Q: Is Luciano still sick?
A: Luciano no longer suffers from any of the complications or symptoms associated with Ulcerative Colitis.
Q: Does Luciano still take medication?
A: Luciano no longer takes any medication except for a multivitamin and a vitamin B when he remembers to take them. These vitamins are specific to the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, as they are “legal” to take. Not all vitamins can be taken on the diet.
Q: What was the name of the diet Luciano was on?
A: The name of the diet Luciano was on was the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. It’s explained in detail in the book, “Breaking the Vicious Cycle Intestinal Health through Diet.” By Elaine Gottschall. There’s also a website with a list of legal and illegal foods on the website, www.breakingtheviciouscycle.org.
Q: Can you explain the diet?
A: Yes, the theory of the diet is that by stopping certain foods and eating the “legal” foods that this stops feeding the bacteria that causes the ulcerations. The book does a great job of explaining what happens with food as it breaks down in our bodies. The top illegal foods are grains, lactose, soy, sugar, starches, chocolate, canned goods, and processed foods. It was necessary for me to check the legal/illegal list on a regular basis to make sure I was in compliance.
Q: What did Luciano eat?
A: The diet became very easy for us as we learned it. Basically, Luciano ate almond flour pancakes and muffins, made with bananas, carrots, berries, zucchini or apples. Butter and honey are “legal” on the diet. He ate all fruits and vegetables and any meat we wanted to cook. He could have most cheese except for Feta and Mozzarella, because they contain lactose. I made my own yogurt, because yogurt has to be fermented for 24 hours to remove the lactose. Nuts are also legal on the diet and I made a lot of things with peanut butter and almonds. He drank juice, but it had to be 100% juice, so we typically had to make juice ourselves with a juicer. Some beans are legal on the diet and we did eat soups and stews made with our own beef or chicken stock. Most dinners contained a meat and 2 or 3 vegetables. Luciano loved caramelized onions, asparagus and broccoli!
Q: Did you have recipes?
A: Yes, when we first started the diet, there were recipes to use in the Breaking The Vicious Cycle Book. We also purchased a cookbook and our almond flour from www.Lucyskitchenshop.com. I love good food and I love to cook, so over time, I came up with my own recipes.
Q: What is something that amazed you about the diet?
A: In the beginning of the book there’s a recipe that is said to cure diarrhea. It’s a simple pureed carrot and chicken soup recipe. The diet worked 100% of the time. Of course, the current day over the counter remedies are not “legal” on the diet. In the past, if someone told me that a specifically made chicken soup would cure this ailment, I’d laugh. Instead, I stand amazed and convinced that what we put in our bodies matters!
Q: Is Luciano still on the diet?
A: The diet claims that if you are “fanatical” and stay on it two years past your last flare, then you will be cured. We did this and when Luciano became a teenager he wanted to eat typical teenager foods. The ones he thought he wanted to eat that he was missing out on were milk, pizza, and chocolate. While he had no bad symptoms from eating these foods, today he has made a conscious decision not to eat any of those foods. He understands the importance of fueling his body with nutrients that make him feel better, so rather than eating a fast food hamburger, he will always make the choice to eat a smoothie made with something like kale, apple, orange, banana, coconut oil, chia seeds, ginger, beets, raw nuts and almond milk or coconut water.
Q: Did your whole family eat this way?
A: Luciano had 3 brothers, 5 years and 8 years older than him (all adults now). We were a very active family, so we didn’t all eat this way, because not all of us had to be “fanatical” about the diet like Luciano did. I would tell you the rest of us mostly ate this way and we learned to take the time to appreciate and cook whole foods. I did stop baking any cookies or cakes for special occasions or birthdays, because most of those kinds of ingredients were not on the diet. Today, we would still rather have a tray of fruit than a cake.