I mentioned near the beginning of the month that we had discovered that Andrew does not deal well with the bovine milk protein that comes through in my milk (a condition called allergic colitis), that I had gone off dairy, and that he seemed to be improving. I’ve now been off dairy since around 1pm on Thursday, September 30 (not that I’m counting or anything) and thought I’d give an update on how Andrew and I are doing.
Andrew is doing much better. Over the first couple of weeks, we saw a dramatic improvement in his comfort level, cheerfulness, and the quality of his stools. About three weeks in, however, it seemed like he was moving backward. I felt quite unsettled about him, and called wonderful Mary, our midwife. She connected me with a friend/client who has dealt with allergic colitis with a few of her babies and who has, through necessity, become an expert. It was very helpful to talk with her, and I tweaked a couple of things after our conversation, including dropping goat cheese, as her experience indicated that it is any dairy, not just cow dairy, that causes trouble. That helped a bit more.
Early this week, with Andrew still having the occasional pre-bloody (I can explain that in more detail if you really want) or blood-tinged diaper, I became more convinced that Andrew is one of those babies who cannot handle dairy or soy. I have generally avoided soy products for years now, but I had not realized how many innocent looking foods have soybean oil in them. I’ve peeled off a whole other layer of the dietary onion this week. And it seems to be paying off.
Just to give you an idea of the changes I’ve made, here are some of the things that are in the works in our kitchen:
Things at which I feel the need to develop proficiency/for which I need to find recipes that are dairy/soy free –
~ Potato soup – a fall/winter staple in our home.
~ Popcorn. I tried it tonight with seasoned salt (and olive oil to hold the salt on the popcorn). It was passable, but nothing to hoot and holler about. I’m looking for ideas.
~ There are more on my mental list, but I can’t find the mental paper it’s on. I guess that’s a sign that I need to write it down with pen and paper.
Things I’ve tried/am trying –
~ Experiments in substituting for butter in various recipes. I have some coconut oil, but it is quite pricey, and I’m definitely not going to be making cookies with it at a cup or cup and a half per batch.
~ Today I tried an idea suggested by a friend – using mashed up white beans as a substitute for butter. I found a recipe for oatmeal cookies using beans and they were quite yummy. I’ll post more about this on my Love You Can Eat blog, because, well, it qualifies!
~ I have a batch of artisan bread dough in the fridge so I can start making bread again. Need a carrier for my homemade apple butter, you know. (Store-bought bread is pretty much an automatic fail)
~ I made cornbread last night. I generally use bacon drippings for the fat in my cornbread, so the only sub was almond milk instead of buttermillk. Quite tasty.
Foods for which I’m developing appreciation (read: my sanity savers) –
Dark Chocolate Almond Milk
Dark Chocolate that doesn’t use soy lecithin as an emulsifier
Almond butter on gala apples
(Do you see an almond theme here? I’m extra grateful that almonds are an alkalizing food, or I would be in a world of hurt!)
In the midst of our food journey, I am thankful that we do not have to be concerned about one of the most common side effects of allergic colitis, failure to thrive.