4 years ago, our GI
was insistent that our daughter have a colostomy (we had to sign a release
for her) he said she would be back anyway and that we were only putting of
the inevitable. Well, she has (through this diet) put her weight back on,
built remarkable muscle, has great colour, has better blood results, is
working, goes camping, enjoys going out to supper and asking for meals to
be done HER way. All for a young woman who was bedridden for over a year.

> 4.Our Doctor has a great rapore with our son

Respect their views but take charge of your own medical management. A good
doctor will realize that you are trying to do the best realize that with
good SCD management your son is going to be weaned of these drugs sooner
rather than later.

Our first email to the group was not unlike yours, we were scared,
skeptical, cynical and angry that it should happen to our daughter. It
seemed like a mountain that was just too high and hard to climb. Well, if
you start the climb, you will make progress, yes, you will, possibly slip
back a little, but not all the way to the bottom. It will seem tiring, but
you keep climbing and one day, you get to the top and you realize both the
climb and that the mountain was not that high or tough after all..



Date: Fri, 23 Oct 1998 20:53:49 -0700
From: "Benke, Anna" <>
To: "SCD (E-mail)" <>
Subject: starting on the diet

I have some advice concerning how to go about starting the diet. The book is not too clear on explaining this, but the allowable foods have to be gradually introduced at a slow rate, depending on how inflamed you are at the time. You have to realize that some foods are easier to digest than others, and sometimes you need a bit of partial "bowel rest". This can be accomplished by eating gentler foods for a week or two until things calm down, and then you can start introducing more allowables one by one to see if you tolerate them.

Start by eating a lot of the chicken soup (recipe in the book), but when cooked strain everything out, reserving the broth in one container, carrots in another, and chicken in another. Throw everything else out, including the skin and bones of the chicken. Refrigerate the broth overnite and the fat will all rise to the top and solidify so you can remove it easily. Puree the carrots and chicken and add to broth if desired for a rich creamy soup, or eat them all separately. I tell you, this is a staple when beginning on the diet. You can eat several bowls a day. Another good thing to make is homemade jello using unflavored gelatin and Welch's grape juice (no sugar added). Just disolve the gelatin in the juice over med heat, pour into little bowls and refrigerate. When I was really sick, I would eat the chicken soup, as described, the jello, lots of herbal teas with honey, and pureed spaghetti squash, zuchinni, carrots, or chicken (all well cooked first). Sometimes cheeses are good too, as they seem to firm up the stool (make sure you chew well though and experiment). You can also try yogurt made with half and half and store bought powdered culture, as it may be tolerable, and good with honey. My girlfriend who has CD and has been on the diet for 5 years tells me all the time "the yogurt is our medicine!". I think it does help a lot, but some people can't tolerate it at first.

When the gut is really inflamed, it helps to eat pureed food because it gives your digestive system a break. Not many people mention this, but it worked for me. It is easier to break down food that is already well chewed, so to speak. When the stool becomes semi-formed and the pain and gas subside, then I would introduce the same foods, in solid form. Depending on my symptoms thereafter, I would introduce scrambled eggs, homemade yogurt and sour cream, homemade applesauce, and dry curd.

From there on, you can start introducing different allowables, but do it one by one, so you can test the effect based on your stool and your symptoms. A key that I found is that you should make sure you never get dehydrated by taking in plenty of fluids, and once you find something you can eat that doesn't cause immediate pain and diarhea, eat more of it, as much as you can. A common mistake is to not eat enough quantity of the food. Think about the fact that these foods are all you can tolerate, so you must increase the quantities in order to get enough calories. It is fine to use butters and oils in the preparation of the meats and cooked vegies because you need the calories. Don't worry about variety in the beginning, give your gut a chance to heal and once it is healed, you can eat all sorts of things.

The last things to introduce are raw fruits and vegetables, nut flour, and whole nuts, anything with seeds, and beans and legumes. These should only be introduced after 1-3 months on the diet, and then only one by one to test the tolerablity. Skin and seeds of fruits and vegies should always be removed in the beginning. And remember, if you can't tolerate a given food at one point in time, stop eating it, and try it again in a week or a month. As the gut is allowed to heal (from the diet) you will be able to tolerate more and more foods. After about a month the feeling of emptiness, constant hunger and carbohydrate cravings will go away. The habit of the diet will stick if you force yourself, and this is the only way. It is NOT easy by any means to stick to this diet, but the results are more than worth it in the long run.

This has been my experience so I thought I would pass it on. I am somewhat of a veteran to the SCD and although I have never stayed on it long enough to get a permanent cure (my own fault), I have proven to myself time and time again that it works! The last time I stayed on the diet for about a year and then I went off and returned to a bad diet including a lot of refined and junk foods. My remission lasted about 9 months in spite of my poor eating habits and being medication free for over a year and a half. Then I got a flare up and I immediately went back on the diet, according to how I have described it above. The first week it seemed like I was getting worse and worse. I thought I would NEVER get better, and had to stay home in bed. After about 10 days of eating the intro stuff, my stool began to improve so I started introducing more things. I started to get better, but my energy was still zero. After two weeks in total, I was able to eat solid food (most allowables) and I felt like my old self again.

This diet is definately capable of inducing remission in many people, but if introduced wrong, it can be detrimental, leading some to think it doesn't work at all. This time I am planning to stay on the SCD for 2 years minimum, no matter how great I feel. You see, when this diet puts you into remission, and you are able to get off of all meds, after a while you get to feel so good that the memory of the pain and suffering becomes somewhat vague, tempting you to cheat. You feel like you don't even have an illness anymore, and it's easy to get lax and gradually return to a regular diet. And a lot of North American "regular diets" are full of crap, which will just cause us to get sick again. Elaine was very right in saying "It is hoped that no one who recovers from his or her problem by following the SCD ever returns to a diet high in refined sugar and refined flours." I made the mistake of doing that, and now am starting over. I am writing this so others may learn from my mistakes. Pages 51 and 52 in the book (the last 2 pgs of Chapter 8), explain some of what I said, but not as detailed. Good luck, and I hope this helps in some way.

Date: Mon, 28 Dec 1998 12:44:54 -0800
From: Ted Dixon <>
Subject: Re: Need some support....

I have been on this diet for at least 6 years now and I can tell you it gets easier as time goes on.At first I felt kind of cheated in life because there were so many things I couldn't eat and it made it hard to go places.i would get tired sometimes explaining why i couldn't eat anything.Now it is just second nature I wouldn't even consider going back because I know how healthy I've been on the diet .The diet has improved a lot now compared with whatI got out of the first book Food & The Gut Reaction.Hang in there it does get easier. Ted

Date: Tue, 5 Jan 1999 20:48:51 -0500
From: "dan davis" <>
To: <>
Subject: Introduction
I would like to introduce myself. My name is Janice. I am new to the list & for a couple of days have been reading your email. I have been through a very rough period, beginning Feb. '98, requiring blood transfusions, hospital stays, etc., but am happy to report that since Oct. I have been feeling quite well.

I have been faithfully following the SCD since April, and am also taking sulfasalazine.

I feel very fortunate to have found an excellent gastroenterologist who is actively involved in research into IBD & who is quite innovative in his treatment of it.

Having consulted with 2 other gastroenterologists previously, I realize that there are probably many doctors who don't give there patients the benefit of the advice that I received from him & for this reason I feel compelled to share it with you. His advice was as follows:

-iron pills can aggravate this condition so he advises iron injections in the case of iron deficiency anemia
-remove lactose from the diet
-DO NOT TAKE ANTIBIOTICS UNLESS YOU ARE DYING OF A BACTERIAL INFECTION. If antibiotics are NECESSARY Ciprofloxicin is the least harmful in terms of IBD. Use that if appropriate.
-Eating natural yogurt with live cultures is one of the best ways to reculture the bowel.
-eat plenty of vegetables, fruit, poultry and fish. Limit beef consumption

When I asked him his opinion about the SCD, he said that there is no proof that it works, but that he would have no objection to me following it as long as I had no problem with weight loss associated with it. He enabled me to follow it during my stay in hospital.

In order to avoid antibiotics I have begun eating raw garlic at the first sign of colds/ flu/sore throat etc. I first tried it because you can hardly pick up a magazine without reading about its antibacterial properties & I was quite certain that at the very least it wouldn't hurt me. It seems to work for me. (My husband also).

In order to minimize the strong taste & smell I chop a garlic clove up fine & take it on a spoon, a bit at a time, without chewing it, & wash it down quickly with warm water. You will still smell it on your breath & taste it, but nobody wants to get too close to you when you're sick anyway, so I don't find it to be a problem. I take 4 cloves/day on an empty stomach when fighting a "bug", followed by some fruit or yogurt.

In closing I would like to say that I am very thankful to have found the SCD & to have had the opportunity to speak to Elaine personally & benefit from her advice. I am not ready to proclaim to the world that it is working for me, but I am optimistic.

Best regards,

Date: Mon, 11 Jan 1999 10:32:44 -0500
From: Christine Brennen-Leigh <>
Subject: Deena's Son

Dear Deena:
I am so sorry to hear about your son. But I do think you have found a great place to start helping him. Last spring my mom was very sick and was diagnosed with Crohn's. They wanted to take her colon out but we decided to bring her home and try the SCD diet instead. We bought the book and found this site. Both have been a god send.

From reading all of the messages posted here daily, I have noticed a common theme. There were certain foods that a lot of people couldn't tolerate before the diet. In fact a lot of them were sure that eating certain items on the diet would send them into a tail spin, because they surely had done so in the past. It seems to me that once the diet is started and you are eating only the food that has been researched to be SCD safe or what I think of as actually digestible by someone with a digestion disorder, then previous food which you couldn't eat, now become digestible.
I think you may be surprised after removing foods you now think are ok for him (but are not SCD safe) and slowly adding in other foods on the list. All you can do is try. It is just food you are experimenting with not some synthetic chemical drug. What can it hurt to try him on the basic diet for a while and then start to slowly add in other SCD foods. This could be the answer, but you won't know unless you try.
It is amazing just hearing the members talk about the restorative powers of the home made yogurt. The diet seems to allow the body to move into a state of healing. It's kind of like a cut, the cut will heal, but not as long as you keep jabbing it with a sharp object. The gut can't heal as long as you keep exposing it to food that it can not digest.

The human body is an amazing thing. I truly believe that it has the power to heal itself, if just given the right help. Please, definitely at least call Elaine. She is a powerhouse and if she at all thinks that this diet will help your son, she will tell you truthfully. When I got off the phone from her about my mother, I was full of energy and ready to take on the world of doubting doctors. At least discuss it with her.

Christine daughter of Jean, Crohn's/Colitis

Date: Sat, 30 Jan 1999 10:30:19 -0500
From: "dan davis" <>
To: <>
Subject: New to diet


I did not see any lasting improvement until I had been on the diet for almost 4 months, except for relief from the terrible gas and bloating I had been experiencing (it left me quite early in the diet.)

When you say you have trouble with the dairy do you mean cheese, yogurt, or both? Make sure that you are making the yogurt correctly. If you don't heat the milk to a high enough temp. before cooling and adding the yogurt you may have a problem. The yogurt, if it's made properly, from my experience should be 'set' when it's done (not runny). I had to experiment a bit before I got it right.

Here are a few suggestions that may help:
    1) Do not eat any raw vegetables or fruit except very ripe bananas until the D is gone. (I didn't).
    2) If you think dairy is bothering you, eliminate cheese to start with but continue with properly prepared yogurt. See how you do. If necessary you can eliminate the yogurt, but take probiotics instead.
    3) Eliminate eggs if they cause problems. When you have improved cautiously try adding them back. If you still don't tolerate them eliminate them permanently.
    4) Keep the amount of honey that you ingest to a minimum until the D clears.
    5) Drink ginger tea with lemon juice (3-4 cups/day). Ginger contains high levels of the enzymes that break down meat (protease), and lipase which breaks down fat. It promotes good digestion. Lab studies have demonstrated that ginger inhibits the bacteria in the colon that work away at undigested sugars. It reduces the production of prostaglandins (which can cause inflamation). It kills viruses, fungi.
    6) Take some raw garlic. It kills fungi, bacteria, some parasites, reduces blood sugar levels, etc. (Benefits to health are too numerous to mention's good for what ails you!)
I'm sorry to keep harping about ginger and garlic...I've just had such positive experiences with them myself. I think if you're struggling they're worth a try. At least you can be sure that they won't harm you.


Date: Tue, 2 Feb 1999 18:00:14 -0500
From: "KEN N SUE" <>
To: <>
Subject: Re: chat line, and diets for collitis

Would be very interesting in getting to the chat line, to learn and converse with others who have diet problems, such as collitis, etc. which I have had for the past six years.
I am trying a new diet, from the book,"Breaking the Vicious Cycle(through intestinal health through diet)".
Would appreciate any help I can get...thank you.

Ken Cowie


Date: Wed, 3 Feb 1999 08:23:34 -0700 From: "Michael Windrim" <> To: <> Subject: RE: chat line, and diets for collitis


Read all the mail on this list, read the book more than once, go to the web site and you will be better educated and in better health than 99% of the people on this planet.

We all look forward to your input.
Michael Windrim


Date: Wed, 3 Feb 1999 10:43:43 -0800
From: "Alpaslan to Xtreme" <>
To: <>
Subject: Re: chat line, and diets for collitis


I second Micheal Windrim's motion. Read the book more than once. Read it frequently. There is a lot of concentrated wisdaom in it. Then, read the writings on this list... They really help with the practicalities of how to cope with the diet, what to eat, how to be patient, how to deal with people ...

We all look forward to your input.

Date: Sun, 28 Feb 1999 17:44:21 -0500
From: Úquot;david emersonÚquot; <>
To: <>
Subject: Re: Pain - Crohn's Disease


I have had Crohn's disease for 10 1/2 years. I started the SCD diet at Christmastime this year, exactly 10 years after my initial diagnosis.

My docs. always said diet had minimal or no effect. They gave me some really scary books which recommended avoiding a few foods, but nothing very definitive, and nothing that was really helpful.

I did have pain, usually like sharp shooting cramps. There were a few times when it felt like I could be blocked up - I thought I was going to die or explode and then die. It generally felt like there were foods, though I didn't recognize which ones, which were too bulky, and my narrowed and inflamed gut couldn't take it.

As Deanna said, the first thing to go away with the SCD was the pain and discomfort of all types. I actually experienced the beginning of this before I started the diet, because I hadn't gotten the book yet. I just went on what little I could figure out from what I'd read. When I eliminated ALL refined carbs, and especially when I figured out that sugar was a carb (duh...), I experienced a major reduction in pain.

So, even if you don't have the book yet you may get some improvement just by eliminating everything you recognize as a carb, especially sugar.

Since starting the diet completely I have experienced a major improvement in all my symptoms, as well as a return to my normal weight (almost - 3 or so more pounds would be fine, but having gained back 25 I'm feeling incredible). And there's hope - while I don't claim to think about sex even 75% pf the time, there was a while there when I felt like I had absolutely no sex drive at all. That is no longer the case.

So, this diet clearly does make a major difference for a huge number of people. It can give you your life back. Six months ago Crohn's controlled me, my emotions and many of my actions and words. Now I am in control again, I have energy again, and I am smiling again without having to force it!

Lastly, don't expect ANY support from doctors. You may get lucky, and have one who will support, or at the least accept, what you're trying. Chances are good however, that they will give you active discouragement. That is what I got. I ignored them. They obviously didn't know what they were talking about. You will know what makes a difference for you far better than they do soon enough.

And remember - this diet is not a hardship in any way when compared to what Crohn's disease can do to your life!

Good luck,

Date: Sun, 28 Feb 1999 17:46:31 -0500
From: Úquot;david emersonÚquot; <>
To: <>
Subject: Re: Pain - Crohn's Disease


In my experience my doctor's recommendations regarding diet were useless. They never helped. Not in any significant way.

The SCD has not only helped, it has put my life back into my control.


Date: Fri, 05 Mar 1999 09:55:10 -0500
From: Nancy Emerson <>
Subject: Re: SCD


You asked: Úquot;Nancy, PLEASE tell me your secret.Úquot;

The reason I am so thankful for this mental state of mind is that when I first started the SCD last summer I did not have this advantage. And I couldn't quite adhere to it 100%. Every few weeks I would eat a bite or two of something I shouldn't have.

I stopped getting sicker, but I didn't get healthy with this approach. The memory of that, combined with the misery of this fall when I was off the diet have given me this connection between forbidden foods and pain. In other words I was so sick there is NOTHING that would make me risk ending up back there. When I think "What I wouldn't give to be able to try a little of"; some food, my next thought is "The one thing I WOULDN'T give is the health I have gained in the last 2 months."

You also wrote: "I'm happy to say that I've been fanatically on the diet for five days now. I know that's not a lot to most of you, but I'm SO proud of myself! It's really hard to avoid something you're addicted to."

No, it is not easy, but it gets easier the longer you stick with it. Really. The first days are the hardest, and as the diet changes over from being an effort to being a habit a new frame of mind sets in. The addiction is in the process of being broken.



Date: Sat, 20 Mar 1999 01:05:27 -0500
From: "Deborah Idol" <>
To: <>
Subject: Re: getting well with the SCD

Hi again,

>I have heard back from several people now
>telling me that the diet has worked
>for them. Why is it that the doctors refuse
>to believe that something so
>simple as diet can make a difference?
>Have you told your doctor that the diet
>has worked for you?

I never bothered discussing it with my doctor as he was determined that people not hear about it or use it. If most intestinal diseases can be cured by the SCD, how many gastroenterologists are going to want to tell people it works? Instead of having constant visits for prescriptions, exams, tests, hospitalizations (which are *very* lucrative - they make rounds and see all their patients who are in the hospital for about one or two minutes each, and charge a fortune) and surgeries, they would have one visit and test for diagnosis, and then all those people who were disciplined enough to stay on the diet and do the few other things that might be necessary to become well, would never darken their office doors again. Plus, there would be fewer initial visits for diagnosis as more people heard about the diet (which they would if all the gastroenterologists were prescribing it).

>Yes, the diet is a lot of work. It seems
>like I have been cooking around the
>clock. Since my son is currently on
>prednisone, he is very hungry all of the
>time. I really don't think that the
>diet will be that much work once I get
>used to it. It seemed a bit overwhelming
>the first couple of days, but I just
>keep reading the book over and over
>again so that I can get a good grasp on
>it. I think the most difficult part
>right now is going out to eat.

Going out to eat isn't all that difficult, as long as one doesn't go to bad restaurants, as they use fake food (real food is expensive, as is labor). As long as you go to decent restaurants that don't serve frozen dinners (you'd be surprised how many restaurants do this - even chicken breast is often not chicken breast - the restaurant buys packages of boned, cooked cutlets injected with things like corn syrup and other sugars, MSG, milk solids, gums, etc.).

>birthday parties, easter, etc. These events are important
>to a ten year old
>and he feels left out.
>Is that any type of bread that is allowed?

When your son can tolerate almond flour, Lois Lang's bread recipe is great for sandwiches. Your son would be able to take a ham (made only with dextrose and/or honey!) and cheese sandwich to school for lunch if he wanted to, with fruit and yogurt for dessert, or carrot cake.

>Also, so
>far I haven't been about to find dry curd
>cottage cheese. Can you point me
>in the right direction?

I use Friendship Dairy's Farmer's Cheese which is usually near cream cheese and yogurt in the grocery store. Friendship (they make dry curd cottage cheese -dccc- but it's hard to get and you usually have to buy an immense quantity) assured me that it has no more lactose than the dccc, and it tastes much better too, as it has added cream and salt.

If your son is interested in that sort of thing, he may want to look at some sites such as ... He might find it interesting to learn about when agriculture started, what effect it had on people's health (which deteriorated) and height (boys usually want to grow tall), and even that cancer rates are higher, the more grain people eat. It is extremely hard for children to really stick to a diet like this, and you will have to expect that he'll most likely cheat (and probably not tell you about it, if he gets an upsetting reaction), and have flare ups of the disease because of it. Eventually, he'll realize it's not worth it. Most adults go through this at first, also. It will make it easier for him if you *never* eat all those tempting "goodies" that he can't have, even when he's not around.

Take care,


Date: Sat, 20 Mar 1999 09:02:52 -0700
From: "Brad Lait" <>
To: "SCD List" <>
Subject: Pep talk:thoughts on starting the SCD

My husband has been on the SCD for 14 months. He was originally diagnosed with colitis in 86, then rediagnosed to crohn's in 88. in 88 he had a serious flare and had to quit university. He was able to keep symptoms at low levels until 1997 when he was hospitalized 4X with intestinal blockages. Then I put him on the SCD and within 3 weeks he was doing wonderfully.

The cooking for the diet is very hard to adapt to at first. Our culture is used to convenience foods. Learning a whole new way of cooking, especially at a very stressful time of acute illness, can be very hard indeed. When my husband started the diet, I also had a colicky 5 month old who was still waking up twice a night. Believe me, I was EXHAUSTED. I remember going to the grocery store to buy coconut, and it just seemed overwhelming, finding one package out of five that had no added sugar. I thought, "I have to do this for ALL the food I buy???? This is just too much!" I got through on stubborn determination. I didn't get any extra help, because I didn't want to hear them saying "Are you SURE that the diet is the right thing? Are you SURE?" Sometimes, comments are harder to deal with than working 18 hours a day.

But eventually, you learn and adapt. Everything becomes old hat, and habit. Making yogurt is no big deal, and you learn the brand names that are allowed. You turn your kitchen into an efficient workspace, and get the tools you need. Cooking in advance helps. Shopping is easier because there's fewer ingredients. There's still more work, but it's nothing like what our grandparents and great grandparents went through. I'd say virtually all their day was spent on their food supply, and we have freezers and fridges and grocery stores.

Since I have a small child and one on the way, I realize that there won't be much time for my interests for some time. I sneak in creative projects when there's time and things are under control. I said "OK, I'm going to devote my creative energies into cooking". I look upon this time in my life as a season, though there is a possibility that Brad will remain on the diet for life. But that's not so bad! It's so healthy and I feel good on the diet as well. I have my husband back from the valley of the shadow of death, which is the best gift of all. So fire up those food processors! Yeah!

Regards, Alison

Date: Fri, 9 Apr 1999 11:33:33 -0400
From: "dan davis" <>
To: <>
Subject: Basic diet - Joanne


Since you can't find your copy of BTVC, here's the basic diet:

-homemade chicken soup
-eggs (boiled, poached or scrambled)
-homemade gelatin made with juice, unflavoured gelatin, sweetener
-other meats
-cheese cake
-apple cider or grape juice (1/2 juice, 1/2 water)

I also added very ripe bananas and other cooked vegetables. DON'T EAT AT ANY FAST FOOD PLACES!

Someone told me on the phone, I think it was Lucy, that you can get pure tylenol powder from the pharmacist if you request it. It's best to go to a compounding pharmacy for this I think.

Hope you feel much better soon, Janice

Date: Fri, 9 Apr 1999 01:11:20 -0400
From: "Deborah Idol" <>
To: <>
Subject: Re: Cocoa and canned beans

Hi Heather,

> I have just begun this diet in the past month and have a few
> questions if anyone has answers. In the book it is stated
> that one can not eat chocolate or carob. Does this include cocoa
> and if so, why? I am also wondering about canned beans ( such as
> kidney beans for chili). I think I can have the dried beans as she
> says but I am wondering what is wrong with canned beans with labels
> saying they do not contain any additives. Any other advice would be
> appreciated! Thanks, Heather.

Carob and chocolate (cocoa is chocolate with some or all of the cocoa butter removed) have the type of carbs we cannot digest. We are not allowed to eat disaccharides or polysaccharides.

Canned products can have ingredients not listed on the label, as can prepared foods. Legally, companies do not have to list anything that makes up less than 2% of the product. Plus, some manufacturers have actually been caught mislabeling their products, claiming, for instance, that they added no sugar, when they actually did.

Take care,


Date: Thu, 15 Apr 1999 09:39:11 -0400
From: callahan <>
Subject: Re: New Starter on the Diet

Hi Paula S,
Welcome to the list.
Yes a heating pad does make a sore tummy feel better. So does a warm bath with some herbal oils added. Take good care of your spirit as you help yourself heal....
Your Gastro doctor will probably say it doesn't matter what you eat, but suddenly get an attitude when you tell him your eating healthy unprocessed foods. Ignore his advice concerning food. Nutrition is completely beyond most medical practitioners scope and knowledge as a method of healing. Most Gastroenterologist are educated about medicine and surgery.
Keep eating the chicken soup, broiled hamburgers, eggs , cooked squash and farmers cheese (aka: Dry curd cottage cheese). Buy yourself a yogurt maker quickly and start eating plenty of homemade yogurt. You won't need calcium supplement if your eating yogurt. For all vitamins and supplements I follow carefully the recommendation that Elaine gives in the book.
It has worked well for me.

In the beginning to add calories eat avocados, make the yogurt with whole real cream, or half and half from the health food store (no additives)
Create your own high calorie shakes in the blender:
1 cup pure apple juice
table spoon of walnut oil (or more)
1/2 cup high fat yogurt
very ripe bananas
blended with three ice cubes.

Don't forget


Questions and answers to Elaine Gottschall - an online interview [1] and [2]

To SCD Web Library start page