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Gluten Free Again?

I know, I know- first rule of successful blogging: don’t use blurry cell phone pictures.  The thing is, I always have my phone handy to to take spur of the moment shots.  My camera is on my desk!  

I’m thinking I might need to overhaul our diet.  We eat pretty well, especially since I decided I wanted to lose weight.  There is no soda, candy, chips, or juice (except for our playgroup) in my house.  The kids eat tons of fruits and veggies, and very little processed food. We make our own snack foods and I cook from scratch, but I think Patrick is starting to have food issues again.

The past few weeks, he has been very emotional.  There isn’t anything else going on, we have been settled in the new house for almost three months, we have made some friends- the kids have been enjoying it here.  However, Patrick has these freaking out sessions, where he flips out over tiny things, like when his sister looks at him wrong or I ask him to pick up his shoes off the stairs.  Saturday he screamed and sobbed for an hour because he broke his new ninja sword.  He gets upset and loses his shit at least twice a day now, becoming inconsolable.  This is NOT like him.  He has always been sensitive, but I haven’t seen behavior like this since he was a toddler and it got so bad we tried an elimination diet with him.  Over the years, I learned through trial and error that as long as I kept his diet balanced and avoided the processed crap, he was fine.

I don’t think this plan is cutting it anymore.  On top of the emotional stuff, he is starting to get rashy again, and has been complaining about tummy problems.  I think I am going to have to get hardcore about it.  Its probably a good thing for our family anyway.  I guess I’ve been looking for excuses not to have to do it, because I was afraid it would be too difficult, or limit what we can do and where we can go.  But then I see friends who seem to do it effortlessly, and I think we can too.  Besides, a little inconvenience and extra work is a small price to pay for the health of my kid.  And it shouldn’t be so hard to go gluten-free this time, now that I actually know how to cook.  I have a ton of sites and recipes bookmarked and I’m always looking for more, so if you have some good ones you’d like to share, send them to me!

15 Responses to Gluten Free Again?

  1. It’s really not too hard! Rice noodles instead of regular pasta, rice chex (they have yummy cinnamon and honey nut flavors now) or rice crispies for cereal. You know how to make bread, so you could totally make GF bread. I haven’t done it but I’ve been told a blend of almond and rice flour works best. During the brief time when Sami was a baby and we allowed her to have gluten she would scream and cry and have tantrums for no reason. It was just awful :(

    • You have to be careful with stuff like Rice Crispies though, because it has Barley Malt, which is basically pure gluten. Some knock off brands have a version of crispy rice cereal without the Barley malt though.

  2. I’ve been reading your blog for awhile now and I just wanted to say thank you for your post today. It was a total duh moment about my sons behavior. For the most part, he eats healthy food choices because that is what I buy. When my husband goes to the store it’s a free for all and you never know if you’re going to get any fruits and veggies when he gets home. I’ve been slacking and letting him do the majority of the shopping. My son has been acting just how you describe your son exactly. Thank you so much for the reminder that what they eat is so important and effects them in so many ways.

  3. Yes, love GlutenfreeGirl! Just for the reading, even, as we are not GF, haha!

    We recently cut dairy out of my oldest daughter’s diet again for similar reasons. My husband is already totally dairy/beef free due to his allergy so it’s not a big change for us, though it definitely has a period of adjustment, particularly for kid lunches and snacks around here! I decided not to cut it out completely for the three of us who can handle it, but make sure to always have a (yummy) dairy-free alternative if we do (there’s a lot of good alternative dairy substitutions out there) and for now that’s working.

    If it were gluten though, it does seem easiest to cut it out for the whole family across the board. I know lots of people who do GF very successfully (and deliciously!) — I’m sure you’ll do great! Happy GF cooking!

  4. I won’t lie, it’s difficult. I have a Gluten sensitivity (no rashes, but I get bitchy and I have tummy aches), but I’ve been really bad about following it lately. Our son has serious behavior issues whenever he eats it though so we NEVER give him anything with gluten. He’s a toddler though and likes to eat the same thing over and over, and his fav food is veggies, so it hasn’t been too difficult. I think the main problem, from our experience, is the change in routine. You get used to eating wheat products. It’s familiar. You don’t have to worry about “which flour do I use for this recipe?” because you just use wheat flour. But once you get past that and get used to using alternative flours it works out just fine.

    My favorite gluten free recipe is the Land-o-Lakes gluten free flour blend. here is my review on my blog (hope it’s OK to post it here. Some people don’t like that…)

    http://gfgigi.blogspot.com/2011/04/best-gluten-free-baking-blend.html

    I use it for all kinds of things, mostly my favorite banana bread and for thickening sauces, like gravy for Shepherd’s Pie. I bet it would work for all kinds of stuff! The original recipe calls for WHITE Rice flour, but I replace it with BROWN. I like the nutty flavor.

    Maybe just start out slow, start eliminating some foods that are very high in gluten that you eat often and then replacing them with a GF alternative. We sometimes wander of the path, but the idea is to try your best to avoid it. Less gluten is less gluten :) Hope it helps Patrick! It helped us big time.

  5. I’m hypoglycemic, so I tend to avoid gluten as a result of the most glutinous foods being also the ones that will put me into carb shock.

    It seems to me there’s two ways of going gluten-free. One is to try to replicate a non-gluten-free diet using GF products. The other is to create a new diet that just doesn’t have glutinous stuff in it. It’s two different ways of conceiving of the process.

    On the one hand, you’re frantically trying to make GF bread, GF pizza, GF cookies, GF pancakes, GF everything familiar.

    On the other hand, you’re adding new recipes to your repertoire that just happen to not contain gluten products.

    I’m not valuing one over the other, just suggesting that the way you think about this process will have an influence over how easy it is to make it happen. Naturally you’ve got kids and they’re going to want to have their familiar yummies. But it sounds like you’re already in the process of making your family diet healthier, so this could be just the next logical step in the process.

    Possibly yummy things that can satisfy a gluten craving without containing gluten: falafel; arancini (rice balls, usually stuffed with yummy things and then baked or fried – a good recipe for the kids to help with).

    Also – something I learned from my Celiac sister-in-law. Depending on the level of intolerance to gluten, you may have to also avoid things that are either related to gluten or indirectly contaminated with gluten. Items my sister-in-law cannot eat include asparagus (it’s a grass!) and beef (cows eat grass!). So definitely try to think sideways at this problem so you don’t potentially miss out on bad gluteney things.

  6. Just seconding the observation above – I think people often decide to go GF and run out and buy a bunch of replacement products (bread, pasta, etc.) and are then disappointed because while many of them are good, they don’t taste THE SAME. I found when I cut out gluten I spent several weeks mostly without replacement products either – I ate meat/chicken/protein and lots of fruit and veg and rice and potatoes… and then when I added in some GF versions of other foods they were good, and a nice treat. Just putting that out there…

    (I love the Pamela’s pancake mix – so tasty and even my gluten-eating MIL was planning to switch just because it was good. So there’s that.)

  7. Coincidentally, a friend just posted this on Facebook:

    “Cool new gluten, sugar and dairy free recipe of the day: brown rice flakes blended with rice milk and mashed banana, raspberries mixed in, and dried unsweetened coconut sprinkled on top – kinda like fruity flavored cream of wheat but healthier, and yes it tastes good!

    I just kind of eye balled it, but it was probably about one-half cup water, one half cup rice milk, one cup brown rice flakes brought to a boil and then simmered for 3 minutes, then put in a blender with one banana, then put in a bowl with a handful of raspberries just stirred in and a couple of teaspoons of coconut flakes on top.”

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