This journey of chronic illness is a challenging one, certainly for Caleb, as well as for me, his mom. This is my attempt to pass it on. Here, you will find stories and rants from other parents, survival tips, recipes and more. I hope you find them helpful, interesting, or at least entertaining.
Today, on Caleb’s Blog, we’re excited to introduce a new blogger joining our team. Her name is Jenna Hopp. She has been struggling with Crohn’s disease for two years and searching for something, anything to help with her symptoms. She decided to start the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and will be documenting her journey and sharing it with us on Caleb’s blog. Today, she asks, will SCD work for me?
I’ve reached the point in my life where I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. It’s been two years now since I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease and I have been symptomatic for over three. In that time, countless plans have been canceled; I’ve been advised to find a new career and vocational dream, and I have moved five times, each for mostly medical reasons. A lot of the upheaval in my life is related to all the pain I go through on a daily basis. Most of the day is spent exhausted, internally wallowing in my own personal hellfire of pain.
How to Treat Crohn’s Disease – It’s not like I’m not trying to take care of myself
Although not pleased with the dietary adjustments my Crohn’s has beckoned, for the past year I have been doing a decent job living within nutritionist recommended guidelines. I’ve cut out raw vegetables, beans, rich dairy, and have a low fiber diet. I even spent a year not eating tomato-based products, strawberries, or raspberries because at one point I was told red foods had more acid in them and this would aggravate my GERD. This meant no pizza, which was quite the feat for this native New Yorker. Yet despite all these adjustments, my Crohn’s still seems to rule my life.
To treat my Crohn’s, I get Remicade infusions every eight weeks. This is my second biologic treatment path since I’ve been diagnosed. Initially,
I was on Humira, but stopped taking it due to a miscommunication regarding its availability. I briefly moved to Thailand in the summer of 2017 thinking I could support myself and have the relaxing beach life I thought I needed to heal my gut. I had called the Humira company to ask if Humira was available in Thailand prior to moving and they said that it was, however, when I got to Thailand, no Thai doctors had ever heard of the medicine.
I immediately started Remicade infusions there and they miraculously worked for me, keeping me mostly asymptomatic. Since starting the infusions, they hav
e managed my gastric symptoms for the most part, despite the frequent upper respiratory infections that I get. It is hard to tell if those are from being on an immunosuppressant or a side effect of working at a preschool. I love working with the little ones, but my body does not love being a human tissue. This was one of the reasons that my GI had not been willing to address switching treatments until recently.
At my last infusion, I came into the infusion center having a variety of gastric symptoms that I recently reported to my GI, which had been getting worse. The most bothersome for me was the pain. I had been in crippling pain the past few weeks that rivaled the pain I had pre-Crohn’s diagnosis. The PA who I see for my infusions was alerted because in the year I’ve known her I’ve never complained of pain like this, so she ran a series of tests. It was shown that there was no Remicade in my system and over a thousand Remicade anti-bodies, when there should be the opposite (some Remicade and no antibodies). Additionally, my inflammation markers were extremely high. Anything more than 0.5 calprotectin is considered inflammation. Last year, when I moved to Maryland, this marker was shown to be at 24. This recent test showed it to be at 315. It was clear that the Remicade wasn’t working anymore and something had to change.
The idea of change really scared me. Mostly, I was petrified I would need to become an ostomy lady before the age of 30. I didn’t feel like I would be able to figure out what to do next on my own, so I decided to reach out to others for help. I got very open with my friends about where I was and opened myself up to their feedback. I broke down and finally joined a Crohn’s support group.
I created a page on mycrohnsandcolitisteam.com and got very vocal about the agony I was in. I spoke to every doctor who would hear my worry. I even broke out of my silence on Facebook and made a birthday fundraiser for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation where I spoke of my struggles with the disease. The outpouring of support I received was inspirational. I didn’t realize how many people I knew struggling with this disease or other forms of autoimmune diseases, IBD, or chronic pain. Other people’s journeys have inspired me and helped me to realize that I’m not alone.
One Idea Kept Coming Up – The Specific Carbohydrate Diet
Though each person’s story is unique to them, one idea kept coming up that I no longer felt I could ignore- The Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD).
At my request, my sister ordered the book “Breaking the Vicious Cycle” for me off of Amazon. Once I started reading it I was quickly captivated and could not put the book down. I don’t think I have ever read a book so quickly. The way that Elaine explained sugars and how they work in a normal body and then a body with IBD just made so much sense to me based on my personal experiences. Since being diagnosed with Crohn’s, I have seen the extreme effects just half a piece of cake can have on me, putting me in bed for at least the rest of the day because of pain and physical sickness. This whole time I have been saying it was probably the heavy cream in the frosting that had gotten me sick- I never once considered it could be the sugar!
At this point, I wanted to do the diet, but was really apprehensive. I have had a mental block around cooking for the past fifteen years. Cooking was my mother’s passion. After she died, the kitchen was the last place I wanted to be, so I have mostly been living off of frozen, canned, or boxed foods since then. This may be a cause behind my Crohn’s, especially given the fact that no one else in my family has the disease. I wanted the change SCD promised, but wasn’t fully willing to put in the effort to make all my meals.
As all this had been going on, I had been undergoing a battery of testing to understand what was going on with my Crohn’s. I did a CT scan, MRI, colonoscopy, and was about to do a capsule endoscopy. Nothing showed the results doctors were looking for. The procedure around the capsule endoscopy here in Maryland was different than the way I had done it in the past. I didn’t think too much about the limited diet to keep during the exam until the day of it. I was ravenously hungry all day. By the time I returned the equipment from the exam at the end of the day and could eat freely, I was ready to eat anything and everything in my sight. I had to stop at my sister’s home at this point, and my eating at her house looked like that of a rebellious four-year-old.
I ate all the cookies and carbs I could get my hands on. It felt like a great idea at the time, but later that night I suffered some serious consequences. I was dizzy, sick, delusional, and was in so much pain that I couldn’t even eat the pizza I had been saving for this occasion. Since reading, “Breaking the Vicious Cycle” a week prior, I had been limiting my carb and sugar intake.
Limiting My Intake of Carbs & Sugar Wasn’t Enough
My experiences this day made it really clear to me that limiting my intake was not enough. I needed the fanatical adherence to the diet that the book spoke of. I needed to make some serious changes. At this point, I felt really ready to live differently.
Although I am scared to get in the kitchen and start cooking, I am even more scared of what will happen if I don’t. I understand why I have to be more careful than the typical person about what I put into my body. As someone with Crohn’s Disease, my body is more sensitive to certain ingredients and environmental toxins than others. If I don’t start taking care of my body now, I am limiting not only my time on this earth, but the quality of it as well. I don’t want to spend my days in bed because of my pain, and I don’t want to feel like I’m not truly living and that I have to compromise my dreams. I refuse to let my pain hold me back and define me anymore.
For that reason, I am giving SCD my all and am going to document my journey with it in this blog. It is my hope that my journey can make SCD seem less intimidating. If only one person feels less alone because of what I’ve written then it is all worth it.
When it comes to curing a cold, everyone seems to have their own special tricks. There are those who run to the local drug store and others who prefer to rely on home remedies and ancient recipes. And why not? Home remedies for the common cold and cough are marvelous and can soothe and cure its symptoms in no time, without ingesting harsh toxins and chemicals used in traditional over the counter medicines. Today you will learn the top 25 home remedies to cure a common cold or cough.
A cold is generally harmless and is quite common. Surveys reveal that an estimated 22 to 189 million school days are missed annually due to a cold, which affects working parents with approximately 126 million workdays staying home to care for their children. Add this to the approximately 150 million workdays missed by employees suffering from a cold, which accounts for approximately 40% of time lost from work in the U.S. (NCBI, pubmed.gov).
What is the Common Cold?
The common cold is a respiratory condition that refers to the viral infection of the uppermost part of the respiratory system. The infection occurs due to the attack of the rhinovirus. It is a widespread respiratory trouble with over three million people across the US affected by it every year.
The common cold is an airborne condition that gets characterized by sneezing, cough, headache, scratchy throat, etc. and can be actually cured by the administration of natural remedies. so, lets get going and find out how:
Top 25 Natural Home Remedies to Cure a Common Cold
Garlic possesses potent anti fungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties which work in unison to cure a common cold and cough.
Sauté a few raw cloves of garlic with a teaspoon of butter for a few minutes and then eat the sautéed cloves, for the effective cure of coughing fits, runny nose, and sore throat.
Ayurvedic science recognizes ginger root as one of the best home remedies of the common cold and cough. It possesses gingerol, which is very beneficial for the cure of a sore throat and nasal congestion.
Drink freshly brewed ginger tea thrice a day or chew on raw bits of ginger to help relieve symptoms.
Eucalyptus is a great remedy for the alleviation of cold and chest congestion. Add a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil to a bowl of steaming hot water and inhale the fragrant vapor to ward off the viral infection of the respiratory tract.
4. Saline spray
Salt water is an ancient home remedy for the natural treatment of common cold. The administration of saline nasal sprays inhibits viral infection killing off germs.
Add a tablespoon of common salt to a cup of lukewarm water and stir well to prepare a solution. Add a pinch of baking soda and then spray your nostrils with it to clear the nasal passage and cure the infection.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar & Honey
A combination of honey and apple cider vinegar can reduce your cough naturally, Honey possesses antibacterial properties and is rich in antioxidants, which makes it one of the most remarkable home remedies of the common cold and cough. The consumption of organic honey soothes the pain and irritation of the throat and provides relief from many of the cold’s symptoms.
Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey
6. Chicken soup or Bone Broth
Try a bowl of warm chicken soup to soothe the burning pain and itchiness of the throat and stay warm and hydrated and boost the immune system. Bone Broth (prepared much like chicken soup but you cook for as long as 12 hours to pull the nutrients out of the bones), is particularly immune boosting when you have a cold.
It’s called a magic elixir by many, for its nutrient dense, easy to digest healing properties. In fact, bone broth:
Has over 19 easy to absorb essential and non essential amino acids (the building blocks of proteins)
Has collagen/gelatin which helps form connective tissue
Has nutrients that help support digestive functions, immunity and brain health
Bone Broth has a number of great health benefits, especially for our kids with autoimmune diseases like Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis or Arthritis. It fights inflammation, boosts immunity, builds muscle, alleviates the common cold and can even elevate mood, but getting your kids to eat it, but might be another story. If you need a little help, here are a 5 Tips to Get Your Kids to Eat Bone Broth. If you prefer not to eat meat, you may also drink warm vegetable soups for the same therapeutic effects.
Astragalus root is an ancient Chinese medicine that will rejuvenate the health of the digestive tract. It possesses powerful antifungal and antibacterial properties which work against the infection. It is rich in antioxidants which help to protect the respiratory system against oxidative damage and make the immune system stronger. It is available in a variety of forms at drugstores and natural food stores, coming in drops and tablets — be sure to follow the dosage recommended on the bottle. The root (which can be boiled in tea and soup) may also be available in Chinese grocery stores, and might be combined with other plants like ligusticum and ginseng. Drugs.com suggests taking it with a full glass of water, and drinking increased liquids while using the herb.
Elderberry herb is incredibly effective for the cure of dry cough, soreness of throat, and the common cold. It enhances the strength of the immune system and is undoubtedly one of the most effective home remedies.
Take elderberry herb capsules or homemade elderberry syrup of the recommended dosage to fight the viral infection.
9. Vitamins C and D
Foods rich in vitamin C and D are essential for building a stronger immune system and fighting off infection. Vitamin C works as a powerful antioxidant, and vitamin D is necessary for the natural treatment of the common cold.
Eat citrus fruits like limes and oranges for vitamin C and foods like meat, eggs, dairy products, etc. for the daily dose of vitamin D.
10. Steam inhalation
Steam inhalation helps in the expulsion of thick mucus which is helpful for relief from nasal and chest congestion.
11. Warm water
Begin your day with a glass of lukewarm water to flush out the excess phlegm and soothe the pain and irritation of the throat.
12. Holy basil
Basil is one of the oldest herbs known to mankind and treasured by many around the world for its healing properties. Holy basil in particular is revered for its medicinal anti-inflammatory nature. Holy basil is even offered to Gods in the form of prasad in the Indian culture. Some say, that it is prohibited to even chew the holy basil leaves; one is supposed to swallow it at one go. As such, it is a guaranteed cure for respiratory infection. Pound a tablespoon of basil leaves, add a teaspoon of honey to it and then consume the mixture thrice daily for the treatment of common cold.
Gargling with lukewarm saline water is the best way to kill the germs and get rid of the infection. It helps to relax the throat muscles and soothe the soreness of the throat.
Boil a handful of peppermint leaves in a cup of water. Gargle with the infusion to cure stuffiness of the nose, and swelling and pain in the throat.
15. Baking soda
Add a teaspoon of baking soda to a cup of lukewarm water and spray your nostril with the solution to expel the excess mucus, cure nasal congestion, and enable easy breathing.
Drink freshly brewed cinnamon tea for the treatment of common cold. The anti-inflammatory properties of cinnamon can help cure the swelling, pain, inflammation, and infection of the respiratory tract.
Brandy is not a cure, but the warmth that it generates feels as soothing and comforting as a slice of heaven trickling down your sore throat. Inhale it slightly to get rid of nasal congestion and drink a small amount of it to cure a common cold.
18. Add another pillow
Position your head and neck in such a way to enable secure and unrestricted breathing. Use pillows to pop up your head to an elevated level to get relief from the discomfort of congestion.
19. Menthol Balm
The menthol balm is one of the best home remedies for common cold. Apply it to your forehead, chest and around the nose to get relief from coughing fits, runny nose, headache, fever, and sore throat.
Use a humidifier to keep the air warm and comfortable. It helps to accelerate the recovery process and calms the respiratory system as well.
The use of herbs like parsley, thyme, rosemary, coriander, and more can work wonders for the cure of the common cold. Add the dried and chopped herbs to your favorite dishes or drink freshly prepared herbal tea for getting rid of the infection.
22. Black pepper
The antibiotic and antibacterial properties of black pepper works wonders for the cure of cough and cold. Drink black pepper infusion twice a day to treat the infection.
23. Coconut oil
Heat a few tablespoons of coconut oil and rub your chest with it to help with chest congestion and discomfort of your respiratory infection.
Amla or Indian gooseberry is rich in vitamin C which is a potent antioxidant that strengthens the immune system and fights against oxidative stress inflicted by toxic free radicals upon the respiratory tract.
Mix a tablespoon of jaggery in an infusion of cumin and black pepper for the natural cure of the common cold. It helps to keep the chest free of congestion and generates a soothing warmth in the respiratory passage.
There is no 100% cure for the common cold, but as you can read, these top 25 natural home remedies to cure a common cold or cough can help you back on your feet in no time. They can help alleviate symptoms and be incredibly useful. Follow through with a combination of these natural remedies to help relieve symptoms and hopefully boost your immune system and help you heal a bit quicker. The treatments are ancient, effective, and highly recommended. Drink plenty of water and stay safe and secure with these wonderful home remedies.
Dr. Sohil is a health professional who has an undying love for writing and enjoys empowering people with knowledge about home remedies, natural cures, fitness, and power yoga. He is someone who follows what he preaches and has contributed medical articles for many a website, primarily to Howtocure. In his free time, you can find him catching up with movies, trekking and spending time with his dog.
Gluten-free. It’s among the hottest trends in the food industry today. Its become ubiquitous and synonymous with living a healthy lifestyle… even for people without Celiac Disease or gluten intolerance.
The gluten-free food market is a multi billion dollar industry. A recent survey from market research firm the NPD Group found that around one third of US adults wanted to decrease or eliminate gluten from their diets, a record high. This is reflected not only in the number of gluten free products you can find on store shelves, but also in the mass commercialization of these products.
Benefits of Eating Gluten-Free
For those people who struggle with celiac disease, IBD or gluten intolerance, eating gluten free is not an option. There are other benefits as well, listed below:
People who are gluten sensitive will get relief from symptoms.
Gluten free often provide a wide variety of gluten-free grains which are very healthy. Look for amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat, and millet.
Gluten-free flours made from ingredients like quinoa, almonds, and beans offer nutritional benefits (such as protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals). These are certainly smarter choices than the refined white flour found in many commercial baked goods, which lacks those nutrients.
But unfortunately, the majority of the gluten free products on the market today don’t fall into the “healthy” category. In fact, quite the opposite is true. The gluten free market has become so large and commercialized that eating gluten free can actually be worse for you than otherwise. Obviously, much depends on the products you choose.
My Company Creates Gluten Free Products, So Why Am I Criticizing?
As a a mom with a child with Crohn’s diseases on not only a gluten free diet, but a diet which eliminates grains, dairy, sugar and preservatives, I’ve spent the last three years learning about nutrition and the role food has on the body. I’ve studied ingredients and how they do or don’t increase inflammation and impact disease. I’ve become so impassioned, that I created a business to manufacture and sell food for kids that’s gluten free, as well as allergen, grain, sugar and preservative free.
So, you might be asking yourself, why would someone who manufactures food that’s gluten free be writing a blog about how bad gluten free food is for you? Well, here’s why. Just like any products on the market today, there are some products that are healthy and made from whole nutritious ingredients and others that aren’t. Whether you have someone in your family who has Celiac disease, an intolerance to gluten or prefers not to eat gluten for whatever reason, it’s important to read the nutrition labels and understand the ingredients you are ingesting.
Toxins in the Average Gluten Free Product
The average gluten-free diet is built on the same foundation as the Standard American Diet… both are highly processed diets made up of toxic foods. It relies on foods that are low in nutrients and high in toxins.
Gluten free products typically contains 4 specific foods that contribute to leaky gut syndrome, inflammation, and poor vitamin status:
Cereal grains (like corn, rice, and oats)
Soy (soy milk, soy protein, soy flour, etc.)
Highly processed oils (Canola oil, Rapeseed oil)
Sugar (especially high-fructose corn syrup and table sugar)
Let’s dig in a little deeper and take a closer look.
9 Reasons Why Most Gluten-Free Foods are Bad For You
Overall, the gluten-free specialty food aisle contains some of the most heavily processed food in the grocery store. Here’s why:
Gluten-free foods raise blood sugar higher than all other foods – Gluten free products have replaced the gluten with starchy ingredients like tapioca starch, potato starch, corn starch and rice flour. The sugar contents in these ingredients are higher than wheat, sugar, and even candy bars.
Gluten Free foods are highly processed and lack the nutrients, vitamins, minerals and fiber your body needs. Besides gaining weight and putting yourself at risk for several diseases, you may become nutrient deficient. When you continually eat these processed ingredients you can become deficient in several vitamins, minerals and fiber.
Gluten-free foods can reactivate celiac disease and gluten-intolerance reactions—The cornstarch, for instance, included in many gluten-free processed foods contains residues of the corn protein, zein. While zein is not gluten or gliadin, it overlaps in structure with gliadin and can reactivate many of the same responses.Likewise, rice flour contains residues of wheat germ agglutinin that is toxic even in small amounts to the GI Tract.
Gluten free foods are filled with toxins – Many gluten free foods contain rice products (rice starch, rice flour & brown rice syrup) – Rice is notoriously contaminated with arsenic, which is a “potent human carcinogen” according to scientists at Consumer Reports and classified as a group 1 carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
Gluten-free foods alter bowel flora—Ingesting gluten-free carbs/sugars “invites” unhealthy bacterial species to ascend up the intestinal tract, a phenomenon that leads to small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, SIBO, that, in turn, increases risk for autoimmune conditions, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, diverticular disease, and colon cancer.
Gluten Free foods are filled with added sugars -Gluten-free foods use sugar to replace the flavors lost when grains were removed, and it’s almost impossible to find a gluten-free product without added refined sugar. You’ll often see sugar listed several times on the ingredient list in its many different forms: corn syrup, maltodextrin, dextrin, sugar, etc.
Gluten Free products often are made from corn or soy which are usually genetically modified (GMO) – corn and soy ingredients (corn meal, corn starch, corn syrup, soybean oil, soy lecithin) are found in a lot of gluten-free pastas, crackers, and cookies and chicken nuggets. When you see anything made from conventional corn or soy on a label, it’s a pretty safe bet that it’s genetically modified (GMO) because the vast majority of these crops in the U.S. are GMO.
Gluten Free products often contain Xanthan Gum which can trigger allergies or GI issues in people – Food companies often add the additive xanthan gum for texture and softness when gluten is taken out. This hasn’t really been shown to be a dangerous ingredient to eat, but be aware that it’s often derived from GMO corn and triggers allergies or gastrointestinal issues in some people.
*To read more from cardiologist, author and health crusader, Dr. William Davis, go to his blog: WheatBellyblog.com
Ingredient Labels of Popular Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets
Here at Caleb’s Cooking Company, we create chicken nuggets for kids that are not only gluten free, but also grain free, sugar, dairy and preservative free. Soon, we will be 100% allergen free as well, (as we are taking egg out of our recipe). So, we decided to take a look at the ingredients of a couple of the leading manufacturers of gluten free chicken nuggets. Their ingredients are very similar to what you will find in other gluten free pasta, cookies, crackers and snacks.
Here is a nutrition label of a popular brand of gluten free chicken nuggets.
We use a yellow split pea flour to batter our nuggets. No processed starches here, just healthy split peas. (A single cup of split peas provides 65 percent of your daily fiber needs. They’re also a great source of protein, offering 16 grams in that same cup).
We don’t add any sugar.
We use a healthy oil in which to fry.
We have a clean, free from nutrition label.
And the best part is that they taste great! We make traditional chicken nuggets, Honey BBQ and Buffalo flavors.
We are a small company, but growing fast. If you would like to be a part of our family and help us spread the word about our of line allergen, gluten, grain free products (mac n cheese coming next) , please join us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
If you want to purchase our chicken nuggets, they can be found at the following local retailers. We are expanding as quickly as we can, so if you don’t find your retailer on the list below, please ask for Caleb’s Cooking Company chicken nuggets at your local store. You can also drop me an email with the name/location of the store where you would like to see our nuggets sold and we will do our best to get distribution to your area as soon as possible (email@example.com):
Now that we are into the middle of October, and the weather is starting to get cooler, we will notice one common denominator – sickness. Despite getting the flu shot and taking your daily multi-vitamin, it’s inevitable during the fall and winter months to get a cold, typically triggered by a virus, that could last for weeks. Here are a couple of secrets how to treat a cold with natural remedies.
If you are living a healthy, natural lifestyle, cold remedies get complicated. They are in abundance in the drugstores – but pick up any package and you will read chemical after chemical of ingredients you may not even be able to pronounce.
I am here to tell you, there are better, safer options that work, and in most cases, more effective than the conventional drug company options.
The following 11 homeopathic, preventative and healing options have been tested and proven to work:
Want to know a secret? The sooner you address it, the faster you can resolve it.
Elderberry – this is a well-kept secret that is not so secret anymore. It is an immunity booster that works quickly. Aside from making your own (which you can do), elderberry is readily available – you just need a great source. We found 2 options that are said to be the strongest in the industry, that come highly recommended from nutritionists and health food specialist aficionados. They are both made by Sambucas, one is a syrup (9 carbs, 1 gram sugar) and one is an extract (0 carb, 0 sugar). Same potency.
Echinacea – tried and true, this one continues to deliver. Research shows it increases the number of white blood cells, which fight infections. Again, look for a pure, well-sourced brand and take the recommended dose up to 3 times per day.
Garlic – Garlic contains allicin – a powerful antibacterial only present shortly after garlic is crushed, so you need to eat it raw, and quickly. It’s more satisfying than you think – mix it with ghee butter and put it on a cracker or small piece of bread. Tastes just like garlic bread. (caveat – your breathe might be kickin’, but it’s worth it).
Vitamin C – High doses of vitamin C are said to help kill the bugs causing sickness. It is a water-soluble vitamin and powerful antioxidant, and helps the body form and maintain connective tissue, including bones, blood vessels, and skin. Our favorite option? Mega Foods (this is the “Farm to Table” brand we love). It is one of the purest forms available and is made from whole foods. Sometimes too much is too much, so try to stick to under 1,000mg/day.
Oregano Oil – Not gonna lie, this one has a very strong taste – but packs a punch. It is said to get rid of any respiratory ailments that you may have, and its health benefits are attributed to its properties as antiviral, antibacterial, anti fungal, anti parasitic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, digestive, emmenagogue, and an anti-allergenic substance. Whew. Told you.
Turmeric – Turmeric has been widely recognized as an anti-oxidant with anti-inflammatory properties – just ensure you source it well. Go for organic – a brand I love is Simply Organic (all of their spices are fantastic and purely sourced – available in most supermarkets). Mixed with lemon, mint or green tea, honey and raw ginger – it’s a potion in which illness has no chance. If you’d like to learn more about Turmeric Curcumin, check out, How to Fight Inflammation Using Curcumin.
Gargling – This is a mom favorite from the 80’s and… it works. Salt and hot water, gargled in your throat. The salt is said to clean and kill bacteria in your throat and loosen up mucus.
Pineapple Juice – Fresh squeezed, organic pineapple juice contains bromelain, an enzyme found only in the stem and fruit of pineapples, that can help suppress coughs as well as loosen mucus. Side note: Bromelain may interact with antibiotics, so check with your doctor if you are taking any medications.
Pre and probiotics – we have preached many, many times. Get your fill and continue to build up your micro biome.
Total package – this is a new find I just love. It has it all in one 5 day protocol. Mega Foods (there’s that brand again) Acute Defense. For any extra $5 off, use this link.
Can you do all remedies together? YES. Alternate a remedy every two hours until you start to feel better. The key is to start as soon as you begin to feel sickness coming. Bye-bye sickness.
Debra, a mom of two and marketing professional for 24 years with her own marketing company, Yellow Bloom, has had a passion for the fitness and nutrition industry since she was 12. As a working professional, busy mom, fitness advocate and passionate, healthy food enthusiast, she always wanted to do something bigger. So, she created her fitness and nutrition blog, Heels To Laces.
Debra is an active fitness instructor and trainer and has taken a specific interest in nutrition and youth fitness. Exercise and healthy eating have become so ingrained into her lifestyle, it was only natural to progress into more. This blog is a vehicle to share what she has learned throughout the years and continues to learn daily. It’s a way to communicate with other fitness and nutrition enthusiasts the latest news and findings in the industry – coupled with personal experience. Debra is an AFAA certified fitness instructor, certified in Tabata Bootcamp and has an Advanced Sports Nutrition certification.
Approximately 27% of U.S. children live with chronic health conditions that affect their daily lives and normal activities. My son Caleb is one of these children. Caleb has Crohn’s disease and is on a special diet to manage his illness. These diseases and the dietary restrictions that often follow, contribute to not only missed school days, hospital and doctor visits, but ongoing social anxiety and psychological fallout. Providing allergen friendly food for children with dietary restrictions is important to create “quality of life” for our children.
Chronic Diseases in Children on the Rise
These chronic diseases, along with learning and developmental disorders, are on the rise. They are not limited to:
Sickle Cell Anemia
So, if you have a child with a chronic illness, a severe allergy or learning disability, and they are on a special diet, how does that play out for the child social and psychologically? It’s easier to quantify and understand the results of diet therapy physically, but when a child is on an elimination diet and can’t eat anything with nuts, grain or gluten, how do they manage? What does it mean on a day to day basis for that child?
The Psychological Implications of Diet Therapy
Food is everywhere. It’s part of our everyday life, as well as at the heart of almost every celebration, holiday, and special event. It’s woven into most traditions and celebrations across cultures. Food is also emotional—it’s how we care, love, celebrate, and socialize. Celebrating a birthday without cake, Halloween without candy, or Thanksgiving without apple pie can seem impossible.
Eating is also a social activity. It always has been and always will be. Who we eat with, who eats first and certainly what we eat, all have social implications, especially for children and young adults. Food and social interaction are deeply entwined in the human psyche, a fact which we tend to ignore in our daily lives.
As a result, for children on special diets, this can lead to depression, anxiety, social alienation and a host of other psychological problems. I know for Caleb, even at 15 years old and a mature 15 years old at that, he still struggles. He has wonderful friends who support him, but it still breaks my heart when all of the kids go out for ice cream or pizza and Caleb just sits by and watches. I am grateful that at least he is willing to go and not stay home.
Every Child and Diet is Different
For some children with severe allergies, even being in close proximity to a food with nuts, sugar or egg can be life threatening. For others, like Caleb with a chronic illness, he simply can’t eat 99% of anything served or sold in public.
With all of this said, it’s important to keep expectations reasonable.
Some children aren’t bothered by their dietary restrictions, while other children struggle. Also keep in mind that their attitudes may shift over time as they grow and mature. It’s important to set your child up for success and modify the environment whenever possible to help them cope with their restrictions. Pushing too much will create stress for the whole family.
I know personally, even with my best intentions, with Caleb as a teenager, it’s often best for me to lay low and let Caleb handle his food in public. He doesn’t want me asking the waitress the entree ingredients or suggesting options on the menu etc. I guess he finds it embarrassing and humiliating. I can understand that.
But, with that said, he is still learning and my job as his mother is to ensure his health and safety. So, there is still conflict and stress. There is nothing easy about any of this. We try to keep an open line of communication (or at least I do) and share with him why I make the decisions I do. We are both constantly evolving and growing with this diet and disease.
Why I Created Caleb’s Cooking Company
When Caleb and I started The Specific Carbohydrate Diet, it was overwhelming, to say the least. I quickly realized how little there was to buy in the supermarket, as almost all gluten free product have sugar and preservatives and most other organic, preservative free products have grains.
So, I started cooking. And cooking. And cooking.
At first, Caleb was hungry all of the time. I figured out pretty quickly how to fill him – using healthy fats like avocados, coconut oil and lots of protein. His inflammation markers soon dropped and he fell into remission. We were relieved. The diet was working.
But Caleb became depressed.
He kept telling me that he wanted to be like a “regular kid” again.
The weekly bake sales at school, pizza parties, ice cream outings and sleep overs were getting to him.
It was then that I knew I needed to do something to help not only Caleb, but all of the kids struggling with chronic illnesses or allergies on special diets.
That was when I decided to create Caleb’s Cooking Company. We would manufacture allergen friendly food for kids (that all kids – no matter what kind of diet they were on) could eat. It would be traditional food kids love – like chicken nuggets, and be fully cooked and frozen (for the exhausted parents tired of cooking).
We’d sell it in stores, but more importantly, provide it in schools, universities, hospitals, camps, hotels, amusement parks – wherever kids went and wanted to feel like “regular kids”.
So, that’s what we’re doing. We launched with our allergen friendly chicken nuggets and we’re now rolling out our BBQ and Buffalo nuggets. Caleb has come up with a whole list of products that we intend on producing – enchiladas, mac n cheese, lasagna and more (all completely allergen free).
We sell our nuggets in 24 stores in the DC/MD/VA area, including:
If you would like to follow our progress, please join one of our social communities. We are also always looking for those wanting to share their story and experience with diet and disease (via our blog). Please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Imagine yourself walking through the streets of a country who’s cuisine and culture are totally foreign.
Maybe it’s a Vietnamese market with dozens of kinds of rice; one varietal used to make smooth rice paper, another grained starchier rice is wrapped in banana leaf and steamed with pork and salted peanuts, a third is a long grain rice cooked in coconut milk for basic, but hearty street food.
Maybe it’s an Indian market where you notice gram and lentils cooked in ways you never imagined; soaked overnight and then quickly puffed in super-heated sand, or half cooked before being pasted and rolled into thin sheets and baked?
Maybe it’s a Peruvian market which has corn & potatoes, puffed, fried, boiled, stewed and fermented into a purple sweet tea.
In all these cases, it shows the cultural significance given to cooking creatively to keep meals interesting and varied.
This same theory of cooking creatively and thinking “out of the box” should be applied to any specialized diet, whether its SCD, Paleo, KETO etc.
How to Cook Creatively on the SCD
For example, there is a tendency to think of lentils and beans as just legumes to be soaked and boiled before eating…but there are a variety of different ways they could be used.
This recipe for Lentil Falafels shows one of the simplest, easiest, and tastiest ways to cook lentils differently. You can use any type of lentil or bean in this recipe. I just like red lentils since they provide an interesting color and soak the quickest.
Red Lentil Falafel Patties
Red Lentils dry 2 cups
Medium Onion rough chopped 1.5 each
Garlic peeled 8 cloves
Cumin toasted & ground 2 tbsp
Parsley 1 bunch
Cider Vinegar 3/4 cup
Olive oil 3/4 cup
Salt 3 tablespoons
Method of Preparation
Soak Red lentils for 6 hours or overnight until they double in size.
Prep the remaining ingredients if not already prepped. They don’t have to look nice since they are all going to be ground into a paste.
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and grind until the lentils are pulsed into small bits resembling cous cous.
Chef’s Notes: Don’t fret too much about the texture at this point. If the lentils are soaked well they will still cook to tenderness even if not ground entirely.
Preheat the oven to 375.
Chef’s Notes: I have chosen to demo an oven version of this dish since that is much easier and safer, but I personally find frying these to be tastier. If you are comfortable frying I would give you two big thumbs up.
Apply a light coat of oil in a muffin tin with an oil soaked paper towel and preheat the tin in the oven for 10-15 minutes.
Chef’s Notes: If this step it omitted, the falafel can sometimes stick to the muffin tins and be harder to remove. It also makes for a much easier clean up if the falafel are removed cleanly!
Quickly fill the muffin tins nearly to the top of with the falafel batter and place them in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and firm on top. Remove them from the oven at this point and let them cool before popping them out of the muffin tins.
Visual Cues: Make sure you test to see if the top center of the falafel have solidified. If they are mushy or wet at all don’t take it out! If you do, the lentils won’t cook properly and will still be mushy and raw tasting when they cool down.
Chef’s Notes: I would always use a knife to cut around the edges of the muffin tin to help remove the falafel.
If you would like to read more of Travis’s recipes, here are a couple to check out:
I started doing demo’s in stores recently. The picture above is from a demo at Glen’s Garden Market in Washington DC. If you’ve ever seen the people standing behind little tables in the grocery store giving out samples, well that’s me. Of course, I do more than just give out samples; I spend most of my time talking to customers about not only our food, but also the connection between diet and health, nutrition and disease.
More often than not, the person in front of me has some sort of illness, or a friend or family member with a severe allergy or digestive/autoimmune related issue. In no time, we are discussing different ingredients and their inflammatory nature etc. Some times, I spend as long as 30 minutes talking with any given customer. We exchange recipes, hugs, phone numbers and advice.
The Best Part of My Job as a Startup
I have to say, this is the best part of the job so far. I love watching people respond to my chicken nuggets, but more importantly, I love talking to people as passionate as I am about food, nutrition, disease and diet. For those of you who don’t know, MOM’s Organic Market has stores in four states and DC and its mission is to “protect and restore the environment”. Supporting organic is their highest priority. Our products are not organic quite yet, but we are clearly in the pocket of healthy food, being grain, gluten, sugar and preservative free, with no artificial ingredients.
Spending Too Much Time with People Who Suck
It’s refreshing to be around people who care about their bodies, the food they put in them and the environment. Because I have to be honest, lately I have been spending way too much time with people who down right “suck” (excuse my french). I guess its no different than any other industry – having to work with people who only care about money and power, whose ego’s are intimately tied into their insecurities, who can’t see past their own job titles. But let’s not focus there.
Building a business from the ground up is hard; especially one in the food industry. Every aching muscle in my body, every new gray hair and new stress line on my face is testament to this fact. I am stressed out every day – financially and otherwise.
With that said, we have made huge progress. We are selling our chicken nuggets in almost 25 stores and even better, customers seem to really be enjoying them. We are rolling out two additional sku’s, Honey BBQ and Buffalo flavor – again, all grain, gluten, sugar and preservative free. I am really excited about these two new flavors.
So, Just What Does a Chicken Nugget Machine Do Anyway?
We also bought a chicken nugget machine, which is super cool. I bought it from China and it forms and cuts 2000 chicken nuggets in an hour. This rocks our world and allows our production process to scale to the levels we require. We’re constantly tweaking our process to finding faster, more efficient ways to produce. Last week, I bought a conveyor belt so that when the nuggets roll off the machine, they roll onto the conveyor belt onto pieces of paper which we then pick up and put into the freezer to harden (before we batter and fry).
Chicken Nugget Machine - YouTube
I’m running around like a chicken with my head cut off. We’re in production each week for 3-4 days and when we are, I am in the kitchen working with the chef actually making the nuggets. When we’re not in production, I am in stores doing demo’s and trying to close deals with other stores to pick up our products. One of my biggest goals is to provide our allergen free food to schools and hospitals so that children/young adults who have dietary restrictions have good, healthy options to eat. All I know is this…every day last year, I packed a lunch for Caleb for school (with all of the foods that he could eat on his diet) and every day that lunch came home because he was too embarrassed to eat it.
The final piece of the puzzle is outreach, education and providing support to parents and children struggling with IBD and autoimmune illnesses, via blogs and social media content. This is the work I do at night, after everyone else is asleep.
Why We’re Closing Our Online Store
We have been selling via our online store for some time now, but I have had to make a strategic decision to close down the store for now, so that I can focus on the retail market. I know this is probably very upsetting to many parents (especially on the SCD) who buy our food, so for that I am sorry. My goal is to come back to online down the road once we are further along and I can outsource fulfillment. Amazon here we come!
In the mean time, we are having a CLOSE OUT SALE and offering a deep discount of 25% off to sell all inventory. Use the coupon code Closeout. The sale ends August 29th.
It’s A LOT and sometimes and its too much and overwhelming. I am taking breaks, but probably not enough. I am meditating and doing yoga, but I have to get back to biking to reduce some of this stress.
If you live in the DC/MD/VA area and would like to check out our products, please take a look at the stores showcased above – OR go buy the last couple of boxes of grain, gluten free chicken nuggets at our online store. The BBQ and Buffalo nuggets are coming soon. We are starting production on them tomorrow.
Last month, I wrote about a staple of American cuisine, the french fry. This week is another staple of American Cuisine, albeit a slightly different type of American Cuisine. Think quick delivery, that strangely alluring smell of plum sauce, and deep-fried snacks. Chinese-American Cuisine, of course! Specifically a SCD
SCD Sweet & Sour Chicken.
To make this recipe, we’ll use a sturdy, normal shaped, multi-use, common stainless-steel pan (carbon steel and cast iron are great choices as well). It can retain high heats well and is a basic item that almost every kitchen has.
SCD Sweet & Sour Chicken
Yield: 4 servings
Serving Size: 1.5 cups of stir-fry
Chicken Breast, chopped into ½” cubes 1 each
Red Onion, chopped into ½” cubes 1 medium
Red Pepper, chopped into ½” cubes 1 large
Zucchini, chopped into ½” cubes 1 large
Fresh Ginger, minced or microplaned 2” root
Garlic, minced or microplaned 4 cloves
Fresh pineapple, rough chopped 1 cup
Frozen is fine too!
Navel Orange, skin and pith removed 1 large
Get as much of the pith off as possible. Don’t fuss too much over it.
Apple Cider Vinegar ¼ cup
Safflower oil ¼ cup
Sesame Oil 1 tbsp
Salt as needed
Method of Prep for SCD Sweet & Sour Chicken
Gather all your prepped ingredients together before starting. The goal here is to have the dish done in 10-15 minutes, so everything needs to be prepared beforehand.
In a blender, puree the orange, pineapple, and apple cider vinegar until a smooth puree has formed. Reserve the sauce.
Place your stainless steel pan over medium-high heat and let it pre-heat for 3-4 minutes without anything in the pan.
Chef’s Note – Here is a great time to use the leidenfrost effect to your advantage! Add a small bit of water to your pan (just a few drops) and watch. If the water boils away immediately your pan is not hot enough to cook without being sticky. If the water runs over the hot steel like a marble or an amorphous blob, but doesn’t evaporate for quite a while, then you have a pan ready to sear.
4) Add your oil to the pan and then immediately add the chopped chicken. Season with salt and let the chicken sear for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Remove the c
hicken from the pan at this point.
5) Once removed, add the vegetables, ginger, and garlic to the pan and saute for 2-3 minutes until they are just barely tender.
6) Add the chicken back to the pan, and then pour the puree over the pan and let it simmer for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Chef’s note – The important aspect here is that the sauce thickens so it clings to the meat and vegetables. 5-7 minutes is a rough estimate, but you want to look for a thick enough sauce that it will coat the chicken when you pick a piece up from the pan while still hot.
You want to see a darkening of the color of the sauce. This denotes that a) the pineapple and orange are beginning to caramelize (and develop tasty complex flavors) and b) the chicken was seared well and created lots of little brown crusty bits of flavor that the sauce is now picking up while being stirred.
6) Once the puree has reduced to a thick sauce that coats the meat & veg, rather than acting as a pool that remains in the pan when you remove the meat &
veg, you are ready to serve! Spoon it on to a plate and drizzle with a light amount of sesame oil before eating!
Hope you enjoy your delicious SCD sweet & sour chicken, and if you’d like to add a tasty dessert to your meal, check out our lemon curd recipe.
When going to sleep at night or just thinking about things in my life, one thought sometimes pops into my head.
What would I do if I could cheat on the SCD for one day?
I remember this summer being on a hiking trip at camp, and to make discussion, some of the other kids were discussing what food they would eat if it was their last day to live. This question stirred up some thoughts in my head as well. What would I do if I could cheat on the diet and Crohn’s for one whole day with no consequences?
It’s a crazy concept to think about – especially having had to live with the SCD lifestyle for so long (going on 3 years).
The typical answer would be to fill your face with chocolate cake, cookies, and pizza, and eat as much as you can in that one day, but that isn’t what I would do.
Every action has consequences, and that is the truth.
Eating all of the food that I shouldn’t would only affect me in a negative way. It would make going back to the diet after that one day so much harder. Besides the horrible stomach ache I would get, it would also make me crave the food that I can’t have, which would make staying on the diet much more difficult.
It would also take me back months and even years in healing and what the diet has done for my body. By starving the bad bacteria in the gut, I live today in complete remission. But eating the foods I can’t would just bring the bad bacteria back. And that would be a big step backwards in my healing and my life.
I would basically have to start the diet again.
Staying strict is key to staying healthy.
So even if I could have this one day to do as I please, I still wouldn’t. Short term, it might be fun, but in the long term, it’s not a good strategy.
What do you guys think? What would you do if you could have one day to eat whatever you wanted? Leave a comment below and let me know what you think.
If you have a dietary restriction and can’t have complex carbohydrates (potatoes, rice, corn etc), then odds are, you haven’t had a good french fry in a while. Well, today is your lucky day. Here is an amazing SCD French Fries recipe from your favorite chef Travis Bettinson.
Unfortunately for the SCD community, there are few options that our commercial food system designs with them in mind…and even less that are easy, quick, grab & go options (except of course Caleb’s Cooking Company frozen meals). So if you want to try out a relatively easy recipe to replace an American staple, I’ve got one for you.
Fries of course. Crispy, golden-brown, salty, light, dippable, fries. The cornerstone of any junk-food binge!!
These fries, of course, don’t use potato as the base. Instead, we use the wonderfully underrated and under appreciated yellow split-pea. They are based on a traditional Italian side dish utilizing chickpeas that I first had while working at the Langham Hotel in Boston, Panisse.
There are 4 steps to make these fries – each very easy to do. The good news is you can make a huge batch and freeze the leftovers, easily reheating them in the oven right from the freezer. Hope you enjoy!
Grab-and-go SCD French Fries Recipe
Yield: 4 servings
Serving Size: 16” plate piled high with fries
Yellow Split Peas 1 cup/ 240ml
Water 1 pint/ 500ml
Salt 1.5 tsp/8g
Safflower Oil for Frying 1 quart/ 1000ml
Note – You should have a thermometer that has a range capturing 300℉-425 ℉
Method of Preparation for SCD French Fries
Here’s an easy step 1 for you. Soak the dried split peas in water until they nearly triple in size. 12-24 hours.
Strain out the soaking liquid and place the split peas in the blender with the pint of water and salt. Puree until smooth.
Pour into a pot and place it over medium-low heat.
Cook for 15-20 minutes on medium-low heat, stirring every few minutes with a whisk. Chef’s note: Stirring is important here. You are essentially making split pea polenta so if you forget about the polenta for 10 minutes it will stick to the bottom and begin burning.
Once the temperature of the puree reaches a high enough temp, the pea starches will gelatinize and it will quickly begin to thicken. That is totally normal and will happen far before you should finish stirring the mix. I’ve always a had a thin layer of the polenta stuck to the bottom of the pot after this step, but with 20 minutes of soaking in water, it comes right off with a light scrub.
Another Chef’s note: If the puree has thickened up before the 15 minute mark you should still continue to cook and stir it (maybe with a metal spatula if your whisk has a hard time handling the new density of the thickened mass). This makes sure you’ve cooked out the raw pea starch which is very bitter and hard to digest. It also has the added benefit of making a lighter fry since more heavy water will get cooked out of it.
Dump/Scoop (more dumping than scooping) your pea polenta onto a sheet pan. Working quickly, spread out the thick mass to about a ½” evenly (parchment paper or plastic wrap and a rolling pin work wonder with this). Then let it cool for 20 minutes.
Add the oil to a heavy-bottomed pot and place over medium heat. Your goal is to reach 400℉ before adding the fries.
Chef’s Note: When you add the fries, the temp will drop a good 50℉-75℉ to 325℉-350℉, which is a good frying temp for the panisse fries.
While the oil is heating, turn the cooled polenta out onto your cutting board and cut fries of whatever size you want out of the dough.
When the oil has reached the correct temp of 400℉, add ⅓ of the batch of fries. My fries, which were cut into ¾” widths took 5-7 minutes to reach the golden color and crispy texture I was looking for. Remove the fries with a slotted spoon and place onto a paper-towel-lined sheet pan to drain excess oil. Once the oil reaches 400℉ again add the next batch of fries.
Chef’s Note: You should be able to reuse this oil another 3-4 times before it degrades and begins to oxidize. I let the oil cool, place it in tupperware and label it for the next use.
I’m a salt fiend, so I give the fries another sprinkling of salt before finding whatever dip suits my mood that evening. Even though I only used 1 cup, I’d recommend doubling or tripling the recipe and freezing a bunch of the finished fries to be reheated on demand.