Sunday, September 20, 2009

Research, Redesign, and Research Some More

Research, research, research and more research! Read, read, and more reading! I feel as if that is all that I have been doing for about a month now. I don’t know if anyone has prepared more for something like this. Maybe I really am as anal as I accuse my husband of being.
It all started with a magazine article on Jenny McCarthy and a conversation with a friend. “I have thought about a gluten free diet before” I said as I tried to hide the embarrassment I felt. Good friends always have a way of putting you in the corner, when you need to be sent there. I didn’t have any good reasons why I didn’t know certain answers, or why I hadn’t tried to look more things up. I went home and begun my research the next morning; really at my first opportunity.

A simple Google search for “Jenny McCarthy” and “gluten free” gave me so many options. Two days later I had a lot to think about. I spoke with my husband, we read some things together, and then he said “Well, let’s give it a try.” “The whole family?” I asked. “Let’s do it for a month and if it doesn’t work then we are back to normal”. That was all I needed… my mind was off running. Was he as fed up with the behavior and dead ends as I was? I started reading some more, sent some emails out asking for guidance, and began preparing our home. If we only had one month I wanted to give it the best try I could muster.

After much debate, mostly in my head, we decided to try the GFCF diet (gluten free casein free). We are also going to continue to eliminate the High Fructose Corn Syrup and artificial preservatives and dyes in the food. As I began to realize how much this was going to change our eating habits I also started worrying. What would be able to eat? This was going to change everything!

Months ago I spoke with a nutritionist at a local grocery store regarding what we would need to change to eliminate gluten only. So this time I went deeper into the research. I have spent countless hours reading other blogs on the net, I have had a few email discussions, called manufacturers, and have read one book all about this new diet. I have purchased two new cookbooks and a few new food items. I have come across some interesting ideas and solutions from other people, but still have so much to learn. I decided to add Soy to our avoid list, after reading how some children may have reactions to it as well. I also noted that many people stated three months to be the optimum trial period, so we will be shooting for three whole months. I am sure that more things will change as I begin our preparations.

We have talked about this as a family and my oldest daughter (16) asked "So Mom, what can we eat?"  I quickly said "Lots of fruits and vegetables, and homemade things."  They really didn't like it when I told them we would not be eating out at all.  Slowly they are all five, father included, coming around to the idea of changing what we eat.

I am getting excited! I have ordered a few things online and I get so excited when they come. Opening my most recent shipment, MimicCreme, I felt like a kid in the candy store.

So now I’m off to research and prepare some more…

Monday, September 14, 2009

Why do we need to restrict what we eat?

I have been thinking about going Gluten free for over a year. While researching options for our youngest son I came across the idea. We have two children with diagnosed ADHD, our 16yr old girl and 7yr old boy. We are not sure what a final diagnosis will be in our youngest son who just turned five. A few weeks ago he was evaluated, in a short visit, and we were told he has OCD, ADHD, is socially immature, possible langue delay, and... Sounded like they confirmed my suspicion of Asperger's Syndrome, but didn't want to give him this formal diagnosis. It was recommended that he receive intensive therapy, 3 hours of therapy everyday for 52 sessions. There is a long wait list so we are waiting and looking into other options.

I have read from multiple sources that a Gluten Free Casein Free diet may be a great option for autistic and ADHD children. It may eliminate some of the behaviors that three of our kids have; it may increase concentration and impulse control. Any improvement would really help! The specific things we are working on with our youngest boy are numerous and frustrating. Most of which is his inability to realize when he is in trouble and we become extremely frustrated with him. He just doesn't get it, most of the time.

My husband and I have talked about it numerous times, but now he is willing to do this with me. You never know what is affecting all six of us, so we are going to do this as a family and see what happens. About a year and a half ago we eliminated high fructose corn syrup from almost everything we ate. We have worked a small amount on eliminating artificial food coloring and flavorings. But this is going to be a complete and total change, changing everything that we ingest. We will begin with no gluten (meaning none of the normal grains, bagels, breads, cereal, crackers…), no dairy, no soy, and absolutely no artificial food colorings or flavorings. After one to three months we will reevaluate.

I am getting excited. At first I thought we are not going to be able to eat anything. But… I am researching options for us to use as substitutes for the things we love to eat. I have been slowly telling all our friends and relatives about the journey we are embarking on.

Please follow as I post our trials and errors, and maybe a frustration or two.