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Crohn's Disease Forum » Diet, Fitness, and Supplements » SCD and Paleo Diets » Am I doomed if I'm not a good cook?


06-26-2014, 08:22 AM   #1
Patch
 
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Am I doomed if I'm not a good cook?

I've made a couple halfhearted attempts to try SCD/GAPS and, as is usually the case when making a halfhearted attempt, things didn't work out...

Despite that, I am still enticed by the idea using one of these diets to achieve better health. Even the most effective medications I've been on have never quite dealt with all the symptoms of my disease.

However, I have very little experience with cooking. I'm almost what you would call "kitchen phobic." The idea of having to spend hours in the kitchen, preparing, cooking, cleaning up, etc. just to make a single meal or snack makes me hesitate.

For the people who have done well with these diets, how much work needs to be put in to get something out of it? Is it worth trying to force myself to become a good cook even if I don't enjoy it, or would I just be setting myself up for another failure?
06-26-2014, 03:19 PM   #2
lbligh
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Maybe you could redefine what you mean by "cooking." As you noted, a lot of the time is spent preparing food for cooking. Does it really bother you that much to wash and chop vegetables? You might be able to learn to enjoy it. Could you listen to your favorite loud music, or have a TV show on while you prep and cook and clean?

I enjoy cooking but usually listen to audiobooks on earbuds while I work. It makes a huge difference.

Cooking is its own reward, after all. You can make things exactly the way you like them. It's a great life skill.

Good luck!
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06-27-2014, 10:16 AM   #3
Patch
 
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Listening to music while preparing food is a good idea, I hadn't thought of that. Thanks for the suggestion!

Although, once things are actually cooking on the stovetop, it might not be a good idea to leave my headphones on because I'd be paranoid about not being able to hear if things start to boil over or something. I tend to listen to music pretty loud.
06-27-2014, 11:39 AM   #4
lbligh
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Good point -- Since I listen mostly to audiobooks, I usually have only one earbud in....
06-28-2014, 12:43 AM   #5
lenny
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I've made SCD foods for my son for a year now and there are a lot of simple recipes. He eats a lot of yogurt, smoothies and soups, like lentil, chicken and vegetable beef, all easily made in the crock pot. Another SCD favorite of his is baked salmon, easy.

Or, cheese chips (slices of cheese, cooked in the microwave until slightly crispy) dipped in mild salsa or guac.
06-28-2014, 04:43 AM   #6
Magnolia24
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I really didn't like cooking before I started SCD. Now that I've been on SCD for a few months and pushed myself to make preparing my own food a big part of my life, I actually have a new appreciation for food and cooking that I didn't before. I still get frustrated from time to time about having to put energy into preparing food when I wish I could just buy a sandwich... But for the most part, it has been positive.

Like Ibligh said, it can be easy to think "cooking" and assume "complicated." But SCD is really about eating whole, clean food, so it can be very simple. I do a lot of broiled salmon and chicken breasts, steamed or sauteed veggies, baked fruit, veggie/cheese omelettes... For snacks - bananas with almond butter, hard boiled eggs, kale chips, avocado eaten plain with a spoon, yogurt, gelatin (made with 100% juice)...

Then on weekends, it can be fun to experiment with SCD baking and more involved recipes. But for the most part, I keep it simple.

Also cooking enough to have leftovers for lunch the next day has been pretty essential for making SCD work for me.
06-28-2014, 04:47 AM   #7
Magnolia24
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And yes to listening to music while in the kitchen!!
06-28-2014, 05:57 AM   #8
maria
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No, but you can turn it into fun. To me its like a game i look up a recipe on youtube watch as many tutorials and then the goal is to get it to look exactly like theirs if i do i win and if it taste good its like the best bonus ever! If it doesnt turn out its ok thats when pizza delivery comes in handy. But as far as eating healthy i like to blend my fruits and veggies. Go according to what you need. Like for me im anemic so ive bend blending beets,kale, then i put stuff in it to taste good like apple, prune, honey, almond milk. Just throw it all in the blender and drink it. Total goof proof i replace one meal and i get my nutrition that way. Also having a crappy blender makes it horribe so if you have a good one it makes the experience and taste so much better!
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06-28-2014, 09:25 AM   #9
partlycloudy
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I despised cooking before SCD and ate a lot of packaged things. These days I can't say as I like it, but like Magnolia, I have a new appreciation for it. I'm proud of myself for learning a new skill. I also put music in a CD player I keep on my counter.

Another thing that's helped me is to get all the right tools. I own several sets of measuring cups and measuring spoons that I picked up here and there each time I grocery shopped. I bought a giant cookie sheet for $10 at Amazon so I'd not have to keep cutting parchment (aggravating!!). I make full use of paper plates to chop things on or eat off of then I can throw them away.

You'll learn to be far quicker and more efficient in the kitchen, I promise. The only way to know is to try. If you hate it you can always quit. I quit SCD the first time. And I'm back.
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06-28-2014, 09:43 AM   #10
dave13
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I follow the SCD.I feel it takes a big commitment in the kitchen which can be daunting to someone trying it for the first time.I do feel it is worth it and you do streamline your prep and get into a routine that makes meals easier.

I also like to feel I am being proactive in fighting CD.Even though I feel I benefit from the SCD,I also benefit mentally from trying something that makes me feel better.Does that make sense?It gives me something to do to feel I am trying to be as healthy as I can be.

I feel I have to put in the ever popular 'everyone is different' here.In the book it says if it doesn't work for you after a month(of strict adherence)it may not be for you.

One thing to consider is the price of eating according to a diet you want to follow.$$ compared to good health is a worthy trade off,just thought I'd mention it.
06-28-2014, 10:04 AM   #11
Patch
 
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Thanks for the encouraging responses, everyone.

There are still a few things that are giving me pause. As I mentioned in another thread, if I end up going on Humira or some other medication, I'm concerned that I won't be able to feel whether or not the diet is really helping, or if some specific food is not agreeing with me. And that could be a motivation killer.

A minor concern is meals for work days... eating at work would require bringing a pre-cooked meal, or perhaps finding something to eat that doesn't require any cooking. And on days where I'm running late and don't have the time to throw something together... that could be a problem.

And lastly, there's the financial aspect. Although, I already eat gluten-free and mostly organic, so I already know how that goes. I'm actually thinking that cooking meals from scratch instead of buying prepackaged frozen dinners might save me a little.
06-29-2014, 10:05 AM   #12
partlycloudy
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Patch, I'm on Imuran and officially diagnosed as being in remission as of last year. I immediately felt better on SCD though. I had more energy and my brain fog has lifted for the most part. If I eat a food on SCD that doesn't agree with me I get gas. That's my sign. You'll have to figure your own body out in that respect.

For the vast majority of people the diet does work when done properly. (I see a lot of people not doing it properly then claiming it doesn't work). I went back on it because I don't want to be on Imuran forever and I especially don't want to have to go on stronger/worse meds. I look at it as an investment in my future since I'm already in remission.

As for work, maybe bring in some non-perishables at the beginning of your work week so you have stuff on hand. Legal Larabars, canned tuna, nuts, cheese, etc. Even if some of that is too advanced at first it's better than going off the diet.
06-29-2014, 10:34 AM   #13
partlycloudy
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Patch, I thought of something. Last night I was tired and didn't feel like cooking but I was hungry. So I fried up some cheese crisps (recipe below) and mixed up some cooked chicken and mayo for chicken salad. It was yummy and filling. And QUICK. All ingredients are good for beginners as well.

If you made up a bunch of something like this at the beginning of the week it'd be easy for a fast lunch packing.

Cheese Crisps

Shred up a handful of any type of legal cheese. Heat frying pan while shredding. Sprinkle about a tablespoon of shred in hot frying pan. Do several at a time. Cheese will melt then brown along edges. Flip with spatula. Once browned on other side remove onto cooling rack. Will crisp as they cool. You can do big batches in the oven.
06-29-2014, 11:46 AM   #14
dave13
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on days when I'm running a bit late I have yogurt and fruit.One quick and tasty thing to make is Hazelnut/Almond Pancakes.It is a recipe I got out of a Raman Prasad cook book that I tweeked a little.

1 cup almond meal,1/4 cup hazel nuts,1/4 teaspoon baking soda,4 eggs,1-2 tablespoons honey,1/2 teaspoon vanilla,cinnamon,nutmeg.I use a food processor and make a meal out of the hazelnuts.I add the rest of the dry ingredients and blend.Add the eggs,vanilla and honey.Blend together.

They cook like regular pancakes.I get about 9-12 pancakes from this recipe.This is enough for breakfast and to take to work.I mash a banana and mix it with yogurt and use it as a topping or to dip the pancake in.

If I don't wash everything right after I eat I at least rinse things well.It makes cleanup quicker later on which equals less frustration.

Something fairly quick and tasty.
06-29-2014, 04:01 PM   #15
Magnolia24
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There are still a few things that are giving me pause. As I mentioned in another thread, if I end up going on Humira or some other medication, I'm concerned that I won't be able to feel whether or not the diet is really helping, or if some specific food is not agreeing with me. And that could be a motivation killer.
My story is similar to Partlycloudy. I started SCD while on Prednisone and Imuran. Prednisone got rid of my symptoms for the most part, but I still felt sick. I no longer had D or extreme pain, but my energy and mood were low, and my digestion was still not great. When I started SCD (before Imuran had time to reach therapeutic level) I felt much better. My digestion and energy improved, and I felt more optimistic.

I don't think meds and SCD are mutually exclusive. In my experience it felt like meds could only take me so far - relief from most of my symptoms, but it took the change in diet to make me feel healthy.

A minor concern is meals for work days... eating at work would require bringing a pre-cooked meal, or perhaps finding something to eat that doesn't require any cooking. And on days where I'm running late and don't have the time to throw something together... that could be a problem.
SCD takes more planning. I pretty much have a rule for myself that whatever protein I cook for dinner, I have to cook enough to bring to work the next day. I'll have leftover veggies too if possible. I also steam baby carrots and bake fruit in batches in the evening and bring those to work. Gelatin and yogurt are also made in batches, so you can just scoop some into a container in the morning. Eggs can be hard boiled in the evening and put in the fridge. Slices of cheddar, avocados, bananas, and Larabars are quick grabs. It feels like a lot at first, but it becomes part of your routine and starts to feel normal.

Have you looked at scdlifestyle.com? They have a book to download that really breaks down getting started into easy steps.
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