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What do the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and Cirque de Soleil Have in Common? They Both Require Balance!

What do the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and Cirque de Soleil have in common? They both require balance! It frustrates me that even doctors are under the misapprehension that the Specific Carbohydrate Diet is a No Carb or Low Carb diet. It is fairly limited in carbohydrates (grape juice, carrots, a few carbs in the dry curd cottage cheese) for the first few days.

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet starts with a brief introductory diet that clears the decks and notifies bad bacteria that change is on the way. In fact their sugar, starch and gluten party is nearly over. Immediately after this two to five day startup regimen new foods are added gradually, depending on their degree of tolerance which is monitored through journaling. The Specific Carbohydrate Diet then becomes a carbohydrate restricted program but only in the sense that certain types of carbs are eliminated.

What remains has no limits beyond good judgement since Elaine Gottschall* clearly stated in "Breaking the Vicious Cycle"* that the Specific Carbohydrate Diet is designed to be balanced (There are always exceptions. A lower carb version of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet is considered useful in instances of seizure inclined individuals).

You might think that the Specific Carbohydrate Diet is somehow connected to the Glycemic Index, but it is not. That index does not differentiate between monosaccharides
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and polysaccharides and the Specific Carbohydrate Diet does. The "monos" are directly absorbed into the bloodstream, the "polys" must be broken down further to become digestible. That's why honey is a real asset to the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. The bees have predigested it.

There are two ways to achieve balance. One way to get up and running and develop a feel for balanced menu choices is to open a free account at fitday.com and keep track of very mouthful. I normally don't get beyond breakfast because spontaneous balance comes easily after my many years of practice.

I just include a protein, fruit and vegetable with almost every meal. This can mean a vegetable, even at breakfast like poached eggs on a bed of mashed butternut squash or cooked spinach or an omelet studded with diced veggies. Fruit juice set with unflavored gelatin is a neat way to spoon in some extra carbs at or between meals. The Specific Carbohydrate Diet includes legumes as advanced foods. They require overnight soaking and precooking to eliminate starch but they still retain generous amounts of carbohydrates.

Other "advanced" items like dried fruits are also excellent sources. If I reviewed what I have had most days, Fitday's little pie chart graph usually comes up fairly even in all three categories, fat, carbohydrate and protein. Eating rice and pasta on the standard gluten-free diet is going to increase the carb count and I believe that not having these for so many years is what helped me easily maintain a substantial weight loss which happened eleven years ago. I may not be able to stand on my head at the top of a pyramid of trapeze artists, but balancing the SCD diet is a breeze.

*Editor's Note: Elaine Gottschall claims in her book "Breaking the Vicious Cycle" that the Specific Carbohydrate Diet can cure celiac disease, which is false.

As always, Celiac.com welcomes your comments (see below).


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I don't know what you drank or where.... so here are a few thoughts. - sure, a dive bar might have dirty glasses and serve a cocktail in a beer glass? But a nice reminder place, with a dishwasher, should be fine. If it's a sketchy place, Stick to wine, then it's served in wine glasses that aren't used for beer or bottled ciders in the bottle. - ciders on tap might, just a slight chance, have an issue. Because of beer on tap, mixed up lines, etc. - you may have a problem with alcohol - you may have issues with The high sugar content of the drink. I know I have similar issues if I drink serveral ciders of extra sugary brands - are you positive it was a gluten-free drink? Not this " redds Apple" pretending to be a cider - it's beer with apple flavor. Or one of those " gluten removed " beers?

Hi Stephanie, I'm also from the UK, I've found this site more helpful than anything we have! As already mentioned above, in my experience it could depend on what and where you were drinking. Gluten free food and drink isn't always (not usually) 100% gluten free as you may know, maybe you have become more sensitive to even a trace of gluten that is probably in gluten free food/drink. Is it possible you have a problem with corn, particularly high fructose corn syrup that is in a lot of alcoholic drinks? This was a big problem for me and the only alcoholic drinks I can tolerate are William Chase vodka and gin. I contacted the company last year and all their drinks are 100% gluten and corn free, made the old fashioned way with no additives, so maybe try their products if you like the occasional drink and see how you get on. If you drink out, not many pubs sell their products but I know Wetherspoons do and smaller wine bars may too. l was never a spirit drinker but I must say their products are absolutely lovely! Very easy on a compromised gut too considering it's alcohol. I second the suggestion on seeing a natural health practitioner. I've recently started seeing a medical herbalist, as I've got nowhere with my now many food intolerances since going gluten free last year and I've noticed a difference in my health already.

Sorry for the very late reply and thanks for the replies, I didn't get a notification of any. In case anyone else comes across this and has been wondering the same as I was, I did try a vegetable broth and I did react to it in the same way as if I'd eaten the vegetables. As for the candida, I've been using coconut oil and am seeing a medical herbalist for this and leaky gut. It's only been a few weeks but I've noticed an improvement all round.

What did you drink and where did you drink it? NOTE if you drink something at a bar using their glasses your asking for trouble BEER IS EVERYWHERE in most bars and a CC hell. If it was at home and a non grain based liqour then I would be really concerned that it might just be alcohol. I personally can not really drink much of anything any more. I love rum, and I cook with it sometimes in sautes. I also have rum extract/butter rum extract/and rum emulsion I use in shakes, homemade keto pudding/ mixed into dishes. and even add some to drink to give it a rum flavor lol.

I can only think of two things, 1 something you put on your potato was contaminated like the butter container could have crumbs in it or something like that as mentioned before, and you could be having a reaction to dairy or what ever was put in it.......IF it was just plain potato and you reacted with bloating and cramping you might have a carb issues, tad rare and most associated with additional auto immune diseases but could be in which case a diet of fats and protein would be your answer much like it is for me now days. What all have you eaten in the privous 8 hours including beverages, condiments, spices and foods?