16 August 2011

living a dairy free life

In today's society there seem to be so many labels when it comes to what food we eat. Vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, gluten free, dairy free you name it. At one point in my life I was vegetarian, for a short period I was vegan and now I'm dairy free. I do eat meat, but I am very cautious as to where it comes from and what it ingests. I prefer that my meat is free range and local and I'll take wild game any day of the week. To be honest though, I can't tell you the last time I had a steak. I truly prefer fish and eat it most days of the week. This is something I just can't give up....I mean, my husband does own a seafood restaurant!

Now, you're probably wondering where the dairy free comes into play. No, I am not lactose intolerant. At this point, I choose to live a dairy free lifestyle. But it all started when Joshua was born back in 2007. From the minute we brought Joshua home something didn't seem right. He was fussy all the time (I realize now that he was colicky), cried A LOT and wanted to eat often. And then came the projectile vomit. The first time it happened Jon and I were laying in bed, I just finished nursing and all of a sudden my child was transformed into the exorcist. I have never seen so much liquid come out of something so small. The pediatrician convinced us it's only a tablespoon or two of liquid, but man it seemed like a lot. It came out with such force AND it happened often. When we went in for our visit the first thing the doctor said was to cut out dairy. I actually took this very seriously. I did my research and carried the LONG LIST of dairy related ingredients that I now needed to avoid. Within days Joshua seemed better. Yet, he was still fussy and sensitive. I decided to take it further and cut out eggs and soy. Again, I saw improvement. And, if I cheated with a soy latte I would see fussiness. So begins my adventure as a dairy free breastfeeding mom. When the day came when Joshua stopped nursing I had no desire to return to my old lifestyle. I am still amazed by how good I felt the week after I cut out dairy. I also did some research and reading and came across some interesting information....which really made me not want to eat dairy ever again. Did you know that humans are the only mammals that drink another mammals milk?

So, now you have it. That's why I'm dairy free. I know that getting my calcium is important so I do take a vitamin and I load up on kale, spinach, broccoli, quinoa, sweet potatoes, almond milk, beans and plenty of other healthy foods.


liz dairy free

In case you are wondering, cutting out dairy and soy significantly helped Joshua. If we rewind to that magical day when he was born I should also tell you that he did not pass his hearing test. I was reassured that this was not uncommon and I should have another test down within a few months. When Joshua was three months old he had another test and failed. In fact, the results showed a mild to moderate hearing loss in both ears. We immediately began working with Akron Children's Hospital and the rounds of testing began. This was a very intense period because we had so many professionals offering different advice. Some mentioned hearing aids, which aren't covered by insurance, some talked about special schools, some talked about speech defects due to hearing loss, some mentioned tubes in the ears. We saw an Ear Nose and Throat Specialist who, like our pediatrician, said to wait it out. They said cutting out dairy was the best thing I could have done. They advised us that the constant drainage, congested nose, and sinus problems may have an impact with the hearing and as he gets older it may in fact get better. We had many many tough nights with this little guy because he was so uncomfortable and just couldn't breath because he was so congested. And for having hearing loss you would think sound wouldn't bother this little guy, but in fact he was extremely sensitive to sound. If I laid in bed to nurse and watch tv it would have to be on mute. I remember one night we had people over and I actually had to put him in the carrier and go for a walk in the quite neighborhood. And when I took him to the restaurant we always ended up outside dancing and swaying to ease his mood.

When Joshua was around 18 months old a test was ordered to see if there was any improvement and at that point we would make some decisions since speech was starting to come into the picture. After a morning in the hospital with two parents pacing the halls because their child was under anesthetics (he had to be asleep for the test) we finally heard the news we wanted to hear all along. Joshua was completely in the clear and no hearing problems were detected!


  1. SO great that you saw such an improvement in Joshua, good for you guys! <33

  2. Amazing story about Joshua! I am so happy that he is doing well. Thanks for sharing this! You've inspired me to cut out dairy (for real this time). I've done the research too, but this really helped. Thanks :)


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