Gluten Free

My family recently decided to make the majority of our household gluten free. I say the majority because there are some things for which Dad may never accept the GF version. Son and I, however, are committed to making this work. Why are we doing it? Well, for starters, my doctor made the suggestion about six months ago when I complained to her that my IBS symptoms were getting a lot worse lately. She said that a lot of people with IBS receive relief or even a complete healing of symptoms when they cut wheat and gluten out of their diet; many others receive the same benefits when staying away from corn or corn products.

The second reason is that our son was recently diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome and ADHD. Through much research we have discovered that many children with his issues benefit from a gluten free & casein free diet. While we have not yet cut out casein, we are taking things one step at a time. The first thing that we did was to eliminate his consumption of foods containing artificial dyes and high fructose corn syrup. Some people claim that the body does not know the difference between “regular sugar” and HFCS, however, we know the difference it makes when our son has it in his diet and when he does not, and that is proof enough for us. It also helped my own symptoms a bit to cut this out, which is a huge plus.

I would like to point you to an article I read recently, which I think gives the best description I’ve seen so far as to what happens when a person’s body does not handle gluten/casein “normally”. It will hopefully help you understand more about this issue, and though we do not need anyone’s permission to change our family’s diet, perhaps it will give you some insight as to why we think it is a good idea.
Gluten and Casein-Free Diet for Autism


Below are some recipes and tips that have helped our family start making the change to a Gluten-Free household. I have added the dates to each one so that you may see when they were added or changed.

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Quick and Easy Peanut Butter Cookies
July 14, 2012

 

Ingredients:
1C Peanut Butter (any kind, even crunchy–almond or soy nut butter would work as well)
1C Sugar
1 large egg

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F . Mix all ingredients together in medium-size bowl. Roll dough into balls (about 1 heaping tsp of dough per cookie) and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Smash balls down using the tines of a fork (dipped in water to keep the PB from sticking) in two alternating sections. Bake for 10-12 mins. Cool on cooling rack or waxed paper, and enjoy! Makes approximately 1 1/2 dozen cookies.

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Turkey Tacos
June 20, 2012
Ingredients:
1 lb. ground turkey
6-8 taco shells
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp onion powder (or substitute 1 chopped onion)
1 TBSP chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt (optional)
2/3 C water
favorite toppings (cheese,salsa, sour cream, taco sauce, etc)
Update: 8/6/12–We have recently also began cutting out cheese, and in our search to make our tacos just as tasty as before, we have discovered that we really enjoy using the mild Rotel. It adds a bit of spice, but the texture of the tomatoes gives just the right quality to take the place of the cheese so that I don’t even miss it. Being a HUGE cheese loving family, this is a major plus for us! 🙂

Directions:
Brown turkey in skillet on medium-high. Most turkey is lean and will leave no grease behind, so no need to drain. While turkey is browning, add all dry ingredients (paprika, onion, salt, chili powder, cumin) to the 2/3 C water and mix. Once turkey is done, add the spice mixture to the meat and stir well. Cook approx. 5 min. or until most of the liquid is gone.

While meat is browning, place taco shells on a baking sheet in 350 degree oven for 10 mins.

Place meat in shells with desired toppings. Serve with a side of (Gluten-Free) Spanish rice, corn, or refried beans.
Serves 6-8

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June 20, 2012
Pancakes are a favorite of the men in our house, so I thought I’d share a few tips on how I make them GF and still YUM! I start with my mix (see below)) and then add a variety of different ingredients, based on our family’s taste.

For 1 batch Pancakes add one or more of the following:
1/2 C cinnamon/sugar mixture
1/2 C raisins
1/2 C chocolate chips
1/2 to 1 C fresh strawberries or other fruit, chopped (amt. depends on your own tastes)

If you don’t like adding things inside the mix you can also top the cooked pancakes with peanut butter, or fresh fruit and whipped cream to give them a little extra ZING. My son sometimes likes to dip his plain pancakes into strawberry/banana yogurt, so don’t be afraid to try new things, you just never know what might become a brand new favorite!

4 Responses to Gluten Free

  1. looseleafbri says:

    Hello! I just wanted to drop you a note and encourage you. My cousin started your same journey several years ago and had a blog at http://www.discoveringnathan.blogspot.com. She no longer writes on this blog as she is in a whole different place now but there is a whole wealth of information on there. Her son, my little cousin, is doing very well now. Praise God!

    As for the GFCF diet, it gets easier and easier. I am on it as well now, having discovered a few allergies of my own, and the longer I am on it, the better I feel and the easier it is to supplement.

    God bless you on your journey!

  2. Angela says:

    Way to go girl!! I was forced into the whole gluten free direction 5 years ago after having my galbladder removed. I took extremelly ill shortly there after, which no medical professional could explain. After a mound of tests the cause was found to be Celiac…. But not just any ‘ole “allergy”,nooo I have the full blown disease. Along with Celiac, I am also lactose intollerant (which can be accompanied with Celiac) and am not able to consume a large amount of beef for protein.

    Though Celiac is a very finiky disease, it is completely manageable by means of diet. The sad part about it is that IBS or Diverticulitis (probably spelt that one wrong) usually tags along with it. But again, all completely controllable.

    Over the years, I’ve found the best way to control the disease was to take everything back to it’s “baby” format. I don’t eat frozen veggies, processed meats and lord knows how long it’s been since I’ve gone to a fast food joint (ouch!)….

    Like yourself, I’ve also started changing my son’s dietary intake to a somewhat gluten free state (doing this is in the teen years is a total PITA…. but it’s working). For me this was especially important that I do this with him. Though he has the ADHD, the removal of red dye #5 was the start. He was recently diagnosed with a defective adrenal gland and with the dietary changes we are making, his symptoms should hopefully calm down and become manageable.

    But the best part of being Gluten Free…….. I’ve lost weight! You’re not putting the “sticky crap” into your body that likes to hang around and bog your system down. I’ve noticed that I have a lot more energy now that I’ve “clean out” so to say.

    Good luck with your new venture and I hope this makes a positive change for your little man!

    • Thanks so much for the encouragement, and for sharing your story Angela! Dyes were the first thing we cut out for the Muffin Man, not just red, but all of them. I am actually finding it much easier than I expected to find things that we CAN have, thanks to so many companies and people being aware of the problem gluten is causing for our bodies. We are noticing some changes already, and I hope that we continue to see more improvement in the future.

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