Gluten Free {and Miserable}

Over the years our family has tried numerous health diets to see if anything could help manage autism behaviors. Over the years, we have also learned a lot about gut health, holistic health, and preventative maintenance.

Our first attempt at using diet to “cure” autism was about six or seven years ago. We were misled by some autism know-it-alls who made money by being naked and promoting a book. There’s a very large online community promoting a cure for autism, as if it’s a disease.

Apparently there’s a magic combination of mega-vitamins and eating dirt that can cure autism. Well, they aren’t really feeding their kids dirt. But I don’t know what else to call it when you force your child onto a gluten-free/casein-free/soy-free/corn-free/nut-free/sugar-free/dye-free/preservative-free/grain-free diet. I mean, what’s left? Just rip out the child’s childhood and soul instead for crying out loud. Talk about raising kids with resentment and food issues…

Anyways, we tried to go gluten-free and casein-free for about 6 months. The only change in behaviors we saw, were struggles with meals, resentment, anger, and frustrations.

My greatest takeaway from going gluten-free was to stop trying to replace gluten foods with gluten-free replacements. There is no replacement for real bread. The only replacement for real bread, is disappointment.

So we gave up after 6 months.

Well, here we are all these years later, doing gluten-free again, as part of an elimination diet. Again, we are learning that there is no replacement for real bread. In my opinion, if you have to be gluten-free, just don’t even try to replace the bread. Just leave it out altogether. I’m sorry, but you just can’t make a good pizza crust with cauliflower. You can’t make a good sandwich bread with sorghum and tapioca flour. You can’t make good flour tortillas without flour. Seriously, when I get desperate and want a double cheeseburger, there had better be a real freakin’ bun with it, too, doggonnit. And bacon.

Did I mention how miserable we are? Bread is comforting. And happy. And tasty. Did I mention that you just can’t replace bread?

So we went to Lego Land this week. There was one gluten-free option. Sure we could have packed a lunch, but who has time for all that noise? Anyways, there was one option, it was called a “salad.” By salad I mean a glorified and expensive way of selling a bunch of iceberg lettuce in a bowl. I’m always afraid of picking up e-coli when buying a salad at a theme park. Those little booths that sell food, they don’t look like they have sinks in them. When I watch the 17-year old kid take my cash and then scoop my fries, well, my mind just goes to all the other dark and disturbing areas where he is probably failing miserably at sanitation.

Our gluten-free experiment will probably be coming to an end soon. As we learned from our previous experience, there is no replacement, and all we get is angry.

On a side note, my husband had to pick up some cat food at the pet store recently. They were out of the regular food we buy, and so he picked up something new. He didn’t notice that it happened to be grain-free cat food. Even the cats hate being gluten-free. Just sayin’.

Cats are disappointed in the gluten-free diet, too.

Thanks for letting me vent, y’all. I really needed that. I’m going to try to do a review of Lego Land with autism soon. Until then, eat wheat, get drunk on yeast, and be happy when you’re flappy.


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