We make it a priority to highlight SCD personalities from across the internet. We love hearing success stories and want to spread the knowledge of those brave enough to share their Specific Carbohydrate Diet stories.
This week, we are really pleased to introduce Paul from EatingSCD. His posts and blog were used by both of us, as we got started on the diet. And we consider him one of the godfathers of SCD blogging.
Paul has been doing SCD and blogging for a pretty decent amount of time, so it only makes sense that his site has accumulated a ton of very valuable posts, ranging from the newest bacterial research to great SCD recipes. One of the best recipe posts I think he has done is his SCD legal Ketchup tutorial. I really like the videos Paul does so if you like the ketchup post make sure you check out his YouTube channel. Before I give you two posts that I really love, I must highlight Paul’s great SCD resource page. There is too much to mention here, suffice to say check it out!
A post that I think is truly great is his post on handling temptation and cravings while doing the diet. He goes over a pretty great list of advice that includes many strategies that I use and a few more that I plan on trying. The first thing on my list of things to try is brushing my teeth whenever I get a craving!
Before we get to Paul’s very wise and powerful story about SCD and Crohn’s, I want to draw your attention to another one of Paul’s famous posts that I use on a weekly basis. I think his yogurt hack should be mandatory reading for anyone who is learning to make SCD yogurt, so check it out when you can.
We really want to thank Paul for taking the time to answer our questions and hope that you enjoy his responses. The wisdom he shares in questions three and four is worth reading several times to make sure you really understand his message.
1: Why did you start the diet (symptoms, health problem)?
I have Crohn’s. After an aggressive start in 1983, it slowed down. I learned to live with the cramping, urgency and diarrhea – never too far from a bathroom. I was just waiting for the next surgery. Six years before I learned about the SCD, I got married and had two kids. My main motivators for trying the SCD were my new family and avoiding the risk in taking the big drugs like Imuran and Remicade. Have you ever read the possible side effects for Imuran? They scare me more than my Crohn’s. I was also hoping the SCD would keep my kids and wife from having to endure my future surgeries and hospitalizations. I thought of it as an experiment in which I had nothing to lose and everything to gain.
2: How did the SCD Diet change your life?
When I was contemplating starting the SCD, I realized just how much anxiety I had about finding bathrooms. I couldn’t take a walk around the block with my wife without having to cut it short. I was at the mercy of my body. The SCD relieved that anxiety, and, more importantly, it gave me control. I used to be the victim of a disease, unwilling to take the risk of the drugs, but now I have a choice that empowers me and gives me peace of mind. I get to drive now, so to speak.
3: What was the biggest challenge you faced on the diet and how did you overcome it?
Oddly enough, going back on the SCD was the biggest challenge I’ve faced. Doing the diet for the first four plus years wasn’t too hard, as apparently I can do delayed gratification pretty well. After I’d felt that I was in remission for a year, I tried going off the diet and found that it wasn’t a great idea. This made me angry. It took me a while to work through it, but I finally realized why I was mad. I was really mad that I have this stupid disease and had to change my life for it. When I had gained a handle on this emotion, I was able to get back on track.
4: What is the number 1 piece of advice you would give someone thinking about starting the diet?
Have patience. I think society in general has conditioned us to think in terms of quick fixes. Quick everything, really. Fast food instead of real food, soundbites instead of real news, for instance. In essence, the idea that “there’s a pill for that” needs to be thrown out. Doing the SCD should be thought of as a project. You need patience because it will take time to achieve your goals and you will definitely screw up along the way. You’ll need to learn to listen to your body, record its reactions and realize that it will all take time. My advice is to celebrate the small victories and keep your eyes on the larger goal. It is possible for anyone to do the SCD.