Looking back over the past year I am astonished at how far I have come. In September 2006 I was "released" from the prison that was my hospital bed and went home determined to manage Crohn's disease by trying every available option before medicine and more surgery. I weighed 88 pounds, desperately needed to gain weight, worked full time, traveled for work, and basically had no idea where to begin other than my well read book Breaking the Vicious Cycle by Elaine Gottschall.
So it was there that I started, with the help of my husband, mother, and father-in-law who all spent lots of time cooking for me in those early days when I still had visiting nurses. We made loads of mistakes (mostly with the yogurt). I had to throw out some disastrous dishes. But we had fun. Called it our "test kitchen" and kept on going because there was never a choice in our minds. We were going to do this.
When I first arrived home I was still on leave from work so I spent many hours reading and re-reading the SCD blogs including scdrecipes.com, scdiet.org, the BTVC site, and Mike Simmons SCD Flog. These bloggers and websites were my inspiration through the rocky early stages of healing and learning a whole new way to eat. I also met Jill from the SCD bakery who helped me to put on much needed weight the fun and yummy way!
In late 2006 and early 2007 I spent lots of time on every SCD listserve that I could find. It was so unbelievably priceless to have the free and 24 hour advice of those SCD experts known as the Moderators of these listserves. Now that I have observed them for over a year I marvel at their patience, wisdom, and volunteerism. Thank you to each and every one of you.
Though I am by no means an SCD expert, I do feel like I know what works for me (SCD YOGURT!!!) and sadly what does not (anything too spicy). I know how to travel like a pro with packed yogurt, beef stew, muffins, cookies, crackers, cheese. Oftentimes the person sitting next to me on the plane looks quite jealous indeed! I know how to eat at a restaurant, make my way through a business luncheon, enjoy the holidays, and satisfy any type of craving I have e.g., Mexican, Italian, Indian, and even chocolate (the Easter Candy is as good as chocolate to me. In fact I think it tastes like a peanut butter cup).
In the past year I have traveled (from Massachusetts) to Arizona, California, Michigan, Kentucky, and Chicago for work. I enjoyed time basking in the sunshine of the Florida Keys, shopping in New York City, and skiing in Maine. I have educated countless others about the diet. Some have even decided to give it a try. I have gained about 25 pounds. It was fun to gain much needed weight but now I have to limit my cinnamon cookies and get myself to the gym! I have enjoyed cooking lots of recipes from the wonderful SCD cookbooks and adapting others from cooking shows and magazines. I have devoured new SCD related blogs and websites like Beth's Blog and nomorecrohns.com as well as new SCD cookbooks like Eat Well Feel Well and Healing Foods.
I have made new SCD friends who I cherish including Beth from Beth's Blog, her daughter Amy, Raman Prasad from scdrecipes.com, Jill from the SCD Bakery, and many more who I met on the listserves. I even started my own blog as a way to record my experiences and share with others.
Wow, what a year. Did I make mistakes? OK, a few. Do I ever have a set back? Oh yes, from time to time. Do I panic? Nope. Can you say intro diet! Do I ever get frustrated? You know it. Do I ever want to give up?
Happy 2007 and Best Wishes for a Happy and Healthy New Year