This Is The Diet That Saved My Life

coconut cashew gluten free cookies

(my favorite coconut cashew cookies)

I found a diet that saved my own life.  Recently, I’ve found cutting-edge doctors who finally agree with me. And science is finally catching up. With some luck, it will gain true mass-popularity, because when it works, it’s magic.

It’s not easy to start, but it’s so much easier once you learn how it goes.  It’s a diet used by people with gluten-sensitivities, IBD of all kinds, autoimmune illness like UC and Crohn’s and even Autism and Lupus. I’m not a doctor, but I’m sharing this diet today because I’ve recommended it so many times personally and privately as support for people being treated for various illnesses to bring to their own doctors that I am stepping up and sharing it more broadly. 

Breaking The Viscious Cycle

I came across the Specific Carbohydrate Diet in a somewhat desperate Internet search 10 years ago after praying for an hour for a solution to endless torment, and while not a single doctor supported me, they told me personally I had “nothing to lose.”  I interpreted that as having everything to gain.

It worked.

After five months on the diet I was able to get off of every single drug that was making my hair fall out in handfulls, my body shudder in pain and my kidneys burn.  I don’t tolerate these drugs well, and while I certainly can’t guarantee that it can do the same for you or people you know, it’s been a critical part of people’s lifestyle with UC, IBD and Crohn’s, as well as celiac and undiagnosed sensitivities.

Food really has been amazing medicine.  In addition to healing, my moods stabilized, I looked brighter than ever and had / have amazing energy I didn’t have before.

There are lots of articles that proclaim that gluten sensitivity is a myth and that only people with Celiac Disease should gluten.  If that were the case, I’m not sure I’d be alive… or at least, not thriving.

About 10 years ago I got so mysteriously and profoundly sick that no one was sure if I would live.  It was a black hole of terror.  Raging fevers, internal bleeding, extreme pain, the inability to eat, walk… It was like the world shut down.  And it took two weeks in the hospital, handfulls of steroids and insane numbers of pills to sort out what caused it.  Even with all this medication and a diet prescribed to me of all white and fiber-free food (yeah, think white rice, white bread and pasta) I was getting sicker and sicker.

I had an autoimmune digestive disorder.  I refused to believe it.  But still, it was there.

I’m not a nutritionist but I can tell you that the number of clients, readers and friends who experienced huge allergic reactions, symptoms of illness and diagnosed autoimmune disorders has exponentially increased in the last five years profoundly.  I can say that the number of people from the blog and my own clients may have increased simply because many more people read and share things with me, but my own friends and aquaintances who have been forced to go off gluten at the minimum has skyrocketed.

The big deal are the autoimmune disorders.  Autoimmune disorders are characterized by either really low activity or over activity of your immune system.   Instead of your body producing antibodies to fight infections and toxic substances, it attacks itself and depending the disease, different body tissue. It’s serious stuff.  You can learn more about what this actually means right here.

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) is gluten-free, grain-free, refined-sugar-free and free of soy, seaweed, chemicals and certain carbohydrates.  If it sounds insane, I promise it’s not.  You can read the entire list of what is legal and what is illegal right HERE.  The trick to making this diet work is that you can’t be lax, and you’ll probably need to cook a lot at first.  There is not a single morsel of cheating if you want to really see it’s effectiveness.  It’s a commitment and a lifestyle, and if it works for you, you’ll never view it as anything short of a blessing.

Elaine Gottschall worked with a doctor to heal her daughter who was suffering from Ulcerative Colitis. It’s since become a life-saver for many. The diet is geared towards rejuvenating your digestive tract as well as eliminating upsets and relapses of inflammation. Her book, Breaking The Viscious Cycle, is where to begin.   I was so eager to get started that I actually used the Intro Diet instructions from the website to get going until my copy arrived.

The restriction of these foods is for a very specific purpose. People who have autoimmune diseases do not have digestive tracts equipt to break down complex carbohydrates and refined sugars.   When the food is not properly digested it can cause bacteria and yeast formation in your stomach. This in turn leads to high acidity, cell damage, irritation and inflammation of the stomach and intestines.

The beginning stage of the SCD is eating foods that are extremely easy for your body to digest.  You can learn more about how to begin at the official website, right HERE. 

It also includes making yogurt that will help restore the flora in your gut. (HERE’s how to make my Super-Yogurt!) You then begin slowly introducing the allowed SCD diet foods, therefore carefully gauging what your body can handle. In this way you allow for vitamin and mineral absorption from food, healing of inflammation, and restoration of your stomach and digestive system.

At first, I ate mainly veggies, fish and yogurt with honey, and while it wasn’t glamorous, I got better.  Soon my adventurous side extended into cookies, candy, veggie extravaganzas and gorgeous soups, ice creams and super-smoothies.  It wasn’t that hard once I knew what I could and couldn’t include.  The restrictions in a way forced me to be much more inventive.

I created the blog with a food component- Food Shui–  to help people who are on the same SCD diet to expand their universe of food possibilities. And for new people to discover and try the diet it if it feels right.

I’m super-excited to expand this part of my creative universe more and more in the year ahead.  I’m so super-grateful every day to be healthy.   And I’m super-wishing all of you incredible wellness!

xoxo Dana




feng shui 101And, if you want to dive in to your own personalized feng shui in a modern, practical way, Say hello to Feng Shui 101.  Its the guide I made for you to create your own personalized feng shui at home, in the office, wherever you may be… in 8 weeks.  It’s not filled with strict rules or what you “must” do.  Its filled with information, questions, exercises and even videos and classes to help you confidently create amazing spaces with killer feng shui and live with more flow.   Learn more about the 8-week feng shui adventure & grab your copy to get started right HERE…  And, as always, please let me know what happens!

Previous post:

Next post: