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Have you ever tried to go dairy free?  Ridiculous question right?  Why would you ever want to give up Ben and Jerry’s or pizza or cheese plates?  It’s simple, you wouldn’t want to!  I sure as heck didn’t want to, but when my son started popping pesto (not really, but it looked like it) I made the decision to go dairy free so I could continue to breastfeed. Brace yourself for a graphic picture…

If it weren’t for those baby blues and heart melting dimples I would have been in the car and purchasing formula before the pediatrician finished explaining to me what “dairy intolerance” actually was.  

Let me back up. About ten days after John was born, we were home for only about three days at this point, he started getting really, I mean really fussy before pooping.  He would cry and his poor tummy would make these horrible gurgling sounds for about an hour before he would finally go. Around that time his poop turned bright green and actually looked like a cross between pesto and the grass my dog throws up after pretending to be a cow.  Thank god his first baby check up was a few days after his first “pesto poop”.  At his checkup his weight hadn’t gone back up to his birthweight, so we needed to schedule another weight check appointment for the following week, and in the meantime I was to take poop samples for them to test.  This is not glamorous…not by a long shot!  Anyway, the poop samples ended up testing positive for blood (not visible to the human eye), and I ended up getting a mini lesson on what dairy intolerance is.  Immediately I invisioned my son not being able to eat cupcakes at birthday parties or ice cream on the boardwalk.  What I found out wasn’t so horrible.   A dairy intolerance doesn’t mean allergy.  Actually, very few people actually have a dairy allergy.  Who knew?!  I was relieved to learn that many babies have a dairy intolerance because their tiny bellies aren’t mature enough to break down milk proteins (I later found out that went for soy proteins as well).  I was handed this list of ingredients to avoid. Please don’t mind the water stains… They’re from my major mom fail!

It included EVERYTHING I love to eat.  Clearly my son wanted me to either starve or get into bikini shape way faster than I had planned.  

In the beginning I didn’t think I would last. I didn’t get creative, and I didn’t do any recipe research.  Basically I didn’t do anything other than eat chips with salsa, eggs on rice cakes with guac, and spoonfuls of peanut butter.  That all got real old, real fast!  

It took a few weeks to really notice a difference in my son’s behavior, but slowly his stomach chilled with all the gurgling sounds, and his poops went back to more of a yellow-green color, however they were sill full of mucus (another clear sign of dairy intolerance).  This is when I started looking for different non-dairy foods and recipes and came across my new food crush on Instagram, @cleanfoodcrush.  

So, like I said, things were getting better, but I felt they could be much better.  Something still seemed to be upsetting his stomach. While on a family vacation to the beach, John was almost three months old and I had been on the non-dairy diet for a little over two months, he started getting really fussy again. I panicked and called the doctor, wondering if maybe it was time to switch to formula?  She asked if I wanted to continue to breastfeed, and I told her that I did.  She said the next thing she wanted me to eliminate was soy.

I had no idea how many things soy was actually in!  I had finally found these peanut butter cookies that didn’t taste like cardboard, and I was devouring them! Guess what…they had soy!  Bye bye peanut butter cookies. Bye bye peanut butter (contains soybean oil). Although this made my diet even more difficult, it was so worth it!  My son became a different, in a great way, baby over night! His stomach no longer screamed at me, his poops became normal (if there’s such a thing as normal baby poops), and he was just happier! 

Last week my husband and I went out to dinner for our anniversary and I was bad. I ended up having bread (bread contains flour and flour is on the no-no list) and I had muscles in a white wine sauce, which I’m sure had butter.  I expected John would give me hell for it by having a bad couple of days, but he was completely fine!  I decided to experiment a few days later by sprinkling a little shredded cheese on my eggs and again he was fine. 

Just yesterday we went to his four month checkup (how the hell is he four months already?!?!), and after coming clean to having some dairy, I got the go ahead to start slowly adding it back into my diet!  I’m gonna take it slow, but am still pumped!! I’ll let you know how it goes!