Kid Chronicles The adventures and random observations of a new mom


My new soy-free and dairy-free life

Almond milk and soy and dairy-free ice cream

Almond milk and ice cream made with coconut milk: a few staples of my new diet

It seems that little L has problems digesting soy and dairy proteins, so her pediatrician told me to stop eating dairy and soy to see if that would help make breastmilk more tolerable for her.

Now, I don't know about you, but cutting dairy out of my diet was tough for me.  My first thought was that I wouldn't be able to eat ice cream anymore, which was awful enough.  And then I realized I had to cut out cheese, which meant no more pizza.  Really!  How am I supposed to live without pizza?

I gave it a try for two weeks.  No ice cream.  No pizza.  Poor me.

But it didn't seem to be helping that much.  Little L was still having the same digestive problems, so I was hoping the pediatrician would tell me to give up on the new diet when I went back for the follow-up appointment two weeks later.  After all, it wasn't working, so why would I continue?

But no, that's not what the pediatrician said at all.  She said to give it another two weeks.  And that I had to be even more strict about my dairy and soy intake.  I thought I had cut dairy out by not having yogurt or milk or cheese, but I wasn't strict enough.  I was still eating bread that might contain milk and occasionally eating chocolate.  I was now supposed to carefully read all labels and stop eating anything that had milk in the ingredients list.

Another problem was that I hadn't really eliminated soy from my diet.  I thought that meant I shouldn't drink soy milk or eat soybeans or tofu.  But I started reading ingredient labels on my and figured out that almost everything has soy in it.  The granola bars I'd been eating for breakfast?  Yep, they have soy in them.  And I had to say goodbye to the Girls Scout cookies I had just gotten because they've got soy, too. Cue a tiny violin playing a sad song for me -- I had to stop eating my thin mint cookies!

It turns out that soy is sort of like high fructose corn syrup... it's in everything.

So I had to take an entirely new approach to eating and start carefully reading the labels on everything I bought.  I figured out that there's a little section on many products that says what types of ingredients are in the product.  I think it's there especially for people who are allergic to certain types of things (like wheat or nuts) to make it easier for them to know whether they can eat that particular product.

I have never paid so much attention to the food I put in my body in my life.  After some research, I found a lot of information on dairy and soy-free diets.  I found a blog (MSPI Mama) that posts dairy and soy-free recipes.  And another blog called Reflux Rebels has all sorts of information on MSPI (which I think stands for milk soy protein intolerance).

I've been off all dairy and soy for about four weeks now, and little L is doing much better.  And I'm becoming accustomed to the new diet -- it's not as hard as I thought it would be.  I'll probably need to continue to cut all dairy and soy out of my diet for as long as I breastfeed, so I suppose I'd better get used to it.

The best part of this new diet is that I'm eating far fewer processed foods, which is much healthier.  It seems as though almost all processed foods have some kind of soy in them, so I've been eating a lot more food that I prepare and cook myself.

And it turns out that there are some substitutes for the foods I've been missing the most.  I started shopping at Whole Foods and found some ice cream made with coconut milk, so it doesn't have dairy or soy.  And a friend told me about almond milk, which I think I like more than regular cow milk.

I'm still looking for a substitute for pizza, though.  I miss cheese an awful lot.  Sigh.