Friday, May 20, 2011

Georgie's Weird Diet

That's what more, ahem, "mainstream" people call our experiment.

(I actually hate the term "mainstream" as opposed to crunchy but there you are. In this case, "mainstream" refers to those people who think you cannot possibly be allergic to milk and, if you are, you have to practically go into anaphlatic shock to prove it- and they have never heard of gluten.)

I should begin this by saying that I have heard that taking kids off gluten and dairy, including casein, helps with symptoms such as ADD/ADHD, Autism spectrum, all kinds of allergies and the like. As long as the parents do their research and make sure the child is eating an otherwise well balanced diet, I personally see nothing wrong with giving this a shot. It's better than loading a child up with drugs and more drugs and certainly can't hurt.

But how does dairy cause ADD and Autism? It doesn't. The theory is that an intolerance to anything (but diary and gluten in particular, for a variety of reasons) can make a child feel ill, so they don't act like a typical child. It's kinda like a person at the beginning of seasonal allergy season. You feel tired, groggy and walk around in a  fog, not wanting to do much. Then you take meds or treat it however you treat it and suddenly you are at peak performance again.

(Yes, that is a very simple explanation.)

I don't have alot of support for Georgie's diet. Dairy subs and gluten free items cost alot of money. I looked at the bread at Whole Foods and a loaf of gluten free bread is 5-7 dollars and it is smaller than a normal loaf. If we all went dairy and gluten free (which would make my life easier) we would likely spend upwards of 20-30 dollars a week on bread alone. Buying all the different flours would likely cost as much, plus it would take alot of time to make all the bread and bread items, like muffins, for our family. That's why I don't make our bread now; I know how to do it and I love naking bread but I simply do not have the time to make that much bread every week.

Then there's the taste. The gluten free bread was okay. The brand I bought was sweet and would make wonderful french toast. The pancakes were "meh" and so was the pizza dough, although Adam liked it. I liked the pricey GF pasta and even the cheap, gluey stuff was okay. I think it's because I cook a great (DF) meat sauce that could make rat poison taste good. Oh, and the noddles work great in this new Asain beef and broc and noddles dish I tried... but a little pricey for something that would be awesome with rice too.

But, if I am being honest here, I do NOT like the texture of many gluten free items. If I had to go GF, I could see myself buy the odd box of pasta or maybe some wraps for sandwiches. But bread? I will eat anything that holds still and I do NOT like the texture of most GF items. Alot of people were telling me that some things are better GF... not buying it. Nope.

Adam finally asked me to just make things that are naturally GF. Some of the cereals are pretty good, like the GF Chex cereals. Cole loves the GF "cheerios" and I think I prefer those for babies, since they are so melty. But other than that? I'm going to limit his exposure to gluten but unless we get a firm dx of gluten intolerance, I'm going to need a hard kick in the pants to spend 30 dollars a week on grainy GF bread.

Now dairy? I can do this. Cole and I love the So Delicious coconut milk vanilla yogurt. All of us love their chocolate dream coconut milk ice cream. The DF GF ice cream cones taste just like normal ice cream cones. I bought some DF "cheese" alternatives and I don't mind them. Adam can't stand them but I think they taste alot like velveeta. I'm not sure what that says about velveeta, but...

I use alot of Earth's Best "butter" and I prefer it in baking. I made sugar cookies with it and they turned out better than cookies made with real butter. I notice a slight after taste, almost like margarine, but I can't tell a difference in baked goods. Almond milk works fine in baking and Georgie drinks alot of it. That makes up the bulk of his dairy, so by simply replacing cow's milk with almond milk, I've replaced 95 per cent of his dairy intake.

Do I think it has helped? Well, he's still not caught up but he has made great progress. Is it hurting anything? Certainly not. His skin is nicer, he smells better and he's grown several inches. I plan to keep up with the low dairy/gluten until we leave for vacation in a few weeks and then let him have at it. It would be hard to keep him on a special diet while we travel anyway and will serve for a decent "Testing ground."

1 comment:

  1. This is really god info. We've thought about going GF and possibly DF with Grey because of his eczema and night terrors. I've heard similar things - that intolerances in the system make our children feel weird and it manifests in different ways.
    I come from a family with raging food allergies and intolerences so this concept makes since.

    I hope that the changes in diet help G out! It's not weird, it can't hurt and can only help!