Monday, May 22, 2017

Interview at Gut Harmony

I recently had the pleasure to give a great interview for Tali who runs the Gut Harmony site.  Check out the interview here:  Interview with Tucker Sweeney

10 years of SCD: Tucker Sweeney shares lessons on balanced life and health maintenance


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The SCD for Autism and ADHD

Today I would like to take the time to recommend a fascinating new book by long time SCD author's Pamela Ferro and Raman Prasad.  The duo has taken on the challenge of explaining the in's and out's of adapting the SCD diet to deal with those on the Autism spectrum and ADHD.  Their book is titled: The SCD for Autism and ADHD:  A reference and dairy-free(DF) cookbook for the specific carbohydrate diet.

What is the main difference from other SCD books and cookbooks you may ask?  Well, first this book moves away from traditional SCD by prohibiting dairy.  Limiting dairy, even for those not following the SCD, has been found to help many with Autism and ADHD and this book helps to meld the two diets together.

The other way this book is different is that it integrates the backgrounds of mainstream medicine through Pam's background along with others in the field.  There has been a huge increase in university studies into the SCD and gut bacteria over the last few years and along with this more and more doctors, hospitals, and nurses are realizing that the SCD is not fiction any longer.  This book is a wonderful example of this collaborative and looks to the future of the diet and how to tweak it in order to meet the needs of different disorders.

The book gives the reader a huge wealth of knowledge on the subject of both disorders and the reasoning for going SCD-DF.  It also has many delicious recipes that span multiple regional and ethnic cuisines and tackle going dairy free with ease.

The book is well written, organized, and easy to follow with carefully thought out recipes.  The pictures are also excellent and compliment the food perfectly.

Please let all your friends who know someone who suffers with these disorders to look into this book.  Together we have the knowledge and power to change the face of these disorders and make healing a reality.

Two steps forward, One step back~


Thursday, April 30, 2015

Are you conquering your disease or is it conquering you?

Image result for emotional picturesInflammatory bowel diseases are tough to control.  Constantly in and out of remission and never knowing when the next flare up will hit you head on.  The SCD diet was most definitely the strongest factor in gaining control over the ulcerative colitis that was ravaging my body.  Yet, this process took more than two years of very slow progress.  Slowly, month after month, making slight headway and feeling just a little bit better each day. 

I was confused at this process and felt like it was out of the ordinary.  I felt like others on the diet were making quicker recoveries and some do!  This feeling though, that I was somehow not on the right road to recovery, really hindered my progress and weighed heavily on my mind.  Have any of you felt the same? 

Image result for well being picturesThe reason I decided to write our book was for this reason.  I felt that a story of slow recovery was needed.  An account of the trials and tribulations of the diet and disease.  An explanation of the fact that everyone reacts differently to diet modification and the effects of disease.  A story that lets you know that the place you are in RIGHT NOW is OK and that with perseverance and determination you will make it!  Two Steps Forward, One Step Back...


Interested in hearing our story?  You can find our book below at or on the right side of the page under favorite tools.
Two step forward, One step back

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Consulting for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and gut issues. Take the survey!

Today I find myself in a unique situation within the dietary community.  The simple blog here is surpassing 40,000 views, our book Two Steps Forward, One Step Back continues to sell copies worldwide, and the emails and questions from people around the globe continue to pour in. Yet, day after day I see and hear people who are desperately struggling with Crohns, Ulcerative Colitis or IBS and feel that medication and surgery are their only options.  These options luckily work for some but sadly do not for many others, myself included. It took me years to search, discover, and learn about other options.  Enter the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD).

Image result for health photos                                       

The SCD diet was a pure miracle for me.  By eating the correct foods I was able to curb the destructive forces of inflammation that Ulcerative Colitis was causing to my body.  I was amazed how slowly but surely the diet was healing me from the inside out!  For me, this healing process is a lifelong journey.  The diet rarely "cures" anyone and is rarely a quick fix.  The SCD is not a gimmicky diet that was formulated for weight loss or general health.  It is a scientific diet that plays a role in balancing the immense population of bacteria that reside in your gut.  Each of us have a different makeup of bacteria and therefore have different reactions to the diet.

Following a diet such as the SCD is anything but easy.  It takes lots of education, time, and the drive to put in the effort to get results, and these results can be limited for quite some time.  Progress is usually gauged in months and years compared to days and weeks but the daily results are usually so profound that it keeps us going through the hard times.  The diet is continually evolving as new foods, labeling laws, and other discoveries are found.  It helps to have a knowledgeable person to guide you through the maze of not only food related questions but also the tidal wave of emotions and thoughts that the diet and disease evoke.

I would be lying if I told you that it didn't weigh heavily on my mind about making an income from giving advice about the SCD and digestive diseases.  The hard fact though is that I don't have enough time in the day to talk to all the people who want and need advice while still holding another full-time job. 

What if I could give people the advice and knowledge that they are asking for? I have amassed a lot of information and experience while following the SCD for more than 11 years, writing a book about the subject and having the same type of disease that many have.  Yes, I can truly say that I know what you are going through with an inflammatory bowel disease!  Match the personal experience with an educational background in kinesiology, health education and counseling services. This adds up to a lot of knowledge to share with others.

So the question is:
Are you someone who is looking for a consultant to help overcome your digestive disease?   I WANT YOUR OPINION!   

Take survey HERE

Please take the brief survey (10 questions) I have compiled so that I can gain some insight into the needs and wants of the SCD/digestive disease community.  

Thank you all for your time!

Best regards,
Tucker Sweeney

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Baby food is not just for babies anymore!

This last year has brought lots of energy and excitement with the arrival of our daughter.  Food has been such a focal point in our home for the last 7-8 years that we wanted to make good, healthy choices for our new little one. 

The baby food choices have really exploded in stores and we were excited to see all of the wholesome and organic choices that were available. 

The more we shopped for baby food the more I got to thinking if this stuff could be something I could use for backpacking and climbing trips.  Something quick, portable, nutritious, SCD legal, and non perishable. 

Most of the new organic choices come in a convenient pouch container.  This makes them perfect for stuffing into a backpack pocket or jacket.  There are a variety of flavors and combinations.  Some are SCD legal and some are not (look at the lables!).  The only downside that I have found is that the calorie count is usually not very high on the pouches but that's OK.  PowerBar and Clif bar have similar "goo" pouches on the market but none that I have found are SCD legal or have as pure and organic ingredients as these.

Here's to more SCD tools in your toolbox!


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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

We love this cookbook!     

Cooking for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet is a wonderful addition to your SCD cookbook collection, a must have first cookbook if you are starting out on the SCD.  

"I would have loved to have this information packed cookbook when I was learning to cook SCD for my son Tucker eight years ago" Says my mother Carol Sweeney.  

The 'BASICS' section is invaluable and makes you feel like Erica is right there in your kitchen helping you learn new recipes and cheering you on. 
We love the Cinnamon Bun Muffins, seafood chowder, cauliflower "popcorn", no grain granola, curry dressing, blueberry cinnamon coffee cake, and many others have now become our favorites.  The color pictures of food throughout the book make you want to cook and eat everything.  If you are craving comfort foods try braised short ribs and carrots, chicken pot pie, sweet fries, chicken tenders, fish tacos or waffles.  These are delicious 
recipes and quite easy to make following Erica's directions.   A bonus to this cookbook well worth mentioning are the sections devoted to information, tips and advice on adapting your lifestyle to the SCD, plus kitchen and pantry items to have on hand, product sources, and a list of handy SCD websites.  I love the measurements and ingredient substitutions in the back so you can adapt recipes to your individual needs.

A great buy and a great addition to your SCD resources.  
Check it out on or at

Take care and stay healthy,

Tucker Sweeney & Carol Sweeney

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Hi there everyone!
Wanted to share the interview that I did with Erika over at the food blog Comfy Belly.  She did a great job putting together the interview and I think the questions and answers that are presented will benefit many as they go through the process of eating SCD.
Check out her site while you are there.  She has some amazing recipes, mostly SCD but some GF.

Comfybelly Interview Here

Take care and good health to all of you,


Monday, January 7, 2013

Crunchy Energy Bars

These bars are super easy to make and in my opinion put other bars like Lara Bars to shame.  Think salty, sweet, and crunchy compared to thick and pasty.  I almost always make a batch of these before an outdoor trip because they provide plenty of quick energy and are tough enough you can just throw them in a bag with some other food and they wont get crushed.  Sometimes I like to add a little kick to the bars by adding a dusting of cayenne.

1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup walnuts
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (optional)
1/2 cup shredded coconut (I like the large flake variety)
1/4 cup honey ( I like 1/4 cup but you could use 1/2 cup if you like it sweeter)
2T Butter or coconut oil/manna (The coconut oil tends to make them a bit greasy)
1tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped dried fruit (raises, dates, etc.)
Dusting of cayenne (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Rough chop the nuts using a knife or food processor.  Do not over chop.  Think about cutting a cashew into 1/3-1/4 no smaller.  Add the chopped nuts, seeds, and coconut to a large bowl.  In a bowl or measuring cup mix together the honey, vanilla, and butter/coconut product.  Heat honey mixture in microwave if needed to get to a more liquid state.  Add to nuts and mix.  Add salt and mix again. 

Spread nut and honey mixture onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake for 10 minutes, re-spreading the mixture once to cook evenly.  After 10 minutes mix in the 1/2 cup dried fruit and bake for another 10 minutes stirring once.

Remove the mixture from oven and pour into a large bowl.  Do not let it cool on the parchment paper as you will not be able to remove it without sticking.  Let mixture cool until you can easily handle it with your hands, yet not cool enough that it is rock hard.  This should take about 10-15 minutes. 

When cool, form into bars with your hands by compressing the mixture between your two hands.  You need to use pressure to initially hold the bars together until they cool.  I like to form bars that resemble a Clif Bar.  About 1/2" thick X 3" long and slightly oval shaped.  You however, can make any shape you want just realize they will become hard when cool so ball shapes aren't easy to eat.

Let shaped bars cool in room temp for about an hour then toss into fridge.

Have a wonderful winter season!

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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Written conformation about hard cider and SCD

Hi everyone, 
I wanted to post the written conformation about a few hard ciders that are available.  Some turn out to be legal and others don't or some companies only have certain varieties that are legal.  
It is always a good idea to call or email the company about their ingredients because some of the ingredients are not listed!
A sample letter to a company:

Hi there, just wanted to see if your ciders contain any added sugars? (dextrose, alcohol sugar, cane, etc) or any starches or other ingredients besides cider, yeast, citric acid, etc. I have pretty serious food allergies and notice that some of your bottles do not have ingredients on them.
Thank you!

Here are the cider companies I have contacted so far.  

Blue Mountain Cider Company
Hi Tucker, thanks for your interest in Blue Mountain Cider. We currently add fructose(the same sugar that is naturally found in apples) to a couple of our ciders, the Raspberry, Eden Ridge, Cranberry, and sometimes the Cherry has it added. We did not add sugar to our Estate Winesap, Dry Creek, or the Peach we just released this spring. Sugar is the only extra additive we use in the cider. If you have any more questions, just let me know.

Crispin Hard Cider
Hi tucker, thanks so much for your question. Our ciders do contain a small amount of cane sugar to help develop the ciders into alcohol. That is just for the original, some of the others are mostly sweetened with honey or other natural sugars but would still include a little cane sugar for the yeast to eat. Does that answer your question fully?
Tucker Sweeney
Ok thank you. So the added cane sugar is added before the cider is fermented and not after as a sweetener?
Crispin Hard Cider
That's correct yes. Cane sugars are added before, any sweetener after is just juice, honey, maple syrup, etc.

***As far as I know, as long as the small amount of sugar was added before the fermentation it would still be considered SCD legal.  It would be the same process as taking illegal milk and fermenting it into legal yogurt.  Crispin and Fox always list whether they add apple juice, honey, or other sweeteners like maple sugar , molasses, etc.  so just look at the label.  Another tip is to look at the grams of sugar in the bottle.  It should be under 10-12 grams.  Angry orchard for example (not legal) has more than 20 grams of sugar per bottle.

 Tucker Sweeney
To:  Ace Cider Company and Angry Orchard Cider company,
Love your cider but wanted to check with you about the ingredients because I follow a very strict diet for allergies and health issues.
Do your ciders contain any sweeteners or starch that are not listed on the label (corn, cane sugar, artificial sugars, etc.) This would include added sugars in the apple juice concentrate or in any natural flavors. Naturally occurring sugars in apple juice are fine. If they do which have added sugars and which do not?
Thank you very much for your time,
Tucker Sweeney

Ace Cider
All natural Tucker just fruit juices.

Angry Orchard
I am sorry about the delay. Your message unfortunately got lost in our que. We are sweetened with high fructose corn syrup.  Crisp Apple, Traditional Dry and Apple Ginger all have HFCS in them.


Wyder's Cider
Thanks for writing in and your interest in our ciders.  Wyder’s Cider does contain added corn sugar, which is added in after the fermentation process.
I hope this helps and let me know if you have any further questions.
Wyder’s Cider.

Reverand Nat's Cider

First here is my email...

Hi Nat, I was at the tap room yesterday and your employee was super helpful in helping to educate me on what ciders would like be okay and not okay for me to drink.

I have some serious health issues which prevent me from drinking anything that contains added sugars (polysaccharides - dextrose, alcohol sugar, cane sugar, etc.) or any starches or other ingredients besides cider, yeast, citric acid, etc.

She informed me that the revival dry would be a good place to start since there's no concentrate added after the ferment. She also said she was pretty sure that the concentrate added to other ciders has absolutely no sugars in it besides the straight monosaccharides from the apple - no sucrose or other polysaccharides. Can you confirm this is true?

Also, I was really intrigued when she shared that one of the ciders is made with lactobacillus instead of yeast. Would you be able to share which strain of lactobacillus you use?

Thank you so much for the info Nat. Looking fwd to being a loyal customer :)

Nat's reply...

Revelation Newtown Pippin has apple juice, fermented to dry and backsweetened with apple juice concentrate. There are no other ingredients in the concentrate or the single strength juice. I only know of fructose, not the monosaccharides you speak of.

Revival Dry is bone dry and only ever had apple juice in it.

Deliverance Ginger Tonic has pure cane sugar, aka white sugar aka sucrose.

Hallelujah Hopricot has apple juice and apricot/peach juice concentrate. Like the Newtown it's just fructose but I can't speak to anything else naturally found in apricot and peach juice.

Sacrilege Sour Cherry is the lactobacillus one you're talking about. It contains apple juice and cherry juice concentrate both pre and post fermentation. We use Wyeast 5335 american lacto in it.

Hope you can make use of this info and thanks for the email.

Schilling Hard Cider

Hi Tucker,
Thanks for reaching out!
All of our ciders are fresh pressed juice based and we normally don't back-sweeten or blend. However there are a few exceptions to this. On some batches the juice ferments beyond our target and we will back-sweeten with cane sugar. (We have not needed to do this on any recent batches). We try to avoid this as much as possible, but given your dietary restrictions this is the case for a few batches. Also our summer seasonal is made with cane sugar as part of the recipe so you should certainly avoid that one.
Hope this helps!
Colin Schilling

If anyone else has contacted cider companies about SCD legality please comment so we can increase our knowledge base.

Till next time,


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Friday, September 28, 2012

Misleading hard cider labels

Wanted to quick post a note about the cider company Angry Orchard.  I recently found the angry orchard hard cider brand at my local grocery store and decided to give it a try.  A quick look at the ingredients reveals that all the ingredients should be SCD legal except for the "natural flavors".  I drank a few with no negative effects but still wanted to check with the company about its ingredients. 

After many failed attempts to have a response email about their products ingredients I finally heard back from them a few days ago.  It turns out that they sweeten all of their ciders with HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP!  This is crazy because it is not listed anywhere on the ingredients label.  Not to well versed on the labeling laws here in the states but I would imagine that the "natural flavors" are natural flavors of high fructose corn syrup!  Anyhow, watch out for this and let your scd friends know.  It is really scary that we do not have the right to know what is in our food and drinks...

The other cider companies I listed on this blog have confirmed that they do not add sugar to their cider and if a variety does contain a sweetener, it will be listed on the ingredients.  Some of these include:  Fox, JK Scrumpy, and Blue Mountain.

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