Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Losing the "G" and the "C"

The time has come.

I've been dreading it.  Avoiding it.  Denying it.

But it's go time.

Time for THE diet.  The gluten-free/casein-free diet, that is.

This ain't my first rodeo - that's why I've been putting it off.

Lily was on the GFCF diet for a year and a half.  A couple years ago, I did some online research and it seemed like so many families with autistic children were GFCF so I went for it.  No doctor.  No nutritionist.  Just cold turkey.  On Christmas Day.

Yes, I'm one of those people who just don't have quite enough to do during the holidays so extensive online research and a completely new and very restrictive way of eating seemed like just the thing to do to fill my time.

We made the decision to move to a regular diet last June.  As in, bring on the Cheerios, goldfish, and soft bread!

We just weren't sure if the GFCF diet was really doing any good.

After a few months, we began to notice some extremely hyperactive behavior.  I mean, like the child was not physically able to sit still.  It was like she had so much pent-up energy and no release for it.  Every evening became a serious cardiovascular workout for mom - and I really just wanted to watch some TV.

Just a bit alarming for the parents.

So I called in the food police, aka.... a nutritionist.

She began a very systematic approach to Lily's diet.  Eliminating artificial stuff first.  Then introducing some vitamins and minerals, that kind of thing.  Doing some blood work.  Adjusting the plan according to the results.  All very doable and good for all of us, honestly.

But I knew where this train was headed.

And sure enough, we're at the GFCF station.

Thankfully, this time we'll be like tourists.  Just checking in for a short three month stay with checklists of all to look for while we're here.  Fun things like rashes, loose stools, stuffy noses, and dark circles under the eyes.

Of course, if we do see improvement, then we'll have to revoke our tourist status become permanent residents for quite a while.

Going GFCF means lots of trial and error, lots of ahead-of-time preparation, and much less eating out. It means things like:

  • baking loaves of bread that might be edible or might be useful as a doorstop.
  • buying weird food items like amaranth flour, guar gum, and rice milk.
  • having to shop at multiple grocery stores because not one of them has everything you need.
  • scouring the internet for recipes that kids might actually eat.
  • no drive-thrus.
  • corn tortillas only.
  • spending more money than you ever thought possible at a grocery store.
  • storing bread in the freezer.
  • reading food labels until your eyes cross
  • and of course, hiding in the pantry eating the snack pack of Oreos you bought at the gas station and praying your poor GFCF kid doesn't notice the chocolate in your teeth.
I do what I have to do.  Because I'm a mom.  And I love my kids.  And I want to feed them well.  And I love Oreos.  


  1. lost me at "no drive thru"......let me know if you need a secret stash of oreo cookies.....;)

    Seriously....good luck you faboo mommy ....

  2. Just keep oreos in your purse at all times then I'll know where to go in an emergency!


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