Friday, April 2, 2010

Starting the GFCF Diet

Well, I knew it wouldn't be easy changing Hayden's diet. But my head was spinning when I left Whole Foods on Wednesday. The problems are these:

1. I am doing the no-milk diet first, so anything with milk is out.
2. I am going to ease into the gluten-free diet, so I'd like to stay away from that if possible.
3. Soy is supposed to be high on the allergy list, so try to avoid that.
-- Everything that's prepackaged has #1, 2, or 3!!
4. You're supposed to start with foods the kids already like, and switch over to a healthy alternative. Hayden likes very few things, and they almost all have both dairy and gluten. I'm debating where to start.
5. The pre-made stuff is super expensive. I joked that in the entire Whole Foods store I found 14 things Hayden could eat, and each cost $8.99. I might be exaggerating. A little. But not by much.
6. I have always been averse to cooking, but I'm willing to make a change for my son. But when do I have time to make all these super-complicated recipes? My evenings after work are already filled with driving Hayden all over creation. I could make lots on the weekend and freeze it, but will it freeze well? And what do I put it in? I'm supposed to Just Say No to Gladware for him... Do they make glassware for the freezer? And what will this do to my wallet and emotional well being when I make all this stuff and he won't eat it?
7. The stores are all 30 to 60 minutes away. If I do the online option, I have to pay shipping, so I want to try to avoid that. So I need to buy in bulk. But I don't really know what ingredients I need yet.

Shoo, thanks for reading that rant, I feel better! It doesn't help that I got my first sunburn of the season while mulching yesterday, and that always makes me feel tired and cranky. Here's what I did get at Whole Foods:

butter and cheese (made from rice)
sugar snap peas and some blueberries
chicken tenders, fish sticks, and spicy fish sticks (He likes spicy things, I thought it would be worth a try)
rice pasta and corn pasta
safflower oil
aluminum free baking soda and baking powder
white rice flour
tapioca starch
xanthan gum (replaces the gluten to help food stick together)
sea salt
gluten free spaghetti sauce

I spent $92, but all of these were items listed in multiple recipes, so it will be a good start for the GFCF pantry. I got some great recipe blogs from family and friends who are GF, and the pictures of the foods actually look like something I would want to eat. : ) I hope to make blueberry muffins, spaghetti, and pizza first, three of his favorite things. I was so mind-warped after being in the store for an hour and a half that I didn't even get all the ingredients I need! So I'll go to another store (maybe try Trader Joe's) today or tomorrow so I can actually bake something! Plus we need more almond milk, which we have to get in Greenwood. The local store carries soy milk but not almond. (We switched over to get away from the soy, and he loves the taste of it).

It was just hard to read the labels, and remember the other words for gluten and dairy, and think about the prices at the same time. I know it will get easier, but sheesh! I kept almost buying things in the gluten-free aisle, then remembering to check for dairy and soy. It didn't help that the aisles were tiny, barely big enough for 1 cart, so I kept having to move out of people's way, and start over with what I was doing.

I think what's bothering me the most is Hayden's reaction to the diet. It's a good thing, don't get me wrong! His language skills, like answering questions, and willingness to start conversations, has just exploded! He is really showing signs of a "typical" three year old kid. But like the books say, taking the things he's allergic to out of his diet is messing with his body. His diapers have been more runny than usual. And his behavior has been pretty wacky. He's been cranky, impatient, more OCD, and more fragile about change. But he hasn't wanted to watch shows all day! He wants to play with me. : ) And he has said two times, without my prompting, "the tummy hurts." I think he's finally able to tell me that his poor tummy has been hurting all along from the wheat and milk he ate all day but couldn't digest. He has never told me that anything hurt before, I don't think, so it's wonderful that he's able to understand the concept, and relay that in words. He is better able to communicate with us in general, so it's all worth the hassle. And of course I don't want my little boy's tummy to hurt any more! But it's going to be a bumpy road these next few months!

I'm really grateful that I had spring break this week to go shopping for gluten free things, relax, spend one day (Monday) not thinking about Autism at all, spend time outdoors with Hayden, and go to the Children's Museum and zoo with Hayden and Jason. It has been a good week.


Spring is finally here!

The roosters were too loud at the zoo.

So I picked him up and took him to them to see that they were still cool.

He sure loves jumping!

This is Daddy being annoyed that we had to sit for a few minutes and take a break so Hayden could have a snack. When I told them to smile, Hayden scooted to the side into his "assigned seat". He gives us assigned seats on the couch when it's time to read books before bed. Daddy at one end, Hayden at the other end, and Mommy in the middle. Not sure why he needed assigned seats for this picture. : )

Pouting because Mommy and Daddy don't want to ride the train today.

Trying to be patient for the Plains exhibit to open at 10 am.

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