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AliB

Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD)

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Sorry if I sounded abrupt. Here is what I found on choclate.

Dr. Haas advised not to use cocoa or chocolate and this still goes, it isn't just the sugar he was worried about. (from the BTVC website)

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What's the word about chocolate, specifically cocoa powder on the SCD? I know it's an illegal. But is that just because it is nearly universally accompanied by sugar, soy lecithin and even milk? Is chocolate still illegal if you make your own ground up concoction with gluten free unsweetened cocoa, honey or dates and maybe a little extra virgin coconut oil and even some nuts? Or is there just something inherent in chocolate itself that makes it a no no? Thanks.

I finally did read somewhere that Haas thought chocolate was chemically similar to cocaine. I think the only similarity is in the spelling of cocoa and cocaine.

I was a chocoholic when I started the diet and went through withdrawal for about 2 weeks, then abruptly got over it. Don't miss it at all now. When I think about it, I remember feeling sick to my stomach after eating it. I was also tempted to make chocolate concotions but didn't. My advice--kick it, you'll be happy you did.

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I have a question about the SCD regarding cheese, some cheeses are allowed on the diet, but I get bad symptoms from all of them. What does this mean for me? Is that a casein problem, lactose problem or what?

And I'm sorry if there's a big SCD thread for this to be on, I found some links but none of them seemed to work, so if anyone wants to point this in the right direction I'd appreciate it.

Thanks a lot

I can't handle any dairy, including goat yogurt , butter and cheese. I do the SCD without it, no problem.

And welcome, you are in the right place.

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I have a question about the SCD regarding cheese, some cheeses are allowed on the diet, but I get bad symptoms from all of them. What does this mean for me? Is that a casein problem, lactose problem or what?

And I'm sorry if there's a big SCD thread for this to be on, I found some links but none of them seemed to work, so if anyone wants to point this in the right direction I'd appreciate it.

Thanks a lot

I agree with the others, and it may simply be a digestion problem. On the SCD after removing the illegal foods, it is also important to remove foods you react to, and then wait for awhile before trying them again. We need to give the gut time to heal.

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What's the word about chocolate, specifically cocoa powder on the SCD? I know it's an illegal. But is that just because it is nearly universally accompanied by sugar, soy lecithin and even milk? Is chocolate still illegal if you make your own ground up concoction with gluten free unsweetened cocoa, honey or dates and maybe a little extra virgin coconut oil and even some nuts? Or is there just something inherent in chocolate itself that makes it a no no? Thanks.

I read on some of the SCD sources that it was eliminated by Dr. Hass because he found it to be a problem. Elaine was asked why and she just said it wasn't okay and don't keep asking her about it! ;) LOL, I think she got tired of being asked the question.

Sometimes Elaine said that in her research about the composition of various things, sometimes the explanation of why it is eliminated is very complex. I'd advise eliminating it until you heal and then try it again.

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SCD has been a big help to me, and I have enough positive changes to not want to go off the diet. However, the healing process is not comfortable!

I am finding myself much more sensitive now, and having more bouts of D, instead of always struggling with C. I have more nausea and cramping, and bloating comes and goes (when it comes, I have a soccer ball belly). Previously I had what I would call a "shut down" intestine, poor motility, constipation but not a lot of gut symptoms. I had fatigue and brain fog.

Its important to help new people know that although some people get symptom free fast, others of us have to go through a lot of healing crisis. On another forum, one long term SCD user told me the first year can be rough--with lots of healing crisis. Sounds like that is going to be the case for me.

My guess is I am going to have to scale back to just the most simple foods and easy to digest ones. I did great last night and through afternoon today when I only had chicken broth. Obviously can't do that every day! LOL.

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Sorry if I sounded abrupt. Here is what I found on choclate.

Dr. Haas advised not to use cocoa or chocolate and this still goes, it isn't just the sugar he was worried about. (from the BTVC website)

Not to worry. You were not abrupt. I too have read most of what has been shared here about the chocolate issue and SCD and came to the same conclusion. It's just illegal because it is. :)

But seriously, I don't have to eat it. I was just curious since no one really ever had an answer as to why.

Thanks! :)

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Gentleheart,

I don't know if that is the reason why chocolate is not allowed, but in fact cocoa contains starches as well as fat. 100 g cocoa beans naturally contain 8,67 g saccharose which is a disaccharide - illegal - and 2,17 g starches which are illegal, too.

Another thing is that cocoa also contains lots of histamine. SCD doesn't especially rely on allergies but in fact most people with lekay gut issues have to cope with allergies or pseudo-allergies, too. That might also be the reason why some people on SCD can't cope with nuts and cheese at the beginning. I totally agree with Ali about the casein, but following the damage caused by casein, gluten etc. there occurs an enlarged potential of allergic reactions which can be triggered by the intake of much histamine. Nuts and cheese also contain tons of histamine like does cocoa.

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Cocoa is also high in copper which may well explain why those whose diets revolve around it like the Mayans have an orange tinge to their skin!

I found this comment on Naomi Devlins' blog which may help -

"This definitely couldn't be made SCD because chocolate and cocoa are considered illegal due to the carbohydrate content.

Even 85% cocoa content chocolate has 15% sugar and that is absolutely 15% too much for a damaged gut to cope with.

I do eat small amounts of 100% cocoa liquor myself and find it's fine - but you need to be ready for that intense espresso hit of bitter chocolate rather than the customary creamy sweet taste of sweetened chocolate.

Otherwise, you can use cocoa butter and almonds to make a white chocolate version".

She does use a little raw chocolate now, but then she has been following the SCD for almost a year.

This was a reply she gave me to a comment I posted on her site -

"I've been lucky, it took me about six months to sort things out. I was cavalier at the beginning and didn't cut out all the harder to digest foods. When I got rid of peanuts/peanut butter, coconut, pulses, seeds, dried fruit, honey, alcohol, cheese, butter and yogurt - things calmed down pretty fast.

Now I eat all of the above except pulses and seeds, which I intend to try again in a few months.

I'm pretty good at giving things up, but even so I found it hard to cut my sweet cravings. I got round this by eating a lot of slow cooked food, roasted vegetables and very ripe bananas. A weak spleen is generally to blame for the sugar cravings and eating slow cooked and aromatic food helps strengthen the organ (energetically). Having regular massage and exercise also helps.

The key - as Elaine Gottishall says herself - is fanatical adherance. Even a little bit of something that feeds yeasts, bacteria and remains undigested in the gut will cause inflammation. The cycle of inflammation needs to be broken for your gut to start healing properly.

I would suggest taking caprylic acid, using coconut oil instead of butter, and for cooking (as it is anti-fungal), eating lots of SCD yogurt, taking a good probiotic (three-lac is candida specific and SCD legal) and maybe a course of digestive enzymes with each meal.

Once your energy starts to come back your will power will increase, just hang on in there for now!" (10/29/08)

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Speaking of fanatical adherence, I keep wondering what people are eating when they say they are on a modified SCD, a 95% SCD, or just plain cheat.

I confess to an occasional dollop of tamari and a little turkey bacon. I couldn't care less if my vitamins are SCD legal, and for sure Armour Thryoid is not.

I remember Shay saying she eats yams once a week or so.

Anyone else? Ali? Besides cocoa liquor?

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I've not been cheating with any carbohydrates, but as I can't eat much veggies due to the fructose intolerance I was quite desperate at the beginning because I didn't know what to eat... So I had much too much cheese. I tried to balance with goats cheese, sheep feta and cow's cheese but found that my gut was not pleased with all this cheese stuff. Now I only eat small amounts of goats cheese and do much better.

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I am strict, other than I refuse to drink weak coffee and so am down to one coffee a day.

Cheese just doesn't work for me yet, just a little goat yogurt, also I think cauliflower doesn't agree with me.

I appreciate the chocolate conversation. :) I have a lot of a wonderful dark chocolate, no sugar in it, sweetened with acai berries, sitting in my cupboard. I had wondered if I would be able to resist it on this diet but strangely it is very easy. I really have no cravings for it.

I do have cravings for my apple pie made with an almond flour crust and served with my lemon frozen yogurt. Mmmmmm.......

I think being strict with the diet helps us to read what our bodies really want and I feel if I really wanted the chocolate I would have it but instead I seem to have a slight aversion for it.

It has been two months now and I am seeing improvements, less pain, less C, slight improvement in my spirits and in the middle of a prairie winter that is something! :lol:

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I don't knowingly cheat. Also like others have said, the cravings really aren't there. I did buy some blueberries and have been putting a few in my yogurt...and don't do raw yet so that's a stretch.

The appie pie craving--yep! I use the almond honey crisp recipe in BTVC and spread it on top of my apple pie filling (with honey, sans starch) and bake it like a crisp. Although the way I have been feeling lately I haven't wanted anything so rich. Making jello today, maybe that won't give me D.

Guess I have traded C for D....

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Last week after realizing I couldn't handle the cheese I was feeling so deprived that I went on a real apple pie binge, I had it for breakfast every morning!

I make a crust with almond flour, coconut oil and just a little honey, roll it out in two pieces, the top a little larger and then put my sauteed apples with cinnamon on the bottom layer, top with the other layer and crimp the edges. Bake at 300 degrees. It is beautiful. :lol:

This week I haven't for just the reasons you said, it feels a little rich.

Since I have given up the the arthritic pain in my hand has gone and the bloating has diminished significantly.

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I am not on the SCD diet completely, because I don't have the intestinal issues that many have, but I do eat completely gluten-free and have really cut back on the casein. I just think the SCD diet is a healthy one in general, similar to the Paleo and Weston Price type recommendations. I bought the book and a recipe book that has absolutely delicious looking SCD recipes.

Anyway, I thought I might try making the yogurt to see if I could deal with that again. I made yogurt from raw cow's milk (luckily, here in Pennsylvania, we can buy raw milk) and used a thermos to make it. It was so easy and it turned out delicious! I just boiled the milk, let it cool to 122 F, added a dollop of greek yogurt (no bifidus cultures) and poured it into the thermos and let sit. I took it out after 12 hours, but I think next time I will try the 24 hour length. It was incredibly thick and creamy - much better than store bought. I had some and didn't get a migraine, which is my usual reaction to dairy, but I will just eat it once in a while just in case. It won't last that long anyway, since my husband loves it too.

I love potatoes and sweet potatoes and have no problems with any other foods, except possibly beans, which also result in migraines for me. So I do modify the diet somewhat. I think eliminating most if not all grains and some sugar is the most beneficial for me.

It's funny, but over the years I have tried probably every diet known to man, and most of them start out with eating pretty much a SCD diet, then add in grains etc later. It was always the second stage that was my downfall, which eventually led me to suspecting gluten was a problem for me. It's funny where these little discoveries take us on our journey, isn't it?

Laurie

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Absolutely Laurie - the grains are so addictive that's the problem. I did really well on both the original low-carb I followed and later on the Atkins until I started to reintroduce the carbs - then I couldn't stop.

I have to admit that I have not been as disciplined on the SCD as I wish I had been - but then I have always admitted that -_- ...........

I reckon a lot of my downfall has been the cold weather here. We not only have cold miserable winters here but we didn't have a Summer either last year so it wasn't conducive to salads and cold drinks - I just have this need for a warm cosy drink so I have succumbed to the hot choc - with coconut milk. I can't stand coffee and tea bloats me so I am limited otherwise. With any diet it has always been the drinks that let me down.

I do drink water but that is cold and hot water is so horrible - well ours is, and there is only so much herb tea that a girl can stand. At least with the smoothies I am less likely to indulge in the cocoa.

I do sneak an occasional oatcake slathered with butter (it doesn't push my blood sugar up quite so much then), and last weekend I had some indian takeaway with the family and regretted it after!

I kind of hate to admit that I cheat - here's me constantly extolling the virtues of the diet yet not rigidly following it myself - the thing is though, I know it works. And I know it would work even better if I was fanatically adhering. Although my recovery is, I am sure, slower than it could be it is still progress. It only hit me yesterday when I was posting about something else that I no longer get the palps and clammy feeling that used to hit me in the late evening most days and I hadn't even noticed it had gone.

Yes I wish I had more energy, but I can still run up the stairs which is a darn sight more than I could do a year ago. I am sure that my energy level would go up if I got to sleep earlier too. I am such a night owl and it really doesn't do me any good. Every night I tell myself to go to bed earlier, and every night I fail!

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Ali, I think sometimes we slip a little and sometimes we slip a lot but as long as we are aware that we are doing that and we continue to work at it, it will work. Don't be too hard on yourself. :)

I know some of the times I pushed my limits were when I had started to feel a bit better and I had felt deprived for so long, other times it was when I had felt so badly for so long I would think, what difference does it make, I'm in pain all the time anyways.

What I am noticing is that as I heal I have more clarity about what the problem is, I understand now that sometimes it is not the food, it is too much of the food or the combination with too many other foods. Other times I get a clear message that this food is not for me, cashews for example and peanut butter too. Cheese, well my adventure into cambozola was a pretty clear indication that I just can't do that, immediate bloating and C.

I find this diet so satisfying that I am happy not to cheat.

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I think maybe it might be time to start reintroducing some baked almond bits back in - I stopped them as I really wasn't coping with them very well, but I do have nuts as is and seem to be reasonably ok with them now. It's just a case of trying I guess.

The Diabetes restricts me more than some because I have to be SO low carb and I think that is why I find it hard - any carbs - even SCD legal ones, raise my BS higher than I would wish. The other trap I fall into and which gets me every time is not eating enough or regularly enough. I don't always eat enough during the day and then I get famished in the evening. Evenings are definitely the worst and sitting in front of the TV is dreadful - I just want to pick all the time - nuts, fruit and even SCD illegals if I can get my hands on them!

Fortunately I am not an avid TV watcher - I'd rather be on the PC which helps as it keeps me and my hands busy and gives me less inclination to think about food. I used to do a lot of crafts and embroidery and that helped, but my eyes aren't so good now and I get frustrated as I can't see as well to do the intricate stuff, so I then tend not to bother.

It's interesting that cheese gives you C too, that is what it does to me. All the time I was on gluten it was masking the reaction of the dairy as it was giving me D - I wonder if that is why people with IBS often seem to switch between D and C? Maybe it depends which one is predominant in their diet at any given time. I didn't switch - it was D all the way so obviously the reaction from gluten was a lot stronger than the reaction from dairy.

Another thing I have noticed is that the ache in my back after eating is much reduced which is great. Funny how you don't always realise that things aren't there any more!

From my 20's through to my 40's I used to get such an itchy back - just inside my left shoulder-blade. My hub was forever scratching it for me. Eventually though it stopped and apart from an occasional twitch it was pretty quiet. Now that has started coming back with a vengeance. I am ok all day until I undress for bed, then, for some reason it is an itch that needs to be scratched. Weird!

It's almost as if my symptoms are going backwards! I have wondered if it has anything to do with my pancreas. I shall have to wait and see on that one. Maybe, now I have all but eliminated the 'Big 4' from my diet, my body is beginning to get shot of the 'glues' I have been ingesting over the last 50 years!!

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Ali, just out of curiosity have you had your thyroid and adrenals checked? All this malabsorption takes a toll on the endocrine system and that contributes to fatigue. I know in my case getting the hormones right (still a work in progress) is likely helping as much as the diet.

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I was quite desperate at the beginning because I didn't know what to eat... So I had much too much cheese.

Me, too! I was starving and cheese always seemed safe and socially acceptable. Then I figured out it was making me foggy-headed and sleepy...

Now, without dairy, I find myself wondering how much chicken or beef to eat at a meal. Four ounces seems like such a small amount, more seems like gluttony.

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Ali, just out of curiosity have you had your thyroid and adrenals checked? All this malabsorption takes a toll on the endocrine system and that contributes to fatigue. I know in my case getting the hormones right (still a work in progress) is likely helping as much as the diet.

I have a thyroid problem... and I do think my hormones are getting better. I'm definitely not so exhausted all the time!

One interesting thing I found out yesterday is that magnesium deficiency is a common problem with malabsorption (which makes sense). To compensate, your adrenals start pumping out cortisol... but eventually they reach a limit. That's when you crash. Lack of magnesium is also associated with low potassium/calcium, muscle twitches, hiccups, and chocolate cravings! Other magnesium-rich foods include almonds, cashews, spinach, yogurt, avocados, bananas, and potatoes with the skins... all things I have been CRAVING. :P

Getting your thyroid and cortisol levels straightened out is very important since they regulate the production of other hormones (estrogen, testosterone, etc...).

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A friend of the family said years go that she was convinced I had thyroid problems, but although it has been checked over the years nothing has shown up. It could be sub-clinical but I don't have any blatantly obvious symptoms that would indicate it. I know one of the symptoms was feeling cold - but I have always been the other way until now. My thermostat has settled down and I adjust to heat and cold much better.

Adrenals are something else. A while before I went gluten-free when I was having the big problems with my stomach I was reading about the adrenals. I had never tried feeling for them before so I put my hand around to my side/back and had a poke around. I knew when I had touched one as I nearly hit the roof! They were very sore.

I have to say that now, although they are still a little tender, it is nothing compared to how it was back then, so I am pretty pleased about that - something is working! Again I suspect that my late sleeping habits have as much impact as anything and probably stressing my body more than it needs. Although I don't always get to sleep straight away, I do sleep much better now when I do get there though - after years of thrashing around in bed with RLS it is so great to wake up in the same place I went to sleep in!

I am full of cold at the moment - left as a parting gift by our son who popped up for a visit last weekend! But I am not upset about it. I have long felt that the body grabs a cold virus as a means of dumping lots of crud - the more mucous the better! :P

Aren't you glad you're on the other end of an email!! :lol:

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I tried making some almond meal blueberry pancakes for breakfast and they are still getting stuck in my gullet and giving me indigestion.

I seem to be able to eat whole nuts ok, and I'm ok with eggs and blueberries and butter and, as far as I am aware, honey so that just leaves either the soda or something in the cooking process that my digestion doesn't like very much.

Looks like I am going to have to shelve them again for a while, darn it. (My eldest grandson enjoyed them though - he ate 5!)

How come I can't eat those yummy SCD legals, yet the (very) thin slice of gluten-free banana cake that my daughter made slipped down without any complaint whatsoever?!!! Grrr.

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