We started the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) when our son was in elementary school and continued to practice the diet consistently all the way through high school. We mentored hundreds of SCD families and became actively involved in supporting diet therapies research. With all of this accumulated experience, I expected the shift to SCD during college to be easy and go smoothly.
This past December, it seemed as if I needed to install a special tap by the kitchen sink for vanilla extract. At the rate we were going through it, I was convinced someone was washing dishes in the stuff.
A bit of research online and I determined that it was fairly easy to make our own, the quality would be higher, and the price would be cheaper. Here is the kicker, only two ingredients are required: a 40% alcohol based solvent (commonly known as vodka) and organic vanilla beans.
Dr. Christine Bowen is a diet therapy expert. She is an experienced naturopathic physician, specializing in treating gastrointestinal conditions like IBD, IBS and SIBO, and a host of other conditions that can benefit from gut healing.
We have known her for years, and were delighted to see her adopting the Specific Carbohydrates Diet (SCD) and using it successfully on herself and her patients.
She participated in both SCD symposiums at Seattle Children’s Hospital, and lectured about SCD in patient education events organized by the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation (CCFA) NW. Recently, I got together again with Dr. Bowen for tea and SCD snacks to chat about her personal experience with SCD and the use of the diet in her practice.
Guest post, meal plan, and photos by Natalie Holladay
I didn’t expect the year 2016 to start out with a diagnosis of IBD for my son. A family history of Celiac Disease left me almost hopefully anticipating to hear something familiar as the verdict. I desperately wanted an accurate diagnosis so that we could start working to heal his damage and reduce his symptoms. I knew a few people with Crohn’s Disease, but knew very little about IBD, symptoms, management or prognosis. I’m not sure I had ever heard of – or paid attention if I had – anyone I knew with Ulcerative Colitis.
SCD Families is only open to parents of children and teens with IBD. The goal of this group is to share information, tips and experiences relevant to parents maintaining or wishing to learn about using the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SDC) as nutritional therapy to manage IBD.
Most people respond well to SCD as it is presented on BTVC. Sometimes, a more restricted version of the diet is needed to help the body heal. In our parent support group we have seen that extra-sensitive IBD kids respond well to a more restricted form of SCD when first starting the diet, and over time as they heal, they gradually expand their diet and are able to enjoy the full scale of SCD foods.
Morana Bodmer (PhD) is a researcher by nature, a scientist by training, and the mother of three children. When her son Noah was diagnosed with Crohn’s, she and her husband, a medical doctor, decided to use SCD as a dietary therapy.
Iron deficiency is a common problem for many IBD patients,who have a hard time absorbing and storing iron. However, iron supplements are not allowed when practicing SCD as a diet therapy, since iron in a supplement form is harsh on a sensitive gut. Research also suggests that iron supplements can alter the bacterial balance in the gut of people with IBD
When adhering to the Specific Carbohydrates Diet, there are several alternatives to the use of iron supplements. While mentoring SCD families I have seen people that managed to restore their iron levels shortly after starting SCD. As their gut was healing their absorption of iron from foods sources was sufficient to normalize lab results of iron levels. At the same time, some other people struggle to restore iron levels even while on SCD, and must try different methods to supplement their iron until they find a good fit that their body absorbs well. Listed below are various methods that are in compliance, or minimally interfere with SCD.
The kitchen where I prepare just about everything my 16 year old son eats is on the eastern coast of Florida, not far from the Atlantic Ocean. Each weekend I have a list of no fewer than 20 dishes that I prepare from scratch—pancakes, condiments, treats, entrees, roasts for sandwiches on breads I make from almond flour. My son has Crohn’s disease, and for the forseeable future, he will not be eating anything considered convenient. Does this sound like punishment? It depends on your definition.
We are all busy, so we want nourishing food that is yummy and fast, with less kitchen prep and less dishes to wash after the meal. We count on a modern food chain that is supervised by government safety regulations to pamper us with convenient and healthy food options as we rush through our days.
In response to consumer needs and demands, many food companies are introducing new health foods options and reformulating older products to appear more wholesome. But are we really getting healthier food products? Can we know what exactly we are eating by carefully reading the food labels?