We are providing information on the introductory diet so those who have ordered Breaking the Vicious Cycle™ and are awaiting delivery can begin sooner, should they choose. However, we strongly advise you not to try to implement the diet beyond the introductory diet without first having read the book and feeling comfortable with the information it contains. The diet requires 100% commitment and adherence, and so without the book, it is not possible to successfully follow the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.
When starting out, when symptoms such as diarrhea and cramping are severe, the following basic diet should be followed for up to five days. In other cases, one or two days on this basic diet is sufficient. The amounts of the specified foods to be eaten depend on the appetite of the individual; there is no restriction as to quantities eaten.
You may find that stool color changes during the course of the introductory diet. This is most likely an initial die-off of bacterial overgrowth, which is one of the reasons the introductory diet is so important. It will help to clean out your system so that you can begin to heal.
The following is a sample day's menu to help guide you as you start the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.
Dry curd cottage cheese (moisten with homemade yogurt)*
Eggs (boiled, poached, or scrambled)
Pressed apple cider or grape juice mixed 1/2 and 1/2 with water.
Homemade gelatin made with unsweetened juice, unflavored gelatin and sweetener (honey or saccharine)
Homemade chicken soup*
Broiled beef patty or broiled fish
Homemade gelatin made with unsweetened juice, unflavored gelatin, and sweetener (honey or saccharine)
Variations of the above
Homemade Chicken Soup
Using the largest pot you have, fill half of it with the chicken parts (legs and thighs make the most flavorful soup)
Peel about ten carrots and add to chicken
Add about two large onions, a few stalks of celery and some parsley
Season with salt
Fill pot with water
Simmer for about 4 hours and then strain soup through a colander or strainer
Skim off top layer of fat (don't worry if you can't get it all)
Purée carrots in blender and return to broth
Onions, celery, and parsley should not be used at the start of the dietary regimen because the fibrous parts of these vegetables may cause problems.
The cheesecake filling may be made without a crust.
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup homemade SCD yogurt* or homemade SCD cream cheese*
2 cups uncreamed cottage cheese (dry curd cottage cheese)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Place all ingredients in blender or food processor (with a metal blade), putting eggs in first so that the blender blades will turn freely
Blend until smooth stopping, if necessary, every 15 seconds to push ingredients down, scraping the sides of the container at the same time with a spatula
Pour into loaf pan
Bake in oven at 350°F (180°C) for about 30 minutes or until edges are brown. Cool and refrigerate.
SCD Cream Cheese
Line a colander with a clean cloth (a dish towel is satisfactory)
Place colander on a bowl
Pour chilled SCD yogurt into lined colander and allow to drain for about 6-8 hours (need not be refrigerated while draining)
Lift cloth by two opposite ends, place on flat surface, and with a spatula, scrape "cream cheese" off and refrigerate. It will be quite tart; a little liquid honey may be worked in with a spatula to sweeten.
Note: The preparation of foods listed with an asterisk is explained in Breaking the Vicious Cycle. SCD Yogurt is explained on this site.
Once you are past the intro diet, there is no specified schedule for introducing foods. The basic rules given in Chapters 9 and 10 are usually sufficient. For example, ripe fruits and vegetables should, initially, be peeled and cooked well. Raw fruits and vegetables (with the exception of very ripe bananas - must have brown spots) should not be introduced until diarrhea is under control. Going slowly and carefully is best determined by an individual's reactions. If foods seem to cause additional gas or diarrhea when they are added to the diet, delay their use until later.
If a food specified in the diet is known to cause an anaphylactic reaction, remove it permanently. If, in the past, allowable foods did not agree with you, eliminate them for a short time (about a week), and try again in small amounts. If, after a week of eliminating it, a food continues to cause problems, do not include it in the diet.
One basic principle of the SCD diet must be firmly established and persistently repeated: no food should be ingested that contains carbohydrates other than those found in fruits, honey, properly prepared SCD yogurt, and those vegetables and nuts listed. While this principle may be clearly understood, it is sometimes difficult in practice to recognize the existence of carbohydrates (like starches) in various foods. Small quantities of illegal carbohydrates can creep into the diet unless strict attention is paid to every item you eat. Reading labels is essential but is not entirely adequate for those on the SCD since one ingredient may have numerous names and not be easily recognized as a forbidden carbohydrate. Many cans, jars, bottles, and packages do not list all ingredients because of different labeling laws in different parts of the country/world. It is recommended that nothing be eaten other than those foods listed on the Legal/Illegal list.
A food Journal
It's a good idea to keep a food journal. Some bad reactions will show up quickly, but others can take a week or two, and a food journal is very helpful for seeing those connections. Every day, write down your symptoms, what you ate, and if you've added something new. In addition to allowing you to see connections between foods and reactions, the food journal can also provide you with a way to see your progress. Progress can be two steps forward and one step back. A food journal can help you track the slow improvements you make over time and may not notice from day to day. It can be a good tool for keeping yourself on the diet.
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Information published on this website is intended to support the book Breaking The Vicious Cycle by Elaine Gottschall. It is for information purposes only. It is not the intention of this site to diagnose, prescribe, or replace medical care. Your doctor or nutrition expert should be consulted before undertaking a change of diet. Specific Carbohydrate Diet™, SCD™, Breaking the Vicious Cycle™ are trademarks owned by Kirkton Press Inc.