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Gluten Casen Free Diet

For a quick start to a Gluten Free, Casein Free diet, here are some of the items our family enjoys:  

Belle and Evans chicken nuggets (in the black box) (we're not a fan of the Ian's brand) 

S'Better Farms Beef corn dogs 

Van's waffles   

Cascadian Farms Tater Tots 

Sweet Potato fries 

Ian's Alpha tots 

Tinkyada brown rice spiral pasta (don't try the corn pasta next to the regular pasta!) 

Silk Very Vanilla, and Chocolate soy milk  

The buffalo Guys Buffalo burgers 

Applegate farms hot dogs 

Kinnikinnick Hamburger buns (try slicing each bun in thirds and toasting with soy butter) 

Kinnikinnick Hot dog buns (these are tricky though - I have to cut  out a v-shaped wedge to put the hot dog in) 

Earth Balance soy butter 

Stoneybrook Farms Soy Baby soy yogurt 

Pamelas Chunky Chocolate Chip cookies (bring a package of these cookies and a container of Duncan Hines Vanilla frosting to a birthday party to eat instead of the cake) 

Rice Dream, and Soy Dream (ice cream like) 

Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice with mixed berries  (melt 1/4 cup soy butter then melt a package (or 1 1/2 pkgs) of marshmallows in the soy butter.  Mix in one box of Crispy Brown Rice and press down into 9x13 pan to make rice crispy type treats) 

Glutino and EnerG pretzels 

Ora-gran animal crackers  

Kinnikinnick S'moreables Graham Style Crackers 

Plain Fritos 

These items can all be purchased at Granary Street Discount Health Food Store.  Many can also be purchased at Morning Glory, Brookshire Brothers and Krogar.  Brookshire Brothers is providing more organic options too (like ketchup and spaghetti sauce.)  Go to the specialty or gourmet isle first.  At Wal-Mart you can get the soy milk as well and the soy yogurt and some of the ice-creams 

Some of the listed products are close matches (soy yogurt and soy ice cream) but some I like better than the products with wheat or milk in them (the soy milk, chicken nuggets  

The above list is primarily convenience foods but don't forget that meats cooked plainly (like grilled with olive oil and salt and pepper), and fresh fruits, and vegetables are going to be gluten and casein free.   

Watch out!

Make sure the label says Gluten Free.  If the label says Wheat free, it could still contain other gluten containing grains.   Also, the package should indicate that it is Casein, Dairy, or Milk free too. 

Malt is made from gluten. Rice Crispies and other cereals not made from wheat are illegal because the cereal has been coated with malt.

Some Soy cheeses still have whey (casein) in them 

Why the GFCF diet may work for kids with autism and ADD: 

Gluten is a protein found in many grains like wheat, and barley.  Casein a protein in any milk product from an animal. Both of these proteins are difficult to break down in the gut entirely.  Kids diagnosed under the spectrum often have leaky guts. A leaky gut  means that these partially digested proteins leave the intestines, enter the bloodstream and enter the brain.  These proteins are so similar to opiates like morphine and heroine, that the gluten and casein proteins bind to the opiate receptors in the brain and cause narcotic effects.  A child addicted to gluten and casein may seem zoned out, and disengaged.  He may even show signs of withdrawal for a few days after starting the diet before his mind clears. 

It is often the case that a child with autism frequently has respiratory illnesses and ear infections.  Bacteria that cause respiratory illnesses thrive in milk rich environments.   

Our journey with the diet:

When our son, Gabriel was 3 months old, he began had many respiratory infections.  He has reactive airway disease which is a less severe form of asthma.  During the fall, winter and spring, he was often sick and breathing treatments were often required.    When he was 18 months old we switched him to soy milk.  The colds significantly decreased.  When he was almost 2 years, I bought a large tub of yogurt because I thought that maybe he did need some milk in his diet. (Milk, it does a body good right?) And yogurt is a very healthy form of milk right? It was summer, he had not been sick during the entire summer, and he had not been around other children or anyone ill.  Two days after I started to give him servings of the yogurt I noticed a very faint wheeze in his breathing. The next day the wheezing was a little louder. I served him no more yogurt and the next day the wheezing had lessened. And  the next day the wheezing was gone. This incident impressed upon me so much because I was mentally gearing up for the usual: days and days of breathing treatments, coughing jags, maybe a trip to the pediatrician's office or two and weeks of a lingering cough.  None of this came to pass.  He did continue to have respiratory illnesses during the fall, winter, and spring, but at a less frequently. 

At the age of 5 and around the time Gabriel was diagnosed with PDD-NOS, we began the GFCF diet. The diagnosing developmental pediatrician in Houston did say that he knew the GFCF diet was safe; he didn't believe it worked, but that it was safe. The fact that a skeptic said it was safe was an important piece of information for me to hear.  And we did notice within a few weeks that he was more engaged with the rest of the world.  The diet therapy is not the only treatment in Gabe's autism, but it is a solid foundation for all of his other treatments.  As we continually refine the art of diet implementation, he is also becomes a healthier child.  If he does get any sort of illness, he is able to get over it much more quickly.  I encourage every person on the spectrum or anywhere near the spectrum to eat this way. Start with removing milk first, then the gluten.  You can do this!

A few recipes: 

All the ingredients can be found at Granary St.  Don't be afraid of Xanthan Gum.  It's used often as a thickener in GFCF cooking.  It's a little expensive, but you only use a teaspoon or two at time. 

There's a lot of bad GFCF bread out there. Here is a recipe for a great one!   This recipe was forwarded to me by a friend who has celiac disease. (Befriend a celiac - they're a great resource) .  I just pour the dough into my 9x13 pan instead of making two loaves.  Also, I only cook it for 20 minutes. is a great site

Here is another one.   Make sure to type in "Gluten free" or "Gluten free casein free" when you do your searches as it is not an exclusive GFCF site



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