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 pleased to spotlight Arden D. who runs a blog called Ardeneats. Her blog is an amazing resource for How-to cooking videos and offers many life lessons that are hard earned on SCD. I’ve watched and used many of her videos and I think you should check them out too.
Before we get to her story I want to highlight two of my favorite posts that I think are of extremely high value for all SCD’ers. The first is a post about mistakes and lessons learned on the diet. I think she makes a great analogy and this is a good lesson for everyone to keep in mind:
“4) Going off the diet too early because I was “better.” I started adding in “illegal” food as soon as I thought I could handle it. Because I had been so sick for so long, it didn’t take a ton of improvement for me to call it success. If only I had comprehended just how far I had yet to go, and how much set back this behavior caused me, then I would not have strayed. If an injured player is put back on the field before the injury is healed, then the likelihood of that player incurring further injury that could end his/her playing career forever is high. Why risk it for one game or one season when I have my WHOLE LIFE ahead of me? Is it more important to live and live well, or to eat a particular food for 30 seconds in my mouth?”
Her tips on traveling SCD style are great from this post. A couple ideas I hadn’t thought of that she points out are:
“6) If you are flying, investigate whether shipping will be cheaper than checking frozen food sealed in Styrofoam.”
“11) If you stay at a bed and breakfast, call in advance to ask if you might have access to the kitchen to do some minor cooking yourself.”
We had the opportunity to ask her a few questions about her success on the diet. She has a great story and I think she tells it best, so make sure to read on and don’t forget to check out her blog!
1: Why did you start the diet (symptoms, health problem)?
I first started SCDiet in 1999 on the advice of my doctor. He thought it was most probable that I suffered from celiac or some kind of negative reaction to grains in general. He felt the best way to test out the theory that grains were hurting me was to remove them all from my diet and see if I felt better. My whole life changed when I took grains, starches, and all processed foods out of my diet. SCDiet provided me with the basic framework to figure out which foods I can tolerate the best. I had tried many other diets in the past, all of which had been unsuccessful. This diet was really the first key that unlocked the door to health on my journey of recovery from digestive illness.
2: How did the SCD Diet change your life?
I have no doubt that SCDiet has saved my life. I suffered from severe and mysterious wasting. I am 5’6″ and my lowest body weight was 83 pounds. I had tried any number of conventional or traditional methods of gaining weight and addressing malnourishment. None of us could understand why a calorie wasn’t a calorie for me, and everyone watching me eat couldn’t understand why I was so thin. Once I truly adjusted my way of thinking to embrace SCDiet as a behavioral lifestyle, I ended up feeding myself more than my microbial overgrowths by choosing the best foods for me personally. As my microbial numbers have realigned to a more desirable population, my vitality has increased. I am getting nourished now and attaining levels of health and well-being I had never known to be possible before. A calorie resembles a calorie again for me, and I am overcoming long-term deficiency diseases that were secondary issues from malabsorption and microbial imbalances. I am beginning to know health and what it’s like to feel good after a lifetime of illness!
3: What was the biggest challenge you faced on the diet and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge that I faced on SCDiet was learning how to cook. I really had little to no idea about what to do in a kitchen. I called family and friends and asked them to teach me something by demonstration. I got a lot of cookbooks. I made a lot of terrible food as part of my learning process. I had to adjust my way of thinking about how I was going to obtain food. I loved to eat out. I loved to have others do all the hard stuff and to enjoy the pleasures of just eating without knowing. I had to make the decision that I was going to know what everything is that goes into my mouth and where it came from and how it was raised. This meant research, which is time and energy invested. The one thing I thought I never wanted to do with my life, cook, became the one thing that would save my life. So, I cook to live, and by doing so I get to choose what to do with the rest of my healthy life!
4: What is the number 1 piece of advice you would give someone thinking about starting the diet?
The SCDiet isn’t just about WHAT you eat, the legal foods, but also about HOW you prepare food. The introductory diet isn’t just about eating chicken, rather it is about eating the chicken soup prepared in a particular way to maximize absorption and ease tummy woes. The reasons to eat foods well cooked, peeled and deseeded at the beginning are to reduce the threat of unwanted microbes while the body is weak, reduce spasms, inflammation, and other illness related symptoms, give the digestive system a break from hard to digest foods, eliminate parts of foods that can get lodged in sore spots in the gut, and to generally relieve the assault your body has undergone.