So Far, So Good

So Delicious Minis Non-Dairy Organic Fudge Bars

I thought I’d write a quick update on our Dairy-Free Experiment for those who are interested. If you recall, we took my 7-year-old daughter off dairy in an attempt to figure out what is causing her random belly aches. I ended up taking her off gluten as well, which might sound like a double whammy, but so many products these days are both gluten and dairy free that it doesn’t seem much harder to do both at once. This way we can “kill two birds with one stone” so to speak. At the end of the two-week trial, we will add one or the other back into her diet and see how she reacts.

So far she hasn’t had any belly aches, but it hasn’t really been long enough to know for sure that it’s the elimination diet or just a matter of time.

I can’t tell you how helpful your comments were on my original post — particularly the product recommendations. I went to my favorite local health food store yesterday armed with a list I gathered from that post, and the manager on duty was able to show me the best of the dairy free products they carry. She made some great recommendations, and between her suggestions and yours, my daughter likes most of the dairy and gluten free replacements we’ve tried. WHOOP!

Ideally we will focus more on eating real whole foods, not processed imitations, but this is a 7-year-old we’re talking about so I’m doing a combination of both. I plan to post of a roundup of our favorite products for those who might find it helpful, so stay tuned.

Thanks to the plethora of paleo websites and resources, dinnertime shouldn’t be too stressful, even though about 80% of my usual dinner recipes have dairy in them. I am kind of looking forward to adding some new recipes to my repertoire; it probably can’t hurt to reduce the dairy in our diets even if we’re not all sensitive to it.

My daughter has taken to the diet more easily than I could have possibly hoped. Truthfully, I think she rather likes the attention, but I’m sure the novelty will wear off if she has to continue on this diet for the longterm. People who don’t struggle with food sensitivities probably think we all like the attention just a little bit; I get that sense from some people. Either that, or the attitude that it’s not truly necessary, it’s all in our heads, or nonsense like that. I can assure you that living with diet restrictions is no fun, and the reason we talk about it is because we know how hard it is and we want to help those who are in our shoes. I suppose it gets tiresome if it’s not something that’s on your radar, but I hope you call be patient with me as we work our way through this lastest challenge, and I hope my experience helps someone out there who is new to this.

I will never forget the day my now 10-year-old was diagnosed with an allergy to milk and eggs just before her first birthday. I left the doctors office and went straight to Whole Foods, where I spent the next hour reading labels and wondering how on earth I was ever going to navigate those unchartered waters. I literally stood in the dairy aisle and cried.

Fast forward nine years, and here we are. She has long since outgrown her allergies, and I have the experience of living gluten free to aid me in this new endeavor. Reading and deciphering labels is a way of life for me now, and the food world has come a long way in nine years. It is still overwhelming to eliminate a major food group from your diet, but it’s much more doable now, and there are many more resources available, for which I am thankful!

That’s about it for now. I’ll keep you posted, and keep those product recommendations coming!

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12 thoughts on “So Far, So Good

  1. I developed lactose intolerance a few years ago, but recently we decided as a family to go Paleo for the nutritional benefits. It really wasn’t far off from our then-diet, so it hasn’t been hard to adjust, but we have definitely noticed improvements with how we feel. I have a seven-year-old as well, and was nervous she may not adapt, but shockingly she has become more adventurous and has come to like so many things! She even asked for mushrooms in last night’s meal!

    The websites I frequent most for recipes (that are delicious and easy-to-make) are paleodietlifestyle[dot]com, paleomg[dot]com, and paleospirit[dot]com.

    Good luck! I look forward to seeing more about your Paleo journey!

  2. I haven’t read the other post yet, SO behind but had to share! My daughter is now 3 years into a lactose intolerence. While some foods give her the worst stomach aches (too many eggs, too much cheese etc) she does pretty good with most others. She doesn’t drink milk at all, that is a straight no-no but if she watches her intake it helps a ton with the stomach aches.

    We have found so many great resources for dairy free snacks, and while she misses her lovely goldfish, she loves her new snacks even more with out the pain afterwards. We do Almond Milk, but she is a huge water drinker. We are starting her on calcium supplements as her intake has dropped a bit over the past year and she is growing so fast.

    I am so hopeful you find what is causing her pains, and that it is as easy a fix as possible! After my inital panic it was a lot easier then I thought 🙂

  3. I hear you on the crying. My daughter was 5 when we got her Celiac diagnosis and the overwhelming work of re-vamping a child’s diet in that way was hard! It’s gotten so much easier over the years.

  4. Hoping you don’t mind…I’m going to share this post in my fb blog page. It’s all so relatable.

  5. Just wanted to pass on a dairy free mac and “cheese” recipe that we really enjoy. Its from blog.fatfreevegan.com. It’s something that’s dairy free, and can be made gluten free using the right pasta. It does say on the packaging of the nutritional yeast that it’s made in a facility that processes peanuts however, so I’m not sure if that would be a problem with your son’s allergies. Our friend has a son who is on a gluten free, dairy free diet and they use nutritional yeast for recipes like this to get that cheese taste and a plus is that it’s packed with nutrients. Good luck with everything!

  6. I don’t know if this is something you’ve considered or not, but when I went on the anti-candida diet ALL my stomach issues went away. My bloating. IBS, cramps, pain, upset stomachs – you name it, it left. Just a thought. Here’s a link to more about the anti-candida diet. Heads up, it’s super strict. http://www.wholeapproach.com/


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