anonymous asked:

Hello Amythest! Id like to know what you think about GFCF diet. Necessary, not necessary, absolutely necessary? How about other "biomedical interventions" that claims they are the way to "recover" from autism and cost lots of money. How about you? are you following a diet? Give some details please. Have a boy (5y) with PDD diagnostic. Thanks in advance for your answer, Ill be following your youtube channel and your facebook too. God bless you.

Hi there. Firstly, when it comes to biomedical “treatments” for autism, these treatments are ineffective time/money wasters at best (see hyperbaric oxygen chambers) and are potentially harmful (or in the case of MMS/CD and chelation, even fatal) at worst. Because autism is a neurodevelopmental condition and not a disease or illness it can never be “cured”, and so biomedical treatments are completely unnecessary. Those who provide and sell such “treatments” really can’t be trusted

When it comes to gluten-free and other special diets, you have to take the individual person’s tolerances into account as well as weighing the pros and the cons of sticking to a special diet. The cons include spending more money, time, and energy on something that may not even be helpful for the autistic person in question. Eating and food is already an area that is tough for a lot of autistic people, so trying to stick to a special diet can add unnecessary stress to the autistic person’s life and unnecessary grief for parents.

The fact is that Celiac disease is pretty rare, and that the pop science that says “Autistic people have higher rates of gluten intolerance” are mostly anecdotal and have never been scientifically proven. But if your autistic child is one of the people on the planet who don’t digest gluten well, then the pros of better health, smoother digestion, and a reduction in pain or discomfort may be worth the trouble.

It’s really important to pay attention to your child and watch them carefully. Don’t focus on all of the “miracle recovery/cure/treatment” stories on those mommy blogs and sketchy “natural health” sites. Watch your child for signs of stress or anxiety when it comes to changing his diet, keeping in mind that any change or disruption of routine is very hard for autistic people, and if you’re not seeing an improvement in your son’s digestion and overall health, don’t be afraid to stop.

I am not on any special diet, and I have tried going without milk, eggs, and gluten (for a chronic illness that I have). Nothing made me feel awesome or helped my illness in any noticeable way. I do try to eat healthy, though.

To conclude, there are some “treatments” for autism, like multivitamins and omega-3 supplements, that aren’t dangerous and when used properly can’t hurt. I mean, what kid doesn’t like a good Flintstones chewable vitamin? That being said, if there is a treatment, therapy, or magical miracle supplement out there being touted as an “autism cure” or a method of “recovery”, you can be sure that the purveyors of said treatment or cure are only out for one thing, and that is desperate parent’s money.


GFCF “Chik-fil-a"esque Chicken Nuggets


¼ cup - 1 cup dill pickle juice (depending on amount of chicken)

2 chicken breasts cut into ½ inch pieces, can also use tenderloins 

Egg Wash

1 large egg

½ cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk

Flour Mixture

¾ cup gluten free multi purpose flour (i used King Arthur brand)

½ teaspoon paprika    

¼ teaspoon ground pepper   

½ teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon powdered sugar (confectioner’s sugar)

½ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon ground basil

dash cayanne (i used Penzey’s Berber seasoning)

1 cup of oil for frying (i didn’t have peanut so i used canola)


2 large food storage bags or containers

shallow cake/pie pan or medium sized bowl

measuring cups and spoons


paper towels

large skillet

cutting board & knife


  1. Place raw chicken in thick storage bag and cover with pickle juice. Squeeze all of the air out of the bag to make sure chicken is completely submerged. Marinate your chicken for one hour in the refrigerator . (I cut 2 chicken breasts into ½ inch pieces for more of a popcorn chicken look.)
  2. Mix flour ingredients together and place in a large plastic storage bag or food storage container with a tight sealing lid, set aside.
  3. Place egg & milk in shallow cake/pie pan and blend together with a fork, set aside.
  4. Pour pickle juice off of chicken and place on paper towels, dry thouroughly, place in egg wash stir with fork to coat evenly.
  5. Using your hand (it’s just easier) pull chicken out of wash, let excess wash run off, place in flour mixture, seal container. I did this all at once with the nuggets, sealed the bag & shook it till it was completely coated. If you are doing tenderloins or breasts you may want to do them one at a time. 
  6. Shake or turn in flour mixture till pieces are completely coated, set aside for 5 minutes. I like this step to ensure that most of the flour mixture adheres to the chicken when you cook it. Heat your oil over medium high heat in the skillet.
  7. Fry till cooked to a safe internal temperature (165F) and done, my nuggets were only 3 minutes per side obviously breasts and strips will take much longer.
  8. Drain chicken on paper towels and enjoy.

I officially have my allergy results back and it turns out I was spot on about the gluten allergy. I have a moderate gluten allergy, a moderate casein allergy (dairy) and a severe allergy to… wait for it… lettuce

Yep. I’m allergic to lettuce. See ya later salads. 

There are a few other mild allergies (chicken, beef, black pepper—seriously, who am I?!

I think the hardest part of all of this will be the casein allergy, because it’s not the lactose in the dairy that is the problem, it’s the type of protein found it cow’s milk and goat’s milk that causes the reaction. This means that lactose free options won’t cut it for me, because that won’t solve the casein problem. 

I’m going to approach this as realistically as possible, in that I am not going gangbusters on this. I’m going to do my best to eliminate these from my diet without going to extremes. I still want to be able to eat out, go to friends homes, etc, so I think the best bet is to just cut back on everything as drastically as possible without making myself miserable. 

I’m making an appointment with my general doctor and a nutritionist to talk about the results and the best way to approach this new lifestyle, so hopefully they will have some suggestions for me that will make this a tolerable adventure. 

In other news, I can still drink wine, so at least there’s that.

Healthy Living & Gluten Free Expo

We have been invited to participate in the Healthy Living & Gluten Free Expo next month.  This will be the largest event that we have demonstrated our products in the Willamette Valley.

The Expo is on November 26, 2011 from 10AM to 5PM, unless you sign up for one of the educational forums.  Here is the website for the expo:

We are very excited to attend.  Hope to see you there!

Happy Eating!

Andrea Venezio

Gluten Sensitivity, What Does This Mean?

Many parents come into my office and know that a gluten free diet can help their child but understanding how this affects the body is often unknown. An allergy and sensitivity are different, some people experience distress when eating gluten products and show improvements when these are taken out of the diet. There is a range of reactions one can have from behavior, sleep, appetite, weight loss/gain and bowel movements. The sensitivities get worse with time and are dependent on the sources many times. Not every gluten item will give the same symptom, some more than others. Over time the medical implications of gluten include significant amounts of inflammation in the small intestine. Some common symptoms seen with gluten intolerance resemble gastrointestinal symptoms such as bloating, gas, abnormal bowels, nausea, seizures, anemia, fatigue, headaches and body pain. Many will also have deficient nutrients and this always contributes to the problem.

You can do blood work to see if you have celiac disease but this doesn’t answer the question of a food sensitivity. Celiac disease is a digestive disease that results in damage to the small intestine and is genetically inherited and chronic. I am in favor of food sensitivity and celiac testing in my own practice and feel this is a great glimpse into everyday ways you can help your child. This comes down to managing food intake when sensitivities exist. If you are unsure if a food sensitivity exists and can’t do testing you can try a strict GF diet for 90 days to see if any of the symptoms subside. You MUST be 100% with the diet as everyone has a differing degree of sensitivity so even a small amount can wreak havoc for days.

More to come…

Be well,

Dr. Brooks

Pinterest is filled with hate

I just looked on it to find some pictures about stimming and things for my coursework and now i remember why i avoided the site. There’s so much cure rhetoric and calls for cures, ABA therapy, Gluten free Casein free diets. Its disheartening, i hope at some point we can clean up pinterest, mass report or comment on some of those posts and make it a safe space for us.

These are my new favourite thing. I’ve been on the lookout for a good snack food that, of couse, is gluten and dairy free.

These are so super delicious, unlike many gluten free snacks, which tend to take on the form of rice crackers. They’re only about $2.50 for a bag and it lasts a little while if you moderate it well.

They’re also only 120 calories for 20 CHIPS. And the thing about these chips is that you don’t feel like you need to scarf down the entire bag because they’re pretty filling.

Oh, and they can be found at Walmart, so that’s always a plus.

sloppy zen. it's what's for dinner.

I should preface this by saying that I find kitchen prep extraordinarily soothing.  So if you had a many-hour workday today that required all of your being, and chopping even slices and cubes sounds appealing, behold my zen.  Also, the whole thing is massively sloppy. Avocados and olive oil are not for the meticulously neat.

Additionally, use whatever squash you’d like, whatever ratio of squash to sweet potato appeals, and more eggplant if you prefer.  I used the remaining of half squash I had from making Ottolenghi ratatouille, and other bits and pieces I had around from other cookings.  ALSO, perhaps you’d like to do bell peppers and zucchini and whatever the hell else.  All’s I’m saying is I did this this one time.


½ a large, or 1 small, eggplant

½ butternut squash

2 medium sweet potatoes

2 small, or 1 large, onion(s)

1 avocado

1 NICE medium-sized tomato (it’s the bougey shit from the plastic hothouse box at Whole Foods, or don’t bother in winter) 

salad greens

Quinoa, rice, or other grain if you’d like it to go along with

olive oil

balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper



Preheat oven to 350

1. Peel your eggplant and slice it down in ¼ inch pieces.  Spread slices on a paper towel, sprinkle with salt, then get on with your life/squash prep.  Put your grain on now, if it’s brown rice.  If it’s white rice or quinoa, wait until stuff is in the oven.

2. Peel and slice squash down in ¼ inch pieces.  A grapefruit spoon is very useful here to remove seeds.  Otherwise a small knife loosens the fibers attaching the seeds just fine.  Save seeds, roast separately, put in everything crunchy.

4.  Go back to the eggplant.  There should be moisture beading on the slices’ surfaces, where the salt is drawing the vegetable’s inherent bitterness out.  Geek out about this at least perfunctorily, then use a paper towel to wipe each slice down, flip it, sprinkle more salt over the fresh side, leave to un-bitter while handling other things.

3. Peel the sweet potatoes, slice down ¼ inch, toss with olive oil and salt and pepper.

4. Peel and slice the onion(s) at ¼ inch.  

5. Put your rice/quinoa/whatever the hell on to cook.

Different step 5. Line two cookie trays with parchment paper.  Roast the eggplant and onion slices on one lightly oiled tray for 15 minutes on one side, then flip and roast for another 15 minutes, sliding the tray of sweet potato and squash in at this point. After those 15 minutes are up, flip everything on both trays, and finish with a last 12-15 minutes (start checking at 10).  

6.  Mash up a half an avocado per two people in a bowl, plus one sliced-up nice tomato per two people, salt&pepper&olive oil.  This is now your salad dressing.  It is delicious.  Add your lettuce/green, sprinkle balsamic vinegar over, then toss everything.  Put on plate with vegetables.  Eat.

GFCF Chicken and dumplings

You guys.
I am so excited.

I made gluten free and casein (milk) free chicken and dumplings for dinner tonight.

I found a recipe on the Betty Crocker website for gluten free chicken and dumplings using their Gluten Free Bisquick. I modified it a little, subbing dairy-free margarine and soy milk in place of butter and milk. The soy milk separated slightly when it was heated in the broth, but that didn’t affect the taste or texture at all. I might try almond milk next time. I also used fresh veggies instead of frozen ones because, well… They’re better. So, friends, here’s the modified chicken and dumplings recipe:


2 ½ cups chicken broth
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
½ cup chopped fresh green beans
½ cup chopped carrots
½ cup diced sweet onion
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 cup soy milk (or other dairy-free alternative)
3 tablespoons cornstarch

¾ cup Bisquick® Gluten Free mix
1/3 cup soy milk
2 tablespoons dairy-free margarine, melted
1 egg
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

In saucepan, heat chicken broth, chicken, vegetables, salt, and pepper to boiling. In small bowl, mix 1 cup soy milk and the cornstarch with wire whisk until smooth; stir into chicken mixture. Heat just to boiling.

In small bowl, stir dumpling ingredients with fork until blended. Gently drop dough by 8 rounded spoonfuls onto boiling chicken mixture.

Cook uncovered over low heat 10 minutes. Cover and cook 15 minutes longer.

I cannot recommend this highly enough if you’re GFCF. It’s one of my favorite comfort foods, so I’m really excited that I’ll still be able to enjoy it. And I know it’s going to be especially good on those chilly Virginia winter days.

Link to the original recipe:


Sometimes, weekends are rough.  Provided, for many people in my age demographic, rough is the name of the Thursday-Friday-Saturday night game.  But I’m not of that ilk.  Athlete for, what, twelve years, and now a yoga teacher?  The opportunity to see the putting of shit in my system as a fun thing never really appeared.  I don’t smoke, I don’t drink, I don’t put things in my mouth or arms that are foreign (unless it’s the undergrad phlebotomy staff at the university’s clinic.  Christ.  Then I don’t have a choice).  I’m more of the “laugh at my friends’ ridiculousness” type.  I participate in all the giggling and hugs and stuff.

BUT all that aside, sometimes weekends are rough for emotional reasons. If weekdays are packed, then things get bottled up because they’ll be attended to “later.”  And later is supposed to mean “never, I hope,” but brains wise up to that plan pretty quick, and before you know it, your downtime on a Saturday turns into a pit of feelings.  Which is shitty.  Especially if they keep it up well through the rest of the weekend.  So that’s when you find a way to not have to really talk to anyone, locate work that would benefit from getting worked on, and then take time at the stove to putter around.  It helps if there’s buttery, chill spring air sliding through your window, and no music on in the background.  A trip to the season’s first local farmers’ market, as evinced by that first picture, can’t hurt either.

Taking Care- Sunday night brown rice and SCAPES!

Feeds 1 (with my appetite) plus leftovers
Have you met garlic scapes?  You should.  Go out and get acquainted right now.

-Preheat the oven to 350

-bring a cup of brown rice, two cups of water, big pinch of salt, and a glug of olive oil to a boil.  turn to lowest possible setting, cover, and leave for 40+ minutes (whenever liquid is all absorbed)

-peel and slice two-three LARGE carrots (more if they’re smaller) first width-wise to have french-fry length chunks, then halve, quarter, maybe even eighth them into fries.  toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and put in oven.  shuffle after 10-15 minutes, go for another 10ish, then start checking for your preference of done-ness.

-heat some olive oil in a small pan over medium, and heat vegetables of choice.  tonight, I used some chopped red onion my roommate had, maybe half a cup of frozen corn, three diced garlic scapes, a third of a chopped-up cucumber, and half of an avocado.  I cooked the onion and scapes, then added/heated the corn through, then pulled the pan off the heat.  I set the rest of the toppings on the cooked components so that nothing was cold, but the cukes and avocado were still definitely their uncooked selves.

-sprinkle a spoonful each of honey (I used the new, dark honey purchased at the market today from an apiary owner who is diabetic and cannot eat his product.  He had me taste all of his choices.  It was lovely)  and GF soy sauce, plus a little more than either of balsamic vinegar.  add salt to taste.  Compose food, and eat.  Silently.  Maybe with a book.  Maybe not.  Just make peace with yourself and the fact that you are capable of taking care.

*NOTE* I followed this with chocolate banice cream with melted chocolate, almond butter, and sliced strawberries.  Might I prevail upon you to do the same?