I was thinking about my last post and I feel like I left a lot out, despite rambling on for quite some time. I have a hard time keeping things brief sometimes, but then I cut corners because this is a blog and short, snappy, and not proof-read is the standard, right? Hopefully the links I inserted into yesterday's post are enough to help you get an idea of the rules and limitations of following the SCD diet. I did the starter diet yesterday and will do it again today, but instead of waiting a few weeks to introduce cooked vegetables (I believe this only applies to patients with diarrhea and other active symptoms) I hope to be having mashed squash starting tomorrow. I grew up on a standard American meat-and-potatoes diet and mashed potatoes are on of my favorite side dishes. Being able to have mashed squash as a substitute was a big selling point for trying this diet as well.
To mentally prepare myself I spent a couple of months thinking about it, researching the low-residue diet and the elimination diet, discussing these options with friends who have tried these diets, and consulting with my doctor. Last week I went to the BtVC website and printed out the entire list of Legal/Illegal foods, and took a green highlight to all things Legal. Then I took a red pen and marked the illegal things that I would have a hard time letting go of, like soy and potatoes. To my surprise there was a LOT more green on the paper in the end. I looked at my calendar and saw I had a three day weekend coming up, so I chose yesterday as my start date. This gave me about a week to menu-plan and stock up on ingredients. It allowed J and I to have a Valentine's date on Saturday night, but also allowed me the extra day off of work to be at home in the event of tummy troubles.
I let myself eat a lot of crap in the days before starting, but it was my unceremonious way of saying good-bye to some things I may not be eating for a while. My short-term goal is to try the diet for a month and hopefully seeing results will motivate me to continue. The expanded forecast? It can take a minimum of one year before I can attempt to re-introduce "illegal" foods (chocolate will be the first on my list). Some patients need more time, some can never stop eating SCD without relapsing. I have no idea how this is going to go for me, as I am a spoiled brat and comfort food plays too important a role in my mental health. Day one was a real test- here's what I ate yesterday:
Breakfast- egg white omelette, watered down Welch's 100% grape juice
Lunch- Six broiled meatballs, more watered down juice. Two big cups of starter soup.
Dinner- Big slab of broiled salmon with dill butter.
Dessert- Five cinnamon cookies- I don't know if these are really allowed on the first day, but I couldn't take the 'roid munchies. I needed something snacky and sweet, and this Comfy Belly recipe really hit the spot! When I was first recovering a few weeks ago and having steroid cravings oatmeal raisin cookies were something I could not get enough of. These cookies are baked with almond flour and honey, and the end result is a grainy, chewy treat that makes for a perfect oatmeal cookie replacement.
Despite the cookies, this was not the most satisfying menu considering how much I like to eat. I'm trying not to shoot myself down, but when I consider the time and money involved in following this diet ($12 for a bag of almond flour that has maybe four cups in it, and don't get me started on organic/raw food pricing in general) I get kind of overwhelmed. It's difficult because I feel like I need to take things a day at a time mentally, but to succeed on this diet I need the foresight to plan meals in advance.
I did notice a different in my bowel movements already, as just this morning my tummy felt sore and things are coming out a little looser than I'd like. In fact I just had to run to the can while writing this post. I imagine this is because a lot of the foods I'm now eating that are SCD approved are foods I'd been avoiding, like red meat. Hopefully it's the bad bacteria in my gut starting to flush out. Or it could be all the grape juice.