I'll give you a warning up front -- this post may get into a little TMI (too much information), but I think that providing a little background on what we've learned so far, we might be able to help other families out there. So, here goes nothing.
It all started about two months ago. I was telling another mom at Little Miss's school that we were having problems getting Little Miss to sleep through the night. The mom told me she had the same problem with her daughter (also on the spectrum) and that they had a lot of success when they removed dairy from the girl's diet. I told the hubs about it and we decided to give it a try (after all, we didn't have much to lose, right?)
We substituted soy milk for Little Miss's ever-present "milk bot," but saw no change. Then, on a whim, we saw almond milk in the grocery store and decided to give that a try. Now, Little Miss didn't change her sleeping habits, but (and this is a big BUT), we started to notice that diaper clean-up was getting a LOT easier.
It was like a light went on. All this time, when the pediatrician asked if we were seeing "soft, formed stools," I thought she meant the chunky, pudding-like stuff I was finding at diaper time. I had NO IDEA how wrong I was. I mean, holy heck... this is what diaper changes were supposed to be like???!
I stared asking around and checking up with my old friend Google. Friends who had dealt with food issues urged me to get Little Miss allergy tested -- the tests came back negative. Yet, the hubs and I could not deny the difference eliminating dairy had made on Little Miss.
And then we started to really think about it... we had tried soy milk before landing on almond milk -- and there was no change. Another light came on -- it wasn't just dairy that was causing the problems... it was soy too.
This was going to be more of a challenge than we originally thought we were in for.
We began to slowly eliminate foods from our pantry that had soy or dairy in them. I started to learn how to read food labels. We were doing pretty well.
|Chipotle & soy... now totally off the menu :-(|
I compounded the situation by allowing Little Miss to have some cereal bars that had "trace amounts of soy" (honestly, who would have known that "trace amounts" could mean up to 40% contamination?). There were other sins, I'm sure... I've lost track. But the week that followed that trip to Columbus was a downward spiral of messy, wet, disgusting... mess.
And it seemed like even smaller amounts of soy were causing even bigger irritation. We were in need of a total detox.
We started last Thursday with a trip to a specialty grocery store. $65 later, we had a basic complement of soy-free, dairy-free foods. On the advice of a friend, I ordered some cookbooks on Amazon -- they arrived Saturday. And on Sunday, we visited 6 different grocery stores in search of soy-free, dairy-free cooking ingredients.
Today, I'm going to try baking soy-free, dairy-free goldfish crackers.
Little Miss is holding up well, for the most part. I mean, she was pissed when we took 80% of her Halloween candy (soy/dairy ingredients) -- but we haven't had an assplosion in more than 48 hours.
Still, I'm gonna miss ice cream... and macaroni & cheese... and milkshakes... and Chinese food... But I guess that's what date night is for -- right?