August 29, 2019

Where to Begin: Trying a Dairy and Soy-Free Diet while Nursing

This week I casually hopped on Insta Stories to ask for advice from my mom friends and those on specialized diets. I've actually been eating dairy-free the last 4 weeks after Etta's pediatrician made the recommendation while I'm exclusively nursing. She's absolutely thriving in every way but had a few symptoms closely related to cow's milk sensitivity, which I understand can be fairly common in small babies. After a quick check-in yesterday, they suggested eliminating soy from my diet as well.

Elimination diets aren't completely new to me; I ate gluten-free for a stretch leading into our last IVF cycle when we were trying to get pregnant. That said, dairy is my love language. Eliminating it from my diet was tough news to receive but an easy decision to make if it helps our little girl. Can we just have a moment to recognize my dear friends cheese, butter, yogurt and ice cream? Oh and let's give an honorable mention to sour cream, cottage cheese and milk chocolate. Thank you.

I wasn't even that disappointed about the soy, but realize it's in almost everything so was feeling overwhelmed at the idea of having to re-learn how to eat. My goal isn't to lose weight, but be able to keep my calories and nutrient intake high while eliminating two substantial food categories so I'm able to keep nursing.

Well! You all delivered — I heard from more friends that have been through this, or are on a specialized diet for another reason that can relate. I'm so overwhelmed with gratitude from all of your encouragement and tips. Tim and I spent the day yesterday bulking up on whole foods and meal prepping — and I'm more optimistic now that a dairy & soy free diet is doable. I wanted to round up all of the suggestions in one place so I have a single point of reference and in the event it's helpful for anyone else going through the same thing and looking for a starting point.

Note: not every resource below is strictly for a dairy and soy free diet, but are good starting points with some common sense food substitutions. 

Most everyone said the Whole 30 and Paleo diets are a good place to start, even though wandering outside their boundaries is doable. A simple search for Whole 30 or Paleo recipes returns a plethora of results. I'm also finding that investing time into prepping means less time actually cooking for a "grab and go" type of eater like me.

Minimalist Baker
Against all Grain
The Defined Dish
Eating Bird Food & Restoring Radiance <---- shout out to two of my favorite local food experts!
Thrive Market, a natural & organic online market catering to specific diets at reduced costs

Smitten Kitchen
Every Last Bite
101 Cookbooks
Love & Lemons
Cookie & Kate
Mycah Hunter
Purely Nora

Detoxinista cookbooks
Against all Grain cookbooks
The Forest Feast cookbooks
Love Real Food cookbook
Cooking for Hormone Balance

EATING OUT <---- Nationwide chain & local Richmond restaurants that adjust menus for allergies
P.F. Chang's
The Daily
WPA Bakery
Pearl's Bake Shop

So many great resources here! If you have a good one I missed, comment below and I'll add it to the list. Find more more pics of our kitchen with a source list here. And if you need me, I'll be in the kitchen baking the banana bread recipe my friend sent me last night...

The images in today's post were captured by our talented friend and photographer, Ali Williamson of Alisandra Photography.

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