GFCFSF: Getting Started

February 15, 2011

Once you have decided to go with the GFCFSF diet, then your next questions are likely, “How do I do this?” and “When should I do this?”  There are tons of variables and no one can really tell you what will work best for your family.  However, I’d like to share, from one mom to another, what led me to my decisions regarding the diet.  Additionally, I will share things that I thought could have gone better, what worked (and what didn’t) and how my kids responded.

When should I begin?

The number one variable to consider here is economics, in my opinion.  I knew I would be replacing most everything in our cupboards and refrigerator.  However, I was not prepared for the cost of simple things like GFCFSF ranch (which is almost non-existant), ketchup and mustard.  Additionally, I was prepared that we would be spending more, but I had not realized that start-up would rock the boat so much.  Previously, I had been spending about $80/week on groceries.  My first grocery bill on GFCFSF was $150 and I think it lasted all of 3-4 days.  I know with time that I will make things more affordable for my family by making many things from scratch, but I can only try so many recipes in one week.  Additionally, purchasing new and replacement ingredients for our pantry (rice flour, xantham gum, baking soda in the aluminum free container) every week drives the bill up. 

The second thing I considered was whether I should see a DAN! practitioner first.  DAN! is the Autism Research Institute’s response to biomedical intervention to cure autism.   It stands for, my favorite phrase, defeat autism now.  I believe this year they are changing the name.  You can view more information here.  Biomedical intervention consists of things such as the GFCFSF diet, vaccination considerations, chelation, etc.  Many of these therapies and treatments are not widely accepted in the medical community, because there is a lack of proven research.  By proven, we mean controlled studies of thousands of people.  However, there are doctors out there who recognize the value of biomedical intervention and you probably want to get involved with one.  One of the things they can do is test your child for gluten, casein and tons of other allergies/sensitivities.  This test may mean that you will be eliminating more than just gluten, casein and soy.  If you are looking to do all of this at once or want more guidence in implementing the diet, then waiting to see a DAN! practitioner is best.   I decided initially to go this route.  However, when I called for the appointment there were no openings for four months.  When I heard this, I decided just to dive in.  I wanted to see change before then.