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?

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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.

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!

My Road Trip Food Log


This past weekend, my family and I journeyed up to the Houston area for a time of singing and dancing. Naturally, I planned my menu, understanding that exceptions and alterations might arise (which they did, in fact).

Saturday:

For breakfast, I ate at IHOP. They have this delicious new dish, sirloin tips (which were tossed with sauteed onions and mushrooms) and scrambled eggs. Heaven. On previous visits to IHOP, I had ascertained that  the meat was cooked in butter and that the eggs were, in fact, REAL eggs. So I didn’t even bother this time to ask. I understand that some of you may feel that you must ask every time. Whatever makes you feel the most secure is what is important.

Since I was stuffed from breakfast and the health snacks I’d brought along on the road, I skipped the lunch I had brought with me, and snacked on nuts after the dance. All the excitement of reuniting with old friends and dancing to my heart’s content left no more room for an appetite.

Sunday morning, I sweetened some homemade yogurt with honey and tossed some blackberries in to add a burst of flavor. Yum. I also consumed over half a dozen strawberries and a slice of cantaloupe. I was starving after all that exercise!

Since we were so exhausted after the long car trip and the late night, we decided to head on home after church. The lunch I had planned for Sunday was ignored, even though I was pretty hungry. I snacked on some cheese while we looked for a Whataburger.

A what? Yes, a Whataburger. Whataburger has real meat in their burgers. So I just asked for a plain, dry burger. It was the first time in over three years I’d been through a drive-through. It kinda made me giddy. Ha!

When I got home, I ate some more yogurt, since I’ve found that it soothes my stomach (and I also happen to really really like it). Just in case the trip was going to affect me in anyway, I’ve been taking it easy the past 24 hours.

So there’s a peek at what a weekend away from home is like for me. What do you do when you’re away from the home, but have to adhere to a strict diet like the SCD?

Of Food and Travel


As I’ve said before, the Specific Carbohydrate Diet has worked wonders on my system. Praise God! Knowing that I can control my symptoms with the kind of food I eat has certainly been a blessing.

However, you may be thinking, “The SCD is fine and good in the home, but what happens when I go out? Or when I travel? How can I stay on the diet when others don’t know what I can and can’t eat?”

Here are some easy tips that will make social gatherings easy and stress-free:

  1. Always go prepared. I never go anywhere without a snackbar, cheese, or other SCD-legal goodies. I eat constantly, so even on short car trips, I need something to nibble.
  2. Ask what is being served. I know this may be embarrassing sometimes, but you just need to get over that. If you are going over a friend’s house for dinner, ask what they’re cooking, what seasonings and spices they’re using, and what ingredients are in those spices. Don’t be shy about asking for details. Your health depends on a complete openness between you and the cook. The same goes for public gatherings. Either ask, or just bring something along.
  3. Save leftovers. My family’s church has a fellowship lunch every Sunday afternoon. On the preceding Friday or Saturday, I try to make sure I set aside enough food for Sunday, so I don’t have to rush to make something before church. I’ve found that leftover veggies don’t always re-heat very well, so I just toss in some frozen green beans Sunday morning.
  4. If you are dining out, emphasize to your waiter that you either must know exactly what’s in something, or that whatever you order must not be seasoned at all. I usually ask my meat to be seasoned with salt and pepper and my veggies to be steamed.

Road trips are a little more difficult, because of the need to keep things cool. I attend a church retreat six hours away in the Piney Woods of East Texas. It’s in the middle of nowhere, so I have to prepare my food ahead of time and pack an entire cooler. The food provided at the retreat is delicious, but “illegal.” Fortunately, there is a refrigerator available in which to store my food.

Plane trips are the hardest. Depending on where you live, you may not be able to take certain foodstuffs, such as homemade yogurt, along on the plane. When my family and I went up to New York last year, I was able to board the plane in San Antonio with homemade yogurt, but I wasn’t able to leave New York with it. Airports are more tolerant of storebought goods, since they are sealed and have labels and ingredient lists.

So that takes care of the plane. But what about when you get where you’re going? It depends, really, on where you go. If you’re visiting friends or family, ask them for help. My aunt bought a yogurt maker and prepared some yogurt to be ready upon my arrival. She also bought some cheese, one of my favorite snacks. After we’d arrived, we went shopping and stocked my relatives’ refrigerators with fruit and other legal foodstuffs. My extended family took very good care of me the entire time we visited.

If you’re flying somewhere new, find a hotel room with a refrigerator, at least, if not a kitchenette, depending on what you can afford.

For any road or plane trip, don’t overdo any one thing. Portioning is very important in any situation, but especially when you are away from home. I went to Idaho for a festival back in 2007 and ate nothing but fruit and steak. Needless to say, I was terribly sick after I came back home. Balancing your fruits, vegetables, and meat will keep your digestive tract in good condition.

Sometimes it will be impossible to make yogurt. For these situations, take probiotics along.

Lastly, don’t forget to drink water. As important as it is at home, to cleanse your body away from home is even more important. Your system may already be a little affected by the change in the atmosphere, your different surroundings, the difference in temperature, etc.

To summarize, be cautious. Ask questions, portion your food. But above all, relax and remember to enjoy yourself.

Do you have any travel tips for SCDieters? Feel free to comment below! I’m always open to new suggestions.

Happy travelling!