Trial and Error

What do you do when you’ve been feeling GREAT on the SCD for a long time? Do you go off the diet, do you stick with it, what?

I find that I tend to get confident in my health and indulge in things I shouldn’t. Sometimes I don’t have a reaction, sometimes I do. It really depends on the person’s convictions on the subject of diet. Some of you may balk at the idea of trying new, “illegal” foods because you are doing so well. THAT is GREAT. To maintain your determination can be hard when you are feeling so good you almost forget you even had a gastrointestinal disorder.

For others, like myself, I grow weary of my restrictions and look for something outside the diet to satisfy my cravings.

That is not to say I shelved the diet. Not at all. Instead, however, I allow gluten-free products in OCCASIONALLY… and I try to keep them sugar-free as often as I can, too.

Unfortunately, my way of handling things I would not suggest to anyone who is still very new to the diet, or who still has frequent relapses. I cannot judge how your body reacts to food as opposed to mind, so advice is out of the question. ūüôā All I can say is to read your body, understand how it works, and move on from there. It’s a matter of trial and error, and some people understandably don’t wish to take the risk. I didn’t either at one time!

Gastrointestinal Disorders and Seasonal Change

Have you ever wondered why, after months of eating the same thing and not having a reaction, that you suddenly have a painful bout of gastrointestinal upset? On the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, have you ever suddenly become sensitive to a food that is considered 100% legal?

I have, and it was confusing until I started seeing a pattern.

You see, every year, approximately between August and October, my sensitivity to food escalates. When I first started eating the SCD way, I was always in the hospital within that time period.

My first gastroenterologist explained to me that it is often the case that the change of the seasons affects our immune systems. One of his patients was always in the hospital in August, every year, without fail.

Thank God I am no longer in that boat. Two years ago September 15th, I paid my last visit to the hospital.

So what have I done to prepare for this seasonal sensitivity? I keep (or try to keep) to the diet diligently, and perhaps limit my intake of certain foods I know to be more hazardous at this time of year.

Let me give you an example. For me, fibrous foods have always been hazardous if overdone. For the most part, I watch my fiber carefully, but at this time of year, I would perhaps pick a non-fibrous food over a fibrous one, or cut my portions even more than I do on a regular basis.

Everyone’s situation will be different. It’s all part of learning to read your body correctly and plan ahead for the times when you are weakened.

Going Gluten-Free

If you are anything like me, you will at some point come to a fork in the road during your SCD journey. For me, I met that fork in the road back in June. I’d been almost 100% faithfully devoted to the diet for over three years, and I was fast approaching the second¬†year-marker¬†for complete health. The temptation to veer off my restricted dietary track became nearly irresistable.

I began letting some gluten-free foods into my diet. I still restrict myself, only allowing a special gluten-free treat about once a week. Twice if something special is going on. I found a gluten-free cookie at our local health food store that is sweetened with fruit juices, and I sometimes (though not as often) indulge in a gluten-free english muffin. These things have helped me deal with the difficult times.

At this point in the healing process, I feel comfortable with this slight variation in my diet. However, for others, this change might not be advisable. Like I’ve said before, each individual¬†must learn to read and understand his or her intestinal disorder and know when it is okay to add something in (or vice versa). It took me almost four years to get this point. It may take others shorter, or longer periods of time.

Yes, I’m Still Alive

…And busy! I apologize for my silence the past few weeks. My mind has been spinning since I returned from our last trip.

Besides falling back into my regular routine, our family had a bit of a surprise a few weeks ago. Our cousin, who was to be getting married November 2011, moved his wedding up to November of this year. And we just couldn’t stay home for this wedding. So, we’re off to New York again. We’ve been loony ironing out all the details. But I look forward to it.

Besides that, I am working on a small enterprise to earn some pocket-money (and perhaps a little more–who knows?).¬†My sister and I have to¬†decided to put our knitting and crocheting skills to good use.¬†Our father is funding us, and I hope to get started mid-October. We are thrilled! When I have our account up on Etsy, I will certainly share so that you can see all the work we have done!

But please don’t think I’ve forgotten my blog. I will admit, for a while, I did neglect it. When I did start thinking about it again, I was at a loss as to what to say. Recipe Remedies have eluded me. But I shall try harder, and maybe I shall actually come up with some fall-time goodies!

Thanks a bunch for your patience!


“So Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, “Be removed and be cast into the sea,” and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them'” Mark 11:22-24.

As Christians, we talk about the faith that can move mountains. We say we believe the promises of God. We say we trust in Him to take care of us. But deep down, I don’t think we get our mind fully around the idea fact that faith can move mountains. Often we say to the mountains in our lives, “be moved and cast into the sea,” not really believing that it will actually happen. We “hope” it will happen. “Wouldn’t it be wonderful–a miracle!–if such and such would just disappear from my life forever.”

“…Believe…and you will have.” How much plainer could Jesus be? Jesus will grant our requests if we truly believe they will come to pass.

This doesn’t mean that, if it isn’t the Lord’s will, our requests will still be granted. The Lord decides what is good and right for us. But if we are living in God’s will for our lives (obeying His commands), and if our requests are in accordance to His will, why wouldn’t He grant those things which we so desire?

The gospel of Matthew gives a clear example of faith becoming reality.

“When Jesus departed from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out and saying, ‘Son of David, have mercy on us!’ And when He had come into the house, the blind men came to him. And Jesus said to them, ‘Do you believe that I am able to do this?’ They said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord.’ Then He touched their eyes, saying, ‘According to your faith let it be to you.’ And their eyes were open” (Matthew 9:27-30a).

Because the two blind men did not doubt that the Lord could heal their eyes, Jesus granted them their sight.

Why can’t we believe that the Lord will heal us of our maladies? Lord willing, it will be, if we believe without doubting.

Amen and amen.

SCD and the Common Cold

I am shamefully aware of how neglectful of my blog I’ve been these past couple of months, what with my family’s trips to New York and Idaho. Then, on top of that, I had to get sick. Wonderful.

Praise God, I wasn’t *that* kind of sick. No, just an ugly sore throat and cold.

Sometimes it can be difficult treating colds and such when you are on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. If I catch it in time, I use various natural remedies with all legal ingredients.

However, this time, my cold/sore throat came upon me so suddenly and so powerfully that I had to seek stronger types of antibiotics. (EDIT: I meant to say medicines :-/)

Having been on the diet for almost four years, I didn’t have as many qualms about Zicam’s cold remedy spray. It’s got sugar, but since I am only using it for a couple of days, I am hardly concerned. However, for those in the beginning stages of the SCD, I would suggest you avoid all medicines that are not legal.

I admit that I don’t have nearly enough knowledge about what to use and what not to use on the SCD against the common cold. What do you do?

Idaho: A Wonder for the Palate

So, I was not as strict as I’d planned when I vacationed in northern Idaho. I did my best, and I am at such a point in the Specific Carbohydrate Diet that I can stray from its strictness from time to time without effect. However, I would not had I only been one or two years on the diet, or if I had not seen much improvement in my system.

I forgot to keep a log, I was so busy. I will just highlight my favorite meals here.

Picatta Steak from Scratch, a restaurant in Coeur D’ Alene which makes everything fresh, right there. No pre-mixed ingredients. A perfect place for someone on the SCD. This dish came with linguini, so I asked if the cook would omit it. He did, and added extra veggies to make up for it. Magnifique!

Our pastor’s son was getting married in Idaho, and he¬† and his fiancee invited my sister and me to their rehearsal dinner at West of Paris, a French restaurant. The family who runs it comes from France. I chose the roast duckling, and I was not disappointed. It was incredible. It was not completely legal, but I decided to enjoy myself and not overdo. Definitely a meal to remember.

Au revoir!

What… AGAIN?!? Drama in Denver, 7/21

We will never fly late in the day again. And we will never fly United Express again, either. Sheesh. It’s like the airplanes know we’re comin.’

“Uh-oh, Hogan’s here. Let’s not fly into JFK until tomorrow, kay?” —¬†“Ah-ha! There they come again. Let’s over-book their flight so that they’ll have to sit in a sweltering, PARKED¬†airplane for over 45 minutes.”

Yes, we sat in a parked airplane in Spokane, Washington, for over 45 minutes.

After the JFK fiasco,¬†my father¬†told us that the best time to fly was early in the morning, when there isn’t bad weather or technical difficulties. However, we had already booked our flights to Spokane, Washington, and our flight back would be in the afternoon. We prayed for the best.

We arrived at the airport several hours ahead of time, ate some snacks, and waited very patiently. The weather was clear and perfect. What a relief.

About half an hour before we were supposed to board, I overheard that the plane was running a little late, but would arrive at about 3:10 pm, the time we were *supposed* to depart. I think that was when I started getting nervous. Not again?!?

At least it came on time, for being late and all. We boarded about ten minutes later, after the crew had switched over. I opened the book I was reading and tried to distract myself (I dislike when the plane first ascends).The plane absorbed most of my concentration, though I was suffering from the overwhelming heat of the plane. Why wasn’t there any air conditioning? And they were keeping the door open. I fanned myself and kept reading.

I refocused on the airplane when I heard a lady behind me take the Lord’s name in vain. We still were sitting there on the tarmac. I looked up and heard the stewardess calling someone’s name. A guard or somebody was standing with her. A man left his seat and shuffled toward the front of the plane. TERRORISTS! I thought (irrational, yes), even as a little boy whispered to his mom, “Is that a terrorist?!”

Um, no, it wasn’t a terrorist. United Express Airlines had over-booked our flight, and the plane was waaaay too heavy. They asked a couple more people if they would mind waiting for another flight. We waited and waited and waited. I was ready to jump off myself and book a different flight, but we were anxious to just get home. So we sat back and continued to wait.

Finally we took off. I was so tense at this point that I was just waiting for the plane to crash. They took three people and three¬†little groups¬†of luggage off the plane. How much of a difference was that? I breathed when we’d reached 10,000 feet.

Our flight from Denver to San Antonio would be departing at approximately 7:15 pm. My father looked at us and prepared us for the possibility that we might miss it. When we arrived, we learned that it had left six minutes ahead of schedule. We were stranded in Denver.

My father left to book us another flight. I sat down and held back tears. I was tired, I was hungry, and I wanted to be home. My mother followed him and returned saying that United Airlines had given us food and hotel vouchers for the night. We would fly out of Denver tomorrow morning.

I almost cried, it was such a relief. We trudged down to the shuttle stops and waited for ours, Crystal Inn.

Marriott, Fairview, Comfort, Holiday, La Quinta, Ramada, Hampton. You name it. We sat there for half an hour, watching them pass by. Crystal Inn was becoming more and more like a fairytale. Did the airport hate us this much? What did we ever do to hurt them?!?

Finally someone told us that we needed to call Crystal Inn so that they’d come. Thanks, people. Couldn’t you have told us before we’d sat here for half an hour? The shuttle would arrive in approximately fifteen minutes.

Well, the shuttle DID arrive, a beacon of hope against the setting sun and the mockingly happy travellers. Our driver was swedish or norwegian, or something.

“Eet vill take us FEEFTeen MEEnutes to get to zee hotel. Zee restaurant eez o-pen from six to nine-o-cluck.”

Well, at least we were on our way. I watched Denver blur past our windows. Finally, just as the sun was disappearing, Crystal Inn appeared. My eyes bulged. “BEDS. MANY MANY BEDS. SHOWERS. FOOD. SLEEP.”

We dumped our things in our room and went instantly to the restaurant, where we ate very happily. The televisions were blaring death and destruction, both in the dining room and in the hotel room my sister and I shared. Couldn’t we have something lighthearted and funny, please? We flicked through the channels. Nope. Only the Golden Girls. I shrugged inside. Oh well. After a nice hot shower, I fell into bed.

I had nightmares the whole night of big, burly Italian hotel managers who stole credit cards. Don’t ask.

Everything went well the next morning, though we had to suffer through “Denise’s Denver Dirt” on the radio while we sat in the shuttle (Not MY dirt–someone call this woman anything other than Denise!)

The end. Let’s pray this doesn’t happen again. People do say that bad things come in three’s…