March 17, 2013

If You're Struggling

Some of you out there may be sticking to a true SCD/ Paleo/GAPS diet and still not having total relief of your symptoms. There are a few foods that are allowed on these diets that some people don't seem to tolerate. Some of these I have found through my own trial and error and some have been through the advice of others.
So if you are wondering what you can do try eliminating some of these foods and see how you do!

1. Eggs

And not all eggs are created equally. Some people can tolerate baked eggs, but not eggs in any other form. I seem to tolerate a minimal amount of baked eggs, but not eggs on their own. This was one of my big mistakes when I first started SCD. I used to eat eggs on a daily basis and while my symptoms were definitely better they were still not great. Cutting out eggs has made a huge difference for me. Especially when I am running. Don't ask me why but I would get the worst stomach cramps while running while I was still eating eggs. Anyone else had this experience?

2. Dairy

Unfortunately some people's systems just are not meant to process dairy. This could be for many reasons: lactose intolerance, or reactions to whey or casein. If you are lactose intolerant there are great cheeses (at least in Canada) that are made lactose free. I have never been able to find lactose free cheese in the US so far so I'm sorry to my American readers... if anyone out there knows of a brand I would love to hear from you! Now I only recommend lactose free cheeses. Not yogurt (unless you make your own SCD legal yogurt). It seems that most lactose free yogurts on the market still contain remnants of lactose and are therefore not safe.
Two brands of cheese I have found in Canada that are lactose free are:
Both of these cheeses I buy at Planet Organic in Calgary. I have also seen these at other organic grocery stores in various places across Canada. They do occasionally go on sale so watch out for that as they can be expensive!
Now certain cheese (even with lactose) are allowed on the SCD diet. I have been too scared to try these myself knowing how I previously reacted to dairy before I went lactose free but there are a lot of people out there who can tolerate certain hard cheeses. I will send you to the Breaking the Viscous Cycle website for more information regarding this.

3. Nuts

Again not all nuts are created equally. You may be able to tolerate some nuts, in certain forms but not others. In general nut butters are the easiest to tolerate. Then nut flours. You may also be able to tolerate seeds but not nuts. This one requires a lot of trial and error unfortunately but it is worth it! One other big factor is whether the nuts are roasted or not. I know that I don't tolerate roasted nuts unless I roast them myself. I think this has something to do with the way that companies roast their nuts. But again I would try raw nuts first before progressing to roasted and see if that helps your symptoms. I would also recommend soaking your nuts before using them. There are many resources out there explaining the reasoning behind this. Here is one good source:
Bottom line is that soaking makes the nuts easier to digest. Always a good thing when you have digestive problems!

4. Caffeine

And when I say caffeine I am mainly referring to coffee. WHAT? First you tell me not to eat dairy and now you are taking my coffee away too? Yes I know. You can curse me all you want. Now some people can tolerate small amounts of coffee just fine. But if you are struggling with ongoing diarrhea I highly suggest you cut this out. Caffeine promotes gut transit time so it will only make your symptoms worse. You should still be able to tolerate tea without any troubles. Just make sure to avoid teas with "natural ingredients" on the label. As you know most of these ingredients contain soy. Evil, evil soy.

5. Fibre

What fibre isn't good for you?? Now I am not saying that. But many of the reasons that fibre is recommended is to help promote regular bowel movements. Now if you suffer from chronic diarrhea promoting the passage of intestinal contents is not what you need.
Lauren at Empowered Sustenance talks more about this in her post here:

I know that I don't tolerate fibre well. For this reason I stay away from pretty much all raw vegis and fruits (yes this is sad I know). That being said certain fruits and vegis are definitely more fibrous than others so it will take some trial and error on your part to see what you tolerate.

6. Nightshades

What is a nightshade do you ask?
Well they are potatoes, tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, eggplant, tomatillos, tamarios, pepinos, pimentos, paprika, and cayenne peppers.
Here I will post a portion of what WHFoods has to say on this topic:
"These vegetables all contain alkaloids, which can impact nerve-muscle function and digestive function in animals and humans, and may also be able to compromise joint function. Because the amount of alkaloids is very low in nightshade foods when compared with other nightshade plants, health problems from nightshade foods may only occur in individuals who are especially sensitive to these alkaloid substances. Since cooking only lowers alkaloid content of nightshade foods by about 40-50%, highly sensitive individuals may want to avoid this category of food altogether, while non-sensitive individuals may be able to eat these foods, especially in cooked form, without problem"
More information on nightshades can be found all over the web. People with various autoimmune diseases seem to be especially sensitive to these vegetables. Again, trial and error will only let you know if you are sensitive or not.

So have I overwhelmed you yet??
That seems like a lot of information I know.
The foods aren't listed in any particular order, as I think that everyone responds differently to different foods so trying to come up with a "try this first" method may not be best for everyone. That being said, cutting out eggs made a huge difference for me, and same for nuts (especially roasted). So based on my experience I might suggest starting there if you are looking for more specific advice. But the rest I will leave up to you! I would suggest eliminating each food for 2-3 weeks before making any decision about how they affect you.

Good luck! Don't get discouraged if you are struggling! You will be able to find an eating plan that works for you!

Does anyone else have any other suggestions? I would love to hear from you!!!

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