Edit: I realize most people don’t want to gain weight, but for many recovering from Celiac and following SCD or GAPS, it can be quite difficult to get up to a healthy weight.
Since last summer I have been eating a lot more carbs, mainly in the form of fruit, honey and juices. For the first year (or two?) on SCD I ate mostly low-carb. I was pretty much eating what I could on SCD that my digestion would allow. After a while I started indulging in honey and fruit for a couple weeks at a time until Candida-like symptoms crept up (heartburn was always the first and most noticeable). I would then revert back to low carb until I felt better, then back to a more moderate/high carb for as long as I could. Eventually I found that I could go longer and longer on the moderate/high carb diet without getting Candida symptoms. The motivation for eating more carbs for me was that I wanted to gain weight.
I have heard stories from others on SCD or GAPS that once they included raw milk kefir in their diet, their tolerance for carbs steadily increased. This definitely happened with me. I added kefir this past fall and since then have had none of the symptoms I used to get when eating higher carb. Another thing I did was start to eat tons of carbs one day a week, usually in the form of bananas, other fruit, sweet potatoes, carrot juice and honey. Then I would eat normally the rest of the week. That one day a week of overeating carbs didn’t cause me any lasting digestive problems and seemed to help me increase my tolerance.
Lately my diet has been a much steadier higher carb diet. Although I initially managed to gain a bit of weight on SCD, I was still quite underweight. Over the past 6-8 months I’ve managed to gain noticeably more weight and keep it on, by eating higher carb while still keeping a high amount of fat as well. I think that’s the key to gaining weight after recovering from digestion problems, being able to eat lots of fat AND carbs. I never gained much weight eating a high fat SCD diet, no matter how much butter, coconut oil and fatty meats I ate.
Along with the weight gain, I’ve found that I can finally go without eating for longer periods if needed. Sometimes I’m done all my food I’ve brought to work before noon and don’t eat until I get home and cook something later in the evening. I’ve done this more than once without any problems. I can also eat more in one sitting; so having a big breakfast that keeps me full through the afternoon is a possibility. This makes it easy on the weekends when I’m out during the day and don’t want to worry about bringing food with me. Or, if I’m home I just have juices, kefir or yogurt with fruit all day and don’t worry about prepping a full meal until dinner time.
I’ve also been eating a lot more raw food lately. Raw egg yolks, butter, cream, kefir, vegetable juices, bananas, berries, honey, some fish and caviar. Again, this is nice because I don’t have to do a whole lot of prep for these foods. I’ve been cooking less than ever! Also nice is that I don’t have to use the microwave very much at work if I’m bringing all raw foods. My dinners have been simple soups, stir-fries, stews, and meatballs, usually beef or lamb with whatever vegetables looked good at the farmer’s market.
I never did well with the squashes and starchy vegetables so I haven’t ever had too much of that. I also don’t think they’re high enough in carbs to really help weight gain, unless you top them with tons of honey. I found fruit much more tolerable, especially when eaten during the morning. At first eating fruit at night meant I woke up a few hours later feeling hungry or weak. Now I can eat fruit alone or with dairy or meat any time of day.
I really wish I could go back to my early SCD days and try eating more fruit, honey and vegetable juices, without also trying to eat lots of vegetables. I always fell back to a mostly meat and dairy SCD after trying lots of vegetables because my stomach just couldn’t handle it. I think having carrots labeled as an early SCD food threw me off course a bit. I never tolerated carrots well, even if peeled and cooked until soft. I always thought that meant I just wasn’t able to handle raw fruit, so I didn’t even try it. I now know the root vegetables are not necessarily easier to digest than fruit.
I feel like I keep saying that “I wish I could go back and try…”. I guess that’s a good thing because I’m finally at a point where I genuinely feel great and have found what works. 🙂