Specific Carbohydrate Diet success stories are so amazing we never get tired of hearing them. They helped me get motivated to start the diet in the beginning, and still keep me motivated today when I just don’t feel like cooking or am having a hectic night with the family.
Nancy Bradshaw actually got a hold of us because her story is so powerful that she wanted to share it. She is an inspiration and also a great example of someone who thought that the SCD Diet didn’t work for her. We are always talking about how it works for most people, as long as you tweak it to fit your body and your personal healing journey…
Nancy’s story is a great example of that, and if you read this and haven’t started the diet yet… think again about giving it a shot for 30 days… you just might end up being a success story spotlight on our website!
Nancy, thank you again, you are awesome and we wish you the best!
1: Why did you start the diet (symptoms, health problem)?
I have had Ulcerative Colitis for 28 years, diagnosed when I was 18 during an exciting, yet stressful time in university. I tried the western medical approach for 10 years and spent lots of money on pharmaceutical drugs and maybe they helped manage my symptoms a little, but I wasn’t very healthy. I wasn’t even aware of options as I didn’t talk about the colitis to anyone but doctors and my immediate family. However, I didn’t want to lose part of my colon and I didn’t like how having Ulcerative Colitis affected my life and luckily mentioned it to a few people and heard of options like a naturopath – I didn’t even know they existed. I started taking responsibility for my own health and looking at other options, and started getting much better results in 6 weeks than I did in 10 years on pharmaceuticals.
I thought the SCD diet helped, but it didn’t completely heal me so I assumed it was that the diet didn’t fully work for me (I assumed I was following it closely enough).
Two years ago, when all my naturopathic techniques didn’t work and I was really desperate during a bad flare-up, I called up Lucy from Lucy’s Kitchen who I found on the internet, she helped me figure out what I was doing wrong. (I didn’t have a yogurt maker so wasn’t making 24-hour yogurt and getting all the healthy lactose-free bacteria for my stomach, and I thought the odd small cheat wasn’t a problem – it was a big problem).
2: How did the SCD Diet change your life?
I have had some severe flare-ups (last one was 100 times/day in the washroom) and it was so scary I wondered if I’d ever get better. After 7 weeks of rigidly following the SCD diet, I was clear and my energy started to return. The best part is getting my energy back, so although the diet is some work, feeling great is the reward – and so making a few changes in my eating is nothing compared to having a fantastic life.
I can now eat anything I want and stay colitis free, however, if I do regular cleanses using the SCD diet to help prevent colitis relapses, or if I see any signs the colitis is coming back, I jump on the diet. I am not on any pharmaceuticals, so I have no side effects and can instead spend my money on vitamins and other life-enhancing routines that I do, including my kickboxing classes and personal growth/spiritual courses.
3: What was the biggest challenge you faced on the diet and how did you overcome it?
I didn’t think the diet worked for me, but when I called someone who actually had been successful with the SCD Diet, after talking to her a little bit (Lucy from Lucy’s kitchen) I found out what I had been doing wrong for 16 years – and why it didn’t work. So, researching the internet, finding someone to call, and then reaching out is what made the difference. I had to overcome my reluctance to take up someone’s time who I didn’t even know (be a bother) when I was so exhausted and a bit desperate to get my energy/life back. I got Lucy’s cookbooks and yogurt maker and felt so cared for and glad I could buy something from the person who would change my life for the better.
Also, I have a sweet tooth so just love desserts and chocolate. So my big treat each day was herbal tea with honey so I’d have that a couple of times a day. Also, once I detoxed from the sugar, I started to feel a little better. I was so tired that the time in the middle when I wasn’t getting better and couldn’t have sugary treats was hard….so I called up Lucy (from Lucy’s Kitchen) and said, “I’ve been on the diet 2 weeks and I am not better, why bother?” And she graciously said, “this works for most people, stay rigid, and it will likely work for you and it will all be worth it.” So, the hope of having energy for my life, for my daughter, and keeping my colon is what kept me on it.
4: What is the number 1 piece of advice you would give someone thinking about starting the diet?
Follow it rigidly, so you get results and make sure to make yogurt – it is easy. And Elaine does talk about taking vitamins – that is so important for building your whole system. I take more vitamins than she recommends, exercise, eat organic and free-range foods, have a deep sense of purpose in my life through being of service to our amazing planet, I take courses and get counseling to learn about how to continually grow as a person and enhance my relationships, so I have healthy loving supportive relationships in my life, and I have spiritual/meditative practices which help provide me with a sense of trust in the process of life. I love that I have the energy to be a great mom, wife and contributor in the world.
Ultimately, I do the emotional work to clear resentments and build love…..I believe my colitis is linked to how I internalize stress and my stomach/colon is my body’s signal that I can’t ignore a problem or not speak up. So, I’ve had to learn to speak up and for me, it has been important to do this in a way where I am respectful and curious towards whoever I am speaking up to. I can panic internally when something goes wrong (people would never guess this about me as I am very accomplished and seem calm/very happy), so exploring ways to help me trust in the process of life has been huge.
So, the SCD diet has been the key to my health. However, the Ulcerative Colitis has been the journey that has opened the door for me to take full responsibility for my life and well being (not hand it to the doctors), learn how to eat healthy in a way that honors our planet and animals, and it has helped me deeply listen to the sacred vehicle I was given – my body and instead see the colitis as a wake up call to adjust my life, rather than just see it as a big inconvenience.
Incredible value, thanks again Nancy!