Healthy, Happy, Smitten | getting started

Happy Healthy Smitten illustration copy_small

In our first installment of Healthy, Happy, Smitten, Kezia told me I should cut back on dairy in my diet in order to start treating my and Adlai’s eczema.  She gave me a few choices about how to do that, and I decided to go for it and start making kefir.  It was the “Gallon” choice, but my friend Sarah had just mentioned she had a few milk kefir grains ready to pass on, so I thought I’d have a go.  I’d also had a few kefir smoothies at her house, and they were pretty good, so it didn’t sound too scary.

Before Adlai was born, I used to make sourdough bread every week, and I had to keep a little sourdough monster baby alive in my fridge by feeding it potato flakes and sugar, and kefir is kind of like that.  You feed it milk, and keep it in a cupboard, but I was pretty used to the idea.

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This is a photo of my face. It doesn’t show how severe my eczema actually is, which is what you normally want in a photo, but not this time.

I got my kefir grains (which look like tiny, translucent brains – yummo!) from Sarah about a month ago, and we’ve been using the yogurt-like substance they create to make smoothies almost every morning.  Before that, we were already in the habit of making smoothies using coconut or almond milk, so this wasn’t a huge change.  We’re on a budget, and at first I was freaked out by how much milk I was using (a little less than a liter every morning), but then I realized I wasn’t having to buy those other milks, which were actually more expensive than buying good organic cow’s milk, so I’m pretty sure it actually ends up being a bit cheaper.

I have a confession to make: I haven’t completely cut out dairy yet.  I don’t eat cereal anymore, but it’s strawberry season in England, and I haven’t been able to resist the siren-like call of fresh British stawberries smothered in double cream.  Not every day, but…some days.  I’ll do it.  I promise.  Those devil berries will only be around for another week or two.

I have noticed my eczema slowly getting better. Adlai’s is still hanging around, but I’ve found it hard to cut down his dairy intake too much.  He doesn’t seem that bothered by the patches of red skin behind his chubby little knees, so I’m going to keep doing some research and slowly changing his cutie little diet. (I love him.  Don’t know if you noticed.)

The most striking thing to me so far has been how much better I felt within a few days of starting kefir.  I’d felt pretty consistently bloated since having Koa back in March, and a lot before that as well, but within a week of switching out nut milks for kefir in our smoothies, my tummy just felt better.  Hallelujah.

So that’s how things are going so far. In the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing some recipes, and trying to lose this baby weight without drinking diet coke and eating low-fat yogurt.  Bleck.

Thanks for bearing with me while I figure out how to do this life with two kids!

Author: Faith

Faith Dwight is a photographer and a writer. She is a Southern American girl living just north of London with her British husband, Simon and their two halfling sons.

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