Monday, January 26, 2009
Friday, January 9, 2009
I was doing my usual web surfing today trying to find some new, fun food for the family when I came across a reference to this article by the Chicago Tribune. For anyone who's children have serious issues with gluten and you thought you were giving them safe, gluten free food, think again. Read this article and listen to the President of Wellshire Foods not even apologize for poisoning our children knowingly. It makes me sick, and it probably made MANY children sick and their parents had no idea why.
Throw away any Wellshire Farms dino chicken nuggets, chicken and beef corn dogs. They aren't making any more for a while, but stores are still selling the gluten containing ones. Even after Whole Foods knew, it still took them at least a month to remove the gluten containing items. They were going to blame the manufacturer instead of protecting their customers.
Please join me in voicing your concern to Whole Foods and especially Wellshire Farms for knowingly selling these products labeled "gluten free" knowing all along they contained up to 2200 part per million of gluten. It is nothing short of negligence.
Whole Foods Market
Recently I decided that we would try the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) while on Valtrex. We are gradually trying some of the foods they recommend on that diet while eliminating most of the food they don't allow on the diet. The biggest thing is to eliminate starches. While we haven't eliminated them altogether yet, we have significantly reduced them. I also read that kids on the SCD diet are trying goat milk products with success. I read a lot of parent testimonies on the fears they had before trying the goat milk, but that ultimately they chose to try.
I have to say that we have been healing Connor's gut for almost eight years, and that the choice to try anything new is something every parent must listen to their instincts and trust their gut to know if it is going to be right for their child. I listen to my gut a lot, especially when it comes to Connor and what to try and when to try it. This time my gut said it was time to try the goat milk products and watch closely to see if it is going to be a good decision for Connor. I would not suggest trying any "dairy" with your ASD child unless you have done significant gut healing and have been gfcfsf for at least nine months to know if the child can tolerate the new food. The reason I say nine months is because until the gluten is fully out of their system, their body might not register if it doesn't like the goat milk products.
Having made the decision to add in some goat milk products, my husband decided to make a casserole with the goat cheese on top. We didn't tell Connor about the added ingredient to make it more of a "blind study". We have been watching for three days now, which is more than enough time to notice a reaction to "dairy", and still no sign of any issues. He is having a great week at school, and is very clear with no OCD issues at home. So far so good...
Please look into the SC diet if you are interested in learning more. It has helped a lot of kids on the spectrum. I also want to note that goat milk products don't taste like cow milk products. Goat milk is much easier to digest and is very similar to human breast milk, but just be prepared for a stronger smell and taste than cow milk products. All three of my kids and my husband love goat cheese, milk, butter and even yogurt. I however, can't even smell goat products. Don't spend a lot of money and time using goat stuff without knowing if you like it.
Pecanbread.com is the official website for SCD and autism.
Breaking The Viscous Cycle is the official website of the original diet, not specifically for autism.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
For years Connor was content with the fact that he couldn't have oatmeal. He had never had it, and therefore didn't miss it. He watched his brother eat it often, since it is his brother's favorite breakfast meal. Connor has an ability to not want things he can't have. I don't know if it is because he knows that these foods hurt him, or if he doesn't treat food as a reward as much as most of us do. He likes food, but he doesn't use food as anything but food. I envy him often for not knowing or caring what amazing foods are out there that he can't have.
Oats have always been an issue for people who can't tolerate gluten. Oats, in fact, do not contain gluten. However, because of farming practices in this country, oats and wheat are usually processed together. Therefore gluten sensitive people could never have oats because of cross contamination with wheat. Recently, there have been a few farms who have changed their usual practice to allow oats to remain uncontaminated. You can now find certified gluten free oats in specialty stores and on the internet.
This week we tried oatmeal for Connor. He was skeptical at first since he knew oatmeal was not safe for him in the past. He asked several times if we were sure that this oatmeal was gluten free. The directions for "quick cooking" are to leave one part oats with two parts water in a bowl overnight and then to either stove-top cook it or microwave it the next morning. After cooking the oats the next morning, we added some fresh blackberries and a drizzle of honey. My husband made a very large serving and Connor ate the whole bowl. We asked him later what his favorite breakfast it, and he said "Oatmeal!".
That day at school he was slightly quiet with no behavioral issues. If anyone is going to try the certified gluten free oats for anything, remember that they are not instant and do need to be soaked. I bet these will be good in a cobbler...
Gluten Free Oats Website
Cream Hill Estates Gluten Free Oats
Saturday, January 3, 2009
Well, we are back. We are unpacked and the boys are playing with their new toys "HO HO" got them for Christmas. "The girl" is running around the house screeching about every toy in the house as if it is the first time she has ever seen them. Coming home is bitter sweet since we had such a wonderful trip. Mexico was amazing and the weather couldn't have been better, but it was the time we got to spend with family and friends that made it truly memorable.
We stayed in a small, rural area about two hours north of Puerta Vallarta. My parents fell in love with the area as soon as they saw it and decided to build their ocean-front dream home. They really have put their heart and soul into creating an amazing place. They also have a wonderful group of friends who live around them that make living there even more special.
Connor and his siblings really were spoiled at Honey and Papa's. They got to go to the beach every day, play in the pool and have hot cocoa while watching the sun set. Where we live in Colorado we don't get a sunset, so it makes it even more amazing to see the beauty of the sky and the sun as it goes "Night Night" into the ocean. My dad, "Papa" made lattes for everyone every night including Connor's hemp milk "latte". My mom, "Honey" even made a special hot cocoa for Connor using a special Mexican chocolate and hemp milk. We always gauged the time based on the location of the sun in the sky since we never wore a watch. This was a bit difficult for Connor a few times because one of Connor's biggest OCD's is his obsession with time.
I was a bit worried about the food aspect of going to another country and not having direct access to familiar food for Connor. I knew we were going to be in a rural area and that finding specialty food would be impossible. I also knew though that my mom had been stocking up on "Connor food" for months in preparation for our trip. Plus, Mexican food is one of the only ethnic food that is fairly easy for Connor to eat. Tacos, beans, rice are pretty much a staple at Mexican food restaurants and all easy for Connor to eat. Terry, my parents housekeeper went above and beyond making food safe for Connor every day. The language barrier was a bit of an issue initially since Terry only speaks Spanish and my Spanish is quite rusty, but she was very caring and eager to learn. She made everything from scratch using local ingredients that were fresh and organic. Connor never seemed to tire of refried beans though. No matter what else was made, Connor would always have a big plate of freshly made beans and corn tortillas.
Christmas in Mexico was an experience. I was able to learn about the local traditions, see beautiful pinatas being made, and hear from Terry about what they will eat for Christmas. In the end, it is always about the food. Ho Ho (Santa) even found us. The boys were a bit worried that he wouldn't find us in Mexico at first. Then they had fun trying to figure out if he would still ride his sleigh in Mexico or ride on one of the many whales that swim right outside of Casa Lagarto.
The kids had so much fun spending time outside all day. If they weren't in the pool, they were at one of the local beaches. We collected sea shells, and they took turns burying each other in the sand. They learned to boogy board and body surf. It was an amazing experience to watch their enjoyment. Connor loves being outside and being active. He has very few difficult behaviors as long as he is busy. Connor even taught himself a little "household Spanish". He gave a few lessons to all of us one evening out of a book my parents had. He told us that he was the teacher and no one was allowed to help or correct his gringo accent. He even talked to Terry whenever he could.
It was nice to spend time with our friends Aran and her family and see her son play with our little girl. Aran gave a few baking lessons and even though I don't enjoy cooking myself, I love watching and of course eating. My grandfather, we named "Papa Grande", was able to make it as well. We all love having him with us and seeing him with my children was wonderful. More life long memories were made and he reminded us of how powerful memories are. We would have all loved to have my grandmother there, but she is always felt. We even saw a hummingbird a few times to remind us that she will always be with us.
I just want to thank my parents for allowing us to share that time with them in their wonderful Mexican paradise. They are very generous people who spare no expense for the ones they love. My mom had been planning the trip for almost a year and it was apparent by the amount of care that went into everything.
My friend Aran said that her resolution for this year is going to be to live in the moment. I couldn't agree more. We only get a small time on this planet and even less time with the people we love. Between work and the stresses of family and obligations, it is the small beautiful moments that make it all worthwhile.
Have a wonderful 2009.