This blog post is a little different. I am usually sharing entrepreneurial insights or homeschooling tips. But today I wanted to tell you about a huge part of our life...cooking to cure disease. I spend vast amounts of time in the kitchen, researching and preparing foods that heal. And here is the reason why.
In 2019, our daughter Charis (age 12) was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease.
We were heartbroken.
We had met this incurable disease 7 years before, when our oldest daughter was diagnosed with the same condition at the age of 23.
Crohn's is an autoimmune disease where the body attacks the digestive tract causing chronic inflammation and a whole list of ugly symptoms and complications. Our oldest daughter eventually had surgery to remove some of the damaged tissue caused by Crohn's.
BUT...when the doctor told us- not only did our 12 year old little girl have an incurable disease but that she would immediately need strong, scary, immune suppressing medications, we were not only heartbroken, we were devastated.
You see, children with Crohn's are typically treated aggressively since the disease hinders their growth- physical, pubescent and even bone density. And most of the time it takes the big scary medicine to treat this disease.
With such huge obstacles before us, we felt a second opinion was needed. The doctor we saw for our second opinion was a godsend! She sadly confirmed the Crohn's diagnosis, BUT excitedly offered an alternate treatment plan.
Enter the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD)!
The SCD is a science-based diet that consists of eating only single molecule foods (nuts, honey, most vegetables & fruits, beef, fish, foul, some cheeses, butter) which are easily absorbed in the intestine.
The SCD diet eliminates multi-molecule foods (gluten, grain, refined sugar, lactose, starch, soy & ALL processed food) which are not easily digested but actually feed harmful bacteria that overgrow and inflame the intestines. The diet works by restoring the balance of gut bacteria which allows the body to heal naturally.
We had seen dietary changes help Charis in other areas, so we began following the VERY restrictive SCD diet with hope.
Our family operates as a team, and this situation was no different. My husband and I committed to follow the SCD diet as strict as Charis so that she wouldn't be alone in her food limitations. Go Team Hall!!
After 12 months of painstakingly adhering to SCD foods, analyzing every single food we ate, shopping for food I had never even seen before and basically learning a new way to cook, Charis was gloriously pronounced "in remission" by her GI doctor! And that was with NO scary medications! Her body was able to heal itself, and we thank God everyday!
One of the challenges SCD brings is the elimination of ready-made packaged foods...especially snacks. Everything must be made from scratch. In my search for munchy food I came across Erica Kerwien's wonderful granola recipe. Through trial and error we have modified the recipe to fit our family's tastes and we want to share it with you!
Sometimes we add cocoa nibs (not allowed on strict SCD but we follow a modified version of the diet that allows cocoa.) A little chocolate can change everything!!
This granola recipe makes a great snack replacement when stored in small resealable bags. We have served it as party treats in individual decorative cups and even non-SCDers love it!
When Charis had a yearning for her old favorite "cereal and milk", this granola along with homemade almond milk was an excellent replacement. Yum!
It’s so easy, so good, and so good for you!
Thank you for allowing me to share our food journey with you.
For more information about the Specific Carbohydrate Diet click here -> https://www.nimbal.org/.
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Easy Nut Granola
1 cup raw cashews
1 cup raw almonds
1 cup raw chopped walnuts
1 cup raw chopped pecans
1 Tbsp. unsalted real butter, melted
1 tsp salt
½ cup honey or less
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup raisins
*Optional- 1 cup peanuts
*Optional- 1/4 cup cocoa nibs (Not SCD legal, but allowed on modified SCD.)
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine nuts (and cocoa nibs) in a large bowl, toss with melted butter, vanilla, salt and honey.
- Spread the nut mixture onto the lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes.
- Stir the granola so that it bakes evenly. Bake another 10 to 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven (granola will be slightly sticky, if the honey is still runny then bake a bit longer. Mix in the raisins.
- Let cool completely. Store in a sealed container, or snack bags for a few weeks.
Recipe adapted from Cooking for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet by Erica Kerwien