I’ve gotten that question enough times that I thought I’d save some typing and put it in a post. So here it is, my suggestion list for new SCDers:
– Read Breaking the Vicious Cycle cover to cover. Then read it again.
– Download my illegal/legal foods cheat sheet. It is a compilation of the illegals/legals lists from the BTVC book and official website, and pecanbread.com among others.
– Work your way through all the pages, posts, comments (and my replies) on this site. As of late April 2011 this blog has 12 pages, 164 posts, and 623 comments spanning three and a third years. There is a good chance someone has already asked a question you might have or a story you can relate to.
– Use the search box on the upper right corner of this blog to find things.
– See the surprisingly long list of the many names of sweeteners in this post.
– Read the Breaking the Vicious Cycle official website.
– Read the Pecanbread website. It is targeted for children on the SCD particularly for the autism spectrum.
– Join and read the BTVC_SCD group on Yahoo: http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/BTVC-SCD/
– Join and read the Pecanbread group on Yahoo: http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/pecanbread This group is targeted for children on the SCD particularly for the autism spectrum, but has much helpful info for all.
– Read every label of every food you buy, every time you buy it as ingredients can change. Almost all processed foods are illegal.
– Be aware that “plain” meats can contain illegals – read these labels too. I found out the hard way with chicken.
– Making SCD yoghurt can be tricky and it’s important to get it right. I was doing it wrong for a long time. See this post.
– If you need a little food inspiration, see my photostream. It’s the same set linked to in the sidebar on the right. Check back once in a while as I add to it or if you prefer, subscribe to the RSS feed.
– Be patient – it took a long time to get sick and you will not get completely well quickly. It is typical to feel improvements relatively quickly, however.
– Learn about the stages on Pecanbread.com and consider using them. They are not in the BTVC book as they were developed after its publishing. I believe Elaine Gottschall was involved, though she didn’t say that you had to follow the stages other than the intro diet. The stages are a good resource if you are having trouble progressing on the diet.
– Learn how to deal with cravings. If you are craving an illegal – eat something, anything legal to get you past the craving. Give this post a read.
– Keep a very detailed journal including your medications, what you eat, when you ate it, any and all symptoms and reactions, sleep, mood, eliminations, etc. This will help you track your progress. Do the Crohn’s disease activity index on a regular basis if you have Crohn’s. See this post.
– Understand that you may experience setbacks. It is not uncommon to have flares at the 3, 6, 9 and sometimes even 12 month times. Don’t let them discourage you.
– You may experience die off. Read this at pecanbread.com
– You’ll probably make mistakes. Don’t worry about this or be too hard on yourself. You’ll learn to identify them and you’ll learn from them.
– Don’t cheat with illegals – it reduces the ability of the SCD to heal your body and lengthens the time it will take.
– If you have Crohn’s, particularly at the ileum, you are likely to be B12 deficient. Read this post.
– Studies show that people with Crohn’s don’t absorb vitamin D as well as normal. Read this post.
– Keep in mind that not all SCD blogs have completely legal recipes. Be diligent and compare ingredient lists with the illegal / legal lists no matter where you are reading them.
– Subscribe to the excellent, free podcast “SCD Lifestyle” by Steve and Jordan. They are great guys that want to see you succeed on the SCD.
– If you feel you need medications, but want an alternative to the “big guns” like Remicade, Immuran or Humira, take a look into low dose Naltrexone, or LDN for short. I’ve written about it here and here.
– Go with organic/free-range/grass-fed whenever you can. The taste, quality and nutritional value are well worth the cost.
– Wondering how your doctor arrives at your treatment plan? I suspect your visits are too short to discuss standard of care so you can investigate that idea in this post.