As mentioned earlier, coffee substitutes are not allowed on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. In theory, over time the SCD heals a person’s system and allows the reintroduction of problem foods. I have done a number of food intolerance tests over the years. In the past, the only food I have reintroduced successfully has been raw dairy products. I have tried reintroducing spelt and rye without success. Some beans may be okay in very small amounts.
Food intolerance testing can be done with expensive lab testing, which will not be covered here. Some simple testing methods you can do at home are: The Elimination Diet, Food Intolerance Test and Coca Pulse Test. The Elimination Diet is a trial and error method to assess which foods can be consumed without negative reactions. The biggest problem with this diet is that it takes a long time to do. The Food Intolerance Test or Challenge Test requires the reintroduction of a food and then waiting for up to 72 hours for any old symptoms to come back. Sometimes, as a person becomes healthier, the person can safely eat a problem food up to a certain threshold. After that point is reached, the food will cause a massive reaction. The Coca Pulse Test is one method commonly used. If the person eats a food which will cause a reaction, there will be an increase of pulse rate after a few minutes. For more information about this test method please read The Pulse Test: The Secret of Building Your Basic Health by Dr Arthur Coca.
I decided to do a food intolerance test with the coffee substitutes. Normally, I would try one at a time but I was doing a taste test which requires trying a number at the same time! This was my first mistake. I normally do not use the Coca Pulse Test but after consuming the coffee substitute I noticed a warming of my body and a noticeable increase in my pulse rate. Ignoring this body warming and increase of pulse rate was my second mistake.
After the taste test, I decided I liked both the Krakus and Nutrimax blends. I continued to compare the two over the next few days. What I thought was research on which was the better of the two substitutes, I think was actually compulsive consumption. Normally, food cravings are a sign that something is wrong. This was my third mistake.
By the afternoon of the third day I was very sick. I had a full blown migraine. I was nauseous and shaking. I slept for nearly 18 hours and woke up in the morning with a shadow of a headache and staggered to the bathroom. I was slightly nauseous and had a notable shaking in my hands. My hands were stiff but not numb.
I can safely say now that coffee substitutes are not on the menu. A normal protocol would be to try the food again in about six months. Hopefully, in six months I will be off coffee and I will not need to try this experiment again!
Updated July 6, 2014: I have found a modification of the Coca Pulse Test that works really well for me. It requires knowing your resting heart rate and testing your resting heart rate the morning after eating a suspected food. If a food increases your resting heart rate by 10-15 beats a minute, you are likely reacting to the suspected food. For example, my resting heart rate is normally about 50 beats a minute. When I eat popcorn the night before my resting heart rate will be elevated to 80 beats a minute. I’m reacting to the popcorn and shouldn’t eat that food.