Thursday, July 27, 2006

Why I Do What I Do

In the four years since I started cooking gluten and casein free, family members, friends and people I’ve met along the way have had tons of questions. “Why do you do it? How can you not feed your kids stuff like bread, cheese, and ice cream? Man, I couldn’t live without that stuff!” is usually how those conversations start. Truth is, cooking without gluten or casein is a challenge—especially at first. Learning to tweak favorite recipes takes time. And believe me, it takes a lot of patience, time at the health food store, and many hours at the library and online. For me and my family, the extra work does not outweigh the benefits of this way of eating.

I started researching the GFCF (gluten-free/casein-free) diet as an intervention for the treatment of autism after my daughter was diagnosed. I began to look for any information I could find on the subject, and started finding ways to modify recipes for foods I already made that would be suitable for the whole family. For the sake of simplicity (as well as my sanity), most nights dinner is gluten and casein free for everyone. I do make both traditional as well as GFCF breads and cakes for us; and truthfully, I do stock cheese in my house (I love me some yummy feta and Gouda). But I keep plenty of GFCF cheese on hand for things like grilled cheese sandwiches and pizza that my family enjoys.

I hope that readers of this blog will find valuable information. What I am really aiming for is to demonstrate that cooking and eating this way does not have to be a total downer. There are many dishes out there—even cakes and cookies and bread-- that can be made that still adhere to the GFCF diet. I’ll be posting recipes and photos of the foods I prepare; I’ll include the results of home taste tests (my husband and kids are very willing participants); and along the way, I’ll post links to websites and articles of interest about living the GFCF lifestyle.