Friday, September 3, 2010

I Need Help Please!

In my last post for Hearty Pasta Sauce, I forgot to include this picture of the finished sauce- whoops!

I included the container of honey in this picture because I love how the label says "from local forets" (instead of forests).  And make sure you get a load of my little stove/oven...  Isn't it cute-in-a-completely-inadequate-way?  Yeah, I found a nice square pan that fits inside the oven (no 9x13 is going in there).  I made meatloaf the other day in my muffin pan (that I brought from the states) and I had to remove the rack & actually slide my 12 cup muffin pan into the guides for the rack- but I got it in there & it worked!  Now, you've seen my itty-bitty fridge & oven, I'll save for a post for another day the photo of my slightly-unique-and-kinda-odd sink...

I have been reading a book called Disconnected Kids because of some developmental  issues my 6 (almost 7) year old son has been dealing with for some time now.  I have decided we are going to give his program a try (and I've gotten the rest of the family on board).  Besides very specific exercises, part of the program includes modifying what your child eats.  You are supposed to go through an "elimination diet" for at least 4 weeks (quite possibly more), eliminating all foods which could be behavior triggers.  Common triggers include: wheat, dairy, corn, tomatoes, apples, peanuts, yeast, sugar, food additives etc.  (Eggs are supposed to be excluded also, but we've decided that we don't think our son has a problem with them & he needs the morning protein.)

This brings me to my call for "Help!"  As you know, we are here in Rwanda, where you can probably guess that there are no health food stores & not a lot of options food wise period.  At the store I have seen millet flour and rice flour (they use these for porridge).  Grain wise they have rice, quinoa, oatmeal.  I do not have any electronic kitchen devices (no food processor for making flours or nut butters, no electric mixer, the blender we do have just basically stirs, however we do have a crock pot I just bought from another missionary family).

Do you have any recipes that we could use for our family that are free from the triggers listed above?  I know for breakfasts we can have oatmeal or baked oatmeal, eggs, rice porridge, and I might even try making pancakes using millet flour (although my attempt at making home made syrup using honey & maple flavoring was not so great today- their honey has a very strong flavor here).  For dinners we can have things like meat, vegetables, rice, potatoes, soup- but I would like more options & recipes for me to plan what exactly we will be eating & to make sure everything has good flavor.  I would also like ideas for lunches and snacks as well.

Can you help?  Please post your recipes or links in the comments below- I am weary of spending hours scouring the internet for recipes that don't include any of the "offenders" or ingredients that are unavailable (like nuts, special flours, dried fruits, etc.)

I do have some spelt flour coming with a team in a few weeks- that will make many things easier, but until then things are going to be challenging.  I have thought about doing something similar to this in the past, but always pushed aside the idea because my son is picky already & just won't eat a lot of things as it is.  So, here I am, being crazy in Rwanda & giving it a shot.  The good thing is that even though our options are more limited, it also means the temptations for him are a lot less as well.

Thanks for helping if you can!

This post was linked to Fight Back Fridays.


  1. Were on the SCD for my son's autism, I have a GFCF/Nut -Free tab on my blog:

    I wish you the best of luck. These diets get easier, I promise. It just takes awhile to build up a repetoire of recipes you like, then life will get normal again.

  2. Hi,

    Sorry to hear about your kid issues, hope he will improve with diet changes.

    Here's my 2 cents:

    Also, I use kefir a lot and I successfully converted my grains in soy milk. It does not taste as good as milk kefir, but it is fine and you can use substitute any acidic ingredient with it (e.g., buttermilk).

    Hope it helps.

    BTW, I am a psychologist (very far from autistic disorders indeed) but what is it supposed to be the exact link between food and symptoms?

  3. @ Mrs. Ed- thank you- we have been on & off with the diet (off right now due to guests staying with us & it's was just too much). I will definitely check out your blog! :)

  4. @ Matilda- thank you, your recipe looks delish & like great comfort food.
    The link between food & symptoms will be hard for me to explain, but I will pull this info from the book "disconnected" kids that many times they have compromises in the body that may include: an underdeveloped digestive system, which may cause a "leaking gut"; reduced ability to secrete acids that chemically break down food; reduced muscle contractions (peristalsis) which mechanically break down food; reduced ability to absorb nutrients from food; decreased blood circulation in the intestines and stomach lining.

    I also pulled this info off the site:
    PEPTIDUREA (peptides in the urine) that is caused by the inability of the body to properly break down certain proteins. It is hypothesized that certain peptides, notably from milk and wheat proteins, are plugging into the opiate receptor sites of the brain and disrupting brain and nervous system function. Urine testing for this is still experimental, and many parents believe that the best way to find out if this is what is causing a child's autism is a strict trial period on the GF/CF diet.

    In the GF/CF diet, gluten and milk are avoided because they are strongly suspected of having such a direct pharmacological effect. When these proteins are only partly broken down, some of the resulting fragments can be strikingly similar to morphine, and act in more or less the same manner. (This type of reaction can co-exist along with a classic type of allergy towards the same foods).

    Recent research indicates that protein from both corn and soy (as well as protein from blood and spinach) could also contain some molecule sequences that could - if the patient had an enzyme deficiency - be broken down into something closely resembling opoid peptides.
    Products made from soy or corn will also often contain metabolic end products made by microscopic organisms like bacteria, molds or fungus. Some of these are suspected of being harmful to a small number of people who are genetically disposed to autism. The amount of danger will depend on individual conditions AND on the quality of the corn or soybeans used in the production process. Soy OIL (lecithin) may be worse than most other soy products, since this product will look and taste okay, even when made from moldy raw material, and since the "bottom grade" of the harvest tends to be used for it.

    There is also info on food sensitivities here:

    Thanks for stopping by & commenting!


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