autism and diet/nutrition/health help?

I know a couple people with dietary needs (not autism) who both said The Gaps Diet helped them.  Check out the website www.gapsdiet.com.  It says that Campbell-Mcbride has a child diagnosed with learning disabilities.   “Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride holds a degree in Medicine and Postgraduate degrees in both Neurology and Human Nutrition.  In her clinic in Cambridge she specializes in nutrition for children and adults with behavioral and learning disabilities, and adults with digestive and immune system disorders….She believes that the link between learning disabilities, the food and drink that we take, and the condition of our digestive system is absolute, and the results of her work have supported her position on this subject.”  The website lists a diet, what to eat, what to avoid eating, what supplements are recommended (probiotics, etc.), and she has a couple of books.  (I have no affiliation with this website or Dr. Natasha Campbell-Mcbride; I just am aware that it has helped a couple people I know with improving their health.)

I have not yet specifically done the GAPS diet, but I did do a cleanse two years ago that took out the popular allergens:  wheat, soy, corn, dairy, sugar, eggs, peanuts, etc.  It pretty much left vegetables, some meats, some fruits, and rice (which I’m questioning if it’s right for me right now).  But after two weeks, I felt the best I had felt since I was seven-years-old (thirty-something years ago).  I felt clarity of mind.  The fogginess had lifted, the post-nasal drip gone, the constant throat clearing from the constant bombardment to the foods I was eating and had a sensitivity (or slight allergy) to–I would eat a cracker and inside my mouth the red alert sounded and the protective mucous started forming and the “a-hem” throat clearing that  instantaneously followed–gone.  So, it’s worth a look.  Baby steps.  Small changes. One habit at a time.  “We are what we eat.”

on being yourself

It is not our purpose to become each other; it is to recognize each other, to learn to see the other and honor him for what he is. –Herman Hesse

You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself. –Nelson Mandela

You must be the change you want to see in the world.–Gandhi

Be kind.  Everyone’s fighting their own secret battle. –Oprah

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. –Dr.Seuss

Recommended cookbooks

I will update this as I go through the alchemical process with recipes and cookbooks–how else can you explain the transformation of flour and eggs into cake?!?

Fast, Fresh, and Green by Susie Middleton –“Harvest Gratin of Butternut Squash, Corn, and Leeks” is very good and here to stay in my household.   I’ve also substituted sweet potatoes and yams for the squash.

Clean Food by Terry Walters–“Sauteed yams with ginger and lime,” “Lentil soup,” “Basic balsamic vinaigrette.”  I just made the “Tofu kale lasagna” without noodles which I know takes the “lasagne” out of it but I did use a thick layer of mozzarella cheese in the middle and on top.  My husband loved it and I thought it was pretty good but my kids were not too enthusiastic about what was on their plates.  The noodles would have helped a little there.

“You won’t be single for long vodka sauce” by Rachel Ray off www.Oprah.com and in Ray’s book, “Classic Rachel Ray 30-minute Meals” is outstanding even though I don’t usually use the vodka in it.  Remember you can substitute rice pasta on those days you don’t want to eat as much wheat.  Don’t forget the parmesan!

Barefoot Contessa At Home by Ina Garten–“Broccolini and balsamic vinaigrette” another staple at our home–delicious!!

The Conscious Cook by Tal Ronnen.  The “Quinoa, avocado, and sweet timbale with roasted tomatillo dressing” is very good and fairly easy but time consuming to make–but definitely worth it!  The tomatillo dressing is amazing!  Remember to rinse the quinoa in warm water and gently rub between your palms to get the natural saponin coating (which is bitter) off.

Google “Today Show Ann Curry’s favorite recipe pasta puttanesca”  It’s from 2005 and very good.  Probably more of a summer dish but fantastic!

Kitchen Life by Art Smith  “The best fish tacos” are good and easy…We used sour cream instead of mayo, cabbage instead of   coleslaw, and added avocado/guacamole.  I just salted the fish with an organic sea salt (somehow it makes it taste better) and cooked it in the olive oil without the breading and it was still good.  The “Tilapia fillets with green olive vinaigrette” (I think I used halibut)  is good.   And his “Basmati rice and vermicelli” is a very good, simple side dish.

Tyler Florence’s Real Kitchen recipe “Chicken Cacciatore” was great and I didn’t even use the milk,wine, or anchovy fillets and I substituted chopped green olives for the capers.  I’ve made this recipe with chicken, pork, and tofu.  You can serve this with Art Smith’s “Basmati rice and vermicelli” and a salad, steamed broccoli, etc.

Cooking with Curtis Stone by Curtis Stone The “Pan-fried salmon with garlic, broad beans and beurre blanc” was very good.  I made this in the summertime and used halibut instead of the salmon and did not make the fava beans but served it with fresh bread, asparagus with brown butter, and brown butter fresh peaches.  The “BBQ zucchini with tomato and white balsamic vinegar” was also very good.  I cooked the zucchini in a pan rather than BBQ.  My kids even ate this!

Mediterranean Harvest by Martha Rose Shulman  The soups “Minestrone” and “Lentil minestrone with greens” were very good.

“Fun is an attitude, not an activity”–found in Schofield’s

book Confessions Of An Organized Homemaker.

The earth laughs in flowers.–Emerson

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.–Annie Dillard

The most important thing she’d learned over the years was that there was no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.–Jill Churchill

Wounded children become wounded adults, and wounded adults can destroy the world.–Marianne Williamson

Children are not children.  They are just younger people.  We have the same soul at sixty that we had at forty, and the same soul at twenty-five that we had when we were five.–Marianne Williamson

Many people treat children as if they are not as smart as grown-ups.  But there is a big difference between not being as smart and just not knowing the language yet.–Marianne Williamson

It ultimately does not matter whether we start a company, nurse a child, produce a movie, or make a soup.  What really matters is that we do it with love.–Marianne Williamson

We have great power to affect the attitudes and behavior of the people around us, at work and at home.  We have the power to set a tone of honor, to create an energy around ourselves that says, “I respect myself.  I respect you.  Let’s respect each other.”–Marianne Williamson in A Woman’s Worth

Words can cause wars or can bring hope.–Amma

If you have no anxiety, the risk you face is probably not worthy of you.  Only risks you have outgrown don’t fighten you.–David Viscott

Why is it that when we talk to God we are said to be praying and when God talks to us we’re said to be schizophrenic?–Lily Tomlin

If you change your choices you will access a different life.–Gary Zukav

For me (and you?): No wheat=no canker sores/mouth sores

I cannot stress enough that this has CHANGED my life.  It took many tries to get a balance but for me, when I eat wheat it makes my mouth and tongue swell almost imperceptibly and that makes me more prone to biting my tongue while chewing and jabbing my cheek and tongue with a sharp chip or piece of bread or pizza crust which then resulted in a canker/mouth sore.  The mouth sore then lasted about two miserable weeks during which I did not eat or talk because of the pain it caused, including flu-like symptoms, sore glands, etc.  Then when it healed, I would start eating again, delicious pasta, cereal, bread, pizza, cookies and immediately get another one.  And the entire miserable cycle began again.   One day, I was consciously eating bite-by-bite and I noticed that my bottom lip felt slightly heavy and swollen.  I looked in the mirror and it looked as if it was sticking out a little more than normal.  When I considered everything I was eating, there was wheat in most of it.  I took wheat out temporarily (just a couple of weeks) and then I reduced the amount I was eating.  I still eat wheat, but much less than I did previously and I am more aware of when the inside of my mouth starts to hurt a little and then I stop eating wheat, sugar, and dairy for a few days.  It has been about five years since I’ve done this and it has made a 100% difference in my health and happiness (and in those who had to deal with me while I was in pain!).  Although I am still working on a perfect scenario, my body is happiest and healthiest when eating mostly veggies, organic meats and soups, and green drinks.  Not very exciting I know, I am still a work in progress.  I am still dancing with finding recipes for health and for taste; one step forward, two steps back.  But the old sayings are true “You are what you eat” and “Food is medicine.”  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go make my green lemonade!

*please see “Ode To An Aching Body” in my May 2010 archives which discusses what else I did to help my body get healthier and stronger and stop aching.  For me, I think too much wheat and canker sores/mouth sores leading to the flu-like achiness was a huge factor in the constant achiness in my body that sounds reminiscent of the beginning of symptoms of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.

Update: 06/11/2011

I am also wondering if systemic candida yeast in the body system gets fed by wheat, dairy, sugar, etc. and that is also another potential factor in having canker sores/mouth sores.  Pau d’arco tea can help and herbal capsules for candida yeast can help.  There are many brands to try–I kept trying herbal capsules until I found one that worked for me.  I honestly cannot tell you the last time I had a canker/mouth sore and I am someone who got them one after another.

Addendum:  02/18/2012

Yesterday my doctor told me in a surprised voice that a blood test showed that I had a slight allergy to wheat.  Hmmm…

***Addendum:  10/12/2012

I noticed yesterday (well I’ve noticed it over the past couple years but was in denial–with corn chips, corn tortillas, popcorn (sigh), corn on the cob, etc.) that popcorn makes my tongue swell a little bit too (like the wheat does) and of course I ended up chomping down on the side of my tongue and cutting it–ugh!  I know what that means 😦  and having all of that additional sugar with the candy and soda with the popcorn won’t do me any favors either.  I do take probiotic capsules and my husband told me a few months back that he’d heard L-lysine helps canker/mouth sores heal faster.  I’ve experimented on myself and I think it does make a slight difference in increasing the healing time.  Something you can research more if it interests you.  I do not know that much about L-lysine.

Update:  10/18/2012

I also immediately started taking a couple chewable probiotics, specifically one I found in the refrigerated section of the health food store called Udo’s Choice Super 5 Lozenge Probiotic.  I have been taking a couple of them at a time a few times a day when I think about it and I think it has helped a lot.  Yesterday I wanted to die I hurt so bad–the inside of my mouth and my body ached like the flu and I felt like I had a low grade fever, you know where you just want to huddle in fetal position in your bed.  I also took an Airborne tablet in water.  I feel amazingly better today.  I started taking the chewable probiotics last Sunday or Monday, so it’s been four or five days.  I have the cut on my tongue where I bit it and on each side of my cheeks where the popcorn and candy inflamed my cheeks and I bit and cut the insides of my cheeks way in the back.  So I will be taking out corn, sugar, dairy, wheat, soy, nuts/seeds, grains, etc. etc. and loading up my plates with organic vegetables and meats for a while until I figure out more.  (I think that grains is my next big step of things to take out because I’ve never been successful at it.)

Update:  03/07/2014

I found a link that discusses L-lysine and people writing about their experiences and how taking it helps heal canker sores and to take it to prevent them.  I prefer capsules (with the powder inside).  I think that capsules work better than tablets.  I haven’t looked too much into L-lysine and just usually took two capsules a day when I had a canker sore (usually spread out over a couple hours) and hadn’t noticed information before about taking L-lysine on an empty stomach.  Again, do your own research and talk to your own doctor.

Namaste and many blessings***

and may beautiful joyful health find you 🙂