29 November 2011

Change is good.... right?

This is Oscar. 

My first born.  My sweet little man.

And our current catalyst for change. 

Oscar has always been "relatively" healthy.  Sort of.  No known true allergies and no behavior problems that might make us suspect something like a food intolerance.

Sure he has some eczema (very minor). 

And some seasonal allergies. 

Oh and when he gets a cold in the winter he ends up coughing until he throws up at night for a week.  It was this pattern that drove us to be more of an ACTIVE advocate for Oscar's health.

We switched to a new pediatrician that we love.  This pediatrician tested him for allergies, asthma and food sensitivities. 

So the jist of it is... Oscar is very allergic to a specific type of grass & a few trees... but no food allergies.  So that is a big relief. 

However, he is HIGHLY sensitive to wheat, rye, spelt and gluten.  And moderately sensitive to dairy and eggs. 

Apparently 7 years of living in a "wheat house" has made his "gut very irritated" to the point that almost all foods show up as slightly sensitive.  It has been explained to me that after 2-6 months of a GF/CF (gluten free / casein free) diet it is likely that the only things he'll need to avoid if possible is wheat, gluten, rye and spelt.  Ya... that's all.

So we are changing. 

I am what I call a "scratch cook".  I make almost every thing from scratch.  This whole GF/CF thing sent me into a panic.... mostly because it is new and unknown. 

Now 3 weeks later I view it more of an adventure. 

Because I am a stay at home "scratch cook" I've gone through what are probably normal GOING GF "phases" rapidly.  I ran through what I call phase 1 & 2 w/in a week and a half.

My first phase I am sorry to say was to de-evolve SAHM speaking.  The 1st week, I'll confess, I ran to the store and bought anything I could find that said "Gluten free".  I bought the rice bread.  Yuck.  Really terrible.  If you are used to home made bread don't even bother.  Maybe it would make ok bread crumbs.  Maybe.

The next phase was the "mix" phase.  I bought every GF mix I could find.  This was the Bob's Red Mill GF bread machine mix.  Not too bad.  But the kids didn't like it.  I made the Bob's GF pancake mix.  Some of the family liked it. I also made the Bob's GF pizza dough mix.  That was a hit.  Even our picky eater ate the pizza without any comments like "this smells different".  The main thing I didn't like about this phase was it was expensive and I don't like using mixes.   Even GF ones.

Now I am in phase 3.  Back to my "scratch cook" roots but Gluten free.  I have texted my friend who writes THIS blog more times a day than I care to admit.  She's been GF free for years and is also a scratch cook.  She's turned me on to several GF blogs, the most valuable has been the Gluten Free Girl

So in the past 3 weeks I've gone from this:

To this:

This is the notebook I took with me to Bob's Red Mill so I got every thing I needed to "do this".
And this:

I got myself a scale (because GF flours can't be swapped cup for cup for wheat). 

I've mixed myslef up my first batch of Gluten Free All Purpose Whole Grain Flour - I know it's a mouthfull (if you want to do this go HERE).  If you are used to working with raw ingreadients it isn't that big a deal.  You basically weigh 7 parts GF whole grain flours, 3 parts GF starches and boom GF flour that can be subsituted for AP wheat flour (as long as you weigh it).  The hurdle now is to find the mixture of GF whole grain flours my family prefers.  And I've heard that there is a different ratio for GF pasty flour.  More on that some other time.

So this week I made my own GF bread from scratch and GF muffins. 

Both were hits. 
So I am DEEP in my learning curve here and you are welcome to join me. 

I would LOVE tips if you want to share them.  Or recipies.  Or what not to do. 

And if I'm being totally honest we are only MOSTLY GF free and I've not even wrapped my head around the CF part.  I'm doing my best to eliminate Gluten and most Dairy whenever possible but not being super super strict yet. 

I know initially to "calm down Oscar's gut" we need to be totally GF/CF free so I think after the holidays we'll do a 3 month total GF/CF diet. 

Hopefully by then I'll have learned and experiemented enough to have the family not even notice.   Or maybe even think I've improved on my old recipies! 


  1. We are doing the same thing in our house right now (started this week). I am excited to try your GF bread. This is a big change for us!

  2. Ms. Williams is me, Danielle Mapes:) I don't use this account very often.