Is the SCD a Deprivation Diet?

What can you eat on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet?

One of the topics I covered in my presentation at the 2019 Nutrition Symposium at Seattle Children’s Hospital was the misperception that SCD is a diet deprived of joy and lacking in nutrients. This is a common concern amongst GI doctors and perspective diet users, who have a hard time imagining “what the heck is there left to eat” after removing all grains and after limiting the allowed selection of most other food groups.

To help demonstrate my talking points I included collages of SCD foods that were all prepared by the parents of SCD Families in my presentation. When looking at the exquisite colorful variety of the foods we make for our families those concerns are replaced with amazement.

In complete disclosure, not every one of our meal is presented on beautiful plates with fancy styling. Many of the same foods are eaten in back of a car from a plastic box, on the way to a swim meet or science club. Families are busy, and some evenings kids eat homemade defrosted dishes, or leftovers from yesterday, or breakfast for dinner… but it is always a wholesome and nutrient dense food, despite all the restrictions we follow. As you will see in the last slide, there is even some room for sweets and treats made of compliant ingredients. Parents make extra efforts to protect their children from a sense of deprivation during holidays and birthday parties, creating mouthwatering cakes, cookies, doughnuts and ice cream. Even the ‘junk food’ that is reserved for special occasions, can be make from compliant ingredients, and both parents and kids take great pride of their culinary creations.

Creativity in the kitchen is a learned skill that becomes a second nature and brings joy in and of itself.

Here are the four Power point slides from my presentation. All these foods were made by home cooks in their family kitchen. The first slide was the ‘teaser’, after all, most people imagine dry chicken breast and lettuce when they first hear about the diet…


The 2019 8th Nutrition Symposium at Seattle Children’s Hospital convened on April 6th. The symposium’s focus was “The Practice and Science of Dietary Therapy in Inflammatory Bowel Disease”.

Doctors, naturopathic physicians, nurses and registered dieticians traveled from around the United States to learn about the latest research. Here are a few photos of the speakers at the event.


  1. The symposium was great! Your presentation was excellent. We definitely are not deprived on this diet! I think everyone’s mouth was watering when you showed the food photos.

  2. Well done (as always), my friend!
    Looks amazing. I always chuckle when I think back to earlier days of SCD advocacy when some of the very doctors who are now the biggest supporters of SCD were drooling over my SCD meals at CCFA Camp Oasis, and begging me to share.
    Beautiful photos. Thank you for your tireless work, Tali!

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