Friday, July 24, 2009

fast food

OK, I am going to lay it on the line for you.

I am a low carber. I am on the SCD diet. I have an autoimmune disease.

And I have managed to stick COMPLETELY to SCD for years. Years!

So here's what I'm saying: You have no excuse to not eat the way you want to eat.

I was listening to one of Jimmy Moore's Livin' La Vida Low Carb podcasts, and he was interviewing a doctor. The doctor was talking about some study participants who were eating a low carb diet. He said one of the participants dropped out because they got into a car accident and "couldn't" do the diet anymore.

Oh really?

I will be the first to tell you that a hospital is one of the most challenging environments for those with food intolerances and allergies. In fact, you'd be best off if you had somebody bring you food. Even nutritionists screw up and I have heard of celiac people getting glutened in hospitals despite the best of precautions.

Going into the hospital for surgery? You've got an oven and a freezer. Make stuff ahead of time and have it all ready to go for whoever is handling your food arrangements (and you should have someone to do this, if you do have serious food intolerances or allergies).

Even if I were in a car accident and ended up with broken body parts, you can bet your ass that I would NEVER pick up a wheat filled crappy hospital sandwich even if I'd been in a car accident the night before. I would find someone to bring me real food and I would tell the hospital that if I did not get real, low carb food I would get VERY VERY SICK.

Why? Because hospital staples such as mashed potatoes, juice, and jello are damaging to my body, and I know that they are, so why on earth would I eat them? Because it's an emergency?

It's not. Sure, your health is of course the emergency, but your next meal is really not an emergency. You will not keel over dead if you miss a meal. I know, this is shocking news. Chances are, you will not damage your metabolism or any of that other crap they tell you either. Show me a caveman that ate three square meals every day and I might change my mind.

I am also assuming you have other, supportive people in your life who would give you a hand and support you if you were ever in such a position -- people who would help you get real food! And if you don't, then get them on board or tell 'em to go fly a kite. You don't need people telling you how dumb you are for not eating chicken McNuggets. Those people need to go away.

I have NEVER been in the position where I had nothing to eat and I "had" to go to McDonald's. Nobody ever had to go to McDonald's. Their chicken salad has wheat gluten in it. Why would I eat that? Gross.

If I forget my lunch, guess where I go? The grocery store! Usually I can find a can of tuna without additives (if I can't, I get a can of salmon), an avocado, and maybe a raw veggie to eat. I grab a plastic knife and fork from my office kitchen (or you can have your own supply) and I'm good -- I eat right out of the can, and right out of the avocado peel (salt optional but nice if you have some around). I don't need a knife to cut up a red pepper, but if you start eating it like an apple, be prepared for some strange looks.

So here are my top fast food choices for advanced SCDers (and low carbers):

1. Raw prewashed salad greens

You know, I saw these at the supermarket all the time. They cost about $5.50 for a very big clear plastic tub of prewashed organic salad greens. I thought that was kind of expensive, because I shop CHEAP, people.

But one time I thought... OK, I'll try it.

My husband now calls that tub the Salad Bin of Holding because you get so many salads out of it, you can't believe it. Really. Try it. It will save you time and you will eat more salad, which is a good thing.

2. Coleslaw mix

I know, this is kind of related. But you can get a decent sized bag of shredded cabbage and carrot pieces for about $1.25. It's low carb and SCD legal, and it is really fun to use oil and vinegar and mix it in with every salad you can think of. I've made tuna and egg salads with it and they are always totally yum.

3. Hardboiled eggs

Yes, the humble hardboiled egg. Why aren't you making these for yourself already? Boil up a dozen or so and stick them in the fridge. You've got cheap, fast protein all week. Unless you're intolerant or allergic, and if you are, I am sorry. I have a slight sensitivity to eggs and it annoys me, because I would eat tons of them if I could.

4. Canned salmon/tuna

You don't have to cook it. Enough said. Most of the canned tuna out there has soy broth in it, so stay away from those. Trader Joe's has decent water pack tuna that's just tuna and water. There is also a fancier kind of tuna that comes in olive oil, but I don't remember the name of it. Just READ LABELS and you will be fine. I get the canned wild salmon at Costco. A six pack of cans is $9. Plus, you can throw it in those gourmet salads you'll be making with the above ingredients.

5. Cheese

If you are one of the lucky ones on SCD who can tolerate aged cow cheeses, then hooray for you! I can't, so I occasionally indulge in goat cheddar. It is around $10/pound at Trader Joe's, which is half the price of Chevre Noir. And I really don't even like Chevre Noir, so it's all good. Cut it with a knife, and eat it. The end!

6. Steamed veggie of your choice

I just recently figured out that I can steam broccoli in the microwave for, like, three minutes. It's easy. Just put the pieces on a plate wet (you washed it anyway, right?) and you have cooked broccoli in three minutes. Done!

I have TONS of other food I cook in bulk, but I will save that for another post.

Just remember: If you are on SCD, it is better to eat an advanced food that's available rather than a non-SCD food.

And if you're low carb, you CAN find food. If you can't find food, you will probably feel OK anyway until you can find food, because your blood sugar will be stable from you already being low carb!

Never apologize for taking care of yourself. You're too important.



Well said once again. I like your style, you talk straight, blunt, from the heart and honest. I know I have become more this way from eating a specialized diet, you have to be straight, you can't kind of have no gluten...

Caitlin said...

In theory I totally agree with you. And, when I get a kitchen sink, refrigerator, and a stove, I will definitely be able to comply. However, at this moment in time I am exsisting in my kitchen with a crockpot, toaster oven, a cooler I plug into the wall, and no running water except in my bathroom. Eating SCD with these restrictions is very, very hard, (although my recent purchase of the crockpot helps tremendously.) That, coupled with a great market down the street, is helping me wean myself off the high priced, sodium ladened restaurant foods. I do have to shop every day; my cooler will not hold too much.
I have the bag o' greens & salad dressing for lunches, I eat Lara bars & fruit for breakfast, and supper is a crockpot meat w/ veggies concoction. But man, I miss the french fries that I 'must' have when I eat
I'll be living like this about another two weeks or so.

Jimmy Moore said...

EXCELLENT blog! THANKS for mentioning my podcast show. :)

The SCD girl said...

Hi Jimmy!

*blush* I am SO SORRY for not linking to your blog in my post. I have done that now. :)

Thank you very much for your kind words and for stopping by!

Susan :)

The SCD girl said...


I too had to live out of a cooler for a few days while moving. I totally understand the challenges!

I was very fortunate to have made quite a lot of foods ahead for my son and myself, like almond butter brownies, big bags of steamed veggies, and cooked hamburgers (I was not low carb at the time).

We were also able to go to In-n-Out for their protein style burgers.

And remember, it's always better to eat something like canned veggies in salt and water (which are usually not allowed on SCD) than to eat foods that aren't on SCD at all.

Good luck and I think you're doing great with your limitations!


~M said...

In the Chicago area, it's much cheaper to get canned wild salmon at Trader Joes ($0.33/oz) than at Costco ($0.57/oz) so you might want to look to see which is less expensive. We love wild canned red salmon too!

The SCD girl said...

Hi M,

I will check out the salmon at TJ's. I hadn't noticed it being any cheaper, although their canned tuna is usually less expensive than the salmon I usually purchase.

Thanks for the tip!