The Aspie Superhero diet – food’s effect on our son with ASD / SPD / Autism / Aspergers

Today on the show I am joined by Heather, and we will be talking all about Mikey’s diet. We unpack exactly what we’ve chosen to put into his body and why we’ve chosen to do these things.

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Mike: Hey everybody, we are back and we're going to talk about Mikey's diet right now, and I'm joined by Heather. She's a crowd favorite. Thank you. Hello Hello, and she's looking awesome. She's wearing a Clemson tiger.

Mike: A little girls like baby tee and I love it. Deep V cut, which is cool because of all that implies I will stop missing college game day.

Mike: Yeah, I guess that's it. We're great for about a month, new year's Eve yet where we play LSU, not the ACC championship, the bowl game. Yes, the bowl

Mike: kind of fan or, we're really looking forward to that.

Mike: So if you didn't know, we are gigantic Clemson tiger fans. And not just because they've been, making a good run at it for the past few years. It's just that I grew up. Watching the Clemson tigers play back in the elite eight Ailey's, did I say Ailey's or aliens, or what was I going to say eighties back in the eighties and, watching Michael Dean Perry and William Perry and Chris Gardner hockey and Terry Allen, and the list goes on and on.

Mike: So such fans that we named our cats after a Taj Boyd and Sammy walk-ins and, it's just really cool to, to have that part of our life and be a little bit unique side effect of that is that we're not really Clemson or excuse me. We're not really any Texas fans, care for the Longhorns.

Mike: I guess we could like Baylor, Dallas, Cowboys, whatever, anyway, but that's not why we're here. That's not why we're here. We're here to talk about Mikey's diet and what it is that he likes to eat and what it is that we really have chosen to put into his body and why we chosen to do these things because we have made some choices and, aside from his.

Mike: Tree nut allergy. That's right. Tree nuts. So pecans, walnuts, cashews, pistachios, basically everything, but a peanut. If it comes from a tree and is not a seed, then he is allergic to it.

Heather: We're doing good on coconut. And I guess that's, a different protein. So we do, we are able to give them coconut milk and coconut flour, things like that.

Heather: So that's good, but we're definitely staying away from all the other.

Mike: And aside from that we are that family now we're the family that needs to,

Heather: No epi pens are no, I never thought I would be carrying an epi pen in my purse or making sure that we leave an epi pen, with when he's in childcare or we explain, how it's used to babysitters.

Heather: Yeah. I never thought I'd have to deal with that for sure. Sorry. I'm


Mike: thinking about, yeah. So if you start frothing at the mouth, which it's funny, that's what he's been doing lately. He's been making these like mouth bubbles with his saliva. To tell a bright eyed, young teenagers, like dad just stab him in the thigh with this device.

Mike: He'll be fine. He'll be fine. The harder you push the better like really

Heather: hit him, yeah. The good thing is though, is like, when you know, your child has a severe allergy, we don't keep anything like that in our house.

Mike: Except for the pound of pistachios that I've been snacking on for the past few nights.

Heather: That's like the, definitely the exception, that's just been something recent that I'm not, I don't know how long I'll let that last. Okay. Because that, that goes against the, the safety of what we're trying to do and, and say, you don't have to get your pistachios on your road trips.

Heather: Okay. Not keep them in the house. Cause that it does make everything a lot safer, especially if you're being a bachelor and you leave your pistachio. On the floor by the couch and happened to pass out on the couch. Yeah.

Mike: I'm being reprimanded now. Sorry about that little awkward moment there.

Mike: I'm just going to say yes ma'am and then we'll move on. So definitely so all that aside, where I was trying to lead to was that, it takes us a while to actually get through an order at a restaurant. So we need this and that, but no, this, and now that, or we have to ask questions, sorry for hitting the microphone.

Mike: Sorry for hitting the microphone again. Like we're amateurs. So it takes us a while to get, it's a mouthful when ordering anywhere, except for Chick-fil-A, because it's pretty simple. Their Chick-fil-A is three kid's meals, grilled chicken, fruit cup, apple sauce, or apple juice. It's pretty easy to order there. So anyway, I hope we're not rambling. Leave us a note, let us know, review us, but just cut. Just bear with me, give me some grace

Heather: conversational, at least.

Mike: True. True. It is. All right, so now let's get into the meat of the episode. Let's talk about Mikey's diet, but let's first start with your mom's like medical history.

Mike: Not the full, but the pertinent.

Heather: Okay. So my mom died at a young age. She was 41 and she had an autoimmune disease. And gosh, this was probably about like 25 years ago now. And it ended up being that she had celiac and not as much it was known about celiac 25 years ago is what's known now. And so her immune system was very calm.

Heather: And she ended up passing away of pneumonia, but it was because the gluten that was in her diet had destroyed her testimony lining to the point where, when she would eat healthy food, she was no longer able to, absorb the nutrition from that. And so I learned because of my. Auto-immune disease, what celiac was and what it meant to be gluten-free and how disgusting it was actually 25 years ago.

Heather: And it's not as, it's not that way anymore. How disgusting, what was like gluten-free food tasted like the cardboard that it came out of. The bread was hard in order to eat it. You had to toast it. The pastas that were out there were really mushy and soggy. There were no, already made, cookies.

Heather: Brownies or anything like that, that you can randomly pick up at the grocery store now there was definitely no gluten-free Isles, so it just, it was just a lot different.

Mike: How long have you been concerned about gluten in your diet? Because it is something that's been in your family,

Heather: so yeah. Anytime I've had like medical things come up, I've gone in gotten tested, and like what I mean by medical things. I would have gastrointestinal issues or inflammation chronic sinus infections and stuff. And I would go to my annual physical and I would just talk about my family's medical history.

Heather: And I don't remember really celiac being on there as far as what are your, those little checklists that you go over with, people in your family have had cancer, heart disease, things like that. I don't remember seeing like celiac on there, so I would just bring it up and be like, I know it's hereditary, maybe.

Heather: I should be tested for it and things like that. And so I've always, tested negative for it. But then the more I've learned about gluten sensitivity, you could not be celiac and still have sensitivities in your body. It could be, what's causing the inflammation that you have, or they, the yeast imbalance that you have and things like that.

Heather: So I just slowly started eliminating it from my diet and I've gone through periods where I've been totally gluten-free and then, periods where, you know, like I cheat here and there. Speaking

Mike: of gluten-free. I think I asked you like five hours ago for some of those cookies to be maiden. Oh yeah.

Heather: And I still don't have them. Yeah. I'm sorry about that. I know you've been trying to watch your sugar. So I was like ignoring you a little bit on purpose and I was trying to get the Christmas cards out. So I was a little district.

Mike: All I'm hearing is excuses. At this point. They're not bad, even for someone who isn't.

Mike: Maybe because I've been around gluten-free options for awhile and we've grown up in, or we're living in a more gluten free tolerant. Am I making up words now?

Heather: I think that we

Mike: have a society that like, there is a gluten-free aisle now, not just an item or you've

Heather: got to restaurants, they have a gluten-free menu and things like that.

Heather: So it's not something that. Gluten-free tolerant. I don't know if that would be my vocabulary, but it's definitely not, it's definitely okay to say that

Mike: anti-gluten pro freedom of anyway, whatever, just thinking about political correctness at the same time. So you know what though, and actually now that you met.

Mike: I could pretty easily just go to gluten free bread or the cookies that, that you've made, or, some of the other options that are out there using corn tortillas instead of flour tortillas, or things of that nature, it hasn't been, it hasn't been difficult, I would say, yeah, the taste is a little bit different, but it's not dramatically.

Mike: I think it used to be. I remember when we were getting UDIs bread or some other bread before few years back. I had to stay frozen and the only way to eat it was to toast it.

Heather: Otherwise it would just be really doughy.

Mike: Yeah. And even when it was even when it was toasted, it was like, it would stick in your teeth a little bit, it's not that way.

Mike: And I'm glad the kids are grown up with this here as well. So you've been checked and you don't have silly. That's great. But if you did we'd know how to, work with it and live with it, but tell the story about joy before we get to Mikey, but tell the story about joy here.

Heather: Okay. So joy is my third child and when she was born, she had cradle cap, which is, common for, little babies.

Heather: And then she also had eczema and she, my first, the first of my three children to have. And I was like, oh man, this is like all you're looking at your new more baby and they've got these red bumps on their skin. And then anywhere that she had a skin fold, she would have the, the yellow caky crusty skin.

Heather: And I was like, oh man. So I would bring it up to my pediatrician and I'm at her well visit. And the pediatrician told me to look out for different soaps and shampoos and laundry detergents. And at this point I had already cleaned up our, the toxic chemicals that we use for our cleaning, our bodies and cleaning our homes and things like that.

Heather: So I already felt like I was using products that would be safe on an. And so I asked her about diet and she was like, no, I don't really think that diet plays a big part in it. And so I was like, oh man. So she referred me to a dermatologist, a pediatric dermatologist around the time that joy was three months old.

Heather: Cause we were still struggling with it. And joy was exclusively breasts. And so when it comes to the diet that I'm eating, there could be something that I'm eating that's triggering her eczema. So the pediatric dermatologist told me that he didn't think it was related as well, but he prescribed us some hydrocortisone cream, which he told me isn't safe for, for babies, especially, three month olds.

Mike: By the way not safe. Go ahead and give it

Heather: a whirl. Yeah. He's so don't use it any longer than two weeks, but basically her skin's really inflamed and irritable. And if this clears it up, that's great. But if it comes back then that's just the kind of skin that this child's going to have. Some children or, just have skin issues.

Heather: So this is just not setting well with me, but I did go home and I applied the hydrocortisone cream because as a mom, when you're looking at your baby and you're changing their diapers or, giving them a bath and their body gets all inflamed, their skin's reacting. It's just hard.

Heather: So I went ahead and I tried the hydrocortisone cream and I did see some significant improvement. But then the doctor said ma came back when I stopped using the cream. And so I was just like, okay, I'm just going to go for it. I'm going to do the diet elimination that I had been reading about.

Heather: And the first one that I did was gluten. So at the time that I was breastfeeding her, I was eating, like sandwiches when I would go eat out and. Like muffins from Starbucks and things like that. But for the most part, like in my home, like I didn't have a lot of that, like gluten processed foods at home, it was mainly like convenience foods.

Heather: Cause when you're eating food, that's fast outside and you're a mom of three, you have to be very educated and order food differently when you're on a gluten-free diet. And I was probably too sleep deprived to be focusing on that at that point. So anyway, I went totally gluten-free and within about 10 days of me doing it.

Heather: Joyce skin cleared up 100%. Her cradle cap was still an issue for maybe a couple more months, but her skin, her eczema, the red prickly non-techy bumps that were on her skin were just gone. She looked like those little model babies with the perfect white skin. Oh, my gosh. So when I took joy to her six month well-check I told the pediatrician about my elimination diet, told her about my mom's experience with celiac.

Heather: And I was thinking if there could be a correlation or something going on. And she said that it's highly likely because it is somewhat hereditary. And she's if you'd we can do a celiac tech. And I'm like what does a celiac test involved? And, it was a little bit invasive and she knows.

Heather: And also in order to do the celiac test, you have to feed her foods with gluten again. And I was just like, I'm shaking my head right now. No. And I was like, why would I L in my head, I'm going, why would I need to do that? I feel like for the first four months of her life, I gave her. I stopped giving her gluten because I stopped eating gluten, her skin cleared up.

Heather: I'm like, I think I've already done that test. I don't need to do like any kind of blood draws or reintroducing gluten or anything like that. I'm like, I think I'm done. It's okay for my daughter to be gluten-free for the rest of her life. Like even when I start introducing finger foods, like she's a gluten-free child.

Heather: But that's the end of it. But listen,

Mike: in their defense, anybody who would be from, have a strict, scientific mind, it's you're not a scientist, you're not a doctor. So you still should probably do that. It's just a lot like, doctor, it hurts when I move my arm like this and the doctor says, we'll stop moving her arm.

Mike: Like that problem solved. So we did that yet. It's Hey, it sucks for her. When her feeding gluten to my wife. And I said, gluten, gluten to my. But when we stopped, it's not there. It's we've already, that was a bit frustrating, but I loved getting the laugh about it when we're like, and we've trusted, our family's health, our children's health to this doctor.

Mike: We love Dr. Moray, but we've trusted her for this for quite a long time. But we just, we were like yeah, we're not gonna, we're not gonna follow that protocol. Thanks.

Heather: Yeah, that was my big just learning experience, just to sometimes it's okay to trust your mom's intuition.

Heather: And also too I really like learning about nutrition and about, and its abilities, to heal the body and about how some foods are just not good for you. And so it's really kept me wanting to, stay on that path of being gluten. So

Mike: tell everybody about the last time we fed joy, gluten.

Heather: It happens obviously by accident when she does eat gluten. If she gets some goldfish at church or at a place where they forget that she's gluten-free, then she'll get rosy cheeks. That's the first thing that I'll notice. And I'll also notice that she'll get a little bit of, it looks like baby acne around her mouth and that's like the first, the first reaction.

Heather: But I can tell I'm like, Ooh, you must be getting some gluten in because you're starting to get little, little white headed bumps or just, opaque, bumps on your face. I'm like, all right, we need to, do some probiotics, get your gut cleaned a little bit and get that gluten out of you.

Mike: Yeah, it's good. It was a trick question because we don't, we've never intentionally fed her gluten since then but it's funny to watch it, to watch. Sweetly, try to sneak off and do anything sneaky, but specifically anything she shouldn't be doing. So we could do a whole episode on her sneakiness.

Mike: She's very sneaky. It'd

Heather: be pretty fun.

Mike: That's for sure. Definitely. It would be pretty fun to do that now. So let's transition over to Mikey them because Mikey, when he was born and when he was being fed as a child here, He didn't exhibit the same stuff. So talk about real quickly, actually not quickly, but take your time.

Mike: And let's talk about what led us to, to give my heat, the kind of diet that we have him on right now. And I'll let you know right now that it's not something we've had them on for a long time, maybe five or so months. Five or six months. Yeah. Since July. So she's counting on her hands. She's oh, she took her socks off.

Heather: So yeah. It's important to talk about how many months it is, because when you change their diet, it does take awhile for the behavior changes to be noticed and then be like, oh yeah, maybe it does have to do with the changes that we're making certain things or certain things like Joy's eczema that took 10 days, but other things are different.

Heather: Like behavior changes when a child is used to exhibiting a certain behavior. And you're working with them as a parent to like, modify that behavior. And then you do something like change their diet, and you're still using those parenting techniques at the same time. And then all of a sudden you're starting to see changes.

Heather: It's oh now that we changed their diet, they have more control of their behavior because their nervous system and their health and their immune system is working a lot better because we're not feeding them foods that are irritating them, which is something that gluten does to a lot of people, even if you're not seeing.

Heather: So

Mike: well, but to recap real quick, we did this to attempt to, to work with Mikey's behavior as we're working with him on his life. And really to help him just, ultimately with his behavior, right? So someone at one point said that caffeine is a stimulant and so is sugar. So we decided to listen to those things and we made some changes.

Mike: So why don't you talk about what those changes were when we started?

Heather: Okay. So had been doing a lot of research on nutrition and learning a lot from. Various websites and things like that. And various people, one of them was a natural path that we are working with and she's really been educating us about being on a gluten-free diet.

Heather: And when you do eat dairy to eat dairy, that's more raw because it still has the nutrition in it. But one of the things that I read. About kids with autism and the zip there's diets out there gluten-free case and free soy free diets that if you put your child on, then you can, see a significant improvement in their behaviors.

Heather: And the certain behaviors that I noticed a change with Mikey when we started putting them on this diet, is that he was, he has gone. I'm sorry, going back a little bit here. Mikey has ADHD, sensory processing disorder and high functioning autism. The holy Trinity. Yeah. So with that, there's a lot of disruption going on in his nervous system when he has the, the ADHD component.

Heather: It's he always looks like he's got this driven motor he's going, and he needs to be climbing or jumping off the couch. Like he, for the longest time could not sit through a 30 minute cartoon and his parents when we need to get stuff done. And we want our child to watch a 30 minute cartoon.

Heather: We can all relate to how important that is. And he couldn't do it. We tried

Mike: so many times to get Barney to be our babysitter, but he had, he didn't have the attention span.

Heather: We going to be jumping off the couch while he watched Barney. And so when this diet was really implemented and really started getting going, I noticed that this internal motor, that it seemed that Mikey was driven by.

Heather: Slowing down. Like he was able to watch, watching movies. He didn't want to sit on the couch. He was able to, even at the end of the day, when he's tired and at his, witching hour moment, if he wasn't as irritable when he would have temper tantrums because things weren't going his way.

Heather: He was a lot less rigid. Temper tantrums would not last as long. And we all know those temper tantrums from a six-year-old can be pretty, pretty intense and not the same kind of temper tantrums you're getting from a two and a half or a three-year-old. So for any kind of reduction in those temper tantrums or any kind of reduction in the rigidity of the way that he wanted things to be just very rewarding and very enlightening,

Mike: it was.

Mike: And I remember it was probably three, three and a half months into it. I, and I told you about this because I was a little bit concerned. And I, I remember asking him, he walked by me a couple of times, or I had him just hanging out with me in the, in my lap and was like, Hey buddy. Okay. And he's yeah, I'm fine.

Mike: I'm like, no dude, until you fill in. All right. Yeah, I'm good. And I would like just stop him from coming inside from the backyard where he looked like he was having fun out there and I just would be like, dude, yo. Yeah, I'm fine. Do you want any water? I'm okay. Completely like chill,

Heather: super chill.

Heather: Yeah. I remember that.

Mike: I was impressed. I was really impressed. And then it dawned on me. I was like, I think some of these things that we've been doing. Are working, they're starting to work or, things have started to build up, some of the things, some of the supplements are starting to become effective, over time.

Mike: And I was impressed. And then, of course, full moon, a couple of days after that and he just went straight wacky. I don't think it has anything to do with the moon. I'm just saying that it just seemed funny that the full moon came in and he went straight Gonzo for a few minutes

Heather: theories on that.

Heather: But I will say that

Mike: there are, it's pretty interesting. We'll tease it a little bit and I'm gonna look into it a little bit more. Parasites, right? Yeah. Yeah. It's pretty interesting. Gross too. We all have fricking parasites in our stomach and

Heather: gut. Yeah. I went to an autism conference and there was a lecture that we listened to.

Heather: Yeah, no, there was a lecture that we listened to on parasites and I was like, oh, I, worms inside our bodies. I don't want to hear about this, but no, it actually was talking about how, the parasites that we have in our body when we have a new moon or a full moon, that behavior in our children can become a lot more.

Heather: Intense because the parasites are doing their thing. I don't know what that is.

Mike: And I'm curious now what that thing is. I don't

Heather: know. I don't know how to explain it. It was only one conference, like one, like little segment of the conference that I was looking, listening to. All I remember is I was like, okay, so full moon parasite activity.

Heather: So if your child's behavior starts acting more irrational during around a full moon, then you might want to talk to whatever doctor you're working with, about getting your child on some, parasite, Medicaid. To, help them die off. So her parasite, supplementation, whatever.

Mike: So that was a little bit more of a tease then.

Mike: Sorry,

Heather: going off tangent on the whole flight gluten-free casein-free diet thing, but there's one other behavior that I wanted to point out that really reduced with Mikey and Goodlord and Mikey would do random screaming. And I know that based on what I've talked about with other moms and, families that are, have kids on the spectrum, can I give an example?

Heather: I was just like driving in the car on our roads. Yeah. Yeah. I just playing with his tablet and all of a sudden, just a screaming out of

Mike: nowhere. And I'm gonna move away from the mic. Cause I still crack up a little bit over this, but it scares the living crap out of you. Because you're just sitting, you're sitting around, it doesn't matter where you are.

Mike: You will hear it from around the room or in a crowded little minivan. It's just somebody get off of Mike A. Little bit here. What he's just like dude, to do.

Mike: You peel a little swerve

Heather: when you're

Mike: cooking comes flying.

Heather: No, like my, he would be in the, in the living room, I'm thinking, okay, watch some TV so I can get a decent dinner made and he'll just do this random scream. And I'm just like why did you do that? And it was just our innate thing.

Heather: We just ask our children why, even though they sometimes can't explain it, but we're just hoping that if they tell us why that we can. Train them out of it, but no, he couldn't tell me why. I don't know. And

Mike: the why wasn't usually my first response. It was your mother from abroad. Do you know any sort of like fresh, and then what the heck are you doing, dude?

Mike: And there you're right there. Isn't an answer. Now we can look back at it and he doesn't do this, it's, it is. Or just thinking about it at the end of the day with oh man, today was a crappy 12 hour drive in the minivan, but dude, I almost ran into the semi, when he, belted out, I don't know.

Mike: I think he was just like, when a kettle gets full and is boiling, you just have to like, let it out. Like he's

Heather: done. Yeah. That's how that I get. Definitely. Yeah. I agree with that illustration.

Mike: Yeah. So that has, that's all about.

Heather: Those. Yeah. Those are the behaviors that I've noticed that have really improved.

Heather: And I have to relate it back to the diet because before we were doing the diet strictly and we are doing gluten-free casein-free, we're not on soy-free yet, but we're limited on soy. The only things that he's at are soy or some of the gluten-free processed foods that do have soy ingredients on it, but I really try to make sure it has the non-GMO.

Heather: On the front of the box and not to give you a teaser on that one, cause I don't wanna go off on another tangent, the GMO's are not good for you, but we'll leave that for another, I

Mike: think we'll have a series of the quote, conspiracy theory, things out there, right? The things that aren't fully, I don't know, vetted, discovered whatever.

Mike: Anyway we'll classify those in something. Later when we're ready to have the criticism from random trolls. All right. We'll prepare for that and we'll do a little bit of mindfulness stuff and then we'll post it out there.

Heather: Yeah. But I wanted to share a link before we go off the topic of the diet.

Heather: There's this one website that I've been on a lot. It's called TACA. Now talking about curing autism. Now T a C a T ACA. Now T a C

Mike: a N O w.

Heather: They have all kinds of references about going gluten-free casein-free soy-free about the budget meal, ideas, cooking classes, why it's important, what kind of behaviors could stem from eating gluten in caisson and having a yeast overgrowth and things like that.

Heather: So this website. And so I definitely wanted to recommend people to go there to get information, the

Mike: information, but isn't that the site where you can sign up to actually have someone coach

Heather: you. Yes. Yes. I actually signed up recently. I haven't started working with my coach yet, even though they reached out to me right away.

Heather: I got, you know how life is, I got matched up with a coach, right? When the kids went on like winter break. So I haven't had a chance to just get back. I've got. Yeah anyway, but I think it was awesome that they matched me up with I don't know, coach is the right word, parent mentor, a mentor, a parent that's been down the road that I'm going down.

Heather: And can, help answer any questions that I have. And just so

Mike: everybody knows the fee for that is

Heather: nothing it's free. It's free. It is. It's amazing.

Mike: I would like, listen, call me up. It's $37 a minute. Your first two minutes are free. So try to wrap it up and then, you get great value, but I would talk to you.

Mike: I try to make you laugh through the day a little bit, and just such you down. Yeah. I'm here for you too. Sorry. So that's a great commercial Taka now, T a C a N O Check it out. Great resources for you there. And also a parent. What do you call it? Parents mentor, parent mentor. That will reach out to you almost immediately via text and give you some support services.

Mike: So

Heather: just want to throw it out there too. There's a lot of people out there that are nervous or scared about doing such a big diet change oh, going gluten-free, oh, we can't have round rock donuts anymore. And we can't, go to Chick-fil-A and get the, the bread on our sandwich, like it's okay.

Heather: You'll make your changes. You'll, you'll find gluten-free, frozen donuts at the grocery store, it's

Mike: yeah, it takes a while, but it is worth it. And I wanted to point out a couple other things that have diminished a lot is that. Is pretty far down. He does have some things that he likes to say. Of course he loves his old loss song. If you've been listening to the podcast a couple episodes ago, he's, he sings is bilingual, Spanish, English too. It's our tradition. Now, when we go to Rudy's that's gone down his, his Yelp, I don't know what you want to call that, but that is, that has gone down.

Mike: But also he used to flap his hands a lot when he would get frustrated and that doesn't. Anymore. I saw him like starting to clap like this morning and he's he was clapping. And I think he's picked it up from you because that's, you're like Hey, come here. Hey, that's your little, or, you being loud.

Mike: That's your,

Heather: it's one of my strategies for not yelling. I was going to

Mike: say, that's your scream now? That's the Heather screen.

Heather: She just cut out. So if I clap, no,

Mike: they're just confused. They're trying to find your beat. You're like. But they can't find the beads anyway, but yeah, I saw that this morning, I thought, is he gonna start flapping again?

Mike: Or wiggling his hands. And he didn't, he was clapping, like to get people moving. Yeah, it's been really good. Now Mikey's response to this even tonight. I had him on errands after school and everything was wrapped up. He went with me to Lowe's and. Begging me. It wasn't making a very good case by the way, but he was begging me for some m&ms.

Mike: The other thing we've cut out too, is food dye. And I told him, I was like, look, which one's your favorite color? And he said, blue, no yellow, blue. He did his whole thing, trying to pick it out. I says what do you think makes that color? He goes, oh, food. I can't have food dye, but I'm not on a diet.

Mike: And he says it like in the middle of,

Heather: starting to refer to it as like a diet. And it is, oh, wait, like a weight loss diet. Oh, it's not a weight loss diet, but it's an elimination,

Mike: diet and elimination diet. You putting your food over time. And it's kinda cute to have him say that and have other people around that are just like curious about what the heck am I, yeah.

Mike: You are on a diet and I just have to reaffirm on whatever you put in your mouth over time as your diet. And so he understands, enjoy even understands, she, the kids have gotten used to

Heather: this. Yeah. And the awesome thing too, though, is that when you put your child on the like food elimination dot.

Heather: One of the fun things is about finding alternatives. And so when I go to HEB now, Mikey knows that we're going to look for the organic gummy worms. And they're organic in the fact that the company knows the company that makes it knows that a lot of reasons that we're not eating the other gummy worms is because they're made with food dye, organic gummy worms are organic.

Heather: And the fact that they're made with beets in order to make it a red color, they're made with whatever else they're made with. I don't know right now, but they're made with, they're made with. In order to make the gummy bear not be all clear. And Mikey still gets gummy worms and gummy bears and sour patch kids.

Heather: Of course they're a tree because we know we are, we also are on a, sugar reduction. They're definitely a, a tree and saved for special occasions, but it doesn't mean I tell them it doesn't mean you can't have chocolate. We're just not going to have chocolate. That's coded with blue, yellow, and red.

Heather: We are going to go home and we're going to have enjoy life chocolate chips, that are, allergen-free and they're, they're good for you. So

Mike: tell everybody, we had Halloween not too long ago. Like our tradition right now is actually pretty cool. So we still let the kids go trick or treat.

Mike: We still let them enjoy some candy. We're not candy Nazis. Although it is like no recess for you one year. It's not quite like that, but, go ahead and tell them the tradition that we have right now.

Heather: Okay. So on Halloween night we go trick or treating with the neighborhood kids.

Heather: And I usually take them trick or treating because I last longer, I'm just giving

Mike: out the candy and sit in a recliner. Yeah, the lawn chair and enjoy my adult beverage and talk to the adults that

Heather: come out. It gets crazy when you're out trick or treating with the camping next

Mike: year, I'm going to have a cooler of beer for the adults

Heather: to trigger.

Heather: Okay. That's great. So anyway, so I go out trick-or-treating with some moms, and our kids, because when Mike goes that you know that the chaos of the night, he wants to cut it shorter than the kids do. So I'm like, oh, you just stay home and pass out candy. We'll be back in the. I actually have a picture of the kids laying on someone's lawn.

Heather: Cause they were so tired and they didn't want to walk back home. And I was like too bad. So we took her treated the whole way home. We can help with this big old Luda candy and some neighbors and do the teal pumpkin, which is what we do. And the teal pumpkin is all about. Sometimes having just allergy free candy at your house or having, non-food surprises at your house, like tattoos, stickers, glow sticks, or things like that.

Heather: So it's called the teal pumpkin. And if you Google teal pumpkin project, you can find out more information about it. So we do the teal pumpkin at our house, but so the kids will come home with their big they're big stash of candy and we'll dump everything out. They get to look at it and see how fun it is.

Heather: They'll pick out all the things that are non candy, and then I let them pick out five pieces of. The damage that's going to be done. It's going to be done in five pieces of candy, and then we're going to be over it. And then they set their pumpkin by the front door with all the rest of the candy in it.

Heather: And the magic pumpkin comes that night and replaces all of the candy with a toy. And I just get them whatever their favorite toy is of the season. Just something, like moderately priced, not something big and huge, but something to where they're like all okay, giving away all that candy was worth it for the.

Heather: I think grace got the pie face game this year, and Mikey got, something from, what does that robotic spider thing

Mike: called? Yeah. They're like, I don't know, little mechanical fleas that go into these tracks and they kinda go upside down. They go around and it's like orange and somebody out there is oh, I love that.

Mike: And they know exactly what it is, but

Heather: I don't recall it. The enjoy got like an Ariel doll. So yeah. And the kids, wake up in the morning and they're like, oh, the magic pumpkin. Their Candy's gone. They have, they've got their five pieces of candy that they can spread out over the next, day or two.

Heather: And that's what we do. And I'll usually post pictures of it on Facebook and I'll be, I'll get a lot of likes or, oh man, that's such an awesome idea. I'm going to try that for next year and things like that. And then everyone also shares different things that they do, so that the kids don't eat all that candy.

Heather: Start getting the colds and flus of the season, which is really not really a season.

Mike: So I just looked at the time on the recording. We'd like to try to keep this to about 30 minutes, but we have a section on supplements we want to talk about. So why don't we real quick? Can you just run down?

Heather: Oh, where are we at on this episode?

Heather: What time are we in at 36? Okay. Why don't we do another episode in another episode, just on supplementation, because we definitely have a lot of, like on a program that I've learned a lot about, it's the biomedical treatment of autism and I'd love to just not be rushed on explaining that.

Mike: Sure. So here to cap it all up, actually it's more along the lines of so we've done some elimination. But we've also done some addition, the suffering.

Heather: Yeah. So in addition, just to ramp up his immune system and in that part,

Mike: yeah. It can be a little intimidating. What all if you look at it like as a line item there's this there's that there's this or that, it looks like a lot of stuff, but we'll share with you guys supplementation and a future episode probably right around the corner, but we'll talk about it and an amazing thing that Mikey does. I'm not going to tell you about it, but I think it's flipping amazing. We'll share that with you there as well.

Mike: So let's try to put a wrap on this. They say, when you're trying to make an adjustment to your life, your body image, you're trying to improve the way you look, there's diet and there's exercise, and everybody will say, look, it's 80% diet. What I think, and the science is still very immature in this, but I just saw an article from somewhere in great Britain about the impact of proteins in your brain against autism and the, the outward signs of autism.

Mike: Some of these things that we were talking about that have lessened over the past few months, My point is that food matters. I think that's a movie we watched, but that the food matters and it definitely matters for Mikey right now. This mix of things he's not on. And the things that we're amping up through supplementation is paying benefits for him and for us, he's still a handful.

Mike: He's just not two big handfuls of ludicrous. Tasmanian devils spin around the room. He's just one handful. Now that responds is way more verbally and we can attribute that to diet because he hasn't matured that much.

Heather: At the parenting style that we've been doing prior to the diet change, hasn't changed that much.

Heather: It's just that. And I've already said this before, so I don't want to like, talk longer, but one of the things that happen when you not eating gluten is that your, it helps with that brain fog that you have. So the parenting style that we're doing hasn't changed, but because he doesn't have the same amount of brain fog as he did before, when he was eating gluten and other processed foods, he can respond to.

Heather: To what we're saying to him in a different way. Because he can take more in process. It. Absolutely.

Mike: And I just wish we had video of him before. I know we have some video of him, but to actually look at his behavior throughout a day and then look at it now and look at, Hey, here's what we're trying to do this.

Mike: And Hey, here's where we're trying to do that. And here's when we're at the grocery store and here's where we're, this, we'd still do have challenging. Absolutely, but they're not as big as they were. I just want to share that with you guys that we know it's not going to always be. It isn't today, but it can get better and it can get manageable and it can get to a point where, your days are more filled with happy than they are filled with frustration.

Mike: And, if you don't have anyone to talk to about this, find someone or reach out to us. Listen to us because we've been here too. We want to try to, share with you our story because just to let you know, we've been there and to, just to let you know, we still are. So I'd like to end this episode with a small story about Mikey real quick, because we brought up the pistachios and he did observe me eating the pistachios.

Mike: And he asked me for some, I know we're hanging out in the living room and I'm having some pistachios and he asked me, Hey, she's giving me the look of like death. All right. Rightfully but anyway, so I'm eating them and he's about asleep on the couch, just like hanging out and he wakes up. He starts a little he's dad are those pistachios.

Mike: I said, yes. Tell you those are treating. I know that's okay. I'll make sure there aren't any around or anything like that. And just so you know, he's not allergic to the dust, he just can't or we don't know. We haven't covered him in pistachio dust or anything. Poof. And we won't, we know that if he eats a cashew off to the ER, we go.

Mike: But he said the funniest cutest thing, and it was very observant and he tells me, cause he's fallen asleep and he wants to be taken upstairs. He says, dad, when you carry me upstairs, go wash your hands first. Cause I don't want you to poison me. I don't want to die, buddy. You got it.

Mike: You're not going to die. I'll wash my hands before I carry you up. He's six years old and he's known to ask people, are there tree nuts in this? And it blows their mind. They're like, I don't know. It was a Walnut, a tree nut. And he's yeah, someone that's a Trina, I can't eat that. Yeah,

Heather: it's very mature of him for all of us struggles that he has to go to a fair and they're giving away free food and a free cookie and cookies look good.

Heather: It doesn't matter if there's nuts in them or they're not nuts in them, but he knows that cookie that you're offering does it have nuts. And if they get out the store packaging and they're reading it or they don't have store packaging, he knows he can't eat it. If there's no store packaging. And I'm just so proud of him for having that kind of.

Mike: I agree. I agree. So on that, let's end it right. Follow us on Facebook at Mikey podcast. Check us out on Instagram, where it's you can find us at finding Mikey podcast there as well. I post videos, little funny moments. Think I have some pictures of him wearing a beanie and a few different ways today.

Mike: That I will share here as well. So just a glimpse into our life here, as well as sharing some stuff about the podcasts and things of that nature. Yeah. Please check us out on iTunes. It'd be great. If you subscribe, it would be way more awesome. If you'd leave us a review, the reviews help us like rise to the top, where there are other people, sharing their stories or sharing clinical information about autism.

Mike: We'd love to be in those, Five so that when you type in autism, that we show up in the results right there, along with everyone else. We feel like we have a unique slant on this because we're actually opening up our family. So you guys out there rather than coming at it from a clinical educate, you sure we'd love to educate you.

Mike: We'll continue to do so over time. But if we could ask one thing instead to leave us a review, as you leave us a review, ignore me. Like only focus on Heather, hopefully like five stars, 4.9 stars, something like that. Just take me all the pictures is just rate us on the merit of that she brings. Okay. All right.

Mike: That's it. So with that, we just want to say thank you very much. Hope you've enjoyed this episode and we'll talk to you soon. Thank you.

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