After Son follows SCD Study Protocol, Mom Starts a Foundation

The Diagnosis

As an infant, Jack Woodward suffered from reflux. As he grew older, his abdominal problems always seemed to be present, including diarrhea and stomachaches. The symptoms steadily worsened and in October 2010, at age 7, he could barely move because of abdominal pain. His mom Gisele made urgent calls to doctors near their home in Charleston, South Carolina, but no one would give an appointment earlier than 6 months.

In an act of desperation, they traveled to Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston. After an endoscopy, the gastroenterologist diagnosed Jack with ulcerative colitis. Jack received prescriptions for Pentasa and Entocort which began to ease his symptoms. Before flying back to South Carolina, Gisele asked for advice on follow-up care closer to home.

The doctor at MGH strongly recommended Benjamin Gold at Children's Healthcare in Atlanta* noting that: "We [MGH] tried to recruit Dr. Gold to come up here but he's not willing to trade the Georgia weather for Boston winters." (* One of U.S. News and World Report's top-rated children's hospitals.)

From ages 7 to 8, Jack's symptoms were more manageable on medication but he stopped growing. In October of 2011, Dr. Gold ordered more diagnostics, including an endoscopy and colonoscopy. The tests showed inflammation not only in Jack's colon but also his small intestine. As a result, Jack's diagnosis was switched from ulcerative colitis to Crohn's disease.

To make matters worse, in February of 2012, five months after Jack's diagnosis of Crohn's, his older sister Kristina was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. Her outer symptoms had been milder, initially showing up as joint pain. However, tests revealed that her intestinal inflammation and lesions were more serious than Jack's. Both brother and sister officially had IBD.

No Stranger to IBD

It's important to point out that Gisele was no stranger to IBD. Her husband Mark, Jack and Kristina's father, had a long history of Crohn's disease. Mark was rushed to emergency surgery in 1989 for a resection, underwent another resection surgery in 2003, and carefully followed his medication regimen, all while balancing a demanding work schedule. During their years together, Gisele made it a point to understand the disease.

Long before Jack's diagnosis, Gisele actively volunteered with the Cohn's Colitis Foundation of America. Over the years, she raised tens of thousands of dollars for the local chapter. Gisele was no stranger to the impact of IBD on an adult. She was also a person used to taking action. However, now she had two children with IBD. Knowing the lifelong health issues and medications faced by Jack and Kristina, she began to feel at a loss. What could she do to help them?

Another Possibility

Serendipity intervened. Jack and Kristina's visits to Dr. Gold coincided with the start of an SCD pilot study. Dr. Gold explained to Gisele how the SCD had helped other patients in his practice.

After careful consideration, the family decided that both Jack and Kristina would start the SCD together. Although they didn't participate in the study, they followed the same protocol and stayed under Dr. Gold's medical supervision. The family went through the hard work of understanding the diet, reading labels, and reconfiguring their household food supply.

Six months later, the effort starting showing results. If you remember, Jack had stopped growing for one year, during ages 7 and 8. He literally fell off the growth chart for children his age. The inflammation from Crohn's had impaired his body's ability to absorb critical nutrients. But during the first six months on the SCD, something changed. His intestines started to heal, his body began to absorb nutrients, and he grew an inch. One inch in 6 months! His parents sighed with relief, the team at Children's Healthcare in Atlanta celebrated, Jack was getting better.

Kristina's fared even better, her symptoms resolved by 6 months. Three and a half years since starting the diet, Kristina has remained completely prescription-free while Jack's medication is limited to Pentasa. They have both grown taller and gained weight--although Jack has not completely compensated for his sickest year when his growth had stopped.

Study Results

The children enrolled in the study also thrived on the SCD. In the October 2014 issue of the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology & Nutrition, the researchers noted "clinical and mucosal improvement" at both 12 weeks, and for those who continued, at 52 weeks. More specifically:

  • 8 out of the 9* patients who completed the study showed clinical improvement at 12 weeks. (*1 of the original 10 patients dropped out, not able to comply with the diet)
  • 6 of these 8 who improved achieved clinical remission at 12 weeks
  • "Sustained clinical remission was shown in 6 of the 7 patients who remained on the diet to 52 weeks"

source: Cohen, Stanley A., et al. "Clinical and mucosal improvement with specific carbohydrate diet in pediatric Crohn disease." Journal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition 59.4 (2014): 516-521.

Note: Taking into consideration their own bias toward the SCD, the researchers used an independent evaluator to review the clinical results.

Helping Other Families - A Second Study

With both Jack and Kristina doing so well, Gisele saw a way to take action on behalf of everyone with IBD. She became involved in fund-raising, creating the Woodward Crohn's and Colitis Foundation. So far she has raised $150,000.

This money has been used to start a second round SCD study, this time with 20 patients. For this multi-site effort, Dr. Gold and his team are collaborating with Dr. Suskind at the Seattle Children's Hospital. They are studying how the Specific Carbohydrate Diet changes the flora of the gastrointestinal tract as well as reduces the inflammation on the lining of the intestine.

More information on the Woodward Crohn's and Colitis Foundation may be found below:



Gisele Serralles Woodward

Mark Woodward

"Breaded" Eggplant with Tomato Sauce

While visiting a local farm this past Saturday, we decided to purchase a few white eggplants, also known as "Snowy Eggplants". The next day, during a lazy Sunday afternoon, we sliced the snowy eggplants very thin; prepared two eggs (beaten) in one bowl; set aside almond flour for dipping in another bowl; and heated up a sauté pan for cooking them.

After adding in enough oil for frying, we dipped each snowy piece into the egg mixture and then the almond flour to create a sufficient coating, and then into the pan. After a few minutes, we turned them over to ensure they were cooked on either side. (The key is to slide the eggplant into VERY THIN rounds).

To add to this, we heated up some leftover homemade tomato sauce, and poured that over the fried almond-flour-breaded eggplant and proceeded to eat this divine meal!

Medical Journal: Resolution of Severe Ulcerative Colitis with the Specific Carbohydrate Diet

Report from Omaha, Nebraska...

The August volume of Case Reports in Gastroenterology includes an article on a 73-year-old female physician with ulcerative colitis who recovered on the SCD.

The case report is notable for diagnostic images taken before and after the SCD. The before photos show active inflammation while the after SCD photos show no sign of inflammation. In addition, biopsies confirmed both the UC diagnosis and subsequent remission.

Fig. 1. Terminal ileum (a, b) and cecum (c). Endoscopic photographs of the sigmoid and left side of the colon demonstrating active mucosal inflammation taken prior to institution of the SCD in December 2010, following 1 year of an acute exacerbation of UC in a 73-year-old patient. Pancolitis was noted on complete colonoscopy.

Fig. 2. Terminal ileum (a, b) and cecum (c) demonstrating normal colonic mucosa with no inflammation after 2 years of the SCD (December 2012). Complete colonoscopy confirmed resolution in all segments of the colon.

The details are as follows:

Diagnosis of UC, Relative stability

  • 1997 - While in her early 40s, the patient experienced abdominal pain and rectal bleeding. After a colonoscopy, she was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis.
  • 1997 to mid-2009 - After 6 weeks of Asacol (mesalamine), she was relatively stable for the next 12 years.

Pain Returns, Drugs don't help, Unable to Work

  • Winter 2009 - The patient experienced intermittent burning and shooting pain in the left lower abdomen. Occasional pain also occurred in the right abdomen.
  • 2010 - The pain continued. Loose stools and rectal bleeding worsened over the next year. Her appetite decreased.
    • She consulted various gastroenterologists
    • Treatment with steroids and mesalamine failed to alleviate the symptoms.
  • December 2010 - Experiencing constant abdominal pain and unremitting bloody diarrhea, she was unable to work.
    • A colonoscopy showed mild to moderate UC with inflammation throughout the colon. Biopsies confirmed the UC diagnosis.
    • The "colonic mucosa revealed friability, multiple tiny ulcers and mucosa edema".

SCD Started, Health Improves

a remarkable absence of any inflammation
  • Winter 2010 (December) - The SCD was started.
    • Within 3-6 months, she went to the bathroom less often, the abdominal pain resolved, and blood no longer showed in the stools.
    • In 6 months, she returned to normal activities--including work as a physician.
    • Anemia resolved, with hemoglobin returning to a normal range.
    • All symptoms dissipated over the next 18 months.
  • December 2012 - An endoscopy showed "a remarkable absence of any inflammation". Biopsies confirmed the remission of ulcerative colitis with no inflammation present.

The authors of the report note:

We report complete healing of UC in a patient who had failed conventional therapies within a 2-year period. The use of the SCD for UC in patients who are able to make sustainable dietary changes should be considered more often.

citation: Khandalavala, B. N., & Nirmalraj, M. C. (2015). Resolution of Severe Ulcerative Colitis with the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. Case Reports in Gastroenterology, 3075, 291–295. doi:10.1159/000438745

SCD Case Study of 50 Patients/Remission (Rush University in Chicago)

The Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has just published a case study of 50 Crohn's Disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) patients on the SCD. This is the largest case study of SCD patients so far. Here are the highlights:

  • The patients had their IBD diagnoses confirmed
  • All patients were in remission
  • Average age 36, range was from 10 to 66
  • "Real-world" conditions with patients regarding medications and compliance.
    • 36 patients with CD; 19 with no meds
    • 9 patients UC; 1 patient no meds
    • 5 patients indeterminate disease (couldn't tell if CD or UC); 2 patients no meds
  • Medications dropped. Of the 22 people on no meds who remained in remission:
    • 16 had discontinued steroids
    • 3 had stopped TNF inhibitors (which include Remicade, Humira, etc)
    • 5 had been on 6-MP
  • See the full study for details on current medications (includes over a dozen people using mesalamine)

The study's authors conclude that:

We now show that at least a subgroup of patients with IBD may notably improve as a result of following the SCD and/or dietary interventions in general. [emphasis added]

In addition, they write:

... this may be a low-cost intervention to induce and maintain remission with little or no known adverse reactions. As such, further interventional studies of SCD and diet therapies in general for IBD are urgently needed. [emphasis added]

Kakodkar, S., Farooqui, A. J., Mikolaitis, S. L., & Mutlu, E. a. (2015). The Specific Carbohydrate Diet for Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Case Series. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 115(8), 1226–1232. doi:10.1016/j.jand.2015.04.016

SCD Everything Bagels

I finally got inspired to create SCD bagels. Although, the piping of the batter onto a baking tray resulted in smaller bagel sizes, it was very exciting to toast one of these every morning this past week and smother it with butter and strawberry jelly.

4 large eggs
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon water
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup flax meal (flax seeds ground up and sort of shredded)
2 cups almond flour
1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds*, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon minced dried garlic*, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds*, or to taste

(*Note: Seeds are permissible after 3 months of no symptoms.)

Crack the eggs and put them in a mixing bowl. Add in teh cider vinegar and water to the eggs and stir until combined. Add in the salt, baking soda, flax meal, and almond flour to the mixing bowl and stir until the batter is ready.

On a greased baking tray, gently drop the batter into so that it resembles a circle with a hole in the middle. The batter should be about 1/2-1" thick and connected at all points so that it can bake into a circular shape like a bagel. Your other alternative is to pipe the batter from a homemade "pastry bag"-shaped-cone made of wax paper and sealed on the side except for the bottom edge which is snipped off to allow the batter to pipe through in a controlled manner.

Add in the toppings to the bagels by sprinkling them on top of each one. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the bagels are golden brown and bakes through.

10-12 mini-bagels

Marion Institute SCD Presentations

We are finally posting the SCD-related presentations by Pamela Ferro and Raman Prasad, when they spoke at the Marion Institute in mid-May 2015 at the Biological Medicine Network's Connector Series. In these talks they speak about the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and Inflammation. The recording are hosted on the Marion Institute's Youtube Channel. Enjoy browsing!

Pamela Ferro
Calming Inflammation: Changing the Microbiome with the Specific Carbohydrate Diet

Raman Prasad
The SCD & Inflammation: What Does The Gut Have To Do With It


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 ( 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 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

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!