Friday, March 15, 2013

Super easy SCD ideas

I recently began following the specific carbohydrate diet (SCD) to heal a bacterial imbalance, and was dismayed to find that the diet seems to disallow many of my former staples--canned coconut milk, gluten-free tortillas, sweet potatoes and others.  To further complicate matters, I have also been advised to limit my fruit consumption to one fruit per day, and to avoid even the natural sugars that are SCD legal, like honey and dried fruit. 

So, what does somebody eat when nearly all carbohydrates are off-limits?  Protein and fat, of course.

Today I'd like to share with you some of the easier, SCD-legal, dairy- and egg-free snacks and meals that have worked well for me.  Hopefully I can provide someone with ideas that will help their day run a little more smoothly.

Fruit and nut-based
If you're going to consume only one fruit per day, you'd better make it count!  I like to use fruit as a vehicle for protein and healthy fats, especially at breakfast.  Often, I also sneak in some extra veggies in my attempts to round it out.  Here are a few of my favorite combinations:
  • Scoop up sunflower seed butter with apple slices.  Melted dark chocolate is also delicious, although not SCD legal.
  • Top frozen strawberries with a liberal amount of tahini (ground sesame seeds) and coconut flakes
  • Blend up an orange, half of an avocado and a handfull of baby spinach.  I like to top this with nuts or seeds; the crunch masks any orange-bits that a regular blender might be unable to fully integrate.  The nuts also provide more protein.
  • Smash a banana with a few tablespoons of tahini and a splash of coconut water or milk of your choice.  Sometimes I also blend this mixture with baby spinach.  Top with coconut flakes and eat like pudding.
  • Dice a ripe, juicy peach or mango and pour full-fat coconut milk (not canned, if you follow SCD) over it.
I've also been told that cantaloupe is delicous with thinly sliced prosciutto, if you can find a "clean" brand. 

Since I have begun following a specific-carbohydrate diet, I have not done much legume-eating.  Lentils, peas and some beans are SCD-legal, although many SCD followers choose to eat a more paleolithic-inspired diet.  The following are legume-based recipe ideas that I have yet to try:
  • Veggies dipped in homemade hummus, made with soaked navy beans instead of chickpeas.
  • A lentil-based "oatmeal," like the recipe on Stir, Sift & Savour, but cooked with a apples or a sweet squash rather than raisins. 
Meat or fish-based
If one does not consume eggs or dairy products on the specific carbohydrate diet, meats and fish become an especially important part of the diet.  Some of the ideas and tips that I use are as follows:
  • Mix some wild-caught, canned salmon with sliced pickles, celery and tomatoes, and season with salt and pepper.  Scoop into half of a pepper, and top with your nut/seed of choice.
  • Roast two chickens or a large turkey at the beginning of the week and use the leftover meat for salads.
  • For especially busy days, seek out some "clean" sausages or pre-cooked shellfish and store them in the freezer. 
  • Find new, minimally processed condiments to make luch more interesting: olive oil-packed sundried tomatoes, calamata olives, guacamole, fresh salsa and jarred curry sauces are just a few examples.