Monday, November 5, 2012

Milk Soy Intolerance

Because we didn't have enough going on with Little Miss, right? Battles with school, therapies, remembering seizure medications, appointments with sleep specialists, genetics specialists, neurologists, and the lot... and now we've added something new -- a milk/soy intolerance.

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 :-(
And then that weekend in Columbus came up. That meant eating out -- and we were soooo not prepared. A trip to Chipolte (we thought for sure the chips would be safe) taught me a brand new vocabulary word... "assplosion."

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?


  1. Find yourself some So Delicious Coconut milk ice-cream! They have yogurt and "milk" too that tastes great and isn't as gritty as almond milk stuff. Also Daiya "cheese" And Enjoy Life for chocolate and

    I'm gluten free, soy free, dairy free, plus a handful of other less common allergens. The learning curve is steep and frustrating, but you don't have to be deprived! Mini Meerkat is gluten free, soy free, and low dairy (she had to avoid dairy, nuts, tomatoes, etc when she was a baby/toddler but seems to have outgrown that).

    1. we did discover So Delicious and Daiya at our grocery store. Little Miss seems to like the Daiya (she ate her weight in cheezy garlic bread last night!) but I can't get over that grayish tinge... maybe with time, right?

      I'll definitely be paying more attention to your recipe posts now, Mama MK -- would love to hear your favorites!

    2. You do get used to it! And your palate changes. Mini Meerkat won't eat the Daiya, but she loves all the So Delicious products.

      When I was diagnosed, food allergies weren't nearly as common/spoken about, and there is so much out there now for recipes! I do a lot of googling when I need something. I do like the dairy free section on Gluten Free Girl

  2. This explains all the Pinterest recipes you've been pinning! We have the whole dairy/soy thing with Cam too. Assplosion is a perfect name for it! At times we can do dairy if it's an ingredient in cookies, ceral bars, etc...just as long as we watch how much he gets. We really need to remove it 100% if we are ever going to attempt potty training. His diapers are horrid!

    1. That was actually another reason we started looking into this whole milk/soy thing... the dreaded potty training (we're still not there but we're doing a little better!). I'll keep you posted with how things go -- I know you're totally keeping notes ;-)

  3. Oh Karla! I'm so sorry. This has got to be difficult! Looks like you are in good company with Allie and Lana but wow - I cannot imagine how detailed and specialized you are going to have to get. Maybe there are some good Korean candies or goodies that will fit the requirements too. I remember eating Rice Candies (which may be Japanese - not "Korean" per se...) when I was little which are gummy fruity tasting things with rice paper like exteriors that melt - those were awesome. I'll try and Google it for you! The things we do for our little ones! Good thing they are so loveable! xoxo

    1. We're lucky on the candy part... obviously, our biggest reinforcer (M&Ms) are not out, but Twizzlers are safe... Skittles would appear to be safe too. Still, I'd love to hear about those Asian candies -- let me know if you find them!

  4. I have heard that removal can help so much. A friend of mine removed dairy and gluten from her son's diet, and he's much less "splosion-y" now.

    Tate has always been a little on the loose side, and I know you know what I mean. I have thought about elimination diets...but never followed through. Good for you!! I hope it goes well--and trying some of those candies Karen suggested might be good.

    1. We're keeping our fingers crossed, Lisa. So far, LM is still... erm... "inflamed," but things seem to be getting better little by little. I'll keep you posted!

  5. Hope the cookbooks help a little. It's a marathon, not a sprint with food changes, but I am glad you saw some things right away. May the label reading force be with you :)

  6. Good news is that there are so many cookbooks that have gluten free/soy free legends now, especially if you're looking at vegan/vegetarian books.

    Isa Chandra Moskowitz has the best vegan version of "Mac & Cheese" or, with broccoli, called "Mac & Trees" I've ever tried and can be found in her "Appetite for Reduction" book. Comes together really quickly, too, start to finish in about 15 min.

    Just substitute gluten free flour and noodles in the recipe and you'll be set.

    Someone was nice enough to post a pic after making it.