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How to Begin a Gluten Free Casein Free Diet
Why a Gluten free diet?
There are so many reasons why someone might want to choose a gluten free lifestyle. Most of these reasons are related to health, possibly celiac disease, or autism to name a few. My reason is autism, which comes in the form of my now 4 year old son. Before the diet, my son had horrible gas, and went back and forth between constipation and diarrhea. He had head to toe eczema. He had behavioral issues as well, tantrums, irrational fears and anxiety, no eye contact. For us, the diet was a miracle. All his symptoms are gone, he is still autistic, but he is no longer a zombie and locked in his own mind. He is healthier than he has ever been, and is improving every day! His teachers tell me they wish their other children could try the diet!
It is so important to keep a journal. I cannot stress this enough! Most of the improvements will be gradual and a journal will be invaluable to help you see that progress is being made. When I started keeping a journal, I made so many discoveries I would never have known to look for. I kept a detailed journal, including times of days, products, medicines, every detail of his day. I found allergies to certain products and other foods that were invisible to our every day life, but it really stood out in my journal!
Casein is a protein found in milk products, and if you are going to remove both casein and gluten from your diet, it is easier to remove casein first. Butter, cheese, milk, ice cream. Really read labels, milk is everywhere.
words that indicate the presence of cows milk. If you are not certain, call the number on the label! Fortunately, most labels do have allergy warning and disclose the presence of milk. This list may not be complete, so please use common sense, if unsure, do not eat!
half and half
Milk proteins can also be hidden behind caramel coloring, natural and artificial flavoring and colorings, spices, any generalized ingredient can be anything- check it out before eating!
Some of our favorite substitutes!
Butter- earth balance buttery sticks and spread- they make soy free as well!
Cheese- there are many products available, rice and soy based, but we haven't found one to our liking yet, will update when we do!
Milk- there are several here- Our favorite rice milk is Good Karma, and our son is a huge fan of Pacific almond milk
Ice cream- Our favorites are Good Karma, and Purely Decadent
We were casein free 3 weeks, before also removing gluten.
Gluten is a protein that is found in grains, wheat, rye, barley, oats.
Removing gluten is simple if you keep it simple. Initially, we ate fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, meats and rice. We kept anything processed on the back burner, until we understood more of what we were doing.
As with casein, it is important to read labels. There are the obvious sources of gluten such as pastas, breads and cereals, but you must look out for the hidden sources as well.
Soy Sauce is made from wheat
Hydrolyzed proteins are sometimes made with wheat
Be careful of generalized ingredients such as spices, flavorings, colorings. These could or could not contain gluten. I use the provided numbers on labels to call and be sure!
Be careful!! WHEAT-FREE does not mean GLUTEN-FREE! Always check labels
Some of our favorite products
Cereal- my son loves EnvirKids
Bread- Udi's white bread- so soft!!
Kinnikinnik- wonderful bakery items. doughnuts, muffins, cinnimon rolls
Vans- great frozen waffles and french toast sticks
Pamela's chocolate cake mix- makes a wonderful moist cake or cupcakes
Bisquick- makes a gluten free mix that tastes as wonderful as the original
This is a great site for some great information about the gfcf diet. It is incredibly in-depth regarding which foods are and are not appropriate. They also have a great list of No-Nos to look for on labels