When I wrote Graham’s one month blog, I was still reeling from the news that I would have to eat a dairy/soy free diet the entire time I breastfed him. I have known people who have had to do this, but it’s one of those things that you assume would never happen to you. I guess I wasn’t so lucky. I spent the afternoon going through our pantry and fridge to find out what in our house I could eat. Each item I discovered that was dairy/soy free was a victory. However, there are lots of things that I am going to have to say good-bye to. It’s hard to find items that are both soy and dairy free. It seems like soy is in everything.
Thursday evening, my hubby and I braved the stores with our kiddos to find some new options for our family. I’m extremely blessed to have a husband who tackled this change head on. I would have sat and wallowed and starved thinking that I can now eat nothing in the whole world. Jeremy got me into the stores and was by my side through all the label checking. I spent a good part of my afternoon/drive up to Olympia researching substitutes for butter, milk and favorite foods. I am happy to say that after a few days of looking, I have found a substitute or alternative to most thing.
Owen will continue to eat his regular diet. There is no way that I’m cutting milk and cheese and crackers from his existence. That would be cruel. I also don’t expect Jeremy to follow this diet fully. We have a lot of food that has dairy and soy in it and we need to eat that up. It’s now Jeremy’s job to make those foods disappear.
I have now tried almond milk for the first time in my life. I cooked with coconut oil for the first time too. I never saw myself using these products, but here I am. It seems that making things at home won’t be the challenge. My big issue now will be going out to eat – at a restaurant or anywhere else. If I don’t make it then it will be hard to tell if it truly dairy and soy free. I did some research and I have a few options for eating out, but it’s small the number of things that I can now order. For Thanksgiving and Christmas, most of the meals are potluck style and I won’t be able to know what used to make most dishes. Social eating is going to be tricky. I will probably be bringing my own food with me where ever I go. Not ideal. I also feel bad that we stocked up our freezer with meals before Graham was born. The thought was make life easy with a new baby. Those meals all contain dairy and soy.
Yes, there are some downsides to this. It’s going to make life complicated. However, I have a feeling it will get me into my kitchen more and using real foods. This is a positive thing. My attitude is slowly improving as I process things and see that there are alternatives. I made pumpkin muffins yesterday to prove to myself that I can still bake and enjoy seasonal treats. I have had lots of friends and family show me support. I have a couple friends who have been through this same thing and they have given me tons of advice and suggestions on what products to buy and where to find things. In fact, I have coconut milk ice cream in my fridge right now. Jeremy will be out of town for a couple days next week and he told me to splurge and get some just in case I need it for emotional support. This new diet won’t be the cheapest, but at least I have options. I am thankful for the love that I’ve been shown as I wrap my head around this big life change. I’ll keep you posted as things continue. It’s all still new and I’m learning daily. I’m sure I’ll have a lot more to say about this diet as the days tick on.
As a random side note, I am glad that I had one month of bad eating before we discovered that Graham had this intolerance. I was able to eat lots of cheese pizza, milk chocolate and even got some cheesecake before I was told to cut these foods from my diet. I got one month of comfort food and all the bad things I love. I look back on the last month and think fondly of all the foods that I got to eat. I am glad I ate them. I appreciate them now even more. Someday I will eat them again. I might just have to have a cheese and chocolate party when Graham can officially have dairy/soy again. I think there should be banners, streamers and party hats involved.