In the beginning of the SCD, one should avoid all typical allergy-causing foods or any other foods that you already KNOW cause you allergy or digestive symptoms. Remember that any food that does not digest EASILY does harm! Eat as much and as many of the healthy vegetables and fruits from the "Permitted" list in BREAKING THE VICIOUS CYCLE that you can (along with protein, or course) and you will build your immune system stronger . . . faster. After you have been symptom free for three months, you may re-introduce one suspected allergy food at a time, 3-4 days apart and watch for symptoms, which sometimes don’t show up until a day or two after the food is eaten. You may find it helpful to use the FOOD RECORD & SYMPTOM DIARY to help you sort through the foods. After being symptom free and then reintroducing suspect foods in this manner, you will be able to tell exactly which food is causing problems and you will learn to listen to and read your body. For a while I thought I could eat corn chips successfully . . . then discovered each time I ate them that I had gas and loose stools 2 days later. We must remember that anything that causes digestive symptoms is damaging the villi. In time, the SCD should build the immune system so you can tolerate many of the foods that you have sensitivities or allergies to now.
One should wait until there is no diarrhea and there's been some healing to add nuts, nut flour, raw veggies, raw fruits, and dried white beans. Even though they are on the Permitted Foods list, some digestive systems are not ready for that much roughage in the beginning, especially if the intestines are inflamed. If you’ve ever had mouth ulcers, you know how most foods irritate them. Your intestines can be the same. Since the almond flour is ground so fine, most have an easier time digesting the almond flour goods than whole nuts. Of course, if something doesn’t digest well, avoid it for a while and then try it again later. Start off with ½ a muffin and gradually increase up to no more than the equivalent of 2-3 almond flour muffins per day, or you won't have room for the veggies and fruits you need. If you are focusing on weight loss, one muffin is probably plenty.
After completing the beginning diet, vegetables and fruits should be pealed and cooked VERY SOFT to soften the fiber until cramping or diarrhea are under control. When dried white beans are introduced after all symptoms are gone, they should be soaked in water for at least 12 hours and drained 3 times prior to cooking. For those who are ultra sensitive, beans can be ‘squished’ through a sieve after cooking to remove the husks.
If an individual cannot digest the homemade 24-hr. lactose-free yogurt in the beginning, they can drip it to get a less acidic yogurt. To do this, simply pour the finished cold yogurt into the bag that comes with the yogurt maker, or into a piece of cheesecloth placed inside a colander, or into a coffee filter, or in a Cheese Maker (dripper) made by Donvier and let the liquid drip out for 24 or more hours. It can sit on the cabinet or in the refrigerator over a bowl. The more it drips, the thicker and milder the cheese becomes. The sensitive individual should start with only a tablespoon per day mixed with a little honey or applesauce. If they do ok, wait a day and eat another tablespoon; and continue on for a few days before increasing the amount VERY SLOWLY. Many who previously thought they were allergic to casein (the protein in milk) have been able to tolerate and enjoy the benefits of the homemade yogurt after they’ve been on the SCD for a while. The yogurt gave me indigestion and rumblings when I first tried it; but I did fine after building a tolerance for it in this way. Now, I cannot imagine being without it! As the immune system strengthens, we are not so intolerant of many things.
For those who cannot eat any dairy from cows, they can make their yogurt from goat’s milk. Some even ferment cabbage to get the good bacteria into the gut for healing. Read MAKING YOGURT & OTHER FERMENTED FOODS for more ideas.