1. If you’ve only read or heard about the diet on this website or from some other source, you should get the book “Breaking the Vicious Cycle,” by Elaine Gottschall, and read it. You might be able to find it in your local library. While you’re waiting for the book, you can still get started on the diet.
2. You will need to go on the Introductory Diet for 2 days to a maximum of one week when you start the SCD. See this page on the official SCD website to see further information for Beginners. (Sorry this site is temporarily down, please see items #5, #6, and #7 below.)
Note: Dry Curd Cottage Cheese (DCCC): See the following links for information on DCCC: Dry Curd Cottage Cheese; Farmers Cheese.
If you can’t find legal DCCC in your area, you can drip your yogurt to make it into a thicker consistency and use it as a substitute for DCCC in recipes, although it will be more sour. Find directions on how to make your dripped, Greek style yogurt at this link. Adding a little salt to the finished yogurt helps cut the sourness.
3. Purchase a yogurt maker. I have successfully used Yogourmet and Luvele yogurt makers. The Yogourmet is no longer available, and the Luvele brand is my favorite - it has a 24 hour setting, with the ability to keep it set at a constant temperature of your choice which is a great option.
Order some GIPro Health non-dairy yogurt starter or use Dannon All Natural plain whole milk yogurt (1/2 cup to 1/2 gallon of milk) for a starter - you can usually find this at regular grocery stores - we often get it at Walmart).
4. Some other helpful appliances to have in your kitchen: crock pot, pancake griddle, food processor, and a blender. I love the Luvele high speed blender system.
5. Go or send someone to the grocery store to buy items from this shopping list.
6. Print off these recipes to get you started.
Introductory Diet Chicken Soup
Introductory Diet Jello
Introductory Diet Cheesecake
7. After you have been on the Introductory Diet for 2-5 days to clear your system, Elaine Gottschall recommends adding cooked fruit, speckled banana, and additional cooked vegetables to your diet. Foods she recommends staying away from until diarrhea has substantially subsided are vegetables in the cabbage family. See more information in "Breaking the Vicious Cycle."
A few early recipe you might try:
8. Once you've finished the Intro Diet and are feeling better, you can begin to try any of the other legal foods that look good. You probably need to take in plenty of calories, so go ahead and try things, keeping in mind that some foods may irritate your system at first, so you may need to stop a given food and try it again later. See our downloadable recipes and a wonderful selection of legal recipes in each of our magazines, cookbooks and our paperback cookbook, "The Flavor First Cookbook."
9. Some additional tips for starting the diet:
11. What if you have a flare-up?
When I had a flare-up when first starting the diet, I would eat foods that were very easy to digest, such as the chicken soup on the Intro Diet, or Breakfast Smoothies with a minimum of fruit in them, or SCD yogurt with some honey mixed in. Once you start feeling better, go back on the regular diet slowly and make sure you’re getting enough calories and nutrition by eating a variety of foods.
12. If you have questions, you can take our super helpful course, or go onto one of the online SCD support groups. To learn more, visit the Support Page of the official SCD website. We also have a page of SCD Related Websites that links you to more support resources. We also cover many topics of interest in our e-magazines, I Want To THRIVE.
13. The basis of the diet is what you eat, so an extremely useful resource is the Legal/Illegal foods list.
14. My course, "Fast-Track to SCD Success" was created with YOU in mind! I would love to help you learn all you need to know to be successful on the SCD! The course is FREE in 2023, so sign up NOW!
15. Finding SCD-legal supplements is important! Check out this page for resources. Freeda Vitamins and GI Pro Health both have a line of SCD vitamins and supplements.
When you're ready to introduce nuts, be sure to try my husband's Jim's Fluffy Pancakes recipe...it's the most popular recipe on the website! Our boys insist on it every weekend either in pancake or waffle form! YUM.
NOTE: I now use a Luvele Pure Plus yogurt maker (below), and LOVE it! Read my review here. (Yogourmet is no longer available and Luvele is superior in a number of ways.)
I also love to use GI Pro Health's ProStart yogurt starter. (Yogourmet no longer makes a legal starter.)
Free Menus! Download Now!
Follow this link to download the menus I used as a college student living on my own in Washington D.C.
When I was newly on the Diet and moved to Washington D.C. to complete a White House Internship, my mom knew how challenging it would be to prepare my meals as well as maintain a hectic work and commute schedule. She was right! I was so glad that she had the foresight to help me prepare menus ahead of time. She put together three weekly menus that I lived on throughout the semester. Each recipe is very delicious, and can be proudly served to non-SCDers as well. (Items in parentheses are ONLY for NON-SCDers!) She changed them a little, to serve more people, and we'd like to pass them on to you.
I hope these menus will help you start the diet. It is important to remember, however, that Elaine Gottschall recommends you start the Beginner's Diet first, as explained above. When you finish the Beginner's Diet, I hope the three weeks of menus will help you as you get organized on the diet.
Note: When these menus were made we had legal Friendship Hoop Cheese readily available in our local Albertson's so some of the recipes call for it. Since then it's become hard to find a brand of dry curd cottage cheese that is legal and available so we no longer include it in our daily diet. You can still thrive on the diet without dry curd cottage cheese! Tip: We've found that we can substitute the DCCC for an equal amount of combined thickened SCD yogurt and freshly grated Monterey Jack cheese. Try it!
"After going through the first few modules, I could not believe such a resource existed!! Oh, if only I had all of this information in 2006 when we first started I would not have been nearly as overwhelmed!
I even regained the confidence I once had to handle his doctors who still doubt SCD works. The additional knowledge I gained from this course was invaluable but the confidence I gained was priceless. I felt immediate peace and I knew I could once again use the diet to successfully heal my son.
I cannot say enough good about this course and I highly recommend it for anyone who is embarking on an SCD journey. You will not be disappointed!"
- Judi M.
FREE in 2023!
"Erin’s Fast-Track to SCD Success is super helpful. The NoMoreCrohn’s site itself is a perfect companion to the "Breaking the Vicious Cycle" book, but Erin’s course takes the level of help to an entirely new level. The videos she provides walk you step-by-step through what you need to know/do, and the ability to email and ask questions is a giant pressure relief valve in terms of the stress of managing our disease. I highly recommend Fast-Track to SCD Success. Erin and her mom have put together something very special and helpful for us."
- B. H.
"I just wanted to say how grateful I am for this thorough, empowering, and organized course. It is a gold mine and evidence of what must be countless hours put in to make this diet doable for all. The videos are perfect for a beginning as well as a veteran cook. The visual art adds so much."