"These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." - John 16:33

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Our GFCFSF diet.

It's been a little while since my last post and I have some many things I had planned to share!  First Peanut got sick again, then sassy started having GI problems (bringing us to the Emergency Room).  During all of this we had a snowstorm, and I got sick with what I think was the flu.  In any case, I have a lot of catching up to do (at home and online!)  I figured I'd start with a quick and easy post.  I get asked a lot about the diet we follow.  I'm adapting this post from a recent email I sent to someone in our area.  This is a list of our favorites and how we try to save a little money in the process.

Our GFCFSF Diet:
With any diet modification, you want to be sure that your child is getting the correct nutrients.  We Use a multivitamin from Rainbow light.  It's GFCFSF, preservative free, and dye free. It comes in powder form.  We mix it in Peanuts juice in the morning with a handful of other supplements and he drinks it right down.  Depending on what products you choose to eat you may also want to consider including using a Calcium supplement to ensure that you are getting enough of your daily value.  We use Now, Calcium citrate.  It is GFCFSF (the source of the calcium is from Lyme stone and changed to calcium citrate by using citric acid).  We Use 1/2 tsp (233mg) once a day mixed with Peanuts Multivitamin which has 200mg of Calcium as well.  We make sure to mix it with the multivitamin because it contains Magnesium which aids in effective absorption of the Calcium.  This combined with his "milk" and "yogurt" intake meets his recommended 700mg of calcium per day. (Speak with your doctor or nutritionist to find out what your recommended daily allowance should be)

Sassy takes Smarty Pants  multivitamins (she won't drink powdered supplements).  This multivitamin is great because it s a gum drop and it has Omega-3's in it.  It tastes good too!

SAVING MONEY: This diet gets expensive pretty quick.  If you go to the websites for the companies you can usually sign up for coupons.  There are a lot of great sites online that also have links to printable coupons for GFCFSF products.  It takes a little time at first but after you do the initial search it gets easier and quicker.  Also, making your own foods (ex: muffins, cakes etc...) can be cheaper in the long run verses buying a pre-made mix.  It's also easier to control the ingredients if you make your own as well!

The best site I've found that helps map everything out is the TACA website.  They talk about how to start and even how to do it on a budget.  I found this was a nice guide to help map out meals when starting.  The budget plan they provide is not working off of organic foods, so be aware that the pricing does not reflect organic pricing.

WHERE WE SHOP:  For groceries we shop mostly at Hannaford.  They have a wide variety of organic foods and they now are coming out with their own brand of many different gluten free items including some casserole mixes.  We just recently started making the drive to Whole Foods (my absolute favorite!) a couple times a month and occasionally will make the trip to A-Market as well.  I don't tend to use Trader Joes very often.  Although many people like the products they offer, I find I prefer Whole foods or A-Market.

MILK/YOGURT/ICE CREAM:  The 2 best substitutes we have found for milk have been rice milk (Rice Dream is GFCFSF, but make sure to buy organic because levels of cyanide have been found in non organic rice milk)  and Coconut milk.  We use coconut milk.  We buy the brand So Delicious.  This brand also makes GFCFSF yogurt and organic chocolate ice cream. 

BUTTER: The only GFCFSF butter substitute I've found is made by Earth Balance.  It's pretty good and they make a version without soy in it.

CHEESE: When it comes to cheese...well, it's gross. I haven't found any really good cheese.  There is a brand called Daiya that is GFCFSF that is okay for a sprinkle on pizza but too much of it and whatever you're making tastes horrible. (I tried making mac n cheese with it and it was gross! It tasted too much like the cheese).  Otherwise I haven't found many good substitutes. 

BREAD: We have tried MANY brands of bread.  We've tried making our own bread and all of it is awful!!  I recently found a brand of bread that tastes great!!! It's called Udi's.  It's GFCFSF and smells and tastes like real bread.  They also make some good muffins too. 

PASTA: The best pasta's we've found have been made by Orgran and Tinkyada.  The Orgran pasta is good every once and a while but it is made with corn so we try not to use it too much (because of Peanuts current digestive issues).  Tinkyada is the best rice pasta we have found to date.  It is available in organic and non-organic forms.  It cooks well and doesn't get too mushy, and most importantly it tastes great!

KID FOODS:  Chicken Nuggets, French fries and mac n cheese are all staples that are a MUST HAVE in our house.  Ians makes GFCFSF chicken nuggets, french fries, fish sticks and Mac n cheese (it's called "Mac n no cheese").  My kids love them and they are great in a bind.  Just make sure to read the packages because they also make products with gluten and casein.

SNACKS: For snack foods (other than carrot and celery sticks, apple slices, bananas etc...) we tend to stick to chips or animal crackers/cookies.  When it comes to chips we eat Cape Cod Potato chips.  They are not organic but advertise that they are natural and Gluten Free.  We alternate our foods so we also eat Lundberg Rice chips.  They are really good and have a great crunch! This company also makes a handful of other products that we've tried (like their spinach and mushroom risotto) and we've really enjoyed them!
When it comes to that inevitable sweet tooth we enjoy Orgran products.  Their animal crackers are low in sugar (4-6 grams), taste good, and they are GFCFSF as well as Non-GMO, Nut free, Yeast free, Egg free.

PRETZELS:  Finding GFCFSF pretzels was tough.  Glutino makes a GFCF pretzel (as well as crackers and cookies) but they contain soy.  There is only one brand of GFCFSF pretzel out there now (that I have found) and it's called Ener-g.  I have found small bags of them at Shaws but I find it cheaper to buy in bulk through Amazon.com.  Make sure when purchacing these pretzels to read the ingredients first.  This brand also makes other flavors of gluten free pretzels, but they contain soy.

PEANUT BUTTER:  We started out buying organic peanut butter in the jar but it has to be stored in the refrigerator and gets hard.  We started buying  Justins peanut butter in individual packets and they work great! I just rip open a packet and squeeze it on the bread. The kids love it, it's organic, it's GFCFSF and you can buy other flavors as well.  Two other favorite flavors in our house is their Almond butter and Chocolate Hazelnut spread (which also come in small one serving packets)

MAYONNAISE:  We use Spectrum canola oil mayonnaise.  It's GFCFSF, organic and it tastes almost like Helmans.  (just as a side note, tuna should be avoided because of the mercury content and some brands contain casein.)  We also buy their Coconut oil for cooking.

TOILETIES: We also use GFCFSF toothpaste, body wash, shampoo, lotion and diaper rash cream.  Our toothpaste is JASON and can be purchased at Hannaford (in the organic toiletries section).  We also use JASON body wash and shampoo.  I have only been able to find the JASON gluten free bath products online, at Buy Buy baby and at A Market.  Our lotion and diaper rash cream is Natures Baby Organics (found in Hannaford in the baby isle).  It's expensive but worth it, and works great for winter dry skin and stubborn diaper rashes.

ARTS AND CRAFTS:  Another thing to consider is art supplies.  Many people with a gluten intolerance will react to certain art supplies just as they would a toiletry product (gluten is found in adhesive on stamps and stickers as well as in glues, paints, play dough, markers, crayons, etc...).  Remember, if it's absorbed into the skin, it is circulated into the body.  See my previous post on Gluten free art for more information about this topic. 

So thats our GFCFSF, organic diet in a nutshell.  At first it was overwhelming but now that we have found some great brands that we love it's much easier.  I hope that helps some of you out there who are unsure of what to buy and what to try.  Have fun cooking and happy eating!!

Mommy Provost

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