How to make your favourite dishes SCD legal/paleo

paleo-pancakes

When you tell people that you don’t eat dairy, grains or sugar, they often stare at you incredulously (and a little pityingly), before gasping, “What do you eat?”

The problem is that so many people have fallen into a groove of slapping together a toastie for lunch or a pot of macaroni cheese for dinner that thinking about creating a meal without bread or cheese or pasta or sugar (tomato sauce, I’m looking at you) seems virtually impossible. Pasta and puddings are easy, cheap, convenient and delicious to make, and without them… What will we EAT??

Here are some ideas: any kind of meat, basically any fruits and veg you can imagine (with the exception of one or two, like potatoes and bananas, if you’re doing paleo), nuts, nut milks, nut butters, seeds, honey (sparingly on SCD) and, once you start thinking a little more laterally, a ton of amazing desserts and treats made with these ingredients. If you’re doing SCD and you aren’t lactose-intolerant, you can add dairy products to this list too.

Of course, if you’ve become accustomed to eating pasta and bread-based meals, as well as the odd pizza cheat on weekends, it can be daunting to make the transition to ‘cleaner’ eating.  Yes, it’s a mindshift, but you’d be amazed at how quickly your thinking changes.

To help you along if you’re new to this, I’ve put together a list of some of the easier and more popular everyday meals that you can turn into SCD legal or paleo dishes.

Pancakes

Traditionally, these are made with milk, wheat flour and butter, so it seems almost inconceivable to make anything resembling a pancake without these ingredients.

Think again: For SCD pancakes, use eggs, almond flour and coconut oil – try this recipe or this one – or attempt an even easier 3-ingredient pancake that’s super light and quick to make.

Smoothies

Bought smoothies are often made with frozen yoghurt or ice cream and loaded with unhealthy sweeteners or sugar. Often they’re just as kilojoule-dense as milkshakes, and we’re tricked into believing that they’re healthy because they have a berry or two thrown in.

Make your own paleo or SCD smoothies at home by throwing your favourite fruit into a blender with a dash of pure fruit juice or a squeeze of lime, and instead of frozen yoghurt, use SCD yoghurt, coconut milk or coconut cream. Don’t forget to add a spoon of your favourite nut butter!

Get creative and come up with your own combinations – you really are limited only by your imagination (and taste buds).

Here’s a collection of great paleo smoothies and shakes to get your creative juices flowing.

Lasagna

This is an awesome hack for dairy, grain-free lasagna: Instead of pasta sheets, use slices of zucchini in between your layers of meat. You could also use butternut or even egg-white crepes that mimic the texture of pasta.

As for the sauce, use substitutes like cashew cream or cashew cheese. These ingredients may sound totally exotic to you now, but I promise that after making them once or twice, they’ll be old hat. If you told me three months ago that I’d be making my own yoghurt using nut milks and non-dairy cultures, I’d never have believed you. Now I do it once a week, and start to panic when my stock gets low!

Anyway, here and here are some fabulous collections of SCD/paleo lasagna recipes to try.

Spaghetti bolognaise

This one is super easy: The trick is not to be fooled by unhealthy packaged ingredients that you’re so used to adding to your bolognaise. It’s okay to use tomato paste, but make sure it has no added sugar. I’ve just about perfected my bolognaise recipe – it’s easy, affordable and totally more-ish. Here’s the recipe.

Instead of spaghetti, serve with cauliflower rice, roast butternut or – if you enjoy the ‘taste’ – shirataki noodles. This is actually a plant product that has a similar consistency to noodles, but zero calories and little-to-no taste (though I definitely detect a vague, odd flavour). It’s quite strange and expensive, but some people like it. Buy it here in South Africa.

Burgers

The only real problem here is the bun, so omit it and, if you like, wrap your pattie in lettuce. Of course, if you’re not doing dairy, omit any cheesy toppings. Bacon is also ill-advised because unless you’re buying organic, it’s usually laden with sugar and unhealthy additives and preservatives.

I have an amazing burger recipe that I’m super proud of – try it here.

Curry

Curries are GREAT for paleo and SCD, because they’re easy to serve without grains, and the recipe doesn’t usually call for dairy. This means that it’s so simple to make SCD/paleo curries. Simply omit any yoghurt and replace with coconut milk or cream, and for sweetness, add a dash of honey instead of sugar.

Make sure that any spices you use are good quality and don’t have any anti-caking agents or other additives in them. The best idea is to buy yours from a spice market, if you have access to one, or simply make your own spice mixes from scratch. This is more labour intensive but definitely worth the effort.

I’ll post K’s Thai green recipe soon, which ticks all the right boxes. In the mean time, browse this selection of paleo curry recipes. I’m also dying to try this SCD roast cauliflower soup recipe – it’s on my list for this winter (by the way, The Tasty Alternative has the most amazing SCD recipes).

Dessert

There are SOOO many healthy, clean SCD and paleo dessert recipes out there – do a quick Google search to see what I mean. Things you’d never even imagine existed. So you never need to feel like you’re missing out just because you can’t have caramel whip or cream cakes. In fact, because these desserts are so kind to your belly, you’ll finally get to enjoy a sweet treat without the awful after effects you’re so used to experiencing.

Here’s a baked apple crisp I made last weekend that was very easy to throw together, and enjoyed by everyone who tried it. My favourite review came from my mom, who said, “You can actually taste how healthy it is.” But yet, super delicious. Win!

Happy cooking, guys – and don’t be afraid to experiment!

 

Advertisements

Day 75: 4 natural sore throat remedies – SCD legal/paleo

lemonandgingerinfusedhoney1

I’ve had a sore, scratchy throat for the past few days, and when this happened to me at the start of SCD, I made the mistake of taking OTC lozenges. They caused me a lot of bloating and they’re probably packed with illegal ingredients.

This time, I did a bit of research to find out what I could legally use on SCD to soothe my sore throat, and I found some really easy, effective fixes. These work for paleo too:

1. Gargle with apple cider vinegar mixed with water. I did this today and it tasted revolting (careful of gag reflex!) but it works. I found this remedy at Austinscdfriends.com, who also say that you can swallow the concoction, if you can stomach it, for a potassium boost, and that you should also rinse your mouth out afterwards to prevent the vinegar from damaging the enamel on your teeth. There are lots of other SCD legal remedies on the site – check them out.

l_3e6d4d80-94e4-11e1-9e4a-8148ad800003

2. Gargle with salt water. I found this tip at Paleoinpdx.com, where the author says, “I always use this tactic at the onset of a sore throat. It’s known to draw excess fluid from inflamed tissues in the throat, which makes it hurt less. It’s also beneficial during a full-blown cold because it helps break up mucus. Be sure to use warm filtered water and sea salt, not iodized table salt.” I haven’t tried this yet but it sounds easy and effective. Read the post for more SCD legal natural cold remedies.

3. Honey and lemon. This is obviously phase-dependent. If you’re able to tolerate both these foods, drizzle honey over lemon slices and suck on these to soothe your angry throat. Thanks to Pecanbread.com for this great tip – just thinking about it feels soothing! You can also squeeze the lemon into a mug, add your honey, fill with hot (not boiling) water and drink. Thanks to Drflock.co.uk for this remedy (click to see more).

3212e43470551b901dfd2c0421456616aff0c0e22f1ad36573cda51210e14b61

4. Drink lots of water. Often, a sore throat is accompanied by dryness, irritation and tickles. Keep water on hand at all times and drink whenever needed or as often as possible. Not only does it instantly calm your throat, but you’re drinking more water! This was a lifesaver for me today (since I couldn’t, obviously, have an actual Lifesaver 😉 )

Do you have any tried-and-tested, SCD legal sore throat remedies? Please share! 🙂

Day 74: What to do when food boredom sets in

It’s inevitable that on a diet like SCD, which is so incredibly restrictive (at least for the first few months) food boredom will set in – even for someone like me who doesn’t mind eating the same thing every day. It’s in fact one of the most common reasons that people either stop the diet or don’t even try in the first place. It’s hard to eat the same few things all the time – meat, veg, fruit, eggs if you’re lucky, honey if you’re lucky. And by ‘lucky’ I mean ‘don’t react’.

tumblr_mm1rl0Ctmw1r0ptf1o1_500

No matter how committed you are to this diet, you are bound to get frustrated by the limited choices available to you on the first 90 days of SCD (if you’re doing it properly). I’ve taken it particularly slowly so I am only on phase 3. But if you’re following the ‘rules’ and introducing new food only once every three days, that’s only 10 (maximum) new foods a month – and that’s not including setbacks and ‘important but not actual food’ additions like honey, spices, milk, etc.

tumblr_lfgfkbSDvs1qajqxf

It hasn’t really happened to me since intro, but yesterday and today I looked at my dinner plate and thought, ‘eeeeeeugh’. I was just so over it, and I didn’t want another broccoli tree or bite of butternut.

But just because the number of foods you’re eating is limited doesn’t mean that your meals have to be. Think about how many combinations of food you can make with ‘just’ 20 different ingredients! Avo and honey, anyone? I mean have you even thought of that? 🙂

Yesterday I listed a few awesome SCD snack foods I can have at this stage of the diet. Now, I want to give you a few tips for shaking up your ‘boring’ SCD meals:

1. Rotate your meats. For many people following SCD or paleo diets, meat forms the backbone of the meal. There are so many options available besides chicken and beef. Try fish, venison, ostrich and turkey with your meals, or replace meat with eggs every now and then.

2. Have breakfast for dinner. Swap your meals around. Sometimes it’s fun to eat scrambled eggs for supper (especially when you’re feeling lazy), and weird as it sounds, you can actually get used to eating ‘supper’ food for breakfast. Remember when you used to eat leftover pizza for breakfast? This is the same thing… kinda. Simply altering the time of day you eat something can make it more appealing.

i_borrowed_my_friends_phone_and_this_was_the_tab_open_in_his_browser-43979

3. Experiment with cooking methods. I recently switched boiling my butternut for roasting it. WOW! I didn’t add any extra ingredients, but the taste was completely new. As you progress through the phases, you’ll have more and more cooking methods available to you. Use them!

4. Experiment with flavours. Never mixed bananas with nut butter? Carrots with coriander? Yogurt with pear? Roast butternut with tomato? Honey with ANYTHING? Some combinations will be better than others but you’re bound to discover a few you love. I add fresh coriander to almost anything savoury and I eat half an avo with my main meals in lieu of illegal sauces or gravies. My absolute favourite is green beans with avo as a snack.

5. Don’t eat ALL the foods you can eat every day. This is a mistake I’ve made. Each time I’ve successfully added a food, I’ve started eating it every day. This means that I eat about 8 or 9 different veggies a day – but it’s the same veggies every day! Rotate 3 or 4 veggies and a few fruits at a time to prevent broccoli overload – and possibly developing intolerances. You should aim to rotate all your food every 3-4 days. Not always possible at the beginning of SCD, but easier as the diet progresses.

6. Don’t forget desserts! It may seem like much of this diet is savoury, but if you can handle fruit and honey, you have so many sweet options available to you. Make smoothies or  fruit ‘ice creams’ and sorbets, or top SCD-pancakes (made with banana and egg) with baked fruit and drizzles of honey or yogurt. YUMMO! And PS: Yes, you can absolutely eat dessert for dinner – on SCD, it’s a totally healthy option 😉

anigif_enhanced-buzz-27282-1353341227-33

7. Remember that every day 3 days, it gets easier. It’s a slow process, but there is progress. Don’t get disheartened, and on the days you get bored, challenge yourself to experiment with a new flavour. Roast a tray of onion, tomato, butternut and garlic with honey and coriander, or make a smoothie from banana, yoghurt and nut butter. Snack on peeled, baked apples with honey or nut butter, or make cauliflower ‘rice’ for an interesting change. A few simple switch-ups can make all the difference.

Do you have any tips for shaking things up on SCD or whichever diet you’re following? Please share – we could all use all the help we can get!

PS: Clearly GIFs are my new toy! I hope you’re enjoying them as much as I am 🙂

Day 67: Observations part 2 – Besides food, what else can cause bloating?

Yesterday I spoke a lot about bloating and the food that I think is causing my biggest problems.

Today,  I didn’t eat ANY bananas! I know! Amazing! I did experience some bloating and also some cramps after a lunch of vegetables and avo, which I suspect will require further investigation. But I also had a realisation about other factors that could be causing my bloating:

1. Eating too much. I’ve never been one for moderate portions, which is probably what helped get me into this predicament in the first place! Whether I’m eating a bowl of chips or a bowl of broccoli, I eat a lot of it. I’ve always said that I’m missing the ‘fullness indicator’ and that I could just keep eating and eating and eating without stopping until I burst like a cartoon character. Anyone else have this talent problem?

Basically me at every meal, minus the roll

Basically me at every meal, minus the bread

The average adult stomach is roughly the size of a clenched fist and can stretch to fit about a litre’s worth of food in it. I like to take that as a personal challenge and try to pack in around 3kg at every meal. And then I’m surprised when my belly blows up to the size of the Times Square ball.

2. Eating too fast. I’ve never had any reason to eat my food like a prison inmate about to have it snatched away. My parents always cooked plenty of food and there was always enough for seconds and thirds… for us and the neighbours. My dad also eats super fast, and in fact, when I go out to eat with other people, I have to consciously slow myself down so as not to embarrass myself. Thank goodness K and I seem to keep the same pace!

3. Not exercising. In Jan and Feb, the first two official months on the job (prior I was freelancing for the same company), I was able to leave work at about 4.45 each day, and be home by 5.30. I’d exercise until 6, shower and then make supper, with plenty of time to spare. When we hit a crisis at work about three weeks ago, I found myself easily staying at the office until 6 or even 7, getting home after dark and then still having to cook supper. I simply haven’t had the time to work out, and I know it’s so bad for me. Could this be contributing to the bloat?

funny-exercise

4. What I’m drinking. For the first 19 days on this diet, I drank only water. For the first 30, I drank no coffee or booze. Now, I still drink my 2l of water a day – but I also have a glass of wine most days, and one to two cups of coffee. There’s no doubt that drinks can have just as big an impact on your gut as food, and it’s careless to think they don’t.

funny-alcohol-drinks

5. Stress. When our work crisis hit, our stress levels shot right up. Some days, my colleagues were running to the bathroom with diarrhoea – and they don’t have IBD! I felt a gnawing nausea for days on end, and I was constantly in a state of high-strung anxiety. I’ve no doubt that this not only aggravated my gut, but also contributed to my bloating.

So what’s the next step?

Now that I’ve got a more holistic picture, so to speak, of the root causes of my bloating, I can start to fix the problem (if I can commit to it). It’s almost like working retroactively, going back and fixing what I’ve broken. Now that the bananas are gone, I know I should take a break from booze and coffee too, and keep working backwards like that until I am able to identify the food causes of the bloating – and then of course I need to address the non-food causes too.

I’ve just had dinner and I tried not to overeat. I had yogurt for ‘dessert’, with honey, because I’ve already cut out bananas today and I felt I deserved it!

Ugh, damn bloating. I feel like a stuck record. Imagine how AMAZING life would be without bloat!

Oh, to be a cat and be so unconcerned about bloating!

Oh, to be a cat and be so unconcerned about bloating!

Day 66: Important observations about SCD so far

I’ve been on this diet for 66 days, and even though it’s not a massive amount of time, it’s long enough to have realised that my progress has fallen into two distinct categories:

  • Extremely strict
  • Experimental (within the bounds of legal, stage-appropriate SCD foods)

I haven’t once knowingly cheated on this diet and I’ve stuck to the 3-day rule (at times 4 days) since the start. But I’ve also become less fanatically strict and terrified of introducing new foods. Maybe it’s manifesting more psychologically than physically, because I’m not running around shoving random bits of food into my mouth. But it does mean that one big problem has crept in: Bloating.

Can totally relate

Can totally relate

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about it because when I’m healthy and not in an active flare, the worst symptom I have is bloating, which also causes pain and that lovely, totally-not-embarrassing ‘talking’ that most often happens when I’m sitting in an echoey boardroom with several of my bosses, a handful of clients and the perfectly preened magazine editor.

Yet here I am, 66 days in, experiencing bloating most days. So, below is what I have deduced about my particular reaction to foods on SCD. As always, bear in mind that everyone tolerates food differently.

1. Bananas cause me significant bloating. I’ve known this since day 4 or 5 when I introduced them, and you’ve known it too because I haven’t shut up about it. I try to eat fewer but usually I fail because…

2. I’m a snacker which makes SCD REALLY hard. Who wants to snack on a dry meatball or a cup of carrot puree? So I snack on bananas. All. The. Time. And then for dessert I have banana ‘ice cream’. I do in fact always have prepared vegetables and ripe avos in the fridge, but bananas are also easy to eat on the go or take with to work, social occasions, movies, etc.

wnd_40b710c29b13cfe52ad08b4d98d3e865

3.  Other things besides banana make me bloated. What are they? I’m not sure. Because in this experiment that is the SCD, you need to use your own body as the control, and I’ve often failed to do that effectively. You need to feel good and bloat-free before introducing new foods, and while I’ve done that to some extent, I have also compromised my results by continuing to eat bananas while testing other foods.

This means I’ve often experienced bloating while testing, but I’ve always blamed it on bananas. However, I’m now noticing that I can eat other foods (ie: meals of meat, assorted vegetables and avo) and end up bloated – and because of the muddied test results, I can’t pinpoint the culprit.

4. You have to introduce SCD yogurt CAREFULLY. As good as it can be for you, dairy-free SCD yogurt is made up of not one but a number of ingredients – and some of these (most notably nut milk and honey) can be problematic.

Nuts, even when blanched, blended, strained and squeezed into milk, can aggravate a sensitive gut, which is why they shouldn’t be introduced until 3 months on this diet (or 3 months symptom-free, which I reached in about February). Honey is also tolerated by some but not by others, and both nuts and honey are considered potentially ‘problematic’ foods for people on SCD.

diet

5. Nut milks and honey are probably adding to my bloating. They’ve made a fairly recent but regular appearance in my diet in the form of my yoghurt, and since their debut I’ve come to really enjoy them. Is the benefit of the probiotics outweighing the bloat? I can’t honestly tell you because while my BMs are satisfactory and quite regular, I haven’t noticed a marked difference since introducing the yogurt. But I do love the sweetness of they honey and yogurt is such a perfect after-dinner treat.

6. I felt my best during intro and phase 1, but my BMs were terrible. Swings and roundabouts? Maybe, but there must be more to it than that. There must be more that I can do to control my symptoms so that I can heal and enjoy a varied diet without bloat.  This means that I probably need to go back to the drawing board – or at the very least, stick to meat and veg for a few days and see if it helps.

7. This diet is about more than mindlessly following the phases. It only works if you listen to your body and respect your symptoms, and if you actively work to manage them. I haven’t always done that. I haven’t always been fully committed to being symptom free as much as I’ve been committed to eating legally and according to the phases. In other words…

8. Just because a food is SCD-legal and allowed in the phase you’re on, doesn’t mean it works for you. I found out that mushrooms don’t agree with me so I avoid them. But I’ve ignored the ill-effects of other foods and now I have this major bloat problem which is really a huge tangled mess. You have to be actively involved in really feeling your symptoms, identifying what’s causing them and eradicating problem foods from your diet – if only temporarily. Mindless eating is not going to cure you, even if you’re eating SCD legal foods.

So those are my observations for now. On this diet, I am definitely my biggest ally and also my worst enemy. It’s also why I haven’t yet opened my new jar of macadamia nut butter: The cashew butter was going brilliantly until, after 3 days, I caved and ate the remainder (about half of it) with a spoon straight out of the jar.

willpower

My goal for the coming days: WILLPOWER. I’ve already made so many sacrifices that I can’t allow these little weaknesses to trip me up now. Now to just find the motivation to do better…

willpower-funny-cartoon3-216x300

 

Day 46: Dying or just… die-off?

I was so excited about reaching the half-way mark yesterday that I didn’t want to be a Debbie Downer about the crappy symptoms I was experiencing. But yesterday and today have been less than perfect.

On Monday night, I started getting that weird sore/burny back-of-the-throat sensation that feels a lot like flu. When I woke up yesterday morning, my voice was croaky and my throat on fire. I thought it strange because I never get sick (not that kind of sick anyway), and there was no reason for me to be ill. I dragged myself out of bed for work, feeling a little like death.

Google_3ef99b_2570111

Then I had a brainwave: I remember reading in Surviving to Thriving that the yoghurt can cause die-off symptoms due to its powerful probiotics. I figured that that was the root of my symptoms.

I sucked on Strepsils throughout the day to ease my burning throat, though all the while I had the nagging thought that I probably shouldn’t be eating them. By the time I got home, I was as bloated as Goodyear blimp, and feeling pretty rough.

The culprit?

The culprit?

I had more yoghurt (because hey, I’m enjoying it, and still testing it), and proceeded to get more bloated as the night progressed. I also ate too much at dinner, so by bed time I was full up to my throat (that’s when the food won’t go down any further cos there’s just too much of it in your body!) and feeling very kak. That’s a lovely South African term for which there isn’t really an exact translation, but loosely speaking you could say it means ‘super shit’.

lol-cats-funny-sick-pictures

Today I started with a clean GI slate. Awoke with no bloating, but the throat was still knifey and I still felt quite flu-ish (by the way, this also explains why I’ve been more freeeeezing than usual at work). I limited my coffee intake today, again avoided bananas, and the only thing out of the ordinary that I had, again, was Strepsils.

By 3pm, I blimpily decided that Strepsils were the culprit. I came home, ravenous, and shoved four bananas into my gullet in quick succession, figuring I was already bloated already, so what the hell. Don’t  ever do that. I know that for a lot of people like us, there’s always tendency to over-indulge. Just because food is healthy doesn’t mean that bingeing is. And it’s likely to leave you feeling quite, well, kak.

Selfie taken tonight

Selfie taken tonight

So I’ve had dinner now, and I’m SOOOO bloated. And gassy. In fact K tells me that I was super gassy in the night (cringe. Shame, poor K), so I’ve narrowed it down to the yoghurt or the bananas. Right now, my gut is probably the gassiest it’s ever been on SCD, and it’s moany, groany and whiney. Awful!

Tomorrow I’m going to avoid all foods that may even remotely not agree with me, and only have yoghurt so that I can be sure, either way. I was so good with testing for the first 40 or so days, and I’ve become a bit more slack these past few days. It wasn’t intentional; it’s just the way it’s worked out with the Strepsils, and with the yoghurt having more than one ingredient.

A few points about the yoghurt

– I’m currently on phase 2 (although all things being equal, I’ll move on to phase 3 tomorrow), and on this phase, you’re only supposed to have nut milks, and not actual pieces of nuts. My yoghurt contains ground nuts, and not just nut milk, which may be aggravating my system. Next time, I’m going to make it with nut milk instead.

– My yoghurt contains honey, which I hadn’t yet introduced.

– I may also be reacting to the cultures in the yoghurt.

– I dripped my yoghurt the other night to make it thicker, as per SCDLifestyle.com’s suggestion. It did make it thicker, but perhaps a bit too thick – even though I dripped it for less than an hour. Next time I’ll keep a closer eye on it and drip it for a bit less time, so that it doesn’t become like cement, but is no longer completely liquid either.

20140303_190941

So these past two days haven’t been great for my belly. I’m going to have to do some careful re-tracing of footsteps, and take things slow, so that I can return to a place of comfort. And no gas. And no bloating. Because this really sucks! UGH! I know it’s possible and luckily I know that I’ve only added two different things, so it can only be one of the two (and Strepsils aren’t permanent anyway), but it’s still frustrating. Three steps forward, one step back. That’s how it goes on SCD.

Day 44: Losing weight while eating more

SCD is not a diet in the ‘traditional’ sense – ie, depriving yourself of calories in order to lose weight. By now, most of us know that dieting for weight loss isn’t effective in the long term. Sure, you can deprive yourself to five, ten or even twenty-pound weight loss, but the minute you start eating normally again, the weight will come back – and usually it brings its buddies too.

217298750740234982_Ycr223xs_f

Yes, the specific carbohydrate diet has the word ‘diet’ in its name, but it’s not ‘a course of food to which a person restricts themselves in order to lose weight’ (to paraphrase the dictionary). Rather, it’s a way of eating designed to help heal intestinal damage caused by GI disease.

That said, many people with weight issues – on both ends of scale (pun not intended) – have used SCD to great success in maintaining a healthy weight.

Chocolate-tastes-as-good-as-skinny

As someone who spent years starving herself to be super skinny (and just to put it in perspective, at my heaviest I was 60kg – that’s 132lb – and my lightest, just 49kg or 108lb), I have a deeply ingrained yet completely warped sense of calorie intake and ‘healthy’ weight.

This means that since the age of about 20, I haven’t given myself the freedom to simply enjoy my food without guilt. For the past 10 years, until SCD, I was either starving myself or bingeing and mentally punishing myself afterwards. If only gnawing guilt burnt calories!

tumblr_m8liahHzhd1rcthkmo1_500

Eat more; lose more

When I decided to embark on the SCD, I decided that weight-loss would be a nice bonus, but certainly not a goal. After all these years of crazy eating, I’d done enough damage to my system, and I realised I needed to work hard to move away from the harmful binge/starve cycle I’d created.

funny1

During the first few weeks of SCD, I lost some weight. It didn’t surprise me because I wasn’t eating much (I simply couldn’t stomach intro food). I fully expected to gain it back when I introduced more foods.

But I haven’t. In fact, I’m eating more than I used to, and my weight isn’t creeping up. Before SCD, I never used to eat lunch. At some point in the past 10 years, I developed this irrational fear of lunch. I can’t explain it, but I think I started associating it with hot, calorific food. Whenever I was invited out for lunch, I’d panic. I’d literally start doing the mental calculations of how much I’d have to starve myself prior (usually I’d eat nothing before lunch) and how little I’d be able to eat afterwards, for the rest of the day.

I improved a little over the years, and my mom and I would meet for lunch when we both worked in the city centre. I’d have a muffin or a salad, but never without guilt.

Clean food = clean psyche

On this diet, I’ve given up most of my old, warped ideas (it’s a slow process!) and I’ve realised that because I’m eating clean, I can eat pretty much what I want without putting on weight. And when I do overeat (YES, it’s possible on this diet!) I feel so uncomfortable that I don’t want to keep doing it. BUT I don’t feel guilt.

christina

These days, I have eggs for breakfast, bananas, vegetables and meat for lunch, and the same again for supper. I’m snacking on nut yoghurt (since yesterday) and drinking juice that has actual, real calories in it. Prior, I wouldn’t even walk too close to a drink that wasn’t calorie-free (wine and cocktails excluded, ironically).

The point is, I never feel hungry on this diet. I eat when I want to, I eat full, proper meals, and I eat whatever I want (that I’ve already introduced, of course). I never feel deprived. I always feel satisfied, and unlike my diets of yesteryear, when hunger pains made me think YES! I’m WINNING at weight loss!, I’m now managing to avoid that all-consuming food obsession; the constant tummy rumbling and the exhausting guilt, worry and shame.

The effect of my disordered eating on my GI tract

Sometimes I am prepared to admit to myself that I had some sort of problem with food. And I certainly recognise the effects that it had on my body, and its resultant, probable contribution to my ulcerative colitis. Which is yet another reason I’m so, so thrilled to have discovered this ‘diet’.

Each day, I’m filling up on good, nutritious food that is helping to heal my body. Best of all, I’m eating whenever I want to and I’m maintaining a healthy weight – right in the middle of my lowest and highest. This is a complete psychological revelation for me, and proves that I’m doing the best possible thing for my body.

MjAxMy0zNjI0YmU3NzRhMzQ3ZWIw

And of course, it makes sense that when you’re eating pure, quality food and cutting out the crap, your body will respond in a positive way. It seems pretty impossible to become overweight when you’re eating this healthily!

PS: Bananas

Apart from a midnight snack last night at about 1am (okay, most of my bad habits are dead, but not all of them – yet!), I haven’t eaten any bananas in TWO days! Guys, this huge and I MISS them. But I think it’s helping my belly a little, and it’s definitely helping me to test the effect of the yoghurt, which seems to be good so far.

If I had the self-restraint to eat just two or three a day, it wouldn’t be a problem, but if this post has shown you anything, it’s that restraint is not my strong suit 😉

What I’m eating now

Right now, I’m eating a range of veg (gem squash, butternut, tomato, garlic, green beans, spinach, zucchini, carrot), most types of lean meat, pears and bananas (usually), and eggs. Plus there’s the yoghurt, as well as pure fruit juices, tea and coffee, and wine and vodka. so my diet is feeling nice and varied, and definitely satisfying.

funny-pictures-auto-comments-ad-387128

Oh, the good old days!