Today marks exactly three weeks and two days since Emma began the modified gluten free/casein free/soy free/potato free/corn free/peanut free/banana free/chocolate free/cocoa free/red, blue, purple skinned fruit & vegetable free diet. (Breathe. I think I may have left some things out, but I can’t remember now.)
Last night she ate a tiny piece of catfish and coconut rice. I soaked the catfish fillets in beaten quail eggs and almond milk, then drenched them in a mixture of coconut flour, quinoa flour & oat flour with some salt, before sauteing in ghee. The coconut rice has become my new favorite dish. Instead of cooking the rice in water I use coconut milk, making it creamy with a slightly nutty flavor. However Emma is not quite as enthusiastic by my culinary inventiveness as the rest of the family. Still, she did eat some and then was allowed to eat her new mainstay – green grapes and honeydew melon. Except that when I offered her a few pieces of honeydew melon this morning she began to scream as though I’d amputated a limb. As I’ve said before, she’s one tough customer.
In addition to all of this, ideally she should be on a rotation diet, meaning no food is to be repeated for at least four days. (Laugh hysterically. Then try to calm down and remember to breathe.) Um. Right.
“So how’s the rotation diet part going?”
“Not so much.”
That short dialogue sums it up.
As far as any changes we’ve witnessed – we think we may see an uptick in her desire for physical affection. It’s hard to say this definitively, but we have all been getting more spontaneous hugs and kisses it seems. I think her eye contact is better, again, it’s a subtle shift, if at all. She has become more perseverative, so on the advice of her doctor we’ve reduced the Malvin, Piperine and one other, whose name eludes me at the moment, drops back to two daily instead of three. I cannot tell if her chronic constipation is better as I have no way of knowing what she does, if anything, at school. She does not seem particularly uncomfortable, but then she rarely does. Emma also takes a magnesium supplement, Taurine, one drop of dopamine, several multi-vitamins as well as cod liver oil, which bizarrely, she actually seems to like.
And, because of this diet I now have become versed in such unlikely ingredients as – Guar Gum, (used as a thickener in place of cornstarch, it comes from the Guar or cluster plant grown in northern India and Pakistan. The seeds are hulled and ground into flour) Xanthum Gum, (also used in many gluten free recipes as a thickener and to add volume to baked goods. It is derived from corn. However, because it is derived from corn sugars and during the process, all corn sugars are removed, it should be okay for Emma. This is according to her doctor. I did find a corn free xanthum gum from Namastefoods.com, just to be safe.) Arrowroot, (used as a thickener, found in South America, got it’s name from being used to treat wounds from a poisoned arrow.) How’s that for a bit of trivia?
For more on Emma’s journey through a childhood of autism, go to: www.Emma’s Hope Book.com