Saturday, February 28, 2009


I am in love with grapefruit right now.

They are three for a dollar -- and they are humongous -- at Jon's, because I live in SoCal, where citrus lives. I like to peel them like oranges and then peel open each individual section and just eat the insides. The amount of peel is thus quite immense. I munch happily despite the mess.

Jon's is right down the street. So usually, I walk there. And then I only buy three grapefruit because there is not a lot of room in the refrigerator, and I don't really want to carry more than that.

And then I eat them all within 48 hours, and thus I must go back.

But I am now out of grapefruit. And it is now too late to go walking to Jon's.

Boo for no grapefruit!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

No, statins really aren't good for you

I thought I'd post about the latest statin madness here, courtesy of Dr. Eades:

More statin madness

I love this article with all of my heart. Key quote below!

"What they’re saying here is that statins have been shown to reduce mortality from heart disease in those who have elevated LDL, which is true.

But this decrease in deaths from heart disease is compensated for by an increase in deaths from cancer and other causes, so there really isn’t a gain. You’re still dead. Just maybe not from heart disease, but what difference does it make?

Are you going to spend $200 per month for the rest of your life and stay on medications that may make you feel lousy and lose your memory just so you can die of something other than heart disease?"

It also includes an interesting side note: people who regularly take their prescriptions (known as "adherers") live longer than people who don't -- even if it's a placebo.

It's fascinating stuff. I admit it -- I think I have a girly crush on Dr. Eades. Woo!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Vanilla extract

As you probably already know, only vanilla extracts without sugars and colors added are SCD legal.

This may surprise you. I know it surprised me. But most commercial vanilla extracts are full of all kinds of junk these days -- caramel color and sugar are two of the more popular offenders.

I recently found a bottle of legal vanilla extract at Smart and Final, but it only lists "alcohol" on it. Now I personally have to write and find out if the alcohol they used is distilled -- and thus, gluten free. My son and I remain gluten free due to demonstrated sensitivity to gluten, you see.

Anyway! I started thinking. I thought, Self, why do you do this to yourself? Why don't you try to make my own?

I haven't yet. But when I do, I'm going to use this web site.

From that site, I learned that most of the people on the Internet are making vanilla incorrectly, which is why some sites say that making it on your own just doesn't work all that well.

Some takeaway points, if you are going to attempt this:

--use a dark brown, blue, or green bottle or other airtight container
--remember that only LIGHT rum is SCD legal, if you decide to use rum
--Vodka is the most neutral tasting alcohol
--shoot for 80 proof (40 percent alcohol)
--try to get "grade B" vanilla beans, which create a better and stronger extract
--use at MINIMUM 8 beans per 8 ounces of alcohol. Commercial vanilla producers have ways to bang all the good stuff out of the beans -- we're just cutting them lengthwise. So we have to use more.
--don't be afraid to use more beans! There are plenty of "double strength" brands of vanilla out there. Go for it.

By the way, I have taste tested my pickles and they are DIVINE. I am going to be posting photos and a recipe soon, so stay tuned! :D

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Cognitive leap!

Yesterday, my darling six-year-old son did something he's never done before.

I've talked before about how his autism has been much improved since starting the SCD diet), and at this point, I feel he really doesn't have much in the way of cognitive delays. All of his delays now are behavioral with some very very mild speech delays. But he's starting to catch up on the behavior side, even though he does have a long way to go in some respects.

The day didn't start off well. My son had not been well behaved at school. In fact, he was sent to the principal's office not once, but twice.

He was soundly punished upon his arrival home, with much time sitting in bed and no games, toys, or books.

During dinner, he started acting up again. My husband pointed out that he was going to end up back in bed at the rate he was going. I chimed in to tell Clark that I agreed.

Clark got very angry. He then turned to me and said, "SHUT UP, YOU JERK!"

I was completely stunned. Jeffrey wasted no time in sending our darling child to bed again. I giggled in spite of myself.

He used an insult appropriately! Isn't that cool?!

Parents of autistic kids get excited about some weird stuff.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

On soy

As you may already know, SCD is a diet free of many things. One of the items not allowed is soy. Elaine Gottschall explains in the knowledge base.

But others have discovered the drawbacks to soy along the way. Here's a great link from Free the Animal, which explains why soy should be regarded as a highly processed junk food.

The only exception for SCD is the vitamin E found in certain supplements, which can be derived from soy (usually referred to as soy lecithin). Soybean oil used to be considered legal, but changes in processing forced a revision.

Here's a good post from Cheeseslave, who lets us know that the inmates at Illinois State Prison are overdosing on soy.


Monday, February 16, 2009

Food breakdown

I am trying to journal my food more regularly. I need to keep myself more accountable. I also need to make an effort to get exercise. I get so tied up at work, I don't want to leave. Bad Susan!

So today, on my break, I took a 40 minute walk. In the rain. I borrowed my co-worker's umbrella and off I went.

I decided to track my food at, although I did hit a few snags. For one, do you know how hard it is to find HOMEMADE broth in their little calculator? Of course they have about 200 kinds of boullion. Ew.

Second, I noticed some, uh, discrepancies. I tried to find french cut green beans. I only found french beans. Apparently, according to Fitday, those have 40 grams of carbs per cup. Since I was suspicious, I checked the bag of beans in my freezer. Those only had 5 grams of carbs. Rar!

I thus took advantage of their add-a-food feature and fixed that little problem.

At any rate, I still think I'm going a teensy bit over on the carbs. If I want to lose fat, I have to cut that out. I know what my problem is, though. I don't tolerate nuts all that well, and I often forget to add fat to my foods earlier in the day. So later in the day, I haven't had enough fat, and I'm hungry, so I start hitting the fruit drawer in my refrigerator. It does not help that I live in southern California where citrus is currently three pounds for a dollar.

So! I have graphs and charts and fun things for you.

Here's today's breakdown:

If you're wondering, here's the calorie breakdown and here's the foods I ate. I'm a little suspicious about the onions though. I don't think they were "sweet." Hmm.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

My darling hubby made sure I slept in this morning. He told me of this early morning exchange with Clark. I don't think I mentioned it here, but this is the first year he really understood Christmas (he's six and he has mild autism, for those new to the blog).

Clark: It's Valentine's Day!
Jeffrey: Yes...

Clark comes out of his room and stops.

Clark: There's no presents!
Jeffrey: I told you.

Happy Valentine's day, everybody! :)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Artificial colors and flavors? Ew.

You know, I've often wondered why artificial colors and flavors are illegal, but then I realized, by wondering, that I'd answered my own question.

What ARE they, anyway?

You don't know. I don't know. And that's why we can't eat them, because we have to know what a food is in order to know if it's legal or not. And let's face it -- artificial coloring and flavors are not food. We only eat food on the SCD. Perhaps this should be our slogan:

The SCD: We eat food!

In case you were wondering what prompted this post, well, let me tell you. I spoke with an acquaintance of mine recently who used to work at a large food manufacturing company. One of the items they produced was a macaroni and cheese-type recipe.

The recipe called for two parts cheese, one part yellow food color.

No, that's not a typo.

So, for example, a batch would include 500 pounds of cheese...and 250 POUNDS of powdered yellow food color.

The thing of it was, said my acquaintance, is that the food color cost just as much as the cheese! It was EXPENSIVE!

You really wonder what's in our food supply, don't you?

And people think we SCDers are the crazy ones...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Louder than Words

So I just recently read Jenny McCarthy's book "Louder than Words," which covers Jenny's battle with her son's epilepsy and autism.

Honestly, I was pretty blown away by how personal the book was, and what she had to endure.

It was difficult to read, because I found myself reliving moments like my son's diagnosis. When her son was finally diagnosed, Jenny said she couldn't remember anything else the doctor asked or said during that visit.

Yeah, I couldn't either.

In fact, I had to go straight to work that afternoon. Like Jenny, I was the family breadwinner -- and I still am. I was a retail manager back then, and to be honest, I was pretty darn good at my job. But about a week later, I found out that a secret shopper had visited that very night, and I'd failed the shop.

I'd never failed a secret shop in my entire retail career.

Of course I had a message from the district manager asking me why I failed that night. I left her a message back that said, "Well, to be honest I thought I did a pretty good job that night and I can't think of anything I did differently. However, my son was just diagnosed with autism, so that might have had something to do with it." And then I hung up.

I just didn't know what else to say. It was hard to even say it.

I think Jenny is a great mom and I think the book is a great starting point for parents who have just learned about their child's autism and who don't know where else to go. She goes through a little bit about gluten free casein free diets, and yeast issues. But most importantly, she made me feel like I wasn't alone, and it's funny how I still feel that way a lot of the time. She mentioned how she felt like there was no way she could go on playdates with other kids and moms -- yeah, I've been there too. You just feel so isolated.

I think SCD can also make you feel isolated at times -- you've removed yourself from the big swimming pool of food that makes up daily life in the United States of America.

That's why I'm so thankful for the Pecanbread Yahoo! group. They always make me feel welcome, and I don't feel so alone. :)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Happy food!

When I have time, I love to read random labels in the hopes of finding something SCD-legal. Here are some of my recent discoveries!

Whole Foods 365 brand olives: I don't know why I never looked before. Wait, yes I do. See, my husband does not understand inspirational food shopping. He has a list, he buys what's on the list, and he gets out of the store before he catches on fire. So when I come home with anything other than what's on the list, he raises his eyebrows at me in skeptical ways. :P

So! On one of the times that I was NOT with my darling husband, I went poking around and found these olives. The black ones are $1.49 a can; the green ones are $1.99 per can. Ferrous gluconate is illegal, and it's the most common offender -- it's in practically all black olives.

One caveat: Whole Foods does not include shared equipment information on their private label products (as 365 is). So if you are concerned about cross contamination (such as a severe gluten sensitivity, for example), you may need to steer clear of these products. Many SCDers don't have to go to this level, but some do.

Ralph's spicy brown mustard: To be fair, I've come across a number of legal mustard brands; Eden is a brand sold through the Digestive Wellness site, for example.

Ralph's is a chain that is part of the Kroger family of food companies, so this same mustard may be packaged under different store brand names. Ingredients: distilled vinegar, water, mustard seed, salt, turmeric. It's one of the 'cleanest' ingredient listings I've ever seen with very little possibility of illegals.

I think I am most amused that in TEENY little type it has "no artificial flavors" and "sugar free" on the bottle. It's almost as if they're ashamed of it. Ha! But I adore brown mustard. I think I ate half the bottle in the first two days!

Zorba pepperoncini: I found these at Whole Foods, once again. They're the first legal pepperoncini I've come across. In Italian, pepperoncini is plural, so no need to add the 's' on the end. Yes, I am a grammar nerd.

The ingredients are peppers, water, vinegar, and salt. Beautiful. No yellow number 5! They're also listed as sulfite-free, for those of you sensitive to sulfites. Hooray!

I wish I could mention a brand of pickles here, but so far I've come up empty. I was told that Trader Joe's carried a legal pickle, but I was unable to find it at my local Trader Joe's. So I'm going to take a brave foray into pickle-making very soon, and of course I'll let you all know how it goes. :)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Citric acid and ascorbic acid

There was some confusion on the mailing lists recently about citric acid and ascorbic acid. Here's what you need to know.

Both citric acid and ascorbic acid are SCD legal. However, both of them are usually derived from corn. Corn is cheap and ubiquitous and a bane on our society, but I digress.

Generally speaking, citric acid and ascorbic acid are highly refined and should not cause problems. But there are some exceptionally sensitive individuals who react to whatever corn happens to be in these products. Of course, there are some people who just can't tolerate citric acid and/or ascorbic acid for whatever reason.

So. They ARE SCD legal. But that doesn't mean they won't give you a problem. So, if you notice a product giving you issues, then stop eating it. OK? OK. :)