I first heard about the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) from a parent who’s son had been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease a few years before. She mentioned SCD in passing, but warned that the food was atypical and the diet hard to follow. I somehow found my way to the Breaking the Vicious Cycle book, read it, and was still somewhat baffled at how this diet of yogurt, almond flour, and chicken soup would help.
I tried to recreate bread and other things that my son loved, spending many hours baking only to have him reject most of what I made. We came back to it a few times, and each time what brought relief was not the baked goods, but instead it was eliminating processed sugars and other foods and sticking to the basics, like chicken soup, and cooked vegetables and fruits.
Because dietary change like SCD is so challenging, what what would have helped immensely is if the medical community had been on board when we were starting out. That support has been steadily building thanks to a changing tide and some members of the medical community responding when patients and families ask for alternatives to medication, or just more that can be done.
Dr. David Suskind, Professor of Pediatrics at UW and Seattle Children’s Hospital is one of those members I’m referring to. Since interviewing him last year, he published Nutrition in Immune Balance (NIMBAL) Therapy. The book is filled with practical advice and tips based on his experience working with patients and families following the SCD diet for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). It also contains recipes from families, as well as recipes from a professional chef.
I asked Dr. Suskind how it’s all going. He said the research is going great and his team is currently recruiting for a double blind diet control study for Crohn’s as well as a non-blinded diet study for ulcerative colitis (UC). If you’re interested, you can find more information about the study here, or call Jani Klein, a research associate in Gastroenterology, at 206-987-0055.
The team’s paper on the SCD survey was just accepted for publication (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27638834). In addition, their prospective diet control study with microbiome data is under review for publication, which he hopes to publish in the next few months, and then another one on the adequacy of SCD is in the works.
Dr. Suskind has presented the SCD study data to a variety of medical practitioners and researchers, and Seattle Children’s Hospital is now the lead science center for the national multicenter study of SCD in pediatrics, which is being funded by PCORI. This study will recruit over 120 children with active IBD and treat them with the SCD. This study is likely to begin in January of 2017.
To find more on NIMBAL and Dr. Suskind’s team, visit Nimbal.org.
Nutrition in Immune Balance (NIMBAL) Therapy
One of the tricky things about SCD is how to get started, what to eat first, how to know how far to go and when to stop, change course, or stay steady. The book outlines how to approach each step in the SCD journey, including a detailed approach in all three stages of SCD, and sample meal plans for each stage of SCD.
The three stages from the book are
- Diet introduction and anti-inflammatory stage
- Foundation and maintenance stage
- Food reintroduction stage
For example, here is a sample meal plan for day 1 of stage 1 of SCD: homemade chicken broth, homemade apple sauce, diluted SCD apple or grape juice, homemade gelatin or made from SCD-legal powdered gelatin, chicken soup, homemade chicken-vegetable patties, chicken vegetable puree, ripe brown-speckled bananas (can be cooked in butter or coconut oil).
We have a winner. Thank you to everyone who left thoughtful and touching comments.
To enter to win a copy of this new book, Nutrition in Immune Balance (NIMBAL) Therapy, leave a comment about how SCD has been going for you or someone you know. We’ll choose one lucky winner randomly and send you a copy! You don’t need to leave your full name in the comment to enter to win. The giveaway contest ends on October 22, 2016.
Homemade Chicken Broth
This recipe is from Nutrition in Immune Balance (NIMBAL) Therapy, by David L. Suskind, MD.
In making chicken broth, the backs, necks, wings, and other bony parts are very desirable, since they produce a rich, gelatinous product (and they’re cheap!). Breast pieces will yield the least flavor and nutrients.
To date there is no commercial SCD-legal chicken broth.
- 2 pounds chicken parts, bone in, skin on
- 1 onion, sliced
- 4 medium carrots, sliced
- 4 ribs of celery, sliced
- 10 sprigs of fresh herbs (one kind or a mix of dill, cilantro, parsley, thyme, etc.)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Put all of the ingredients into a large (8 to 10-quart) stockpot. Fill the pot with enough cold water to cover the ingredients by 1 inch.
- Bring to a boil, immediately reduce the heat, and skim off the grayish scum that will rise (for the first few minutes) from the surface of the water. Cover and simmer on very low heat for 2 to 3 hours, or until the vegetables and chicken are falling apart.
- Pour everything through a fine mesh strainer, being sure to catch the stock in a large bowl below it! Press on the solids to extract all the liquid. Store the broth in the refrigerator, or freeze it in individual portions.
Makes about 6 cups