Thursday, November 18, 2010

First Post

Someone asked me if I had a blog or something where I posted some of the recipes I have tried for my kids.

But before I put the cart ahead of the horse, let me introduce myself.  I am Elissa, and four years ago I found out that my oldest child, Megan, was to be diagnosed with autism.  Two years later, my middle child, Trenton, was also diagnosed.  Just before his diagnosis, I finally broke down and saw a DAN! (Defeat Autism Now!) doctor.  I was convinced to see one when I saw the difference in my kids and their behavior following the removal of soy from their diets.  Megan was talking more, and finally they were starting to have a little less trouble with digestive issues.  My daughter was still having poo accidents, but I believe she had finally stopped having problems with wetting herself.  I wondered if the changes we saw from the removal of soy might also be further enhanced by going gluten- and casein- free. 

Shortly after removing gluten and casein (and beginning some basic supplements), Megan was finally fully potty-trained at the age of five.  She had a MAJOR communication boom.  She was connecting thoughts that, prior to removing those problems foods, would never had been expressed so well. 

Trenton continued to have some problems, though he was noticeably better.  We had him allergy tested by several different labs and methods.  He turned out to have a laundry list of allergies and sensitivities.  They are as follows:

Egg Yolks
Egg Whites
Garbanzo Beans

Megan is only gluten-, casein-, and soy-free.  Trenton is a whole other mess, as you can see.

Then comes my husband, Nate.  He found out that his ADD symptoms are primarily caused/triggered by dairy products.  For those with ADD/ADHD, this triggers the brain fog so characteristic of ADHD.  We figured that out about a year ago.  Even slight contact with dairy (as in eating something that touched a dairy product) causes brain fog and makes it hard for him to follow multi-step directions.  At one point he was taking 10-15 mg of an ADD medication.  Now he is med-free and doing better than when he was on the meds.  He is currently about two months into an elimination diet, and so far we suspect tomatoes and possibly eggs. 

That leaves me and my youngest, Wesley.  Wesley appears to be neuro-typical.  He is so different from the other kids, and is not on any special diets.  I am likely an undiagnosed Aspie (person with Aspergers), but dietary changes did little-to-nothing for me.

Anyway, I figured from the get-go that we would have to come up with some great foods to make the kids feel more "normal" around their peers.  Thankfully, I discovered early on some staple ingredients in my kitchen for dealing with their allergies.  Things that I had never heard of prior to switching to this diet.  Coconut oil, Enjoy Life chocolate chips, and Cherrybrook Kitchens took the place of butter, Toll House chocolate chips, and Betty Crocker, respectively. 

Thankfully, I have not had to give up my favorite recipe sites.  Prior to "The Diet," I was a big fan of Recipezaar, now known as .   I had found my favorite pumpkin pie recipe there, and some other "first food loves" that I was reluctant to put aside.  So instead of give them up, I have decided to adapt them.  It is not that hard.  Okay, pastries, certain baked goods, and desserts are pretty hard if they involve a crust that holds together well, but in the end it is the taste more than the appearance.  Not that I am saying my food looks gross.  On first impression, it appears pretty darn normal.  It is the crumbly crust problems mostly.  I will keep searching for that darn elusive crust that is egg free and does not crumble.

In the mean time, my kids are getting to enjoy foods like any of their peers, only with a bit more creativity involved in finding alternate ingredients.

So if this has perked your interest at all, check back in with me.  I will be back to post more stuff.