First the bread, I am trying a new recipe, will share results later today or tomorrow. The recipe is from Gluten Free [Cooking School]. It uses a flour mixture made with masa harina (a type of cornmeal) plus soy flour, cornstarch and brown rice flour, all relatively cheap in my neck of the woods. Once again, I have high hopes for it. It’s rising right now, and I’m anxious to try it.
Next, we have been on our Gluten-Free, Casein-Free (GFCF) diet for almost a week now. These are our results.
- Fewer headaches, down to once a week instead of daily. Haven’t had a migraine since starting GFCF.
- Much, MUCH more energy. I think I had chronic fatigue, but never bothered to get it diagnosed because, well, my schedule allows for daily naps when necessary. Since starting diet I am sleeping 5 to 6 hours a night, waking naturally, and taking a nap in the afternoons. I feel more energetic, more vital, than I have in a while. This extra energy alone is worth the dietary change.
- Haven’t gained any weight. I’ve been eating sugar and starches, and haven’t gained a single pound. Not sure why. I hope it means that weight-loss will be easier in the long run.
- No tummy troubles. Zero indigestion, zero heartburn, zero bloating, zero gas.
- A very painful rash I used to get on my hands, made up of tiny blisters that both itched and ached, has cleared up. When it used to bother me really bad, I noticed that Benadryl (an allergy medicine) would give me some relief. Doctors have told me it’s eczema, due to stress. I never agreed with that diagnosis, but did pray often for the Lord to reduce my stress level (What stress level? I have to ask) so the bumps would go away. Certain dishwashing liquids helped, but nothing alleviated it completely. Today, it is almost all gone. Amazing!
- I feel happy. It’s a simple thing, but very satisfying.
Tommy (Asperger’s Syndrome).
Describes himself as . . .
- Feeling more energetic
- Focusing energy is easier
- Having higher self-esteem
- Being more self-confident in public
- It’s easier to concentrate
Mom notices . . .
- Much more patience
- Much more talkative
- More social with family members and at church
- Thinking more clearly and quickly too
- Lighter spirit, not so heavy and serious, more open
- Less repetitive behavior
- Happier. Definitely happier
- No changes what so ever. None. Zippo, finito, nada.
So, I have talked with Fred (who admits to seeing some changes, but not as many as I do) and to my Mom (who sees the same changes I do and others besides) and the boys. We have decided to be a GFCF family. Outside of the house if Jamie wants to eat “regular” food then that’s fine. In the house though I’m keeping everything and everyone on the same diet. Tom is very happy about the changes he feels and wants to continue the diet. He explains it like this “I’m autistic, so I have to eat a special diet. No gluten. No dairy.” This is the very first time he has actually said the words “I’m autisitc.” So that in and of itself is HUGE progress. It’s sort of like he’s blooming. Slow and steady, a little more every day.
In all honesty I really thought that the GFCF diet for autism was probably a bunch of wishful thinking on the part of the parents. It seemed like “New Age Mumbo Jumbo” to me. Before “resorting” to the diet we tried several different meds, none of them worked and some made things worse. We tried psychiatrists, psychologists, and a handful of doctors. I took him out of public school, in part because I could see that it was nearly killing him to go there everday. I saw how much he was hurting. We also have religious beliefs that made us take the boys from public school and teach them at home, but a big part was that the school could not treat Asperger’s Syndrome with any effectiveness. If anything their so called “treatment” made it worse.
I’d heard about a GFCF diet helping kids with autism for a few years. I read things online, but never really researched it in any depth. In fact I think I ignored and even avoided any information on it because I thought it was pointless. I was also terribly reluctant to even think about changing our diet. It would be too expensive, it would be too hard, too limiting, too different.
Finally I reasoned that if there was anything to the diet, that my kids at least deserved a shot at it. Praise God I finally did it. I think He had a lot to do with guiding me in this direction. So we tried it and I am now a True Believer. I’m willing to admit when I’m wrong, and I was wrong about this diet. It really does make a difference, and I’m seeing that for us (a family who cooks most things from scratch) the changes in our diet are pretty minor. I have to switch some of my formulas for baking. I have to use cornstarch for thickening instead of flour. I have to use non-dairy products instead of dairy. For the most part though, I’m still cooking normal food. Our grocery bill will go up. I can see that. But I will simply do what I do best, and that is learn cheaper ways to create the stuff we want to eat. I mean, God gave me that skill for a reason, so I might as well use it.
So, I will be making a few changes to my website (Frugal Abundance) as I sort out this GFCF thing. I will update recipes. Add more recipes. Maybe even write new articles.
We are now a GFCF family, and we will be here on out.