About this blog

ALMOND PANCAKES AND CINNAMON HONEY

Hello and welcome to my blog, which is all about finding ways to make delicious food even if there are LOADS of things you can’t eat and you actually think your life might be over because you can’t just eat what you want (which, in my case, used to be Pringles, pasta and cakes).

I follow the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) which, as the name suggests, is quite specific and pretty restrictive and probably not that common – but BEFORE YOU STOP READING, the key thing about the food that I cook (and all the recipes on here) is that it’s all gluten-free, grain-free and sugar-free. So, ideal for people with coeliac disease and those following a paleo diet or for people who just want to give gluten, grains and sugar a miss for a bit.

Even though my diet’s probably more restrictive than most people, what I’ve realised is that anyone who has to avoid certain foods experiences the same dilemma as me; namely, how to avoid it dominating and ruining your life. So this blog is also partly about how to have a nice life even in the face of food adversity.

Most of the food I cook is actually under-cover special needs; you could eat it without even noticing that you were eating food from a restricted diet, which means you can make it for other people too and they won’t notice either.

 

29 thoughts on “About this blog

  1. Hey Cuz! I just saw your post on facebook so came over here to have a look. I love it and shall be subscribing! I don’t have any particularly food allergies but am always interested in different ways of cooking/ideas and keeping myself and my family healthy. Flora (5) and Alice (4) are often subjected to revolting concoctions I have come up with – but now do me proud when they say things like “yum, are we having lentils for dinner, my favourite’ and ‘mama, can you please make me a green smoothie’…..ha ha ha! They also eat their fair share of pizza and burgers though.

    It sounds like you have been on quite a food journey! I am looking forward to following your adventures and hearing your ‘voice’ while I read.
    Lottie xxx

  2. gosh what delicious recipes and I love the way they are written, it makes me want to try them all…..which I intend to as they are all so appealing and conjure up an image of ‘proper food’ being lovingly prepared, cooked and enjoyed !
    (no food allergies here just a desire for healthy and delicious food)

  3. Just read your blog. Well done to you. I am gluten, wheat, intolerant as well as eggs, yeast and cows milk. I also have interstitial cystitis where I have to cut out caffeine, chocolate, alcohol, soy, additives, preservatives, anything tomato based, citric, so like you have had to struggle to adapt to find foods to eat. Some of your recipes I can adapt, but any tomato based is out. I too miss pizza and Italian and chocolate, but if I want to heal I know I have to be strict. Do have juices veg made and fruit ones to help with vitamins. Carry on the good work.

  4. Hi, just read your article in the March 2015 edition of Sainsury’s magazine and your reference to making ” cakes that are genuinely delicious….(the secret is ground almonds)”. As a coeliac I set up a small business making cakes etc that are all wheat and gluten free ( and can be dairy free / egg free also ) and now have 11 Great Taste Awards for my products. Around 50% of my customers are people who don’t require them for dietary reasons they just love the products ! ( PS I don’t use ground almonds except in my Bakewell tarts and Almond slice)

    1. Hi Morag, Wow! I would love to know more about your cakes – they sound really great. What are they called? (enquiring minds would like to know!)

    2. Hi Morag, do you have a website for the gluten free cakes you make please? Non-supermarket ones are not easy to find! Many thanks Hayley

  5. I have been advised following loads of testing to avoid yeast, this for me a social leader and very regular weekend wine drinker seems like torture! Any tips for someone just starting this life journey? X

    1. Hi Suzi, for what it is worth, I think the beginning of giving anything up is the hardest part – and as soon as the health benefits start to reveal themselves it definitely gets easier. But in the meantime, my advice would be to do what you can to avoid feeling deprived – whatever that means for you. So, re weekend wine drinking: I got really into the Mocktail (fizzy water with lashings of fresh lime) at the beginning of giving up wine and sugar but also had the odd vodka lime and soda which I think you could too if avoiding yeast, right? I can’t emphasise enough how helpful it is to focus on all the things that you CAN have, rather than the (probably relatively few) things that you can’t. GOOD LUCK!

  6. Hi there Victoria,

    A wonderful friend has just directed me to your blog and I’ve spent the last 20 mins reading your recipes and literally drooling over the cheesecake!

    I have colitis and have had a huge flare that has lasted over two years (on and off). I’ve already cut out gluten and dairy and the thought of having to cut out so many other things just seems hugely overwhelming. I’ve read a bit on the SCD diet but been too dubious/ scared to attempt it!!! However, your recommendation and results are really tempting me to give it a whirl.

    I’m on school Easter hols this week so it might be the perfect time to try it out…eek!?

    Would you mind if I emailed you a few specific questions about getting started?

    Huge thanks for your ideas – the blog is really inspiring.
    Jenni x

    1. Hi Jenni, and thanks for your lovely words about the blog – so glad you like it and find it inspiring. Poor you with the flare-up – grimsville – and of course it is totally fine to send me some specific questions – I hope I can help.

    1. ooh brilliant – lovely to hear from you…and thanks for this – I will check them all out. Hope all is good with you!

  7. Hi Victoria
    I have read your article in the Daily Telegraph and then your blog.
    Extremely interesting.
    I have IBD (IBS-Irritated Bowel Syndrome) and have had a colonoscopy where it was first diagnosed. Previous to that and currently suffer with bloatedness, painful stomach spasms etc. I do have medication prescribed by my doctor which is a tremendous help.
    I have similar food allergies as yourself.
    Your recipes sound delicious, can’t wait to try them.
    Todate I have found searching for a specific diet seem impossible but after reading your blog life isn’t so bad. Even with the change of diet as is recommended in your blog.

    1. Hi Nick, thanks for your lovely message and it’s so heartening to hear that life isn’t so bad after reading my blog. I honestly did think the end of the world was nigh when I had to change my eating habits so radically, but it turned out that it was just the start of a new chapter – and we really do eat amazingly well in our house. Great that your medication is helping too but good luck with trying the recipes and I really hope you enjoy them!

  8. Hi I was diagnosed with u c in June 2014, at present going through the medical route of trying to get my flare under control. I am intolerant to many of the drugs and feeling a little helpless. I have tried changing my diet but my weight loss in getting out of control and was advised by consultant to eat as much as I can when I can……how do you manage to maintain a healthy weight on the diet? Ie… no filling carbs etc….

    1. Hi Jinny and so sorry to hear you are having a tough time getting on top of your uc – that sounds really tough. I have never actually had an issue with extreme weight loss, but it’s also true that when I started this diet I did feel hungry a lot of the time and wondered if I would ever feel full again. But over time I seem to have zeroed in on the parts of the SCD that are ‘legal’ yet still quite filling and probably quite fattening too, so: hard cheese, butter, mayonnaise, eggs (a cheese omelette being one of my favourite ways to make something quick and filling) cakes made with ground almonds and honey, mashed white beans with olive oil, garlic, and lemon, roasted butternut squash, red lentils, home made full fat yoghurt with toasted nuts and seeds and honey. I know none of that is a replacement for carbs, but once I got over the mourning period, I did find that there are ways to follow the SCD and not feel deprived or starving the whole time. I really hope you begin to feel better soon and really good luck with following the SCD if that is what you choose to do.

  9. Hi Victoria, I read your piece in the Telegraph the other day and really related to it. It’s nice to know I’m not alone. I’m 27 and was diagnosed with UC earlier this year. I have been following SCD religiously since my diagnosis, after researching online and buying the book. I was determined to do anything I could to fight this horrible disease. As you said, it’s very hard to deal with as a young woman, especially for a ‘foodie’ as I used to be, with most of my social interactions taking place in restaurants, trying out the latest food crazes. Life has certainly changed and I have become ‘that’ awkward person among friends and family. But as Elaine advises in the book, I have stuck to it with ‘fanatical adherence’. It’s really inspiring to read about someone who has experienced success with the diet. In my brief periods of remission I have felt great, which I’m certain is a result of the diet. Unfortunately since the initial flare at the start of the year I have had two more and am currently in the middle of a bad one, where I’ve been signed off work and missing all the Christmas fun. What do you do to cope when in a flare? How often do you have flare ups and how long do they last? How long did it take for SCD to start working for you? I’m currently taking mesalazine and on a course of prednisolone to try to kick the flare. My consultant wants me to move on to azathiaprine, but I really don’t want to go on to long term medication with lots of side effects. I would love to be medication free and be healed by diet alone. Appreciate I’ve asked lots of questions here, so if you would rather email me directly that would be great. Thanks for any advice you can give, Ali

    1. Hi Ali, ugh the dreaded flare up! I’m so sorry to hear that you are in the throes of one but in my experience they do pass if you hang on in there. Are you making SCD yoghurt? I really recommend doing so if you are not. And WELL DONE for being so committed to following the SCD. Yes, I had those words ‘fanatical adherence’ on my mind a lot when I started and that was probably the thing that allowed me to stick with the diet even when it was really, really hard. I do still have flare ups and that’s partly, I think, because even though I thought I was following the diet there were a few things (in my case: puy lentils, halloumi cheese, herbal teas other than peppermint, even chewing gum) that I was eating because I thought they were ‘legal’ and they weren’t. Also, what I have found is that if a long time goes by when I am well, I get a little bit less vigilant about interrogating waiters about the tiny details like whether there is sugar in the French dressing, for example. I still go and see Sarah Bowles Flannery, who is the naturopath who started me on the SCD and she is still incredibly helpful. I really recommend seeing a naturopath who has experience with the SCD as it’s really useful to have someone to talk about the tiny little details with! I really hope you start to feel better soon and can email you with answers to your questions…

    2. I’ve just posted on here talking about my experience of azathioprine and then read your post. Don’t dismiss it out of hand. I also was very reluctant to take it and yes there are side effects. I do get a lot of chest infections and catch every cold going. You have to have regular blood tests to check it’s not having an adverse effect on you. Also when I started taking it I felt very nauseous for a while and lost a lot of hair but this aspect does wear off quite quickly and your hair grows back. I had also done all the other drugs and lots of steroids (plus stuck religiously to SCD), but had become quite ill. Azathioprine was the only thing to make me better. I’ve been so well on it I’ve forgotten what a flare up is like. I’m going to ask my consultant if I can wean myself off it for a break, as I’ve been taking it approx 8 years, and will be doing SCD again but don’t dismiss it out of hand as it really helped me.

  10. I was diagnosed initially with Crohns then later with UC approx 13 years ago. I also discovered the SCD diet and found it to be very helpful initially and stuck to it like mad. I hated the thought of taking a lot of drugs and steroids and thought I had found the holy grail. However, I had several really bad flares while I was doing SCD and was eventually twice admitted to hospital. I had lost a huge amount of weight and was very underweight. Reluctantly I have gone onto azathioprine, which I have been taking for about eight years now. I don’t like the side effects of this as it is an immuno suppressant but it has stopped my UC and I am really well guts wise. I still watch what I eat and don’t do gluten and watch my carbs. I know we’d all like to find a drug-free solution to IBD but sometimes even diet doesn’t work. I read the article in the Telegraph and wish you luck with SCD.

    1. Hi Rachael, and thanks very much for your post and sharing your experience. I know the SCD doesn’t work for everyone and I’m really glad you have found a solution that works for you.

  11. Hi Victoria, Ali again here! Thanks for your reply above and sorry for the very late reply back – things got so bad I ended up being hospitalised and I’ve only just got out! I could really do with some advice, would I be able to email you directly about a few things? Not sure how it works!

    1. Hi Ali, I am so sorry to hear you have been in hospital – poor you! Although great news that you are out. I am going to send you an email so you know how to email me directly…

  12. Just found this blog And what an absolute belter it is! I was diagnosed with UC in September 2015 and started SCD in October 2015, so I’m closing in on my 6 months. It’s so hard to find resources in the UK. But I did find an organic meat farm who do SCD sausages and bacon. That was a good week. I shall continue to read your posts with interest.

  13. Sounding rather dumb here but is the book to buy just called SCD as I am a bit baffled by all the options on Amazon?
    I have coeliac disease and collagenous colitis as well as type 1 diabetes and would welcome trying anything to alleviate my symptoms . I seem to be unable to eat almost every fruit and veg as they send me to the loo non stop. Maybe I would be able to tolerate some on the SCD diet?
    I would appreciate any valuable comments from you.

    1. Hi Sheila, The book is called ‘Breaking the Vicious cycle; intestinal health through diet’ by Elaine Gottschall. Here is an Amazon link:
      https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00BPHL77C/ref=pd_sbs_14_t_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=23BVCDYXG53HST4ZK574. It is definitely worth getting the book and trying some things out but if you have a specific diagnosis I also really recommend going to see a naturopath. I couldn’t really have embarked on this diet without the help and support from mine, although it’s become second nature now. I’d happily share her details if you’d like to know more. The other thing to mention is that, depending on where one is in terms of a flare up, you might react differently to certain fruit and veg than you would ‘normally’. In other words, just because you’ve had a bad reaction at one point does not mean that you always will. Good luck!

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