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!

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!)

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!

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.

Substitutions


Hello, all!

I hope your week has been successful in the culinary realm. So far, I’ve not had one opportunity to experiment in the kitchen, but I have done a lot of thinking. So rest assured; I will have a recipe for you by the end of the week!

My topic for today is substitutions. Being on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, it’s sometimes hard to substitute certain ingredients.

For instance, what do you do when you want to make beef stew? We always used to put potatoes in our stew, but since they aren’t allowed on the diet, we usually just leave them out. However, recently I was experimenting on a recipe brainstorm for my cookbook and discovered that mushrooms make a hearty substitute in stews. Hoorah!

Another one of my favorite substitutes has been spaghetti squash. I use it in place of rice and–you guessed it–spaghetti. Italian meals aren’t the same without some sort of pasta, but spaghetti squash looks like the real thing and almost tastes like the real thing with lots of sauce, butter and salt. I even eat it plain. It’s soooo good.

What different substitutions have you discovered over the years?

LARABAR, anyone? Oooh, Yes…


My week was booked with homework and housework, so I am sorry to say that I do not have a recipe for y’all. While this makes me sad, I am taking this opportunity to rave about one of my store-bought, SCD-legal snack foods.

I discovered Larabars when I was in town, having nothing to eat and feeling pretty desperate. Home was 45 minutes away, so I couldn’t go and come back very easily. I was hesitant to try one, since I’d tried one once and hadn’t particularly liked it. But in the end, I just grabbed a Larabar Apple Pie and headed for the cash register. I was HUNGRY.

Well, it was just about the best thing I’d ever tasted. And it tasted *just* like apple pie. And it was made with all natural ingredients (NO gluten, NO sugar, NO soy, NO dairy, NO grains–just fruit, spices, and nuts). And I wanted *more*. 

Right now, I am content to stick with Apple Pie, but I’m starting to drool over some of those other flavors; Key Lime Pie and Ginger Snap, to be exact.

In Texas, Sunharvest and HEB carry them. Beyond Texas, I wouldn’t know, but I think you’d probably be safe to start searching in your local health food store… and then also, they’re on the internet.

If you decide to try them, I would urge you not to just take my word for it, but read each ingredient carefully and compare it to the dos and don’ts of the SCD. This snackbar is not allowed for beginners, but it’s something to look forward to, isn’t it?

Bon Appetit! 😉

(I entered this post in Slightly Indulgent Tuesday 5/18/10)

Tuning In


Our bodies can tell us a lot about what we are eating. When I first began the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, I just ate what I was told and avoided what was “illegal.” This was exactly what I should have done, of course. However, with gastrointestinal disorders, sensitivities to certain foods can vary drastically from person to person. One person may be able to eat such and such, while another person can’t.

I began to discover this fairly early on in my SCD journey. One thing I knew bothered me (but was allowed on the SCD) was pork. I couldn’t eat it without getting nauseous before, during, and after. Yes, I said before. The mere thought of eating pork sent my tummy into turmoil. I knew it wouldn’t be wise to eat it, so I stopped.

As I learned to tune in to my tummy more and more, I began to realize that it wasn’t only what I ate that might bother me, but the amount of food I was eating. For instance, I know I can eat seven strawberries in one sitting. However, if I go beyond seven, I know I may be in for some discomfort later on. The seeds in strawberries will begin to bother me if I go above this amount.

As I continued to learn about my gut, I further realized that my body could tell me when eating certain things wouldn’t be a good idea at the time. Foods I love can become detrimental if my gut is not 100% ready for it. I will actually get nauseous at the thought of favorite foods if I have overindulged in another area. An example would be beef. I love beef, but since it is harder to digest, I eat it occasionally. If I’ve had beef recently (as in the last few days), my stomach will tighten and feel heavy, like it does after I’ve eaten beef. I’m smiling now, because even simply writing this is giving me these sensations (I had beef only a few days ago).

So, as you can see, learning to listen to your body is extremely important. Just eating what you are supposed to might not be the wisest course. Examining what you are eating and knowing how each food affects you is taking one giant step toward taking better care of your gut. It might mean narrowing down your choices for a while. Note that I said “a while.” Never give up hope that you’ll be able to try certain foods again, provided they are SCD legal.

A suggestion would be to make a food log for a few weeks of everything you eat and any symptoms/sensitivites you experience.

Tune in and eat wisely!

Recipe Remedies: Blackberry Jam


Last weekend, my family and I hosted a couple of our friends from northern Texas. They love to cook and introduced us to homemade strawberry jam! Unfortunately, it had fruit pectin in it, which is illegal on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.

Still, I fixed this recipe with very few modifications. I figured that unflavored gelatin could easily take the place of fruit pectin, and I was right. As it happened, the gelatin package had a “slushy fruit cup” recipe on it, so I combined the two to make homemade blackberry jam! (I didn’t have enough strawberries on hand)

The Original Recipes

Blackberry Jam

  • 5 cups crushed berries
  • 7 cups sugar
  • 1 1.75 oz package fruit pectin

Slushy Fruit Cups

  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 (6 0z) can frozen lemonade concentrate
  • 1 (20 0z) can crushed unsweetened pineapple
  • 2 bananas, thinly sliced
  • 1 (10 0z) package frozen strawberries, thawed

Well. I didn’t have strawberries, bananas, or pineapple, so of course I left those out. And I didn’t have nearly enough blackberries to make a large batch, so I used just 1 cup of blackberries in place of the five cups listed above. I substituted the 1/2 cup sugar in the slushy recipe for 1/4 cup honey, and I omitted the lemon concentrate.

Feel free to adjust the honey to your particular taste. I don’t like a strong taste of honey, so the 1/4 cup was just enough to sweeten the berries, but no more.

Blackberry Jam

  • I envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup blackberries, crushed

Instructions

  1. In large saucepan, stir together gelatin, water, and honey. Heat over low heat until gelatin dissolves, about 5-6 minutes. Add crush blackberries, stir until well-blended. Pour into mason jar and refrigerate.

Enjoy!

  • Like “Recipe Remedies”? Don’t miss a single one! Subscribe for e-mail or RSS updates, and feel free to comment below to tell me what you think. Your feedback is much appreciated. Happy cooking, everyone!

(I entered this recipe in Slightly Indulgent Tuesday 5/11/10, Real Food Wednesday 5/12/10, and Gluten-Free Wednesdays 5/12/10)

Diet Experiment: A Lesson in Moderation


After four years on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, I understand how tiresome the same foods can become (I wrote on this topic here). I also know how difficult it is to make yourself try new foods. I for one have always been overly cautious when I try something new (that is SCD legal, of course). Sometimes I just refuse to try it at all. 

This week I tried peanuts for the second time since I started the SCD. I’d noticed a couple years ago that, whenever I made peanut butter cookies, I got nauseous and uncomfortable after I ate. So I swore off anything with peanuts. In the last couple of weeks, I decided to try them again. I ate them every day for about a week (the time period recommended in Elaine Gottschall’s book Breaking the Viscous Cycle).

At first, I seemed fine, so I increased the amount I ate. After a few days, however, I started to feel queasy and got a few minor twinges. I realized that I could eat peanuts, but only in moderation.

Moderation has always been a major part of my life since I began this diet, but sometimes I just feel like forgetting the whole thing and eating as much as I please. This is something that we all should guard ourselves against, because it could be detrimental, not just to our gut but to our weight and general health. A balanced, portioned diet can make all the difference.

Well, that’s all I have to say about that subject! It’s a lesson I’m continuing to learn every day.

P.S. My Recipe Remedy is still in progress. I should be able to post it by tonight or tomorrow, so stay tuned!

Pickiness Doesn’t Pay


If you are a picky eater, you know what it’s like to have to go on a restrictive diet. So many options that would be available on that restrictive diet aren’t because you “don’t like it.” I am (or rather, was) one of the worst picky eaters. Most of the time, I’d say that I didn’t like a particular food simply because I’d never tried it. Shame on me!

After months of eating the same old things over and over and over again, I realized that I had to get over this pickiness, or I’d die of boredom on the SCD.

Little things, like putting fruit in my yogurt (which I’d never before found appealing) and trying shrimp scampi, have made a world of difference. I actually found a recipe for asparagus (I despise asparagus) that I might actually try! Once I got over my pickiness, the diet became ten times more delicious. 

So, my advice to you picky eaters is this: STOP IT! (To quote Bob Newhart)

😀