Congratulations on finding and trying the diet. That is a major
feat in itself! Now if we could only get you over the craving hurdle.
Everyone has there own ways of staying on the diet, but here are
mine: When I started the diet 2 1/2 years ago, I had two major motivating
factors at the time.
My Crohn's Disease wasn't responding very well to my current medications.
I knew that if I continued down the path I was on that I would need
surgery at some point. Also, I suffered from terrible peri-anal
fistulas that weren't getting any better. If my fistulas got worse,
I was facing the fact that I might have to lose my entire colon
etc from them. So before I even found the SCD, I made a pact that
with myself that my health would be my number one priority and that
I would do anything to help improve it. I would no longer worry
about being ashamed or embarrassed of my condition ( I was very
ashamed at having CD at the time and thought I was defective, etc....).
Two weeks into the diet I felt amazing and I knew the diet would
work its wonders for me. Within a month I was off of all meds. Staring
in the face of certain surgery and the health pact I made with myself
gave me the motivation to continue on the Diet.
I fought off my cravings with knowledge. This may seem corny, but
I researched and read as much information that i possibly could
find on the Standard American Diet (SAD). I have learned so much
about nutrition and our current foods in the US, that I cringe everytime
I see someone "enjoying" a piece of cake etc. I am no longer tempted
that really helped me learn more about the ill effects of the SAD
were: NeanderThin by Ray Audette
Protein Power Lifestyle Plan by the Eades
Life without Bread by Wolfgang Lutz
The Sugar Blues by William Duffy
Fat of the Land by Viljamur Stefansson (the artic explorer - you
will have to get this one through the library, it is old).
The Stone Age Diet by Walter Voegtlin (another old book - Dr. Voegtlin
was a GI that prescribed an all meat diet for IBD).
also have some articles documenting the slow deterioration of the
Eskimo as these tribes introduced "modern" foods into their diet.
In less than twenty years, the Eskimo went from one of the healthiest
people on this earth to the worst. They now have one of the highest
incidences of disease - it is amazing stuff that isn't publicized
if you think knowledge will help combat your cravings, as it did
for me, I recommend any/all of these books which you should be able
to get for free from your local library......And there's no reason
to feel deprived on this diet. There is so much good food. Just
make SCD legal food for the whole family, and if your husband wants
something else, make him fend for himself ;)
diet isn't just healthy for those of us with IBD - it is healthy
Good Luck, Seth
Seth runs Healingcrow.com,
a wonderful site for SCDers and non-SCDers alike.
Melanie, I think
we all wish there was an easier way and I am sure there are many
SCDer's who share your same fears, myself included. This list has
been an incredible source of help, I can always log on with relative
assurance that I will have SCD mail, this is one of the things that
keeps me going on the bad days when it would just be easier to have
a piece of chocolate cake. The reality for me has come over time,
it feels so good to feel good. I don't want my intestines to run
my life and that was what was happening before I found the SCD.
They controlled where I worked, where I took vacations and pretty
much my day to day life. After three months on the diet I no longer
have the cravings, it's not easy and I still have some healing to
do but the future once again looks bright. There are a lot of wonderful
people here willing to offer help and support. Good luck. Josh UC
are all individuals - motivated by different things and with our
own individual strengths and weaknesses but, frankly, the thought
of exposing myself and my poor tortured intestines to the open air
and general anaesthetic (and the significant death rates from that
alone), staph infections (common at hospitals), a life of wearing
a colostomy bag and finally, (but not least) having a BIG, uncontrolled
D event in a manager's meeting - all keep me on the straight and
narrow. I don't know what motivates you, but if you know about the
diet and are facing another surgery, it might just be time to sit
down and have a LONG talk with yourself. The diet is not difficult
once you get into the swing of it, the food is diverse and flavorful
and the results are spectacular. There are really no negative trade-offs.
I wonder what other motivation you could possibly need. I hope,
for your sake, you find out and then get with the program and stick
to it. The other options are not acceptable.
Regards Michael Windrim
Melanie, I have
to agree with Seth. In fact his story is almost identical to mine
except he has been on the diet a lot longer. I had horrible per-anal
fistulas that were not going away and was extremely sick and facing
losing my colon. Feeling unable to take care of my children and
the fear of losing my colon were great motivating factors. I felt
better almost immediately upon starting the diet, that in itself
was very motivating. I suddenly realized playing with my children
wasn't like a huge task that I just did with no enjoyment because
I was so miserably sick I started enjoying life again. I never want
to go back to the way I was. I have only been on the diet 3 and
1/2 months and I can honestly say I don't even feel tempted anymore.
I think just recently I began to feel that way. I was the biggest
carbohydrate fiend that there was. I didn't think I could live without
pizza, the real stuff, or a lot of other foods. I never cared much
for meat, or vegtables or salads. I have found that over these few
months my tastes have changed. I enjoy things that I never had particularly
enjoyed before. Fruit tastes better, vegtables taste better. I have
found that cheddar cheese on anything (just about) makes it taste
better, vegtables, chicken soup etc. I also make sure that I am
never hungry when other people are having pizza or cake and it doesn't
bother me. When I am hungry I feel the most resentful that I have
to be on this diet. There are plenty of good things to eat on this
diet and I enjoy them more and more as time goes on. Your taste
really does change. I hated the yogurt at first but now it is my
favorite treat. I just love it mixed with bananas. I eat a lot of
that. I like cashew butter right out of the jar. It tastes like
peanut butter fudge to me. I love all the nut recipes but at present
I find I do much better without them. They irritate my system too
much. Lucy's cookbook is great. There are so many good recipes and
you are right, the more satisfying recipes you can find the better.
I have come to consider other food as poison, as it truly is to
my system. Why would I want to eat poison? I equate it with that
and it truly helps me.
It is frustrating
to have all that food around you. I usually make at least two different
meals every evening. I have three small children and only the baby
isn't tainted by all the other sweet food and loves my food. I have
one very picky daughter and sometimes I am making three meals. I
try to incorporate some of my food into their meals. We can always
incorporate the vegtables. Butternut squash is a favorite with everyone
(well except the picky one). It really can be frustrating but I
will tell you that it is 1000 times better than being sick and unable
to even make dinner. I count my blessings for what I do have instead
of focusing on what I can't have. I have my colon and a lot of good
food I can eat. I can go out without worrying about a bathroom the
whole time. I can take a walk with my family through the woods and
enjoy it. What a miracle! Thank God for Elaine and this diet. Sorry
for rambling. Good luck to you. Just take it one day at a time and
make sure you are never hungry. You know how when you are hungry
in the supermarket and you buy more than you can eat because you
are starving and then when you aren't hungry or very full you can
pass up everything but what is on your list? I think that is one
of the most important things. Never let yourself get hungry.
course, I second everything that Katie, Josh, Michael and Seth have
said. But at the risk of becoming the List's Unofficial Tough Love
Guy, I just like to say...what the hell's the matter with you?
You had "mass
amount of improvement" after just a couple of weeks on the diet?
You've had five surgeries in two years and you "don't know what
to do?" Really, what the hell is the matter with you?
You feel left
out when your husband and son eat food you cannot, but you don't
feel left out when you're staring at the parade of life passing
by outside your hospital window?
The fact is
that you do know what to do. Buck up, indeed! You can do whatever
you want. The question is, do you want to do it? I'll never understand
why people fail to realize just how much they are capable of. For
crying out loud, Melanie, you did the diet for two weeks. If you
can do it for two weeks, you can do it for two weeks and one day.
And if you can do it for two weeks and one day, you can do it for
one day more than that. Remember, life isn't lived all at once.
Life does not fold in on itself to produce one big omelet of time.
Every moment is separate. And every second is an opportunity.
So your husband
and son are sitting there chowing down a pizza. Time will erase
the moment as it erases everything else. What human beings do wonderfully
well is anticipate things which do not yet be. During the longing
for a "normal meal" you can envision a day, not yet arrived, when
you are free of surgery and you feel the full radiant power of a
healed body, strong, and well.
For the love
of God, quit whining about having more recipes and being scared.
It's time to step up. And I know you can do it. Do the diet today.
And then forget about today. When tomorrow is today, do the diet
again...and then erase that day from your memory. Live in the moment.
Don't add up the days or weeks or years. Just eat the right foods,
for God's sake, and find the Melanie you never knew existed. She's
I know you can
respect, Mark D.
Czcz at aol.com
I totally understand your problem, since I too have been struggling
since August to stay on track. I had a good month back then, but
since have been going on and off the diet like a yo yo. I love food
too, and as I mentioned recently, I used to be a compulsive eater.
I solved the problem, but was used to having moderate amounts of
sweets on a regular basis, and limiting my options made me very
angry, like a little girl being told NO!
It was driving
me crazy, because until I stay on it a reasonable amount of time,
how can I prove to myself that it works? I realize it has helped
so many others, which is why I am eager for the same healing. I
have gotten sicker over the last few months. I had one surgery in
1999, which was such a trauma for me that I never want to go through
that again. I was told last spring that the inflammation has recurred,
which is why I am having problems now (D, rectal pain and bleeding,
low energy etc.) I recently decided to put a sincere effort to trying
SCD, no cheating. I just got myself a buddy on this list, someone
to write to each day. I think that will help me. Perhaps you could
do the same? Only you can stick to the diet, but it helps to have
an experienced person guide you through the rough spots. Of course
the entire list is here for you, but maybe an experienced buddy
to give you special attention will help.
Today is day
4 for me, and I am feeling encouraged. I also definitely recommend
doing as much cooking of the wonderful foods that we can have, to
make your meals as delicious as possible. I have decided that this
is essential for me to stay on track. Also, be willing to spend
the money to get yourself the best quality foods you can afford.
You are worth it.
Good luck, and
feel free to write me directly if you like. I am still getting my
"sea legs", but I am feeling much more confident. I hope you too
will find the help you need here. This is a wonderful group. Don't
let the Crohn's run your life. You deserve better.
Melanie Rogers from Elaine
critters contributing to your illness have physiologically made
you addictive. Please don't let them subvert you. Make plenty of
goodies - sweet and otherwise from the two books you have always
have them on hand. Claire on the list is having the same trouble
as you are. If you have stocks of legal foods on hand all the time,
you can make a dash for the legals and I think it will satisfy you.
If chocolate is driving you crazy, then take a half thimble of chocolate,
cut it in half and reward yourself each evening after dinner with
a piece of illegal chocolate. If it takes being illegal to get legal
- go for it. Love
Hi Melanie I
think that alot of us sympathise with you. It takes some patience
to stick to any diet. You will find as the months pass that doing
the SCD becomes easier and easier. You learn ways of coping for
different situations. For example: Eating out at someone elses place-
never rely on there being food for you to eat that is legal. Either
eat before you go or take your own dish. When you are at home eating
with your family you may find that you will be eating something
completely different from time to time. I think that you just have
to accept this, but perhaps you could make something that closely
resembles what they are eating. I would also suggest that you have
1-2 sessions of baking a week so that you can freeze food to use
when you are pushed for time or simply can't be bothered. When you
are out and about always take a snack with you e.g nuts and fruit,
fruit leather, banana You never know when something is going to
prevent you from getting home to prepare SCD food. For you at the
moment it seems that celebations are impossible times to stick to
a diet, but it can be done. For example, when I went to someones
Thanksgiving meal, I first off asked what food would be available
and then took along my own dishes. I took Kerrie's Green bean and
Almond dish and Nancy's Pecan Pie. I was able to eat the asparagus
and turkey that was already there. Everyone loved the dishes that
I took along (thanks Kerrie and Nancy). Over Christmas we had people
to stay. It was the first time that I was able to successfully cope
without cheating or going hungry. Before they arrived I decided
what I was going to cook for them for the entire time they were
here (2 1/2 weeks) and also what I was going to eat. (I tried to
make my dishes closely resemble theirs although I didn't always
manage, but that didn't matter) While they were here I made sure
that I had muffins in the freezer and that the yoghurt was in plentyful
supply. When taking them sightseeing I always took snacks and soup
with me just in case they wanted to stop off at a restaurant or
something. If I was able to eat something at the restaurant then
great, but if not, so what.
I know you have
a busy life with a young family but do you think that you would
be able to do some of the above? Your health is worth it don't you