Going back to my very first SCD Poll about what people found was most difficult about the diet, the most popular responses were that the diet was too restrictive and it was hard to figure out what to eat. There was a time when I thought the same thing. I used to get upset at special occasions when everyone else seemed to be eating all kinds of good stuff, and I was stuck with a plain grilled chicken breast and some salad. Sometimes I still end up with that meal, but I’ve gotten past the resentment. I’ve gotten used to dealing with the diet in nearly every situation I guess.
In the beginning of the diet I often found myself either bored with what I was eating, or hungry because I couldn’t find anything satisfying to eat. Now I feel like my diet is more varied and interesting than it ever was before. In the beginning the restrictions were quite overwhelming because I had to give up nearly everything I was used to eating. Simply removing the illegal items left me with almost an empty plate (like I said above – plain chicken and a plain vegetable). Finding something for breakfast that wasn’t carb based, that I could prepare in only a few minutes (I was not going to get up a half hour early to cook something), seemed impossible.
It took me a while to replace the missing food with SCD legal food. Once I opened myself up to eating things I had never tried before my meals became much more satisfying and the restrictions were less noticeable. I started looking for interesting recipes, and most importantly I started learning to adapt some of my favorite recipes to SCD. Luckily I had always enjoyed cooking, I just had to learn how to prepare things I had never had before. Vegetables have been the most rewarding and most difficult. Growing up vegetables had always been just a side dish. Often they were just boiled and served with butter. When vegetables started becoming more of an integral part of my meals I wanted to find ways to make them a little more tasty. I learned to sautee’ and roast them (roasting is my favorite way to cook most vegetables). I try to incorporate them in the main meal in casseroles, soup, and stir-fried with meat.
My point in all this is the best way to make the diet seem less restrictive is the do some exploring. There are many foods I eat now that I never even thought of trying before – spaghetti squash, kale, swiss chard, home made marinara (yes I ate marinara, but I never made it myself from scratch), oil and vinegar salad dressing, dates, and squash soup.