There is a difference between a Beach and the Seaside

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I used to hate going to the seaside. The sea is dirty – there is usually a sewer overflow nearby just as a reminder. I hate sand, I hate the way it just gets everywhere, in my shoes, between my toes, in my food. It is always windy. I hate the wind. It winds me up, it’s like being manhandled by mother nature’s security men – it’s out of order but there’s nothing you can do, and when it’s done, you’re left sore and red faced. The sun is probably why I find myself at the seaside, so naturally I will be burnt. Hot weather also means pollen – even at the beach – add that to the wind and sand and my eyes will be streaming.

We recently revisited a beach that we first found a year ago, and I realised that there is a difference between a beach and the seaside.

Coming from land locked Herefordshire, a trip to the seaside usually meant going to a seaside town on holiday. I like seaside towns. I like to stroll along the promenade with a “99” or a bag of chips. Beaches at seaside towns are not good. These are the dirty, overcrowded things of my nightmares.

So it occurred to me that this beach on the Gower peninsula, near Swansea is probably my favourite one – probably because of the lack of other people.

Now I am a little older, and have (sort of) come to terms with sand and water and the fact that it will get everywhere, I can at least enjoy bite sized visits.

The Cult of SCD

In an attempt to alleviate the symptoms of her Crohn’s, Mojo is currently on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet¬†(SCD). When you say that she is on a diet – especially one that prohibits breads, rice, pasta and complex sugars –¬†people automatically think that she is trying to lose weight. According to the developer of the diet and hundreds of dedicated followers around the world, SCD can relieve the symptoms or even cure a number of intestinal ailments and even autism. In order to follow the diet you need to buy a book, which contains a load of rules, and when you want to eat something you have to keep flicking through the book – “It says on page 98 that it is legal but page 23 says that if it contains sweetener it is illegal!”

Some of SCD’s rules are justified and others not. the diet is extremely frustrating, this is exacerbated when the message is very clear that you should not question the diet, simply blindly follow it. For an intelligent and inquisitive person such as Mojo this is very difficult to accept. In some ways SCD is like a religion with its zealots who preach a message of unquestioning devotion and faith in the diet on the news groups, message boards and blogs. I have started calling the book – Breaking the Vicious Cycle – the bible.

This is now the second attempt at following the diet and with some further research it appears that there are a number of similar diets with varying emphasis and slightly varying lists of legal/illegal foods.

There is no doubt that being on SCD has made a difference to Mojo’s condition, but my feeling is that SCD and similar diets work because they are a kind of elimination diet and rely on introducing new foods from a very narrow base, not because you eat a yoghurt with or without a certain bacteria in it.