Friday, December 10, 2010

What we can eat: part II

This list seems to get smaller and smaller every month, but at the same time, the kids and I feel better when we stay on it, so there is definitely a silver lining. My daughter was starting to have trouble with her stomach again, so we've geared down on the diet, with new knowledge to add to the mix in our constant search for safe food for her.

What We Can Eat List
(A gluten free list that should be safe for most Celiacs. Products' ingredients and processing can always change, however, so this list can become out of date at any time.)

Some whole, fresh, organic veggies - no wax coatings, no preservative sprays, have to be able to peel them or wash them thoroughly with GF soap, or both. For myself, have to be careful that the mulch or fertilzer that the veggies can rest on aren't CC with gluten grains or derived from gluten. Not sure how much this affect my midget. Corn is still iffy, although more for CC reasons than the corn itself, we think.

Some whole, fresh, organic fruits - Once again, no wax coatings, no preservative sprays, have to be able to peel them or wash thoroughly with GF soap, or both. Still not sure if my daughter has to be careful with fruit, or if we've been getting some with sprays that we weren't aware of. Apples, pears, peaches, and citrus are the worst 'coating offenders' we've had issues with.

Organic unprocessed meats (red meat if grass fed, possibly poultry, wild caught fish, wild caught shellfish) - If there is not organic meat, grass-fed alone will work. No hormones/no antibiotics meat works in a pinch. Poultry has to be skinless, and it's in the 'iffy' category currently due to CC issues with the skin. Fish can't be cut up at the butcher's, and the other meat we are buying in larger amounts, still sealed from the slaughterhouse.

GF organic beans - Must be triple washed in GF soap. Not sure which beans may work. We're still checking it out. Nuts have been a bit of a failure and the kids both don't like them, so we're holding off for a bit. Seeds, we're foraging for (chalk up another Yuppie on the Prairie for us, eh?)

Pre-made foods:
Bariani Olive oil
Earth Balance organic peanutbutter, smooth or crunchy - checking on this one.
RealSalt sea salt - This one makes me ill, but we believe the kids are doing okay on it.
Field Day Mediterranean sea salt - on order, but we hear good things
Madhava agave nectar - still in the maybe category
Crown Prince Brisling Sardines in Spring Water - still in the maybe category
Horokan brand wakame sea weed - still in the maybe category

Due to reactions, we've eliminated the following until we find safe brands to use, or figure out how to grow it ourself:
Grains (except in-bulk Ancient Harvest Quinoa, triple washed, but it's getting iffy)
Starch powders
herbs (growing our own, now, and those are fine)
nuts (except the periodic unshelled nut that looks safe)
soy (too high a CC risk)
eggs - iffy, not sure why there may be a problem, but still iffy when we try 'em.

Today we're heading out to the local farmer's markets to ask questions of the folks there in the hopes that some of their farms might be able to help us out. So far, it's been difficult to find produce that is completely safe and neither I nor my kids have a reaction to, but we're working towards it, slowly but surely.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Gluten Free on the Cheap - Menu for a Food Stamp Budget

I came across a useful thing the other day, on the 'Talk About Curing Autism' website. As some of you know, many folks with autism do better when they go off gluten, or casein, or soy, or all three. Like most of us, however, people attempting this diet don't always have the cash to spend willy-nilly on specialty foods.

So some lovely folks at this site decided to try and offer some help. They developed a month's menu for a family of four that is gluten free, casein free, and soy free, and that can be bought on a food stamp budget. They managed to purchase their month's worth of food for $319.

I feel rather guilty and vaguely decadent, knowing how much more than that I spend a month, for just three people, too.

In any case, their menu includes the menu itself, a grocery list, and a link to all the foods you might need a recipe for (they're assuming you know what a carrot stick is, however). The article discussing how they went about this and what it can do for those with autism is here:
GFCFSF Diet on Food Stamps

The menu
Grocery list

The recipe links are on the menu page.

While this is a great resource (the grocery list even mentions brand names), if you are a Celiac, you need to double check all the brands to be certain they are gluten free. A few of the foods were a contamination risk for celiacs, or were only acceptable if purchased from certain companies.

One example is their recommendation of Quaker oats for breakfast, which is not recommended for celiacs because Quaker doesn't have GF oats.

Overall, however, I think this is a very helpful collection of information. It's inspiring to try and come up with my own. Although considering my cooking skills resemble that of taste-bud challenged slug, I have a feeling it may take me a while to find enough food to make up an entire week, let alone a month.

See what I can do, though.

[EDIT] Sadly, it looks like this site has taken down this particular article and the links, or at least put them where I can no longer find them. Which is a huge shame, as it was a great resource! If I ever hear of it going up again, I'll post it at my new site,