Introducing new foods on the SCD Diet has always been an exciting, and somewhat scary, adventure into the unknown for me. During the first six months on the diet I was so afraid of going backwards that I very rarely took the initiative to try something new. I just kept eating the same boring meals over and over again and relished my new found health… turns out that gets old after a while. Since then I have experimented with adding new foods more often, like pieces of a puzzle, in order to make some really incredible SCD legal meals. But in the beginning, it was a very rocky road that took me off course in a matter of a few hours. I wanted to share my SCD secret to success and show you what I found was the best way to properly introduce new foods to make sure I know how my body feels about it.
It’s a very rewarding and gratifying experience to start adding new foods in, so I always approach it like a curious kid. This is the first time I was trying new foods with a healing digestive system… so each one was its own fun experience. First things first: I always waited until I had been feeling good for at-least 2 to 3 days before I even considered trying something new. If I wasn’t feeling good in the first place, how was I going to know if the new food I introduce was causing a new reaction? Once I looked around and decided I had a good foundation to grow off from.. it was time to try something new. My only caveat here is that rule does not apply to the intro diet. Elaine made the point to teach us that staying on the intro diet for more than 5 days is probably not a good idea. If you have been on the intro diet for five days and you are still not feeling better… you still need to transition to phase 1 because the intro diet just can’t sustain your body for long periods of time.
Once I had been feeling good for a few days the basic rule of thumb I followed for trying something new was 4 days. I would introduce one new item to my normal routine and eat it once a day for 4 days before I made an assessment about any changes to my body (unless it caused immediate diarrhea or something like that… then it’s obvious). I have found that at times I notice a negative reaction relatively quickly – within the same day. But other times it has taken up to 4 days for me to realize, by tracking my symptoms, that the new food was negatively impacting me slowly. If you introduce something new, reactions you want to be cognizant of range from brain fog, sore throat, sinus drainage, headache, and severe canker soars in the mouth, to diarrhea or constipation. You will notice symptoms like these now more than ever, because your stomach has been feeling better and you aren’t so focused on it. You will really become hypersensitive to what else is being affected in your body after you have become reliant on your foundation foods.
Last thing is Last: I can’t stress enough that when you are trying something new it is vital that the rest of your diet remains consistent with the go-to foods that you’re confident allow you to feel good. If I deviated from this and had a bad reaction, I was always in shambles trying to figure out exactly what triggered it. Each time I made this mistake it set me back in my progress on the diet substantially. The Bottom Line Is: When you no longer have any diarrhea or constipation to worry about, introduce new foods via 4-day trial periods and monitor your body’s reaction closely. (Don’t forget to record the results in a journal.)
Don’t be too afraid to move on. I hovered in a holding pattern for a long time because things were going well. That is fine for a little while, but if you’re healing well, introducing more freedom and diversity to your diet is going to further you’re healing. Plus. it’s the best part of the diet to realize that SCD legal foods really are amazing in and of themselves.
You will experience the taste of foods that you were never able to appreciate before this, and you will feel great doing
it. If you are looking for some help on what foods to introduce first the amazing folks at PecanBread.com developed the stages of the SCD diet for people to have a general guideline of what foods to introduce and in what order. We took those stages a step further and introduced the Phases of the SCD Diet starting with the intro diet and moving from phases 1 through 5 with an additional detail. Our phases identify the phenol (salicylates) levels of the foods in each phase from weakest to strongest (you may have heard of this from the Feingold diet). Phenols can cause reactions during the early period of the SCD diet before healing has started to take place. The reaction can be as small as a little constipation or diarrhea; or as large as complete brain fog and headaches. You can download our free Phasing charts in PDF format along with a free chapter of our book here: Phasing into the SCD Diet. Post it on your refrigerator and look forward to advancing to each new item, one day at a time.
What has been your experience introducing new foods? Comment below.