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’.

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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.

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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.

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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 😉

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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 🙂

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Day 68: Packing SCD food for a weekend away

Tomorrow, K and I are heading to Tulbagh for a wedding. It’s about an hour and a half’s drive from Cape Town, and we’ll be there until Sunday. I’ve been dreading it not only because I’m not particularly partial to protracted periods of socialising (especially with people I don’t know so well), but also because of the food issue.

It’s one thing to pack food for a weekend away; quite another to pack for a wedding, where the food is supposed to be one of the focal points. I mean, of all the weddings you’ve been to, what do you remember the most? For me, it really is usually the food.

The way I see it, I have three options:

  • Give the caterers a plate of my own food and ask them to serve it when everyone else receives their main course.
  • Speak to the caterers in advance (one of the benefits of arriving at the venue the day before) and find out if they can prepare something for me.
  • Eat prior to the wedding and avoid food at the actual event. But a wedding takes HOURS and I don’t know if I’ll be able to hold out for that long, especially if I’m drinking. I’d hate to get hangry, which is a real possibility when I’m hungry.

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Either way, I’m going to plan for each of these eventualities as I’m not sure what I’ll end up doing. Because we’ll be there from tomorrow night until Sunday mid-morning, I need to pack food for:

  • 2 dinners
  • 2 breakfasts
  • 1 lunch

I’ve planned what I’m taking and I know we’ll have a fridge in our room. I’ve also decided not to worry too much about my beef with bananas this weekend because I really will need to rely on them. So here’s what I’ll be packing:

  • 8 x boiled eggs – great for breakfast on both days, and for snacks
  • 2 pre-grilled chicken breasts
  • 1 portion of venison mince cooked with veg and tomato paste
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 large tuppaware of mixed vegetable (cauliflower, butternut, green beans)
  • My own tomato sauce (made from tomatoes, garlic and onion)
  • Fresh coriander
  • 1.2kg box of small ripe bananas
  • Jar of macadamia nut butter

I think that this should cover it for the time that I’m away. Plus, the guesthouse we’re staying at serves breakfast, so I’m sure I could get some more eggs (cooked plainly) if need be. I’ll try to remember to take a photo of my bounty tomorrow when I pack it all up 🙂

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What I’m taking to this weekend’s destination wedding. And a dress.

What’s that fishy taste?

Last night, and again tonight, I started experiencing a fishy-tasting reflux in my mouth, and couldn’t work out what it was – I mean, I haven’t eaten any fish and the only new thing I’ve introduced is macadamia nut butter. I’ve heard of stale pumpkin seeds smelling fishy, but not nuts!

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FINALLY tonight I realised that it’s the omega-3 capsules I’m taking. I started them about a week ago. I honestly can’t tell if they’re making any noticeable different to my health, and that, combined with this disgusting after taste, is enough to convince me to give them up once this batch is done.

All I can say now is – TGIF! Even though it’s not the weekend I’d have planned, it’s still a WEEKEND (or as I like to think of this one – a ‘wEEKend’). Do you have any big plans?

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Day 57: Food and symptoms

Today I took it very easy on my gut and didn’t introduce anything new. I also didn’t have any honey or yogurt, and I avoided all drinks besides water and one cup of weak filter coffee.

Today I’m constipated, bloated and still a bit crampy. It’s not surprising, I guess, considering the ordeal I’ve put my belly through over the past week, but it is always strange to go from crazy diarrhoea one day to constipation the next. It seems the balance eludes me for any significant period of time.

Found at sickforcute.com, where they echo the exact sentiments I had last night: 'Ever had such a bad stomach that you're convinced you have monsters in your belly? They're probably in there planning their attacks, being devious, and dancing around trying to stir up trouble. Wear this shirt to your next doctors visit and see if he can prescribe something for your bad stomach. HA!'

Found at sickforcute.com, where they echo the exact sentiments I had last night: ‘Ever had such a bad stomach that you’re convinced you have monsters in your belly? They’re probably in there planning their attacks, being devious, and dancing around trying to stir up trouble. Wear this shirt to your next doctors visit and see if he can prescribe something for your bad stomach. HA!’

Sometimes I feel like no matter what food I eat or what supplements I throw at my gut, it’s just going to do its own thing regardless, and I’m just along for the ride. I know it’s not really like that, otherwise I wouldn’t be doing SCD, but it’s just how it feels.

Selfie of me in 100 years from now, still trying to figure out why I'm bloated

Selfie of me in 100 years from now, still trying to figure out which foods are causing me to get bloated

Today I cooked up some big batches of veg – butternut, green beans, tomato and garlic sauce, gem squash and onions, which I’m testing again this week. My beautiful jar of cashew nut butter is staring at me, just waiting to be unsealed. I’m so keen to try it so I may introduce it from tomorrow. Though what I’m really needing is more sweet stuff so I can kick the bananas. They’re doing me no favours but as the only bit of sweetness in my diet, I’m struggling to give them up.

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As an interesting aside, the SCDLifestyle.com guys say that berries are well tolerated by most people with GI disease so they should be one of the first raw fruits you introduce. I’ll try to get them into my diet ASAP. Raw fruit can be introduced from phase 4.

How’s your diet going? What’s working for you and what’s gotta go?