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When Mrs. Weiss was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, her first reaction was, “Baruch Hashem! My suffering has a name.”
The doctor wrote out a prescription for antibiotics and Mrs. Weiss was overjoyed. Naively, she assumed her condition
was similar to strep throat — ten days of antibiotics, and it would be behind her.
Little did she imagine the journey upon which that diagnosis would launch her. Today, in both her personal and
professional life, Mrs. Weiss guides and encourages hundreds of people towards greater intestinal health.

I t all began with distressing,

uncomfortable symptoms that
Mrs. Weiss more or less came to terms
with. There was little awareness then
She stopped eating dairy, but it was
way too late for that to make any real
difference. It would take more to heal
her ravaged digestive tract.
thousands of dollars on natural
doctors and their purported cures. Her
symptoms only grew worse.
“Then the day came when I reached
of food allergies and food intolerance, One day, a woman with ulcerative the ‘two Ds,’ as I call them:
but she chalked it up to lactose colitis called her to share experiences. Desperation and Determination. On
intolerance gone haywire. She introduced Mrs. Weiss to the book that day, I made a commitment, and I
Approximately ten years passed in that eventually turned her life around. set out to try the diet ‘only for two
this manner. Then she found herself The book, Breaking the Vicious Cycle, by weeks.’
with high fever following the birth of Elaine Gottschall, was meant to help “All I had was the book, and the few
one of her children. The doctors alleviate symptoms of intestinal recipes it contained. And what can I
ordered a CT scan, and that was when disease, including ulcerative colitis, say? I was miserable; I so desperately
she was diagnosed with Crohn’s Crohn’s disease, celiac, diverticulitis, missed my kokosh cake (my basic food
disease. and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). staple) and my other regular foods.”
Her relief at the diagnosis and the She lent Mrs. Weiss the book, but a Then, amazingly, misery gave way
prospect of a cure expressed itself quick review of the contents told her to excitement; after only three days,
almost as exhilaration. The medical this would never work. (“You don’t Mrs. Weiss’s symptoms subsided. “I

Eat, Drink, personnel patiently explained that

Crohn’s is actually not so exciting!
know me, I love good food,” she
declared when we reached this point
heard my body telling me, ‘Yes! I like
this diet. Keep it up!’”

and Be Healthy
Mrs. Weiss soon learned that the in our interview.) She copied Elaine Gottschall’s
medication was actually not a cure, So she set the book aside, and it lay number from the book, and for the
just a sort of “Band-aid” method of atop a bookshelf for a full year. next few months (and over the course
quieting the bacteria for a short while That year, Mrs. Weiss spent of the next few years), Elaine coached

A diet driven by desperation — delivers! and providing some relief. Each round
was another battle won, but it was not
going to win the war. With time, the
She discovered that she had great
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BINAH • 14 NISSAN 5770

prescribed medication would only
increase in strength, and the wary
cooking and baking talents. Nothing
Beily Paluch Mrs. Weiss began seeking alternatives.
could stop her.
132 133
Aliza’s Story
and guided her, as well as providing ingredients and hard-to-find items, all with new recipes,” she enthuses. “For
her with additional numbers for more compatible with the Specific years, I’ve been trying to replicate a
support. Aliza’s story is just one of many success stories in which children, teenagers, and Carbohydrate Diet. A busy warehouse scrumptious apple crumb cake recipe
And yet, Mrs. Weiss was famished; adults have been able to live symptom-free through the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. ships items nationwide on a daily basis. that I loved in my pre-SCD days. I
she kept opening and closing the And still Mrs. Weiss worked on came close a few times, but like I said,

cupboard doors looking for food. Aliza Gross was a top student, very popular and loved by all. In her early spreading awareness. On impulse, she I love good food, and I would not settle
Surely there were better dishes she adolescence, stomachaches became the norm, along with weight loss and a asked Elaine Gottschall, “If I put for less than the real thing. Then last
could make? She took her list of lack of energy. She was finally diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and began together a small group, would you fly week, I did it!”
allowed ingredients, and her regular standard medical treatment. When that failed, the doctor recommended in from Canada to speak for us?” With Images flit through my mind of
recipe book, and lo and behold, switching to more potent medication. Mrs. Gross, being an informed a little prodding, the elderly woman other acquaintances who have
discovered that she had great cooking consumer, did some research and discovered (to her utter dismay!) the (eighty years old at the time) finally undertaken various diets, and I shake
and baking talents. She had found possibly devastating side-effects these drugs carried. agreed, and it was up to Mrs. Weiss, my head in wonder at the stark
latent creativity, and nothing could With tremendous hashgachah pratis, she came across an article that who had no organizational contrast between their “I would never
stop her. She made all her favorite opened a new window of hope. Rabbi Rosenbaum explained his success with experience, to pull it off. even want cheesecake anymore!” and
foods — farfel, cake, ice cream, the SCD diet in rich detail and with his characteristic enthusiasm. Mrs. With tremendous siyatta diShmaya, Mrs. Weiss’s open admission of
blintzes, and cheesecake. Gross’s interest was piqued. She purchased the DVD from the most recent everything fell into place — the hall, enjoying and embracing good food.
And best of all, she hadn’t felt so Intestinal Awareness Seminar (presented by Digestive Wellness in 2008), and the speakers, and sponsors for Mrs. Weiss’s goal is to make SCD
good in years. She was bursting with was convinced. This was worth a try. advertisements. As the event loomed inviting, exciting, alive, and delicious,
Almond Muffins
her discovery, and she felt she must Mrs. Gross broached the topic with both her daughter’s pediatrician and nearer, Mrs. Weiss was having and as I chuckle through our Muffins and SCD go hand in
share her find with others. her gastroenterologist, but both were skeptical. They had watched patients nightmares that it would be an interview, I realize that there is no hand. Choose from a delicious
The first step was a brief newspaper try other diet modifications with no success. However, they had never heard embarrassment. What if no one better person for the job. B variety of flavors. They are great for
article, just to let the good word out, of SCD, and after listening to Mrs. Gross’s explanation, encouraged her to give showed? She calmed down a bit when breakfast, an afternoon snack with
explaining her success. The phone did it a shot. Elaine assured her it was worth Please note: The SCD diet does not in a cup of tea, or even dessert.
not stop ringing. One Rabbi In the tradition of many SCD beginners, Aliza first undertook a two-week coming even for five people. any way replace medical care; this diet
Rosenbaum from Israel called in trial period. Baruch Hashem, she passed the two-week milestone and has been To the surprise of all, people came together with highly qualified medical care Ingredients
response to this article, experienced continuing day by day ever since. pouring in. They came from will enable the patient to be treated with 4 eggs, separated
his own personal miracle, and She learned to enjoy her allowed foods, and Digestive Wellness is a everywhere, representing the full the minimum amount of medication, for ½ cup honey
spearheaded a highly successful lifesaver for SCD-compatible baked goods and other treats. The wonderful spectrum of Judaism. A few hundred the shortest time possible. ¼ cup oil
program in Israel, with hundreds of SCD food gemach also relieves some of the stress of preparing special dishes. people sat glued to their chairs, ½ tsp baking soda
members, providing support and During the inevitable rough spots, Mrs. Gross found ways to compensate desperate to hear anything positive Mrs. Weiss can be contacted at 845- ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
awareness of digestive health. Aliza and keep her going, including promising her a trip to her grandparents about intestinal health. 356-4557 or emailed at info@digestive 2¼ cups almond flour
Mrs. Weiss invited panicky overseas when the initial two years are over. One speaker said words his
beginners to her house and personally Aliza has been a case study for both of her doctors, as they have watched audience would long remember: “You Directions
gave them a crash course on cooking her steady improvement with amazement. Over the course of the first year, only have to keep the diet the first few An amazing SCD cookbook is in the 1. Preheat the oven to 325
and baking the most delicious dishes. Aliza’s symptoms all but disappeared. Where she had been sluggish and days. After that, the diet keeps you.” process of being published (another few degrees Fahrenheit. Place paper
She found herself spending precious significantly underweight, Aliza is now energetic, has gained weight, and Elaine Gottschall, when she stepped months). The “I Can’t Believe It” Cookbook liners in 18 muffin cups.
time giving out recipes, and so she looks and feels great. She’s actually back to feeling “normal,” watching her down from the podium, shared her will include mouthwatering recipes along 2. In an electric mixer, beat the
printed them in a little recipe book, for weight like the rest of her friends. feelings with Mrs. Weiss. “I felt like I with magnificent images. The recipes are egg whites on high until stiff.
which people blessed her. Despite her diet restrictions, Aliza never misses out on any fun. She was in the clouds; I felt G-d was with all gluten-free, starch-free, and refined 3. Reduce the speed and add the
As the Specific Carbohydrate Diet continues to be a star among her friends, who have no inkling of her me.” sugar-free. In addition to recipes, the yolks one at a time.
(SCD) community around Mrs. Weiss condition. No matter what the challenge may be, whether a school lunch, a Since then, Digestive Wellness has cookbook will also include techniques on 4. Add the honey, oil, baking
grew, the need to organize ingredients, Shabbaton, or a summer at camp, Aliza and her mother stretch their creativity been at the forefront of disseminating stress management and the mind-body soda, vanilla extract, and your
food, and services on a larger, more and resourcefulness, and make it work. information, while providing practical, connection. choice of the additions below
consistent scale became apparent. As Aliza’s two years on the diet draw to a close, she is optimistic that she hands-on guidance about keeping the The information and recipes in this (except blueberries, which
Armed with the blessing of a tzaddik, will soon be able to put SCD behind her, though she hopes her newfound SCD diet. Mrs. Weiss is available by book will be beneficial for everyone: for should be added last), and mix
Mrs. Weiss founded Digestive appreciation for Hashem’s naturally delicious foods will stay with her long- phone or email for assistance and healthy people as a preventive; for gently.
Wellness. She hired a professional term. The Gross fridge is always fully stocked with fresh salads, soups, fruit, support. intestinal sufferers, diabetics, and those 5. Add the almond flour last,
baker, taught him her original recipes, tuna, and chicken, and the whole family’s eating habits have changed. “It’s amazing how, with the same with high cholesterol/triglycerides as a mixing minimally until just
and made the finished products Mrs. Gross recalls her introduction to SCD with tremendous hakaras hatov. ingredients, we still keep coming up healing and maintenance program. about combined.
available to grateful customers. She “Someone took the trouble to write the article that gave my daughter a new 6. Fill each muffin cup two-thirds
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also launched a website, chance at conquering her illness with less medicine. Now it’s my turn to Digestive Wellness has been at the full of batter., where one can hopefully do the same for someone else.” 7. Bake the muffins for
find the most delicious baked goods, forefront of disseminating information. continued on page 136

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continued from page 135

approximately 30 minutes. • 1/3 tsp cinnamon

Muffins are done when the top • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
springs back when pressed with a (omit oil)

finger. • ½ cup crushed pineapple (omit oil)
• 2/3 ripe banana, mashed
Variations (omit oil)
You may add one of the following: • ½ cup blueberries

Butter Pecan Cookies

These irresistible pareve cookies
have a crunch similar to chocolate
Butternut Squash Salad chip cookies. The recipe has been
Those with and without SCD will adapted from the Grain-Free Gourmet:
love this guilt-free version of potato Delicious Recipes for Healthy Living.
salad. Delightfully tasty without
that heavy aftertaste... you’re sure Ingredients
to make it again and again. 2 cups almond flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Ingredients 1/8 tsp salt
1 medium butternut squash, ½ tsp baking soda
peeled and cubed 1 cup chopped pecans
1-2 sour pickles, grated ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
½ carrot, grated 1 egg
1/3 cup pickle juice 1/3 cup coconut oil or palm oil
¼ cup mayonnaise 1/3 cup honey
2 Tbsp honey, dissolved in a
small amount of hot water Directions
½ tsp salt, dissolved in a small 1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees
amount of hot water Fahrenheit. Line a cookie sheet sized portions of batter about 2
with parchment paper. inches apart on the cookie sheet.
Directions 2. Combine the almond flour, 6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or
1. Steam squash in a steamer cinnamon, salt, baking soda, and until the cookies are lightly
until just about soft. pecans in a bowl. browned. Remove cookies from
2. When squash has cooled, 3. Combine the vanilla, egg, oil, oven and cool completely.
transfer to a bowl and add the and honey in another bowl. 7. Set oven temp to 170 degrees
rest of the ingredients. Mix well 4. Add the dry ingredients to the Fahrenheit. Bake cookies for an
and serve chilled. wet and mix well. additional 2 hours. Store cookies
5. Drop heaping 2-tablespoon- in an airtight container.
BINAH • MARCH 29, 2010