As I have mentioned in previous posts, we recently changed our whole family over to the Feingold Elimination Diet, a food and lifestyle plan that has helped hundreds of kids with ADD, autism, and other issues. Before we started this diet, the Beast was having daily meltdowns, longer periods of regression, extreme lack of focus, and bouts of anxiety that would keep him awake at night. Those were primarily the reasons I started researching for a way that we could help him naturally.
The Feingold Diet is a pretty radical change from the way we were eating and living. We purchased the member plan for a year, which gave us access to a 300-page book of what brands and foods and beauty products were acceptable on the plan. It also gave us a lot of helpful tips on how to get started, with a compendium of recipes to use as well as breakfast, lunch, and snack ideas. Obviously I have neither the room (nor the permission !) to share all of that information here; but here's a very basic overview of our new way of life.
The Feingold Diet eliminates all artificial food colors, all artificial flavors, most preservatives, all synthetic sweeteners, and natural salicylates. Many autistic children have a sensitivity to one or more of the salicylic foods, which include apples, oranges, berries, grapes, peppers, tomatoes, and other natural foods; so these natural salicylates are removed for 6 to 8 weeks and then are gradually reintroduced to the child one at a time to test for toleration. Also, toiletries and laundry detergent have to be color-free and fragrance-free. As you can imagine, meal planning has been quite interesting! I am able to purchase bread, but the brands and types allowed on the diet are quite expensive and not really feasible for a family that loves sandwiches for lunch!
So I've been making my own bread and experimenting with several recipes to get just the "right" sandwich bread. I think I've found a winner!King Arthur Flour's recipe here. It is (literally!) the easiest bread recipe I have ever made. You just put all the ingredients in your bowl in the order listed in the recipe, mix and knead, let it rise, transfer it to a loaf pan, let it rise again, and bake.
I am also working on finding or creating recipes that fit in our new diet and are kid-friendly (no easy task when you don't have tomato sauce to work with). I am hoping to share many of these in the blog in the upcoming weeks to be a help to others who may also be on the diet or at least considering it.
Oh, and are you wondering if we've seen any results? Two days after we started it, the Beast calmly and quietly stayed at the dinner table throughout the entire meal. This has NEVER happened before. I have also seen him now able to control himself better and able to calm himself down without help! We are so amazed at the change.
I should have waited until the end of writing this post to add the pictures. I am so hungry for a piece of that bread now! I think I'll go warm up a slice and slather it with some butter...