IBD Study Catch-Up 1 of 4: Stanford School of Medicine/Crohn's Disease

While working on the SCD for Autism and ADHD book, we read through literally hundreds of studies.  However, it left little time to write posts about IBD studies.

Last year, it became "official", a Harvard-led study of 447 children* newly diagnosed with Crohn's disease found a striking imbalance of gut bacteria, with pathogenic bacteria flourishing.  (*Places like Harvard often seem to be the most "conservative" to weigh in on "new" ideas.)

Over the last 2-1/2 years there have been several small SCD posters as well as published studies from California, Chicago, and Georgia about different aspects of the SCD.

Starting with a Stanford School of Medicine Poster presented in Chicago in 2013, here is a quick recap.

Title: Specific Carbohydrate Diet in Five Pediatric Patients with Crohn’s Disease

Patient Description:

  • 5 patients, between ages 11 and 14-1/2
  • Patients diagnosed with severe to moderate Crohn's disease
  • They chose SCD as a primary treatment for their disease.

How the SCD was Used:

  • 3 patients started the SCD while tapering off of steroids.  After 4-6 weeks, the SCD was used for maintenance, without steroids
  • 2 patients used the SCD for both going into remission** as well as maintenance.

(**Note: Definitely coordinate with your doctor if trying the SCD.  Crohn's and ulcerative colitis usually need medication for remission.)


  • All five patients were in remission by 1 month and were symptom-free with improved growth and normalization of laboratory values while they remained on the SCD (up to 6 months).
  • The patient responses demonstrate that effective dietary intervention may lead to disease control and medication-free remission.

This experience closely mirrors that of patients at Seattle Children's Hospital.

Reference: Burgis J, Nguyen K, Park K, Cox K. Specific Carbohydrate Diet in Five Pediatric Patients with Crohn’s Disease. NASPGHAN, October 2013. Chicago, IL (Poster)

This Past Saturday at Duke's Bakery

This past weekend Duke's bakery invited us for a book signing*.  We spent an afternoon sipping SCD lemonade (with a touch of cumin) and talking with people interested in the SCD. (* South Coast Today - A cookbook aimed at autism)

One boy, "Kevin", who arrived with his mom, stood out.  Just under 4-years-old and wearing a baseball cap he confidently walked  around the store, curiously checking out people, display cases, and everything else (especially a couple of people with ipads).

His mother talked about he how much had changed since January. Diagnosed with ASD at 14 months and non-verbal, he is starting to attempt speech.  His pre-school teachers, initially resistant of supporting dietary changes, are now onboard.  This wasn't the case earlier in the year. As Dorry (co-owner of Duke's) describes it, Kevin first came to the store in January.  He came in screaming.  His mother was upset.  Nothing could calm Kevin down.  His mother had been trying various elimination diets and had heard about the prepared food at Duke's.  With the screaming still going on, Dorry made a split-decision and decided to call Pam IMMEDIATELY.

Less than 5 months later, we simply sat talking.  During his 45-minutes at Duke's Kevin never became upset, never became agitated.  Seeing this change was the reason we worked on the book. 

(A second reason was a chance to sit at Duke's for an afternoon and enjoy the food.  On the way out, Chris packed me SCD Chicken Parm. for dinner.  I kept extra aside so I could stretch the good taste into next day's lunch.)

Marion Institute's Connector Series to host SCD speakers

On May 16th, come and listen to Raman Prasad & Nurse Pamela Ferro speak about the SCD!

Calming Inflammation:
Changing the Microbiome with the Specific Carbohydrate Diet

May 16, 2015

Greater New Bedford Community Health Center, 874 Purchase Street, New Bedford, MA

Raman Prasad & Pamela Ferro, R.N., authors of The SCD for Autism and ADHD: A Reference and Dairy-Free Cookbook for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, will explain how dietary change can decrease inflammation, not only for serious digestive issues, but also conditions such as eczema, autism, ADHD, anxiety, and mood disorders. This workshop will explain the diet and demonstrate how these food changes can be implemented even into the busiest of schedules.

This event is hosted by the Marion Institute (marioninstitute.org) and is part of their Biological Medicine Series. You can read more about the event here.


Duke's Bakery in Southern MA to host SCD book event!

This local Massachusetts bakery will celebrate the April 2015 release of Raman Prasad and Pamela Ferro's new book The SCD for Autism and ADHD. Please come by and support this book event during Autism Awareness Month.

Meet the authors!
Purchase signed copies of this ground-breaking book!
Enjoy some delicacies baked from the Cookbook section!

Where: Duke's Bakery and Variety
When: Saturday, May 9, 2015
Time: 2-5 pm
Address: 162 Columbia Street, Fall River, MA 02721

Hope to see you there!

Christmas Cookies from p.189 of The SCD for Autism & ADHD: A Reference and Dairy-Free Cookbook for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet™

Christmas Cookies from p.189 of The SCD for Autism & ADHD: A Reference and Dairy-Free Cookbook for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet™

Lucy's Cinnamom Cookies

After almost two decades of meeting and connecting with Elaine Gottschall and Lucy Rossett at a Defeat Autism Now conference in Washington, DC, and Los Angeles, I still have a memory of Lucy (of Lucy's Kitchen Shop) offering us an SCD treat from her stash of ziploc bags stacked away in her purse. One of these contained her scrumptious SCD Cinnamon Cookies that are so soft and chewy and sweet. You can simply just eat the batter before it is even set to bake! It can be found on page 87 of Lucy's Specific Carbohydrate Diet Cookbook, available here.


Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

We have been obsessed by page 146 in Erica Kerwien's Cooking for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. If you do not know this book and this specific page, it has the most delicious and easy recipe for SCD "oatmeal raisin" cookies. The texture of the oatmeal is provided by the shredded coconut, the sweetness by the raisins, and the smoothness by the almond butter.

When one of our family members had a birthday last week, instead of baking an SCD cake, we decided to double up on this recipe and created 75+ of these cookies. Stacking them together we created a plate of vertical sweetness with candles atop!

NOFA sponsors SCD Seminar in Southern MA

The Northeast Organic Farmer's Association (NOFA) is sponsoring a one-day SCD-related seminar/conference titled:

When the Belly is the Beast:
Dietary Interventions to Address Autism and Neuro-Degenerative Disease

When: December 4, 2014 - 9:30am to 4:00pm
Where: Bristol Community College, 777 Elsbree St, Fall River, MA

This seminar explains how environmental factors, including exposures to toxins in food and the environment, and the consumption of highly processed, nutrient-poor foods, are contributing to a wide range of chronic and neuro-degenerative illnesses in the population. These include autism, multiple sclerosis, dementia, Parkinson’s Disease, ADHD, ALS, and related disorders. Participants will learn how diets high in quality nutrient-dense foods support the brain as it attempts to repair itself, leading to improved behavior, mood, cognition, and muscular and neurological function.

Dietary intervention treatments highlighted in this seminar focus on providing excellent quality nutrition using whole, unprocessed foods that feed and nourish the body and brain. Among the approaches discussed will be the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) developed by Elaine Gottschall – presented by Raman Prasad of SCDRecipe.com and Pamela Ferro of Hopewell Associates. Other speakers include Dr. Martha Herbert of Mass General Hospital and Kelly Barnhill of The Johnson Center for Child Health and Development.

You can find out more about it at:

Press release is available here.

You can use the NOFA link to sign up for the event if you are local. A full SCD lunch will be served!

Mom's Homemade Beef Lasagna

My mom, Sue, who has contributed recipes for the cookbooks I have written, stopped by earlier this Fall and left us with this delicious lasagna:

1 tablespoon olive oil
5 medium zuchhini, ends trimmed
lb organic ground beef
1 lb dry curd cottage cheese
1/4 cup fresh chopped basil leaves
1 lb organic ground beef
1 lb dry curd cottage cheese (dccc)
2 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped fine
2/3 cups grated parmesan cheese
3 eggs
1 pint tomato sauce
1 large tomato, sliced into rounds
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped fine
salt and pepper to taste

In a stovetop cast-iron pan, sauté the beef with salt and minced garlic in the olive oil. Meanwhile, slice the zuchhini lengthwise into strips with a cheese slicer so that they are thin and long. Set aside.

Next, mix the dry curd cottage cheese with the 2 tablespoons of the grated parmesan cheese, eggs, and parsley. Add salt as desired.

Pour 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce into the bottom of an oiled/greased 9"x13" baking dish. Next, add in a layer of sliced tomatoes and sprinkle on a little bit of the chopped basil, chopped garlic, and 2 tablespoons of the parmesan cheese. Lay down the strips of zucchini "noodles" for the next layer so that it covers the tomato layer.

Take the prepared dry curd cottage cheese (dccc) mixture and pour over the zucchini strips. Next add in another layer of the zucchini strips so that they are evenly spaced and cover the dccc micture, and then add in the pre-cooked beef from the stovetop. Sprinkle with remaining basil.

For the final layers, pour the rest of the tomato sauce and spread evenly, then layer with any remaining zucchini strips for the topmost layer. Sprinkle the top with the remaining parmesan cheese and place in oven at 350F till the ingredients are cooked through.


SCD author in Book Festival Panel (Nov 1)

For all you local Northeasteners, Raman Prasad will be speaking at the Arlington Book Festival this coming Saturday, November 1st, 2014, about the SCD and health through diet. Although the book festival runs with several different panels through the whole day, he will be on a specific panel titled Writing on the Subject of Mental, Physical, and Spiritual Health. Please see details below!

Arlington Book Festival
Robbins Library

700 Massachussetts Avenue
Arlington, MA

Writing on the Subject of Mental, Physical, and Spiritual Health
Authors who change lives through the written word.
Panelists: Pamela Donleavy, Emily Fox-Kales, Ph.D., Raman Prasad, Holly Lebowitz Rossi

If you are in the vicinity, please stop by. It is free!

You can find out more at:


Not your average pizza shop...

We had family visiting us this past Wednesday, and decided to go to our favorite local pizza place. The first reason it is my favorite is because it sources most of its ingredients farm-to-table, especially for what goes on top of the pizzas–there are no frozen or wilted vegetables here. Your meal can be accompanied by specialty wines, craft beers, and delicious SCD-safe salads too.

However, the second, and most important reason, is that the manager there, has worked with us to support our dietary needs. Over the past year, he has provided different kinds of pizza pans, advised us on what oil would work best for when the pizza dough goes in a super-hot oven, and finally, permitting me to carry in my very own-pre-baked SCD crust from home. I use a modified version of the crust ingredients from John's Pizza at scdrecipe.com.

Once we are settled on a table, I get to choose whatever toppings that are in season and are SCD-legal. And I always ask for cheddar instead of the regular cheese.

You should consider asking your own local pizzeria if they would do the same!

SCD pizza with peppers, onions, cheddar cheese, and SCD-legal pepperoni.

SCD pizza with peppers, onions, cheddar cheese, and SCD-legal pepperoni.

Sunday Brunch Surprise!

We stopped by our friends place across the city this past Sunday to visit their 2 week old son. It was a lovely surprise to be greeted with a newborn to hold and fuss over. At the same time, our hosts had fussed over us and prepared us an SCD-legal brunch, that ranged from fresh fruit-vegetable juice to baked Cauliflower Hash Browns to dried fruit.

The centerpiece of this meal came out of the oven hot and ready to tuck into – was the egg-in-a-hole, except instead of cooking it within a bread piece, our hostess used avocados.

She gently dropped the cracked eggs into the avocado hollows (where the seed would have been and was removed) and sprinkled it with a bit of salt, pepper, and chives. It was baked in the oven till the eggs were cooked through. Super-delicious!


SCD Cashew Bread

My mom, Sue, came up this past week to visit us for a few days – to help prepare and stock the house with SCD goodies. She has always been an amazing presence in the garden and kitchen, but I was still surprised (after all these years on SCD) to watch her quickly whip together this delicious cashew bread one afternoon.

3 ripe bananas
1/4 cup melted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 eggs
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1/4 teaspoon allspice powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups cashewnut flour (we got ours from Trader Joes)
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Mix all the above together in a processor, and pour in a baking pan in a pre-heated 350°F oven for 30-45 minutes, or until knife comes out clean. Enjoy!

SCD & Teens

The following Q&A session is our interview with Gil Guday. Gil is a teen who is a long-time user of SCD, and is dedicated to helping other teens adopt and practice this challenging diet. We wanted to share his unique perspectives on how he manages his normal but busy SCD-friendly teen life to give others hope and inspiration. We had the good fortune of meeting him when we attended the SCD Symposium at Seattle Children's Hospital in January 2014 (he was the youngest attendee by far :)

1. When were you diagnosed with IBD/Crohns/Colitis?

I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at age 11. During the months leading up to the diagnosis, the only symptoms I had were some pain in my stomach and rapid weight loss. Eventually when symptoms persisted I was referred to Seattle Children’s hospital for a colonoscopy and endoscopy. A week or so later we got a call at home from Seattle Children’s; the results of the colonoscopy and endoscopy confirmed a diagnosis of Crohn’s. 

2. How did you find  the diet?

Following the diagnosis, my parents were looking for options to move forward with treatment. With doctor approval we opted the Elemental Diet instead of steroids, with the intent of quieting down the symptoms and inflammation. Parallel to this my parents were researching the different treatments for Crohn’s, wanting to educate themselves as to what would have to come next. Amidst concerns over the various potential side effects from the array of different medications that were generally used as the standard go-to’s, my mom found discussions on online forums where people shared their success with the SCD diet without medications. Partially out of what made sense and partially out of desperation to avoid the meds if at all possible, my parents showed me the diet, showed me the stories of success, and together we decided to give it a try. Thankfully, I achieved remission following 7 weeks of the elemental diet, and from that point we transitioned gradually to SCD.

3. How long have you been following SCD? How was the beginning part of the diet and how long did it take you to stabilize?

I have been on the SCD diet for about 5 years, and just finished my sophomore year in high school. To be completely honest, the beginning of the diet was rough. The lack of diverse food options during the intro phase of the diet left me craving foods I couldn’t have, and I would occasionally “cheat” and eat illegal foods at friends’ houses. However, every time I did this I physically hurt soon after, so at a certain point I decided to commit fully to the diet because I came to realize that I wasn’t helping myself at all by being only partially on the diet, and I had to try it fullheartedly if I wanted to give it a proper chance. Once I made that decision, it was only a matter of a week or two before some of the more acute symptoms began to lessen, and within the first two months I not only felt significantly better, but my weight rose back to where it had been previous to the Crohn’s diagnosis and the inflammation in my digestive system decreased based not only on the symptom relief but also based on lab results. 

4. How have your parents/family supported you during this dietary implementation?

The diet would not have been possible without the support from my parents. A majority of the food preparation is done by my parents simply because I have been kept extremely busy academically. Although I do find time to cook and bake, the daily availability of food is possible because my parents step in to help make sure I have what to eat. In addition to making much of the food I eat, one of the critical components of their support has been helping me learn my way around the kitchen so that I’m able to cook and bake foods I want, which will be necessary as my life progresses and I become more and more independent.

5. As a teenager, how hard has it been to implement the diet in a school setting? Are the administration and teachers aware of SCD?

Although the answer might surprise you, it has actually not been challenging to implement the diet into school settings. One of the most common concerns teens starting SCD have is that it will be “weird” if they bring their own food everywhere, however it is mostly just worry. In this day and age many people are bringing their own food due to increasing interest in dietary adherence to treat common conditions such as diabetes, as well as pursuing overall health. People may ask why I bring food the first time they see it, but a simple explanation revealing whatever I’m comfortable with is enough of an answer. Besides peoples’ initial curiosity, I’ve never been bothered by anyone about bringing my own home-cooked food and it’s never become an issue socially. If there’s any problem, it’s that people often want to try my food and then I get swarmed with requests to share my food again! In terms of the administrative purposes surrounding the diet, schools and programs have been very accommodating towards the diet. I have a 504 plan in my school for these purposes, and teachers and staff are made aware of the diet.

6. What are your recommendations for carrying quick SCD snacks or healthy lunches to school? What do you enjoy taking the most?

My favorite school lunch has changed periodically. During the winter I liked to take a thermos with hot soup, foccacia bread from your book, fruit, and a muffin. In hotter weather I like to bring cold smoothies and fruit, sandwiches made with foccacia bread, and cookies and juice. When it comes to quick on the go SCD snacks,  whether for sports activities or going to the movies, I pack SCD-legal fruit strips, home-made crackers, and honey candies.

7. Are your peers supportive towards the diet? Is there any social pressure to conform and eat non-diet food?

My friends and peers are supportive of my diet. As I mentioned earlier, it generally becomes  a non-issue for my friends and peers, becoming as normal to them as it does to me.

8. Tell us about some of the SCD activities you have been involved in, such as being a spokesperson for SCD at CCFA conference (where, when, what). How have you gotten your local CCFA chapter to work with the SCD?

In the past few years, my family has been mentoring new SCD families, and I often share my advice and perspective when new families have questions about the implementation of the diet from a teen’s perspective. In addition I have had the opportunity in April to talk about SCD and answer questions on stage at the CCFA NW yearly conference.  This was following the SCD presentation that was given by naturopath Christine Bowen. She knew my story and thought that the audience would like to hear my perspective. I’m very fortunate to live in Seattle. The GI team at Seattle Children’s Hospital is amazing. They are at the forefront of IBD research. Our local CCFA NW chapter is also following the latest research and presenting it in their yearly conferences, as is demonstrated by the fact that this year they had SCD presenters for the second time in a few years. 

9. Please tell us more about the CCFA camp you have attended while implementing SCD while you were there. How many times have you been there, and what has been your experience?

As I said, our local CCFA is doing an amazing job supporting people with IBD. Their summer camp, Camp Oasis, has been an enjoyable highlight of my summer for the past 5 years. Interestingly enough, the first summer at Oasis I met an older teen that was on SCD, and the opportunity to talk to him and see that he managed a complete teen life while on the diet was an instrumental support to my success in the following years. Since then, every year there are more and more kids in camp on SCD, both our CCFA and the kitchen staff at Oasis are doing an amazing job supporting kids that must maintain therapeutic diets. We each bring a week’s worth of food to camp, and it is warmed and served to us daily. This allows many kids that must maintain all kinds of therapeutic diets to enjoy the experience of summer camp.

10. Tell us more about the Leader-in-Training role you will have this summer at camp Oasis(?) where there will be 13 other kids expected to be following SCD? Did you help organize this situation?

[I would be happy to share this summer’s experience after camp]

11. What are some of the fun teen activities you do? Do you feel that the SCD has given you an opportunity to lead a "normal" teen life?

My life is in essentially every way like any other teen’s life. I go to a public highschool, carry a very heavy academic load, and I do after-school sports and other activities, all while strictly adhering to the SCD diet. I will be taking all my food to Camp Oasis and when I come back I will be participating in a four week pre-college game design course at Digipen. Although the four week course is catered by the Digipen kitchen, I will be bringing my own SCD food daily, while sitting in the cafeteria with the rest of my peers. As the diversity of my activities show, adhering to the SCD diet has not hampered me in any way and I am able to follow my passions and interests, not despite, but thanks to the diet.

12. You seem like a great spokesperson for the SCD diet for your age group. Do you ever consider writing about your experiences so that others will have better insight into this challenging diet?

I feel that right now, just like I was helped by talking to older teens on the SCD, I should be mentoring and helping others that may benefit from it. While I’m committed to mentoring other kids and teens on SCD, I also have many interests and hobbies that I’m pursuing at the same time. I’m not sure whether or not a book will be in the cards so to speak, but I am talking with sources at Seattle Children’s Hospital about ways to reach out and create a forum for kids and teens that must maintain therapeutic diets.

Nutty Bakery, an on-line SCD baked-goods shop

We recently discovered Nutty Bakery, an online shop that strictly follows the guidelines of the SCD/GAPS/Paleo diets. Although it is physically located in New Castle, Indiana, Amy, the founder of this lovely bakery, says that she receives orders from coast to coast. She ships baked goodies every week for shipments twice weekly to happy recipients.

We were lucky enough to receive a shipment last week from this delicious SCD shop. In a regular-looking mail-stamped box, after pushing the biodegradable packaging peanuts to the side, we unveiled an assortment of goodies that included peanut butter cookies, cashew muffins (honey free), gingerbread cookies, pina colada muffins, and nutmeg muffins; and some of these others we are writing about in more detail below:

The Lemon Cookies that Nutty Bakery offers (and that we were lucky enough to sample) are created by using home-made lemon reduction by cooking down lemon juice, pulp and zest on the stove-top. The result is a really strong lemon sauce that one knows is SCD compliant. 

The Coconut Medallion cookies that were included use raisins to help as a binder and have a bit of a crunch on the outside from the rolled coconut. They are made to be egg, dairy, and nut free, for those on very restrictive diets.

The Fruit & Nutmeg Muffins that are baked will rotate the type of fruit used depending on season.  Our shipment contained a blueberry version. Amy told us that she has her own apple trees and in the fall these muffins will be baked with her very own home-grown apples!

Nutty Bakery buys their honey from local beekeepers, and source their eggs from a farm where the hens are free-range. They are constantly on the lookout to ensure that the ingredients they use in their baking are local, organic and high quality as much as possible. All Nutty Bakery goods are allowed on SCD and GAPS diets.  All items are grain free, gluten free, and refined sugar free; and many items are also allowed on the Paleo or Vegan diets.  You can check specific products for full ingredient listings.

From left to right: Nutty Bakery's Fruit & Nutmeg Muffins, Coconut Medallions, and Almond Loaf.

From left to right: Nutty Bakery's Fruit & Nutmeg Muffins, Coconut Medallions, and Almond Loaf.

From Amy of Nutty Bakery:
"My daughter has been on the SCD diet for two and a half years. The impact it's had on the development of my daughter has been truly remarkable. Nutty Bakery just seemed like a natural development from the baked goods I've been cooking at home. Future plans included expanding my menu – I would like to try some new SCD legal flavors. I'm also experimenting with ways to make granola, I find that "crunch" is a challenge to achieve."

You can find out more about this lovely bakery at http://www.nuttybakery.com.

SCD Kids Lunchboxes

An SCD-cooking mom, Cindi, wanted her little girl who has been following the diet to have lunchboxes incomparable to other children so she would not feel left out. On those school morning that we have to get up and send our kids on their way, waking up a bit earlier to prep a delicious lunchbox is well worth the effort: when your child opens their lunchbox, all the non-SCD kids want to eat her/his lunch.

You can read about Cindi's efforts as an SCD supporter (we need those people in our lives) to have her daughter follow the diet at http://fightingflare.typepad.com/ . She is also a member of the Facebook SCD group SCDFamilies.

*NOTE: Fighting Flare has incorporated some non-SCD ingredients occasionally into her daughter's diet. By posting about this blog, we are not recommending you do that. We simply want to highlight the SCD lunches she has been creating.