A diet free of gluten – a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye – and casein – a milk protein – has shown promise in children with autism. Others report the regimen just makes them feel better.
: Never change your diet without first consulting your physician.
Step 1: Go slowly Go slowly when switching to a GFCF diet and give yourself two months to completely convert. Going cold turkey from all your favorite foods at once might hamper future success.
Step 2: Enlist your family Enlist the whole family in the GFCF diet for your greatest chance of success. If everyone is eating the same thing, there’s less chance of temptation.
TIP: Milk substitutes include rice milk, almond milk, and hemp milk. Clarified butter can be used in place of regular butter.
Step 3: Clean your cupboards Clean out your cupboards and rid your house of anything that contains gluten or casein. Read food labels carefully. Don’t forget to check toiletries and other products for gluten and casein.
Step 4: Shop at a natural foods market Shop at natural foods markets. Ask if they have a list of GFCF foods. Doing your own shopping and cooking ensures that you will avoid eating any wheat or dairy.
Step 5: Focus on the positive Focus on the healthy, new food choices you have instead of constantly reminding yourself what you can’t eat. Turning the negative into a positive might inspire others to follow your lead or at least admire your attitude.
Step 6: Plan ahead when eating out Locate restaurants in your area that offer gluten-free choices. Be clear about your needs when ordering. Mexican and Thai restaurants are a good bet.
TIP: Use a GFCF food delivery service if cooking is not your thing.
Step 7: Join a support group Join a support group for extra help. Some provide mentors to help you shop.
FACT: More than 2 million Americans have celiac disease, a genetic disorder in which gluten cannot be tolerated.