Friday, November 30, 2007

Proving my own theory

Now, I started SCD with my son, based on my belief that I had severe gut dysfunction. My new doctor agrees with me.

But but! I have never had any of the classic symptoms that go along with gut dysfunction. I have never been underweight, and most of the time I have been overweight. While I am at a good weight now, my doctors generally feel I should lose more because of my arthritis. I have rheumatoid arthritis and my doctors have given me the most practiced poker face EVER when I tell them that diet is a major contributor to my condition.

But I ain't starving, people. I'm not underweight. I don't look malnourished.

But but! I've never had any real digestive problems. I've never noticed stomach pains, I've never noticed bad gas or cramping or diarrhea or any of that! Someone on one of my listservs said she has "perfect poops!"

Ha ha. People on SCD talk about poop pretty often, so get used to it. :)

But I digress. My son has always, always had loose stools.

Until SCD!

Suddenly he was having "perfect poops" as well. Whee!

And then I gave him raw lettuce! I was new to the diet and wasn't thinking. In an HOUR ... he ran to the bathroom and exploded. You know. Out that end.

Not pretty. But I was in wonderment. This had never happened to him before, and here it SCD illegal and he REACTED, big time.

I'd been going through the intro with him too, same way. I did not react to anything, really. Clark did, though. He cannot handle bananas right now. Instant explosion. Why? Don't know. They were definitely SCD legal, but for now, his body says NO.

OK. Fine. I'm still testing with him, going along, and finally it's Clark's birthday. I made him nut butter brownies, as our stage 2 graduation present to ourselves.

Clark had two. I had two. They were goooooood. :)

The next day I ate one brownie at work. And an hour later, I was in the bathroom.

"Hmm," thought I. "Perhaps that brownie did not agree with me." It wasn't exactly a serious bathroom problem, but it was enough to give me pause.

A few days later, I had a brilliant idea. I put about a teaspoon of almond butter on a piece of egg bread, added honey, a sprinkle of salt, and another piece of egg bread. Ta da! Egg bread sandwich.

Clark LOVED them. He ate two.

They were pretty good. I ate one.

I took two of them to work. I ate one of them.

In less than an HOUR, I was RUNNING FULL TILT FOR THE BATHROOM. I was on a conference call, ripped the headset from my ear and RAN. I almost did not make it.

I do not tolerate the nut butter.

And now, my stomach aches and hurts and I am in PAIN.

*blink blink*

It works. The diet works. It's REAL. It's working for ME.

Paradoxically, I am excited. Woo!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Trying to help

A former acquaintance of mine has chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.

I told her about diet changes. Well, I tried. Have you ever tried to boil down four years of reading research into a few sentences? It doesn't work well.

Well, finally, she snapped. In an e-mail she screamed at me. She told me I had no idea how she was feeling. And that it was so great that I found out that gluten affected me, but she had allergy tests and it didn't affect her. The end.

I tried to gently explain the different types of allergy tests, how an elimination diet was really the best way to be sure. I tried to explain that some people react to foods that never show up on any standard tests. I told her about new research that showed food reactions happening in the gut, far beyond the reach of blood or skin tests. I told her that it may not be gluten at all, but something else.

She had had enough. She was not going to listen to me anymore. And with that, our relationship was over.

That hurt. It hurt even more when I thought about how another relationship of mine went sour -- an acquaintance who kept suggesting that my son was autistic and needed to be tested.

Now, to be fair, I didn't have the first clue about how to go about getting tested. I asked his pediatricians and they all said my son was fine, there was nothing to be worried about.

But, I did resent her for that.

Maybe part of the reasons was because we weren't really close friends or anything, and her behavior and expressed opinions on other topics really weren't things I agreed with. Perhaps my recently lost acquaintance felt the same way about me.

But it does feel a bit like the shoe is on the other foot now.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Carrot pancakes and more

Clark had a great time at his birthday celebration, and was a BIG FAN of the almond butter brownies. I am going to add vanilla next time. They just seem wrong without it. I will post pictures once they are off the camera.

A few days ago I boiled up a bunch of organic baby carrots. I think I boiled about two pounds of them. Naturally, this made it difficult for me to drain them, since I do have arthritis in my hands. And then after I drained them and let them sit to cool, there were so many I couldn't really tip the strainer and dump them into a giant baggie.

It was late, and I was tired and I was complaining and giggling with my darling husband.

"Help meeeeeee," I whined.

Jeffrey looked at me, amused. "You're not going to be able to dump them in a bag."

"I know," I pouted. I started picking up handfuls of carrots and placing them into the baggie. I said, "This is ridiculous. It's like...the 19th century."

Jeffrey laughed. "Yes, the 19th century where they had ziplock bags and baby carrots."

I whispered to him conspiratorially. "You know what baby carrots are, don't you?"


And in the kitchen, we laughed and laughed until my sides ached, and finished putting the carrots away.

Tonight, we will have carrot pancakes from my recipe -- Clark's favorite.


1 1/2 cups well cooked baby carrots (water squeezed out, seriously)
4 eggs
1 tsp SCD legal vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
4 tsp honey (optional)
1/4 tsp sea salt

Mash up the carrots with the other ingredients until it's as smooth as you'd like, or you can puree it. Fry in a skillet with a small amount of oil.

Makes about 9 pancakes.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

When there are no other options

I do not read the news often.

It's hard for me to watch television news, or even read articles online because it's so negative. It's self protective, really. I dance on the edge of depression when life threatens to overwhelm me, and that threat looms fairly often.

Occasionally though I try to search for information to help my son, and I stumbled across a horrifying article. The article in question was from Mother Jones magazine, describing an institute called the Rotenberg Center.

I'm not going to post a link. You will be able to find it if you seek it out.

The saddest part of the whole thing is that this center takes in severely autistic and behaviorally disturbed people. Some are children. I understand that some of these children are self-injurious in ways that I can't even imagine.

Their treatment at this center is torturous.

The parents who send their children to this place are loud, organized, and have stood in the way of any law stepping in to stop what is happening there. They feel there is no other option.

But there are options. There are.

There is a large, biomedical community that is trying to help children (and adults) with problems like these. There are many anecdotal reports of several supplements that can help with behavior issues -- like DMG, which is a food, and B6 and magnesium.

A good place to get an overview about some of these treatments is here:

Autism Research Institute
This is a good place to start. Remember that biomedical interventions can help ANYONE with behavior issues, not just autistic children, because many children have food allergies which present as behavioral problems.

The information here can be confusing and overwhelming. But there is more help out there, a lot more help. There are Yahoo! groups dedicated to these parents with thousands and thousands of members.

This group is for those just starting on the biomedical journey, who have cut out gluten and casein. It's the first step for many people who want to find out if gluten and casein addiction has a hand in their children's problems. Parents on this list have autistic kids, ADD kids, ADHD kids, and others.

Dana's view
Dana is a frequent contributor on the GFCFKids list. She knows a lot about supplementation and healing the digestive system with enzymes. She recovered her autistic son this way.

This group is for parents who are implementing the specific carbohydrate diet. The SCD has been shown to heal ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, but it has also shown remarkable benefits to autistic children and other children with behavioral problems. This is a good diet to consider when you've eliminated gluten and casein, but you haven't seen good results. This diet is also recommended for people with celiac disease who did not get better after gluten was removed. It aims to heal the digestive system.

The Institute for Functional Medicine
My new doctor is listed on this web site. Doctors who believe in functional medicine treat you as a whole person, instead of like a walking disease. They look for imbalances throughout your entire body and they try to improve your overall health and state of mind.

If you cannot find a doctor to help you who is familiar with functional medicine, you will have better luck with someone who is a D.O., an osteopath. Doctors with D.O. after their name are trained to look at the body as a whole system as well.

I had been to many doctors before I found my new doctor. My previous doctors said things like, "You're're just have rheumatoid arthritis." I have researched for years to find answers. My new doctor was the first doctor to say, "You're not fine." She talked about leaky gut syndrome, about how toxic our bodies can be in our current environment. She talked about inflammation and stress. She wants to help me get better because I am not well.

I knew that. But I needed someone to believe in me, and she did. She does.

I think a lot of parents don't know where to turn, and when they are exhausted, they consider options that they never would have considered before.

You know your child best. You know yourself best. Never give up. Never stop fighting.

Monday, November 26, 2007


As I write this, fatigue has settled behind my eyes, making it difficult to concentrate. The last few weeks on SCD have been a whirlwind.

Something shifted over the past few days, though.

I got home, and Clark was hungry, so I checked out the chicken soup that had been simmering in the crock pot all day. It didn't look right to me, so I let it go. I went into the fridge and brought out leftover chicken salad. I had cooked four pounds of chicken breasts a few days previously and set them in the fridge to chill.

This chicken salad, I have to say, is the food that seems the most normal to me from all the SCD foods we've been eating. Simple and unassuming, made with homemade mayo, I had shredded half the chicken by hand the day before, slowly. I then mixed it with a liberal amount of mayo, finishing it with a sprinkle of sea salt and a few turns of a pepper grinder.

It wasn't easy to get there, though, because I learned that making a delicate emulsification of mayo was, in fact, more delicate than I'd figured.

I added light tasting olive oil to my blender -- too fast. I was in a rush, and that was my fault. The mayo never took, and I ended up throwing an entire cup of precious, costly olive oil into the trash.

I yelled. I was angry. But my anger was not going to magically turn the mayo into anything other than a soupy mess. So I started over, again, and this time, I relaxed. No reason to get tense about it. It had to be done.

Things suddenly felt a bit more manageable, when before everything felt like an obligation. Clark ate it up after it was done, and asked for more. And when I tasted it...ahh. It was worth the trouble.

So Clark had his leftover chicken salad. When I finally got to really check the crock pot, everything was overcooked and burnt. I hadn't added enough chicken to the crock pot in the morning, in my haste to get out the door. This resulted in not enough liquid, and everything burned.

I threw it out with a sigh. But I wasn't upset this time. It was time to make Clark's birthday cake.


1 16 oz jar unsalted Trader Joe's almond butter
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup pasteurized egg whites (so you can lick the bowl! otherwise, two eggs will do)
1 tsp scd legal vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup honey (if you are not using vanilla, use 1/3 cup of honey


1 c almond butter
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 egg
1/2 tsp SCD legal vanilla
1/3 cup honey

Mix by hand (it will get thick). Using a spatula, scrape it out of the bowl into an 8" square pyrex dish that has been liberally oiled. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned.

Who I am, really (part two)

Despite the devastation of losing both of our jobs, another dream was forming. My husband had discovered the joy of writing screenplays, and he wanted to become a professional screenwriter. We decided together that I would go back to work, and he could stay home with our son, Clark, and write. He completed several screenplays this way.

As for me, I continued to improve. I added foods back slowly, but had a hard time pinpointing any real reactions to anything besides gluten. I also limited dairy.

My healthy improved, and I lost weight quickly, eventually 40 pounds. I was able to discontinue the steroids and pain medications. My energy returned, and despite the attitude of the manager at my place of training, I was promoted and given my own store to manage.

I was an aggressive manager, and I attacked my new project immediately. Within the first few weeks, I caught one employee stealing and fired her. My district manager uncovered other errors that pointed to another employee stealing from the deposits, who quit before I ever met her.

I turned the store around, and at the end of my first nine months there, the store was turning double digit profits. I was number one in the district.

I was very proud, but the pay was far too low, and after all we had been through, we finally had to declare bankruptcy. I had to find another job, so I ended up in apparel as an assistant manager again, this time with better pay.

It was a decent job, and our plan was starting to really come together. Back after being laid off, back when Jeffrey had told me he wanted to be a screenwriter, we decided that it would be best for us to eventually move to Los Angeles. Part of the benefit of retail was that it was a very mobile job that could be done anywhere. So we started saving money with our newly clean slate.

During that time, we located my husband's grandparents, who he hadn't seen since he was a small child. It was a wonderful family reunion and making the connection with them was amazing. Shortly thereafter, they wrote my husband a check -- for all the missed birthdays and Christmases.

Added to the money we'd already saved, it was enough money for us to move to L.A. It was a difficult decision, especially since we had just made contact again, was his dream. By that time, it was our dream. Somewhere along the way, Jeffrey got me writing too. I wrote a screenplay, and then I started writing podcasts for Pendant Audio too. He believed in me, and made me believe in myself.

We drove across the country with our 3-year-old son, crammed into a moving van that only had two seats. I sat in between on two cat carriers, with our cats inside. Our trip took three days, and it was brutal. I transferred within the retail company, and started my new job almost immediately.

The new store in L.A. was terrible. I did not get along with any of the people there. My boss hated me, and the district manager didn't like me either. The difference was night and day.

Still, we were in L.A., and everything was new and exciting for a while. The job dragged on, and I befriended many of the associates at the store, despite my differences with management. I was clearly the popular favorite, which irked my supervisor even more.

Happily, one of the employees I befriended had a daughter who was a headhunter of sorts. One day, she cornered me and said, "I know things are awful with you. Tell me what's wrong." I told her everything, including how my boss was trying to find any excuse to get me fired.

Her daughter got me an awesome job, and I was able to drop my keys on the desk and walk out the door ... only a week before Christmas. It was easily the most satisfying experience of my life.

Christmas came and went, and it was a happy time. Clark turned four years old, but I felt there was no way he could handle preschool. He had always been difficult to deal with, and exhausting, and we never knew why. Finally we decided to enroll him in preschool, due to urging from his doctor.

The experience at the preschool was awful. This horrible woman told us, "There's something wrong with your son. He needs to go away. There was another boy like him, and he went away." They told us he needed to be evaluated. They had us come in and observe him. Clark didn't seem to understand a lot of the routines the kids were doing, but he didn't seem that bad to me. But many days, we would come in, and he was sitting by himself by a garbage can while the other children participated. I didn't think that was good for him at all, so we pulled him out.

The evaluation came, and they told us he had autism. I didn't know what to think, really. They were optimistic, and said that he was only mildly autistic, that he had a great shot at being integrated in the future.

I didn't know. I knew something had been wrong, I did. We always asked his doctors, and they said he was doing everything when he was supposed to do it. He seemed more intelligent in many regards. At the age of 2 he knew all uppercase and lowercase letters. But he couldn't communicate effectively at times. He could label everything, but not tell you what he wanted.

He went to a mixed special ed/general ed preschool. We met Mrs. Riley, the special ed teacher, and Mrs. Close, the general ed teacher. Mrs. Riley saw the apprehension all over my face and really put me at ease.

Clark thrived, absolutely. He had a great time and he did very well. We took him off gluten during that time, and his teachers noticed the difference in him. I felt good about it, and I went back through my old journaling of Clark. I saw that he had made no significant language gains, from the age of 2 to when he went gluten free. I was astonished.

I was worried again when Clark was about to enter kindergarten. Clark's birthday is in November, and the cutoff birthday in California is Dec. 2, making Clark the youngest kindergartener in the class. Clark was assigned an aide and went to a general ed classroom at a local kindergarten-only facility.

And it started all over again. The principal was downright hostile toward us. For the first day, there was no aide present for our son. They ended up taking him to an office and calling my husband so he could take him home, which was against the law. She told us it might take weeks to get an aide, which prompted us to contact the special ed support groups in the area. This resulted in legal action against the school for not complying with the law, which didn't exactly win us popularity points.

We went back to the school with Clark to tour the grounds with the principal. Clark was upset the whole time, humming and rocking. He knew what had happened that first day, and that people were upset with him. I felt so bad for him.

I tried meeting with the staff and giving them suggestions on how to deal with Clark. The principal moaned constantly about the fact that they weren't equipped to handle children like Clark. Despite him having an aide, the general ed teacher treated Clark too gently, and since Clark was so intelligent, he practically got away with murder. As a result, his behavior at home went downhill, too.

We called an emergency IEP meeting. At the meeting, the principal's behavior was absolutely inappropriate. She told us that we were difficult, that we weren't working with her. We asked about more challenging schoolwork for Clark, because he was so bored with the work he was getting, that homework was becoming a fight. She insisted he had to do the same work as the other kids, despite already passing the final exams for kindergarten (they used them as a test).

Finally, one of the people in the meeting suggested that Clark change schools, because it was clear he could not receive an appropriate education there. We decided to put Clark into another mixed classroom of general ed and special ed students.

Everything happened very fast. We had started Clark on a school track that started in the summer. When it was decided that he should change schools, he switched to a new track that was starting the very next week.

We met his teachers. I was still uneasy, and I was very glad when parent teacher conferences came around two months later. I then learned he had been headbutting and biting people. I think they were surprised when I told him that Clark never did that at home. We worked together to eliminate the behavior, but he was stubborn, as he always is.

It was around this time I discovered SCD. For a while I continued to toy with diets for myself. After moving to L.A., I had a hard time keeping my arthritis in check, so I started the Paleo diet. That actually went well, for a while, but I was still addicted to sugar and I would constantly sneak candy.

Finally I did an anti-yeast protocol and I went off all sugar, including all fruit, for two weeks. It was absolutely miserable, but I broke the addiction. After that is when I discovered the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.

I intended to try it for myself first and then bring Clark aboard, but my husband wanted me to try it with him right away. We had been frustrated by Clark's behavior issues for months and we were desperate to find something that worked.

After the first week on SCD, Clark stopped headbutting and biting, entirely. He was happy and cheerful and the words...they just keep tumbling out of him. I am so excited to see what he says next. My first posts to this blog detail some of the early progress.

I think this is the key for him, I really do.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Who I am, really (part one)

So I guess I should talk a little bit about myself, since I visit a lot of blogs, and I feel like I know those people pretty well, and there's really nothing on my blog yet to let people know who I am.

Several years ago, my husband and I were both working for a fairly well known suburban Chicago newspaper. I am not allowed to tell you which newspaper. I worked on the web site and my husband worked on customer service for the web site. We sat in adjacent cubicles and would pass love notes and toss paper airplanes back and forth.

The newspaper was eventually sold, as often happened back then. For a time we thought our jobs were safe, but we were wrong. We came back from lunch on a Friday and we were told to clean out our desks.

I was seven months pregnant at the time.

We were devastated. I tried to get another job at the newspaper. They told me there were no positions available. I tried going on job interviews at eight, nine months pregnant. That didn't go well.

I had my son, and when I had been out of work for about six months, I knew I had to get a job, and trying to get one in my field was not working. I finally secured a part time job in retail at a clothing store, which led to a full time job at a shoe store.

I worked my way up as fast as I could, and I became a keyholder at a $3 million store in five months, which is extremely fast in retail. After almost a year, the severence pay was running out, as was the unemployment money. I told them I needed a management job.

They agreed to transfer me. I went from a great district into a terrible district. I worked six days a week, 10 hours per day, for the next year.

Since I was finally full time, I thought I'd see a doctor about the curious swelling of the joints in my hand. They weren't painful, but they were enlarged, on the middle finger of each hand. I thought that maybe it was just from the physical nature of my retail job; I was unloading shipment trucks weekly, after all.

The doctor I saw diagnosed me with rheumatoid arthritis and sent me to a specialist. The appointment was three months away, and by the time I made it to that appointment, I was in agony.

I went downhill rapidly. My doctor kept upping my dosages at every appointment. Nothing really seemed to help. I was on steroids and pain medication daily. There were times when I was in so much pain, picking up a can of soda would cause me to cry out in pain. I would call the doctor's office in tears when I just couldn't make it to my next appointment.

I was finally able to get a new retail job. I entered a training program for store management. I was at my worst when I was starting this job, and the store manager I was training under thought I was slow and maybe kind of stupid. I could barely think, let alone remember things. Everything was just a haze.

Frustrated by everything, I started doing my own research. My first job out of college was a year as a medical copy editor, and I learned to read study abstracts on Pub Med. I found a few, small scale studies that tied food intolerances to rheumatoid arthritis. I also came across a web site that described a very strict elimination diet to test for food intolerances.

I had no medical support, but I thought I had nothing to lose. At the time I was considering disability, but I knew how hard it was to get disability, so I thought I would try this. It was only a week or so before Thanksgiving, but I was desperate.

The protocol said to eat nothing but sweet potatoes, carrots, celery, peaches, pears, and cod fish for a week. Then you could start adding foods back in and see if there was a reaction.

On the fourth day, the swelling went down in my hands, dramatically. I felt like I was coming out of a coma, like I was seeing my husband and son for the first time in a year.

It was then that I finally understood what a flare was. My doctors talked about times when my arthritis would be more active, and painful, and that would be a flare. I couldn't imagine anything worse than the pain I had been in, and now I understood.

I had been in a constant flare since my first appointment with my rheumatologist. Over all of that time, all of the medications I had been taking had barely made a dent in my condition.

You know that saying, that when you're standing on a tack it takes a lot of aspirin to make it stop hurting? Yeah. I found the tack and took it out.

I told my rheumatologist. She said, "There have been some good studies on that," and that was the end of it. I felt like screaming. How could they not tell me that this might help me?

A month later, I had a weak moment and ate a piece of pizza. The next morning, I was swelled up, foggy, and miserable. It took me nearly two weeks to recover.

That was the end of gluten for me.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Almond butter? Well, kind of.

Really expensive (or $$$$ in Disney's guide to eateries)

So I thought it was about time I try to make some almond butter, since I'm going to make Clark some sort of cake-like substance with it. I say that because I have two recipes from the Pecanbread web site, one for almond butter brownies and one for almond butter cake, and they are identical except one has a teaspoon of vanilla and one doesn't. That made me laugh.

I thought I would try my little Kitchenaid grinder.

I filled it about halfway with almonds and processed them into meal. I was doing that before I started SCD and it worked pretty well. Once it started to clump I added extra virgin olive oil a teaspoon at a time until it looked, well, buttery.

I wanted red, but did any of the stores have red? mine's white.

Heartened by my success, I scooped out the almond butter and decided to process a second batch. But could I follow my own directions? Of course not! I was raised by Italians, and the only way to make a good thing better is to mess with it.

So this time I figured it would be better if I added the oil along with the nuts at the start.

This was a Big Mistake. Not only did the grinder not want to grind anymore, it got really hot and started to smell like the motor might burn out. Sigh.

I popped the not-butter into the blender and I fared no better. I'd blend for 10 seconds, stop, scrape down, blend for 10 more seconds, etc. Finally I gave up and dumped the mess in the trash. Stupid blender.

Since I already have a coffee grinder, crock pot, bread maker, and blender, I thought this was enough for me. Oh no. Now I think I'm really going to need a small food processor. And an immersion blender. And a yogurt maker, because SCD is big on that. Perhaps a dehydrator. And finally I will drown in a sea of appliances, amidst a tangle of extension cords.

I am chained to my kitchen

Well, while I'm still up, I should talk about the rest of today.

Jeffrey really wanted us to go out and experience the day after Thanksgiving madness. The last three years, I've been in retail management, and so I've worked every day after Thanksgiving since even before then.

We wanted to have a nice day, but I wasn't sure how we were going to do that when I would have to bring food for me and Clark for lunch.

So I spent the morning getting food together.

I made the carrot muffins the night before, the ones I've mentioned previously. They turned out pretty good, except for the fact that the paper linings disintegrated in the refrigerator. I'm going to stick with pancakes from now on. It's just not worth it.

Clark had the leftover baked apples from Thanksgiving that he didn't seem to like then. The only difference was that they were now cold. I don't think he liked them warm.

I had a plate of chicken parts that I'd cooked last night, so I took the meat off the bones and mixed them with the last of the mayo I had. I put that in a little tupperware container.

Don't they look good? The ones I made look nothing like these.

I then boiled another batch of carrots and made a batch of carrot pancakes. I put all of those in Clark's little insulated lunch box along with an ice pack, and we were on our way.

It worked out well; Jeffrey was able to get a hamburger and fries, even though he felt guilty eating them in front of us. Clark was mostly fine with it, after daddy explained that they were "regular." I don't feel bad that my husband was eating that food; Clark is going to have to deal with that for a looooong time and the more practice he gets in refusing food from others, the better.

Clark ate all of the muffins (five of them) and a good portion of the chicken salad. He then had two of the pancakes.

We had a good time and Clark and I rode the carousel in the mall. Clark loved it! He told me solemnly afterwards, "That was a lot of fun." It is so great to see his awakening into himself. Ooh, one other thing.

While I was in the kitchen cooking the other day, I was frustrated because I couldn't find the salt. I said out loud, "Where's the salt?" Clark came over and said, "It's here, mommy," pointing to the regular salt shaker.

Did you know regular salt has dextrose in it? Which is a sugar? Yeah, me neither, at least not before SCD.

I said, "No, the other salt." I've been using a little sea salt grinder from Costco. And Clark said, "It's right there!" It was practically in front of my face; I don't know how I missed it.

The thing about that is that not three weeks ago, I had asked Clark to bring me the salt. I had the Morton salt out; you know, the one with the girl with the umbrella on it? I told him, it's blue. There's a girl on it.

It was literally right in front of him and he just did not see it. It was sooooo frustrating trying to get him to see it and pay attention.

And here he was, finding it, no problem at all.

Oh, this diet. Every time I get down about how hard it is, something like that happens, and it's like the clouds part and a ray of sunshine comes through.

My afternoon was spent cooking, baking apples and making chicken for tomorrow. And then I ate the rest of the apples, meaning I'll have to make more tomorrow, but damn, were they good.

Look, somebody else made apples and served them with yogurt. How smart of them.


2 pounds granny smith apples, cored, peeled, and cut into 1" chunks or smaller
1/2 cup water

Combine ingredients in large glass 9 x 13 pan lined with foil. Bake at 425 for 45 minutes. Let cool for a while, then scoop into a Tupperware container and toss them in the fridge.

Tension headache of doom

It's surprising when you go on SCD the little things you don't think about. Take for example over-the-counter painkillers, like Tylenol or Advil.

I've been avoiding ibuprofen ever since I suspected I had leaky gut syndrome. I'm sure most of you are aware that the medical establishment by and large looks at any sort of dietary manipulation with almost total skepticism.

Your standard doctor, who is generally full of himself and won't believe a word you say.

Honestly it's hard for me to believe that anyone with a severe digestive problem would NOT think food has something to do with it. I have an autoimmune disease, and there's a similar theory about the cause of autoimmune disease (as well as other diseases) called leaky gut syndrome. To my knowledge, I never had any overt signs of digestive imbalance, but the fact that I do have an autoimmune disease kind of points to leaky gut syndrome. I'll explain.

The theory is that people with leaky gut syndrome have increased intestinal permeability. What ends up happening is that because of the damage, food particles that aren't entirely digested end up leaking from your gut into the rest of your body. When the particles get out, your body tries to use them anyway, and starts sticking them into your tissues. Eventually your immune system gets suspicious and attacks these random molecules -- and your tissues in the process. Voila, autoimmune disease.

Your regular run of the mill doctor will not tell you this. In fact, if you ask them what causes autoimmune disease, they will tell you NO ONE KNOWS, likely accompanied by voodoo sounds and shaking of hands, ghostly wailing, etc. They will then prescribe you a buttload of medication, which is supposed to help you, along with an anti-inflammatory painkiller. They'll either tell you to take ibuprofen or Aleve, or they'll prescribe something like Celebrex.

However, drugs like ibuprofen (NSAIDs) or COX-2 inhibitors like Celebrex, actually can make your intestines MORE permeable. And since drugs like Celebrex are regularly prescribed in addition to whatever disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) are given for rheumatoid arthritis, they actually end up making your condition worse.

Of course, no standard rheumatologist will ever admit to this, because they are right and you are wrong, no matter how clear it is you aren't improving on their regimen.

But I digress. On SCD it's even more limiting than that, since there is starch in every over the counter medication. So you have to choose if you want to take that medication loaded with corn starch, or suffer.

I don't know why I was so keen to avoid even acetaminophen; after all, I'm still taking sulfasalazine for my rheumatoid arthritis daily, and that has corn starch in it. But I really wanted to try.

So, I first tried wine. Not the best idea, but it is starch free. Worked for a little while. I tried massage, I tried sex (my husband was ever so helpful), I tried some coffee, I tried more massage. The headache was still there.

I went to sleep, and woke up shortly thereafter. I was in agony, and I knew I hadn't slept long. The clock said 12:50 a.m.

I whispered to my husband that I was going to take a shower. I took the hottest shower imaginable for about 20 minutes. I came out, still in some pain, but slightly better, and went into the living room.

For a while, I was sure I was going to throw up. I started shaking, which was weird. Since I didn't know what else to do, and because I remembered from my pregnancy days that reading seemed to help me with nausea, I picked up my friend's copy of Ultrametabolism, which was recommended to me by my new doctor.

Reading for a while, I was fairly pleased with the book. The author, Mark Hyman, quotes Loren Cordain, of Paleo Diet fame, and I found the section on stress to be particularly interesting, as I am often stressed. My life is one big ball of stress, actually. I do need to find more time to meditate and relax. I noticed the book mention saunas as a great stress reliever, and I was pretty sure my previous shower qualified, so I was happy.

Anyway, the nausea passed and I poured myself another glass of wine. I know, I know, but it's starch free! I sipped that while I read and later I had another wave of nausea. This one I didn't think I'd be able to fight off, but I eventually did, and I felt better than ever after that. Now my headache is pretty much gone, but it's 2 a.m. Oh well. I feel pretty triumphant.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


We're going over to visit with some very good friends this Thanksgiving. I told them not to worry about us, so this morning I have spent a lot of time cooking.

I promise some kind of photos. I promise.

We started off with some banana pancakes (one SCD ripe banana, one egg, mash it together with a fork, fry). Clark was really pleased with those and so far no diarrhea emergencies. Yay!

After that, I made a new batch of cooked mayo. I intended to get safflower oil, but that didn't work out, because it had added vitamin E and I wasn't sure if that was SCD legal. I'll have to look into that. I ended up getting some extremely light tasting olive oil, and that did the trick. It was very good!

Mixed that up, took a photo (I will post it later and then update this), and started in on some hamburger patties. I figured that if chicken salad was good, hamburger salad would be good too.


1 pound beef patties or ground beef
1 whole red onion, cut into large pieces
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup SCD mayo
1 tsp olive oil

In my skillet, I tossed in a whole red onion, cut into quarters. At this stage onion is only for flavoring, so you don't eat it. If you're further along, chop it up finer. I also added some fresh peeled garlic. I sauted that in about a teaspoon of olive oil and then put three 1/3 pound ground sirloin patties into the microwave to thaw.

After they thawed, I put them in a sauce pan and started browning them. But wait, that's pan frying, which is a no-no, right? Well, not exactly. I do it kind of half and half.

I pan fry them until they're almost done (or at least halfway to done), but then I add about half a cup of water to the pan and put a lid on it. Now you're doing more of a steaming, boiling kind of thing. Turn the patties about every five minutes. Every time you turn them, check the water level and add enough so there's about 1/4 inch of water on the bottom at all times.

You'll end up cooking them in the water for probably 20-30 minutes that way. The liquid will reduce and will taste really yummy.

So that's that. Chop up the hamburgers and mix with the mayo (add more or less to taste). Yum.

Once that was prepared, I moved on to making some little veggie puree muffins.

This one I got off the Pecanbread Yahoo! group. Diane on the group posted the recipe, but she doesn't remember who came up with it. You can also use the batter like a pancake batter. I first tried the recipe as posted, but then I made a bunch of modifications, which are reflected below.

VEGGIE MUFFINS (STAGE ONE without vanilla; stage two with it. I think.)

2 cups pureed fruit or veggies (water squeezed out, seriously)
4 eggs
4 tsp oil (coconut was recommended; I used olive)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
4 tsp honey (optional)
1/4 tsp sea salt

Mix together. Put in muffin tins with liners.

Bake at 400 for about 30 minutes. Makes 12.

I made the first batch with a mix of leftover green beans pureed in the blender and some leftover cooked carrots, and they were really too wet, so I edited the above to reflect that you really need to squeeze the water out of the cooked veggies really really well. I also decreased the eggs. The original had four eggs and one cup of veggie puree. I made them that way at first, but I thought four eggs was just too much. Besides, we need to eat more veggies anyway, not more eggs.

My second batch is with carrots, and I made a half batch of the above recipe to test that. Hopefully they'll be better (I'll edit this again if they are). Clark loved the too-wet ones, though, so another winner. :)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Damned bananas

So I started Clark on bananas ... I don't know, a few days ago or so. We've been very careful introducing new foods, only introducing a new one every four days.

When we did that, we had to wait until the bananas were SCD compliant -- very ripe, with lots of black spots. OK.

No, these bananas aren't ready either.

We gave him some very ripe bananas and he was fine. Then he had three in one day, which was kind of an accident. Jeffrey didn't realize I made Clark a banana pancake in the morning, and he had packed Clark a banana in his lunch, and then given him another banana as an afternoon snack. Clark had explody diarrhea after that.

Which is weird, because according to common knowledge, bananas are supposed to STOP diarrhea. Yeah, guess he missed the memo.

So we tried bananas again. We got a three pound bunch from Costco, which is where we usually got bananas before we were on this diet.

Well, waiting for those bananas to go ripe was like waiting for Christmas when you're eight years old. And yes, they were actually yellow when we bought them. They were like giant mutant never-become-ripe bananas. I glared at them daily. It didn't help. I even put one of them in a paper bag with an apple overnight, and it had ripened LESS than the rest of the bunch.

Finally we decided they were ready, and he ate one and had a bathroom emergency not two hours later. Huh. OK, so maybe they weren't so ready. They had the black spots but then I noticed they were still a little green on the stems.

Two days go by. Now we're at today. I'm thinking they HAVE to be ready now. They just have to be.

I was in the kitchen, making some baked apples that are soft enough to be applesauce so that Clark has something fun to eat at Thanksgiving. We are starting apple testing tomorrow.

And Clark was impatient and wanted some dinner. I didn't have a whole lot on hand, since I was peeling a bunch of apples, so I told him I would get him some chicken soup.

And Clark cried. He really cried because he was so sick of chicken soup. I hugged him and told him I was sick of it too, and I gave him a banana.

He ate it and then begged for another one. I suggested every other food I could think of and he turned it all down. I felt bad and gave him another banana. He then had the legal grape juice jello and he was done with dinner.

About an hour later, back to diarrhea. Sigh.

Well, I was supposed to test a new food, so I ate a banana. And then another one in a banana pancake because I was so sick of chicken soup. Nothing has happened to make me think anything is affecting me one way or the other, really, but my hands did swell up a little bit later. Hard to say if it was the banana, but still...curious.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

An SCD birthday

I decided to try to make Clark chicken salad for dinner, since we are both so sick of chicken soup. When I got home, I tossed two thawed chicken breasts that I'd forgotten about into my trusty nonstick skillet along with about a cup of water.

I then grabbed the recipe for mayo from the Pecan Bread web site. Yes, you have to make that too.

It was a "cooked" recipe which made me feel slightly better, since you heat the yolks up just until they start to cook and then blend it with oil until it does its magical turn-into-mayo thing. Unfortunately I cooked it a little too long, due to the pan not being quite on the burner, which resulted in a scorched corner of the pan. In a panic to cool the pan quickly, I tried to run the edge under water and succeeded in adding a bit more water to the egg mixture. Whoops. I then stirred and stirred and the egg kind of un-cooked somehow, so it was OK and I dumped the mixture into the blender when I was satisfied.

I started blending, and tried not to get hit with little pieces of egg yolk as I added the oil in a thin stream. Clark stimmed a bit as his coping mechanism to deal with the loud noise, so he was rocking and humming for a little while. I really couldn't see what was going on in the blender, so I just kept blending and hoped for the best.

And in the end, I had mayo! Well, kind of. I'd take a photo, but I ran out of time. I'm going to make more though and I'll add a photo then.

It ended up creamy, but a bit less firm than I'd imagine mayo should be, and it unfortunately tasted too much like olive oil for my taste. I will definitely have to get some safflower oil.

I stuck my new mayo in the freezer to chill a bit and then cut up one of the chicken breasts for Clark. I popped that in the freezer on a paper plate as well for a few minutes, but Clark was pretty impatient and all that cooking had taken way longer than I'd figured. *sigh*

So I dumped a bunch of chicken on his plate and mixed about half of it with the mayo, and added salt and pepper. He said, "I like this!" but he says that with pretty much everything until he's at least three bites in.

I was trying to clean up when Clark said, "You can eat with me." I think. I get fuzzy on the phraseology sometimes, but I think he said that.

I said, "Well, I don't know what to eat. I don't want the crock pot soup, and I want to save the chicken for you. So I'll just sit here with you if that's OK." I took my cup of water and sat down across from him at our kitchen table.

He said, "We can share!"

My mouth fell open. He's never said that before. And then he said, "You need to get a fork."

I blinked, and went into the kitchen. I got one of our metal forks. He said, "No, a colored one."

I reached into the drawer with his reusable Ikea plastic forks and he said, "The yellow one. OK."

And I sat down with him and ate chicken salad. I got some more of the mayo and mixed it with the other half of the chicken on his plate and we ate and chatted about...oh, I don't know. Lately he's been such a motor mouth, said my husband, Jeffrey. Autistic kid, motor mouth? Does not compute. But yeah. Halfway through he didn't want it any more and asked me to put honey on it (I did). He then proclaimed he was done without a single bite of the chicken with the honey. Haha.

While he was finishing, Jeffrey said, "Your birthday is coming!" and Clark said a few of his standard responses, like Thanksgiving is coming, since he's gotten a little confused about Thanksgiving and his birthday, and that his birthday is November 27. But then Jeffrey said, "What do you get on your birthday?" and Clark covered his eyes with his hands and said, "You say it."

Jeffrey didn't know what Clark wanted him to say, so we both looked at him, and he whispered, "Say cake! Say cake for my birthday!"

We were so surprised. Then Jeffrey looked at me all crestfallen, thinking he couldn't have cake, but I just kind of blurted out, "I can do it."

Jeffrey said, "How?"

I said, "I have a recipe. For like these peanut butter brownies, I can use almond butter, we can test it." We're almost to stage 2, so I think we could do that.

At first Jeffrey didn't want to since we are still working on a variety of food for Clark to bring to school but then I said, "He could still bring them to school too," so he was sold. Yay!

Then Jeffrey said, "What else do you get for your birthday?" Clark looked confused. We told him, "Presents!" and Clark looked awed. Then he said he needed a new police car and a new garbage truck and a new dumpster for his birthday. A green dumpster.

We just looked at each other again. It's the first time he's ever told us anything that he actually wanted for his birthday.

Almond butter brownies. That's what I'm gonna make for him. Next week. And the other stuff? Well, we're just gonna have to see what we can do about that.

The starting weeks of SCD (the REAL story)

This week is Thanksgiving, of course, and it will be the first year I won't be eating something completely Thanksgiving-like. Neither will my son.

I've posted a little about starting SCD, and these first three months will likely be the hardest of our lives. I know that it is, and it makes it a little easier to get through.

It's not easy. It's not easy at all. Last night I got home from work at 4:30 p.m. and immediately stepped into the kitchen. My mother is of course asking why my husband doesn't cook more (he works from home). I've tried to explain that he is working on projects that net us a few hundred dollars per week when it's a good week, and the fact is, he has less time than I do. Plus, that money is what keeps us fed most of the time, so I'm not about to stop him.

So, back to the kitchen. First I made two pans of egg bread. It's not really bread, it's an invented SCD recipe of egg yolks and whites separated that I got from the Pecan Bread Yahoo! group, which is a group for moms trying the SCD with autistic kids and kids with other behavioral problems like ADD/ADHD. The original recipe said six whites and four yolks, but I changed it to five whites and five yolks, because I'm not about to throw out expensive organic egg yolks and I'm not about to store them for later, either. So here's my version of the recipe:


Five eggs
1/2 cup well cooked vegetables

Separate the whites into a large bowl and put the yolks into a smaller bowl. Beat whites with a pinch of salt until glossy.

Squeeze the water out of the vegetables with some paper towels. They don't have to be dry, but using two to three paper towels folded over will allow you to get a substantial amount of water out. Plop them into the bowl with the egg yolks. Beat the yolks with the vegetables until the vegetables are nearly pureed. You can use a stick blender for this if you like.

Fold the yolk mixture into the egg whites, mixing well. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and dump the mixture in, spreading around with a spatula.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes. The bread will puff up a little and settle as it cools. You can carefully flip the whole bread over and bake the other side for an additional 10 minutes if you like, but it doesn't seem to make all that much difference.

I cut it into 12 square pieces and sprinkle with sea salt. You can use them for sandwiches or snacks.

Here's a tip: DO NOT USE ANYTHING OTHER THAN PARCHMENT PAPER. I tried. I used foil with olive oil, foil with lots of olive oil, and wax paper (which melted and stuck to the pan) before I gave up and just bought the damned stuff. It's like magic. Food does not stick to it AT ALL. Comes right off. Parchment paper is full of win.

While I was making the egg bread, the beans on the stove (my husband kindly started them for me on my way home from work) ran out of water and burned, despite being covered. Sigh. I then wondered why I was making such small pans of vegetables. So I salvaged what I could from the burned pan, scrubbed the burned pan, and then scrubbed out a giant saucepan. I filled it with water and beans and cooked it for more than an hour. In the beginning stages of SCD, vegetables have to be cooked until they are very well done. Not the most appetizing thing, but it is temporary, I remind myself. I will survive.

As I waited for the beans, I scrubbed out my big nonstick skillet to make myself dinner. By then, it was about time to put Clark to bed, so I told Jeffrey to take out one of the pans of egg bread in ten minutes and I read a book with Clark, sang songs, and then tucked him in and shut the door.

I poured a layer of olive oil on the bottom of the big skillet and tossed in four random chicken pieces. Yes, I know it's too early in the diet for me to be eating fried things. I press a bunch of the oil out and so far I haven't had any problems. If you are just starting the diet you shouldn't be frying things either. I am going to get more chicken breasts so I can poach them but right now I'm a little bit stuck.

We don't have much money so I buy parts for 99 cents a pound. The Foster Farms parts are much nicer than the Albertson's parts, all tucked nicely into their package. The Albertson's parts are more cruel, with cut bone ends sticking out. They make me shudder and go ew. But for some reason Costco doesn't have packages of Foster Farms parts right now. They're filling all their freezer cases with more expensive holiday fare, I suppose.

I fried them, and I forgot to put onion in with them, like I usually do. I think it was because I was distracted, since I needed to chop up stuff for the crock pot tomorrow morning. I started doing that, and then I tossed in a few garlic cloves with the chicken for a while.

I turned the chicken parts without burning myself horrifically, though hot oil did spray at me. -_- Last week a drop of hot oil managed to hit the top of my foot, which immediately blistered. Awesome.

I finished peeling garlic cloves and chopping onion and celery for the crock pot. I put them all in a baggie in the fridge. I then took out the last pan of egg bread and put the first pan's contents into baggies for Clark's lunch.

That was about when the smoke alarm went off.

Frantically Jeffrey grabbed the alarm and tried covering it with his hand. I turned off the pan, thinking there really hadn't been much smoke at all, and grabbed the kitchen step stool so Jeffrey had something to stand on. Then I plugged in a box fan, which I held over my head pointed at the alarm. Which kept going. And going. And going. ARGH.

Finally Jeffrey ripped the alarm out of the ceiling. The alarm continued to bleat sporadically for a couple more seconds, then fell silent.

I went over to the baby monitor, which we use for our almost five year old as he likes to get up in the dark and play for hours. I could hear him snoring. Whew.

I sat down and tried to eat my chicken, which clearly had a couple of scorched charcoal-like areas. I like burned stuff, but something was still off. I never realized how much of a difference cooking the chicken with onion makes, but the taste without the onion was nearly revolting. Jeffrey then mocked me for buying 99 cents a pound chicken parts, saying it was clearly a quality issue. Bleh.

The beans were drained and done by that point, so they sat out until they cooled enough to be shoveled into a giant baggie. I portioned out some beans for our lunches the next day. I couldn't bring myself to eat any of the beans, despite being dangerously low in carbs that day. I just couldn't do it. I realized I would need to make eggs in the morning for breakfast so I washed the big skillet again so it would be ready.

My husband then realized then that he'd forgotten that he was going to be doing a commentary with Kat for Seminar. So I took an ice pack to the bedroom along with America, the "history" book from the Daily Show. My wrist was in agony, because my arthritis was acting up and I was overusing my bad wrist with all the cooking. So I iced and tried not to fall asleep while I read.

I completely hit the wall waiting for my sweetie, so by the time he was done I was almost a zombie. But I dragged my butt out of bed and went to my computer and finished the trailer for Wonder Woman 23. Did I mention I'm a podcaster for Pendant Audio? Well, I am. Hooray.

Then I collapsed into bed.

I was awakened at 3:15 a.m. by my darling son. I promptly put him back in bed. I also had a terrible headache, likely from the whole not-enough-carbs thing. I drank some grape juice, brushed my teeth in the dark, and then went back to sleep.

On to 6 a.m. I got up, fried six eggs in the skillet with about a cup of green beans and a little olive oil. Clark liked it. I got the crock pot started and had just enough time to eat breakfast before getting out the door only five minutes late.

Of course I was out of gas, so five minutes late turned into fifteen minutes late. Oh well.

So there it is -- a day in the life of early SCDers. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Notes from the battle field

This week was our first week on SCD. We only told his teachers that we were testing him for food intolerance so he is not to eat anything at school. Previously, I learned during parent teacher conferences that Clark has been head butting his teachers! I think they were stunned when I told them he never ever did that at home.

We tried all sorts of reward systems and such over the past few weeks, but the head butting only decreased slightly. Some days he was doing it five times a day.

Here's Clark's school report after one week on SCD:

This week Clark has not attempted to bite himself or any adult. He did not head butt at all this week! :)

We have moved him and he now sits in front and is able to participate more effectively. He has shown empathy and has demonstrated some beginning attempts to turn take. He has good knowledge of our rules and can comply 60 percent of the time.

He, for the past 2 weeks, has stayed with tasks and whole group instruction for up to 20 minutes without being inappropriate. Enjoy him this weekend. He had a good week in comparison with previous weeks. He is making good progress in behaving as a typical 5 year old.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a bunch of dishes to wash and more food to make. :)

Friday, November 16, 2007

It's working!

I have barely had a chance to breathe, with work (which is insane), the constant cooking, trying to keep up with Pendant stuff, etc.

Clark and I have been on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet for a week now.

And I really do think it's working. For him, at least. He's more cheerful, more social, less stimmy, and really more *there*. I told him I needed something to drink, and then I forgot and went to my computer, and he came up to me and said, "You need a drink."

I just blinked in astonishment. I said, "You're right."

He said, "I'll get a can of pop." And he ran to the refrigerator.

I said, "No, I can't drink that right now. I'll get water."

He said, "I want to help," and helped me pour it.

Also before bed, I noticed his Pirates of the Caribbean shirt was out, so I said, "Why is that there? You have to put that away!"

He said (garbled and in the wrong order) that it was for school, they had to bring something with a square on it, and he pointed out one of the jewels scattered around in the design, which was a square. But I understood.

In the car yesterday he said (after thinking hard and correcting himself several times), "What will happen if I..." which is REALLY complex and I thought it was totally beyond him. Abstract thought!


So now we will go into Thanksgiving this year with no pumpkin pie (this hurts me more than it hurts him) or anything remotely like food normal people eat but...I'll get over it. I'll make pumpkin pie in December if I have to...if I can even use canned pumpkin (I probably can't). :|

Monday, November 12, 2007

New doctor!

I saw my new doctor. She is


I told her about my problems with RA, and how I have been gluten free as a result, and about my allergies and asthma, and my son has autism...

And she said, "Actually, those are all related."

And then she said, "Some people have this thing called 'leaky gut'..."


I was so stunned that she actually, you know, SAID STUFF I KNEW ALREADY.

She said, "Oh yeah, that's all functional medicine."

I only picked her on the basis that she MIGHT practice functional medicine. It was pretty much a crap shoot.

Boy did she have a lot of advice for me. She took six vials of blood, told me I had to get off the pill because apparently taking it increases inflammation, and then she told me about all the testing she thought she should do for me, that I have big tonsils which means I have constant allergy issues, and probiotics and metal testing and she would chelate me and ...


She wants me to come back in three weeks and see an OB/GYN in two weeks to figure out something other than the pill.

This is really exciting for me. Oh, and she suggested I read Ultrametabolism, but I told her I was doing SCD, and she read the materials I brought about it and thought that should be fine, and gave me tips on introducing new foods...

And she said she would treat my son the exact same way. She said we need to figure out why I am such fertile ground for all of these problems.


Starting the Specific Carbohydrate Diet

A week or so ago I'd heard from theinfamousmom about the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, specifically the Pecan Bread site.

I was intrigued by this diet, specifically because it is used for ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, and one of the RA medications I'm on is also used for those conditions. I didn't realize some parents were using this diet for autistic kids as well. I managed to get ahold of the bible of said diet, "Breaking the Vicious Cycle," and read it quickly.

I planned to go on the diet myself, and make all of the mistakes with me before bringing Clark on board, but Jeffrey thought I should go ahead and take him along for the ride.

Of course I spent all weekend cooking, but the stars aligned in a way that made it a little easier, especially since I had recently cut out corn and therefore all condiments already. I was also following an anti-yeast protocol that was not working to my satisfaction. I then had a minor infraction -- a couple of small gluten free cookies that I made for Clark -- and I predictably flared the next day. So I was certain that I really did need to remain starch free, and that's what SCD is all about.

The past two days we've been doing the intro diet. I can tell you that this is a HARD diet. But I was firm in my resolve for the most part (Jeffrey filled in my weak spots, thank you honey!). And I did screw up once, and Clark had a bathroom emergency as a result. Curious. Clark is REALLY enjoying the jello (unflavored gelatin plus grape juice) as well as a strange bread made from eggs alone.

The cool thing I've noticed is that Clark started conversing way more appropriately yesterday, and he was noticing things that he never seemed to notice before. I'm suspicious, but cautiously optimistic.

So yeah, the holidays should be interesting. I so totally suck right now for doing this before Thanksgiving. -_-