I read Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Intestinal Health Through Diet this week. Sounds exciting doesn't it?
This book, now in its 12th printing, is a book that describes in great detail what is known as the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (or SCD). This is a diet that has been recommended to us for Stephanie.
It is also a very difficult diet. Today we plan to sit down and decide if we are actually going to try it. At this point, I'm really unsure if this family can make it work.
The first part of the book goes into detail of what causes a lot of our intestinal problems, especially when we fail to digest certain foods.
When foods like complex carbs don't get digested, they don't automatically just flow right through. Many times, they "hang out" in the intestines, damaging the walls of the intestines, growing microbial substances, and, generally, wreaking havoc. The reason this is described as a "vicious cycle" is that, when these microbes grow, they damage the wall of the intestine, which makes it more difficult to digest foods, which results in foods staying in the intestines, which results in microbes growing, which damamge the wall of the intestine, which makes it more difficult to digest foods....you get the picture, right?
So...the best way to heal the inestines is by only eating foods that are very simple to digest. This means virtually no carbs at all. Other than what comes in fruits.
After the largely scientific first part of the book comes a list of foods that are allowed/not allowed, followed by a bunch of recipes. It even has recipes for making your own almond milk and homemade yogurt! Things I didn't know..."true" yogurt has virutally no lactose in it. It's all been absorbed by the fermentation process. True cheeses are virtually lactose free, due to the separation processes.
Proteins are allowed and encouraged pretty freely. Here's a list of allowable proteins. All fresh or frozen beef, lamb, pork, poultry, fish (including shellfish), eggs natural cheeses, homemade yogurt made according to recipe in book, dry curd cottage cheese (never heard of this one), canned fish (canned in water or oil).
Processed meats, such as lunchmeat, hot dogs (unless you can find some without additives), breaded fish, canned fish with sauces are not allowed. Processed cheeses are not allowed.
No canned vegetables are allowed at all. Veggies must be fresh or frozen. No grains are permitted. No potatoes or corn.
Most fruits are allowed, and can be canned if they are specified as being canned in their own juice. The only sweeteners allowed are honey and (surprise!) saccharin. "No other artificial sweetener but saccharin is allowed."
Anyway...it's a difficult diet, and I'm not sure that we have the time or the discipline to pull it off. We may give it a shot.