• Doctor Pens SCD Book {and a giveaway}

    NIMBAL book cover
    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

    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

    1. Diet introduction and anti-inflammatory stage
    2. Foundation and maintenance stage
    3. 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).


    Book Giveaway!

    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.


    Posted in Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Interviews, Lactose-Free, Low-Sugar, Nut-Free, SCD, Soup, Tips  |  81 Comments

    81 Responses to Doctor Pens SCD Book {and a giveaway}

    1. Carolsue says:

      My adult daughter has IBD. I have never heard of SCD before, but I am definitely going to find out more about it and see if it will help her. If I win, I will send her to book to try the program out herself.

    2. Cristina says:

      I would love to have this book. I’m following the diet for almost 3 years. And would love to hear of its updates. I have UC.


    3. Natalie Bridges says:

      I wound up at SCD about five years ago after trying many other things unsuccessfully and it helped me get my life back! I’ve told many people about the book since then although it is tough to follow. I’m so excited that this way of eating has gotten traction in the medical community!

    4. Paula Kelly says:

      I had IBD issues more than 13 years ago and used SCD to get healthy. I was able to get off the diet without flares even through a divorce but recently flared up due to work stress. My doctor in Georgia was not aware of SCD and was curious how I bounced back so quickly after my colonoscopy showed 25 centimeters of moderately inflamed colon. I actually was using the maintenance level of Dellzicol immediately after and both he and his PA were amazed. For me, this diet has worked and, even when I have no active symptoms, I use a great deal of it.

    5. Victoria says:

      My life has been tremendously affected by my husbands digestive issues and multiple colon/intestinal surgeries. I’m very excited to read about this doctors attention to dietary approach. Traditionally, the medical field does not/has not addressed what we put in our bodies as much as treating with medication (which of course can have value but not by itself). Thank you for this wonderful site, Comfybelly, and this great article. I would love to win this book and would share this information with others, especially my close friend, whose young son’s life has been crippled by Crohn’s disease.

      • Erica says:

        Thank you for the kind words! And sorry to hear about your friends son.

        10/30/2016: Hi Victoria! The first person who won the book has not replied so I picked another name at random and it is you! Please message me at Erica@comfybelly.com with your mailing address so we can send you a copy of this book. Congratulations!

    6. Diane says:

      At age 60 discovered gluten sensitivity,allergy to chocolate and all tree nuts and peanuts. Gluten free diet solved immediate intestinal problems. At 80 had belly ache from ice cream – yes – lactose, also had to stop eating corn and potatoes and sugar, but honey was okay. Discovered vicious cycle and SCD diet on the web and most recently coconut flour which is a life saver for pseudo breads. Life could not be better at 85 since change in diet resulted in weight loss at 80 with no problem and feel healthier than I have in years. This week I have been sawing branches off pine trees for about an hour a day so I can get in amongst the wind break and eradicate the poison ivy which has invaded. Life is good and next door daughter regards my diet an interesting challenge. So do I.

    7. Cherie Corless says:

      My husband started the scd diet 19 Years ago it saved his life. Doctors wanted to give drugs and do surgery, he had 5 operations to remove the disease. Since starting the diet he has had no drugs or surgery and is healthy living a wonderful life.

    8. Berneda says:

      My sister and I both have IBD and this book would help her get started. I have been on and off many elimination diets through the internet (Comfy Belly has helped a lot), but having a book like this would help educating ourselves even more. Thanks in advance!

    9. Donna says:

      My son was diagnosed with UC a few years ago. At first, the simple drugs, asacol, worked well. But it’s been a few years and the flares are occurring closer together. I happened upon this diet and was able to convince him to give it a try. He was doing very well until a great deal of stress from him career put him into another flare. He went back on the steroids but hasn’t stopped the diet. He definitely feels that the gluten is not good for him nor is the refined sugar products. He works a crazy schedule so I help him out with cooking. I’ve actually found I enjoy cooking now! Because I know this is helping my son’s health.

    10. Karen R. Hand says:

      The SCD diet has literally been a life saver for me. Two ER visits and numerous doctors could not figure out the problem. With the help of a nutritionist I decided to go gluten free and then discovered the SCD diet and began following it. A close friend and my daughter began soon after as they saw the good results I was having. Hard to follow at times, but worth it and I’m thankful I’ve been able to add some foods over the years. No desire to go back to processed foods, sugar, etc, they don’t even appeal anymore although chocolate never lost its appeal!

    11. Yong Horton says:

      I found I had a lot less belly swelling, a lot less gas. I fell tremendously better overall.

    12. Your post couldn’t be more timely! My daughter (17) has been struggling for better part of two years with IBS. Trying to find a doctor/naturopath relationship has felt nearly impossible. How encouraging to know that the trend may be changing (at least in the Seattle area!) She’s been on an AIP (autoimmune paleo) diet with modifications that consider her personal food intolerances, but has not seen relief. I’d love to see what this book suggests and how it differs from our current course of treatment. Thank you so much for sharing this resource! It’s so hard to watch your child be in so much pain and sometimes it just feels hopeless.

    13. Debra says:

      I have been on SCD for 3 years now—faithfully. I was diagamosed with UC 8 years ago the diagnosis changed to Crohns. About 5 years ago i had my first round of C-Diff. 2 years later and 5 rounds of C- diff with multiple treatments of antibioitics and ultimately a fecal transplant, i was finally cured of the c-diff. However my gut was a disaster. After being on a soft diet ( including potatoes rice etc.), that a dietician recommended for me , I was in the hospital wihin 5 days of being on the diet with vommitting and diarrhea. I had inflamation from my throat mto my rectum. I knew it was the food but my doctor was skeptical. I had research SCD and decided i was goimg to try it. Critical for me was taking the diet in stages. Introductory and then stages 1-5. It was recommended to wait for imorvement in stools/bowels to advance to the next stage.– usuall about 2-3 weeks. I was on stage 1 for 6 months. But i was improving. It took me a year to get to the foods in stage 5 but it was so worth it. I now am off all my medications and have normal– close to normal stools with BM once a day or once every 2 days. I am a flight attendant and fly international and bring my cooler with my food everywhere i go. SCD has made the difference in my life and it is well worth the extra planning and preparation to have good health and to be off medication. I think this book will provide important information of the benefits of SCD from a physician perspective.

      • Erica says:

        Sorry to hear about C-Diff. Yes, FMT works well for C-Diff. Wow, you’ve ben through quite a bit of ups and downs. So good to hear and I admire your perseverance!

    14. Darci says:

      While I am not currently following the SDC diet, I sure would like more step by step information on how to get started. Sounds like this is the book for me! I am diagnosed Celiac, so I already follow a strict gluten free diet, and have recently eliminated all grains (gluten free included) because I just can’t seem to tolerate them. I would be curious to know if adding in the SDC diet would also help

    15. Aimee says:

      SCD and GAPS both made a huge difference for me over the last 3 years.

    16. Liz says:

      My 12 year old daughter was diagnosed earlier this year with CD & it has been a roller coaster ever since. We have attempted the SCD but it is hard to change ingrained habits with a child. I would love to win this book & get some updated info/recipes. Thanks

    17. Jen says:

      I have a lot of digestive issues and this resource will be beneficial to healing. I’ve done the GAPS and AIP diets and I know the SCD will continue to help.

    18. Mary says:

      My boyfriend has crohn’s and I have the ” Breaking the Vicious Cycle ” book and found it very helpful, and I think that his book would help even more!

    19. Natalie (Natasha) says:

      I was diagnosed with the ulcerative colitis when I was a kid. I recovered (or had a very long remission) for more than 30 years. When I was 50, the UC returned to me. Nothing helped. Every flare became more severe and finally I got 8 blood clots while were flaring. That time my relatives told me about SCD. I am more than 4 years on SCD and happy to have my diet and my life style. I love Comfy Belly and have all Erica Kerwien’s books. They are great. The recipes are delicious and easy to do.

    20. Pamela says:

      I have diverticulosis and last year had 3 flare-ups and also other digestive issues going on. Colorectal surgery was recommended, then put on hold due to clotting risks and my GI suggested trying the FODMAP diet, as I had multiple food allergies & sensitivities. I have been following that for about 8 months now with some success, and occasional eating small portions of higher FODMAP foods, but have not attempted the re-introduction phase yet. I have read about the CSD which seems to be along the same lines, so would love to win this book to explore this more.

    21. Sherry says:

      Thank you so much for bringing this information forward–it’s so desperately needed in the medical community. My son was diagnosed with Crohns at 16 yo. There were several years of trying to find the right medicine while being offered no information about changing his diet.I found the SCD diet early on and tried to help him get started on it. He was not so willing to go through all of the stages at that time. He’s now 24, in clinical remission, but only because he’s on 2 very strong meds. I still pray he will try the diet again.

    22. Sarah says:

      I was diagnosed with UC several years ago, your website is one of the first I came across. I found SCD through you and started it will good results. I wasn’t as strict then because I was so busy with a new job and battling being so sick that I just didn’t eat much at all. But these days it is easier and I eat paleo most of the time, which helps w inflammation. I didn’t know until recently that UC was auto immune. Doctors don’t tell you that.

    23. Ingrid Elliott says:

      My son was fortunately assigned to Dr. Suskind when the team at Children’s suspected Crohn’s at age 14, after he had lost 25% of his body weight in 3 months, and was experiencing severe abdominal pain. Dr. Suskind gave us the option of steroids (conventional treatment) or experimental dietary approaches. We tried diet — first enteral nutrition for 9 weeks which got my son close to remission (and feeling better after just 3 days) and then we transitioned to SCD. After 3 months of dietary treatment, his labs had returned to normal and he no longer experienced symptoms. Now we’re more than 2 years into SCD, he’s healthy, has been able to travel with his debate team, we’ve travelled internationally as a family, and he has stuck to the diet throughout . It’s really been a blessing to have this option. He hasn’t taken any medications at all for his Crohn’s, his labs and symptoms continue to be normal, and we’ve been able to reintroduce a lot of the foods that were initially prohibited.

    24. Darlene says:

      SCD saved me. I later discovered it was mostly sugar-free that saved me, but nonetheless, I am healthy today because of SCD. I had Acid Reflux that was debilitating to the point of not being able to eat. Today I am whole and my gut is well.

      I still try to follow SCD about 80% in our home for the well being of all! I will be forever grateful to SCD and the person who told me about it.

    25. Deidre Leonard says:

      I was diagnosed with IBS 4 years ago, and have been following SCD for the last 3. My symptoms were reduced drastically with SCD, and I know I am doing the best thing for me by continuing to follow it.

    26. Myrna Pouyatt says:

      I have been on SCD for a little over two years now and feel great. All of my colon issues haven’t gone completely away, but I am much, much better. Love your site, btw. Though I can’t do the coconut/almond flour recipes. Plus I’m allergic to eggs, so I am more limited than most. I have about 15 or 20 foods I can eat. Hey, but I am still above ground and going strong.

    27. Michelle says:

      My daughter is thirteen years old. She was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis when she was seven. We follow a diet somewhere between SCD and paleo to try to make some difference that is not the medicine choices that we are quickly burning through.

    28. Michelle says:

      I would love some straight forward recipes for healing. I try to change recipes in the cookbooks I have, but it’s getting pretty boring around here at dinner time. Thanks for the giveaway!

      • Erica says:

        There are several books and websites now that make it easier. That said, it does take time to come up with new recipes. And this book has good healing recipes. Best wishes!

    29. Kirsten says:

      My son and I have celiac and I’ve toyed with the idea of SCD for many years but we’ve never tried it. This would be a great opportunity to learn more. Thank you.

    30. Cynthia Stark says:

      My was perfectly healthy and would eat anything until his 12-month MMR. He almost died, and after that he would only drink milk and eat gluten products and cheese. He was diagnose with autism at 20 months, and went GF/CF at 22 months and would only drink soy milk and eat chips and black plums. At 30 months he went soy-free, with organic meat, and started eating a greater variety (lots of rice), but refused anything green (or any veggie) and would balk at parsley bits on his rice. At 10 1/2 he had stomach pains which made me put in the effort of doing SCD, which his doctor had been recommending for years. Much to my embarrassment, it was super easy and he took to it immediately! An amazing bonus was that after 6 months he started eating veggies voraciously. He also started growing upward instead of outward and went from obese to tall and willowy within 6 months. It was amazing.

    31. barbara says:

      My husband has Crohn’s but is not interested most days in following the SCD – which makes me sad. I’d like for him to be around for many more years and I worry that his health will slip. I’d love to have more information to help support him – and me – on this journey.

    32. tammy s says:

      I have found much relief with my UC by following the SCD diet for 2.5 years. I would love to read this book as I assume it contains much more updated information than the original “Breaking the Vicious Cycle.”

    33. Laura says:

      SCD changed my life. I had Ulcerative Colitis and followed the diet to the letter for a year and gradually introduced regular food back. I have been off for over 2 years without a flair. I leave off lactose and Im fine. SCD healed me.

    34. Jenny says:

      I started the SCD 11 years ago. The standard medications were no longer working for my UC symptoms. Sometimes I drift off the diet but I get reminded by my colon that there is a reason it works. Now I follow it religiously. Many thanks to Erica and her wonderful recipes!

    35. Amy schactman says:

      I have crohns and went off SCD last year. Bad decision. Now back on it at beginning stages and already a world of improvement. I so appreciate and value the recipe ideas and support.

    36. Laura says:

      The SCD diet has helped out my crown’s disease so much. I have been able to control symptoms by diet alone. What a blessing.

    37. Rhona Levitan says:

      Scd diet has turned my life around. My crohns symptoms have disappeared and my pain is at zero. I cannot say enough good things about the diet and although it is difficult to follow I intend to stay with it.

    38. Jenny says:

      Almost 13 years on SCD and symptom/medication-free for 12.5 years! SCD literally gave me my life back after all doctors told me that diet had nothing to do with my intestinal problems. The diet was tough in the beginning but I immediately noticed that my symptoms were improving. After 6 months, I realized I felt even better than before my illness! I was hooked from there. I’m so thankful for Elaine and also the great recipes that you and many others have made available for us. Thank you!

    39. Rebecca R. says:

      Sad I didn’t know about this giveaway…would love a copy! My 12 year old daughter was diagnosed with Crohns in June 2015. She was on prednisone for about a month, along with Pentasa and imuran (azathioprine) since. She had some symptom improvement with the meds, but nowhere near remission. Her GI agreed to let her try SCD for 4 months before moving on to Remicade. We saw immediate and continued changes from the very start of SCD mid-January 2016, and probably all bowel and digestive issues resolved in two months or less! We saw the GI 4 months into the diet…she had no active Crohns symptoms, had grown 1/2 inch and gained 6 pounds! I took her off the imuran andin August for a couple months, but we are back on it at the moment…25 mg instead of 75mg. Doc is willing to see if 50mg will be enough, but I am holding it at 25mg for now. I would like to take her off imuran and put her on LDN instead. She had things going on and off since July (NOTHING digestive at all), ending with a swollen and painful knee this month. Thendocs thought it was because she went off imuran in August and gave her prednisone and restarted the imuran. Two days later her Lyme testing that I had requested came back…positive for both acute and chronic, and positive on every band of the Western Blot! They had never seen a test with that many positives and questioned whether they could be false positives because of her autoimmune condition. I didn’t agree based on my research. She was put on 4 weeks of doxycycline and I am getting a referral for my daughter to see a pediatric rheumatologist 1 1/2 hours away…this doctor is a DO, and an integrative doctor, who has fear with Lyme before. I am hoping for a reasonable discussion there with her. I don’t know what we would have done without SCD…my daughter would have been on Remicade by now, at the very least! Thank the Lord that food can help heal! We are a family of 11, 2 adults and 9 children ages 6-18 on a $100 weekly grocery budget, so only my daughter is on SCD, and that is financial challenge enough. It has been so worth it, though!

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