I am going to follow the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) for four weeks to fundraise for the Optimum Health Clinic clinical trials.
I am privileged to have the rewarding job, as a Nutritional Therapist, of supporting and guiding the wonderful patients at the OHC in their journey to recovery. Many of these patients knock on our door after much frustration, not being understood and feeling like they have come to a dead end with available resources in conventional medicine. I do sometimes hear stories of GP’s who are incredibly supportive to their patients and are equally frustrated at the lack of shared knowledge, expertise and programs available to them – it is not that they don’t want to help, but that they often can’t. To run our clinic of course costs money and treatment is paid for by the patient, this is particularly difficult when one is bed bound or doesn’t have the energy to work. It is heart wrenching sometimes when potential patients can’t join us or current patients have to leave us, because it is just not financially viable. This is why we are carrying out a randomised clinical trial, in collaboration with University of Surrey – our aim is that our functional medicine approach will one day be available on the NHS.
I have chosen to follow the SCD diet to be supportive to our nutrition patients who are following this diet. Patients struggle with this diet the most as it has its limitations and to do it properly, as well as avoiding too much weight loss, it requires a lot of effort.
We normally recommend the diet to patients with SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) or IBS symptoms. So, I am also going to eliminate foods high in FOS (fructooligosaccharides) as certain bacteria thrive on these foods – Jerusalem artichoke, bananas, onions, chicory root, garlic, asparagus, barley, wheat and leeks (some of my favourite ingredients). The SCD diet allows carbohydrates containing monosaccharides (single sugars), but excludes disaccharides and most starches as their complex sugars can be difficult to digest and absorb, causing bacterial and yeast overgrowth - so basically no grains (rice, quinoa, oats, wheat, bread etc..), no potatoes (white or sweet), limited beans, no chick peas, no processed meats, very limited dairy and no sugar. I can eat lentils though!
I am starting the diet on Friday 17th November, so watch out to see how I get on – I will be posting the occasional recipe you may like to try out.
If you do use a recipe, please donate a small amount if you are able.