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!