At the grocery store for the first time since discovering SCD (the Specific Carbohydrate Diet) I viewed each item with fresh eyes. What are the hidden ingredients in this? Will this product hurt or heal Laurel's guts? What is left to eat that doesn't contain grains, sugars, chemicals, etc? When reading about the various components and limitations on the diet, one redeeming factor was that it allowed dairy.
Dairy had been a mostly forbidden food in our house, with both Laurel and I showing "slightly allergic" to cow's milk in various allergy tests and both struggling with congestion and gastrointestinal issues when we overdid it. We limited our dairy intake to hard cheeses, goat's milk products, and on special occasions sour cream or creme fraiche. Sadly, yogurt and cottage cheese had been totally off limits.
I read the chapter on fermented dairy in the Breaking the Vicious Cycle book with wide eyes. It claimed that fermented dairy (i.e. yogurt that had been cultured for 24-48 hours) no longer contained any lactose, was much easier to digest, and was actually good for us. Certain other dairy products such as butter, hard cheeses, and a special kind of cottage cheese (dry curd, pot, or farmers cheese are different names for it) contain very little lactose and are also safe for people with digestive issues to eat. Though I was still a little wary about the congestion side of things, I was too excited about trying this special cottage cheese to worry.
I was nervous that I would not be able to find this cottage cheese at my neighborhood health food store because I had never seen it before, so I planned to make a second stop at Whole Foods. Passing the eggs and sour cream case, I noticed a small white container nestled between rows of normal cottage cheese: Alpenrose Dry Curd Cottage Cheese. There was only one option and it was not organic, but it did state that the cows were not treated with growth hormones. I picked up two of them.
At the checkout line, a slight woman came up to me and asked what I did with the dry curd cottage cheese in my basket. I told her that I was starting this special diet, the SCD, because my partner has celiac disease. The woman smiled and told me that she also had celiac disease, in addition to crohns, and she had been on the SCD for several years. She said it had saved her life. She told me she was now a health coach who specialized in helping people navigate this very diet. We exchanged numbers and I left the store feeling that our journey with this diet was now bigger than me. The Universe was involved.