Steve’s SCD Diet Healing Journal: Week 1 – The Intro Diet Conquered!

by Steven Wright

Co-Founder of SCD Lifestyle Steve Wright has finally broken down and started his path to intestinal healing. After many years of undiagnosed digestive warfare in his body, this series of weekly posts will take you through his experiences, thoughts, and struggles on the SCD diet. Check back and follow his progress:

Week 1 Summary

Well, today is day 6 on the SCD diet. I have successfully survived 4 days on the intro diet and I’m now transitioning into phase one of the diet. Other than making quite a mess of my kitchen, everything went smoothly. I started the diet Monday morning and it turned out to be a long and surprising week, but, in retrospect, I think I had it easier than most. My “die-off symptoms” only lasted about 2 days. The rest of the week was an uphill battle in which it seemed like I cooked, cooked and cooked (with lots of sleep too).

Mental and Body Changes

I decided to go dairy-free for now, as I’m pretty confident that I have some type of lactose intolerance and figured it best to start the diet on as simple a diet as possible. I experienced some bad BMs and mental fogginess / clarity problems during the first couple days. I was experiencing some stomach uneasiness after breakfast all week, so I cut out eggs for the time being to see if that would help. I’m still not sure if they were the culprits but I will try and introduce them in early next week and how my body responds. My BMs were all over the place at both extremes from D to nice and solid during the week, so I would say that is an improvement and I will chalk up the inconsistency to die-off and my body starting to heal itself. Late in the week, I have been starting to notice that I have a much steadier energy flow after lunch when I would normally been scrambling for a coffee. (For the first month I’m giving up all caffeine and alcohol.) My sinuses seemed to start clearing up as well. However, the weather changed and now they are back to being plugged up.

Fitness Goals

This week, I did 4 weight lifting sessions and 2 steady state cardio sessions. This will be my blueprint for now but could change at any time. The workouts went great and I really don’t see this diet negatively impacting my fitness goals in any way.  I actually expect it to help me, by eliminating the possibility of binging on junk carbohydrates. I am using the Freeda vitamins at full-serving dosages of 3 multi-vitamins caps, 5 Calcium caps, and 1 B-Complex cap. For the week, I was down 2 pounds.

Diet Details

At this point, I’m only eating carrots and pears along with broiled meats. But my plan includes introducing some butternut squash in the next day or two as long as I’m still feeling good. After that, I’m looking ahead to some apples and then hopefully break into the bananas near the end of the week! I’m also planning on starting on some probiotics this week.

I did do some experimenting this week; the third time that I made carrots I used my steamer. I was able to produce the same level of cooked and purred consistency in 45 minutes, instead of 4 hours of boiling. Based on this test, I’m going to continue trying to use steam to replicate boiling and therefore cut down my time in the kitchen when preparing vegetables.

One Line Thoughts On The SCD Diet

    • The intro chicken soup is much better tasting than I expected
    • Purred carrots taste a lot like squash and I really like them
    • Try steaming your carrots for 40-50 minutes, instead of boiling
    • You really don’t need to add much water when making pureed pears
    • I think it is almost impossible to understand how much meat one must consume on this diet
    • If you thought you cooked in bulk before, double that and you have SCD proportions
    • If you’ve never used your oven’s broiler, check clearances before cooking things that plump up (burgers) it will save you a big headache!

Anyone else have some one line wisdom for the first week on the diet? How about good stories? I only set the fire detector off twice…

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About the author

Steven Wright Steve Wright is a health engineer and author. In 2009, he reached a breaking point when IBS took over his life and the doctors didn't know how to help. Since then, he has transformed his health and started to help others naturally heal stomach problems. You can check out his story here and find him on Google+, Facebook or Twitter.

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{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

Susan Forgie February 15, 2010 at 4:19 pm

Is there a vegetarian version to this diet? I am alraedy eating pretty close to no meat in my diet, but i am interested in healing my gut. Thinking bout this diet.


Steven Wright February 17, 2011 at 9:49 am

Hey Susan,

Yes but eating meat is easier. To do the diet vegetarian style, you will need to supplement with lots of coconut oil (or other healthy fat) and eat plenty of lentils or beans. If you eat eggs or fish those should be consumed regularly as well.


Jordan Reasoner February 15, 2010 at 5:44 pm

Hi Susan!
I suppose that you could try this diet as a vegetarian, but I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. It is already so extremely restrictive that it would be almost impossible without meat. Meat is one of the primary cornerstones of the diet… it seems like that’s all you eat at first. I wouldn’t doubt that it’s been done, but I wouldn’t really know where to start…



Karen October 19, 2012 at 5:57 pm

Any update on a vegetarian version of this diet? A significant number of people choose to not eat meat for a variety of reasons yet would still like to manage digestive issues as much as possible. Your reply to Susan Forgie was discouraging at best. It would be wonderful if this challenge has been addressed in the nearly three years since you posted your rely. Thanks.


Jordan Reasoner October 19, 2012 at 9:19 pm

Hi Karen, Here’s three things you can review today that will help you:

1) Read about Cheryl Cravino’s SCD Success story, where she was starting out as a vegetarian:

2) Listen to a specific question we answer about SCD and vegetarian in podcast 21 (9:34 The myth that a vegetarian can’t follow SCD and what to try instead of meat – especially in the beginning)

3) Read the comments from SCD’er vegetarians Elizabeth and most especially Jenny in this podcast comments section:

I hope that helps you. Let us know,



Kimberly December 23, 2010 at 3:40 pm

I’m curious about the fruit. I am fighting Candida but should I allow the fruit anyway? Also are there restrictions to portions on the fruit because of the sugar content?


Jordan Reasoner January 10, 2011 at 11:04 am

Hi Kimberly ~ just saw your comment for some reason it got lost in the shuffle!

When I was fighting Candida I made it a point to really limit my fruit intake because of the sugar content. I found that it help me feel much better and the symptoms of Candida were much less. I would just focus on having 1/2 cup or so of fruit a day to really limit the fructose intake. It does help. Also, try and see if you can tolerate some coconut oil for it’s anti-microbial properties and the extra ketone bodies.

let us know how it goes!



Becky Habben January 10, 2012 at 11:59 am


I am waiting to get my materials to start the diet, I suffer from UC, have you had many success’ with people who suffer from UC?


Jordan Reasoner January 14, 2012 at 7:29 am

Hi Becky – great to hear from you! What materials are you waiting for?

I can’t wait for you to start your healing journey on SCD, congrats! Let us know how we can help along the way.

Just remember, everyone has a different “custom” version of SCD that will relieve symptoms. Don’t give up making tweaks to find your version.

In good health,



Donna November 11, 2012 at 10:08 am

As an ovo, lacto, pesco vegetarian who is doing the intro diet without eggs and dairy this time, should I stick with two kinds of fish for the intro -like omnivores have two kinds of meat during the intro? I am on day 4 using salmon soup, pureed carrots, and grape gelatin (do not tolerate juice plain), but I ate salmon, tilapia, shrimp, and cod so far, then my brain fog cleared, hence the question. Also at what point do die off symptoms i.e. stuffy/runny nose become intolerance to a food symptoms?


Jordan Reasoner November 11, 2012 at 4:14 pm

Hi Donna, that sounds like a good plan. This article will help you on die off:



Rebecca Efrem December 30, 2012 at 12:26 pm

I have never really had a problem with BMs but i’ve been dealing with chronic nausea to almost anything I eat except fruits, which I have lived on for a while now (which is probably why i’m constantly fatigued). Besides a slightly inflammed SI, all my clinic tests are normal. But I suspect that it has to do with some bad bacteria. I don’t know if it could be leaky gut, Candida, or what! I’m really at the end of my rope here. I’m considering ordering an Entero or LEAP kit. If anyone has any experience with these kits, please share your thoughts with me.
I’m on the 2nd day of the Intro Diet now and definately feeling the die-off symptoms. Can I eat the soup, carrots, and gelatin throughout the rest of the phases? How many times a week is it safe to eat fish (due to their mercury levels)? I want to eat it every day but I don’t know if that’s safe.


Steven Wright December 30, 2012 at 10:13 pm

@Rebecca – Yes you can eating these intro foods as often as you prefer. Fish (the wild caught stuff) is fine to eat everyday if you want. The mercury issue is only for big predator fish like shark. I’d save your money on those test and invest in some good GI testing working with a good functional medicine practitioner. If you don’t know any send us an email.


Stacey February 13, 2013 at 1:51 pm

Hi Steve and Jordan!
I have been sick for about a year now and have spent TONS of money and seen about 15 doctors. I have ended up seeing Dr. Peter Osborne, which you all interviewed with recently. I am now feeling much better since going gluten free and being put on supplements for my vitamin and mineral deficiencies. I am gluten intolerant, have yeast overgrowth in my intestines and have food allergies. So, as soon as I heard your interview, I went out and bought the items needed to start your intro diet. I have been on the diet for 3 days and plan to do it for the full 5 days. So, my question is…..will the carrots and grape juice increase the yeast growth? According to The Candida Diet, we are not suppose to eat those items. Can you share your thoughts? I am not eating any other fruits, just drinking the 50/50 Welch’s Grape Juice and eating the gelatin with the Welch’s Grape juice. Also, where can I find the meal suggestions for the rest of the phases of the diet?


Steven Wright February 13, 2013 at 2:45 pm

@Stacey – I think as long as your total carbs are below 100g a day you are fine. The anti-Candida diet alone will not rid you of Candida, those who cannot beat this infection normally have 1-3 additional issues. 1. Hormone Imbalance (cortisol) 2. Another Gut infection 3. don’t complete a gut re-population strategy after 1-2 are taken care and the anti-candida herbal / prescription program is done.


Laurie B March 24, 2013 at 11:18 am

Should diahrea stop before you move out of the Intro Diet?


Steven Wright April 1, 2013 at 10:42 am

It does for some people but not all. We are looking for long term improvements, sometimes you need to use enzymes or stop dairy.


Cindy W May 17, 2013 at 3:35 pm

Two questions:
1. My naturopath has me on various supps (probiotic, enzyme, vit D, calcium, a couple other “gut” things). Should I stop them during Intro and/or during the early phases?

2. PecanBread says drinking green tea helps with die off. I haven’t found this in your eBooks. Is this OK to drink?


Steven G August 26, 2013 at 2:43 am

Hi Steve and Jordan,

I’m looking to start this diet in coming weekend but I wanted to check with you about some of the ingredients in the intro diet. Specifically the grape juice and gelatin. With the grape juice, I’m in Australia and we don’t have the specific Welch brand so I’m just wondering if there is a general theme to the type of grape juice I’m looking for?

Secondly I’ve never used, or really heard of gelatin before but can any gelatin from the supermarket work, or is there some theme to it that i need to check before hand?

Thanks alot guys keep up the great work,



Jordan Reasoner August 28, 2013 at 8:57 pm

I’d just skip the juice and gelatin if you want. Seems like 50% of people don’t tolerate them anyways. Best of luck!


Steven Wright August 30, 2013 at 10:39 am

No need to use either of them.


Carol September 5, 2013 at 11:12 am

Hi, I have been thinking about doing the intro diet and continuing on to the Scd diet. I have SIBO, and have been on herbal antimicrobials since February, as directed by my naturopath. I also did the GAPS intro, and had only limited success because I can’t seem to tolerate very much vegetable matter at all. Also, I tired of the broth. Then I cut out FODMAPS, but it restricted my diet even further. I finally ended up eating very low carb to keep the sibo bloating away. I now have a fungal infection in both ears, and just read that fungi can live on ketones from very low carb diets. I have no idea how to eat small enough amounts of carbs to control sibo and also not produce ketones. In the past month I have added biofilm disrupters and rotated antimicrobials every 5 days. Do you have any ideas?


Valerie January 4, 2014 at 12:02 pm

Have you ever heard of collagenous colitis? All the SCD references are ulcerative colitis or Crohns.
And being a pesco vegan for over 30 years I have grave concerns about introducing dairy and meat into my gut. Plus I question a diet that includes alcohol, a known irritant.
I was tested through Genova labs for bacteria and candida. I see a functional med doc. I do not have any candida. My good and bad bacteria levels were successfully rebalanced.
I have been off and on med for about a year since I was diagnosed.
What are your thoughts?


Wendy Monteiro January 21, 2014 at 8:36 pm

Hi there,

My 11 year old daughter has recently been diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. I found the brook Breaking the Vicious Cycle and we started eating legal foods last week. We saw an immediate improvement right away then realized when we had a set back that we needed to start at the beginning and do the intro diet. She is a very picky eater and is really struggling with the chicken broth. I made her some simple plain turkey meatballs to add to the broth to make it more bearable which has helped, some. She is eating banana pancakes with turkey patties and bake pears for breakfast. I find that this is all she wants to eat. She is definitely experiencing some die off symptoms, runny nose, weird cough, seems foggy (if you know what I mean). We still have seen a formed movement yet but there is no cramping, no blood, no urgency. They are varying in color as well, from dark brown one day to almost blonde the next day. Am I approaching this correctly? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


Amanda March 10, 2014 at 11:36 pm

Hi Steven Hi Jordan !
So I was diagnosed UC 3years ago exactly, had a full colectomy 4mo later, numerous complications and surgeries, J pouch takedown last mother’s day, and now just got diagnosed Crohn’s a couple weeks ago! grrrr…
When I first got UC I found BTVC and jumped right into it (being vegetarian for 17 years I may add, although I reluctantly gave that up in the hospital after losing my colon.). I was SO critically sick it didn’t help.
By the way, THANK YOU for the help you give us all with this website and your insight!

Now after 3 years of diet reflecting WAPF and SCD I have decided to be fully submerged in strict SCD. Today is Day 1.
My question is, is there anything I should do different or cautiously with no colon ?
My poo is never solid and my stomach never hurts anymore so it’s hard to tell if foods are affecting my gut. Before the crohn’s diagnosis I thought I was having bad reactions to dairy- my face was breaking out super bad, the elimination of dairy has definitely improved that. I intend to make yogurt in a later phase.
Any advice? This site is so helpful!
Thanks! We love yous!!


sam f July 15, 2014 at 8:33 pm

So I am confused because the intro diet says you can gave things that are not possible in the strict case diet plan? can you explain for people who are doing the strict case whether or not they should be eating things such as eggs in the intro diet?


Erin September 4, 2014 at 3:26 pm

My husband has been in a UC flare for about 6 months. We thought we’d try the diet on a whim – but went well for the first 2 days. Then he went back to “normal” for BMs, still on the intro diet, thinking of quitting. Any advice? He is drinking full strength juice, is that a problem? And store bought cider & store bought applesauce. What about adding in new foods, will that help? I am thinking it will. Thanks for your help. -Erin


Brent Kovacs September 4, 2014 at 4:33 pm

Hi Erin, we suggest cutting out the full juice and anything with added sugar and/or preservatives. As for adding in new foods, check out this blog post:


Erin September 4, 2014 at 9:34 pm

Thank you! We were following the intro diet (minus the dairy) from Breaking the Vicious Cycle. I did not know it’s recommended to skip the juice!!!!


Barbara Craig November 20, 2014 at 10:54 am

Hi Steve, My son was diagnosed 4 years ago with U.C. He had a severe reaction to Asacol and Pentasa, the only option given by our G.I. was surgery which we refused and started the scd diet, It was quite a slow process but he gradually got better and now has been symptom free for 19mnths until a week ago, he has now got bloody diarrhoea several times a day and feeling very unwell, I dont want to go back to the doctor as he never agreed to how we were managing his u.c. I downloaded your books a couple of years ago and found them very helpful and followed them 100%, since updating my computer I seem to have lost them! My question is, is it normal to have a sudden flare after so long, nothing in his diet has changed, he does not want to add anything else allowed on the diet untill after all his exams, he hopes to go to university next year. We are very dissapointed and worried, we would be so grateful for any advise, thank you. Barbara


Lori Jo Berg November 21, 2014 at 2:48 pm

Hi Barbara, thank you for reaching out! Please email us at [email protected], so we can get you access to these materials again. We look forward to helping you.


N.B February 14, 2016 at 1:20 pm

Hi I suffer from extremely severe crohn and colitis. At the moment I’m currently on parental nutrition through a Hickman line. Pred, azathioprine and humira injections. I’ve been on this diet for 2 weeks now trying to avoid surgery and the bleeding has reduced a lot but I’m still bleeding and I’m going to the toilet soo many times still all loose stools. When will the symptoms subside? and when is it ideal to start eating cooked chicken (roast) instead of just soups? cuz as a teenager I’m going mad not being able to eat. PLEASE HELP!


Mariel Heiss February 15, 2016 at 6:00 pm

Hi N.B. – no one can say for sure when your symptoms will subside, but it sounds like you’re on the right track.

You can have cooked meat from the beginning (intro diet) – you can learn more about how to follow the Intro diet here:

After 2-5 days on the Intro diet, it is time to start introducing new foods whether your symptoms have gone away or not.


Aga June 6, 2016 at 3:49 pm

Hi there,

I have CD and starting into diet today – the problem is I do not know how to cook so that will be my biggest challenge. I made the soup and is pretty tasty:)
Any advice on how to make fish or other meat for dinner?

Also do you stop coffee? I am so weak and foggy without it.



Mariel Heiss June 7, 2016 at 4:48 pm

Hi Aga – we’ve got just the cookbook for you 🙂

Steve and Jordan were just college guys when they learned how to cook so they could follow SCD. Their book breaks it down to the simplest way for even the most beginning cooks: (There is an entire chapter on how to cook meat to be SCD-legal!)

Coffee is allowed form Day 1 as long as it isn’t flavored or decaf!


Alyssa n Thompson September 8, 2016 at 10:33 pm

I’ve been battling digestive issues for about 2-3 years now and as of yet, all of my oh so knowledgable and caring (eye roll) doctors are still drawing blanks as to what the root issue is. Based on my symptoms and tons of online reading, I’m sure that I’m suffering from basic digestive impairment. I’ve had a few stool and blood tests that my doctor claims has ruled out the majority of the common bad boy parasites, fungi, and bacteria that may be causing problems. However, my symptoms have to be coming from somewhere: fluctuating white blood cell counts, constantly bad body odor, increased sensitivity to certain allergens, and negative reactions to ALOT of foods; gas, bloating, occasional pain, alternating between loose, solid, and in-between stools, and delayed and impaired digestion. I’m confident the SCD protocol can resolve my issues by cleaning, resting, and healing my digestive tract. I just have a few questions: I notice there is no mention of fish in the food introduction chart. Is steamed fish acceptable for intro? As of now, I already consume a lot of bone broth, coconut oil, turmeric, salt, L-glutamine, collagen, and small amounts of banana and avocado (though I think I may need to cut bananas. Maybe due to their high fructose content, I need to switch to a safer carb like puréed carrots). Is this base of substances plus steamed fish and beef (and maybe eggs of I don’t react to them) an acceptable lineup for the intro phase? Anything I should remove? also, I’ve been a vegan for a year and although it’s killing me mentally and emotionally, I’ve accepted that maybe being a temporary omnivore is best for me right now. But that said, what’s your take on my now reincorporating eggs, fish, and beef back into my diet after abstaining from them for over a year. Will this possibly be detrimental to the healing process? I know this is a lot but I’ve been going nuts trying to figure out a good approach and get some good advice since my doctors can’t figure anything out. I hope you can help a bit further although the information you have already provided is, in its own, very insightful and informative.


Mariel Heiss September 9, 2016 at 12:49 pm

Hi Alyssa – thanks for reaching out and congrats on your decision to start SCD!

Fish is allowed during the diet. We share EXACTLY what to eat for the Intro Diet and how to phase in new foods – as well as an entire chapter on how to cook meat so it is SCD legal – in our eBook. I really recommend you read it before you get started!

Regarding adding meat back in – because you haven’t eaten meat in a long time, you’ll want to start with small amounts and slowly work up to larger amounts. A Betaine HCL supplement might also be really helpful. Learn more about HCL here:


Alyssa n Thompson September 8, 2016 at 11:26 pm

Oh, also: are herbal teas acceptable during the intro phase? Particularly: ginger, peppermint, Rishi’s hibiscus which also contains elderberry, blueberry, and schizandra? Would you recommend natural laxatives to heal eliminate waste? Like senna or fennel based tea? And can one pair hard boiled eggs with steamed beef and bone broth for a meal? Is steaming grass-fed beef an acceptable cooking method or do you advise only boiled or broiled? And with boiled meat, is it beneficial to boil them in bone broth? Or is plain filtered water okay?


Cathy September 23, 2016 at 5:09 pm

The promotion material I got for your meal plans state “Dairy, Egg, Nut, & Legume Free” and after I purchased them I found that they actually contain some of these things. And for your dairy alternative to be almond milk and no other option. Very frustrating for someone with a nut allergy who thought they finally found some help.


Mariel Heiss September 26, 2016 at 4:35 pm

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