Getting started on a new diet can be overwhelming at first. Parents of children with autism or PDD often face this when they're doctors ask them to start a diet free of gluten and casein. How do you do it? What foods can you eat? What foods can't you eat? Where do you buy the food? It's an endless string of thoughts that frustrate and many times deter starting the diet.
There is help available to ease this process. And, the first -- and best -- piece of advice is this: DON'T PANIC! This does not happen overnight, nor should it.
The first place I recommend people go is the TACA website, specifically to the diet page at http://www.tacanow.org/tag/gfcf/. There is a great piece up top on how to phase in the diet over 10 weeks. Another good site is GFCFdiet.com.
I also recommend buying one, or both, of Lisa Lewis' cookbooks. They're very good. You can find them at Amazon.
And, there are a number of good autism message groups on Yahoo where thousands of parents talk back and forth every day, offering advice, asking questions and giving support. The best one for diet is the GFCFrecipes message group.
Also, search the web and phone book for a local autism group -- someplace that may offer help and guidance.
Search for stores in your area that sell a variety of flours or specialty foods, like a food co-op, Whole Foods, etc. Again, if you don't know where to go, ask for help.
If you're on a tight budget, don't worry. This still can be done. Buying in bulk cuts food prices down. Shopping at ethnic groceries often is far less expensive than Whole Foods. Look for local farms that sell meat, vegetables and fruit -- you'll likely buy better quality stuff for less than the local supermarket.
For example, I buy meat from a farmers market that's free of hormones and preservatives. I pay about $1 less per pound than I would at the local supermarket.
If money's not an issue, you can find prepared foods that fit the gfcf diet at the specialty stores and online.
And last but not least, use this blog.
Keep your head up -- reading this is a good start.