On Saturday, April 9th, from 8am to 3:30pm, the Seattle Children's Hospital will be providing healthcare providers with their most recent information about treating IBD (Crohn's and ulcerative colitis) with nutrition--including their extensive work with the SCD. Registration is here:
Please join us for a Book-Reading and Cooking Demonstration from the book The SCD For Autism & ADHD written by Raman Prasad & Pamela Ferro. This event will take place in downtown Boston at an established local venue – the Trident Booksellers & Cafe. Kids welcome!
Thursday, March 31, 2016 • 7pm
What's The Gut Got To Do With It: Dietary Interventions & Autism
A Book-Reading with Raman Prasad
SCD Cooking Demonstration with Nilou Moochhala
Find out how dietary change using this grain-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and sugar-free diet can decrease inflammation and alter the gut microbiome. The SCD has not only been used for serious digestive issues such as IBD and Crohn’s, but also for conditions such as autism, ADHD, anxiety, and mood disorders. We’ll discuss current relevant research and past history involving use of this diet.
Come meet the authors & sample some delicious treats!
A week ago, we headed out to our favorite local gourmet pizza place that allows us to bring our own almond-flour crust for "pizza-ing."
Over the years, we have been perfecting the thickness and texture of the crust so that it can work in their oven – along with the other farm-to-table ingredients they add on top.
On this visit, instead of homemade crusts, we brought two crusts from Liberated Specialty Foods* (formerly Nourish Bakery), and were lucky enough to carry home some leftovers - one crust baked to perfection with peppers, mushrooms, and onions – and the other with SCD-safe chorizo - all topped with delicious cheddar cheese!
(* I'm actually ordering more crusts from them this week.)
(Conflicts of interest: None:)
A few weeks ago, we posted about a new SCD-friendly bakery called Nourish Bakery. We wanted to update you to let you know the name of this bakery has been changed to Liberated Specialty Foods. You can now visit them at liberatedspecialtyfoods.com
SCD author Raman Prasad and nutritionist Cathy Malone (Massachusetts General Hospital) will present clinical and patient perspectives on the use of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) for inflammatory bowel disease. This information is also applicable to IBS and celiac disease.
Title: Calming Digestive Issues Through Diet
When: Saturday, October 24, 2015
Where: National Park Visitors Center, Corson Building, New Bedford, MA
Sponsored by: The Marion Institute
Event Type: Workshop, followed by book-signing
For more information, you can visit The Marion Institute's Connecting for Change Conference site.
A few weeks ago, we received a care package from Nourish Bakery, a new bakery in Madison, Alabama, that states it goes "Beyond Paleo" and is also very SCD- and GAPS-friendly.
Out of the numerous items packed into the box, the first item we were most excited to try was (yes, believe it or not!) the Nourish Bakery Ketchup. That evening, with burgers and veggies on the grill, we cracked open this SCD ketchup and generously spread it alongside our meal. This condiment has been sorely missed over the almost two decades we have been following this diet, and would have made Elaine proud! The hours we had combed through health food stores, reading ingredients, trying to find a store-bought ketchup that might work – made this item the first one we took out of the sampling box.
Up late that night, we took out another item called an Energy Bomb, that was a delicious snack to revive us and provided something sweet to bite into alongside our mint teas.
The next morning, yet another goodie bag was opened - this one containing waffles. These looked as good as store-bought ones, and yet were 100% SCD. Made with cashews, coconut flour, coconut oil, coconut milk, vanilla, honey, egg, and baking soda – they were warmed up in the toaster, dripped with honey and SCD yogurt, alongside some ripe bananas. The indulgence of being able to buy food that is SCD-friendly and tasty – added to the enjoyment (each bite reminded us what labor would go into making it were we to do it at home!)
Another item to note are the Fiesta Chips and Cheddar Crackers - which both have just the right amount of flavoring added to them. We could continue to write-up other items they sent us, but that would make for a very lengthy blog. Their website features breads, crackers, muffins, condiments, pizza crusts, donuts, and other baked goods for sale.
The story behind Nourish Bakery is as fascinating as all the SCD-approved food items they create. You can read about Stacey's motivation and commitment to feed her kids healthy foods that led her to renovate an old church in the countryside!
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?
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.
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:
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!
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.
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
- 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
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
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.
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!
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
- 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 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.)
On May 16th, come and listen to Raman Prasad & Nurse Pamela Ferro speak about the SCD!
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 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!
For the past 3 years (not including this one), Pamela Ferro and I have been working on a book to share her clinical experience in treating hundreds of children diagnosed with autism and ADHD.Read More
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.
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!
This past week, we tried a variation from Elana Amsterdam's Paleo Cooking from Elana's Pantry cookbook. As the Northeast gets hit by snowstorm after snowstorm, we craved for something heartening and healthy – hence the Beef with Broccoli. However, we removed the non-SCD ingredients from the recipe, such as the arrowroot powder and ume plum vinegar. It was a quick stir-fry and delicious recipe. (Alot of the recipes in this book are or can be made SCD-compliant and legal with a few adjustments.)