Monday, August 01, 2016

on going dairy and gluten free

Questioning health professionals, seeking second opinions and going with your gut (and your heart) requires strength, time, patience, faith and perseverance - in abundance. I found it all this past fortnight and a change I had been resisting for two whole years suddenly felt doable.

A few weeks ago when we got confirmation that Poet would need grommets again I was feeling good about the decision and prepared to, once again, go down that path. But the niggling doubts and deeper questions just kept pushing up, regardless of how often I ignored them.

There were a few things that started to really bother Daniel and I:

- a larger set of grommets can stay in for 2-3 years and potentially leave a hole in the ear drum which will need to be fixed later on.
- Poet's hearing is only slightly affected and generally she's very well and grommets seemed to be (this time around) the expected next step (without exploring other options).
- going under anaesthesia, if only for half-an-hour, isn't ideal.
- the fluid behind the ear drum is mucous (and mucous is therefore the very heart of this health issue) so maybe we should explore that instead of using grommets as a bandaid.

We don't have any regrets about her first round of grommets in 2015; she was incredibly unwell then and along with the removal of tonsils and adenoids, she's since experienced a profound sense of wellbeing. But the root cause of this issue won't shift and so it's time to take the alternative route.

Following a discussion with close family members and understanding friends I called our naturopath to make an appointment. The results are as I expected: excess mucous, compromised immune system and a range of tonics, essential oils and lymphatic massage to rectify it. Furthermore, dietary changes are required: she's dairy and gluten free and, in solidarity, so am I.

To be completely honest with you, removing dairy and gluten from our diet has, up until now, been an option that's gone straight to the too-hard basket. It's always seemed too daunting but now, five days in, it's actually not that bad. I've made the decision, Poet's on board and relatively enthusiastic, and I'm inspired to keep going for the sake of her health. I'm not making decisions based on forever; it's simply what we're doing now in the hope that we can clear this health issue naturally.

So far I've been focussed on fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, an abundance of eggs, avocados, peanut butter and hummus as well as coconut milk, yoghurt and cream. The biggest (and most pleasant) surprise? Macadamia milk from Milkadamia - there are two local cafes who serve it and it makes for the creamiest cappuccino I've ever had. I'm an official convert!

Thankfully there are inspiring recipe resources everywhere I turn. Just last week an email from Mandy of Wholesome Child arrived in my inbox and I'm having a consultation with her tomorrow (I love a little serendipity). I'm also inspired by Stacey Clare's exuberant take on healthy eating for kids and this book is offering much comfort and guidance.

We're taking baby steps at the moment - literally day-by-day.

Feel free to share your own resources and favourite recipes...I'd love to know what works for you.


35 COMMENTS

  1. Which cafes??? Please do tell. We are similarly changing! And finding alternatives are hard!

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    1. Same question from me!! Would love to know where they use the macadamia milk :)

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    2. Oomph at East Gosford and Everything But The Kitchen Sink in Yattalunga. I'm asking my regular jaunts if they'll stock it too x

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  2. Coconut and chia pudding w/ fruit makes a fab breakfast. I like coconut milk in my latte too.

    We're presently "dairy, gluten, sugar and grain-free" (elimination diet... trying to see what affects eczema) which is do-able. And we're always nut-free due to allergies.

    I hope this works for your little one. I've heard good things about other people doing this. x

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    1. Meagan from Whole Family Rhythms is doing a similar diet with her girls because of eczema (she's shared a bit of their journey on instagram) x

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  3. Good on you for following your gut, Jodi. My 5 year old has had tummy aches for months, every GP we saw told us there was nothing wrong. A beautiful naturopath confirmed my gut feeling that she is strongly intolerant to all dairy products. I had some experience with intolerances as my son was intolerant to a lot of things when he was very little, but it's still quite daunting when there are so many things they can't eat...

    There is a vegan cheese you can buy at Coles, which I use sometimes for pizza. It works quite well.

    Also porridge with oat milk and cinnamon is delicious, so are banana oat pancakes. 1 Banana + 1 Egg + some oats to thicken the batter.

    Good luck with everything.

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    1. I have to find an alternative to oats for our porridge because I am missing it! Thanks for your suggestions x

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  4. I slip chia seeds and nutritional yeast ( depending on meal) into most of what my son eats , also pro avocado and Greek yogurt. We do a family smoothie w/lots of frozen bananas every morning as well (which I add a natural protein powder to & sits perfectly well with my 19 month old!). Good luck to you! Finding new recipes can be really fun if you've got the right mindset. I have an easy, cheap and delicious recipe for lentil tacos if you're at all interested!

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    1. Unfortunately bananas are a classic mucous-producing food so while I'm letting her eat them, I really do try to out a limit on how many per week. Yes, please share the lentil taco recipe x

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  5. My brother had similar issues which also effected his speech. My Mum switched to goats milk and cheese (not so easy in the early 1980s and his issues were sorted before the final appointment to put in grommets.

    Can I also suggest checking out deliciouslyella.com her everyday cookbook is amazing. Not strictly vegan as uses honey but some amazing combos. Also River Cottage Light and easy is dairy and gluten free - and easy!

    Good luck on your journey.

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    1. I can't imagine how hard it would have been to make in the 80s. There's so many options now - which is great yet slightly overwhelming! x

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  6. Good luck with all the changes, kids are quite adaptable to change so hope it all goes well.
    I have heard that bananas and peanut butter are not good for mucus problems, it may be worth checking out.

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    1. ...yes, avocados too. Chinese medicine considers them "wet" foods. But she loves them so I'm just taking it one step at a time at the moment x

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  7. My daughter had grommets , adenoids and tonsils out last year too and we noticed a dramatic improvement but I've felt the effects wearing off for a while ( not wanting to go through another set) so we have gone completely gluten, dairy, usugar and grain free using the GAPS diet , also supplementing with probiotics and fish oils , it's been tricky but definitely worth it, we're only a month into it but the improvement in her health and the rest of the family has been dramatic! Good luck

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    1. How inspiring! Thanks for sharing x

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  8. Going gluten and dairy-free is one of the best choices I've made. It does take some getting used to in terms of cooking and shopping but once the new habit has formed it's easy peasy and so so worth it. Since the shift I've noticed I eat a lot more rice, quinoa, lentils, beans, root vegetables, spinach, nuts and avocado. So much more phytonutrients!

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    1. I look forward to the day when it's second nature x

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  9. Oh thank you!! You will not regret it. I and the children have been Df and Gf for 4 years and it truly has helped us avoid a host of problems. I must admit it is much easier than people realise and my children tend to eat a wider variety of foods than their friends. Thank you for this post, I must admit the last couple of weeks our diet has slipped. Boy, what a difference! I am foggy of mind, tired, and the children are displaying behavioural changes that are unpleasant for everyone (not to mention the 2 year old's nappies are terrible!). Time to get back on the wagon with a vengence :)

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    1. So good to hear stories such as this! x

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  10. I can recommend Emma's cookbook (I have the first one) and the recipes on her blog are fantastic and give plenty of options for dairy free.

    http://www.mydarlinglemonthyme.com/


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  11. "Perfect Health for Kids" by Dr John Douillard. X

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  12. Hi Jodi,
    Have you ever read the blog, 'Oh She Glows'? It's a blog by a fellow Canadian, Angela Liddon, which features a ton of vegan recipes. She also just launched an app and has two cookbooks (one due out next month I think). I am not a vegan myself however I do tend to eat/cook a lot of vegetarian meals and so her website has been a wonderful resource. I highly recommend checking out her blog for some great meal ideas- there are tons to choose from! :)

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    1. Thank you! I'm trying to focus on books that I have on hand at the moment as I don't want to get overwhelmed with too many options. I'll come back to this in a few weeks when it doesn't feel like such a huge change! x

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    2. No worries, I can relate completely! Best of luck as you embark on these dietary changes and looking forward to reading about your progress! x

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  13. Hi jodi,
    I've been following your Instagram and blog for a while.
    I had to go dairy, egg, and gluten free for the last couple of months as I am breast feeding and my daughter has intolerance to those. I've always mostly been gluten free as I have irritable bowl and found that helped me a lot but now after making these changes, we are both much healthier for it. Her poos got lots better and she stopped throwing up after feeds. So far this season I havnt had any illness apart from a sore tickle throat that lasted about a day.
    It was def very hard to get my head around it, trying to find alternative sources of meals and snacks but after a couple of weeks it became smoother. (Sweets are my weakness!)
    I too found it hard to find an alternative porridge, but I now make quinoa porridge. Quicker and feels more wholesome. I use coconut milk with it as I thought she may also be sensitive to nuts. I make a batch of boiled quinoa and keep it in the fridge for a couple of days. Just warm it with the milk of your choice! I hope poet gains wonderful benefits from this shift,
    Marie

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  14. I'd second recommending Deliciously Ella her book is really inspirational and she cured her really serious illness through changes to her diet best thing is the recipes are amazingly tasty too

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  15. I love making cashew nut cheeses. Miyoko Schinner has great recipes in the Artisan Vegan Cheese cookbook, and she sells an amazing array of nut-based cheeses through her company, Miyoko's Kitchen (not sure if they're available outside the United States yet). You can make your own cheese by soaking cashew nuts and then creating your own rejuvelac by sprouting a gluten free grain (like quinoa or millet) and soaking them in water. The culture from the rejuvelac is all you need to make a tangy cheese, with just a touch of salt and nutritional yeast. Blend it all together and you get a creamy spread that is so delicious. Best of luck to you!

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  16. Hi Jodi,
    I read your blog since two years I think and would like to thank you for what you share. It's so generous, inspiring and joyful. Thank you !
    I usually doesn't comment (because of my bad English) but today I would like to share with you one of my great daily discoveries.
    I still eat some cheese and bread, but my very favorite recipe - for breakfast, lunch or dinner, as you want ! - is dairy and gluten free.
    It's called "Miam-ô-fruits" (It's a kind of a dairy free version of the "Crème Budwig" if you already know it?). It a way of eating fruits, oil, nuts and seeds together.
    I eat one bowl of this almost every day for three years (I discovered the Miam-ô-Fruits at the beginning of my pregnancy and never stopped since). I've made this recipe for many people, family and friends, children (even my two-years-old daughter) and adults, and they all liked it !
    France Guillain gives the recipe on her website (Here is the direct link, but sorry it's in French: http://www.bainsderivatifs.fr/portfolio-item/miam-o-fruit/#toggle-id-1). Her whole "method" is also really interesting (food, sun, bains dérivatifs, clay, Miam-ô-5…).

    Please let me know if you try (and like) it !

    Best wishes,

    Anne (Strasbourg, France)

    PS: I only make one change to the original recipe: I do it with 1 banana per person (and not 1/2 banana like France Guillain does).
    PS2: I think you can substitute banana with apricot, if necessary !


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  17. Oh goodness it's so hard isn't it! It really makes you wonder why so many people do better on a wheat/ dairy free diet (or not wonder... I think the answers are probably quite clear). My daughter (3.5 years)has had ongoing thrush and our natural doctor said she had a wheat allergy that was weakening her immune system. It has definitely forced us to get creative! She eats a lot of soft corn tacos instead of bread and we've discovered chickpea flour which is soooo easy to make savory pancakes with. My 11 month old is also doing much better without wheat in her diet and so is my husband. Haha I'm the only one still sneaking off to the bakery to devour an occasional almond croissant or sourdough sandwich in the car ;). Good luck with everything and please let us know how you get on. x

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  18. Jude Blereau's cookbooks, of which I am a devoted fan, often include options for dairy/gluten free. Perhaps have a look at her website.

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  19. I just took our Théo to have a hearing test and discovered he has double ear infections! He shows no sign of pain, sickness or temperature, so it was a complete surprise...I immediately thought of this post you wrote because he also had several months almost 2 years ago where he was back-to-back ear infections and was considered for grommets....and until today I thought he was ok. I'm tentatively wondering about trying him at least dairy free and maybe, if I'm brave (!), grain free. How's it going with Poet? If you have any tips or easy, budget-friendly recipes you've discovered, I'm keen if that becomes a future blogpost! ;)

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  20. Mucous behind the eardrum?!? Wireless technology might be creating this ill health effect. Please check it out.

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  21. I was on a dairy free diet whilst breastfeeding, to aid the reduction of my daughter's eczema. One recipe I still use regularly is for vegan cheese, made using (amongst other things) potato and carrot! It makes the most delicious pasta sauce, it's great on veggies, baked potatoes, and as a dip too. Easy and yummy, definitely worth trying! http://www.veggieonapenny.com/vegan-cheese/

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