Going off the diet

In 2005, my son Philip went on the gfcf diet.  As I wrote in a previous post, I cried!  But we did it.  Somehow, when the going gets tough, I cry and move on, step by step.

According to the folks at Pfeiffer Treatment Center, if casein (dairy protein) was a problem for Philip, we would see fogginess and an inability to focus. If gluten (protein in wheat, barley,  and rye) was a problem, we would see hyperactivity, severe impulsivity, and perhaps even dangerous behavior. We were to try the diet for at least three months to see if there were any changes.

We saw a lot of change in a short amount of time.  Here’s a short list of some benefits:

  • We no longer worried about his “escaping” the house. (Before the diet, we had actually called the police a couple of times because he’d simply disappeared. Thankfully, nothing bad had happened and he was safe.) About a month after we began the diet, the escaping stopped and we could take the alarms off our doors.
  • We didn’t have to worry about his staying with us when we went out somewhere.
  • His speech increased.
  • He listened much better.

So the diet, although it was a challenge, was a success.

However, over the past year, Philip has been “cheating” on his diet.  The following event convinced me to start weaning him off of the diet altogether.

A few days ago, I came downstairs to find Philip sitting on the couch, a blanket over his head, and heard munching sounds.  I yanked the blanket off of his head, and said, “A HA!”  I discovered that Philip had gone to the garage, opened the deep freezer, pulled out a frozen pizza, unwrapped it, microwaved it, neatly removed the pizza from the microwave, and cut it into slices with a pizza cutter.  He then took a piece, proceeded to the couch, covered up his head, and at his breakfast in secret.

I didn’t know whether to scold him or laugh and  be proud at his self-sufficiency! I ended up having him clean up after himself, throw out the rest of the pizza (because he didn’t ask first), and get on with his morning schedule.

We watched him throughout the day, kept tabs on him at school, and saw no behavior differences.  In the past, we would have seen “off the wall” behavior right away and perhaps received phone calls from school.

Nothing bad reported.  Nada.  Zilch.

Philip is now eating regular school lunch, and is as happy as a clam.  We continue to monitor.  I am keeping my fingers crossed that, by the time we go on vacation this summer, the diet will be history.

Funny thing is, Philip has been having “green” days at school since he went off the diet.  That means he didn’t get in trouble at all.  Wow.

I became a Wildtree rep (see my link to the right) mainly because of this special diet.  However, we are eating so much healthier because of Wildtree that I’m glad I signed up.

Going on the diet 6 years ago lighted our load by increasing our peace of mind.  Going off of it now lightens our load by lessening our grocery bill and giving us more freedom and flexibility.  Just goes to show that change is inevitable, and that for everything, there is a season!

5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Michelle on March 8, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    Thank you for posting this info! It has invaluable points regarding the benefits of the diet and celebrates your success!! We too went off the GFSF portion of the diet recently but still are CF. I would love to lift the reins and allow our son to eat completely freely!!

    Did you go off the diet ingredient by ingredient or all at once? I’m fearful of seeing the fogginess and regressed speech due to the casein.
    Did the Pfeiffer Treatment Center explain why Phillip can now tolerate the ingredients (possibly has a repaired intestine)?
    Thank you again for your insight!


    • I think Philip went off the diet all at once. He kind of did this on his own. We continue to monitor. I think that a healed intestine is probably the reason. I haven’t asked the Pfeiffer Treatment Center about this… just informed them. I’m such a rebel! I see them next week. I’ll keep you posted!


  2. Posted by Pam Mari on March 11, 2011 at 7:01 am

    I too would like to know how he can now tolerate the gluten again pls keep us posted


  3. […] or even cause symptoms in some people with autism, adhd, and other such issues. We found this to be true with my son, as he followed the gf/cf diet for many years. My neice, who has ADHD, had significantly decreased […]


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