I want to be very clear up front that although we have seen huge progress in the little's this diet is not a miracle cure. Yes, many, many children have benefitted from this but just as many haven't. Kyalynn's ability to use sentences and proper grammar is increasing but she is still autistic. Connor's behaviors are improving but he still has bad days (don't we all!) I'm just saying this because I don't want you to begin this diet thinking THIS IS IT! THIS DIET WILL COMPLETELY HEAL MY CHILD. I do believe it could help but honestly, the only one that can completely heal your child is GOD!
We felt like this was just one more step we could take on this journey with the little's to bring (hopefully) another layer of healing. Kind of like the layers of an onion. As I mentioned in another post, we also started doing chelation therapy with Kyalynn. We are using Bentonite Clay baths once per week with her. I did not do the heavy metal testing I just implemented the baths because I thought "why not, it's easy enough and just might help". Several other bloggers are seeing success in their children from this therapy and I'm praising God with them for this. However, we haven't seen any noticeable differences in Kyalynn with this therapy yet. Oh well, at least we tried. :)
Ok, so down to the nitty gritty. First, answers to your questions...
Donna asked if I buy in bulk and where I purchase the flours. I do buy in bulk. Actually, I usually buy the store out of the rice when I go. LOL! I was purchasing small bags of the various flours from Giant but it was really adding up expense wise. So I decided to go to the local health food store and see what they had available. The local store is about 1 1/2 hours from where I live but it was worth the drive! While looking for the flours I saw the sweet rice not ground up and thought why not buy it in bulk whole and grind myself. So that's what I'm doing and it saves quite a bit of money!! The flours were running me almost $3.00 per very small bag and that bag didn't go far when feeding 5 people! The rice is only about $1.20 per pound.
I think this next round (I'm almost out of flour again) I'm just going to use regular brown rice from the grocery store. It will be cheaper and I won't have to travel that distance. However, it will give the foods a heartier taste instead of the sweet taste we've become used too.
There are plenty of online stores you can purchase the flours from. I'll list them at the end. Let me first explain that when cooking/baking gluten free you use several different flours combined. This allows you to use the gluten free flour as a direct subsitute for white flour in any recipe. The 3 flours that combine are Rice flour, Potato Starch Flour, and Tapioca Flour. Add a teaspoon of Xanthan Gum to it and voila same as white flour.
I will admit that Rice flour adds a grainy texture to foods but it's not terribly noticeable.
Tereasa asked about why we decided against medication for Connor. Honestly, we didn't completely say no meds. We just decided to try a natural approach first and if that didn't help we then would do medication. We like to do things naturally if possible for many reasons. At this point, we feel Connor is doing well with the diet and so we aren't going to opt for medications right now. It will be available if needed at a later date.
Now some recipes:
Yeast Free White Bread
(This is like a quick bread. It's our staple bread around here)
2 cups GF flour
1 TBSP. Xanthan Gum
1 TBSP. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Salt (we use Sea Salt - it's so much healthier!)
2 TBSP. Vegetable Oil
1 1/2 Cup Water
1 TBSP. Honey (or other sweetner.....Agave Nectar is good too!)
Preheat oven to 350. Spray 8" x 4" loaf pan.
Combine dry ingredients and mix with electric beater for approx. 30 seconds. Combine oil, water, eggs, and sweetner and add to dry ingredients slowly. Mix until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 55-60 minutes.
(Our favorite cookie!)
1 Cup GF flour
2/3 Cup Sugar
1 tsp. Xanthan Gum
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 Cup CF(casein free-dairy free) margarine (we use Earth Balance)
1 tsp. Vanilla
3 Cups Puffed Rice Cereal (we use generic rice crispies - always check ingredients!)
Sift together dry ingredients. Cream butter, sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add egg. Add dry ingredients and then cereal and any add- ins. (We change it up by adding one of the following: carob chips, dried cranberries or dates).
Bake at 350 for 12 minutes.
Gluten Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
1/2 Cup dairy free butter
1 Cup sugar
1/2 Cup packed brown sugar
1 Cup pumpkin
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 1/2 Cups White Rice Flour
3/4 Cup Tapioca Flour
1 1/4 tsp. Xanthan Gum
3 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Baking Soda
2 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Nutmeg
1/2 tsp. Ginger
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 Cup Carob Chips
Beat together butter and sugars. Add eggs, pumpkin and vanilla. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Add in carob chips. Drop by spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes.
(The pumpkin makes these cookies so moist. You don't taste the pumpkin at all).
The first 2 recipes are from the Special Diets for Special Kids Cookbook by Lisa Lewis. I love this cookbook and use it pretty much every day! The other recipe was from the Gluten-Free Mall. If your family eats mostly meat and veggies this diet will be a cinch. It's the coatings on the meats (like chicken nuggets) that you need to watch out for. I make our own chicken nuggets and fish sticks. I've even done tofu sticks! Our breakfasts consist of homemade breads or cereal that's GF/CF. Lunch is leftovers or peanut butter and jelly, or apple butter, etc. on homemade bread or rice cakes. I'm loving the rice cakes. It makes my life a bit easier especially if there is no bread made. :)
Supper is always GF/CF. Last night I made Chicken Soup with homemade pot pie noodles made from the Rice Flour. It was mighty good and all gone already! LOL! Sometimes the big boys complain "is this going to be good?" but there's usually not much leftovers. :)
I always make Sean and the boys their desserts with their flours and butter and keep them seperate from our stuff. It's working for us pretty well. It IS more work but we feel it's worth it from the changes we are seeing. So we will keep plugging along. I hope this helped answer some questions and please, if you have any more let me know. I'm glad to help!!
Here are some online sites that offer GF/CF products. Make sure you read the labels! Just because it says GF doesn't mean it's CF too!
http://www.danasview.net/ (excellent site!)