I’ve always loved cooking. I wasn’t always good at it, but everyone starts somewhere, right? My cabinets are loaded with all kinds of spices, herbs, oils, beans, and flours. My family will look around and think that we have absolutely nothing to eat in the house, and in just a short amount of time, I can prove them all wrong. I am marveled at how disgusting grapeseed oil tastes alone, how a spoonful of fresh basil will never be easy to swallow, or how my stomach turns at the thought of crunching on a clove of garlic. But something magical happens when you throw these three ingredients into a food processor. Toss it with a salad, drizzle it over breadsticks, or pour it over baked chicken. Oil, basil, and garlic are horrendous by themselves, but whoever thought to combine them is a genius, as far as I’m concerned.
While in the midst of immersing myself in autism research, I learned so many facts about food! Some of the stuff didn’t even seem like new information, but there were some things that completely changed the way I look at the food in my home. I read through article after article and watched countless videos on chemicals and allergies, nutrients and sensitivities, proteins and vitamins and grains and minerals and on and on and on. I felt like my head was going to explode with all of this new found information on food that I always thought was food, but actually isn’t, and it quickly became too much for me. Flipping through the grocery store sale ad now makes me angry, and walking down the aisles of the store now feels pointless. I can’t feed my family any of this stuff! I just wanted to rage through the store, ripping food from the shelves, throwing and tearing boxes, demanding that they stop producing such poison. Clearly, that’s insane, and I’m way too classy for public temper tantrums. That’s what my closet is for. Duh.
I know what you’re thinking, and please don’t go calling me a “hippie” now. Because, I totally am not a hippie. I actually love laws and rules and having an umbrella of authority. While the government may be stupid, I still believe that it’s necessary. I like to shower, shave my legs, and wash my hair. I do support he whole “Go Green” philosophy, but that’s more because I take thrifty to the max in my own home…because I’d rather save money on everyday things so we can have big vacations once a year (Hurray for polluting the air with road trips and airplanes!) This food thing isn’t at all hippie-ish to me. It’s medicine. I simply cannot undo what I’ve learned, so I’m just re-learning how to change my kitchen. Here’s what cannot be in my home, in light of Idan’s wiring:
Gluten (Wheat, Barley, Rye)
Casein Protein (Found in ALL things dairy), even lactose free)
Soy (Contains Estrogen)
Refined Sugar (Raw Sugar is okay)
Too much Corn (Can lead to its own allergies if consumed daily)
Red Dye 40 (Seriously, just look this one up on your own.)
These are the things that all kids love to eat, and that we cannot indulge in over here:
Pop tarts, most cereals, milk, chocolate, butter, ranch dressing, Ketchup, Doritos, most juices (Red 40 is in everything), chewy bars, Nutella, pretzels, Bread (made from wheat), cheese (in every form, mozzarella, Swiss, cheddar, you name it, can’t have it) pasta (unless gluten free), pretty much ALL candies, pretty much all flavored potato chips, cookies, cakes, donuts, ice cream, soda, crackers, anything breaded and fried or baked, goldfish, biscuits, breadsticks, rolls, just everything and anything made with flour…pancakes, waffles, croissant rolls, cinnamon rolls….gummy snacks, fruit roll ups, flinstones vitamins (contain red dye 40) So much, guys…so much.
Here’s what my new, average (Farmers Market) grocery list looks like these days:
Brown Rice Flour, White Rice Flour, Tapioca Starch, Sorghum Flour, Active Yeast, Raw Almonds, Raw Cashews, Peanuts, Palm Oil, Gluten Free Rolled Oats, All Fruits, All Vegetables, All kinds of Beans, All kinds of Roots, All Kinds of Spices, Maca Powder, Matcha Powder, Moringa Powder, Xanthan Gum, Flaxseed, Chia Seed, Millet, Nutritional Yeast (different from active yeast), Ghee (wth is ghee, right?), cacao nibs, Raw Sugar, Coconut Milk, Organic, free range Chicken, Free Range Eggs. Boom. Done.
Here’s what I can make in a regular week with all of those ingredients:
Brownies, Ice Cream, Cereal, Almond Milk, Cashew Milk, Mozzarella Cheese, Sharp Cheddar Cheese, French Fries, Crackers, Sandwich Bread, Gummy Snacks, Jello, Chicken Nuggets, Pizza Dough, Garlic Knots, Pizza Sauce, Creamy Vinaigrette, Smoothies, Protein Shakes, Peanut Butter, Biscuits, Hamburger Buns, Hamburgers, Onion Rings, Delicious Onion Ring Dipping Sauce, Salad (duh), Oatmeal, Trail Mix, Milk Chocolate, Pancakes, Cupcakes, pretty much anything!
What used to be overwhelming for me, has now become my favorite pastime. And yes, I have a notebook that I’m keeping recipes in. Every recipe is trial and error, but every day is something new! You truly CAN do anything. And you CAN make anything that they sell in the store, and you CAN make it taste good and be good FOR you at the same time.
I promise you guys, Idan is doing SO MUCH BETTER with these changes. He’s able to see the world just a bit more clearly, and I see his smile so much more often now! I’m able to coach him through his meltdowns when he isn’t having any dietary interference. I have reached some opposition with my thoughts and feelings on food, but I don’t care. I know what it does for my family, and haters gonna hate.
Embracing the Crazy,
We’ve made some new updates to our home decor, with our sweet 5 year old in mind. Wait til you see his favorite spot!