Avoid starches and complex sugars. Slowly introduce laxative foods after symptoms improve. Eat unprocessed foods. Below is a description of the food recommendations in the diet. Use this page as a cheat sheet alongside the book. Get a copy of Breaking the Vicious Cycle for information on the effects of diet on intestinal microbes, effects of diet on celiac disease, mental health, and autism, supplementation recommendations, meal plan for first 5 days, and recipes.
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Shelves: nonfiction , My typical dinner used to be pizza, pasta, or sandwiches, always followed by something sweet--candy, cookies, cake. I rarely ate vegetables or meat. My gastroenterologist had told me to follow a low-residue diet, so I figured the more carbs, the better. He advised me to stay away from raw vegetables and meat, the "hard to digest" foods he thought would tax my digestive system.
Then I read this book and realized I had been eating all the wrong things for years. This book My typical dinner used to be pizza, pasta, or sandwiches, always followed by something sweet--candy, cookies, cake. This book has changed my diet for the better, though it requires monumental effort. While I respect this book and would highly recommend it to any other sufferers of digestive disorders, there are some not so great things about it.
Some of the recipes are just plain terrible. The coconut-honey candy balls were a disappointingly goopy waste of honey. On the other hand, the honey-garlic spare ribs were unbelievably easy to make and delicious. Experiment until you find what works for you, and equip yourself with alternate sources of recipes to compensate for the flops. The book editing is poor, with some pages tumbling into ever smaller fonts from paragraph to paragraph.
I have been on the diet for 3 months now. My symptoms have vanished, except for twice when I let someone else cook something for me. Both times despite asking several times about the restrictions, they made a last minute adjustment in the recipe and unawares added something with starch in it. The cramps were incredible. I will be eating this way, maybe for the rest of my life. It is worth it to feel healthy and pain free. This all mysteriously changed four years ago, at age 36 after a time of extreme emotional stress, when I began having mysterious gastro signs and symptoms painful abdominal inflammation, chronic diarrhea, malabsorption, gastro bleeding, and at its most extreme- a nerf football sized hydrocele hernia.
In the summer of I was finally diagnosed with celiac disease as well as several other severe food allergies peanut butter, dairy, soy, and caffeine. Researching about potential causes of celiac and other gastro diseases online, I ran across several references to this book.
I now know why sugars and starches are very dangerous to my health. As much help cutting gluten out of my diet was, this diet is FINALLY curing my body of the inflammation, brain fog, pain, exhaustion, etc. Again, highly recommended for those suffering from gastro diseases. Apparently, there has been much research done over the years concerning the digestive system and our health. Sometimes, they "hang out," causing all sorts of problems and sicknesses.
While this book is not specifically written about autism, there is much evidence Let me say that this is a frightening book. While this book is not specifically written about autism, there is much evidence that the Specific Carbohydrate Diet will be beneficial to people with autism. The book is well written, with many, many resources in the end notes. The author goes into a lot of detail with biological evidence, etc.
But the main thrust of it is that, in order to gain healing in the digestive system, we need to eat foods that require little or no digestion. There is a wealth of information toward the back of the book, including a recipe section that seems to go on forever.
I feel relatively certain that we will be trying some of those soon. There are quite a few testimonials of people who have been healed of that disease by following this diet.
Who knew it only took replacing starches with veggies in ways I never would have thought of -- and amazingly easy once I wrapped my brain around it, to boot.
Breaking the Vicious Cycle by Elaine Gottschall (1994): Specific Carbohydrate Diet food list
It is a strict grain-free, lactose-free, and sucrose-free meal plan. Of all dietary components, carbohydrates have the greatest influence on intestinal microbes yeast and bacteria which are believed to be involved in intestinal disorders. Most intestinal microbes require carbohydrates for energy. The Specific Carbohydrate Diet works by severely limiting the availability of carbohydrates to intestinal microbes. When carbohydrates are not digested, they are not absorbed. They remain in the intestinal tract, thus encouraging microbes to multiply by providing food for them. This can lead to the formation of acids and toxins which can injure the small intestine.
Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Intestinal Health Through Diet