Sunday, May 06, 2007

What's Cookin'?

Sunday morning fun. Pot of Sunday gravy bubbling? Check. Chicken cutlets fried? Check. Batch of treats baked? Checked. Everything is gluten/casein free? Check. My parents are on their way from Massachusetts for a visit. Here's a little trick to knowing Kim. If I cook good food for you, I like you, probably love you. If I order take out? I like you but not enough to cook for you. :) Food is love, yes?

Notice that I said all the foods are GFCF. That means no wheat, no oats, no dairy in any of the food. It's a diet common in the autism world. GFCF. For my girls the diet has made a HUGE difference in behavior, GI functioning and overall health. I often meet autism parents who say "Oh, I could never do that diet. My child only eats.... the list is usually the same: chicken nuggets, grilled cheese sandwiches and cereal. And all of these are almost exclusively gluten and casein. The body seems to crave the food to which it is intolerant. Another of God's little jokes. Pull the foods (easier said than done) and suddenly the child is eating fruits and veggies and proteins and a far better overall diet.

Before I pulled dairy from Miss G. she was nutty. Ran around, screamed, had red cheeks, runny nose. Bella? Give her wheat then watch her bit her little fingers bloody and wake up several times a night screaming. Mia? Either makes her completely stoned and zoned out. I've seen it and lived it for years and I know what happens. That there's no double blind study for doctors to concur with me matters not a fig to me. Who the hell is going to pay for and conduct a study about REMOVING FOOD from the diet for health? Ain't no money to be made there. So parents take charge and do their own "study." Oh, the docs who pooh pooh the GFCF diet are the same ones likely to tell a parent to try the ketogenic diet for seizures - to alter brain functioning. But they refuse to acknowledge that GFCF can alter brain functioning. Look Alice! There's the Caterpillar smoking a hookah! (Can I have a hit?)

The GFCF diet takes work, time, home cookin' and is expensive. It's a pain in the ass, frankly, and I hate that we're on the diet. But I'd hate if my girls felt and acted like crap because of what I was feeding them even more. For us? The diet is a must.


Martha O'Connor said...

I know some families dealing with celiac-the wheat gluten allergy that destroys the digestive system if the gluten isn't removed from the diet. One of my friends cooks almost exclusively Asian food now because it is rice-based rather than wheat-based.

Glad to hear such a diet can help with the kids' autism as well.

Anissa said...

I'm starting to really watch what's in the foods my boys eat. The baby is supposed to go to milk now, but it's wreaking havoc on his stomach. His formula was casein-free, so I need to figure something out. In the meantime, he's back on formula. Thanks for the info. :)

kimtheblogowner said...

Anissa, for a 1 year old you could use DARI FREE from Vitamin fortified just like milk - potato based like Nutramigen formula. Do NOT use soymilk of any kind, which is highly allergic! Vance's is missing critical FAT however, so you'd need to supplement fats with a healthy oil like Udo's Oil 3-6-9 Omega blend for a great neuro-kick. Email me offline if I can help. KIM

Petra said...

So Ms Kimberly, you think GFCF is hard and expensive???? (It is.. I totally give you that..).

HA!!! Try a mostly organic, 7 day rotation, low protein, restricted carbohydrate, colorant free, artificials free, antibiotic free, gluten free, casein free, soy free, corn free, limited rice, egg white free (only three egg yellows/week allowed), mostly nut free (only almonds, hazelnut, walnuts allowed), peanut free, shellfish free, coconut free, banana free, citrus free, onion free, yeast free, low sugar, watch the oxalates, and iknowiforgotatleastfifteenotherfoods free diet (of which each kiddo has a slightly different permutation). Oh, and let's not forget to add the 'they need enzymes with every meal and tons of other pancreatic support to make sure that they DO digest the foods they still CAN have' appetizer. LOL.

But like you, I have found that keeping the above mentioned foods in the boyos diet has disasterous results.. for both the autie and the NT one!!

Keep up the good work!


(oh, and in case anybody is wondering what I AM feeding my boys.. believe me, there are plenty very yummy foods left.. you just have to get a little creative)

Anonymous said...

so then how do you do the cutlets without the yummy stuff????

Mom to Mr. Handsome said...

I'm glad I found your blog. My son Gabe is actually allergic to wheat.(and a host of other foods) We are wheat free, not casin free. I was curious about how you said one of your girls had red cheeks before the diet. Gabe gets really red when he is physical, also really sweaty and it takes a long time for the redness to fade and go away on his face. Was it a similar situation for your daughter?

I also wondered if they had eating issues before you switched? Gabe had to go through an intense eating program when he was 2 just to get him off of baby food and snack foods. He is very picky about what he will eat still. We are now all natural in the food he eats due to his allergies, but he still does milk. I wonder sometimes if the casin is having a "doping" affect on him. If you have time could you email me at

Thanks :o)

(Hooray! I did it! Way to go!)

Anonymous said...

How did you wean the kids off these foods?

John Elder Robison said...

Sometimes I read things like this and wonder if I should change my own diet.

Holly Kennedy said...

Kim, this is truly amazing.
I'm stunned at how little I know and red faced about what my boys eat. Not that it's junk, just that I never worry about all of these things when maybe I should be. Thanks for this post.

Drama Mama said...

You see, I KNOW this diet works; when I do it for myself, I am thin, healthy, feeling great. Made NO difference to my darling daughter.
Maybe time to try it again. Thanks.
Recipes, please?

ORION said...

My husband and I went on high protein low carb (no bread, sugar, etc.
At first it was just to lose weight by all of a sudden we are feeling better -- no indigestion--
Lots of real veggies lots of fruit- fish chicken.
Good for you to do this all for your kids.

Stephen Parrish said...

When I started my first chef job, the woman assigned to train me said, "All the great chefs in the world are men. Work hard, and you could become one of them."

So maybe you ought to assign cooking duties to What's-His-Name.

Michelle O'Neil said...

We do the Specific Carb diet, which is GFCF, but a little more, well, "specific."

My kids have not had one spec of sugar, wheat(or any grain) or dairy in over a year.

It is sometimes hard, because my kid wasn't a huge behavior improvement with the diet.

However, she went from the usual three foods, (and huge meltdowns if we even suggested anything else) to eating a much broader range of foods. We are all eating much healthier now.

I stood in the food isle at Whole Foods and felt weepy the first week. I had no idea what I was doing.

Now I feel pretty confident. I've learned to cook through this process. Basic, whole foods. Fresh chicken, turkey, veggies, fruits, etc. It is how our grandparent's generation ate, before they added all the crap.

Check out:

Kim Stagliano said...

Petra, you're right = there are many incarnations of the diet that require tweaking. You're the MASTER! Michelle - you're right, some kids need SCD.

Anon - you start slowly. IT's hard. Kids get nutty. Mom's have to remain strong. You need support to do it. Get "Special Diets for Special Kids" by Lisa Lewis for all the info you need to start. And you can join an open Yahoo group called GFCFKIDS. My email is on this blog too.

Hey,Mom to Mr. Handsome - great name!

John- we can talk foods over lunch.

Holly, Drama, Orion - hello!

Stephen - Do you cook?? Men who cook are invaluable. The Husband who must not be named is a good cook.

Trish Ryan said...

You rock, and your little girls are lucky to have you, cooking up a storm for them :)

I love your hierarchy of food preparation...mine is the inverse: If I love you, I don't want to waste our time together on my feeble attempts to boil water, so it's best to eat out! I aspire to your level of culinary competence!

mcewen said...

I wish, I wish. I have several books on the subject and I've done my homework. We're moving in that direction for one, but the other one....actually now I come to think of it, apart from the goldfish, he's more or less there. Of course the trouble is the the goldfish probably make up far too significant percentage of his total diet - hopeless.

M. G. Tarquini said...

One of the other gymnastic's parents told us to beware of red dyes. Her son is also ADHD and she sees a marked change in his behavior after ingesting the red gatorades, etc. She said to stick to organic drinks like that. I pulled them from the repertoire altogether.

IF GFCF works, Kim, go for it. You're the ones living this everyday and if this is what keeps your kids sane and healthy, then this is what you do. The food looks lovely. Been a while since I've made tomato gravy from scratch.

Kim Stagliano said...

Oh yes! Red dye can make kids wild - so can yellow dye (made from coal tar.) There are dyes in EVERYTHING today - so kids get a lot more of it. Even your blue toothpaste has red dye in it. We use Toms for that reason. When Pep Farms came out with Rainbow goldfish I went ballistic. Why did toddlers need brightly colored crackers???? The natural red dye from beets is safe. I avoid CARMINE too - it's "natural" but is made from S. American beetle shells and has been proven to cause Anaphylactic shock in some people. A doc at the U. Michigan medical center figured that out when a patient presented with what looked like a nut allergy reaction after eating nothing but a RED popsicle. Our foods are toxic.