Cows are the enemy!

2 Mar

Well, at least for the month of March.  Along with blog-a-day March, we are also “celebrating” dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free March in the Howarth House.

Why would you DO that?!?!? I can hear you wonder.

It’s an experiment to see if Josselyn would benefit from a more restrictive diet.  I have already concluded (based on 3 weeks of loosely conducted research) that Josselyn is allergic to cow’s milk protein.  When I removed dairy from her diet, her stools loosened (if you aren’t privy to Josselyn’s every bowel movement, or are new to the blog or something… Joss has been constipated since birth.  And yes, I know the definition of constipated, I am an RN), and her disposition brightened.

And, I am not the only person to notice.

I have been getting comments from everyone who has been in contact with her these last few weeks about how happy she’s been lately.  She is still a moody, spirited child, but she is a toddler, and she is Josselyn, and I need to come to terms with the fact that she is what she is, and that even eliminating every allergen known to man is not going to make her less high-strung.

That being said, she is a new child.  Definitely.

We saw the NP this morning, and she was very supportive.  We are going on an elimination diet for at least a month, after which we can begin to reintroduce probable culprits and watch for reactions.

I am nervous about cooking for a family of 5 with so many restrictions in place, but I believe it is the fastest, and most efficient way to modify her diet to best accommodate her needs in the long run.  I do not believe she has Celiac’s disease, but we want to cover all our bases.

The good news is that if she is dairy intolerant or allergic, she will likely outgrow it in a few years.

In the meantime, I picked up a few supplies:

I am hesitant to invest too much money into this experiment until I see some returns, but, from the Celiac/allergy community: any suggestion?  Any foods I should try/stay away from?  Any brands better than others?  Any advice would be appreciated.

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7 Responses to “Cows are the enemy!”

  1. Amanda March 2, 2011 at 5:21 pm #

    It can seem overwhelming at first, but there are lots of recipes out there that can accommodate your new family diet. We eat a lot of rice and beans (i know a lot of kids aren’t big fans of beans, but my kids devour them!) rice pasta for spaghetti, rice crackers.. (notice a theme here? lol). As for dairy, I’ve read that people who have problems with milk can consume dairy kefir with no adverse effects. In our house, we drink milk, and the kids eat wheat, but wheat gives me migraines so I tend to buy things that will reduce the chance of migraines for me. You can also make your own almond milk which is pretty easy, let me know if you want a recipe. And of course, snack-wise, kids love cut-up fruit! 🙂

  2. Amanda March 2, 2011 at 5:22 pm #

    oh, and I can totally relate to having a “moody, high-spirited” child…Micah is like that and we get comments constantly on his “personality”. lol.

  3. andrea March 2, 2011 at 5:41 pm #

    hey julie, i was at bulk barn yesterday and noticed that they have spelt flour noodles…they weren’t cheap but i bought some and they tasted just fine. The girls didn’t notice a difference (since i wasn’t about to point out a change!) They have some all purpose gluten free flour but i have no idea what xanthum gum is??? of course they also have a million other things that are gluten free but the noodles may be handy for an easy meal!

  4. amanda March 2, 2011 at 6:01 pm #

    I have been trying to reduce, can’t quite eliminate yet, the gluten in my own diet. Checking to see if that will help me out. That said I noticed that Costco is getting more and more gluten free products…just grabbed a REALLY big box of chocolate chip cookies, which made my sweet tooth rather happy. 🙂 As someone mentioned, Bulk Barn has all sorts of different types of “flour” now.
    Can’t wait to hear how it goes…and hope you’ll post some of the good recipes you try. 🙂

  5. Tiffany Million March 3, 2011 at 2:29 pm #

    My lifesaver product when we had to go dairy free due to Little Mister’s milk allergy was the Becel Vegan margarine as many margarine products do contain trace amounts of dairy. On the Becel container it says “lactose free and gluten free.” Just to ease the mind though (since there is a difference between lactose free and dairy free), the website does clarify that it is in fact dairy free. Good luck with the March experiment!

  6. Julie March 3, 2011 at 2:43 pm #

    Tiffany- that is a good idea. We don’t use much butter or margarine (at least the kids don’t), but good to know I have the option!

    • Tiffany Million March 3, 2011 at 10:15 pm #

      I use it in baking…I’m not a fan of shortening. Oh and there is a company called Enjoy Life (I find them at Zehrs). They have a huge line of products that are free of 10 common allergens including dairy and gluten. Stuff like dairy free chocolate chips (which are actually really good). Although if you want the chocolate minus the sugar, I also use the Baker’s Unsweetened Chocolate and just chop it to put in stuff. But not sure if you’re into chocolate for the kids…that was for me since I have to be dairy free for the Mister. 🙂

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