Steve’s SCD Diet Journal

I played on several softball leagues last summer and during one all day tournament I was in, a sharply hit ball came up the middle. I started ranging from my shortstop position and when it was clear I wouldn’t get there in time, I dove. Stretched out horizontal, I thought for sure I was going to make ESPN on this one, but I didn’t… and when I started getting up I knew immediately something was wrong with my shoulder.

10-days ago I went under the knife to repair a labrum tear (SLAP / Bankart lesions) in my left shoulder. I was scared, I’m not going to lie. Recently, I lost one of my best friend’s Dad due to complications from an elective surgery (RIP – Rob) and it weighed heavy on my mind.

Thankfully it was successful, lots of love to modern medicine and my surgeon!

But it wasn’t a decision I took lightly.

First, I Tried to Figure Out All My Options

After going insane checking out all the angles, it turns out if the body can’t heal cartilage damage in the labrum in the first 6 months after the injury it is basically impossible for the body to reattach the cartilage. It was either surgery plus a lengthy rehab or I would have to cope with early onset arthritis and decreased range of motion (ROM) later in life. [click to continue…]

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Okay so it has been some time since I last logged a Journal update.  I originally stopped because I had reached the point that I didn’t feel like my journal entries were adding much value to the readers out there.  Instead I wanted to spend my limited time developing other articles I felt might help more.

But based on some reader feedback it seems some of you are still interested in how I’m doing.  So without further ado here we go; I’m still doing SCD and I’ve gone through all the stages and basically tried all the legal foods.  I’ve even experimented with some non-legal foods (experimented sounds so much nicer than cheated right?).

But The Big Question is How Am I feeling?

If I had so sum it up I would say “Stupendous” okay so I got the thesaurus out for that one, no but really how I feel right now is so far above what I could have ever imagined its really incredible.  My productivity and energy for life is through the roof in all areas of my life.  I never really understood how much my digestion and IBS problems stole from me on a hourly basis, let alone when you add that time up over a week.

In the past month alone I’ve taken a new much more involved role at work, been working feverishly here on the blog, completed a sprint triathlon, and won 2nd place in my softball league!  Seriously though I can’t explain to you how nice it is to spend my mental energy on my passions and not worrying about drugs, supplements, doctor’s appointments, or long term health concerns.

It truly is the most freeing transformation that I’ve ever experienced.  Getting my health handled has opened so many doors for me its truly a blessing.

So What Changed Over The Last Couple Months?

I believe several key areas finally came together for me.  I got a better handle on my Candida overgrowth, my smelling came back with a simple SCD tweak, and after several experiments (cheats) with illegal foods I had another mental break through.

With regards to my Candida that I discovered via a Genova Stool Analysis here, I tried the natural route for awhile but after more research I went back to my doctor and asked for a prescription for Nystatin.  I’m now in the middle of month two of three, within the 2nd week of starting Nystatin I noticed cravings for fruits, sugars and alcohol decline significantly.  In order to help my battle with Candida I’ve been doing a very low sugar/fructose SCD diet.  I might eat some honey once every 2 weeks and my fruit consumption is down to a cup of berries every couple days.

I can smell!  Which turns out is really cool except when other people have digestive problems but hey I’m in no position to judge J.  What happened?  When I originally started the diet I gave up cow’s dairy for awhile but my smell was no where to be found.  Then I stumbled on some research suggesting that I had a zinc deficiency which I wholeheartedly believe was the first part of solution.  But after getting my zinc levels back up the smelling just wasn’t there either, that is until a few weeks ago when I gave up cow’s dairy.

Several weeks ago I got into see an amazing allergist who tested me for environmental and food allergies using a combination of serial endpoint titration (SET) testing and sublingual immunotherapy testing (SLIT).  This is not your normal allergy skin prick testing.  The result of getting shot up with all kinds of allergens was the conclusion that I have real allergies to wheat, corn, soy, yeast, dairy and a few molds and mites.  Turns out following the SCD diet was pretty good choice.  But like we’ve been talking about a lot lately every food in the SCD diet needs to be treated like a potential problem.  Five days after stopping dairy my smelling was back full force and has stayed around!

My Big AH HA Moment!

Now for the illegal experiments, first off there a good reason why Elaine advised us to not try illegal foods until you’ve been symptom free for at least a year.  I can attest to the fact that I’m by no means ready to eat my old western diet without serious digestive and mental side effects.  Other than a few all out weekends that reminded me why I started this journey what about a chocolate bar or some organic corn tortilla chips or dried sugar laced fruits?

What I realized is while the digestive problems tortilla chips or chocolate produced were easy to deal with (gas, loose stools), they seriously crush my productivity.  They cause me all kinds of blood sugar problems, my emotions become gloomy, and mental clarity is compromised because I’m always wondering what if…I react, it hurts, I’m okay, I eat more, I eat less and countless others.

The “Ah Ha!” moment was that while these foods might offer a quick hit of pleasure either from the sugar or because I can participate in a social gathering without my own foods they leave me feeling USED, SAD, and generally SURPRISED that they aren’t what I’ve built them up to be.  My body and mind function so much better when I don’t subject them to these antagonists that it would be disrespectful to my body to continue.

What You Can Learn From My Story

I really can’t stress enough that the way I feel now is so much different and better than my original health goal.  I never could have predicted it.  If you can learn anything from my experiences I hope it is the fact you need a health goal to focus and direct your actions, then as you heal it should be re-examined.  Each time you figure out a new piece of the puzzle take the time to reflect on how far you’ve come and where you think you could go next.

If you are unsure how to do this, or just rather overwhelmed with all this healthy talk, I want you to know that I’ve been there and I can relate.  When I started my SCD journey close to a year ago now, I never could have related to what I’m talking about now.  That is precisely why we have spent countless hours experimenting, researching and creating the mental mind-set chapter in our book.  If you haven’t checked it out yet go here to see what you will learn.

Until next time, if you have any comments or questions about my recent breakthroughs please leave them in the comments section below.

4 comments

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, these series of weekly posts will take you through his experiences, thoughts, and struggles on the SCD diet.  Check back and follow his progress:

Week 26 Summary

Coconut is a really amazing fruit.  There are so many coconut products that are great to use in our natural diet from coconut water, coconut milks, coconut oils, and even the coconut meat.  Elaine recommends waiting 6 months before using coconut, but from what I’ve seen she was referring to the meat and milk portions of the coconut.  That means as soon as you read this you should go out and find some coconut oil and try and find some coconut water if you’re interested.  I really don’t think there is a better oil for cooking than coconut.  It stands up to heat much better than most oils and with natural anti-fungal characteristics it is perfect for people with digestive problems.

Coconut water is a naturally isotonic drink that is basically mother natures Gatorade.  It contains really high amounts of potassium and magnesium as well as full spectrum of other electrolytes.  I personally have started drinking coconut water after hard training sessions or whenever I’m feeling really dehydrated.  It tastes like slightly milky water and has a rather neutral taste to me.

While I’ve been using coconut oil for several months and the water for a week or two, last week was the first time that I tried coconut milk.  I made my normal SCD slop recipe but this time I left out all the tomatoes and added a whole can of coconut milk with plenty of cayenne pepper.  It turned the dish into a soupy Thai-like dish.  It was pretty good but I think I can do better.  In the future I’m going to continue playing with coconut milk and my goal is eat at least a can a week because of all of the amazing health properties.

GENOVA STOOL TEST

I had my appointment with my doctor a few weeks ago to discuss my Genova Stool test results.  I’m just now updating everyone because it wasn’t until last week that I’ve actually gotten around to taking action based on the results of the test.

The test results were very enlightening and its weird to say, but some what disappointing.  What I found out is I

Harmful Yeast are a pain to get rid of!

actually have a very good amounts of beneficial bacteria (+4 out of 4 for most), however I also have some Candida albicans.  I did find out that I’m also having a slight problem digesting fats but nothing significant.  So why were these test results disappointing?  Simply because I’m never going to get my scapegoat diagnosis.  I will never be able to totally claim Celiac disease, H. Pylori, or extreme Candida.

People who have those diagnoses are probably appalled that I have some weird want to have a their problems.  They are probably right, as I get better and better, people are noticing my improved quality of life they are starting to care less about what a “doctor” says I have.  I find it strangely interesting how I should have been extremely thankful (I AM) when the doctor told me nothing was wrong but I had this big emotional let down when nothing clinically showed up.  Going forward I think I’ll stick with gut dysbiosis (sounds better than IBS to me).

That was a little tangent but back to the results of the test, based on having the +1 for Candida (out of 0-4) the doctor wanted me to start a round of an anti-yeast drug called Sporanox.  He also told me I could go at naturally with S. Boulardii but recommended at least a month of the prescription drug.  After doing my due diligence on Sporanox I’ve decided I want to give it a go naturally with diet and some helpers.  If you remember, I’ve already done a stack of undecylenic acid with berberine and while I’m sure that helped it obviously didn’t get everything.  This time I’m going to come at the yeast with a triple stack that I think is going to be more potent.  I’m going to try a stack of S. Boulardii, oregano oil and coconut oil.

Has anyone else beat their Candida by using diet and natural remedies?

Back to SCD Lifestyle

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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, these series of weekly posts will take you through his experiences, thoughts, and struggles on the SCD diet.  Check back and follow his progress:

Week 25 Summary

I had a big scare last week, after a rather enjoyable 30 seconds on the toilet I got up to see the water stained a dull red!  My heart started racing and my mind started running, my first thought was how could I have caused my fissure to act up?  Upon further examination I ruled this thought out as the blood color was too dark to be what I considered fissure blood.  Now the irrational thoughts started coming at me from every direction, “Was I actually bleeding further up in my digestive tract?” finally, I couldn’t take it so I called Jordan.

I think it is so important to have someone else to talk to who is doing or done the SCD diet, in a matter of seconds with his outside perspective my fears were squashed.  He just asked me what I changed in my diet, I was rather annoyed at first because, duh, I already asked myself that question.  Nothing, was the answer.  I didn’t eat anything different that day.  He pressed me a bit harder and asked what I had changed that week and I told him I added beets within the last 2 days.  That’s when he pretty much smacked me in the forehead and told me calm down that it was most likely just remnants of the beets I ate a day before.

So I gave it 2 days and stopped eating beets and sure enough my red stools disappeared.  I then ate some more just to test out the theory and what do you know, a day after I ate them I had red stools.  To me this is a very important reminder that it is all to easy to draw irrational and wrong conclusions when faced with a challenge that carries huge emotional outcomes like poor digestion does for me.  The basic lesson I learned… it’s important to have support from someone that has no ties to your own emotional outcome.

Other than the different colored stools, my digestion is still rocking along even though I’ve started snacking on some fresh blueberries in my yogurt.  I was pretty excited to learn that my O.D. on fresh fruit at the family party over the weekend wasn’t a digestive set back.  For good or bad I took that as a stepping stone to take a bit more liberty and start working fresh foods back into my diet.  I will continue cooking meats and vegetables, but honestly, I don’t like cooked fruit much and therefore haven’t been eating hardly any.  It is nice to enjoy some fresh fruit again!

SPICE OF LIFE RAMBLINGS

This week I want to talk about SCD diet staples.  Studies have shown that most people eat the same 10-15 foods in a given week.  We all like to think that we eat an extremely diverse diet but it’s simply untrue.  As humans we are actually very predictable creatures in search of easy autonomous habits.  Taking this knowledge to heart can really help simplify the SCD diet.  For instance, two ways in which I embrace my need for stability and habit are having the ingredients on hand to produce my two favorite go-to SCD meals.  One of them takes roughly 20 minutes to make and the other about 5 minutes.

Weekly SCD diet Staple #1

Specific Carbohydrate Slop

The details of this dish vary depending on my fridge and creativity each week but the outline is always the same.  Using 1-3 pounds of

All natural ingredients make cooking easy!

ground beef (venison, chicken, turkey etc.) brown it up in a large pan.  Next, I usually take a 1 pound frozen stir-fry vegetables mixture or a mixture of any other frozen vegetables I have on hand and put them in the microwave for 15 minutes.  As the meat browns make sure to add your favorite spices.  When the meat is cooked and the vegetables are thawed and cooked its time to drain them and combine them with the meat in the pan on the stove.  If your diet can handle tomatoes, now you can take the completely random slop mixture up to another level by adding any tomato mixture you might have on hand.  Combine the meat and veggies with sauce on the stove for just long enough to mix the flavors and evenly heat all parts (5 minutes or so).  In the end, the dish ranges from a chili like dish to a stir-fry like concoction that can be made from frozen ingredients in under 30 minutes and tastes great.  If your dish ends up low on flavor and tomatoes aren’t a part of your diet try some of the following that I use: red-wine vinegar and honey, a can of coconut milk with cayenne pepper or tons of butter and minced garlic.

Emergency SCD Legal Meal

The “Ah Crap I _______________ (forgot X at the grocery store, don’t have time, etc.) meal”

I always like to have a can of SCD legal tuna or chicken in my cupboard.  The first thing I do is reach for it and then take a survey of my fridge.  This dish is the ultimate wing it meal.  I usually keep tuna so that’s what I normally use, but the first step is to put the can of tuna in a bowl.  Now from here there really isn’t a recipe basically just throw in anything or everything you have into a bowl and heat in the microwave.  Some examples of my 5 minute concoctions include:

Tuna, Salt, Pepper, Honey and Cayenne pepper

Tuna, any cheese and spices

Tuna, spinach leaves, cheese, red wine vinegar

Tuna, any SCD legal tomato sauce (paste, salsa, marinara, Campbell’s juice, diced fresh), and anything else always tastes good

After the random combo is chosen, heat in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes until ingredients are evenly heated.

The take away message that I’ve learned from the recipes above is that cooking SCD style can be quicker and easier than SAD cooking.  When you start with natural healthy foods it is extremely hard to come up with a combination that tastes bad.  There is just something special that happens when you combine a bunch of non-processed ingredients together. Build off my recipe framework above and try and make your own random SCD legal combo, I dare ya!  Post your successes or failures below for people to learn.

4 comments

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, these series of weekly posts will take you through his experiences, thoughts, and struggles on the SCD diet.  Check back and follow his progress:

Week 24 Summary

Oh what a good weekend, the weather here in the Midwest allowed me to fully enjoy my 3 day weekend filled with

family time and golf.  Digestion was extremely reliable and that allowed me to concentrate on being present and having fun.  Sometimes I’m still in awe of how I feel compared to 6 months ago.

Last week I made a heck of a run at making kale chips.  I’ve never ate kale before and after seeing several bloggers making kale chips I had to give it a go.  First up, the good news is kale and I are friends, no digestion issues whatsoever.  Now for the bad news, kale chips are apparently my cooking Achilles heal.  The first go round ended up with most of the “chips” being half burnt or completely burnt.  The next round I swore the chips were done, no browning and hard when they were pulled out of the oven.  But, a couple hours later they were soggy leaves of salt!

I’m really hoping that the 94 degree heat with super high humidity around here just sort of ruined them otherwise these leaves are going to end my successful baking run.  Let the record show that there were a couple kale chips that were not burnt and tasted very good with several of my non-SCD family members liking them.

In other diet news this week, I got into some fresh fruit at my family party.  The fresh blueberries and cherries tasted amazing and didn’t cause me any digestive repercussions.  I couldn’t help myself the amount of food my family puts out during parties is ridiculous.  I didn’t really feel bad about eating them because they are SCD legal but I was a bit worried that my body might not be ready.  That doesn’t seem to be the case and going forward I think I might start trying some fresh fruit here and there.

SPICE OF LIFE RAMBLINGS

This week I had intended on putting some kale chip pictures out for all to see but that was big fail so instead I want to talk about how my family is changing because of my SCD journey.  As is the same for probably all people who start the SCD diet in the beginning there was plenty of rumblings from parents, siblings, grandparents, friends etc.  Some things were encouraging, but most were skeptical and it is safe to say that initially, plenty took my diet as an insult to their diet… or way of life.

In the beginning and for the majority of the first 3 months on this diet, I usually felt like the social black swan.  Probably some of those feelings were just my own insecurities but there were times in which I was in social situations and was peer pressured to go along with the SAD diet.  These were hard times for me and I ended up straying from the diet several times in the beginning during these situations.  Now fortunately, in the last couple months as I’ve really started to own my digestion and diet, some remarkable things have been happening.

Several months back I wrote a post of a family party gone wrong, I was knocked back on the fence defending the SCD

Who doesn’t love fireworks?

diet and my food choices everywhere I turned.  This past weekend was a totally different and an awesome change, this time I was being asked to dole out advice on everything from food to supplements to fat loss.  Never in a million years would I have imagined discussing nutrition labels, saturated fat or vitamin D levels with my grandparents.  My mom and dad now read food labels just because they are curious.  It seems the longer I stay on this diet getting better and shouting its benefits to all that will listen to me, the more people around me are unconsciously changing.  It is really exciting to see my family and friends decide to improve their lives based on food choices.

If you find yourself in a position like me fielding questions from people looking to feel better but not ready to start the SCD diet here are the top 3 things I tell everyone:

1.  Stop eating grains, all of the them!  Try it for a week.

2.  Don’t eat anything that has more than 5 ingredients on the package

3.  If you cannot pronounce an ingredient on a package you probably shouldn’t eat it

Has anyone else observed positive healthy changes in the people in their lives as a result of doing SCD diet?

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