Sunday, October 4, 2009

Preparing to begin

We decided the last week of August that we were going to try this special (GFCF) diet. I read you should start cold turkey so…

My journey began on September 2nd. I cleaned out our cupboards and made a list of what we had left that had gluten, casein or any dairy, soy, or artificial ingredients. I was amazed what I found. I am a person that cleans out the fridge often, almost weekly, but I never thought to clean out the cupboards. I was more amazed to find the expired items. I had Jello that had expired in 2001 and it was 2009, “What the ….!”. I had canned goods that were expired, and countless items that I am sure we should not have been eating to begin with. Mostly boxed, comfort, generally often used foods by most people. We had been eliminating high fructose corn sugar (HFCS) for a long time and I found several old items in the cupboards. Needless to say I was quite taken back. Believe me I told all my friends to get support; I was expecting a response along the lines of… “I never thought o f that”, I’m sure I have those things to”, “I’m going to look through my cupboards”. No what I heard was that two of my friends went through their cupboards every so often. Another maintained almost permanently bare cupboards, shopping market style for most meals that day or a few days in advance. It is actually kind of funny now that I look back on it.

That night I had many things, okay almost all of my cupboards, out on the counter. Well, aside from the two garbage bags I had filled from the expired or unacceptable to keep foods. I made phone calls to three food manufactures; Kraft was one call for many, many items. I rearranged my cupboards so that all the food we needed to finish up was on three shelves, and the stuff we could keep on our new diet in other areas. I made a list late that night of all these things we had to finish up before we could be GFCF. I decided how to make things into meals for the family. I would need to get a few things of course to make the meals complete. I calculated that it would be a little over two weeks and then all the gluten, casein, and soy food would be gone.

I didn’t get to the spice collection; it was going to have to wait for another time. I am still scared to tackle this one. Most labels don’t tell you exactly what is in them and I have always struggled with this, but I am officially scared to call each manufacturer. We have one cupboard shelf with spices, food flavorings, and backing additives. I love to bake and make wonderful meals and the idea of giving this pleasure up is a hard thing for me.

Side note- I have to be honest. I love it! Love it!!! When I make something and my family devours the dish. When they make the comments about how good it is, and that no one makes it this good. I love my Mother-in-law dearly, but it is awesome when my husband says “this is better than my mom’s”!! I will still want to get these comments while we explore these new foods.

A few days later I mentioned the new diet to some teachers at school and the principle. I wanted to let everyone, all that I could think of at the moment, know about what we would be embarking on. I wanted to find some options for the kids and pull it all together. I went so far as talking to the lunch lady and looking at their recipes for school lunches. Most of which were not bad, but they would be off limits for my children. The full ramifications were starting to set-in. This is not something that a lot of people are doing, in fact only a few in the area have a medically documented necessity The principal, who is incredible, said I could prepare some cupcakes and bring them to school to store for birthday or holiday parties. Teachers agreed to store and dispense snacks sent from home for the three younger grade school children. My teenager was slowly coming around to the idea of watching what she eats and bringing things from home. A few days into my planning I was feeling really good and really excited about what we might gain. I started this blog and then as usual we started getting busy!

We ate out for “our last time” several times. We had a few birthday parties, a football game (Go Huskers!!), and nights that we were so far behind that we hit Wendy’s or McDonalds. Then Dad got the idea that we should start on a date; October 1st. We agreed and it was set one and a half weeks to go.

Now here we are on October 1st and we didn’t ever finish all of that food (two and a half weeks worth). But I digress, this is for our first day blog, I did do some other things to prepare.

I was determined to find replacements for all the foods that we were going to be giving up. I wanted this to be a positive experience for the kids. I wanted them to see this as something that was good for them and not as a punishment.

We finished our cereal, so I bought GFCF cereals. The kids had had some before, Gorilla Munch and others from Envirokidz brand. The kids do love them. We bought Ian’s French toast sticks (mostly for my son Ian), and some snack foods. After we all fell in love with our Glutino snacks we discovered that they had a small amount of milk in them. We still ate the rest and got a few more boxes; they are so delicious.

I bought Rice Dream because it was on sale ($1.49 off), only to learn that it has a small amount of soy. Fortunately the grocery store let me return all eight of them.

I found MimicCreme, a nut derived substitute for crème. I bought several of these from Amazon. I have only tried it in my coffee so far. I thought it was pretty good as it added a bit of a nutty flavor. I have heard that it is great in recipes so I am anxious to try it.

I’m not quite sure what to do about our toaster. I have read that other people buy a new one to prevent cross contamination. We have a really nice toaster that fits four slices, but the slices are in two long lines instead of four slots next to each other. I would like to figure out some way to sterilize it rather than throw it away.

Lunches? We need to figure out more things for lunch as well. My 16 year old is complaining to me right now!

I am still reading other peoples blogs because I’m sure they have more experience. Let me know if you have any good insight.

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