I Wish I Had Known Then What I Know Now…. Shaping the Gluten-free Casein-free Diet

Written by: Julie A. Buckley, MD

What is funny to me is that a friend convinced me to try the gluten and casein free diet for my daughter before I was willing to say the A word.  I was in a world of confusion and hurt and utterly lost- denial was my middle name and autism was not something I could allow anywhere near my conscious thought.

Thank God my friend gave me a little room- I remember her saying “You don’t have to call it anything.  You don’t have to give it a name.  But what if it makes her feel better?  What if it helps her?”

Thank God for her friend who sent me a care package overnight of replacement options for cooking.

And thank God my daughter had an obvious response to the diet- within a couple of days she was turning on the vacuum and helping me to vacuum the carpets!  Within a couple of days she had a whole bunch of words that returned!  Within a few days her occupational therapist said “she’s a different child today- what changed?”

So it was easy to stay the course with gluten and casein free.  It would be several years before I would understand the influence those dietary choices had on chronic inflammation, on health, on healing, no matter what her label was.  It would be even longer before I would understand the critical role that the same diet would have on my own health, my husband’s, my son’s…..

What I wish I had known though, was that I shouldn’t have been resting on my gluten and casein free laurels.  I wish I had known (and yes, doctor’s don’t get much nutritional education in medical school, so I really didn’t have the needed understanding) that I needed to EAT WHAT GREW.  Recently.  What is fresh.  Not processed.  Organic.  Real.  This is the shortest way to talk about eating healthy I have ever heard- wise words from Dr. Stuart Freedenfeld that we have on film at Healing Autism Academy.  If I had known this and lived it out way back at the beginning, I suspect my daughter would not have had seizures develop as she went through puberty.  Would I have had to live through the cancer chapter of my life?  Would we have had other health issues in our family?


Eat plants, especially green leafy ones.  Eat them organically- pesticides did not grow.
Eat lean meats. Eat eggs.
Eat healthy fats- these are actually the only foods that nature ever preserved.