Do you want to start a gluten- and casein-free diet (GFCF Diet) for your child, but can’t figure out where or how to begin? I’m very pleased to introduce a new resource that may help get you started and your child on the path to healing. Dave Borden of I’m Simply A Dad, has put together a most excellent how-to guide to the GFCF diet. Having gone through the process himself with his own child, he is now sharing his wisdom and experience, as well as a ton of great information regarding nutrition, and how our bodies respond to the food we eat. Parents, I think this will be an invaluable resource for you – and I’d suggest any adults who are trying to go gluten- and casein-free read it too! Here’s an introduction from Dave, and you can access the full guide on his website.
The GFCF diet is often the starting point for many parents who are looking for holistic approaches in treating their kid’s autism or ADHD. Unfortunately, many parents are paralyzed by the sheer magnitude of such a dramatic change in their diets.
My son was diagnosed with autism at 3 years old (8 years ago). When we started to suspect he might have autism, we immediately started him on a gluten and casein free diet even before his official diagnosis.
Overwhelming at First
It was an overwhelming time in our lives. I remember crying after my first trip to Whole Foods. Everything was so expensive, and I remember thinking how can we possibly afford this? Fast forward 8 years, and I’m now a GFCF pro. It’s one of my greatest successes as an autism Dad.
However, I will never forget the heartache and overwhelm that I experienced 8 years ago, which is why I have created a new guide to the GFCF diet on my website: ImSimplyaDad.com. My goal with this guide is to help parents navigate a brand new way of eating. Within this guide is everything you will need to start a GFCF diet for your family.
It is a daunting task to change everything you once did in terms of food. My aim here is to answer as many questions a new parent may have and provide everything they need in one convenient place. By the way, it’s all free. I’m not trying to sell anything! (There is an optional EBook you could buy, but it will always be free on my website)
What is the GFCF Diet Anyway?
The GFCF diet is the removal of gluten, casein, and often times soy too. The purpose of this diet is to take away many sources of inflammation and help the immune system to throttle down. Kids with autism and even ADHD tend to have hyperactive immune systems which is what contributes to the severity of their symptoms.
If you remove inflammatory foods like gluten, casein, and soy this will help ease the burden on the body and allow it to start healing. The real goal is to help the child feel better and thus be better prepared for progress at school or through other therapies and treatments.
For anyone wanting to learn more, I take a much deeper dive into the reasons why I think you should give the GFCF diet a try within my guide.
Our GFCF Diet Results
I want to be clear. Adopting this diet has not “cured” my son’s autism. We still have our daily struggles, and we work hard to support him everyday. However, we have seen his immune system strengthen and his awareness increase.
Before starting the diet, he was very sick. It seemed like he would catch every bug he was exposed to and it would hit him very hard. Today, he is much stronger and often recovers from illnesses like colds/flu faster than I do.
My son is on the severe end of the spectrum, so it’s hard to know how he really feels inside. He does seem to be more present and aware of the things going on around him. It’s tough to put it into words, but it just seems like he is with us more often than not. I’m sure fellow autism parents can relate. We’ve also seen huge improvements in sleep quality and bathroom frequency. Two issues very common in the autism population.
A Healthier Family
The entire family has been GFCF (paleo to be technical) for over 3 years now. My wife and I maintain a weight loss of over 100 pounds. My wife’s once severe asthma is now nearly nonexistent. We all went paleo once we found out we were having another baby almost 4 years ago. I’m happy to say that my paleo baby (now 3) is by far the healthiest kid we have. To date: she has never needed antibiotics or even a sick visit to her doctor (knock on wood).
If you’ve ever considered the GFCF diet but were to overwhelmed, please consider checking out “A Parent’s Complete Guide to going gluten, casein, and soy free”
I wish I could say that switching to a GFCF Diet will be easy, but I can’t. It’s going to be hard work in the beginning, but if you stick with it 100%, it will be worth it. If you go “ALL -IN”, you’ll start to see positive changes. Maybe, you’ll even be one of the lucky ones who see remarkable results right away.
Remember, it will get easier. You will find your way. If you are not one of the early responders to GFCFSF don’t lose hope. Diet is often the first step towards healing, but it is a critical first step. Stay committed. Keep learning. Get yourself and your family healthier, so everyone can become all they were meant to be.
I’ll leave you with a testimonial from a fellow autism parent. Good luck. I am available on my website, imsimplyadad.com, or through Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter should you have any questions (@imsimplyadad). Be Well.
“Diet was instrumental to us! The fourth day off milk, he looked us in the eye for the first time! GFCFSF is crucial. I can’t even imagine anyone being successful in recovery without it. We have tried so many things and while they all worked a little, I am confident that the #1 intervention we did was the diet. If you focus on what you can have and not what you can’t, it’s not that bad. Our son has been on it for 8 years and now at 10, he reads all labels & is always asking questions about what he can and can’t have. I feel like while it was difficult in the beginning, it’s actually the easiest thing we did.” –Monica
Who is I’m Simply a Dad?
Dave Borden is a full-time Dad and the writer behind the website ImSimplyaDad.com. His days are spent homeschooling both his 11-year-old son with severe autism along with his 3-year-old daughter. You may have seen him on Facebook cooking nutritious paleo dishes next to his sous chef, his 9-year-old son Gavin.
When he’s not caring for his family, Dave is busy sharing his knowledge and experience with others. In addition to his own site, ImSimplyaDad.com, Dave’s writing has been published various places across the web including thenaturopathicmama.com.
The road to better health, hope, and healing was a bumpy one. It is his mission to share his insights and help make that road smoother for other parents.