Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Trial the gluten and casein free diet for any child or adult on the autism spectrum

There are many often controversial theories and beliefs surrounding the success of the gluten and casein free diet on improving autism. There are a few medical professionals, one peadritcian in the Sydney area (I'm in the process if contacting this dr), who strongly beliefs in the success of the diet for autism. His waiting list is massive which clearly demonstrates the amount of parents who are desperate to try the diet, to have some improvement with their child. I've had a discussion with various health care professionals who believe in the diet, but also agree that it isn't always successful. I strongly believe that a large majority of the success of the diet is based on two things; 1) how strictly the diet is followed gluten and casein both need to be removed for the diet to be successful. Both gluten and casein are in alot of products! Simply removing bread and cows milk wont work. Gluten is in sauce, it's in chips, it's even in ice cream! If you want to see development in your child, to have them engage more, be more responsive, then you need to strictly follow the diet. See my recipe page for some ideas, (more meals will be put up shortly). 2)the degree of severity of your child's autism. If they are already responsive and are engaging, the diet may not be as successful. This diet change is about behaviour, it is always essential to ensure your child is eating fruit and vegetables and as much freshly made products as possible. Be aware that not all health care professionals will be supportive of this diet. But have strength in your decision and trial it for a few weeks and see if you see any changes in your child. You really have nothing to loose and so much to potentially gain! If you have any questions, please email me and I will do my best to point you in the right direction, via personal email I will give the peadrictians name and website. I wish you all the best in this challenge and I endeavor to provide you with more and more information about the success of this diet for autism. Please let me know how this diet goes for you and please monitor things like engagement, eye contact, response to names etc, that's the real proof if the diet is working!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

The joys of eating out as a coeliac!

One of the things I find frustrating as a coeliac is going out to parties, people's houses and restaurants. Before I had the diagnose, I would generally have a flowing top on, just in case puffer fish emerged and pants that would pull up or I could undo the button! (don't lie we have all done it at times, over indulged coeliac or not and had to unbutton jeans because your so uncomfortable and honestly think you will explode!)

But now if we're invited to a party, I have to check what's on the menu, which is kind of impolite (I think most people understand), to figure out if I need to eat before I go, or there are things available to me! I always make my token brownies, to ensure that I can have something when the sweet things are put out! Though the problem is, I have to hide some, and everyone else happily gobbles them up! They can eat everything else and generally that's all I can eat!

Recently we were at a catered for family function, now most meats come with gravy separate, but this was actually smoothered with gravy, despite it being lamb and mint sauce was provided! Thankfully there was chicken that I got to eat (though a magpie stole some of the chicken, cheeky little bugger)!

There are plenty of people who I guess have to do the same as me, people with allergies would have the same problem as me. So I guess I dont suffer in embarrassment alone, as many people are like me and have to check menus, etc and often feel like a real pain when someone invites you to dinner!

My advice to friends and famy of coeliacs and peole on the gf diet, food isn't that hard, in Australia we are coming up to summer and BBQ are always a hit, plenty of butchers sell gf sausages as do the major supermarkets, steaks ate ok, as is fish and BBQ chicken, we just can't eat the seasoning! Salads are ok too, just check the dressing and use common sense, like don't use dressing until the person has checked the ingredients, then your not to blame for any reaction that happens!

Goodluck with cooking (or check my recipes if you want to impress, there are easy recipes up there with more to come soon!)keep an eye out for some more easy recipes!

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Delicious Gluten Free Waffles!

At the gluten free expo one of the hi-lights of my day, was meeting a reader in person, in the flesh and she was just as excited to be meeting me as I was her! There's some sense of mystery and excitement, meeting someone who reads your blog or who's blog you read!

The best thing that this lovely reader, not only read my blog but was from an awesome, amazing exhibit, selling gf waffles! Waffles are one of those banned things that us coeliacs longingly look at on menus, in supermarkets etc and remember with a sense of longing!

The best thing about the expo is at least 95% of exhibits had samples, which is always great to try before you buy! And the waffle exhibit had some lovely samples, drizzled with some maple syrup (or it could be golden syrup)! If I had to pick one word to describe these waffles, it would honestly be hard to pick one, but I think I'll stick with delicious!!

I brought a packet and wished I brought more! It was so nice to have waffles, that were gf but tasted actually better than any waffle I've eaten before, gluten filled ones included!

The one tip I would give to people who buy these waffles, they can fall through a toaster, I cooked mine on a sandwich press, after a slight problem with the toaster. And they was no problem on the sandwhich press and they were cooked right through!

I've recommended to the lovely owners of this fantastic waffles business to start a website, so us coeliacs can order these amazing treats to have more frequently! Maybe not so great for the waist line but to feel normal by eating waffles is a well deserved treat!

One of the best things about these waffles apart from how tasty they are,
is that they are made from pemium ingredients that containing no artifical colours or additives! This is much better than alot of the waffles that are brought from the supermarket, which you are almost guranteed will contain artificial ingredients and colours of some degree!

Here is the list of places throughout Sydney areas that you can purchase these waffles; Glenorie Bakeryt Glenorie, The Outback Bakery Windsor and JK Care Loftus & Engadine. Sorry to readers from other parts of Australia and to my lovely readers throughout the world. Welcome by the way to my reader from Kenya! I will keep you posted if these waffles become available in any restaurants or on the Internet!

Remember this is one of the reviews I've done as these lovely people put my blog cards out at the expo on their exhibit, Im doing a bit of a trade off a favour for a favour. Just so you know these reviews are not payed, and I will promise to give my honest opinion to my readers. I also think these reviews are important, I was exposed to so many different gf products I didn't know were out there and I feel it's my job to provide my readers with these options, to make our often boring gf diet that more exciting and even inspire us to cook or attempt to cook a larger variety of food!

If you are near any or the places that sell these wondeful waffles, call in and buy some. You can freeze them, which makes buying extra that more tempting.

But seriously these waffles are so good, that I would recommend a weekend drive, to buy some of these waffles, well worth the treat! Just think of warm, home made waffles, with ice-cream and syrup or topping of your choice! Yummy, its making my mouth water just thinking about it!

Friday, 9 September 2011

How a diagnose can change your life in so many ways!

I've been reflecting recently on how much my life has changed since being diagnosed with coeliac disease last may 2010 (although there have been other major life altering changes, the accident), this post is about coeliac and my journey.

I mentioned in a previous post that I had not heard of the word coealic before and when I mentioned to the specialist he quite arrogantly suggested I had read a magazine or googled and diagnosed myself! My blank expression and when I asked him what coeliac disease was, soon wiped the smirk off his face!I don't blame him, I'm sure he gets lots of self diagnosed patients, dr google isn't always a good thing but we all do it, then freak out at the possible things we could have!

My gf journey continued as I saw a nutritionist, begin reading labels after labels at supermarkets and finding gf recipes! I was pleased to discover that everyone loved the food I was cooking and if I didn't tell them wouldn't know it was gf!

My knowledge of blogging and this community was very limited, I wrote a blog for a uni assignment some years ago and had heard it mentioned in various circles but had no idea about the massive blogging community!

After the car accident I became aware of blogs some old friends from school were writing and I became a regular reader! I had thought many times about writing a blog, particularly with the lack of gf blogs, I wanted to help people, who had gone through a similar situation as me.

It was actually after a conversation with emma from what's in emmas brain (check out my reading list, emmas blog is hilarous, a very talented writer!)that I finally got the courage to start the blog.

I was blown away by the amount of readers and obviously a problem that affects people world wide! As my blog continues, I have also developed an interest into the gluten and casein free diet and the positive affects on autism and behavior! This is a topic that I have been researching on many levels and am enjoying very much!

I guess when someone has a major accident, it's important to focus your energy on something other than your injuries and your accident. The blog, gave me something to think about, and to be honest I was blown away by the response and amount of readers I got!

It was amazing that in a period of about a year, I went from having no clue about coeliac
disease (though I suffered daily with the symptoms) and I had such a minor idea of blogging!
It's something, my health depending, is part of my daily routine, or if I'm not writing I'm thinking about what to write! I love that I could be helping some people, because hearing the diagnose can be scary and you are often provided with little information.

Also the new research I'm doing into autism and behavior with the gluten and casein free diet, is showing amazing progress and I must admit, as a teacher, diet was something that I was very aware affected children's behavior!

I look forward to continuing blogging and I thought I should give a little bio as to how this all started!

If your child suffers autism or any behavior issues, please realise it is ok to seek help, check out this website www.kurlyk.com.au, there is some great advice, behavior charts snd a blog by a fantastic pyshologist, with an interest and expertise in this area, so please check it out. Behavior charts do work, but remember as you will discover by checking put the kurly k site, that you only focus on one or two maximum behaviors at any time, anymore is overwhelming and will ultimately be unsuccessful.

I look forward to continuing my blogging journey with you all! Keep on reading and don't be afraid to ask any questions, I'll do my best to help!

Some recipes will be up in the next week for you to trial, easy family friendly meals!

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Adding new pages

This is a short and frustrated post, for a while now I've been trying to make my blog more user friendly and add a page that links directly to all the post I have written on autism, behaviour and the gluten and casein free diet.

Each time I try to add a new page, it comes up as a posting, I've done everything I have done before to add a new page, I've looked on the the help button, viewed you tubes videos, and it appears I'm doing the correct process but something is messed up because it won't let me add that page!

Very, very frustrating!!!! Particualary when your doing what all the help buttons tell you to do, I've gone to posting, to edit pages and add new page and it just doesn't work!

Basically I wanted to put it out there, see if anyone can help me and to let my readers know, some of you may have been referred to my site from another blogger, that I am in the process of making my page easier to navigate.

In the meantime, if you are looking for something in particular and cannot find it in the archives of the lists of post, simply email me and I will send you all the posts.

Thanks for your patience and please let me know if you know how to fix my problem!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

The delicious Tasty Bite product

At the recent gluten free expo I attended in Sydney, I had the pleasure of sampling some lovely, convenient, gluten, Kosher and preservative free food.

Prior to the Expo I had arranged with the lovely people from Tasty Bite to do a bit of an exchange, they would put some of my lovely blog cards at they stand and in turn for the favour I would write a blog post about their product, a bit of old fashioned trading!

Tasty Bite stand was the first exhibit we saw when we walked in, I went straight up, chatted to the lovely ladies and tried some of their wonderful meals on some small pieces of pappadums (yes we coeliacs can eat pappadums!!, rather exciting)! Both my mum and I really enjoyed the food that we did try, it is an Indian based cuisine, so perhaps not entirely appropriate for children, if they aren't used to Indian food with a bit of spice!

To be totally honest, prior to the expo I really didn't know what products Tasty Bites provided! As soon as I saw the exhibit I realised that I had walked past their products (they are generally in the Asian/Indian section of Australian supermarkets), each time I went to the supermarket. Not knowing what they were, I hadn't tried them.

I decided after the expo that I couldn't write a post that gave a correct view of the product from the small samples, so I brought some boxes myself. Twice I have tried the Tasty Bite product, the Bombay Potatoes and the Jaipur Vegetables, both times I have served them with rice and pappamdums. These delicious dishes only take 90 seconds to cook in the microwave, you can also cook on the stove top, but I choose the easier option, both nights that I ate these meals, was easy dinner night, my husband had his own individual frozen lasagna, and I had my delicious meals.

One of the most convenient things about these products is they are not stored in the fridge, you simply store them in the cupboard and with a shelf life of 18 months, it is well worth having a couple in your cupboard for those nights where no one can be bothered doing too much cooking!

I only recently discovered that Tasty Bite have a fantastic website which I will provide you with the link to, you can buy their products online, there is also a variety of other things including recipes a blog, testimonials etc. The link that I have provided is a direct link to the gluten free food that they have  It's best to check out the website http://www.tastybite.com.au/ or at the least when you are shopping and before you place one of the delicious Tasty Bite boxes in your trolley, make sure that you are selecting one of their gluten free dishes, as they have a variety of dishes available. But we coeliacs or gluten intolerant people are very used to reading labels of products before eating them! But the best think about this product, is there is table on the back which lists a possible 8 ingredients and things you have to do to store etc, and all you have to look for is to make sure the no gluten box is ticked (much easier then reading the generally long list of ingredients in some products!)

Make sure next shopping trip, or online order, try one of these dishes and if you like Indian food you will be pleasantly surprised, and at a little under $4.00 a box (at one of the leading supermarkets), its a very cheap dinner! Its also something that if your the outdoor type and like a bit of camping you could put this dish over the campfire stove and have it without rice, or if you have an additional saucepan you could also put on some rice too!

Readers please remember, everything I have written is my honest opinion, this was a trade off for the lovely people at Tasty Bite, displaying my blog cards, to hopefully get my blog out there to a wider audience and help more people with coeliac disease.

My only small downfall with this product is when heating  the food in the microwave, because of the curries and spices, it will stain your dish, particularly if using plastic. I used an old plastic bowl to heat the food and covered it with cling wrap (to avoid splattering over the microwave), but as the dish is white, I have a stain on the bottom of my bowl. To me, that's ok, I will make sure that's the bowl I use whenever I eat one of the Tasty Bite meals! If you are into Tupperware and have any of the more recent red dishes range, this would be perfect to heat up the food, as you can't tell that there is a slight stain. I haven't tried heating it up in a non plastic dish, but I'm sure the stain would be much easier to remove if you used crockery and not plastic to heat it, but just be aware that a crockery or porcelain dish may be rather hot, straight out of the microwave!

So make sure you try one of these meals, very easy and to be totally honest, a whole lot nicer than I originally thought. I just checked the packet and the serving size recommends two, but I ate it to myself! (whoops what a piggy I am!). My advice if you and your partner or another person are going to try this you could share but I would use alot of rice and have a few pappadums ready, but if two of you are going to eat this meal, why not heat up two different dishes and have a little feast, a bit of this, and a bit of that, mixed with with rice and the almost compulsory pappadums!

Enjoy and let me know what you think of these very convenient easy meals!

p.s I have just changed the website, I had the American website up before, this is the Australian website, my fault, sorry if anyone was confused.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Be brave, try the gluten and casein free diet on your child for behavior!

Firstly I would like to apologise to my readers to my lack of posts this week, my health (read accident post if you want more info), this week hasn't been the best and life has been hectic. I will do my best to ensure that post are put up more frequently!

As promised this isn't a review as I will alternate between review and the standard post, but I do want to say to the lovely new friends I met at the expo, fingers crossed I'll be able to get more blogging, and more reviewing quicker than I have been!

I have been doing research both the traditional and face to face with people who work with children, one a experienced psychologist and the other a child care worker and obviously as a teacher I have an educated and experienced opinion about the benefits of a gluten and casein free diet on behavior. Most people focus on this diet as for the autism spectrum alone, but it has a profound positive impact on children with various behavior issues!

What amazes me is this research and success has been around for many years! I have a good friend with a 19 year old son who suffers from, ADD and dyslexia, he doesn't suffer the hyperactivity and it was more a challenge concentrating on one thing at a time, his behavior is excellent (though when he was younger it was a little challenging), his other skills are excellent and he is extremely intelligent. I am qualified to make that claim as I have not only known him for several years but used to tutor him, in English, his knowledge of Mathematics is light years ahead of me! Despite how he is now, as a 3 year old his health and behaviour and development was causing some concern, thus his mother was recommended to remove a large number of things from his diet, gluten and casein was one of the main things! Unfortunately 16 years ago the access to gf products was nothing like it is today, leaving my friend no option but to travel great lengths into small health food stores into the city, over an hours drive, to get some gf pricey things. She's also of
Russian and polish background and her dear mother who was still with us then, baked potato
bread, from only a list of ingredients her grandson could eat and she created a lovely bread! I think it is important to acknowledge this amazing women was very versatile, probably from
surviving a pow camp in WW2! (To create a bread from scratch with limited ingredients and the fundamental ones of making bread removed, clearly demonstrates someone who know what to do to survive, to work with whatever you are give). Thus, he was on this diet for many years and whenever he altered  the diet by eating gluten, there were noticeable changes to his behaviour and other aspects of himself. So being the wonderful mother she is, she kept her son on the diet for several years, despite the difficulties to provide food for him. She is also an avid and fantastic cook (the one who made me the schnitzels), so that made comparably easier, than for someone who didn't cook. But still the point is, she saw improvements in her son and she did whatever she could to keep him on that diet, for as long as recommended!

Now thankfully we live in a world or country at least that provides an increasing amount of gf food, most of which is readily available at a majority of  supermarkets, no trekking across towns and cities anymore (in most cases), just buy the goods in your local shopping! Cook or no cook, you can very easily put your child on the gluten and casein free diet relatively stress free and if you are prepared to cook a bit, either from the large variety of packaged food, or you do the cooking for yourself, you will see the massive benefits in your child in the long run.

My strong advice to you us if you have a child who us on the autism spectrum or has some behaviour problems, try this diet, even for a month and see the difference.
Trial this, diet and observe your child, if in a month or 6 weeks you cant notice any positive behavior and interaction and engagement changes, go back to their normal diet, ultimately you have lost nothing and potentially gained alot! I have prepared tables that are basically a tick a box, which focuses on some individual areas of concern with your child and you give a rating out of 10 based on their daily progress. As it is difficulty to put tables up on the blog, please email me and I will send you the word file. This table is important, as changes generally happen gradually and everyone soon adapts to their child, forgetting how they were one or two weeks prior!

 If you are trialling this diet, please remember that although sugar and caffeine filled drinks like coke a cola, all soft drinks and sports/energy drinks will impact your child's behavior even though they may be gluten free! As will lollies,anything filled with copious amounts of sugar and preservatives is guaranteed to impact your child's behavior. For example; you can't claim the diet is not working if your child has drank a massive amount of sugar filled drinks and eaten lollies! I understand there are times like birthday parties where avoiding gluten and casein is almost impossible, perhaps let them try some food and watch their behavior, is it different? I will write a post later as to how to cater for a child's birthday party totally gluten and casein free!

One last point if you do start your child on this diet, tell their teacher or day care teacher. I have, and most teachers will be willing to do a communication book with you, letting you know how your child's behavior is going on a daily basis, also teachers are the best source to find out if your child is eating gluten filled food from the canteen, or other children! If your school canteen doesn't sell gf food ie; pop corn, a variety of Mammee snacks,gf bread, salads etc, I would strongly recommend talking to the canteen manager, or school principal if you get no progress with the canteen supervisor, about providing some healthy gf options at the canteen!

Please don't hesitate to contact me via comments or email if you have any questions, but take that chance and give it a go, you have nothing too lose and a huge amount to gain. Don't forget to email me if you are trying this diet to get the table, it will help!

Good luck and please let me know how it goes for you.


Don't forget in the next few weeks keep watching the recipe page, I will put up quick snd easy recipes the entire family can enjoy fuss free and time efficient!