Travel, Curious Peoples, and Whatnot


Good afternoon!

*ponders* Hmmm… my title was rather random, but I shall try to compose this post in a not-so-random way.

First things first. You’d probably think I was crazy if I told you that I plan to travel again in 4 days to a place 2,000 miles away, on the SCD, right after my trip to New York.

Well, I am. Travelling, that is. I am travelling again. Being crazy is a matter of opinion.

I shall once again keep a food log for you. This trip I plan to refrain from anything that is not on my diet, except for some gluten-free pretzels I will be taking on the airplane as a precaution. No more wheat pretzels, thank you very much! I did not get sick last time, but I’d rather not take the chance again.

Now, onto my next topic. Curious peoples.

Whether it is about the Specific Carbohydrate Diet or about the reason I am on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, I am asked questions, without fail. When I first discovered that I had a gastrointestinal issue, I didn’t want to talk about it at all, but that’s all my mother wanted to talk about. To me, and to other people. I got used to it over time, and so did my closer friends. But new acquaintances and new friends understandably want to know.

I learned to minimize my answers as much as possible. One thing that has continually concerned me is that I would sound like some sort of invalid. My mother gave me a great starting point, which could even possibly stall further questions. “I am on this special diet for my health.”

Some people will leave it at that. Others will press. Still, I try to make my answers simple. “I have Crohn’s. It is a gastrointestinal disorder I control with diet.” Most people won’t ask for more detail than that.

In addition to answering their questions, I make sure to tell them how healthy I am. Not to sound vain, or anything, but to impress upon them that I am not abnormal. I just have a small problem that I can control. Everyone has problems, just not always the stomach kind.

Friends have been greatly surprised when I show up and play freeze tag only days after an episode. “I pictured her in a wheelchair, or something!” This only reinforces my claim that I am a healthy, able person.

How do you answer curious peoples?

Recipe Ruination


Yes, you read that right. My recipe remedy for this week bombed miserably.

Lesson #1: Never experiment when you are tired.

Lesson #2: Never measure vinegar *over* the other ingredients.

What was supposed to be deviled eggs turned into a rather doubtful honey mustard salad dressing. Thanks to my mother for whipping my disaster into something which just might be edible. 😉

Perhaps this post will still inspire SCDieters to experiment in their own kitchens. Here are the ingredients which I used and/or was supposed to use for my deviled eggs:

  • egg yolks
  • SCD-legal mayonnaise
  • SCD-legal dry mustard
  • white vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • paprika

Experiment, if you dare! 😀

TTFN! (Ta Ta For Now!)

SCD Success, 1900 Miles From Home


As I promised, I kept a faithful log of what I ate on my trip to New York, except for the last unexpected couple of days, because I was so out of it (read about that fiasco here). I was able to remain almost 100% SCD-legal. I say almost because I did indulge in an occasional treat that was not on my diet. Wrong, yes. I will dispense with the excuses which are rising to my lips.

*Beginners, take heed: Since I am so far into the diet, these minor “cheats” didn’t affect me. However, for those just starting the diet or who haven’t been on the diet very long, I would advise you not to cheat at all.*

6/15: I never did make the cookies I’d planned to bring on the airplane. I brought a jar of yogurt, storebought applesauce cups, some Larabars and other packaged treats. I got through security at the airport with no problems. Thank God! I ate my yogurt just before boarding, so that I could take my medications. On the plane, I experienced some severe motion sickness, most likely because I hadn’t eaten enough beforehand (after all, we’d only left the house at 4:30 am). I was forced to eat some pretzels, the only thing I knew which would settle my stomach. I didn’t even touch my other snacks, I felt so terrible. The thought of fruity foods made my stomach even worse. Perhaps if I’d brought the cookies, I could have avoided the pretzels.

When we arrived in New York, I was woozy from hunger, and still a little nauseous. My grandmother took us out to Red Lobster, which I felt was perfect for my first night away from home. Fish would be easy on the digestive tract. I did eat some of my snacks later on.

6/16: My mom’s sister had made yogurt for me, but it wasn’t ready to eat yet, so for breakfast on Wednesday morning, I nibbled on some cheese and some of my snacks. For lunch, we went to a diner in my grandmother’s village. I ordered “Texas Chicken.” Ha! I went all the way to New York to have Texas chicken. 😉 It was grilled chicken smothered with melted cheddar cheese and crisp bacon. Delicious, and filling. For dinner, we went to my aunt’s house, where she served fresh cod (which my uncle had caught). I brought the yogurt that my aunt had made back to my grandmother’s house and ate some before bed.

6/17: Thursday morning I ate my yogurt sweetened with pure local honey. I also had some yogurt at lunchtime. In between I ate my snacks. We went to my dad’s sister’s house, and I had some fruit and cheese. For dinner, all of us Hogans (except my dad’s parents, who we’d see at the surprise party on Saturday), went to Oysterman’s. That restaurant has to be about the best restaurant I have ever been to. They had a gluten-free menu. I ordered almond-crusted salmon with spinach. Heavenly. I stuffed my face. The waitress also brought me some gluten-free muffins. I think they were corn muffins, and I knew they wouldn’t be legal on my diet, but I indulged.

On the way home, I felt strange. I’d been stuffing my face ever since we arrived in New York, and every night I was so full I’d get nauseous at bedtime. But this was a little different. I was experiencing some mild pain. Praying it would go away, I was glad I’d brought some prednisone and planned to take it if the pain persisted. By the time I reached my grandmother’s house, the pain had ceased, but I was still extremely uncomfortable. I told my parents that I thought it would be best not to go out for dinner again tomorrow with the Hogans. I told them that it was not necessarily the food I was eating, but the amount I was eating. I was in party mode, and I needed to stay away from any place that might tempt me to overstuff myself. I planned to starve myself on Friday. Well, not actually starve. I was just going to eat enough to keep my stomach from growling, and no more.

6/18: Friday morning I felt fine, though not very hungry. I ate some yogurt and applesauce before we went on the excursion planned for that day with some of my mom’s family. I stayed away from my snacks all morning. At lunchtime, we went to a diner, which I hadn’t really wanted to do, but I simply ordered three eggs–no bacon or anything. In the afternoon, I ate some snacks, and for dinner I ate eggs again. I went to bed that night with a satisfied stomach.

6/19: Saturday morning I ate some applesauce and a couple of my snacks (I think I’d run out of yogurt). We set off for my grandfather’s surprise party. He will be turning 85 in July. At the party, I tried clams for the first time. Wow. I hadn’t known what I was missing. However, I did not over-do. I knew there’d be more food coming. I did indulge in a few devilled eggs. They didn’t have legal mayonnaise, but I couldn’t help myself. Later came scallops and shrimp wrapped in bacon. Oh boy. My mouth is watering just thinking about them. For dinner, one of the caterers took me aside and asked me just what I could and couldn’t have. He even gave me a choice of meat! He made me grilled chicken and veggies, completely SCD-legal. I ate a Larabar for dessert, but couldn’t resist one bakery cookie.

After the party, we went out with my cousin, her husband, and their baby son out on their boat. We motored to a dockside cafe. By that time, I was hungry again, so I ordered some scallops with tomatoes. Before bed I ate a few more snacks. The entire day I made sure I wasn’t stuffing myself.

6/20: I ate yogurt for breakfast Sunday morning. After church, I ate a Larabar, followed by a small piece of salt bagel. I know–another cheat. *hangs head*

We went to my dad’s parents for the father’s day meal. No one was much interested in eating, after the feast yesterday. My dad’s mom gave me control of the salmon she had bought me. I also had some applesauce, fruit, and some of my Lettuce-free “salad.” I didn’t list what I had for dinner Sunday night, or if I ate dinner at all.

6/21: For breakfast Monday morning, I again ate yogurt. We again went to my grandparent’s house, where I ate some of my snacks, some cheese, a couple of slices of homemade roast beef, fruit, and my salad. I ate homemade chicken and green beans for dinner.

6/22: For breakfast on Tuesday, I ate–you guessed it–yogurt. We went to see some old friends where we used to live. I succumbed to the pretzels they set before us. There were also blackberries and strawberries, which I ate in abundance. Later on, we had dinner with some more friends. I ate some cheese, grilled chicken, green beans, and drank an SCD-legal soda. I had some of my snacks before bedtime.

6/23: On Wednesday morning, I mixed my yogurt with some berries. I also had some eggs and a piece of crisp bacon. On our way back to our relatives, we stopped for lunch at our former pastor’s home. There, I ate some roast beef, carrots, and cauliflower, all made to my specifications. The pastor’s wife also made us some strawberries sweetened with honey. We dranked sparkling apple cider. We went to Outback Steakhouse for dinner with dad’s side of the family. I ordered some grilled shrimp as an appetizer and some chicken with cheese, bacon, and sauteed mushrooms.

6/24: On Thursday, I ate some eggs and fruit for breakfast. We met my mom’s side of the family at a diner for lunch, where I ate some more eggs with sirloin tips and sauteed onions. I ate snacks the rest of the day, waiting for an airplane that never came.

6/25: Friday I ate some yogurt and eggs, some snacks in the afternoon, and some chicken with cauliflower for dinner. Because I was having such a difficult time resisting sweets, my mom let me pick out a gluten-free cookie at the health food store.

6/26: On Saturday morning, I again ate some yogurt, before heading back to the airport. I ate my snacks on the plane, though I did find that I needed the pretzels to calm my nausea. When we returned home, I ate some chicken, then finished the day with a humongous bowl of yogurt.

And there you are. My SCD journey in New York. Not perfect, but better than it might have been if I hadn’t had my parents to rein me in when I was about to quit the diet completely. New York has amazing bakeries, amazing deli’s, and amazing pizza. No wonder I was struggling the whole time! Praise God I got through without falling for the pizza.

😀

I hope that by sharing my food log, I have inspired you to look at your future travels as something that is possible and that can even be enjoyable in the food realm.

Stranded in New York: The 48-Hour Nightmare


Travelling by plane has never been a major problem with us. Fairly smooth flying, no delays, no emergency landings, etc. Thank God. So when we arrived at JFK International Airport last Thursday afternoon, I was happily dreaming that in just a few short hours, I’d be home in my beloved Texas.

We found our gate and settled in for a 2-hour wait. About an hour before we were to depart, I took a motion sickness pill. I probably should’ve cut that pill in half… I’ll explain later.

Mere minutes before we were supposed to board, someone announced over the loud speakers that our flight would be delayed until 6:30 pm, as our plane hadn’t arrived yet. Weather conditions were unstable. Great. Another two hours. We were mildly distressed, but settled into our seats as comfortably as we could. Barely half an hour passed before the screen at our gate was showing that departure time had been bumped to 7:30. 7:30?!? That meant we wouldn’t reach San Antonio until almost midnight. A long line began to form at the desk. My mom and I jumped on it and stood there over half an hour before we could gain any information.

The news wasn’t good. A young man a couple of people ahead of us spread the word that we would be able to fly out of JFK, but we wouldn’t be able to leave Memphis until 9:18 the next morning. We would have to sleep in the airport all night. This wasn’t good, since I wouldn’t be able to get any SCD-legal food for hours. 

By the time it was our turn at the desk, a 9:18 am departure from Memphis had been switched to a 1:44 pm departure. Now my dad was really panicking. I’d be almost 24 hours without legal foods, and the snacks I’d packed were halfway gone, because I’d gotten so hungry waiting. Dad was instructed to seek information at Gate 11, waaaay down the corridor. He and Mom rushed over there before a line formed while my sister and I guarded the bags.

They were gone almost an hour. Erica (my sister) and I were getting fidgety. Plus, the automatic updates for our flight hadn’t come over the loudspeakers in almost 45 minutes. It was 6:45. I began to worry that our gate had been switched. I walked across the corridor to the view screens which list the departing flights. Sure enough, our flight had been switched. I knew we would have to board soon, so I struck out to find my parents. I found Dad, and he told me we’d be staying at my aunt’s house until Saturday morning.

What a relief. I felt like crying. I wouldn’t have to worry about where I was going to get food. In God’s sovereignty, there was a health food store in the very village my aunt lived, and even more wonderful was the fact that I’d given my aunt my extra yogurt instead of trying to get it through security.

The motion sickness pill kicked in soon after we returned to my aunt’s house. I was exhausted and fell asleep watching tv. All the next day, I felt woozy when I stood and walked around. It’s an awful feeling. On top of that, I couldn’t stop thinking about how I should be on my way home. The whole day Friday I felt like I was travelling… only I wasn’t.

Finally, Saturday morning we were off. I didn’t take the motion sickness pill. We reached Atlanta ahead of schedule and got to our gate. On this connecting flight, our seats were scattered all over the place, so Dad went to negotiate. What he discovered instead was that our gate had been changed–to one allll the way across the terminal. We trudged across, Dad got our tickets, and we finally boarded for our last flight home. We arrived home at approximately 12:30 pm, almost 48 hours since the whole thing began.

The end.

Home in San Antone


I’m baaaaaaack!!!

After nine days in New York, and then a 48 hour nightmare driving back and forth from the airport (I will elaborate in another post), my family and I are safely back home, enjoying sweet relaxation.

As I promised, I kept a faithful log of what I ate on this trip, and I will share my journey soon. We had a wonderful time, seeing relatives and old friends and driving around the island, the first home I ever knew.

*yawns* Oh my. Look at the time. G’night, and stay tuned for my New York story!

Airplanes, Food, and the SCD


If you’ve been wondering why I haven’t presented any recipes to y’all lately, it’s because my family and I are preparing for a nine-day trip to New York, to see our extended family.

And we’re going by plane. Ugh.

If that isn’t bad enough, airplanes don’t like the SCD. No, they like to offer pretzels and junk-filled peanuts and Biscotti (*YUM*– 😦 ).  So, I have to bring my own food in order to survive.

About two weeks ahead of time, my mom and I discussed the possibilities. Our first decision was concerning Larabars, which are SCD-legal and oh-so-yummy. They are also filling, which is important when I am taking a long trip.

I also plan to bring some storebought applesauce that I have thoroughly investigated and found SCD-legal. Applesauce is a major staple in my every day life, and the cups are small, so there should be no problem getting them on the plane.

I also decided on some cheesesticks, which we’ve found at our local health food store.

I will prepare a small jar of homemade yogurt, already sweetened with honey (and maybe some berries) to take along.

Lastly, I plan on baking a batch of cookies, so that I don’t pig out on the Larabars right away.

Everything will be stored in a small cooler, which we will substitute for one of our carry-ons.

The last time I travelled with food, I put it through the X-ray machine (ew, but it had to be done). When leaving Texas, a lady called me over and examined my food, making sure things were sealed and questioning me a bit about my homemade yogurt. She let me through after that with no issues. However, when returning from New York, they wouldn’t let me take it. I am still going to try and take it to and from this time around, and if they don’t let me take it on the airplane, I will just eat it right then and there! So there! To put it in my mother’s words, “She’s not going to blow up.”

When I get to New York, my aunt will already have my yogurt ready. We also ordered some snack foods to be sent ahead of us, so everything will be available upon my arrival. We may still have to go shopping, but for little things.

I plan on keeping a food log of my stay in New York, in the hopes that it will inspire y’all for future plane trips. I know how hard it is to go different places on the SCD, but I’m here to show you that it can be done, and safely!

Happy travelling!

A Yummy Alternative


Good evening!

Tonight, my mom decided not to make dinner. On such occasions, we pull anything we want out of the refrigerator–usually fruits, veggies, cheese, and the like–and eat with a minor amount of clean-up to see to afterwards.

I was in the mood for my “salad” when dinnertime came around tonight. My salad is lettuceless, because I cannot tolerate large amounts of fiber. And lettuce is very fibrous. Perhaps some of you who have gastrointestinal disorders also cannot tolerate much fiber. I know I can’t because I have a particularly severe case of Crohn’s Disease.

My salad consists of chopped tomatoes and cucumbers, grated cheddar cheese and bacon bits. Simple and easy, and so flavorful! I know most people like their salad with dressing, but please try my salad just the way it is! You’d be surprised at how tasty it is.

Giving Thanks… In Everything


“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.

Is that verse up there saying what I think it’s saying?

Yes. I kid you not. I quoted that verse word for word. I even emphasized that one certain phrase in every way possible so that y’all are sure to see it.

I’ll quote it again for good measure.

In everything give thanks.

What does that mean? Does it mean we should be thankful for all the good things God has given us, every gift Christ has bestowed on us through His precious blood? Well, yes, of course it means those things.

Does it mean being thankful for the whole earth, all the resources available to us, all our family, friends, etc? Again, yes.

Does it mean being thankful in the midst of dealing with a gastrointestinal disease? Cancer? Death?

Yes.

I don’t say that flippantly. I am scared of these things. While life has its blessings, life is also a tragedy, stained by sin. Just as there are good things in our lives, there are bad things that disrupt our lives and, sometimes, alter our lives forever.

Our natural instinct is to loath these things, to ask God why He ordained such things to happen to His children. To rebel against them with all our being.

In everything give thanks.

That means just what it says–everything. Although I suffer from a gastrointestinal disorder–which I would give anything to be rid of–I give thanks, because I know the Lord is challenging me, as a Father to His child. He is asking me a question. Do I trust Him with my life? Or do I lean on my own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6)? Do I depend on my finite knowledge or His infinite knowledge?

God is challenging me for a reason. I may not know what that reason is, but praise God that He sees in me something worth challenging!

Amen.

Recipe Remedies: Blackberry Thumbprint Cookies


Good afternoon!

My family is having some friends over for dinner tonight, and I decided to make some cookies for dessert. I’d been thinking about thumbprint cookies for some time and finally tried them out with SCD restrictions.

Thumbprint Cookies

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup fruit preserves, any flavor

Now, at first glance, this might not seem like much of a remedy. Replace the sugar with honey and the flour with coconut flour. However, coconut flour is drier than regular wheat flours. I discovered, with my first attempt at thumbprint cookies, that you can’t just substitute the same amounts for all-purpose.

So, I started with one cup, stirring it in gradually. After that, I used 1/4 cup measures. I only used slightly over one cup, instead of the 1 3/4 cup the recipe calls for.

As for the preserves, I substituted crushed blackberries, blended with unflavored gelatin and honey.

Blackberry Thumbprint Cookies

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 egg yolks
  • approx. 1 cup coconut flour

Filling:

  • 1/2 cup blackberries, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
  • honey, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together butter, honey, and egg yolks. Mix in flour a little bit at a time until soft dough forms. Roll dough into 1 inch balls. If dough is too soft, refrigerate 15-20 minutes. Place balls 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Use your finger or an instrument of similar size to make a well in the center of each cookie.
  3. Bake 8-10 minutes in preheated oven, until golden-brown on bottom. Remove from baking sheet to cool on wire racks.
  4. While cookies are cooling, crush blackberries in a food processor, until smooth. Add two teaspoons of unflavored gelatin and honey, to taste. When cookies are cooled, place on a plate and fill with blackberry mixture. Chill for one hour, or until ready to serve.

Bon Appetit!

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(I entered this recipe in Sugar Free Sunday, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday 6/1/10, Real Food Wednesday 6/2/10, and Gluten-Free Wednesdays 6/2/10)