Category Archives: GFCF Diet

Anti-Cancer and Autism – What’s the Connection?

By Shannon Penrod

A year ago, while Biomed Mom Joanne Allor and I were at the Fall Autism
Research Institute (DAN) Conference in Long Beach CA, I attended a talk about
Autism and the Immune system.  At the end of the session
the speaker urged all of the parents in the room to get screened regularly for
cancer.  In particular for breast, colon and prostate cancers.  For whatever
reason they were seeing a trend in their practice of parents being diagnosed
with these three cancers.  It sent a shiver up everyone’s spine.  Like it isn’t
enough to have a child on the spectrum – we need to worry about cancer too??

The reality is that cancer touches all of us.  Having a child on the spectrum
doesn’t exempt you. This was made painfully obvious to Joanne when she lost a
second sister to cancer this summer.  That’s when her son’s doctor recommended
she read “Anticancer – A New Way of Life” by David Servan-Schreiber.  On this
week’s Everyday Autism Miracles Joanne is going to join us to talk about this
important book and how is has changed how she looks at things.  She’ll tell us
why it is so important that we know this information and make changes in our
children’s lives to ensure they live longer and happier.

Of course we are also going to take a few minutes to celebrate the fact that
California has become the 28th state to pass Autism Insurance Reform.  They said
it couldn’t happen – but somehow it did!  Join us at 7pm EST and 4pm PST to hear
all the news.  Better yet, join the conversation at 877.864.4869.


Leave a comment

Filed under Alternative Therapies, Autism and Insurance, Biomedical Intervention, Everyday Autism Miracle Radio Show, Funding, GFCF Diet, Stress Reduction

Everyday Autism Miracles is Moving to Mondays

by Shannon Penrod

Everyday Autism Miracles is moving to Mondays at 7pm EST starting on Monday Feb 7th on Toginet RadioRecorded podcasts of the live show will still be available for free, both on the showpage and on iTunes.  The Monday February 7th show will be the fifth in a six part series titled, “My Child Was Just Diagnosed with Autism; What do I do Now?”  Previous episodes have featured the topics Diagnosis, Dietary Interventions, BioMedical Interventions and ABA Therapy.  This weeks show will center on other forms of therapy like HBOT, AIT, Horse Therapy,  Sensory Integration, OT etc…  On Feb 14th, the final show in the series will focus on funding Autism.  It’s great to talk about the therapies and interventions that can help with Autism but if you can’t afford them what’s the point?  We are going to talk about all of the ways to fund your journey through Autism.  You won’t want to miss it!

You might be asking yourself why we are moving time slots?  Ahhhhh, well there is a BIG announcement that will explain all of that.  Tune in to Monday’s show to hear the big news!

Leave a comment

Filed under ABA Therapy, Alternative Therapies, Biomedical Intervention, Everyday Autism Miracle Radio Show, Funding, GFCF Diet

Dietary Intervention for Autism

By Shannon Penrod

When your child isn’t meeting all of the their developmental markers it seems counter intuitive to take away their favorite foods, maybe even cruel.  It seems that way but it isn’t.  The truth is that food is sometimes part of the problem.  If your child was recently diagnosed with Autism, you may have been told there are some dietary interventions that prove very effective with some children.  You may also have been told that it doesn’t work for all kids, or even that it doesn’t work at all.  I can’t speak for all children, but as a parent I can tell you that my child started speaking again when we took milk and wheat in all forms out of his diet.  If that isn’t compelling enough, it also changed his behavior so greatly that I was able to walk down the sidewalk and hold his hand for the first time.  It was so clear in our son’s case that milk and wheat made his symptoms of Autism worse that we were highly motivated to keep it out of his diet.

I remember my mother saying to me, “Isn’t he ever going to get to eat ice cream?”  I looked at my chubby cheeked three year old and told her, “He can have ice cream, he just won’t be able to talk or communicate for days afterward.  Ice cream is great but I’m going to choose being able to talk over ice cream.”  My mother looked like I’d slapped her, but she really “got it”.  I’m sure kids who have peanut allergies wonder what it’s like to have a peanut butter sandwich or to eat our without fear of contamination, but who would choose peanuts over breathing? Or ice cream over speaking.  In our case it was a no brainer.  Unfortunately, it isn’t always as cut and dried with other kids.

There is one efficient way that I have found to predict if your child could benefit from one of the dietary interventions for Autism:  Look at what and how your child currently eats.  Is your child addicted to colorful candy?  They don’t want to eat meals they just want to snack on colorful sweets?  Chances are that your child could benefit from a version of the Feingold Diet.  Does your child live on crackers and milk, or mac and cheese and chicken nuggets?  They don’t want juice, but they crave milk?  Your child is a prime candidate to improve on the gluten free, casein diet.  Is your child in love with potatoes?  French fries for lunch, tater tots for dinner, mashed potatoes at restaurants and potato chips in the car? They don’t want water, but they love juice and crave fruit of all kinds? Odds are your child could benefit from at least a modified version of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.  Does it all sound scary and overwhelming to you?  You aren’t alone.

In this week’s show we are going to talk about dietary interventions, what to try, how to do it with very little fuss and what it can mean for your child and your family.  Have questions or want to tell how dietary intervention helped your child?  Call in during the live show on Friday at 2pm EST, 11am Pacific Time at 877.864.4869.

Leave a comment

Filed under Alternative Therapies, Everyday Autism Miracle Radio Show, GFCF Diet

GFCF Recipe Contest with Namaste Foods

Big announcement today!  Our first GFCF recipe contest in conjunction with Namaste Foods was unveiled!  I can’t say enough about how much I love Namaste Foods GFCF mixes, they have made it possible for me to feed my child in a healthy, tasty, easy way.  And the mixes are so flexible – which is why we want to turn you loose in your kitchen with these products to see what you can create!  

Create a winning recipe using Namaste Foods products  and you could win a $50 gift certificate for Namaste products and have your recipe featured in the NEW Namaste Foods Cookbook!   Here are the particulars of the contest:

Prizes will be awarded to the best recipe in the three following categories:

1. Entrée – this is anything you would serve as the main course of a meal.
2. Dessert – tasty treats ranging from a Birthday cake, to a brownie and beyond
3. Everything else – this could be a side dish, a snack or even a dog biscuit!  Anything goes in this category.
Contestants must create a fabulous recipe in one of these categories using one of more Namaste Foods products.

To Enter:
1. Clearly write the ingredients and instructions to your recipe and email it to
2. Be sure to include your email address, name and address as well as your phone #.
3. Attach a photo or your finished recipe
4. In the subject line type the category your recipe should be judged in. (entrée, dessert, everything else)
5. Tell us in 100 words or less who you make this recipe for and why they love it!

Submission will be accepted until  April 15th.  Winners will be notified by May 1st.
Winning recipes will be featured in the New Namaste Foods cook book.  All entries will become the property of Namaste Foods and could be featured in upcoming cook books, recipe cards or on line.

Have an idea and getting ready to step into your kitchen to test drive it?  Namaste would like you to enjoy a 15% discount of their products ordered from their website.  Visit fill your shopping cart and enter promo code 50014 to receive 15% off of products.  Please note that the 15% reduction is for product only and cannot be applied to shipping costs.  Namaste Products are also available in stores such as Whole Foods Markets.  You can find a store close to you by visiting the store locator at .  The promo code is only applicable to products purchased via


Leave a comment

Filed under Contests, Everyday Autism Miracle Radio Show, GFCF Diet

Marriage, Recipes and More This Week!

I love talking to Moms who have been where I am and survived.  I especially love it if they are still happily married.  I’ve heard the statistics and so has my husband.  When we got married some one told us that half of all marriages end in divorce.  Nice odds!  A 50/50 chance of keeping it together.  Then when our son was diagnosed with Autism some other well-meaning soul told us some silly number like 76% of all marriages with a special needs child end in divorce.  Nice!  Who thinks to actually quote these dismal numbers.  Then a couple of years ago we heard that 87% of all marriages with a child diagnosed with Autism end in divorce.  I am sure that it is wrong, and we are probably going to hell, but when we heard that we started laughing hysterically.  Come on at that point it’s time to either laugh or cry and laughing is every so much more fun.  Seriously, why don’t they just tell all of us to give up!  It’s hard that’s for sure.  Marriage is one of toughest jobs I’ve ever loved, kind of like motherhood.  And while I can’t compare my marriage to a marriage without a special needs child – I’ve never been in a marriage without a special needs child – I certainly see where there is plenty of room for added stress.  So my question has always been, “Where’s the tool box?  How can my husband and I keep our marriage strong despite these statistics?”  And I have been looking ever since for a couple who has “been there and done that!”

That is why this week I am thrilled to have Moira Giametteo on Everyday Autism Miracles.  She is a mom of two boys, one of whom is on the spectrum.  She is heavily involved in TACA and even heads her local chapter, she is a biomed mom mentor and she is happily married to her husband Michael.  Together they have begun doing workshops about surviving Autism as a couple.

I can’t wait to hear what she has to say!  I hope you will tune in to hear her story, to hear about all of the resources available at TACA and to hear some great advice about keeping a marriage strong through this journey.

This week we are also going to have another Biomed Mom Question  – have you read Joanne’s blog on keeping the flu away?  Boy do I wish I had read it two months ago!  And we are going to be talking about GFCF recipes and a possible contest coming up!  Don’t miss it!

Leave a comment

Filed under Biomedical Intervention, Everyday Autism Miracle Radio Show, GFCF Diet

Our Story

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  To the parent of a child with Autism nothing could be truer.  Our son was a beautiful, happy baby. Something happened and a light went out of his eyes.  I see it clearly in pictures now.  The good news is that we got help.  We put our son on a strict GFCF diet and we saw improvement, we started working with CARD and doing ABA therapy and he got better.  When we hit a wall we would tweak his diet and dabble in Biomedical intervention.  The light came back.  It is clear in the pictures.  There is hope. This is our story in pictures.

Leave a comment

Filed under ABA Therapy, Biomedical Intervention, CARD, Everyday Autism Miracle Radio Show, GFCF Diet