This is a guest post from Dave Borden of I’m Simply a Dad.
Food is medicine. This phrase is used quite frequently across the internet, and there is a good reason. It’s because it really is true. We can indeed use food to help us feel better and our bodies heal.
My family has been living this principle for years by following a diet called the Gluten-Free / Casein-Free diet. Thanks to this diet, my family’s health has improved drastically and many chronic ailments have disappeared as a result.
What is the GFCF Diet?
Before I get into our family’s story, I’m sure you’re wondering what exactly is the GFCF diet.
GFCF stands for gluten-free casein-free. You’re probably familiar with gluten, one of the proteins in wheat and other grains. Casein is a protein found in dairy. Often, soy is also removed because of its similar molecular structure. It’s really the GFCFSF diet, but most people still refer to it as GFCF.
What’s So Bad About Wheat, Dairy, and Soy?
These 3 proteins are removed because they can cause a host of issues. They are one of the most common sources of hidden food sensitivities. They can also be very hard on the gut and can lead to digestive distress and inflammation.
The Greatest Threat To Our Health
It’s the inflammation that we really need to worry about. According to Dr. Amy Myers, “chronic inflammation is one of the greatest threats to our health” and is linked to many of the medical and cognitive symptoms we see in our kids with autism & ADHD.
By removing these foods, we are taking away major sources of inflammation, and it’s the inflammation that is the driving force behind so many ailments. Reducing inflammatory triggers helps our immune system throttle down, which means it can better do its job fighting infections and healing our bodies.
This is a brief overview of how foods containing these 3 ingredients impact our health. If you would like to learn even more and take a deeper dive into the science, you can check out my GFCF diet guide. Not only does it tell you why you should consider the GFCF diet, but it also helps walk you through how to start. (Don’t worry. It’s free. No email needed or anything)
Healing Through Diet:
My Family’s Results on the Gluten-Free / Casein-Free Diet
This diet was made popular by the autism community, which is how I first heard about it. Many parents talked about improvements in their child after starting this diet. I’ve heard about progress in a number of areas including: school, therapy, sleep, temperament, behavior, focus,…etc.
I’ve had a couple of parents even tell me that they heard their once nonverbal child speak his first words shortly after starting the diet. Needless to say, when our son was diagnosed with autism at 3 years old, we immediately put him on the GFCF diet.
Gluten-Free / Casein-Free for Autism
While I did not see major improvements in my son’s autism, (language, communication…) I did see him become much healthier. For the first 3 years of his life, he was sick all the time, and would often get random rashes on his body. About 6 months after starting the diet, those rashes were occurring less and less frequently.
After about a year on the diet, he stopped being sick all the time and when he was sick it was for a much shorter period of time. His immune system was finally strong enough to fight off those infections. Today, he gets sick less often than I do.
Another big win with the GFCF diet was in sleep quality. Before the diet, he would be up in the middle of the night and not go back to sleep. There were some weeks that he would only sleep for a total of 15 hours or so. It took some time, but after a few months, he was sleeping much better. Today, he usually gets 8 hours of sleep, which in the autism world is HUGE.
GFCF for Asthma
It took my wife and I a few years before we had the whole family go GFCF. Once we did, we began to see dramatic improvements in everyone’s health.
My wife has had severe asthma since she was a young child. She needed a daily inhaler to keep it under control. Almost immediately after going GFCF, her asthma got better. In fact, she hasn’t used an inhaler since starting the GFCF diet 5 years ago.
She also lost about 50 pounds. Our last pregnancy was the healthiest yet, and she avoided all of the problems that she had with the first 2. (preeclampsia, high blood pressure, and bedrest) She said it was actually an enjoyable pregnancy. As the Dad, I can tell you, I saw a much happier Mama too!
GFCF for Weight Loss and Joint Pain
Personally. I was able to easily shed 85 pounds just by eating right and following the principles behind the GFCF diet. The constant joint pain that I have had since my early 20s began to decrease. It is still there, but it is much better. My energy level was more consistent throughout the day as well.
GFCF for Kids
Our other 2 kids have enjoyed good health ever since starting the GFCF diet. My youngest has actually never had gluten, and her only dairy comes in the form of homemade yogurt and grass-fed butter.
This summer she will turn 4. She has never been on antibiotics, and she’s never even had a sick visit! My 10-year-old son makes healthier choices every day at school, and he too hasn’t needed a sick visit in 4 years!
The idea of using food as medicine is not just about eating the right foods. It’s also about avoiding the wrong things that can harm your body. Eliminating gluten, casein, and soy can help ease inflammation which in turn, helps us all feel better.
Start your healing today
Additional GFCF Diet Resources
I have written extensively on how to implement the GFCF diet, and I have a host of resources available for you. I have a GFCF food list, and articles on everything from picky eating to cost saving. You can find links to all of these articles and more on this GFCF Diet Resource Page.
My Gift to You
If you are ready to dive into the GFCF diet and help improve your family’s health, I have a free jump start kit over on my website, ImSimplyaDad.com.
My Free GFCF JumpStart Kit includes:
- A copy of My Ebook: “A Parent’s Complete Guide to the GFCF Diet”
- 1-week meal plan
- Printable Cheat Sheet: List of ingredients containing gluten, casein, and soy
- Printable Cheat Sheet: List of foods you can eat on the GFCF diet.
This jumpstart kit is my gift to you. Simply head over to ImSimplyaDad.com, and sign up to get yours today!
Remember, I’m simply a Dad sharing the knowledge and experience I’ve learned over the past 8 years. The content presented is for informational purposes and should not be considered medical advice.
My name is Dave, and I’m Simply a Dad. My son’s autism diagnosis opened my eyes and taught me how to better care for myself, my family, and truly appreciate the important things in life. Our family has made great strides in our healing journey. It is my mission to share our experience and the lessons we’ve learned as we work towards health, hope, and happiness.