Day 76: Thoughts on introducing lightly cooked and raw fruit & veg on SCD

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. 497cfd13f9573104af6aa46246cbb2f2

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!

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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.

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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?

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Day 62: New veg; old bloat

I’ve been so focused on my yogurt and cashew nut butter that I temporarily forgot that I was supposed to be introducing new foods every 3 days!

Although I’m on phase 3 now, I’m still eating very few types of fruit. You all how I love my bananas, which I buy in huge bags that I decimate within days. This is NOT good because I know that they cause me to bloat. I’ve tried limiting my banana intake to 3 or 5 a day, and some days I’m able to. Other days, like yesterday (which was mainly a ‘couch day’ of movies, series, and trips to the kitchen to grab yet ANOTHER banana) see me chomping my way through ten or more.

I found this twin banana today. I really wasn't surprised, given the obscene amount of bananas I eat each day - I was just surprised that I didn't give birth to it

I found this twin banana today. I really wasn’t surprised given the obscene number of bananas I eat each day – I’m guessing it was a statistical inevitability. I was more surprised that I didn’t actually give birth to it

Why I can’t stop with those damn bananas

I think it’s because it’s the only thing I can easily grab and munch when K is enjoying ‘regular’ TV snacks like everyone else. No chips for me, no chocolate or popcorn. If I want a TV snack, it’s vegetables, a hunk of meat or bananas! I think this is why I was so bloated by the time I got to bed last night – but like hard bloated, where your tummy feels like its filled with rocks. It was also tender to the touch, so I’m trying to put myself on banana lock-down today.

Tomato and avo

The other fruits I eat are tomato, peeled and de-seeded (WHAT a mission!) and cooked, and avo. Tomato is wonderful to add to meat dishes, and I also make a tomato and garlic sauce every week to add to my meals. I adore avo, and at any given time I have up to 10 avos in varying states of ripeness in the drawers, fridge or mashed up in the freezer. Perfectly ripe avos can be kept in that state for up to a week or so in the fridge, and you can also mash them up and freeze them. Sometimes the colour goes a little weird but the taste is fine, and once its defrosted and re-mashed a bit, the green emerges to some degree.

Avo and honey

Honey slipped into my diet quite sneakily a few weeks ago, when I added it to my first batch of yoghurt, and then used it to sweeten the yoghurt a bit when I ate it. I was of course aware of this new addition, and I seem to be okay on it. I should probably test it in isolation though. Do any of you have trouble with honey?

Apparently you can add it to avo and it’s delicious, but I haven’t been brave enough to try it.  Have any of you done this? Is it any good? The only time I’ve ever considered mixing the two is for a facemask.

These are the ingredients for a DIy avo facemask. For me, they'd never make it as far as my face. But if you'd like to try it, here how: http://bit.ly/1iN0seD. Looks like fun!

The ingredients for a DIY avo facemask. For me, they’d never make it as far as my face. But if you’d like to try it, here how: http://bit.ly/1iN0seD. Looks like fun!

The rest of the fruit contingent: Not for me, but maybe for you

Other than that, I’ve avoided most other fruits for two reasons: it either doesn’t agree with me (such as apple puree), and, fruit still has to be cooked at this stage of the diet, which I actually can’t face. Cooked watermelon, anyone? Stewed pineapple? No thanks. Too much effort for too little result. Plus I don’t think I can face any more bland purees.

This is not how I envisioned eating my fruit...

This is not how I envisioned eating my fruit…

I’ll move on to fruit when I can eat it raw, but that’s not to say that you have to wait. Cooked fruit can be delicious and of course it’s packed with vitamins and other good things that you need. Kids, I’m sure, would prefer it to mashed butternut, so bear that in mind too. Just be aware that too much fruit can cause your tummy to react – it’s one of the four foods (together with dairy, eggs and nuts) that are often the cause of gastric discomfort on this diet.

New veg: Cauliflower

I love cauliflower. Even before this diet, I’d often eat it in place of rice when I had curry, or I’d pour my pasta sauces over it. It’s also very versatile – sheesh, you can even make cauliflower pizza! (though I haven’t attempted it yet).

Can anyone verify this? And does anyone have a SCD bbq sauce recipe? ;-)

Can anyone verify this? And does anyone have a SCD bbq sauce recipe? 😉

I cooked it until it was falling-apart soft, and I had it with my meal of ostrich ‘bolognaise’ last night, which is a yummy mix of ostrich mince, tomato, garlic, green beans and seasoning. I may also have added a dash of red wine…

Because of my banana bloat (every time I write that, I mentally facepalm because it really is my own fault and totally within my control to avoid it), I’m unsure of whether the cauliflower agreed with me or not. But I’ll keep testing it today WITHOUT the bananas to check.

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I really hope it works for me because cauliflower cooks SO quickly, plus it’s tasty, easy to get hold of and I just really love it. I’m so thrilled that my diet is becoming so well-rounded!