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    Our Daughter A.’s Journey to GFCF {Part II}

    May 21, 2008 by Brandy Vencel

    I said in Part I that this series wouldn’t be sequential, but more like putting a puzzle together. When I look back, it all feels kind of gray and muddled, even though I see the big picture very clearly now. I didn’t realize that all the things that she complained about, that all the strange things she did {or didn’t do}, were connected.

    When I first switched her to soy milk, she took it fine. Within a couple of weeks, though, we were back to her old habits of fighting me when it was time for her milk. She would arch her back and scream. It looked just like a temper tantrum.

    And so that is how I treated it.

    She was soon trained to take her bottle. I figured she didn’t like the taste, but everyone says babies should have milk, so who was I to argue? After all, where would she get her calcium for growing? I felt that I was doing my motherly duties.

    She was trained, as I mentioned, but the truth was revealed anytime anyone else tried to feed her. It wasn’t uncommon for me to leave her with a family member and return to find her bottle only half gone.

    This pattern of crying over milk began at around fifteen months of age, give or take a month. Around the time she was two or two-and-a-half, she began to develop her ability to speak in sentences. One of her first real sentences was to tell me that her tummy hurt. I remember her whining, “Tummy huhting! Tummy huhting!”

    Of course, I believed her. Knowing that cow’s milk had bothered her, I took her off of things she loved: yogurt, cheese, etc. Nothing seemed to work, but one of the books I read said that unless the child is having growing problems, there isn’t a lot to worry about.

    Still, I tried to see if I could find a pattern.

    I don’t know why I didn’t see that it was the soy.

    Shortly after this began, a doctor I was visiting told me that she thought soy intake was contributing to the early maturation of girls she was seeing in our city. She had girls as young as seven in her office, already well into puberty. She was convinced that it was all the estrogen these girls were taking in from hormone-laden cow’s milk products, and all of the soy alternatives they were fed if they had allergies.

    I walked away thinking I would really rather not have a menstruating seven-year-old if I could in any way avoid it. Si and I did a lot of research on soy and decided that our son’s habit of drinking soy milk throughout the day couldn’t possibly be beneficial to him, either.

    So we swore off soy as a family.

    The stomach aches lessened for both children, but I never really connected that fact to the soy milk.

    A few months before A.’s third birthday, we took a trip to Nashville to visit family. She had been doing much better. She’d been off soy for about eight months {the only soy product we had really used was the milk–I never cooked with soy}, and we had also been GFCF for about four months. The tummy aches had all but disappeared, and I attributed that to our discovery of the two major food allergies: gluten and casein.

    I still didn’t realize the magnitude of the soy problem.

    That is, until the trip. My mother-in-law was gracious enough to go shopping and buy a lot of alternative foods to have on hand for the children. Since it was Christmas, she purchased cookie mixes and such so that the kids could still have treats.

    Within twenty-four to forty-eight hours or so, our son began having tics, making poor eye contact, and having behavior problems. Initially, I thought that perhaps this was due to being really excited to be there. I knew that everything I had read said that stress–even good stress–can trigger tics.

    And then A. began to hug her tummy and say it was hurting.

    My brain clicked. I dug the cookie mix and empty GFCF cereal boxes out of the trash. I read the labels. The only suspicious ingredient they really had in common was…soy.

    And this, my friends, is how we discovered the soy allergy. It is why, in our home, GFCF is actually GFCFSF.

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    6 Comments

  • Reply Crunchy_Conservative August 6, 2012 at 7:00 am

    “I read the labels. The only suspicious ingredient they really had in common was…soy.”

    This was how I discovered which products were setting off my oldest daughter’s skin allergies, and also how I figured out that I was allergic to sodium benzoate. Sleuthing out allergies sometimes feels like a full-time job!

    • Reply Brandy @ Afterthoughts August 6, 2012 at 1:17 pm

      Isn’t that the truth!

      I do find myself wondering why people are increasingly plagued by allergies. It’s like we’re becoming less and less compatible with the world we live in…

  • Reply Brandy May 22, 2008 at 4:06 am

    160acrewoods: Thanks for the comment. πŸ™‚ I think I’ve decided that my children (well, two of them, anyhow) have overactive immune responses to basic foods. I’m not exactly sure why this is, or why some foods bother them while others don’t. However, I learned that 90% of food allergies are to only seven foods: dairy products, soy, shellfish, wheat, tree nuts, peanuts, egg whites. So I guess we ended up with about half of them! πŸ™‚

  • Reply the160acrewoods May 22, 2008 at 12:09 am

    wow. I’ve never heard of that.. usually most people talk about milk, which I understand. Thanks for the info! and glad you found out! πŸ™‚

  • Reply Brandy May 21, 2008 at 11:52 pm

    That sounds yummy. πŸ™‚ Making it casein-free would be fairly simple. Just substitute some sort of shortening or oil for the butter. Normally, I would substitute either extra-virgin olive oil or organic Spectrum shortening in this sort of situation. I wonder if I can modify this recipe to make a different type of zucchini bread. We are about to have zucchini coming out our ears. Drop by if you want some. πŸ™‚

  • Reply Jennifer May 21, 2008 at 11:04 pm

    Hi! I was on the Nourishing Traditions website and I came across this recipe. Is it casein free? If you try it, let me know. I am getting some motivation to branch out in the kitchen!

    Gluten-Free Chewy Banana Bread

    4 ripe bananas (up to 2 cups mashed)
    2 eggs
    3/4 cup date sugar
    1/4 cup Rapadura
    sprinkle of stevia extract powder
    1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
    1 cup coconut milk
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 cup almond meal
    1 cup arrowroot powder
    4 teaspoons baking powder
    2 teaspoon guar gum
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 teaspoon ground coriander (optional)

    This makes 2 loaves. Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, mash bananas well. Add eggs, sweeteners, melted butter, coconut milk and vanilla. Mix well. Add almond meal and arrowroot, baking powder, guar gum, baking soda, salt and optional coriander. Mix well. Batter will be thin. Pour into 2 greased loaf pans. Bake approximately 40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in middle tests clean. Refrigerate. This is pretty chewy while warm, but firms up after refrigeration and tastes very yummy. Add some nuts for added flavor and texture. Adapted from a recipe in The Gluten Free Kitchen by Roben Ryberg.

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