After many years of procrastinating out of fear, I am finally taking the plunge and putting our family on a gluten-free diet for the next 3 weeks. The thoughts first began probably about four years ago when I was researching Aspergers and found many reports linking positive changes in some kids with autism when placed on a gluten-free diet. Since Einstein has Aspergers, a form of autism, it is something I considered trying. As we tried other things with Einstein such as addressing his sensory issues, his symptoms decreased and the gluten thing fell to the back of my radar. I have heard how difficult it is and how expensive it is and frankly, it seemed like a lot of work, so I procrastinated.
Recently, Einstein’s symptoms have gotten much more pronounced. We aren’t really sure why, but even he has noticed and is upset about his frustration level and lack of control he is feeling. As a mom, when you see your child struggling, you will do anything to help them, even if it means it will cost you time and money.
But the reason that I am taking our whole family off gluten for a three week experiment is that I am wondering if it can help with some other issues. Fred gets headaches and has insomnia…both things he has dealt with for many years. I’m curious to see if the new diet will help with Miss Optimism’s eczema or even with her real health issues. Granola Girl gets fairly regular stomachaches and Snuggle Puppy and Dancing Queen are still battling parasites. I don’t know if the new diet will help with those, but it won’t hurt.
As for The Husband and I, I am interested to see if it will make a difference in our overall energy level and it would be a bonus if I dropped a few pounds while we’re at it!
As with most things I do, I did weeks of research and planning before embarking on this journey. I shamelessly asked for help from friends who are gluten-free and got some great leads on websites, recipes, and ideas. I have lists of possible snacks, breakfasts, lunches, and suppers. I have made a special flour mix using a recipe recommended to me by my friend Richelle. I went and bought groceries and spent three times what I normally would (gulp!). I have convinced the kids that this will be a fun experiment. I have gotten rid of all the bread, cookies, cake, oatmeal, and crackers in the house. I have made several gluten free snacks in preparation. I am trying to set myself up for success.
I am still nervous though. Tonight’s supper of corn noodles and pasta sauce fell to lukewarm reviews. It wasn’t exactly the encouragement I was looking for going into tomorrow’s full-blown gluten-free experiment!!!
I will post all my gluten-free successes and failures for those interested in following along. I plan to share my lists, any health improvements or new symptoms for any of us, and recipes worth sharing.