My Story

The short story: I'm a wife and mother of two. I have a daughter who can't tolerate cow's milk, and a son who reacts to gluten, and cow's milk. We also have him off eggs for the most part. He spend the last year on a super restrictive diet.
For as long as I can remember, I get super duper sick from cow's milk. In fact, I come from a long line of people with cow's milk issues.
I'm sorry Paula Dean, but butter is not my friend!
I started this blog as a way to keep track of the recipes I was creating so I could share with my best friend (my BFF) whos discovered her son also has food sensitivities. I still have a large file of recipes I came up with or tweaked. I'll get them all up here eventually.

The long story: When my son was in preschool, he began to make this loud throat clearing sound. It was constant. At the same time he would jerk his head to the side, what seemed like an attempt to get his hair out of his eyes. He had deep, dark circles under his eyes, even when he seemed to get enough sleep. It was hard to ignore, for the teachers, and for my husband and I. The preschool teachers asked me what was wrong. I didn't know.
I took him to his Pediatrician who said that it could be a nervous tic or he may be having tonsil and adenoid trouble since they were super inflamed, an x-ray confirmed it. He sent us to a specialist where a young doctor in training told me that that my son was a classic case, he needed both tonsils and adenoids removed. The kicker, "The surgery might not get rid of the throat clearing and head jerking", she said. "It's a routine surgery", they said.  I asked her if we might want to have him undergo some allergy testing before doing the surgery, just to rule that out as a cause. Especially if the surgery might not be the answer. "Our Pediatrician also mentioned maybe doing a sleep study", I said. The young doctor in training's response, "we don't do unnecessary surgery here at this hospital." "I didn't imply that you did, I'm a Mom and any surgery on my child is a big deal to me, I though. I scheduled the surgery three months out and walked out of there confused.

Back to our Pediatrician we went, who told us that since this wasn't a life threatening condition, he supported us looking into allergy testing and a possible sleep stufy. The allergist asked what he should test for. "I don't know, that's why I'm here", I said. His test brought back all negative results. Great news, no anaphylactic allergies. Then I decide to seek out help from a Natropath. Our Pediatrician was thankfully supportive. The Natropath had our son do the ELISA blood test, or Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, that tells you if you have food allergies and or food sensitivities. The results showed him to be extremely inflamed due to food sensitivities. He reacted to wheat, gluten, soy, chicken eggs, and peanuts, to name the worst offenders. Food issues were not a new thing for my family. Most of my Dad's side of the family, including my Dad, my daughter and myself, can not handle cow's milk at all. I was expecting our son to react to milk but it was surprisingly lower on the scale compared to the other reaction, so we kept that in. The Natropath recommended removing these foods from his diet completely for as long as we could. The longer the better to help get the inflammation down. Then we retest in six months to a year to see what's gone down and what hasn't.

The Natropath was great about sending test results to our Pediatrician to keep him informed of our plan. We planned to have the Pediatrician see our son a week before the scheduled surgery to assess if there were improvements. It took a while but we started to notice less throat clearing. He would clear his throat occasionally, but definitely not as much. A week before our scheduled surgery, his Pediatrician checked him out and was amazed. He told us that there was a significant enough improvement to cancel the surgery for now. In the mean time I took each class room party and birthday party in stride, coming up with recipes, that didn't have any of the offending ingredients, for things the other kids were having so he didn't feel left out. I could find dairy free recipes or gluten free recipes but not gluten, dairy, and egg free. I had to experiment and create my own.

Then my Best Friend got the news that her son needed to go without gluten, dairy, and eggs. I started The Best Friend Food Project as a way to turn my paper stack of experimental recipes digital, so I could share them with my best friend and others needing to eat this way.
It's a constant experiment, baking and cooking in a way where no one feels left out.

After a full year of avoiding these foods, our son's symptoms suddenly started to come back. I was ready to take him back to the Pediatrician and throw in the towel. After all that, we just do the surgery anyway? At least I looked into other options. We took him back to the Natropath first where she calmed me down and retested him. Everything went down considerably except for one thing, the cow's milk. It was just as high as it was last time, except now it wasn't dwarfed by all of the other high readings. We decided to give up the cow's milk all together and see what happened. After a few days, that was it. He's all better. Drastically better. No more throat clearing. No more head jerking. It's all totally gone. Amazing. He was able to start first grade with tonsils and adenoids in tact, and not be distracted or distract other kids with his throat clearing. It was the stinking cow's milk! Just like the rest of the family, he just had a different symptom. I should have known. I'm just thankful for a supportive family, Pediatrician and Natropath and that we all took the time to figure it out.