I recently received a message from a blog reader who wanted to know about good non-SCD foods to add back into the diet. Obviously, since everyone’s body is different, and may respond differently to different foods, this is a list based on my experience. My experience has all been based on trial and error, as well as research. Sometimes I would add a food and it would bother me so then I would go back to avoiding it. However, I would usually research the food and try to find out why it was bothering me.
Let’s take corn, for example. I can’t eat corn or anything made from corn. The only corn I can occasionally eat are some corn chips that are made with nothing but corn, oil, and salt. Like the kind that they put on the table when you go to On The Border or a good Mexican restaurant. Maybe it’s because I’m only eating a handful or so, but they don’t seem to bother me. Then again, I will only eat those once every few months, definitely not every week. Otherwise, when I eat corn, not only do I find it to be harsh on my digestive system, but I find that the next day I will have back aches, sometimes joint aches, skin flare-ups, cystic acne, etc.
Having done some research on corn, I found out that it is one of the most common food allergens and it triggers symptoms in many people who don’t even realize it’s the corn that causing their problems. Also, the vast majority of corn is now genetically modified. When a food is genetically modified, the proteins in the food are altered and the human body does not process them the same way that it would a naturally occurring protein in that item, thus it can trigger an immune response and a variety of negative symptoms. The third thing I found out about corn is that it is usually contaminated with fungus and therefor also harbors mycotoxins. The fungus in the corn can feed candida and cause an overgrowth (which is what I went on the SCD to help eliminate) and the mycotoxins can do the same as well as cause other diseases and problems. Armed with all of that research, I’m happy to continue avoiding it.
Other times, I would add a food and noticed no ill effects so I would continue to consume it occassionally.
The key to maintaining health through diet is to consume a diet based on clean, whole foods. When I say clean, I mean foods that have no chemicals, preservatives, or additives in them. It’s also good to maintain a diet that consists of about 75% SCD legal foods because the reality is that they are the healthiest foods you can eat - fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, beans, nuts, cheeses, etc. So if I’m looking at a dinner plate that is divided into four quarters, I try to make sure that three of those are healthy SCD or mostly SCD items, and one could be totally non-SCD. For example: dinner might be a serving of grilled fish (SCD), a serving of green vegetables (SCD), a serving of cole slaw (mostly SCD except for maybe a small ingredient in the dressing), and a serving of mac and cheese (pasta obviously not SCD legal, but the cheese is). About 3/4 of that plate is SCD.
Or maybe, I might have plans to have dinner with friends at an Italian restaurant and I know that most of the food on the menu is pasta, risotto, etc. What I’ll do is make sure I have a super healthy breakfast and lunch that is 90% to 100% SCD, and then have the pasta or risotto or dessert that I want. It’s all about balancing out the good, healthy, SCD foods, with the not as healthy but tasty and convenient additions.
I’d like to stress something very important so I’m going to put it in all caps: DO NOT ADD NON-LEGAL FOODS UNTIL YOU NO LONGER HAVE ANY SYMPTOMS AND HAVE NOT HAD SYMPTOMS FOR QUITE SOME TIME. I would say a good 6 months to a year if not longer. More often than not, they can lead to setbacks and perhaps even a return of symptoms if you are not fully recovered. As a matter of fact, even if you are fully recovered, as I was for several years, too much of the wrong foods can still bring back symptoms. I started this blog after I went on one of the worst junk food binges of my life, eating practically nothing but cookies, cakes, sodas, breads, treats, etc for several months. I started noticing some colitis symptoms returning, and since I had experienced them previously, I knew what they were so was able to go back into ‘fix my system’ mode on the SCD ASAP and prevent them from getting worse.
So here is a list of most of the foods which I enjoy semi-regularly that I find are easy to digest and make a welcome, healthy addition to my diet. Again, I would like to stress that I consume these foods in balance with the healthy foods that are also legal to the SCD.
I find sweet potatoes easy to digest, low on the glycemic index, and satisfying.
Rice - white or brown
One of the easier to digest grains, gluten free, and usually doesn’t trigger allergies.
White Potatoes - mashed, boiled, fried, etc.
Don’t have a problem digesting these either if they are made from real potatoes. I avoid anything made from dehydrated potatoes because I find that they disagree with me. I love plain potato chips made with nothing but potatoes, oil, and salt.
Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
These cannot be instant (which usually have non-desirable ingredients in them) or steel cut (which are very hard to digest), just the plain rolled oats. They still cook up super quick, in about 5 minutes, for oatmeal.
I haven’t had any issues with these or with chick pea flour.
Turbinado or Raw Sugar
Sure, sugar isn’t exactly a healthy food, but we’ve all been pretty much conditioned to crave it since childhood. And sometimes you crave something sweet when honey isn’t around. I figure this is the healthiest option when it comes to cane sugar.
Maple Syrup - not fake maple syrup
This is a sweet option I like for the flavor. However, it has to be the pure Grade B maple syrup. I like Grade B because it has more flavor and it’s usually a bit cheaper than Grade A. I avoid any and all ‘maple flavored’ syrups that are made with corn syrup or something similar.
Greek yogurt has a higher protein content than regular yogurt and I find it to be easier to digest. When I first switched off the SCD yogurt to regular yogurt, I found it was harsh on my digestion, but when I switched to Greek yogurt, I had no problems.
Plantains, plantain chips
I’ve never had any problems with these.
Ketchup made without corn syrup or HFCS
It’s a bit more convenient when you don’t have to make your own. Organic ketchups tend to have acceptable ingredients and use sugar instead of HFCS
All Natural Ice Cream
This is getting harder and harder to find. My favorite brand by far is Turkey Hill’s black container. Breyer’s now uses strange gums in their ice cream so I’ve had to give them up (and send them many complaints about how they ruined their ice cream). The ingredients should be cream, milk, sugar, and natural flavoring - that’s it!
Chocolate Syrup made without corn syrup or HFCS
Nice to use occasionally. Love Trader Joe’s Midnight Moo.
Unsweetened cocoa and 70% or higher dark chocolate.
I have a previous post about chocolate on my blog here . Unsweetened cocoa with some raw sugar, a dash of vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt makes an amazing hot chocolate. Add a little cream or milk for added richness.
Pasta - regular semolina pasta, not whole wheat
This I only have very occasionally because too many carbs tend to make me sleepy after I eat it. Regular is easier to digest than whole wheat. Better when mixed with lots of veggies and meat.
I’ll eat a wrap on a tortilla before I eat a sandwich on bread. That’s one of the choices I have learned to make because the tortillas usually tend to be yeast free and easier on digestion. I feel light and energetic after eating a wrap or something on a tortilla, whereas a sandwich or bread makes me sluggish.
Gluten Free Products (not made with corn or soy)
I find gluten free products easier on digestion and more agreeable with my system than those made with wheat or gluten-containing grains. These kind of products are something that I might only eat once a week or so, or if I eat some for several days in a row, the serving will be very small, just enough for a tiny treat.
Organic Cream, Half And Half, Whole Milk
I don’t drink milk by the glassful. I find it hard to digest and I always have a cough the next morning because it promotes mucus in your system. (Sometimes I’ll even have a mucousy cough the morning after consuming ice cream, but for that pleasure I don’t mind as much. lol.) However, I have found that the more fat the milk or dairy product has, the easier it is to digest. So I might sometimes put some cream or whole milk in my tea or maybe on some berries. It also doesn’t bother me as an ingredient in a recipe. But I always make sure I buy organic since regular milk is so full of hormones and anti-biotics, etc.
I think that’s pretty much it.
Now here’s the list of what I continue to actively AVOID:
Corn and anything made with or from corn
I tend to have allergic responses to it which can range from muscle and joint aches to skin flare-ups and mood swings.
Soy and anything made with or from soy
Except for some fermented soy like wheat free soy sauce, miso, and sometimes tofu. Non-fermented soy is toxic to the human body and can really mess up hormones.
Wheat products, especially whole wheat products
Whole wheat has got to be one of the most difficult things to digest for anyone. I find that refined wheat is easier to digest than whole wheat, but the gluten and carbs in it never make me feel well after eating it - fatigue, lethargy, depression, mood swings, etc. Interestingly enough, I find other grains like Amaranth, Millet, etc seem to be easier to digest.
Peanuts and anything made with or from peanuts
I get similar allergic reactions to peanuts that I do to corn.
Anything made with chemicals, preservatives, additives, artificial sweeteners, MSG, hydrogenated oils, etc.
I will never go back to the SAD (Standard American Diet). Once you have information and knowledge about food, nutrition, digestion, and how everything relates to health, how could you? When I was on a very strict SCD, I never looked at is as a punishment or felt that I as being deprived of anything. Instead, I saw it as kind of an initiation. I was being initiated into a group of people that knew the secrets, that knew how to heal conditions that conventional medical doctors said were life long diseases. Knowledge is incredibly powerful and so are the foods that we eat.