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.
We are pleased to have Danielle from Againstallgrain in our spotlight this week!
Danielle’s story is remarkable. Suffering from Ulcerative Colitis and receiving nothing but pharmaceutical help from her doctors, she took her health into her own hands. Only 2 months into SCD, she was not only symptom-free but also Pregnant! This is really cool as the web is filled with stories of moms who, through diet tweaks, were able to crush conception problems. (Hint: get rid of grains.)
She just re-did her blog and it looks Great! She is amassing an awesome SCD recipe resource of new recipes. The best part is she is posting some great cultural dishes that will push anyone’s boundaries in the kitchen (time to buy more spices!). Some of the ones I’ve bookmarked and plan to try are the Thai Coconut Soup and Chicken Tikka Masala. She has great photography skills, which I think provide motivation for trying something new. I’ve said it before, but consider trying a new recipe every week you’re on SCD. This simple idea will break up any boredom in the kitchen, as well as force you to become an even better cook.
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So, without further ado, here is Danielle’s story:
1. Why did you start SCD (health problems, treatments, etc)?
I started SCD in 2009, after battling with very severe Ulcerative Colitis for 2 years. I was diagnosed at the age of 21 right after graduating college, moving to a new city and getting married. As most people with the disease, Doctors aren’t sure what caused it, but I believe it was the stress of everything going on in my life that caused it to flare. I always say “marrying my husband gave me a disease!” Over a 6-month period, I saw 4 Gastroenterologists, and was in the ER two times before finally being diagnosed. All of the doctors I saw claimed that diet had nothing to do with the disease and refused to give me any advice on how to eat better. They prescribed medications immediately and sent me out the door with instructions to get another colonoscopy in a year. For the next year, I found my self in and out of the hospital every few months. I was put on 100 mg of Prednisone, was always very anemic and had 2 blood transfusions. Despite the doctors advice, my husband and I were sure that things could be at least somewhat helped by modifying my diet. I tried gluten-free, sugar-free, a slew of supplements, and all of the medications, but nothing could seem to get it under control.
A friend handed me the Breaking The Vicious Cycle book and I let it sit on my shelf for about 2 months before actually coming to grips with the fact that my whole lifestyle might need an overhaul. Mind you, we never really ate that unhealthy to begin with (no processed foods, all organic), but there was something triggering my gut to act up and I didn’t know what. I met a new friend who had the same disease and who vouched for the book and the diet and had the testimony of being cured from the SCD, which is what caused me to actually sit down and read it. After mentally preparing myself to change everything I knew and loved to cook, I started the intro diet.
2. How has SCD changed your life?
Immensely!!! My husband and I had been trying to get pregnant for some time, and had a lot of trouble with it. We were also nervous about becoming pregnant while I was in a flare up, so after much mental preparation to change my whole eating lifestyle, I began SCD. I couldn’t believe how quickly I saw results. Because of the severity, I stayed on the intro diet for about 5 days, but then slowly started adding the other SCD ‘legal’ foods in. Within 2 months on the diet, I became pregnant and had a symptom-free pregnancy! Although, I must admit, it is extremely hard to stick to the rules when you’re plagued with morning sickness, or have a terrible craving for pizza and ice cream! We now have a beautiful and healthy 8-month-old baby boy.
3. What was your biggest challenges on the diet and how did you overcome them?
I think the biggest challenge with SCD is convenience, which I’m noticing even more with an active baby. It takes a lot of preparation and you can’t just go to the store and pick something up for dinner when you’ve had a busy day. I started planning to have a day each week where I would prepare and freeze my staple items and the rest started falling into place. I think the second biggest challenge with SCD is boredom. It’s so easy to just make a piece of chicken and grilled vegetables every night, but eating that for a couple of weeks will drive you crazy. That’s why I started my blog and why I started experimenting with so many different things. It’s fun to take your old favorite recipes like lasagna or ice cream and make them healthier and fit to to the diet.
4. What is your #1 piece of advice you would give someone getting ready to start the diet?
Stick it out! It’s really hard, especially on the intro diet, to see the bright side. But after you get your symptoms under control, you can add in so many other delicious foods. You’ll feel so much better about the way you’re eating. And second, BE CREATIVE and don’t be afraid to take risks when cooking. The worst that can happen is your family hates it and you don’t make it again!
5. How has your newfound level of health changed your life?
I can take care of my son without worrying about being sick, which is a huge blessing. I was always worried that the disease would keep me from doing or having the things in life that are important to me, and SCD has helped keep that from happening. I also love that I can look at a box and see an ingredient like guar gum – one of the various undercover words for “sugar” – and actually know what it is now!