Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Gluten Free = Exploding Brain.

Going gluten free is stupid.  So there.  Frowny face.  At least, here, at the beginning, I definitely think so.  I thought I would tell you friends about it.  It is obviously important to you.  It makes me happy and sad that my post Sandy Poop is on fire right now.  Sadly, I think Italy must have some big bowel problems as they are checking in a lot more often than the rest of you.  Watch out for tangents...

Anyhoo...  I have always wondered a little what "going gluten free" would do for Max and his Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and his autistic tendencies.  This has always just lived in the back of my mind, especially since he has somehow conned his teacher into believing he is an angel.  I think he is pretty damn great, obviously, but I was hoping he would have the same behavior at school as he does at home.  Twas a no-go.  He is perfect between the hours of 7am and 11am. 

I myself was very much looking for a change of life.  Sitting around with an unemployed husband as "just a housewife" while wondering if the lights would get to stay on while looking at yourself in the mirror and HATING what you see is, well... sad.  Very sad.  I am freaking sick of it.  It also occurred to me a little late in the game that if, damnit, I wanted to go take a walk or work out, there was another person in the house to watch the kids... so what was holding me back???  Anyway, enter my googling tendencies and a slight obsession with Pinterest and you get a bunch of research on the Paleo Diet.  I've always been a bit against any diet that seriously restricts any one food group, but I was pretty interested in the way people said they felt on the diet.  I will say though, that, damnit, I LIKE COW'S MILK.  I 100 percent agree that it is for baby cows, but why do I find it so tasty???  And no cheese?  Well, that's just crazy talk.  Suddenly I realized, there's not much gluten on the Paleo diet.  Actually I wouldn't say suddenly, but eventually it sunk in.  I wanted those results for Max.  What if his slow-to-grow speech or his sensory issues could be resolved by changing his diet?  Don't I owe him at least a try?? 

Kids who have gluten sensitivities often crave items with gluten in them.  Now, I've read the science... can't say that I could repeat it... but I can tell you that it makes sense to me that kids would crave it and get caught in a vicious circle.  I also know I could offer Max 20 chocolate bars or one small bowl of pasta and he would choose the pasta hands-down.  Max is one big pasta noodle. 

It hurts my brain already to go shopping though.  Mama wants to lose weight.  Daddy wants meat.  Cooper wants pizza and hamburgers.  Z, well... doesn't eat anything.  Our food budget is tiny.  I don't like the idea of processed foods.  Or dyes.  Or artificial sugar and additives. I am trying to feed a lot of people on a little money with some ridiculous ideals.  Now I want to go gluten free.  Yep, sounds stupid.  It feels stupid.  ...Unless it gets results.

I figured we would start the process slowly.  That will give me time to stock up and figure out what the hell I am doing.  Max also eats breakfast at school and I know the little Carbo is eating cereal or something with gluten everyday.  Plus, I know this sounds woosy, but I just don't want to discuss a gluten free diet with his teacher.  With only two and a half weeks left of school, I just don't want to have to get into it.

I'll tell you one thing I learned today...  pasta and anything with flour may just not be in Max's diet anymore.  GOOD GOD, the prices.  I thought we would just get him a few gluten free specialty items from the store.  ...stuff to help him ease in, ya know?  Your typical Mueller's pasta was on sale BOGO:  $1.57.  The crap I had to shop from ranged from $1.79 PER BOX FOR 8 OUNCES to $3.39 PER BOX.  Say whaaaaaaaa?  Crazy talk.  Same thing in the cookie aisle.  Same in the crackers.  I knew gluten-free items were often more, but whole DOLLARS worth?  wowza. We may just have to wean the boy to fruits, veggies and meat only because my brain may explode.  But alas, my mantra will be, "Just 30 Days".  If I can just try 30 days solid and see if there is a difference, won't it be worth it?  Damn this junk is hard. 

So there ya go, my fellow friends that like to talk poop and other happenings of the gut.  That's where I am.  We'll see how this goes.

If you ever want some of my "research" check out my Pinterest boards... I'll leave it there for you, my Googling comrades.


  1. What makes you think gluten (or lack thereof) has an effect on it at all?

    1. Well mon frere, there's a lot of research behind it. In some kids, gluten turns into a chemical with an opiate-like effect within their gut... it flows into their blood stream and can cause a 'fogginess'. This brain 'fogginess' can look like SPD or autism. Since it is opiate-like, the child also craves the gluten. There. You got me trying to summarize the science, Science Guy. It can also be known as "grabbing for straws"... Once you're into it, it's actually really interesting. Here's what I know: people have had some very good luck with it. I've got a three year old (4 in two weeks) that doesn't speak as well as my two year old, poops god-awful poops five times a day and likes to watch the wheels spin on his hotwheels. I figure it's worth a try. Mama Bears will do almost anything. =o)

    2. Oh, it seemed like you were just randomly making as association; like you could have just as reasonably have said that not wearing cotton could make an improvement.

      You can go on a gluten free diet without buying all the expensive faux gluten foods: Just go on a no carb diet. If that makes an improvement in his behavior, *then* spend money on the faux gluten foods.

    3. I wish it was that easy. Apparently, to achieve results, all gluten should be removed from the diet. So yeah, it should be as easy as just not eating carbs, but say Aldi cannot guarantee that their cheddar cheese is 'gluten free' because they cannot promise that it did not mingle with gluten in the manufacturing process. The same with Quaker Oats... not guaranteed. If I had one kid, we'd all just adjust to salads, fruit and meats. But yeah... no more expensive weird foods... at least for a little while. =o)

    4. I, somewhat randomly, learned that Chex is gluten free today. I didn't back it up with actually checking for myself, but it makes sense.

      Of course, now that I know that things aren't gluten free if they hang out with dirty, degenerate glutens on the factory floor, "It makes sense" isn't a very reliable indicator.

      Were people sensitive to gluten 100 years ago? It seems like this gluten free stuff just showed up in the last decade.

    5. Did we know what celiac, autism or sensory processing disorder was 100 years ago... do we know today what causes them? I imagine the autistic kid in the back of the class 100 years ago was shunned and looked down upon as the weirdo. Worse yet, if his autism was severe he was probably just shut away in a home. Would we have known if people were gluten sensitive back then?

      I'm no scientist, but I've read a little about food allergies out of interest. One book I read a few years ago brought up the peanut and soy allergies and the fact that peanuts and soy are in EVERYTHING. Foods unrelated to peanuts and soy are often labeled as 'containing peanuts or soy' whether those things have been added or mingled with other things at the factory. Egg allergies run rampant as well. Eggs are even used in our vaccines. Kids are being overexposed. Maybe this is whats happening with gluten? I don't know.

      Our eating habits were also very different then. People made their own bread. Grew their own food or made sporadic trips to a grocery store that wasn't as convenient as it is today. They didn't pick up a bag of bagels, Doritos, Cocoa Pebbles, 5 different kinds of pasta and a box of SpongeBob macaroni. They picked up the staples they needed that they couldn't grow or make themselves. Gluten probably wasn't consumed all over the place as it is today.

      I think gluten has been talked about for awhile. Those with celiac disease have known because their quality of life depends upon it. The autism circles have been hashing it out about gluten for a long time too, but it seems to be one of those things that goes unnoticed until you yourself are confronted with it.

      Just some of my thoughts. And yes, Chex is a fun find.


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