Thursday, November 22, 2012

SCD and Paleo and FODMAPs, oh my!

Brussels SproutsA little knowledge is a dangerous thing ... and sometimes more knowledge is not better! I am now getting quite confused. It seems that everything is bad for me, and some of the recommendations are contradictory. What's a girl to do?

I've been doing the Specific Carbohydrate Diet for a few years now, and I have done very well on it, removing grains, sugar and liquid milk from my diet. It has helped me keep my Inflammatory Bowel Disease under control with no medication, presumably by reducing the inflammation in my gut.

Then I discovered paleo. To be honest, the paleo/primal principles have had more effect on my exercise (walking and lifting heavy rather than chronic cardio and machines) than on my nutrition, as I was already eating free-run eggs (and pastured when available) and organic dairy (made into SCD yoghurt which is fermented for 24 hours to remove all the lactose) in my lacto-ovo vegetarian diet. Removing legumes (aside from occasional lentils) seems to have been beneficial. Moreover, I added fish to my diet back in March, ending 18 years of vegetarianism. Bringing mammals and birds into my kosher dairy kitchen would be a whole other tale, worthy of another blog post. Hasn't happened yet.

I've also, as my faithful readers know, become enamoured of lacto-fermentation, fermenting kale, cabbage (with juniper berries, yum), pearl onions and carrots. Everything I read told me that these would be good for healing my leaky gut. Just as an update, I no longer use mason jars to ferment, but bail-top jars similar to these (affiliate link).While not totally anaerobic according to some people, I am not yet convinced of the necessity for airlocks, especially as Sandor Katz, the guru of fermentation, agrees with me.

So, along comes the whole FODMAPs thing and completely destroys everything I've been doing. This awkward acronym stands for Fermentable, Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides and Polyols. I'm not going to go into all the details of these (visit the Wikipedia links provided if you really want to know), but in short, all my favourite fermentable foods should be off-limits to people with leaky guts. This despite the lovely lacto-bacilli they harbour which are supposed to be beneficial to the same people. I have no problem with avoiding lactose, grains and pulses, but to cut out all the stone fruits, cruciferous vegetables, onions, nightshades and fungi leaves me with pretty much nothing to eat in the plant department.

Oh, and then JJ Virgin comes along and tells me that eggs are inflammatory, too.

Please, shoot me now.


  1. Are you having problems on your current diet? If no, then it ain't broke, so don't fix it. If yes, then you have a list of suggested things to try to eliminate. No need to eliminate everything forever, only to experiment to see if they're what's giving you problems. Just because someone has created a list doesn't mean that list is right for you. You are the person living in your body, and your data is the only data that counts.

    1. True ... I've been having some issues lately, hence my search for the right diet ... too many freaking VARIABLES.

  2. Hi! I followed your link from the SCD FB post. I am currently on SCD and FODPMAP free and I love to lacto-ferment! My favorites are cucumbers (pickles) and carrots from the Nourishing Traditions cookbook. I also want to try other no/low FODMAP veggies, like red bell peppers. It can be done! I have Celiac, was bedridden for a couple of years with it (undiagnosed), got better going gluten-free, but still sick off and on. I just discovered SCD a couple of months ago and finally have my life back.

    Oh...the most frustrating part of combining those two, for me, is sweetener. SCD says saccharine or honey. Honey is chock-full of FODMAP, and saccharine is nasty and scary. I've been sneaking a bit of Stevia here and there, but I would really like some SUGAR. LOL!

    1. Lovely to meet you, Jenny! I've been experimenting on and off ... think I'm OK with eggs (phew). Haven't really got into the FODMAPs thing as it just seems to be so opposite to everything else that has worked for me ... I hear you on sweetener but again, I don't seem to have trouble with honey. I agree with you on saccharin, ugh! Do you actually react to honey or have you been afraid to try it?

      If you love lacto-fermentation, you should join the WILD FERMENTATION group on FB. Wonderful people there!


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