Wednesday, September 16, 2015

I was so excited when Raman Prasad asked me if I would review his new book, The SCD for Autism and ADHD: A Reference and Dairy-Free Cookbook for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. I've been pouring over the pages and sampling recipes. This book does not disappoint! It is so much more than a cookbook. It has appeal to both critical thinkers and visual learners. I also appreciate that they took into consideration that not everyone will have an unlimited budget and how to set priorities.

There is a wealth of information in the first half of the book: scientific research, references, resources, practical guides, personal stories, and most of all support. They have really tried to help you navigate implementing the diet. How to prepare food is covered as well as how to prepare your social network, your child's institutional settings, and care for the caregivers.

Nothing is minimized or trivialized, which is a relief in and of itself to have the challenges of dietary changes acknowledged and honored in a way that assists you to address them. You are dealing with many challenges, they are surmountable, and you will be more likely to succeed with help and understanding from people around you. There are so many tools in this book to facilitate an actual lifestyle change that is manageable and permanent. Best of all, you will have an understanding of how diet is linked to symptoms, which is empowering.

Another aspect of this book I really appreciated is the aesthetic approach. Sections are limited in scope so you can easily partition off a little bit of learning at a time if you wish, then digest the information before moving on to the next bit. If you can engage in a magazine article, you can read this book in the same manner of fashion. Pick it up, read a few pages, feel enlightened and educated. Of course, you can read it as fast as you are able and willing!

There is space to breathe, images that correlate with information, diagrams to illustrate things simply and quickly, as well as a variety of text inserts and offshoots for quick tips. Visual learners will find it appealing as well as approachable in the way information is parsed and presented. The pictures of the food are beautiful, too.

You don’t have to invent the wheel with this book. You’ll find easy to follow and appetizing recipes, a day in the life of prepping SCDiet food timed out for you to follow, themed menu plans, two weeks worth of meals in a simple plan, lists for organizing and outfitting your kitchen to cook SCDiet, "yes" and "no" foods listed, and how to deal with holidays, events, and school.

It’s challenging enough to change a diet and lifestyle without having to figure out everything from scratch by yourself, so it’s nice that you don’t have to. This book is such a huge prop. I feel like they have taken a load off for people new to this way of living and finding health through food. I don’t have a child with autism or the need in our family to be dairy free, and I still find great value in this book. While the audience intended is targeted, I think anyone using SCDiet or following a GFCF diet will find it highly beneficial.