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Comparing the SCD Diet to the GFCF Diet

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet was formulated in the ‘50s by Dr. Sidney Valentine Haas. It is also known as the SCD Diet, and it is the direct precursor to Dr. Elaine Gottschall’s GAPS Diet. While it is not entirely gluten-free and casein-free, it does have similar objectives to the GFCF Diet and other autism diets: To help free those with gluten and casein intolerance from the gastrointestinal and behavioral issues that sometimes come along with disorders in the autism spectrum.

How does the Specific Carbohydrate Diet Work?

The initial diet is called the “Intro Diet,” and it is practically identical in most ways to the GAPS Introduction Diet. There are a few exceptions. SCD allows a few things that GAPS does not such as peanuts, navy beans, white beans, and cottage cheese. The allowed foods in this diet more closely resemble the same foods that the GFCF Diet permits.woman cutting vegetables

However, the SCD Diet closely follows the same stages as the GAPS diet from the Introduction part, which consists of several stages, and then the full-on diet stage. Just as with GAPS, the SCD Diet takes a while to implement. Each stage takes weeks or months to get through, and there are quite a few exceptions to rules. For instance, one rule is to avoid dairy, but cheeses made from cow’s milk or goat’s milk that undergo at least 30 days of natural aging are permitted.

The foods and beverages that are disallowed are:

  • Alcoholic beverages like brandy and sherry
  • Canned fruits and vegetables
  • Curry, onion and garlic powders
  • Freshly brewed coffee
  • Grains such as rice, barley and wheat
  • Instant coffee
  • Juices made for commercial sale
  • Milk and milk-based drinks and creamers
  • Processed meats like ham, bacon, hot dogs, sausages, salami and other sandwich meats
  • Starchy foods such as potatoes, corn starch, parsnips and yams
  • Sugar sweetened beverages

Unlike most diets of this type, this one actually allows the consumption of dry wines, vodka, and whiskeys like rye, scotch and bourbon.

So How Does it Compare to GFCF?

As a diet that is seen as an alternate autism diet, it is a mostly gluten-free and casein-free diet, with the exception of the very limited dairy allowance, and it certainly seems to help in similar ways to the GFCF Diet. However, the Specific Carbohydrate diet is just as complicated to follow and as difficult to implement as GAPS.

If there is any criticism of GFCF compared to SCD, it is that GFCF is slightly more lax with the inclusion of occasional sugary treats. Nonetheless, GFCF is, out of all the autism diets, the easiest to follow and the strictest in terms of gluten-free and casein-free foods.

For additional information, please visit:

SCD Lifestyle

Breaking the Vicious Cycle

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fish_portions

This week’s recipe, GFCF Homemade Battered Fish Portions, is a recipe that I adapted from Nigella Lawson. The original recipe is titled Goujons of Sole and I found it on the Food Network website. These seem almost too easy to make and it’s hard to believe they have so much amazing flavor, considering the simplicity of the recipe. My son would not touch them as he has stated, “I don’t eat fish, Mom!” But, my husband who is a very tentative fish eater himself, was amazed at how incredibly yummy these were! Therefore, I must rely on the Husband Rating this week.

GFCF Homemade Battered Fish Portions (Husband Rating = 1000 Thumbs Up!)

2 fillets of sole, skinned

1/2 cup of gluten-free cornstarch

salt

freshly ground black pepper

1 cup gluten-free breadcrumbs (I used Dr. Schar Gluten-Free Bread Crumbs)

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

1. Cut the sole fillets in half lengthways, then slice each fillet into about 4 long strips on the diagonal. (You should have 8 fish portions per fillet.)

2. Put cornstarch in small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Put bread crumbs into another shallow bowl.

3. Beat eggs together in their own bowl.

4. Dip each fish portion first into the cornstarch, coating it well. Then, dip the portion into the egg mixture. Finally, dredge the fish portion in the breadcrumbs.

5. Set the fish portions aside while you heat up the oil (medium-high heat) in your skillet.

6. Fry the fish portions until they are crisp and golden, about 3-5 minutes each. Remove the fish portions as you go and set them on a plate with paper towel so you can blot any excess oil.

7. Serve hot with rice, potatoes, or even quinoa (pictured above).

 

gfcf_Chicken_enchiladas

This week’s recipe at Stockpiling Moms is Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Chicken Enchiladas.  I had a definite love/hate relationship with the original version of this dish. I loved it because it was so tasty going in my mouth…but, I hated how it destroyed my intestinal tract on the way out! Since I recently discovered Coconut Cream at Trader Joe’s, I thought I’d see what would happen if I substituted that for the heavy cream that is normally used in this recipe. It worked! I admit that the first bite, I tasted a hint of coconut, but then the salsa verde and green chile flavors began to overpower it and it was just simply yummy. Nicholas said it deserved at least 10 Thumbs Up, but I think it needs more like 100 Thumbs Up!

 

Measuring GAPS Against the GFCF Diet

To continue the comparison of the GFCF Diet to other diets that are similar in some aspects, we’ll look at the Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) Diet.  Both diets have had their fair share of acclaim for helping with some of the gastrointestinal and behavioral symptoms associated with the autism spectrum.

What is the Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet?

The diet was initially known as the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD).  SCD was used for those with digestive disorders, including Celiac disease.  It fell out of use over the years, but was revived and slightly modified by Dr. Elaine Gottschall, a neurologist working with children with various disorders such as autism.

There are seven stages to the diet, composed of two parts: The Introduction Diet and the Full GAPS Diet.  The Introduction Diet is made up of six stages, but each day starts out with a probiotic, which is usually homemade yogurt, to aid digestion and a glass of still mineral or filtered water.soup

The diet starts out with homemade meat and fish stock, soups made with either stock, boiled meats and vegetables.  Fiber-laden vegetables like cabbage and celery should be avoided, but as much of the meat stock, fish stock and soup as desired is allowed throughout the day.  Ginger, chamomile and mint tea with honey is recommended between meals.

Other foods are added over the course of several weeks or months.  By stage six, eggs, clarified butter (ghee), avocado and other fruits, grilled and roasted meats, almond flour, homemade juices and various other foods are included.  Starch and refined sugars are not allowed.

The full diet is a continuation of the stage six portion of the Introduction Diet.  It is recommended to avoid all starch and sugar for a full two, but eventually, some dairy products like hard cheeses are permitted.  The diet is somewhat difficult to follow, but it is laid out in a step-by-step format, complete with recipes.

How Does it Compare to the GFCF Diet?

The first part of the Gut and Psychology Diet is gluten-free and casein-free, however, the full diet isn’t.  The idea is that once the body is “detoxed” from years of gluten and casein overload, these foods can again be enjoyed in small quantities eventually.  Eating gluten-free and casein-free for several years does clear the body of both substances, but not everyone can safely reintroduce them later on.

GAPS is less restrictive than the GFCF Diet at the full diet stage because dairy is allowed, but the complicated steps to get there make it hard for some to stick with it.  GFCF doesn’t allow dairy, but the rules of the diet are far easier to follow:  Don’t eat casein or gluten.

For more information, please visit:

GAPS Diet

Gut and Psychology Syndrome

This week’s product review is of the Chocolate-Flavored Vega One Nutritional Shake. I tested the one-serving size, which was 1.5 oz of shake mix that I blended with 1 1/2 cups of unflavored almond milk. The Vega One shake is touted as a complete meal with 50% of your daily intake of vitamins and minerals, 15 g of protein, 6 g of fiber, and 1.5 g of Omega-3 Antioxidants, probiotics and greens. That’s a lot of healthy stuff to pack into one shake! They are gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free and also do not contain added sugar.  The shakes come in a variety of flavors – berry, chocolate, vanilla chai, french vanilla and natural. gfcf_protein_shake

I found the chocolate-flavored shake to have a slightly gritty texture; this seemed to be more bothersome at the end of the drink. But, the flavor was really great. It tasted slightly sweet, creamy, and almost like a dark chocolate malt. I drank this as my lunch one day to see if it was a true replacement meal. I did not find that I was very hungry for the rest of the afternoon, so I would agree that it functioned as a meal replacement.

I think these shakes would be great for travelling, since all you need is a milk substitute to mix them up. Because they do come in single-serve size, you could easily toss one in your suitcase, your purse, or even keep some at your desk at the office.

Welcome to Part 1 in my Diet Comparison series. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be comparing three different diets (Paleo, GAPS, and SCD) to the GFCF Diet. Many people wonder what the differences are between the diets and/or if they can follow one of the other diets and still avoid gluten and casein.  I hope this series will help to dispel the rumors and provide you with more extensive information.

Comparing Paleo to the GFCF Diet

The GFCF Diet, also called the Autism Diet, certainly seems to help alleviate a number of the symptoms associated with the autism spectrum. It effectively deals with gluten and casein intolerances and the digestive issues associated with both. There are a few other diets out there that are also gluten-free and casein-free. Today, we’ll take a look at ancestral diets, which go by several names such as CAVEMANthe Caveman Diet and Ancestral Eating.

What is Ancestral Eating?

The principle behind paleo eating plans is the idea that humans began eating grains and animal milks in abundance far too quickly. Because of this, our bodies didn’t have a chance to properly learn how to digest either. Some cultures started incorporating both earlier than others. It is possible that this could explain why some people have fewer intolerances to grains and dairy than others.

The following food groups permissible on the paleo diet:

  • Coconut milk and oil
  • Eggs
  • Fat
  • Fruits
  • Lean meats
  • Nuts
  • Seafood
  • Seeds
  • Vegetables
  • Vegetable and nut oils

While that may not look like a lot of choices, they include any food from any of the categories. There are a few foods to avoid in addition to dairy and grains. These include starchy vegetables like corn and potatoes. Meats high in saturated fat should also be avoided. However, free-range cattle is often less fatty, and you can trim traditionally raised beef.

Legumes, which includes soybeans, chickpeas, peanuts and black beans, are not allowed, and obviously, refined sugars and overly processed foods are not permitted. Some versions of the Caveman Diet also advise that any food that cannot be eaten raw should not be eaten at all. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t cook the food though! Our ancestors had fire and cooked food, however, that wasn’t always an option.

How does GFCF Compare to an Ancestral Diet?

Like the GFCF Diet, the ancestral eating plans also see gluten and casein as major contributors to certain health and behavior issues. It is far easier to eat gluten-free and casein-free while following a caveman diet than it is the GFCF Diet or the similar Autism Diet. The reason lies in the fact that all the permitted foods come from the produce, meat and seafood sections of the supermarket. There is no guesswork or scrutiny of food choices involved.

However, just because it’s easier to avoid gluten and casein, that doesn’t mean the diet is easier to follow. The Autism Diet allows flour substitutes and small quantities of sugar to make things like breads, pastas, and desserts. Paleo diets allow neither, and while no sugar is healthier, it is difficult to get kids on board with giving up “normal” food and the occasional sweet treat.

For more information, please visit:

Robb Wolf: What is the Paleo Diet?

The Paleo Diet

gfcf_frito_crockpot

This week’s recipe is at Stockpiling Moms is Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Crockpot Frito Pie! I love to use my crockpot, especially if we are having a busy week of appointments and activities. This recipe was quick to get started, yet yielded fantastic results! (Nicholas loves having Fritos as part of dinner too.) The fun part about this recipe is that you can customize the end result based on what toppings you add into it. I added corn, guacamole, and lettuce to mine but you could also try salsa and/or hot sauce or even tomatoes. Nicholas gave this dish 200 Thumbs Up!

gfcf_twinkies

This week at Stockpiling Moms I fulfilled another reader request, a Gluten-Free, Casein-Free version of the Twinkies snack cake. I had fun making these, despite how labor-intensive the recipe turned out to be. I’ve never liked Twinkies myself, because they just seemed like chemicals to me.  However, this version….well, let’s just say it’s tough to eat less than 2 in one sitting! The cakes are nice and light and so is the creamy frosting. I made them in muffin tins, because I don’t have a Cream Canoe Pan, but you could try the canoe pan if you have one. These are a fun item to surprise your children with in their lunches too! Nicholas Rating = 200 Thumbs Up!

Tender Beef Snacks…an alternative to Beef Jerky

It’s tough to find beef jerky-type products that aren’t loaded with MSG and other preservatives, while also being gluten-free. However, this week’s review is about PJ’s Beef Snacks.  I tasted all three varieties of PJ’s Beef Tenders and their Cracked Pepper Beef Slices. My overall impression was that these are a great alternative to traditional beef jerky. First, they are (as the name implies) quite tender unlike traditional jerky which can be quite tough to chew. Second, they have distinct flavors that are neither overpowering with salty flavor or greasy (like some other brands of jerky). The snacks are not only gluten-free and free of preservatives, they even have 35% of your RDA of Vitamin C and calcium too.

The Original Flavor of the Beef Tenders might be referred to as “plain”, but I found it to have a nice beefy flavor without being too salty. The Teriyaki Flavor  of the Beef Tenders was slightly different from the Original Flavor, it was like “Original Plus” because it was a subtle teriyaki flavor, not an overpowering one. And, the Cracked Pepper variety of both the Tenders and the Slices definitely had the most kick to it, but again you could taste other flavors besides the pepper so it definitely had some dimension. I believe my favorite flavor was the Teriyaki though.

The only downside to this great snack right now is that it’s not yet in stores. You can order it directly from the company here. Or if you’d like to check out this great snack option in person, you might want to visit a tasting event that PJ’s is hosting in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States.

Disclaimer: PJ’s Beef Snacks provided me with  free samples of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

 

gfcf_chicken_peppers

This week’s recipe at Stockpiling Moms is Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Chicken and Peppers. The original recipe can be found in Betty Crocker’s Cookbook  (1986 edition).

This recipe is so simple and light, yet so flavorful. I also really love the fact that after making it a few times, you can do it from memory. I made this on a recent vacation for my family (we were staying in a condo with a nice kitchen), since it’s easy to get the ingredients at any grocery store. Serve it with either brown rice or quinoa. My husband always says how much he loves this dish whenever I make it. He gave it 100 Thumbs Up!

 

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