Specific Carbohydrate Diet Friends Spotlight: Jan – The Food Lady

by Steven Wright

We make it a priority to highlight SCD personalities from across the internet.  We love hearing success stories and want to spread the knowledge of those brave enough to share their specific carbohydrate diet stories.  

Hey everyone this week we were fortunate to have the opportunity to interview Jan  “The Food Lady”.  She has a very interesting story because in the beginning she got into SCD to help a friend.  Her experience as a for hire SCD chief is invaluable to many people who are looking to save some time by buying homemade SCD legal foods.

All her experience cooking SCD legal meals over the last 5 years lead her to developing not only a cookbook but an SCD legal store.  I really encourage you to check out her cookbook “The Specific Carbohydrate Southern Style” although I haven’t had a chance to sample it I’m sure based on the free goodies she sent us it has some amazing recipes.

Her SCD store contains tons of amazing looking SCD baked goodies and spice mixes.  She sent us a very generous amount of samples that we plan to do a full review shortly so stay tuned for that.  I do want to note that some of her baked goods contain illegal SCD ingredients including 100% chocolate and cocoa powder.  The foods that are illegal are surprise anything with the word Chocolate in the name.  Everything else should be good to go.  For the readers out there who are healed to the point of trying illegal ingredients take a look at what Jan has to offer as at least in these foods the rest of the ingredients are legal.  Note: I’m not encouraging you to start eating illegal foods, if you are not already experimenting suffice to say your not healed enough and you shouldn’t start now.

Before we get to her story, I want to share some of here great recommendations that she has on her blog:

Here’s a list of important Keys To Success with the Specific Carbohydrate Diet:

  • Commit for a 6 month span without cheating on the diet and evaluate your health and well-being at that time.  The results will likely reinforce your commitment.
  • Prepare food items in large quantities and freeze them in single-serving size packages.
  • Every week or two re-read the diet rules to be sure that you are on track.  It’s easy to make honest errors with something like this.  Make any needed corrections then proceed on.
  • Obtain regular support from others who are on the diet by participating with online SCD support groups or interacting with SCD support forums.
  • Attitude!!!! – Positive

Below is Jan’s great story and I can’t emphasis enough, check out her cookbook and store (If you live near Germantown, TN you can pick up full SCD meals!).  Call her if you have any specific questions she is extremely nice and is willing to work with you if you have specific food allergy requirements:

Jan

The Food Lady

901-239-0830

1: Why did you start cooking for the diet?

I have been living with Scleroderma and Dermatomyositis (both connective tissue diseases) since 1997.  My best friend, Laurel, and I met while have IVIG treatment for dermatomyositis.  As many of you know, any connective tissue disease manifests itself differently in different people.   Laurel became aware of the SCD and hoped it would help with her gastro-intestinal problems.  Unfortunately Laurel’s son was allergic to nuts and could not have the almond flour in the house.  This was greatly limiting what she could eat and she was continuing to lose weight that she desperately needed to keep.  I was about to become an empty nester and needed a “project”.  I love to cook so I volunteered to bake some of the bread and snack items for her.  I had no idea what I had just embarked on!!!  It soon became a challenge for me to make snacks that were not just acceptable substitutions but “really tasty”!!  Laurel and her mother became my taste testers and we spent many evenings trying out different recipes and tweaking them until they were delicious!  We soon had crackers, cookies, granola, tortillas, dressing and many other comfort foods for her to eat.  It was so satisfying to watch Laurel eat with gusto!  She told her nurse about the treats that I had been making for her and she asked me to bring some up for the doctor to try.  I did and the next thing I knew I was providing snacks for his patients to purchase along with full meals if they needed that.  This grew very quickly and I now have a very large menu that I offer locally and also a smaller menu of less perishable items that I offer over the internet.  Customers kept asking for the recipes, so I soon printed a cookbook called “Specific Carbohydrate Diet, Southern Style”.  I named it that because I emphasized finding recipes that provided the kind of comfort that you had as a child and your mother made your favorite soup when you were not feeling well.  Most people on the SCD don’t feel well and if eating a childhood favorite evokes feelings of love…..well what more can you ask of a healthy (and tasty) dish!!!!

2: What was the biggest challenge you see people face on the diet and how do they overcome it?

The number one thing that people tell me when they first start the SCD is how overwhelmed they are!!  There is so much information to absorb and they don’t know where to begin for fear of messing up in a different area.  It is bad enough for some people that they delay starting the diet and delaying their healing process.  I tell people to jump right in and not stress about “messing up” at the beginning.  They should give serious consideration to what is their biggest temptation when dieting and spend time at the beginning finding good substitutions for that.  Such as some people have to have sweets or some crunchy snacks.  Those are usually the two biggest challenges for “newbie’s”.  I suggest that they have simple meals at the start….like grilled meat and fresh or frozen veggies.  Then spend time locating recipes or substitutions for the crunchy snacks or sweets that they are craving.  You have to address those cravings or they will undermine your determination to stick to the diet!!!  That is where I come in for many people.  I have tried to develop recipes that replace the items that people are craving and are the most tempting.  I started with comfort foods, salty snacks and then sweets.  Crackers are the most requested items that I sell.  People need something crunchy to replace chips.  It’s easy to make legal dips but what do you dip them with?!? I can provide that crunch or sweet until they feel less overwhelmed and can make their own snacks.  My goal is to improve the chances of success on the SCD for as many people as I can.  This venture has helped me in so many ways.  The feeling that comes over you when you are told that a child’s life has been turned around because of the food that you have helped to provide is something that is indescribable!!!  The rewards of helping people stay on this diet has given my life new meaning!   I am truly grateful that God put me in this position.

3: What is the number 1 piece of advice you would give someone thinking about starting the diet?

Don’t delay another day!!!!  Jump in with both feet and if you break one of the “rules”, don’t sweat it.  You are still eating healthier and better than you did before the SCD.  There is a lot to learn and even those that have been following the diet for years still get surprised once in awhile.  If you have a family member or friend that likes to cook then you should ask for their help at least at the start.  You will be spending so much time learning the diet that it would be nice to have someone that can devote their time to making tasty meals and/or treats for you.  Baking with almond flour is quite different that wheat flour.  Your first few attempts may be “interesting”!!!  Have a sense of humor and don’t give up!  Remember it doesn’t have to be pretty to be tasty!!!  Just ask Laurel!!!!!  She still gets my “ugly crackers and snacks”!!!!!  And now her daughter has started the diet and they fight over them!

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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 SCDLifestyle.com to help others naturally heal stomach problems. You can check out his story here and find him on Google+, Facebook or Twitter.

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet Works

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Matt October 28, 2010 at 5:00 pm

I looked at this website. Some of her ingredients are flax seed, cocoa, un-sweet chocolate…those things aren’t SCD. Makes me leery to buy from her. What else is in her food that’s not SCD?

Reply

Steven Wright October 29, 2010 at 12:26 pm

@ Matt – I updated the post above according to your points, I think it should be more clear now. I also invited Jan to please respond to your questions.

Reply

Jan October 30, 2010 at 12:44 am

@Matt — I understand your concerns and I would like to explain. I offer food items with 100% chocolate for those people who are coming off of the SCD and are able to add that back into their diets and also I have many customers that are on GFCF diets (not the full SCD) and do not have the restriction of chocolate. With so many of these people being children, I wanted to do anything I could to make their food choices more tempting to them. I tried to make it clear in my website that this is not legal for all people and that I am offering the ingredients so you can decide for yourself what you can eat. As we all know, just because it is legal on the SCD does not mean that our bodies will tolerate it and we may have to be even more restrictive than the SCD indicates. My goal is to try to provide for the largest amount of people possible without getting too confusing.

As for the flax seed being on the website….I am embarassed that is still listed. That is my fault. Shortly after starting the website I was informed that flax seed was illegal. I had confused flaxseed oil with the seed. That is why I advise people to review the diet guidelines every so often because it is very easy to make an innocent mistake. The person who built my website was supposed to take that out of all my ingredient lists but I obviously did not follow up to be sure it was done. I have removed it from my actual recipes when cooking but there is no way for someone who is looking at the site to know that. I am extremely sorry about this oversight and will correct it as soon as my web builder can.

I hope this answers your questions and please let me know if you have any more. Thanks, Jan, The Food Lady

Reply

Adam September 6, 2012 at 9:03 am

I could not find any baked goods on the site, just almond flour and seasoning rubs. I tried checking on all the links and couldn’t find anything.

Reply

Sherry September 10, 2012 at 2:34 pm

I recently had someone post on my FB page that this cookbook also says that Blue Diamond unsweetened almond milk is SCD legal, which it is not. I want to check out this cookbook, but I’m not sure I want to buy it. The person who told me about it was new to the diet and bought the almond milk based on this book.

Reply

Steven Wright September 14, 2012 at 11:36 am

@Sherry – Thanks for putting this comment up. You’re correct store bought almond milks are not legal. I don’t recall seeing this in the book but if it is we don’t support that statement.

Reply

Sherry September 22, 2012 at 4:43 pm

Yes, I would like to verify it myself. I was just told this by one of my readers, who had some confusion over some of the ingredients in the book.

Thanks!

Reply

Michelle April 30, 2014 at 6:59 pm

Fyi – the Food Lady’s website is no longer active. Is there any other way to find out more about her cookbook?

Reply

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