Properly Introducing New Foods on SCD

“Hey guys, I’m really sick of not eating many foods. I think I’m improving but confused if I should add in more foods. I don’t want to go back to 8 diarrhea movements a day. But the diarrhea isn’t totally gone yet either. What do I do?”

The above email is probably the most common type of email we’ve received over the last four years.

The issue with introducing new foods into your diet is that everyone has an opinion on how to do it and when you listen to all of them your brain gets confused.

Which is interesting, because I think it’s a black and white problem.

In today’s information age, there’s a million experts you can read, email, listen to, and watch. And the normal human behavior is to try to understand all the angles and create the best advice for your situation…

Which typically ends up with your thoughts in a tangled mess since you’re reinventing the wheel… again.

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My suggestion is that you leave the wheel alone and follow along. Because I’m going to show you how to cut out the frustration of knowing when, or if, or how to try new foods. That way you don’t get stuck eating the same 3 meals each day afraid to move on.

Let’s start with some reasons to introduce some new foods.

How to Tell When It’s Time to Introduce More Foods

Over the last four years one of the most common questions we are asked is “When can I introduce new foods?”

And the funny thing is, if you’re at a place where you’re pondering this question… the answer is likely “Right Now.”

After talking with well over 5,000 people via email, comments, Facebook and private 1-on-1 consults, we’re evolving our point of view about introducing new food to make sure you get the best results as fast as possible.

Here’s some common signs it’s time to introduce new foods:

  • You’ve been on the intro diet for 4 days or longer
  • You’ve been on the intro diet for 4 days or longer and diarrhea isn’t completely stopped
  • You’ve been eating the same 7 foods for over a month
  • You’ve started SCD but your symptoms aren’t completely gone yet
  • You’ve started SCD and your symptoms are getting better
  • You’re wondering, “Should I introduce another food…”

As you can see, it’s usually a good idea to introduce another food regardless of what your symptoms are doing. I’ll explain more in a bit, but eating more diverse foods provides better nutrition and is good for the mind, gut flora and social life.

But Sometimes Introducing New Foods Is a Bad Idea

Now I’m contradicting myself… well not really. With everything in health, there is always a caveat.

See, there are a few times in which it’s a bad idea to push yourself and expanding your diet would be the wrong choice.

If you’re having a flare up, or your diarrhea, constipation, or other GI symptoms are still very bad, we need to step back and first make sure you’re not eating some common trigger foods that easily could be making things worse.

There are 4 very specific food groups that we’ve identified not only in the scientific research but through the 1000’s of people we’ve talked to and we’ve called them the 4 Horsemen of SCD. Eliminating these 4 trigger food groups is where you should start and see if your symptoms improve:

  • Dairy
  • Egg
  • Nuts
  • No more than 3 servings of fruit + honey a day

In other words, if your symptoms are not improving and you’re still eating the 4 Horsemen, remove those first before introducing new foods into your diet. If after removal, your symptoms are not improving then proceed to adding new foods.

The reason for this is our 1st goal for you is to get you symptom-free, and some can do this through a custom diet alone. And many will have to remove the foods above to achieve the symptom remission. But not all will see results by just doing that, so if your symptoms are not great yet and you’re not eating the above foods it’s time to move on.

The reason being is there are many other reasons why you might still be reacting to the foods you’re eating even when following the strictest diets. The three most common are GI infections, a supplementation issue, or a hormone imbalance. And until you get more testing or help in these areas it’s best that you add foods to your diet.

3 Reasons We React to Foods

Reacting to foods not only sucks but it’s confusing. It should be simpler and many have tried to make it so by using new food sensitivity testing methods. While these may help in your discovery the reality is that they are only addressing 1 of 3 reasons you may be reacting to foods.

Please know for this discussion we’re ignoring the IgE reactions, which are the anaphylactic food allergies that put people in the hospital and sometimes kill them. With this article, we’re focused on the more prevalent low-grade food reactions.

We can break them down into 3 classes of reactions. 

1. The first is IgG delayed onset food reactions. The research at this time suggests that the vast majority will notice problems by the 72-hour mark after introducing a new food. (1) So, what this suggests is that if you see no regression or bad changes in symptoms by 72-hours it’s highly likely this new food will only benefit your diet. Unless of course you react to the food and it’s not an IgG problem, which is one of the reasons why we aren’t fans of IgG food sensitivity testing…

2. The second type of reaction is an absorption issue in the intestines. The FODMAP diet research clearly shows there is a sliding scale of absorption ability among humans for carbohydrates. Basically you might be able to tolerate 15g of but not 16g of a certain type of carbohydrate. And different types of carbohydrates can interact with each other causing better or worse absorption. So, if you have a lower tolerance of absorption or eat too many similar foods that stack up and cause worse absorption you can suffer GI issues and other food reaction symptoms. (2,3)

3. The third factor is a gut microbiota issue. We are learning that the bacteria in our GI tract feed on our food selectivity multiply to the supply of the food source. (4,5,6) This means that as you eat more of a certain type of food your gut microbiota change almost instantly. And if you overload them before they can change you could cause symptoms. Also, there may be a gut flora type issue where the species in your gut are off balance making you more sensitive to certain types of foods such as in histamine intolerance. (7) In both cases, you could get a food reaction when the gut bugs that help us digest things are overwhelmed or off balance.

To recap, you could react to foods in 3 ways:

  • A true IgG triggered delayed onset immune reaction or inflammation reaction
  • An absorption issue due to the types of combinations of foods you’re eating
  • Eating too much of a food before your gut flora are ready to support you in digesting it

And the tough part about it is that the symptoms of each reaction can feel the same. It makes it tough to pinpoint the exact problem you’re having. And simply getting an IgG test will tell you nothing about if you’re suffering from a tolerance issue both in ability to digest or microbiota problem. I talked more about IgG testing in this video here.

3-Day Rule for Introducing New Foods

Now it’s time to cover the most fool-proof way to introduce new foods. This is backed both by science and real world testing with 5,000+ people who’ve communicated with us.

Previously, you might have heard us call this the 4-day rule. This is the same idea, but we’re improving it based on the science covered above and the actual results of people of all conditions who use our material.

The old way was to begin a new food every 4 days, which isn’t a bad thing it’s just more conservative than it needed to be.

The elephant in the room in healthcare is that almost everything is a test. For the most part every therapy is still trial and error, which is why I think this is a black and white problem. The only choice of certainty we have is to test it.

Then, see what happens and test again.

And with this mindset you can remove judgment and separate yourself from any negative reactions to foods you might have. Remember having a more diverse diet helps with better nutrition, better gut flora, easier social life, and generally higher sense of well-being. Here’s how to test the 3 reactions I explained above and mitigate major setbacks.

Day 1 – Introduce the new food at 1/2 cup serving for one meal

Day 2 – Eat the new food for at least 2 meals 1/2 cup each time

Day 3 – Eat the new food at least 1 1/2 cups, but no more than 2 cups this day

If by the end of Day 3 you’ve noticed no reactions it’s time on Day 4 to introduce another food.

By doing it this way, you will test all three potential reactions described above. Remember, the 4 day rule isn’t broken… it’s just more conservative.

Tell me about your experience trying new foods in the comments below. I’d love to hear what you’re frustrated with or still don’t understand about this common problem.


Steven Wright

About Steven Wright

Steve Wright is a health engineer and author. In 2009, he reached a breaking point when IBS took over his life and the doctors didn't know how to help. Since then, he has transformed his health and started to help others naturally heal stomach problems. You can check out his story here and find him on Google+, Facebook or Twitter.

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43 thoughts on “Properly Introducing New Foods on SCD

  1. Avatar
    Florian Bous says:


    I hope you guys can help me out, because I’m kind of at a loss for ideas right now…

    I’m on day 26 of the SCD and it has been really tough for me.
    I have a leaky gut and been tested on these IgG things in November last year with way too mamy positive results (55 of 270 tested foods).

    Now in the beginning of SCD I really struggled with constipation and then upcoming diarrhea after 3-4 days of no BM.
    Then started the heartburn issue, which I never had before starting the SCD, so I am now supplementing with digestive enzymes and HCL, after testing it.

    I have three questions for you and hope you can help me out:
    1. Regarding the HCL and digestive enzymes, when do you take which? So many contradicting infos on the web,, whether to take the enzymes first and the HCL 30-45mins after eating, because they would otherwise destroy the enzymes. Another website saidthe, exact opposite… what’s your take on this?

    2. I just don’t find the right dosage of HCL, or to put it another way: when do I have to feel the warmth or burning in my stomach after taking HCL in terms of time? I often start feeling something 1-3 hours after eating. So is this a sign that it was too much or too few HCL?

    3. Pretty much the same question for testing new foods. For example I tried a little bit of cheese yesterday evening and this morning again and now more than 5 hours after eating it I got a heartburn. Is that because of the food? Because after 5h I suppose the cheese has long left my stomach and yesterday evening I felt fine afterwards… so when do these reactions have to occur in terms of time after eating something to put the food into correlation with the reaction?

    A last question that just came to my mind:
    Is it normal that now on SCD I do not tolerate so many foods any longer that I could eat 26 days ago without causing problems like heartburn, nausea, etc.?

    I am really frustrated at the moment and considering whether to go on with this or not, since it feels like getting worse than before…

    • Avatar

      HI! You can take the HCl a few minutes before the meal to prime the stomach and the enzymes with the fist bite of food.

      As far as finding your dose – you can also look at how things such as bowel habits and heartburn have changed. Your more likely to feel the warmth less than an hour after you take it (3 is a bit too long).

      Reactions can take place up to 3 days….so you can assume that the cheese isn’t working for you right now.

      When we find those that have a ton of food intolerances and feel like they can’t eat a whole lot with out getting sick…there is likely something else going on. We’d suggest some stool testing to detect possible gut infections or adrenal/hormone testing. We quite a bit of information on stool testing (I dont’ want to overwhelm you here). Just let me know when you’re ready (if you’d like it) and you can email us at

  2. Avatar

    Hi. We are just on the intro phase and having to incorporate some of the stage one easily digested foods with my kids ages 2 and 3. Everything is super low calorie besides meat and I was wondering when is the right time to introduce oils ? In the past we can’t seem to find any that are tolerable.

    • Avatar

      Hi Amy – oil and fat in general can be hard on an already impaired digestive tract so take it real slow. You can try avocado oil as opposed to coconut oil, which is largely saturated (but healthy) fat. Start with a teaspoon and if the kids react poorly, it’s probably a bit soon. You can test that out now:)

  3. Avatar

    Hello. Diagnosed with UC 2014. Well controlled with Pentasa until about 6 months ago. Bad flair in July that was treated successfully with Prednisone. While on prednisone, started SCD – about 85% faithful. As soon as tapered to Pred 5 mg, all symptoms came back. Started SCD diet again in earnest 2 weeks ago with VSL#s and just began another round of prednisone and hydrocortisone enema. Some reduction in bowel movements (from 9 to 5) and much less bloody, but still all diarrhea. Losing a lot of weight on the diet (was following mild case) and was eating mostly eggs, chicken, pork chops and butternut squash. Not sure if diet will work for me and can’t figure out what to eat. Added avocado/cheddar cheese/pure fruit juice for weight gain and explosive diarrhea. Since all bowel movements are diarrhea (just decreasing blood) not sure if diet is helping, hurting or what in the world to eat besides meat and chicken. I rarely had meat/pork chops/ground beef before. Please help. Doctor is talking more potent drugs, but only had UC for 3 years and was very very well controlled for 2 and 1/2. Never had stool sample, just colonoscopies and some blood tests.

  4. Avatar

    Great article as many others from your site:-))
    I’ve been on SIBO diet for 3 weeks, introduced herbal antimicrobials and took them for 10 days so far and discovered it helps with parasites I had no clue I had
    How am I to know when to introduce new food when I only suffered from constipation? I be been doing daily coffee enema for over two months and have no idea whether the constipation is gone and I have never had other symptoms or discomfort
    My problem was mainly lichen sclerosis and sub clinical hypothyroidism…. would you be able to advice?

    • Avatar

      Hi Moni ( I replied earlier but not sure it went through…) Anyway, your still going to introduce foods as you would according to the article. You’ll just be looking for other cahnges such as fatigue, head aches, full ears, runny nose, etc.

  5. Avatar


    I want to start this diet but I’m a little confused. After I do the intro diet and start to add foods, do I add them one at a time instead of a whole food group at once? Like with squash, do I eat acorn squash for 4 days, then stop eating that and go to buttercup and only eat the buttercup for 4 days or would I eat both of the squashes, etc? I think that is what the phasing charts indicate but wasn’t sure.

    I have severe thumb tendonitis (De Quervain’s) in my right hand/wrist that is getting worse, I refuse to get cortisone shot. I have been taking everything that I can think of to help the tendonitis but nothing has helped. I think I have Leaky Gut which is causing the tendonitis, I am severely gluten intolerant indicated by the Alcat food test. I’m on high dose magnesium as I read tendonitis and Leaky Gut can be deficiency symptoms, but I have been taking high amount of magnesium since last April and it’s not helping relieve the pain and inflammation from the tendonitis. I have been gluten/dairy free for 5 weeks but don’t feel better from that. I need a miracle and hoping this diet will be it.

  6. Avatar


    I’ve just started the SCD diet, just the first day of the Intro phase. I’m a bit worried because according to your phasing chart in the phase 1 I should start with different varieties of squash. But at this time of the year in the country where I live I can’t find them. What should I do? Can I start with the next vegetable, that is spinach?

    I really appreciate any help you can provide.

  7. Avatar

    Hi guys,

    Firstly thanks for all the support over the years, you have made such a difference to my life but I have had a relapse after pregnancy and I have had to start the diet again.
    I am following your tough case meal plans and I can’t remember when I can start to try to introduce nuts, eggs, dairy into my diet as these are a staple for me. If I recall it was about 6 months into the diet but I can’t seem to find any information in the material I have purchased from you to back that up.

    Thanks again.

    Kind regards,

    • Avatar

      Hi Katie – the tough case meal plans do not contain nuts, dairy or eggs. If you feel you are ready to introduce them, you can move to the mild case meal plans and introduce them one at a time. WE suggest starting with nut butters and milks and in very small amounts. Hope that helps! If you’d like to check out the mild case plans, you can go here:

  8. Avatar

    In the book, there are lime and lemon, grapefruit, grapes and other watery fruits listed under “peeled and well cooked”. I am wondering how a lime for example should be treated? Do we squeeze the water out and cook it? I am a bit confused about that xD

    Do we also use 1/2 cup for day one, 1 cup for day 2 and 1,5 cups of lime for day 3?

    Thank you!

    • Avatar

      Hi Mary-

      For lemons and limes, you can just try introducing the juice (unless you eat the flesh). Just about any fruit can be cooked as you would applesauce.

      For the serving size, you don’t need to eat an entire cup (that is a lot of lime!) – just have 1/2 of a SERVING the first day, 1 serving the 2nd, etc. A serving size is the amount you would typically eat of that food at a meal.

      Hope this helps!

  9. Avatar

    Question: does this 4 day rule of intro of new foods mean legal scd food or illegal as well? I was wondering how to slowly reintroduce tjings like rice pasta or rice. Thank you.

    • Avatar

      HI Dasharian, great question. We’d recommend sticking with the 3 day rule across the board when introducing anything new – legal or illegal. And it’s best to introduce illegal foods after you’ve done some healing so you can actually decipher between a food reaction and just regular symptoms.

  10. Avatar

    When is it best to reintroduce grains and which grains are best to start with? My mom and I started this diet and she is starting to feel better, but her dietition is adamant that she have grains in her diet and wants to know when we plan to reintroduce them. Also, what is the best way to reintroduce grains? I read somewhere to either ferment or sprout them, but my mom wants to know if she can just boil them.

  11. Avatar

    My daughter is a newly diagnosed coeliac. She presented with severe anaemia but no GI symptoms. Her anaemia is now corrected and since her biopsy, she has been gluten-free. My concern is that since being gluten free, she has been gaining almost a kilo per week, (despite not over-eating) and is now overweight. I am at a loss about what to do so I thought a SCD diet might help. My question is – since she has no GI symptoms such as diarrhoea and cramping, is it really necessary for her to do the intro phase and gradually work through the other phases, or can she just eat all the legal foods and eliminate the illegal ones? Although she has no intestinal symptoms, she has developed a flushed face, which varies in severity over the course of any given day. Could this flushing be food related? In terms of blood tests, her red and white blood count are now great, thyroid is normal, hormone levels normal (no polycystic ovaries); however, her liver function results are slightly abnormal and she has impaired fasting blood glucose. (She is due to do an oral glucose tolerance test later this week). To me, the weight gain, flushed face, abnormal LFTs and impaired FBG indicate that her body is struggling to maintain homeostasis. What plan of attack would you recommend?

    • Avatar

      Hi Wendy – we’re sorry to hear what your daughter has been going through with her health.

      We always recommend following the Intro Diet and phases of the diet for SCD – if you just skip straight to eating SCD-legal foods, your daughter won’t know what she is reacting to and it can impair her healing.

      You can learn how to get started here:

  12. Avatar

    Hi, im getting ready to start introducing new foods (only on day 2!) and I wondered if say for example I add in the butternut squash and I have no symptoms, and then go on to test a second vegetable, do I just eat the second new vegetable on its own, or could be eaten at the same meal as the butternut squash? I.e: are you just meant to eat one vegetable/fruit for 3 days and then only eat a new one for the following 3 days or can they be combined?

    Thank you for your help so far!

    Kelly, Rossendale, Lancashire, England

    • Avatar

      Hi Kelly – thanks for reaching out!

      Once you have successfully re-introduced a food you can continue eating it while you introduce other new foods.

      For example, if you reintroduce butternut squash over three days and are successful, you can then progress to applesauce and have both butternut squash and applesauce (plus any other foods you’ve reintroduced and are eating).

      Hope this helps! You can email us too –

  13. Avatar
    Elizabeth schommer says:

    Hi. I am one of those people u talk about who r afraid to add new foods because I have done so well on the 30 day cooked meals. I crave my smoothie but am afraid at the same time. I had a horrible flare last Saturday after I misunderstood n took a spoonful of living kraut for 2 days to help with some constipation. UGH. I know I must move on. It’s been over 30 days n almost that on all the supplements. Would you start with cooking the fruits I would later b putting in my smoothie. ? Or do I try eggs first? Etc etc. thanks for any guidance. A blessed Lent.

    • Avatar

      Hi Elizabeth 🙂

      Adding new foods is scary, but it is empowering!

      We do recommending starting with eggs on SLG. You can start with just the yolk.

      If you haven’t been eating raw food, you can try some raw fruit in a smoothie too. Make sure you don’t eat too much at once (too big of a smoothie) – think about if you would eat that amount if it wasn’t blended into a smoothie as you prepare it.

      It is so important to have that variety in your diet. You can do this!! We are here for you.

  14. Avatar

    When I saw your post, I had to ask if you have ever considered a whole-house water softener + chlorine filter? For nearly 20 years, I tried everything for eczema including multiple rounds of prednisone. Then I came across a discussion in a chat room about the impact of hard water and the loads of chlorine many municipalities use nowadays to “purify” the water supply. I was desperate enough to have my water tested (awful) and invest in a softener and carbon filter (for chlorine). That was 11 years, and I have been almost eczema free the entire time. The only flares happen when the salt runs low or occasionally when I travel away from home. Unfortunately, soft water didn’t protect me from UC. I was just diagnosed and am testing natural remedies like the low fodmap diet– as well as following doctor’s orders and taking my Lialda faithfully. Good luck. People who don’t have eczema could never understand how awful it can be:-((

  15. Avatar

    Hello, Thank you for the article. A little history. I have had Chronic Fatigue & Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS) for over 20 years. Little by little, I changed my diet until finally in past couple of years started GAPS which was not helping by itself, but trying to add foods back in is disasterous, so eventually found a combo of GAPS & Low FODMAP diet to be more helpful. The biggest improvement with grain free has been no more acne–hurray!–enough of an improvement to convince me we’re on the right track. I have struggled on & off regardless of my diet with eczema. Elimination of corn before starting either extreme diet, seemed to make it disappear for several months, but then it eventually came back. The good news is that it seems easier to figure out the trigger, but then again triggers seem to change & it’s very frustrating. Even probiotic food will cause a flare, which is super frustrating because they are supposed to be good for you. *IF ANYONE HAS ANY INSIGHT INTO WHY THIS WOULD BE HAPPENING I’D LOVE TO HEAR IT.* I have never been able to kick the fatigue, and like the eczema, some GI symptoms seemed to have improved slightly with initial diets, but now I’m struggling again, never diarrhea, but always painful gas & constipation–this has not changed with the diet for several years starting with my two previous pregnancies & have resorted to almost daily enemas which also are seeming to lose their effectiveness. It does not help that I am newly pregnant which the hormone imbalance you mention of above may speak to. The nutritionist I recently consulted tells me my diet is sufficient for pregnancy, but eggs are a major source of protein since I don’t tolerate any kind of meat from 4 legged animals or chicken & I’m suspecting some fish, which leaves me with turkey, salmon & tuna. I only tolerate macademia nuts & in the last few months have been able to add back in pecans, but since doing the GAPS Intro have not been able to tolerate any other nuts. I react with a “crash” when trying carrots & other “safe” GAPS/FODMAP veggies, so I’m down to green beans, romain lettuce, cucumbers, zucchini, spaghetti & butternut squash, sometimes pumpkin. I know going too long on the FOD-MAP diet without introducing new foods is not good, and you say if there is no symptom relief to first get off of eggs & nuts (already dairy free & minimal fruit). Does that include coconut? My BIG QUESTION IS: *How long do you eliminate the “4 Horsemen” so that you know whether they are causing symptoms? Another question? Given that I’m pregnant, would you still recommend eliminating the 4H-man or skipping to trying to add in new foods as outlined above?

    • Avatar

      Hi Alisa – I’m so sorry to hear you’ve been struggling.

      We aren’t surprised to hear fermented foods cause problems for you. This is really common when people have very damaged guts – fermented foods are POWERFUl. We don’t recommend them until at last 30 days into the diet, and even then only in very small amounts.

      Because you’re pregnant, everything is more complicated – you have to make sure you’re getting enough food to sustain your pregnancy. We recommend you run EVERYTHING by your doctor or practitioner.

      In genreal, we recommend going through the entire reintroduction (all the phases) without the four horsemen before reintroducing them – that way you have a really solid base of meat, fruits (but not too much!), and veggies before you add back the nuts, eggs, dairy, etc.

      Remember this – it is the most important rule of Steve and Jordan’s version of SCD – no food is healthy/ good for you – if it causes a reaction FOR YOU – i.e. kombucha might be awesome for 98% of the population, but if it gives you a rash and makes you feel bad, it isn’t a healthy food for you right now! You have to customize the diet to work for you, which it sounds like you’re already doing 🙂

      Hope this helps – if you need more support, email us at

  16. Avatar

    Morning! I have had UC for 25 years and was treated with an array of drugs including Steroids and immunosuppressants but was still flaring 4 to 5 times a year, lost my sense of smell taste and had permanent sinusitis, my skin started coming out in small purple spots, what a mess! I had a God incident! Then soon realised that diet was key to fixing my health. I came across your website, bought Breaking the Vicious Cycle and signed up for SCD lifestyle, have had 2 wonderful years with no symptoms and no drugs, taste and smell back after 4 months, sinusitis gone. In the last year I have managed to reintroduce cows milk, brown rice and Ombar chocolate which has palm sugar, none of which have given me a problem. 4 weeks ago I introduced bread just once a week and infuriatingly I have had a flare! so I have just gone back to the intro diet again and will start from scratch. Would appreciate any comments on this.
    I live in the UK and have been so thankful I came across SCD lifestyle I spread the word all the time. A massive thank you for all the time consuming hard work you have all been doing.

    • Avatar

      Christine – thank you SO much for commenting! Congratulations on all your success 🙂 It makes all of us here at SCD Lifestyle ecstatic to hear from people like you!

      We’re really sorry you’ve had a flare since trying to reintroduce bread, but unfortunately we aren’t surprised. While we think it is a great idea to reintroduce safe starches like white rice and potatoes, we never advise reintroducing wheat or other grains, as they are inherently harmful to the gut.

      You’ve done the right thing by going back to the intro diet until your flare calms down, but you then can likely go back to eating all the foods you had successfully reintroduced before (you don’t need to go back through all the phases again).

      I hope this information helps and you’re feeling back to your normal self soon! If you need more support you can contact us anytime at

  17. Avatar

    Hi all,

    I have been on the intro diet for 5 days and still have diarrhea. My BM frequency is down to 3-4 per day, and blood is very infrequent, so that is good. After reading Jordan stating in one blog that he had diarrhea for 7 days I’m not freaking out yet, but since the grape juice went right through me the first day, I cut that out and the only sugar I have been having is from the carrot puree. Even though I still have diarrhea, I added pureed pears today to get some sugar into me and to add variety to all the meat.

    I have a few questions:

    Do I need to introduce the intro/phase 1 meats once every 4 days like the rest of the phase 1 foods, or do I just assume they will all ‘work’? Should I wait to intro new veggies/fruits until all meats have been introduced?

    Since I still have diarrhea, how will I evaluate if I am having a reaction to veggies/fruit or the new meat since the intro diet is all beef patties, chicken soup, and pureed carrots?

    Any help would be much appreciated. Your knowledge and assistance through this blog and your books have been a life-saver guys (and all others commenting :)). Thanks so much.


  18. Avatar
    Tansy McLean says:

    Firstly – love your website would be lost without it. Please help…I start phase 1 tomorrow. Bit confused about when to I introduce my blanched almond milk yogurt I made. I saw it on the list for phase one but in your notes on yogurt you say only much later? Please can you give me some clarity.

  19. Avatar

    First of all, thanks Steven for this great article and all the super helpful info and tips you and Jordan provide on your site!

    I haven’t been officially diagnosed but everything seems to point to me suffering from fructose malabsorption, splenic flexure syndrome (pain under left ribcage from gas getting trapped in the colon’s bend), and candida and bacterial overgrowth (which are most likely the reason for the first two). I released 3 adult roundworms last month which I suspect were the culprits for the severe inflammation/abdominal pain I’d been experiencing since December. Since then I can feel that my gut is finally beginning to heal but I must now address the bacterial and yeast overgrowth issues, enters the SCD diet.

    I’m now on Day 15 and it’s been very tough going, partly due to the fact that I’ve been vegetarian for 18 years. Sure didn’t take long for me to realize that there’s no way I could do this if I didn’t introduce some animal protein back into my diet. And so I’m now having eggs, wild salmon and chicken. Because it’s been so long since I’ve eaten meat I can only tolerate very small amounts at a time (1/4 c.) or else I get a protein headache. Thankfully I’m ok with eggs which have been a life saver; so I have 2 or 3/day.

    The other major challenge is that because of the FM I haven’t been having any fruits and I’m reacting to all of the veggies in the Intro and Phase 1 except spinach. I’ve been eating carrots and squashes anyways but in very small amounts at a time in order to minimize gas. It’s been tough keeping hunger at bay and having enough energy to even function due to my very small food intake.

    Anyhoo, I guess I have two main concerns/questions that I was hoping you could help me with:

    1- Because of the small amount of the allowed veggies I can have in one sitting I can’t follow exactly the 3 day introduction protocol that you suggest. I do end up having close to 1 1/2 cups of one veggie divided throughout the day, so I suppose that still works. They of course can’t be considered really ‘safe’, though, (even in small amounts I do get some gas) so I’m concerned that by eating them I’m still feeding bacteria and therefore can’t be making any real progress.

    2- Since a lot of the veggies so far are high in FODMAPS/fructose I’m wondering if I could move along more quickly and skip to the safer/low FODMAPS veggies even though according to the Food Intro Chart I should be having them much later. I’d also like to introduce nut milks as they would certainly help in satiating me, provided I can tolerate them. By moving along the Food Intro Chart faster would that compromise the effectiveness of the SCD diet?

    Oh and I actually have one more… I’ve been having a BM only every 2 or 3 days since I’ve started the diet. I remember reading somewhere that you guys recommended adding more fat when constipated. Would introducing coconut and olive oils now be alright?

    Thanks for taking the time to respond; any suggestion as to how best to process would be greatly appreciated!

    Warm blessings,

    • Steven Wright

      Hi Carmella – Any time someone is transitioning back to eating meat they are going to have a 8-12 week adjustment period. During this time and maybe longer it’s wise to test using digestive enzymes and HCL if needed. I’d start there, and yes you need to go at least every other day. So start with the supplements and add a lot more fat. Regarding what to introduce you can pull up any food you think you should try.

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    Great, well-referenced article! Really explains the trick of paying attention to your body and checking in to interpret the signs, because it’s not necessarily all or nothing with all foods, and things keep changing over time. I’m going to bookmark this one. Thank you!

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    Your article on when and how to introduce new foods into the diet is an extremely timely one. My daughter has recently started to reintroduce foods into her diet, and like your posting, the results have not been easy to interpret. Before I explain her experience, I did have some questions for you regarding your article. They are:

    • First, when you reference a ½ cup serving, I assume you mean that a serving size is one cup (like for pasta). So, may I assume that if you are introducing other foods, for example, that you should introduce a ½ serving on the first day, vs. a ½ cup of that particular food item.
    • Second, even if you are okay after eating a new food for 3 days, I don’t think that guarantees that the new food is okay. I think that it is possible that one could be sensitive to a new food at a higher threshold level (like 3 servings of gluten a day), but be okay with a lower level of intake. To that end, I was wondering if your recommendations are to just eat the new food normally if you are okay at the 3-day mark.

    As for my daughter’s experience, she recently went on a baseline elimination diet by cutting out gluten, dairy, soy, tree and peanuts. Because of certain logistics, she’s actually been on this baseline for about 6 weeks. She’s been sensitive to eggs, so she’s already been off that for several months. She recently introduced gluten by eating 1 cup of pasta the 1st day, 2 small muffins and 1 cup of pasta on days 2 and 3. On the evening of the 3rd night, she had some queasiness, some mild/moderate waves of nausea and some sharp pains in the abdominal area. At 3 AM this morning, she woke up with major waves of nausea, continued sharp pains and some diarrhea. She has done a couple of mini trials of removing and adding gluten, but they were not totally scientific trials, and the results were mixed (not totally positive or negative).

    So, while it could be that she is sensitive to gluten, I was thinking that it could be the 2nd issue you discussed in your article in that one can tolerate low levels of a substance, but not higher quantities. However, if she just has had a delayed reaction, and it is not due to the amount of a food one eats, we wouldn’t really know that either. One way of testing that might be to eat a ½ or 1 serving of gluten, and then wait up to 3 days to test for a reaction before immediately eating on successive days.

    Alternatively, her reaction could be due to the fact that we ramped up too quickly on the gluten. I realize she did 1 serving on day 1, and then 2.5 servings on days 2 and 3. So, if her GI bacteria where overwhelmed via too much gluten too fast, then it might be that she is not sensitive to gluten at all! If that is the case, then she might be able to tolerate the slower ramp-up schedule that you proposed in your article. (I should have mentioned that she had previously had a celiac blood test, and the results were negative).

    Just before she did the gluten challenge, she added in soy – in a similar ramp-up fashion. We do think she might have a soy sensitivity since she felt extremely tired while on soy. And, on the third day, when she consumed a lot of soy sauce, she ended up with the similar waves of nausea, stomach pains and more severe diarrhea. Of course, it could be the amount of soy sauce consumed in one serving (1/4 cup per her dietician’s suggestion), or the fact that the soy sauce is from a fermented product vs. soy milk.

    So, with the results so far, she has had a positive (i.e. bad) reaction when she reintroduced both soy (which she subsequently discontinued) and gluten (in which she also stopped on the 3rd day). It could be that she is in fact sensitive to both of these substances. But, I’m wondering if it could be that 1) we just introduced them too fast or 2) she is just sensitive to them at higher amounts. So, I’d appreciate any advice you may have to help differentiate the above. I would think such possible tests might be to 1) introduce foods at your suggested pace, or even slower or 2) introduce a food on day 1, and then have 1-2 rest days, just to make sure there are no delayed reactions before proceeding.

    Finally, her reactions may not be due to food allergies at all. Several months ago, she had been diagnosed with potential leaky gut, after having an abnormally low, total Intestinal SIgA value of 28 mg/gm (where 400-880 mg/gm would be normal) from Diagnos-Techs, Inc. According to the naturopath who recommended the stool test, she said that with her leaky gut (that the test results implied), it wouldn’t matter what food she eliminated and re-introduced. With a leaky gut, she said that all foods would be getting through the intestinal wall, thereby causing reactions. So, it could be that the health of her intestines is causing these issues, rather than intolerances to specific foods.

    If the above is true, then we’re wondering whether we should be focusing on healing my daughter’s leaky gut (via diet and supplements?) before trying any elimination and challenge trial.

    Any advice you have on 1) the reintroduction of foods or 2) how best to test and/or treat leaky gut would be very much appreciated.


    • Steven Wright

      Hey Scotty – Yes you are correct I meant 1 serving size so on Day 1 do 1/2 of the normal serving size for that food group. And I’m not sure I understand question 2 as anyone can develop a food reaction to something they are eating if their health is sliding or their gut is too leaky. But after day 3 of no negative changes are observed with the new food just work the new food into the diet rotation as your taste buds ask for it.

      This post DOESN’T Apply to Gluten and wheat introduction at all. Science has shown that in those who are sensitive to gluten and other problematic proteins from grains that even if you don’t manifest high level symptoms there are increases in inflammation at the mucosa level of the SI. So unless you’ve totally ruled out ALL low level sensitivity via cyrex testing with your daughter this test will not accurately work for her. This post should only be applied to meats, fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes and dairy.

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    Just wanted to say thank you for the wonderful information you provide. I have a son who has Eosinophilic Esophagitis and a bleeding ulcer. Best advice we got from doctors and nurses and even a dietician, after a 4 day hospital stay,were to avoid things you are allergic to and tomato, and acid foods like oranges and orange juice. This advice obviously does not help. We now have the “motivation” to follow the SCD/elimination diet and am finally hopeful that we can fix this beautiful child. Thank you once again.

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