Nearly 3 months into this diet, I’m getting pretty tired of eating (not to mention preparing) peeled, de-seeded and cooked-to-death fruit and vegetables. But more than that, I’m starting to detect noticeable improvements in my GI health. So, I’m slowly taking steps towards eating food that is more lightly cooked, and which may still have its skin and/or seeds.
If you’ve closely followed the SCD phases, you should (theoretically) be able to handle your fruit and veg in a less and less cooked state as the phases progress. That said, I’ve been warned by a nutritionalist to stay away from raw vegetables, as they’re very difficult for the gut to digest.
I’ve never been sure whether you need to re-introduce foods when you start eating them without peeling and de-seeding them – for example, what if you react to tomato seeds but not to the flesh? That said, introducing each item in the first place is time-consuming enough. Imagine doing it all over again!
Since I haven’t found much guidance in this regard on SCDLifestyle.com, I’ve had to figure it out for myself, and here’s what I’m doing:
- On days that my belly is feeling happy, I am starting to test unpeeled/non-de-seeded foods that I’ve already introduced – for example, adding whole cherry tomatoes to my meals, or eating baby gem squash with skin and seeds. So far, so good.
- I’m starting to cook my veg for shorter periods of time – ie, green beans until just soft; not falling apart.
- I’m drinking juice with pulp in it to acclimatise my gut to fruit. So far I’ve introduced very little fruit to my diet.
- I’m (carefully) introducing vegetables that caused me problems in the past, prior to SCD, such as onions and broccoli. Progressing the right way
To my mind, the aim of the first 90 days of SCD is to heal the damage that’s been caused by disease. That’s why we treat our guts like babies’ guts, feeding them only the most basic, easily digestible foods. But as our guts begin to heal (and this is where you need to pay attention to your body and your symptoms/lack thereof), they should be able to handle SCD-legal foods in a less pulverised, more natural state.
While the phases on Pecanbread.com are an excellent guideline (and I’ve adhered to them closely), it’s also important to remain actively aware of your progress and your body’s individual needs, preferences, dislikes and idiosyncrasies, and to take conscious steps to tweak the diet to these needs. Sure, it’s okay and even recommended that you follow the diet to the T for the first few months, but it’s vital that thereafter, you adapt it to be optimally effective for your body.
For example, some people may never be able to handle tomato seeds, no matter how healthy they may be. Other people may battle with foods while they’re sick, but once they’re healed and in remission, they may find they can eat those same foods without adverse effect. Keeping a food diary is vital and being actively aware of your symptoms at all times is ESSENTIAL.
I’m still eating fewer bananas (so far only ONE today!) and as I sit here after supper, which included cherry tomatoes complete with seeds and skin, I feel okay. I am however still struggling with BMs and finding it hard to figure out exactly why. Constipation has set in once again, even though it feels like I haven’t changed much in my diet. Time to scrutinise my food diary!
Do you have any thoughts or advice on progressing to unpeeled, lightly cooked or whole fruit and veggies?