I wanted to put together a list of the top 5 most common mistakes that I see throughout the SCD community when people are transitioning into the SCD Lifestyle. If you can avoid these 5 things, you are well on your way to success and proper gut healing.
#1: Skipping the Intro Diet – Are you kidding me? The intro diet is the foundation of the SCD diet and Elaine laid out all the science in BTVC as to why you need to do it.
Believe me, I know it sucks but it starts you on the correct path to healing. People that do not do the intro diet or do it half committed will not start the healing process as efficiently as possible and will take longer to advance through the diet. Don’t be lazy and think long term… you can survive a few days of the intro diet in the large scope of your entire life.
#2: Not Waiting 4 Days After Introducing a New Item – Giving in to impatience in this aspect of the diet will drive you nuts. I personally still react to some foods and it can take up to 4 days for me to realize that I am feeling a bit off from them. You absolutely have to wait 4 days to fully gauge the impact on your body of each new item. If you’re following this method emphatically it is very easy to identify that a negative change has taken place after a new food is introduced. That goes for anything new, like foods, supplements, medicine, toothpaste, oils, and cooking methods. Remember, think long-term investment and enjoy feeling good… why rush it and mess that up?
#3: Introducing New Foods Too Fast – Again, patience is a virtue on this diet. It will take you down the path to healing faster than any other tip or trick I can give you. You need to grow through this diet slowly and take it a day at a time. I know that foods get old and there are days when you dream of some diversity, but those days are ahead and eventually get here. Until then, pace yourself and flow through the Phases of the SCD diet methodically. You can build a very diverse and delicious toolkit of foods over time that will keep you happy and healthy in the SCD Lifestyle for a long time. Just keep that in mind when you’re first starting out… its going to be a while.
#4: Not Digging into Hidden Ingredients – This will really throw you for a loop, if you’re not paying attention. Remember that being SCD legal applies to everything going into your body. That includes all the extra fillers in your pills, your toothpaste, the spices you’re putting on your foods, gum, and pre-made foods. Be very meticulous and call the companies if you have to. I like to have my prescriptions sent to a compounding pharmacy called Hopewell Pharmacy that will custom make my pills SCD Legal. I also stay away from pre-made foods like applesauce because they also contain hidden ingredients from the manufacturing process required to preserve the taste and freshness. Some spices have starches and preservatives in them to maintain freshness and prevent the flakes from sticking together. Be vigilant! Even most cans of Tuna contain an illegal broth, even though they say Tuna in water! When in doubt, pass on it… or call the company.
#5: Cheating – Elaine laid it out in her book… you must have fanatical adherence to the SCD diet for it to be successful. There is no reason to cheat and ruin all the hard work that you have put forth to start the road to healing. A trick I like to use is every day I write the number of days I have been living the SCD Lifestyle on the back of my hand. When I am feeling weak, I glance down at that number and realize how far I have come. It really curbs cravings and ensures I won’t give up all the healing that has already taken place. It is not worth it… trust me! You may get some short term pleasure while you’re eating some chocolate, but you will pay for it later when you don’t feel good and your healing is reversed. Be fully committed to the SCD Lifestyle and you will never regret it.