God had a little message for our family in 2011. It was pretty simple and it went like this:
I don’t like the way you eat.
Ok, so He never said that, but what happened was nothing short of divine intervention with my grocery shopping.
April 2010, our son was diagnosed with Autism. March 2011, I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. April 2011, a friend of mine went to a seminar and brought back a book by Elizabeth Strickland called “Eating for Autism”. In June, my husband, who has ADHD, was told he had high blood pressure. By the time our second child was diagnosed with autism in February 2012, our third son showed signs of sensory problems and hyperactivity and we had turned our entire kitchen upside down.
So, what do we eat anyway?
Our diets are free of:
- Artificial Additives (colors, flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives)
- Dairy (on rare occasion, we will have dairy – usually a hard cheese – but it’s off limits to the two children with super-high sensitivity)
- High fructose corn syrup
- Limit our natural (syrup, honey, raw sugar) sugar intake and try to avoid anything else entirely
- Drink lots of water
- Hate GMOs and try to avoid them by buying organic when we can afford it
On the run
I keep a stock pile of nuts and dry fruit in the van. I’m also known to throw an apple or a banana at the kids as we’re running out the door and we always have our water bottles with us when we leave the house.
Our most scandalous treat is on the blue moon occasion if we go to Chick-fil-a, which by the way I secretly think is not real fast food ;). After doing some research I only found a small number of offenses, and as a rare treat, I can live with that.
No other drive thru’s make the list and the only restaurants who can guarantee GF are Mellow Mushroom and PF Chang’s.
We eat as “clean” as possible. When I say that, I mean “unprocessed.” We shoot for lean meats/fish, veggies, fruit, good fats, whole grains (except wheat and its gluten-filled cronies, of course :)) and water to make up the core of our diet. I monitor the grocery line to make sure most of what I’m buying does not come in a plastic bag or cardboard box. For the most part (remember, I’m human…) I try to feed my family actual food.
Our first two years of marriage, if it did not come with directions on the back of it, I did not know how to make it. So the next thing I learned very quickly is to rely on good cookbooks. My go-to cookbooks are available through My Amazon Store. I also have some recipes on this blog.
This sounds overwhelming – difficult – and it is. But I assure you it is worth it. I also need to emphasize that this did not happen overnight! It was replacing one item at a time, one grocery trip at a time. The exception is with Celiac Disease – that is an all inclusive, instantaneous need for elimination without exception! (Did I use enough big words to intimidate you into taking a diagnosis seriously?)
If you are serious about turning your kitchen upside down, in a good way, check out my series: Turning Your Kitchen Upside Down…in a Good Way on how to do it.
100 Days of Real Food (blog)
Don’t Waste the Crumbs (blog)