I do it about every third time I make homemade yogurt. I get impatient, turn the stove burner up too high, and burn a nice layer of black milk on the bottom of the pot. Luckily it’s an easy fix. Just put a bit of water and baking soda in the pot, place it back on the stove and boil it. The burnt milk lifts off in specs, or you can hasten the process by scrubbing a bit with a wooden spoon. When the pot cools, you can wash the pot with soap and water as usual.
It’s been a long time since my last update! I recovered well from the appendicitis which isn’t all that hard when living in Hawaii. I was there for just under 3 months and it was a great relaxation/reboot time. I highly recommend to anyone looking for a real getaway to head to Hawaii.
For the first month post-op I was staying away from starches and focusing on having lots of rich broth and SCD yogurt. The fresh fruit available at the local market was amazing, so I ate lots of papayas, bananas, avocado, various other fruits, and coconut. My breakfasts most mornings were papayas with yogurt and honey, and a big cup of broth.
I made the broth mostly from chicken and beef feet. One of the grocery stores was always stocked with these types of cuts so it was pretty convenient.
The seafood available was good too. Lots of tuna, white fish, oysters and crab. At one of the local fish markets they had a delicious ceviche I got once. This is a really good SCD-friendly dish that’s great for summer since you don’t have to cook it. For a good recipe & how-to check out Cheeseslave’s video.
Hawaii is also known for it’s beef, and I had no trouble finding good pastured, organic beef while I was there. Along with the buttery avocados for guacamole it made for some good taco ingredients. I just eat my ‘tacos’ in a bowl with a spoon, no corn chips required!
I also took some supplements – Vitamins A, K, multi-mineral, extra zinc, Betaine HCL and a probiotic. (I included links to ones I use and recommend, note that the minerals contains acacia which is not SCD-legal) I got a good amount of sun everyday as well. I don’t usually take supplements regularly but felt it would be beneficial during recovery. I took the Betaine HCL mainly because the doctor said during a scan I had some stomach inflammation, probably due to H Pylori.
After that much broth, supplements and eating well in general I felt pretty good. I then managed to add some starches back in, and also some Haagen Daz ice cream which was a delicious treat! I made sushi a few times with avocado and tuna. The tuna there is fresh in every grocery store at least twice a week.
A nice little find on Maui was this yogurt shop. You fill up a cup with however much yogurt you want (some flavored, but they also had plain) and then put some toppings on. I put honey and strawberries on mine. Such a good snack place!
Since being home in Canada I’ve been feeling great. I kept starches (potatoes, rice, some corn) and raw milk in my diet with no problems at all. I haven’t had any digestive symptoms since the surgery and while I stick to whole foods at home, I seem to tolerate anything gluten-free.
One thing I have added since first trying it in Hawaii is coconut water. I had it fresh there in a young coconut but at home I get it in tetra packs. It has a decent amount of magnesium in it, some other minerals, and postassium/sodium for good hydration. I’m not sure why on SCD it’s recommended to only have mature coconuts, but if I was a few months into SCD I would have like to try this. Delicious!
I got my appendix out a few weeks ago. It was not planned and happened while on vacation, not exactly my idea of a good time! I felt fine when I woke up, but by around noon I was feeling weird pain that I thought maybe was GERD. After throwing up Malox and realizing I hadn’t kept anything down all day, I figured it was something I should get checked out. It was a pretty clear case of appendicitis and by the next morning I had it out and was feeling better. Thankfully it was a surgery done by laparoscopy with no complications and I was up walking the same day. A few weeks later I’m feeling fine. Big huge thank you to Chuck and An for taking such good care of me!
Since appendicitis is an acute infection and I had antibiotics and pain medications while in the hospital, I figured I should do my best to help my gut recover. The doctor also said it looked like I had some inflammation in my stomach, possibly related to H. Pylori. So, I’m back on having tons of broth and have cut out starches completely. I was using potatoes and rice in my diet because I liked them and wanted to maintain weight. Well, I think I’m leaving them out for a while. For one, they are completely unnecessary for me to feel well and have energy. I also don’t think I have the proper gut flora balance to support eating that much starch. I’ve cut down the carbs considerably but am still enjoying some fruit and honey. I’ve added in some anti-microbial foods like coconut oil and raw garlic. I’m taking probiotics, eating homemade yogurt, and taking Betaine HCL (with pepsin) with meals. So far so good.
I’m also soaking up lots of sun on my extended holiday. For once I have a vacation to recover from my vacation. While I’m here, I’m working on a few things including some nutrition reading. After the conference I read Paul Jaminet’s Perfect Health Diet which is super useful for anyone dealing with illness and gives some much needed attention to infections (bacterial, fungal and viral). I’m now reading Ray Peat who talks a lot about hormones, sugars, cancer, inflammation etc (basically everything). Very interesting stuff that I plan to write about in future blog posts. I will write more blog posts I swear!
I’ll be doing an interview on a new Blog Talk Radio show Let’s Get Real with Beth Wiles. She’s just starting up her radio show and has some great guests lined up this month. I’ll be sharing my story and chatting with her about real food. She has also done the GAPS diet (you can read about that here on her blog) and is trying to promote the idea of real food for health through her show.
Click here to listen at 11:30 EST (8:30 PST) Wednesday, January 4. This will be archived so you can listen after as well.
One of the first blogs I found when I started SCD was Beth’s blog. She did SCD for her daughter Amy who suffered from Crohn’s disease. Beth always had the best recipes! Every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas I make her stuffing and pumpkin pie. I’ve never felt deprived at the holidays and even people who didn’t eat SCD loved the food.
She wrote a cookbook that is now available in print – The Turtle Soup SCD Cookbook. While it would make a great Christmas present, I would suggest buying it beforehand to enjoy the stuffing and pumpkin pie.
For anyone wondering what I eat for holiday dinners, here’s my go-to list:
- Beth’s stuffing recipe
- Roasted turkey (in a covered pan, stuffed, no extra prep)
- Sweet potato and apple casserole (sub butternut squash if you’re on SCD)
- Steamed carrots smothered in butter
- Steamed green beans smothered in butter
- Homemade cranberry sauce (cranberries, honey)
- Homemade gravy (pan drippings + broth + onions, mushrooms, thyme)
- Beth’s pumpkin pie
- Whipped cream (can be made SCD)
Beth’s recipe book is great for everyday food and meals. It’s not a holiday recipe book, she just happens to have the best stuffing and pumpkin pie!
I really wanted to get a post up right away about all the amazing people I met at the conference. It’s been a bit hectic since I got home from my trip, but in a good way!
While at the conference I got to meet up for the second time with the Real Food Media Bloggers. What an inspirational and supportive group. We talked about goals and what we wanted to do with our blogs and our work. I finally decided to make it my goal to dive into the health and nutrition field full time. My last day of work was this past Friday and I’m starting to decide what I want to do going forward. At the conference I met so many people who were doing what they loved and they just seemed so happy. I want that! So far my plan includes doing courses for certification, writing a book, and continuing to help people on SCD and GAPS.
The main reason I went to the conference was for the people. There were quite a few people who attended last year although a lot of new faces as well. Of course the big joke was about how many of us have blogs. I thought back to when I first started SCD and even though there weren’t as many around, I already thought I shouldn’t bother starting one! Now I think the more the merrier. Everyone has a voice, a story, and information to share.
I’m glad I got the chance to meet and talk to so many people. Thank you to everyone I met for hanging out with me – Malarie, Maureen & Bridgette, Chris S, Ben, Chris M, Paul Jaminet, Debbie Young, Denise Minger, Wardeh, Jill Brenda, Meagan, Jonathan, the 180 Degree health “crew” – Matt Stone, Rob A, Aaron F (seriously fun when you recognize people from the comments on a blog!), Tim, Bryan, Jan, Patrick, I’m missing names here… so many good conversations!
The food this year was pretty good, but noticeably less than last year. The issue was the record drought in Texas. For the conference most of the food is usually donated by local farms, but since farms were having such a rough year in Texas, a lot of the food had to be shipped in. The one thing that always stands out is the butter though. They always make sure to get the best butter! A few lucky people got to buy some at the end of the conference to bring home. One of these years I will drive to the conference and truck back a whole bunch of goodies.
After the conference I continued to meet some real foodies, including Anna and Bryce who each showed me one of their favorite local restaurants. Anna and I feasted on the most massive Texas-big omelets I have ever seen. I still want to try making beef heart tartare after enjoying some at Foreign & Domestic in Austin.
During my trip, I stumbled upon a really nice restaurant in San Antonio called The Cove. The owner, Lisa, told me she started it as any other burger joint but throughout the years has transformed it after learning more about nutrition and health through studying Ayurveda. She just couldn’t keep feeding the public what she wouldn’t eat herself. Now the restaurant boasts a menu of fresh, local and organic foods with plenty of gluten-free options. I had a pastured lamb burger, sweet potato fries and homemade ice cream. Delish! You can also wash your car, laundry, and let your kids play on the playground all while being entertained by live music.
To round out my food trip, I stopped in at the very first Whole Foods in Austin, Texas. I did my usual perimeter tour I would take in a grocery store and was amazed at the selection. Tons of great produce, meat, seafood, dairy, and eggs. Then I realized I should check out the center aisles which were not filled with junk. I left with some delicious fage yogurt, fresh carrot apple juice, butter and eggs. That was probably the first time I’ve ever bought eggs from a grocery store and found them to have the deep golden yolks that my usual small farms eggs have. I really wish I had a Whole Foods where I live.
I plan to go to next year’s conference which will be in Santa Clara, CA. After having so much fun on this trip, I’m hoping to make next year’s into a vacation as well and check out the food scene around California. There’s no describing what a wonderful group of people attend and present at Wise Traditions. No matter where you are on your journey, you learn something and leave there with new things to try to better your health. I came to this conference feeling great with one nagging minor health complaint and left knowing how to address that (more in a future post) even though I wasn’t looking for a fix! But, I’ll probably return again and again just for the people.
For more pictures from the conference check out Cheeseslave’s Flickr album.
I just got back from an extended trip to the Wise Traditions 2011 Conference. This year’s conference was my second one and I’m so glad I went again. The first year I think I was a bit overwhelmed. As an introvert, throwing myself into a conference full of people I’ve never met while still dealing with energy issues and trying to listen to every talk was a bit much. I had a wonderful experience the first time around but this second year was just amazing. Getting to see some people again and meeting a lot of people whose blogs I’ve followed for a while was fun. Also I had tons more energy this year so I didn’t have to miss out on anything to go sleep.
Paul Jaminet – Perfect Health Diet
My favorite talk this year was by Paul Jaminet, author of The Perfect Health Diet. Somehow I had never found his wonderful blog and book before this conference, even though I seem to follow everyone who has linked to his site. I guess you miss things when you speed read through blog posts. The diet he outlines is probably the closest to what I would recommend to people who are looking for a healthy diet to follow. It’s not necessarily a protocol for healing from Celiac or other digestive issues like SCD or GAPS, but is a great diet to follow for health.
During his talk he also talked about infection and finally I feel like I understand why some people do great on low carb SCD and others do not. He said that people who have bacterial infections tend to feel great on low carb (this was me) because bacteria mainly feed on glucose. People who have fungal/parasitic infections do horrible on low carb (I’ve seen many on SCD with this experience) because these feed on both glucose and ketones which are produced by the body on a low carb diet. For people with these infections, eating some carbs that you can digest is best. Too much and the bad bugs get to feed on the leftovers, too little and they feed on ketones. A good amount is probably around 100g carbs per day. So if you’re doing low carb and getting worsening symptoms like toe nail fungus, yeast infections, oral thrush etc, try adding some carbs back in.
Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride – GAPS
Every year Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride gives a full day GAPS talk. Last year I sat in for some of it and it was an awesome experience just to be in a room filled to the brim with people who I didn’t have to explain my diet to. This year I didn’t go because I didn’t feel the need to, but Brenda over a Well Fed Homestead sat in on the talks and offered some really good advice here: http://www.wellfedhomestead.com/eat-what-you-need-on-the-gaps-intro. As much as these diets are detailed and thought out in books, it’s impossible to heal unless you figure out what your body needs. I have often modified my SCD/GAPS-like diet to suit what I needed and although it’s tricky at times it does work! Trial and error plays a big role in healing.
Sally Fallon – Healthy Pregnancy
I love sitting in on Sally Fallon’s talks. She has such a calm demeanor and you’ll leave her talks feeling inspired and hopeful. You also get to see all the old photographs Weston Price took comparing health primitives on traditional diets with their not-so-healthy relatives on modern diets (hint, genetics aren’t to blame on this!). This year she gave her usual talk on nourishing traditional diets but also a separate talk on healthy pregnancy and babies. The basis of the information she gave is that pregnancy is a time to nourish and get tons of nutrient dense foods, not a excuse to eat junk! Fats, fat soluble vitamins, minerals and cholesterol are extremely important for growing a baby. Animal based fats, seafood, lots of butter and organ meats are all important on a pregnancy diet. She has announced that a new Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care is coming in 2013. This will be a great resource and I cannot wait. I hope she includes lots of pictures of healthy babies!
Stephanie Seneff – Sulphur, Sunlight & Cholesterol
Stephanie Seneff gave a very interesting talk on sulphur, sunlight and cholesterol. Thankfully her slides are available online here and here so I don’t have to fail at trying to explain it all! I like how Stephanie talked about how sunlight does so much more than just provide us with vitamin D. We know that vitamin D is low in people who don’t get enough sunlight, but is taking a pill really a good substitute? What about other stuff we don’t know that happens when sun hits our skin? What about food sources of vitamin D that have other nutrients in combination with it? My view is get sun as much of the year as you can and then supplement vitamin D in the winter while also focusing on vitamin D rich foods like cod liver oil. She also talks about how cholesterol is actually very necessary for health along with certain other nutrients like folate, choline and zinc.
Chris Masterjohn – Fat Myths
I’ve heard about the science behind the ‘saturated fat is evil campaign’ being dodgy at best but hearing Chris picking apart some of the studies was ridiculous. Even he was cracking up at how awful the science was. What if you’re doing a study with two groups – one on polyunsaturated fats and one on saturated fats – and you don’t get the results you hoped for? Well these researchers combined the two groups, then got a new control group (not sure what fats they were eating) and then derived conclusions about polyunsaturated fats from the new results. Hmmm… Also, it’s a bit scary that no long-term studies have been done on polyunsaturated fats (relatively new vegetables oils like corn, soy, safflower oils). Most studies run about 5 years which is not long enough to know what effect they have on cholesterol and heart health. Most studies on saturated fats lump all solid fats into the same category whether they are natural (animal based fats and tropical oils) or man-made (hydrogenated vegetable oils aka margarines) which again does not give us any indication of how natural saturated fats affect cholesterol and heart health. Check out Chris’ blog for lots of info about cholesterol, fats and more.
So there’s a few of the talks that stood out to me this year. Obviously there were many more and if you’re interested in hearing any or all of them, the recordings are available to order online. I will blog some more about the rest of the conference, the food and the people which is the best part! Being in rooms full of food geeks is invigorating.
Here’s a summary of my thoughts on the topic (hint, I think it’s ridiculous we can’t buy raw milk):
- Milk is the only food we cannot buy raw. Why?
- We’re not asking for it to be sold in stores, just allow farmers to sell it.
- Plenty of dairy farmers drink their milk raw.
- Pasteurized milk is not necessarily safe.
- Pasteurized milk makes me sick.
- Plenty of other foods can make you sick.
- Why don’t we have the freedom to choose what we eat?
- The raw milk law discriminates against non-farmers
There are so many things you can do with raw milk, like making your own cheeses and sour cream. I once left jars of raw cream out on the counter and they went sour. I turned some into a delicious butter and the rest was thick tangy sour cream. You can’t do that with pasteurized milk. Leave it out on the counter and it goes bad pretty fast with mold or clumps of rotting mess. So why shouldn’t I have the right to buy a raw ingredient I want to make other things with? I also use my raw milk for yogurt and kefir, and prefer starting from the raw ingredient.
Drinking raw milk is not illegal, just selling and distributing it is. Why? Farmers can produce it and drink it themselves, but unless you live on that farm you can’t have any. Something doesn’t seem right.
Every dairy farmer I’ve talked to has no worries about drinking raw milk. Even dairy farmers who then sell their milk as pasteurized. They aren’t getting sick on this stuff.
Believing pasteurization removes any risk from food boorne illness is incorrect. Even if pasteurization killed all bacteria, the bottling and handling stages of milk processing can still cause contamination. Ultra High Temperature (UHT) pasteurization is supposed to kill even more pathogens. Many people have noticed however that this dead milk can’t be used for making yogurt or kefir properly. I don’t think any of us want to be eating a food that can’t support life. UHT pasteurized milk is about on the same level as margarine for health.
It does, I’ve tried it more than once. I get the snotty-nosed reaction first, bloating and sometimes stomach cramps. Anyone who thinks milk is a ‘mucous-producing food’ probably haven’t tried raw milk or ferments made from raw milk.
Spinach, tomatoes, cold cuts, ground beef, peanut butter, cookie dough and pretty much any packaged food are probably more recognized by the general public as being dangerous foods than milk.
IT’s JUST FOOD! I’d rather our government be spending money on actual crimes and not harassing farmers who are selling a food that people want and should have every right to buy.
It’s legal to drink raw milk in Canada. It’s not legal to sell or distribute it. This means that unless you live on a farm you cannot drink raw milk. So really, only farmers can drink raw milk legally in Canada.
The best place I’ve found to keep up to date on all raw milk news is http://thebovine.wordpress.com
There’s an interesting article with a poll on it (as of Setp 29, 2011) at http://www.cbc.ca/news/yourcommunity/2011/09/should-raw-milk-be-sold-in-canada.html which may be a little biased getting lots of support from raw milk drinkers. However, it does go to show that the raw milk issue among non-supporters is really not that important.
Just before I started on SCD I did a blood test for food allergies – the ELISA food allergy test. I fully expected to get the results back showing a reaction to gluten, red meat, and certain fruits and vegetables I knew had trouble with. In fact, none of those showed up at all. I was ‘allergic’ to bananas and eggs (especially whites), two foods I was eating the most of and feeling good with. This didn’t sound right to me so I started investigating how the test works.
Food allergy tests (IgG – not anaphylactic-shock reaction testing for IgE) are looking for antibodies to certain food particles. This is how the Celiac blood test works too, it looks for antibodies to gluten. If you haven’t eaten gluten, you will always test negative (one reason why a lot of these tests return a false negative, as some people have already gone gluten-free by the time they test). So if you haven’t eaten a particular food, you won’t test as being ‘allergic’ to it.
If you have leaky gut syndrome, where the intestinal wall becomes permeable allowing food particles to cross over and end up in the blood, you will almost certainly test positive for a number of ‘allergic’ responses. This is because food particles aren’t supposed to be showing up in the blood. A working digestive system will break down food particles so that basic amino acids, fatty acids, minerals, vitamins etc will be absorbed, not larger molecules of food. If larger molecules get through, your body will treat them as foreign and mount an immune system response.
If you have Celiac disease, the damage done to the intestines leaves you with intestinal permiability. This means you need to be aware that other foods are probably causing you problems and will continue to do so until you heal the intestinal tract. I would argue that most people with gastrointestinal symptoms have some degree of leaky gut syndrome. A food allergy test in my opinion is useless except to tell you that you do in fact have leaky gut. It would probably tell you that you’re allergic to everything you’re eating.
Most Naturopaths will tell you to avoid all foods you test high or moderate for, seeing the test as a final result. Do this and take the blood test again in a few months, and I wouldn’t be surprised if your results are different, showing a higher reaction to the new foods you are eating. My naturopath reacted a little differently. She didn’t tell me to cut anything out, but did introduce me to the concept of rotation diet. Foods that I was reacting to at a high level I would not eat every single day, but once every few days. That made sense to me and helped me get a bit more variety in my diet. Especially with meats which at the time I was just eating beef, chicken and pork. I started eating lamb, duck, turkey and various game meats. I also started trying to get seafood once a week. I had a hard time with vegetables and was scared of raw fruit at the time, so I didn’t manage to get much variety there but I did rotate through the ones I was eating.
Here’s the thing though, rotating these foods, having a bigger variety to choose from, avoiding some (eggs) didn’t result in any noticeable difference. Pretty soon I just went back to my usual way of eating, which happened to be eating a lot of the same things for a few weeks until I tried some new recipes and changed it up a bit. Slowly over time my digestive tract healed without me removing individual foods that had shown up on allergy tests.
For me what worked was focusing on three things.
- Remove major offenders: these foods are the ones that cause noticeable symptoms, like gluten and most grains for me
- Add in as much nutritious healing food as you can: foods containing lots of nutrients, especially if you’re like me and have a hard time eating enough, including shellfish, organ meats, vegetable juices, egg yolks, raw dairy, fruit)
- Fine-tune: change it up if it’s not working and take note of how you feel after eating each meal. Change the time of day you eat that type of meal (for example at one point I felt better eating high fat & meat for breakfast, but now I feel better eating lots of fruit for breakfast, meat later in the day). Take notice of how cooked vs raw food affects you, again taking note of the time of day.
I felt after doing the blood test that it was a waste of money. I certainly wouldn’t suggest anyone do it if money is tight. At least it led me to understanding how this all works a bit more, but I still thinking listening to your body is a much better indicator of what to eat.
I have been making raw milk kefir in place of the SCD yogurt mainly because of simplicity and wanting to get the extra benefits of raw milk. I tried making raw milk yogurt a few times and it just wasn’t as good as the usual SCD yogurt (milk warmed up to 180 first). I do make the SCD yogurt every now and then with sheep milk as a treat.
For making kefir, the process is pretty simple once you have your kefir grains and some milk.
- wooden spoon
- cloth or paper towel
- kefir grains
Pour milk into a jar. Add about 2 tbsp of kefir grains per liter of milk using a wooden spoon. In the photo above, I put two chunks of that size for 1 liter. Stir gently.
Cover the jar with a cloth or paper towel, secured in place by a mason jar ring or elastic band (see pic below). Keep the jar on the counter for 12 hours.
Remove the kefir grains using a wooden spoon.
Leave the jar of half fermented kefir on the counter for another 12 hours (for 24 hours total) covered with cloth. After fermenting, cover the jar with a lid and place in the fridge.
Storing kefir grains
Store the kefir grains in a small jar of milk, in the fridge for up to a week. You can freeze them in milk as well to keep for longer periods. I just keep mine in the fridge and give them fresh milk and a gentle stir once every week or so.
If you want your kefir grains to multiply quickly, keep the grains on the counter either making continuous batches of kefir or just supplying new milk to them every couple days.
Kefir grains are sensitive to metal so don’t use metal spoons, bowls, or strainers. I use glass jars and wooden spoons when handling them.
I found kefir grains by contacting my local Weston A Price Foundation chapter and asking chapter members if anyone had some to share. You can also check local classified ads or ask around at farmers markets.
Kefir will ferment a bit faster in warmer temperatures, but doesn’t require a source of heat like yogurt does. In the winter, I place my jar on the top of the fridge or close to the stove so it gets a bit of extra heat.
Some people use a plastic strainer and rinse kefir grains under water. I found this step unnecessary as long as I give the milk a gentle stir once the grains are added.
I find kefir is best used within a week. If kept longer, it will very slowly keep fermenting until it’s quite strong.
On SCD this is considered an advanced food but I wish I had tried it sooner. I found it does help with carbohydrate tolerance and Candida symptoms. It’s worth trying after a couple months on SCD just start very slowly with a spoonful at first and increase the dose from there. I flavour mine just like yogurt, with honey and berries.