on going dairy and gluten free

Questioning health professionals, seeking second opinions and going with your gut (and your heart) requires strength, time, patience, faith and perseverance – in abundance. I found it all this past fortnight and a change I had been resisting for two whole years suddenly felt doable.

A few weeks ago when we got confirmation that Poet would need grommets again I was feeling good about the decision and prepared to, once again, go down that path. But the niggling doubts and deeper questions just kept pushing up, regardless of how often I ignored them.

There were a few things that started to really bother Daniel and I:

  • a larger set of grommets can stay in for 2-3 years and potentially leave a hole in the ear drum which will need to be fixed later on.
  • Poet’s hearing is only slightly affected and generally she’s very well and grommets seemed to be (this time around) the expected next step (without exploring other options).
  • going under anaesthesia, if only for half-an-hour, isn’t ideal.
  • the fluid behind the ear drum is mucous (and mucous is therefore the very heart of this health issue) so maybe we should explore that instead of using grommets as a bandaid.

We don’t have any regrets about her first round of grommets in 2015; she was incredibly unwell then and along with the removal of tonsils and adenoids, she’s since experienced a profound sense of wellbeing. But the root cause of this issue won’t shift and so it’s time to take the alternative route.

Following a discussion with close family members and understanding friends I called our naturopath to make an appointment. The results are as I expected: excess mucous, compromised immune system and a range of tonics, essential oils and lymphatic massage to rectify it. Furthermore, dietary changes are required: she’s dairy and gluten free and, in solidarity, so am I.

To be completely honest with you, removing dairy and gluten from our diet has, up until now, been an option that’s gone straight to the too-hard basket. It’s always seemed too daunting but now, five days in, it’s actually not that bad. I’ve made the decision, Poet’s on board and relatively enthusiastic, and I’m inspired to keep going for the sake of her health. I’m not making decisions based on forever; it’s simply what we’re doing now in the hope that we can clear this health issue naturally.

So far I’ve been focussed on fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, an abundance of eggs, avocados, peanut butter and hummus as well as coconut milk, yoghurt and cream. The biggest (and most pleasant) surprise? Macadamia milk from Milkadamia – there are two local cafes who serve it and it makes for the creamiest cappuccino I’ve ever had. I’m an official convert!

Thankfully there are inspiring recipe resources everywhere I turn. Just last week an email from Mandy of Wholesome Child arrived in my inbox and I’m having a consultation with her tomorrow (I love a little serendipity). I’m also inspired by Stacey Clare’s exuberant take on healthy eating for kids and this book is offering much comfort and guidance.

We’re taking baby steps at the moment – literally day-by-day.

Feel free to share your own resources and favourite recipes…I’d love to know what works for you.

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  • Helle

    I went gluten free 15 years ago, for about 6 months. I was single and it was hard. I decided the stress of being out and about and trying not to eat gluten in a world that didn’t even know that gluten existed was harder on me than cutting down on gluten where I could and being relaxed about it. Remember this was before there were gluten free options as freely available as they are now. Even with the awareness I can’t imagine cutting out gluten and diary from my families diet. Although I know it would have a big health impact it would be so much work.
    Congrats and Good Luck Jodi!

  • Kate

    Hello Jodi, I know you wrote this a month ago but I wanted to share that one of my biggest problems with gluten is what it does to my sinuses. My sinuses swell up and I have very excessive amounts of mucus. All of which is GONE when I do not eat gluten. I also avoid soy.

    The last time I cheated and ate several gluten items (I miss pizza sometimes), I got so so sick and had a horrible sinus/ear infection from all the build up of mucous it gave me.

    Sorry for all the mucus talk. Hope your little Poet is feeling better/seeing improvements on her new diet. My oldest turned five in July also. Hate to think of any little ones not feeling well.

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