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Comparing the SCD Diet to the GFCF Diet

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet was formulated in the ‘50s by Dr. Sidney Valentine Haas. It is also known as the SCD Diet, and it is the direct precursor to Dr. Elaine Gottschall’s GAPS Diet. While it is not entirely gluten-free and casein-free, it does have similar objectives to the GFCF Diet and other autism diets: To help free those with gluten and casein intolerance from the gastrointestinal and behavioral issues that sometimes come along with disorders in the autism spectrum.

How does the Specific Carbohydrate Diet Work?

The initial diet is called the “Intro Diet,” and it is practically identical in most ways to the GAPS Introduction Diet. There are a few exceptions. SCD allows a few things that GAPS does not such as peanuts, navy beans, white beans, and cottage cheese. The allowed foods in this diet more closely resemble the same foods that the GFCF Diet permits.woman cutting vegetables

However, the SCD Diet closely follows the same stages as the GAPS diet from the Introduction part, which consists of several stages, and then the full-on diet stage. Just as with GAPS, the SCD Diet takes a while to implement. Each stage takes weeks or months to get through, and there are quite a few exceptions to rules. For instance, one rule is to avoid dairy, but cheeses made from cow’s milk or goat’s milk that undergo at least 30 days of natural aging are permitted.

The foods and beverages that are disallowed are:

  • Alcoholic beverages like brandy and sherry
  • Canned fruits and vegetables
  • Curry, onion and garlic powders
  • Freshly brewed coffee
  • Grains such as rice, barley and wheat
  • Instant coffee
  • Juices made for commercial sale
  • Milk and milk-based drinks and creamers
  • Processed meats like ham, bacon, hot dogs, sausages, salami and other sandwich meats
  • Starchy foods such as potatoes, corn starch, parsnips and yams
  • Sugar sweetened beverages

Unlike most diets of this type, this one actually allows the consumption of dry wines, vodka, and whiskeys like rye, scotch and bourbon.

So How Does it Compare to GFCF?

As a diet that is seen as an alternate autism diet, it is a mostly gluten-free and casein-free diet, with the exception of the very limited dairy allowance, and it certainly seems to help in similar ways to the GFCF Diet. However, the Specific Carbohydrate diet is just as complicated to follow and as difficult to implement as GAPS.

If there is any criticism of GFCF compared to SCD, it is that GFCF is slightly more lax with the inclusion of occasional sugary treats. Nonetheless, GFCF is, out of all the autism diets, the easiest to follow and the strictest in terms of gluten-free and casein-free foods.

For additional information, please visit:

SCD Lifestyle

Breaking the Vicious Cycle

Measuring GAPS Against the GFCF Diet

To continue the comparison of the GFCF Diet to other diets that are similar in some aspects, we’ll look at the Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) Diet.  Both diets have had their fair share of acclaim for helping with some of the gastrointestinal and behavioral symptoms associated with the autism spectrum.

What is the Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet?

The diet was initially known as the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD).  SCD was used for those with digestive disorders, including Celiac disease.  It fell out of use over the years, but was revived and slightly modified by Dr. Elaine Gottschall, a neurologist working with children with various disorders such as autism.

There are seven stages to the diet, composed of two parts: The Introduction Diet and the Full GAPS Diet.  The Introduction Diet is made up of six stages, but each day starts out with a probiotic, which is usually homemade yogurt, to aid digestion and a glass of still mineral or filtered water.soup

The diet starts out with homemade meat and fish stock, soups made with either stock, boiled meats and vegetables.  Fiber-laden vegetables like cabbage and celery should be avoided, but as much of the meat stock, fish stock and soup as desired is allowed throughout the day.  Ginger, chamomile and mint tea with honey is recommended between meals.

Other foods are added over the course of several weeks or months.  By stage six, eggs, clarified butter (ghee), avocado and other fruits, grilled and roasted meats, almond flour, homemade juices and various other foods are included.  Starch and refined sugars are not allowed.

The full diet is a continuation of the stage six portion of the Introduction Diet.  It is recommended to avoid all starch and sugar for a full two, but eventually, some dairy products like hard cheeses are permitted.  The diet is somewhat difficult to follow, but it is laid out in a step-by-step format, complete with recipes.

How Does it Compare to the GFCF Diet?

The first part of the Gut and Psychology Diet is gluten-free and casein-free, however, the full diet isn’t.  The idea is that once the body is “detoxed” from years of gluten and casein overload, these foods can again be enjoyed in small quantities eventually.  Eating gluten-free and casein-free for several years does clear the body of both substances, but not everyone can safely reintroduce them later on.

GAPS is less restrictive than the GFCF Diet at the full diet stage because dairy is allowed, but the complicated steps to get there make it hard for some to stick with it.  GFCF doesn’t allow dairy, but the rules of the diet are far easier to follow:  Don’t eat casein or gluten.

For more information, please visit:

GAPS Diet

Gut and Psychology Syndrome

morning_glory_muffins

This week’s recipe at Stockpiling Moms is Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Morning Glory Muffins. I found this recipe in a newspaper insert, called Dash, that comes out weekly and usually has a lot of recipes that aren’t that easy to adapt to GFCF. These muffins looked pretty easy and I loved the idea of being able to have a muffin be almost a complete meal. Needless to say, they were a big hit at my breakfast table, and I hope they will be a big hit for you too! I think I’ll make these for a potluck sometime too, especially since the recipe makes 24 muffins.

Welcome to Part 1 in my Diet Comparison series. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be comparing three different diets (Paleo, GAPS, and SCD) to the GFCF Diet. Many people wonder what the differences are between the diets and/or if they can follow one of the other diets and still avoid gluten and casein.  I hope this series will help to dispel the rumors and provide you with more extensive information.

Comparing Paleo to the GFCF Diet

The GFCF Diet, also called the Autism Diet, certainly seems to help alleviate a number of the symptoms associated with the autism spectrum. It effectively deals with gluten and casein intolerances and the digestive issues associated with both. There are a few other diets out there that are also gluten-free and casein-free. Today, we’ll take a look at ancestral diets, which go by several names such as CAVEMANthe Caveman Diet and Ancestral Eating.

What is Ancestral Eating?

The principle behind paleo eating plans is the idea that humans began eating grains and animal milks in abundance far too quickly. Because of this, our bodies didn’t have a chance to properly learn how to digest either. Some cultures started incorporating both earlier than others. It is possible that this could explain why some people have fewer intolerances to grains and dairy than others.

The following food groups permissible on the paleo diet:

  • Coconut milk and oil
  • Eggs
  • Fat
  • Fruits
  • Lean meats
  • Nuts
  • Seafood
  • Seeds
  • Vegetables
  • Vegetable and nut oils

While that may not look like a lot of choices, they include any food from any of the categories. There are a few foods to avoid in addition to dairy and grains. These include starchy vegetables like corn and potatoes. Meats high in saturated fat should also be avoided. However, free-range cattle is often less fatty, and you can trim traditionally raised beef.

Legumes, which includes soybeans, chickpeas, peanuts and black beans, are not allowed, and obviously, refined sugars and overly processed foods are not permitted. Some versions of the Caveman Diet also advise that any food that cannot be eaten raw should not be eaten at all. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t cook the food though! Our ancestors had fire and cooked food, however, that wasn’t always an option.

How does GFCF Compare to an Ancestral Diet?

Like the GFCF Diet, the ancestral eating plans also see gluten and casein as major contributors to certain health and behavior issues. It is far easier to eat gluten-free and casein-free while following a caveman diet than it is the GFCF Diet or the similar Autism Diet. The reason lies in the fact that all the permitted foods come from the produce, meat and seafood sections of the supermarket. There is no guesswork or scrutiny of food choices involved.

However, just because it’s easier to avoid gluten and casein, that doesn’t mean the diet is easier to follow. The Autism Diet allows flour substitutes and small quantities of sugar to make things like breads, pastas, and desserts. Paleo diets allow neither, and while no sugar is healthier, it is difficult to get kids on board with giving up “normal” food and the occasional sweet treat.

For more information, please visit:

Robb Wolf: What is the Paleo Diet?

The Paleo Diet

 

AllPurposeFlour_BetterBatterBetter Batter is a company founded by Naomi Poe, a mom of two sons with Autism and gluten intolerance. They offer all-purpose flours, seasoned flours, cake mixes, as well as brownie and pancake mixes. Their prices are about the same as most gluten-free specialty items, but they do offer discounts and deals, so be sure to look for them when you order.

I received a box of their All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour Baking Mix as part of my Savorfull box for September.  I thought I’d try it out in my latest recipe for GFCF “Twinkies”. One thing I noticed about it was that it was silky soft in texture. Even though it has rice flour in it, the flour was not gritty at all. Another thing that is really convenient is that Ms. Poe has already added the right amount of xanthan gum into the mix, so you don’t have to buy that separately or wonder if you put in the right amount. I found that the flour cooked very well and gave the “Twinkies” a very nice, airy texture (which was exactly what I wanted).

I think this product is definitely worth checking out more fully. I will let you know if I have the opportunity to review more of their products.  In the meantime, I hope you will pay them a visit and support this mom’s company.

 

NicholasWow! Where has the summer gone? It’s hard to believe that Nicholas will head off to school next week already. (The photo is of him clowning around at the TACA Picnic this summer; he has a bit of a mustache fetish.) It’s been a busy month around here, but I did manage to find 8 Recipes I Love for August. Here they are –

1. GFCF Almond Flour Biscuits from Ask Georgie.com – these work great as a side bread for dinner or even as a mini sandwich.

2. Dairy-Free Ranch Dressing from Food Lush – it was so great to find a tasty, dairy-free ranch dressing. It’s also gluten-free, so it would be a great option to serve with carrots.

3. Homemade Food Coloring from Melis Ann at HubPages – one of the toughest things about baking cakes or cupcakes is that if you want to avoid dyes and colors, you have to use either vanilla or chocolate frosting. But, check out these fruit-based colors!

4. Gluten-Free Ground Beef Hash from Elegantly Gluten Free – here’s an easy recipe that is definitely casein-free and very easy for a weeknight meal.

5. Paleo Chicken Salad  from Everyday Paleo – this is a yummy chicken salad recipe, just in time for your Labor Day picnic! Bonus: there’s also a tuna salad recipe just below it!

6. Cinnamon Sweet Potato Ice Cream with Toasted Walnuts by Paleo OMG! – here’s a new twist on ice cream that is dairy-free and gluten-free but perfect for these last few weeks of summer heat.

7. Watermelon Gazpacho with Lime by Gluten-Free Goddess – here’s a great way to make use of all the cheap watermelon out there and enjoy a nice cool soup in the heat.

8. Gingerbread Protein Pancakes by Healthful Pursuit – a tasty variation on the old breakfast classic, pancakes. This is not only gluten and casein-free, but is also good for those who need to limit their sugar intake.

gfcf_sweet_sour_grilled_chicken

This week’s recipe at Stockpiling Moms is Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Sweet and Sour Grilled Chicken. This recipe is a new twist on sweet and sour chicken. It’s an easy dinner for a weeknight because you can marinate it the night before and then only have to do about 30 minutes of dinner prep on the night that you eat it. Because it’s a mild, sweet dish, I believe most children will find it very appealing. Finally, it also can be made with ingredients that it’s easy to keep on hand, so it’s a great answer to the age-old question….”What should we eat tonight?”

This great recipe can be found in Celeste’s Best Allergen Free Recipes for Everyday Cooking and Baking; I will be reviewing this cookbook on the blog next week (stay tuned!).  My husband and I enjoyed this dish very much. Nicholas gave the sauce a “100 Thumbs Up” rating!

GFCF_scalloped_potatoes

My grandma Carmen (age 93) won’t give me her scalloped potatoes recipe because it’s apparently a family secret. I actually asked her to will it to me, because it’s really quite fantastic! But, in the meantime, I’m left to figuring out how to make my own tasty version of scalloped potatoes…and these days, it also has to be gluten-free, casein-free. Not an easy chore, believe me.

This week the recipe I have at Stockpiling Moms is Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Scalloped Potatoes. It’s a recipe I adapted from Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living; the original recipe was only dairy-free. The amazing thing about these potatoes is that there is absolutely no milk, real or substituted, in them! And, yet, they are creamy and delicious just like scalloped potatoes ought to be. After I tried them, I told my husband, “I know what we’re bringing to the next potluck!” Hope you enjoy them too.

gfcf online shoppingIf your schedule is hectic, you live in a more rural area, or you just want to save some money, you may want to consider shopping online for GFCF foods.  In order to accomplish GFCF shopping online, all you need is a computer, Internet capabilities and a credit or debit card. Do remember that you should still check ingredient lists for anything you purchase to be sure that something labelled “Dairy-Free” actually doesn’t contain casein or that there isn’t other allergens in products that you don’t wish to consume, like corn.

Here are 6 websites to help you get going –

1.  Amazon – their selection of specialty foods is growing all the time. If you purchase things under their Subscribe & Save program you can even have scheduled deliveries and free shipping every time! (This is a great plan for purchasing things like flours that you know you will use and can freeze until you do.)

2. Gluten-Free Mall for Gluten-Free Foods – this site is linked to celiac.com and has everything from cookbooks to food to vitamins. Join their mailing list and you’ll get regular coupons and discounts sent to your inbox!

3. Savorfull – this is one of a few companies that will send you a box of allergen-free goodies each month for a flat rate. (I will be reviewing this company very soon here on the blog!)

4. Penzey’s Spices – an amazing variety of spices available in many formats from gift boxes to individual containers. I think I could spend a LOT of money with them! (It’s tough to choose only a few things because everything sounds so good.)

5. Gluten-Free Saver – this is similar to Groupon, but for gluten-free foods. I’ve seen some casein-free products offered too, but be sure to read ingredients.

6. Katz Gluten Free – this site has mostly bakery items that are gluten-free. They allow you to search by specific allergy which is great. And, you can even order sample boxes for only the price of shipping!

Got any others you’d like to add? Please mention them in the comments below so others can enjoy them too. Thanks!

 

gfcf_swedish_meatballs

My son and I did some shopping over the weekend at IKEA and it reminded me how much we used to love getting their Swedish Meatball sauce packets (before we went GFCF, of course!). So, I decided to hunt down a recipe to make Swedish Meatballs that I could tweak to be GFCF. And, I succeeded! This recipe is originally from Comfort Foods: Rachael Ray 30-Minute Meals.

The meatballs were so moist and melt-in-your-mouth tasty, that I’ll be using that part of the recipe with spaghetti in the future too! As you can see, I used rotini and not egg noodles because I have not found a gluten-free egg noodle yet.  (If you know of one, please let me know in the comments section below.) But, the rotini worked well because it was similar in texture and weight to an egg noodle.

This dish was a huge hit with both Nicholas and my husband. I’ll definitely be adding this one into the rotation!

Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Swedish Meatballs (Nicholas Rating = 100 Thumbs Up!)

Ingredients for meatballs –

1.5 lb ground beef, preferably organic or grass-fed

1/2 cup gluten-free breadcrumbs (I used Dr. Schar Gluten-Free Bread Crumbs)

1 egg, beaten

1 small onion, finely chopped

4 drops of gluten-free Worcestershire sauce (I used Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce-10 OZ)

salt and pepper, to taste

Ingredients for Sauce –

3 Tbsp ghee (I used Purity Farm Organic Ghee, Clarified Butter, 13-Ounce)

2 Tbsp gluten-free all-purpose flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Baking Flour, 22-Ounce Packages (Pack of 4))

1/2 cup dry cooking sherry

1 cup organic beef broth

salt and pepper, to taste

1 tsp Gulden’s stone-ground mustard

1/4 cup almond milk (or other milk substitute)

1 bag gluten-free rotini

 

1. Cook rotini according to package directions. While waiting for the water to boil, make the meatballs and sauce.

2. Bake the meatballs – preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix all meatball ingredients together in a medium bowl. Form golf ball-size balls and place on nonstick baking sheet (or spray a cookie sheet with canola oil first). Bake for 12-15 minutes.

3. For sauce – melt ghee over medium heat. Sprinkle in the flour and continuously whisk until a smooth paste is formed. Slowly add sherry while continuing to whisk the sauce; cook until sauce thickens. Add broth slowly and continue to whisk until sauce thickens enough to lightly coat the back of a spoon. Turn off heat and whisk in salt and pepper, mustard, and milk substitute.

4. Once the noodles are cooked, toss meatballs and sauce together and pour over top of noodles. Serve immediately.

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