Hi! I'm Lyndsay. I started on a dairy-free journey when my son was diagnosed with milk intolerance in 2009. He grew out of his intolerance when he was 7, and a few years later I grew into one. Here's our story:
During the first few weeks of our beautiful baby boy’s life, all he did was cry and scream for six hours straight every night. It was frustrating, terrifying, exhausting, and left me feeling like a failure as a mother. The pediatrician diagnosed him with colic, and when I pushed back doubtfully she said “I know you’re a first-time mom. Unfortunately, some babies just cry.”
I went home feeling unsure and turned to Google to educate myself about colic. But, I couldn’t shake the feeling that something else was going on. One term kept coming up over and over again in my search for answers: milk allergy. I was nursing at the time so I decided to try an elimination diet to see if it made any difference. And guess what? On the third day, he started cooing and acting like a completely different baby. I was floored, elated, and relieved. But when I told the pediatrician, she scolded me. She told me that not consuming milk or dairy was robbing my son of important minerals, like calcium. I left in tears thinking I hurt my baby because I trusted something I read online.
Fast forward to two days later and more milk is consumed: the baby is screaming again. Back to the pediatrician's office. This time was different. She came into the room, sat down, took off her glasses, and apologized. I was right. Milk was the problem.
Our boy was eventually diagnosed with a milk intolerance that caused him severe GI issues and eczema. He had to avoid it for the first seven years of his life, and then he outgrew his intolerance. He’s a teenager now, taller than me, and healthy. I am so grateful.
A few years passed then it was my turn to have GI issues. I showed up in the ENT's office feeling like my throat was closing and had a visible lump on the front of my neck. The doctor scoped me, had a look around, and promptly diagnosed me with severe LPR (silent reflux). She initially prescribed me acid blockers, but after I explained that I preferred more natural treatments, she gave me some paperwork that stated: "Symptoms appear to improve by following a plant-based Mediterranean diet and drinking alkaline water, which was found to be just as effective as standard reflux precautions and medication in one study". Included in the list of foods to eliminate was gluten, red meat, processed foods, carbonated drinks, and you guessed it....dairy. Determined to get my health back on track, I committed to eating more plant-based, eliminated processed foods, and dropped the seltzer. I had already been avoiding gluten for a few years, so dairy was last on the list. Which was a total bummer, because I happen to be a cheese-loving French lady.
After one month of eating dairy-free, I started feeling significantly better. My LPR dramatically improved, and my chronic cough went away. My skin got clearer. I dropped ten pounds without trying. My inflammation markers drastically improved, and I had less joint pain. My energy increased. My mood improved and I felt BETTER THAN EVER. Food was quite literally my medicine.
You should ALWAYS speak to your doctor about your health concerns, especially before making drastic changes to your diet. That said, an elimination diet has played such an important role in determining health issues for my family. Eating a healthy, plant-heavy, (mostly) unprocessed diet has made us thrive. You might occasionally see us indulging in the birthday cake or grabbing some takeout, but we always come back to what we know is best for our bodies.
If you're avoiding dairy because of an allergy, or because you don't think it's healthy for your body, I hope you'll find some inspiration or a new favorite recipe here on my tiny corner of the internet.
"Let food be thy medicine." - Hippocrates
Thanks for being here!
P.S. I love learning about food and its nutritional effects on our bodies. You can often find me reading books about nutrition, listening to podcasts, taking online classes, or catching up on the latest scientific studies. I often post about it over on Instagram so be sure to follow me there if you're into this sort of thing!