Gluten Free

While browsing the internet for stuff about sensory processing disorders, I came across a lot of interesting reads like the Huffington Post’s Heidi Brod’s articleDianne Craft MD’s hidden allergies article, and Rage Against the Minivan’s treatment article.  It seemed like it was all over the internet that Allergies co-exsist with SPD. Gluten and dairy seem to be common culprits. My friend Jennie first suggested I take out food dyes, which I did. I didn’t notice any major changes in Ben’s behavior because of it, but it made me wonder if food dyes could effect children’s behavior, surely so could other foods he ingests?

I read numerous posts on people who had kids diagnosed whose tantrums and other negative behaviors were miraculously cured by figuring out they had a food allergy.

Sound to good to be true?

This week I took Ben gluten free. I didn’t even bother to inform him, unlike the last time.

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Once again I hit the store and bought foods to sneakily replace the ones we had at home. Would the boys notice?

The first thing I made was Amy’s Cheese Pizza. It did not have the chewy quality of wheat crust. Instead it tasted vaguely like cornmeal. The crust was more delicate but it held together enough for the kids to eat it with their hands, cut like in triangles. They all ate it and no one was the wiser. In fact, for the youngest ones I think they preferred a less chewy quality. Usually they just lick whatever the topping is off the bread, this time they actually ate it all. I thought the taste of the pizza was really good and I would eat this again for sure.

Next I tried out King Arther’s Gluten Free Cookie Mix. I added chocolate, white chocolate, and peanut butter chips.DSC_0133Again the kids had no idea they weren’t traditional chocolate chip cookies. I felt there was a sandlike quality and it didn’t crisp up as much as a cookie but that didn’t stop me from eating 4 of them the night we made them. So, if I had a choice I’d probably chose the regular ones. If I had to go gluten free I’d probably go back to the 5 ingredient almond butter cookies. Mostly because I know exactly what goes into them more than they trump the gluten free mix taste wise.

One morning I made my regular pumpkin chocolate chip pancakes. I thought these tasted perfect and could tell no difference when they were hot. However, I ate a leftover pancake that had been sitting in my car after a trip to the museum (don’t judge me) and once it was cold I noticed again that plastic, gritty taste seemed to prevail with all the gluten free replacements I was using.DSC_0138

Perhaps I was doing it all wrong. Perhaps if you really need to go gluten free than you should change your menu completely. After all, when I tended towards veganism, I didn’t try to find vegan turkey slice replacements for my sandwiches. I ate a salad instead.

Still, I didn’t want to completely revamp my kitchen just yet. I just wanted a gluten free week to see if there were any changes in behavior.

But halfway through the week I was feeling really sorry for my gluten intolerant friends – wheat is in EVERYTHING!

Here is another night of braised celery and carrots, Ancient Harvest Gluten Free Veggie Curls Pasta, and bison meatloaf with coconut flour instead of bread crumbs.

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Then I tried more stuff – Apricot Power Bars (they tasted like home made Lara Bars) and a batch of granola bars inspired by Ina Garten’s Granola Bars (this time I added dried apples, pumpkin seeds and chocolate chips and used almond butter and no brown sugar).

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My friend Laurie told me it takes a good 3 or 4 days to get it out of your system and many websites say you see results within a few days.

After a full seven days I was both happy and sad to find out that none of my kids are gluten intolerant. Ben’s bouts of tantrums didn’t lessen in the least, nor did it make transitions any easier. It also had no effect on Aaron’s persistent diaper rash.

I was so hoping for an easy, miraculous fix for Ben, something like changing a simple thing in his diet. Unfortunately I think it’s just going to have to be a lot of hard work and patience that gets us through this.

Oh well, at least we can treat ourselves with REAL chocolate chip cookies along the way!

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