Why We are Dairy Free and a Personal Update on our GAPS Journey


Now that I have shared why I think raw milk can be a great thing for many people, it’s time to finally explain why I am dairy free. I have referred to it several times, but never fully explained what test I took and why I think it’s accurate.

I’ve truthfully been kind of putting off the topic as I don’t fully understand this certain food intolerance test and knew I wouldn’t be able to explain it completely. But, although I don’t completely understand how the test works, I know that it was very accurate in pinpointing what food was bothering my system.

Let me back up a bit.

The Starting Point

After some very stressful years, my health took a rapid downturn after my daughter Elena was born. I was getting no sleep, having many, many infections, and burnt out my adrenals glands in the process. Because of all of the antibiotics I  had because of the infections, my digestive system took a hit, and yeast became an issue for me.

The BED Diet and Dr. Zeff

I decided to go on the BED diet ( the Body Ecology Diet) and it dealt with the sugar cravings, and some of my yeast issues very quickly. However, something was still missing from the puzzle for me to regain my health. After talking to a lot of people about which naturopath they went too, what their results were, and  asking God for wisdom, I decided to go to Dr. Zeff.  I was attracted to him not only because he had so much experience but also because he was Nourishing Traditions friendly (he even sells it in his office).  I knew that he would understand why I thought milk and meat and eggs were good things to eat and would only take me off one of them if they were really harmful for me personally.

“The Test”

One of the first things Dr. Zeff will do with you is a “food intolerance test”  It’s not an allergy test.

“Food Intolerance Evaluation is not an allergy test. Currently, we are aware of several different kinds of reactivity to foods. Intolerance involves digestion and metabolism, and is an enzymatic phenomenon, genetically determined. Food intolerance is the inability of a particular body to easily digest or metabolize a particular food. As a consequence, mal-digestion occurs, and toxic metabolites are formed in the intestine and absorbed into the blood. These will affect or interfere with normal function of the body, and become part of the basis of chronic illness.”

For more information about Dr. Zeff read here and for more information about the test, read here.

When I took the test, it turned out that dairy and fruit and sugar together was what bothered me. When I was on the BED diet I had eliminated the fruit and sugar, but I was drinking plenty of kefir (a milk product). That may have been why I didn’t have as good of results as some do. But when I found out, I was upset. Milk is such a nutrient dense food, I didn’t want to eliminate it from my diet.

Going off of Dairy

Knowing my reluctance,Dr. Zeff told me to take it out for a month, and then test myself by eating some dairy products. He told me it should be obvious to me if it bothered me.  So I went very strictly off of dairy and I almost immediately began to notice “die off” effects- some tummy pain, gas, that sort of thing.

Interestingly, I never noticed this when I’ve gone on gluten free diets. I had heard so much about gluten intolerance that I became convinced maybe that was my issue. In fact, it seemed like a fairly easy fix. You simply stop eating gluten and your health recovers! I can even say at certain points I wanted to be gluten intolerant! It would have been a relief to know what was keeping my health from improving. But when I went off of gluten, nothing happened. No “die off” symptoms, no real improvement in health (I was gluten free strictly for 6 weeks on the BED diet). When I added gluten back into my diet, there was absolutely no reaction to it. My body didn’t really seem to care whether I had gluten or not!

Not so with diary. From the beginning it was easy to tell that diary had been bothering me as my body went through adjusting to going without it. For example, I majorly craved it! I wanted dairy very badly. This is very common when you take something out of your diet that was creating toxins. Think of someone with a yeast infection. They will crave sugar, though it’s the worst thing for them. It was the same with me. But after a week or two, I got over that stage and my digestive system calmed down. But when about a month later I tried to add a bit of dairy in, it was bad news! My digestive system let me know it was not happy with that choice!

Dr. Zeff was right, my body let me know whether dairy was bothering me or not. Since I have now been off of dairy close to a year, my body has healed enough that I hardly react at all to dairy. I would be tempted to add in some raw milk at this point (raw milk really does seem much easier on my system), except that I can’t justify adding in something that my body has a hard time digesting until my health is more improved. While taking dairy out of my diet has helped improve my health, I’m still recovering in other ways. I am still on the journey to better health, which is why I became interested in the GAPS diet.

Our Experiment with the GAPS diet

Fast forward to our “experiment” with the GAPS diet. Being very impressed with some of the basic concepts of the GAPS diet, I decided to put both Elena and I on a modified GAPS diet for a week. You probably wouldn’t call it a “GAPS diet” because we were including sprouted grains in it which is a no-no on GAPS. But I was concentrating on the bone broths and the cultured vegetables, like the GAPS diet does. Elena had a small flare up of eczema on her arms (the first time she’s ever had that issue) and by doing the modified diet we saw a lot of improvements. In fact, it was almost gone within a day or two (it seems to be completely gone now, by the way).

So I thought, “Hey! We are mostly doing the diet anyways. Let’s try the whole diet and see what happens!”.  While my digestive system improved and did very well for the first few days on it, Elena’s digestive system decided to stop working (as in, no poo’).  Elena had that problem from day one on the intro diet, I started feeling that way about day four.  This can be a sign that there isn’t proper amounts of  probiotics in the system, or not enough fat, both of which are included in the GAPS diet. Truthfully, this also may have been because we did eat a LOT of meat on the diet. It was the only way we stayed full! But after realizing that some parents (probably not very many) did deal with this issue with their children long term on the GAPS diet, and also not having enough motivation to continue the diet (after all, wasn’t my modified diet working great for us?), I decided to stop it for the present time.

It was the right choice, as I realized how stressful the GAPS diet had been to do. You see Elena had a bad cold and was really grumpy. That made it really hard to tell whether she was having a die off effect, or was just simply not feeling well from having a nasty cold. I also was worried about her food intolerance. I didn’t want to put her on an extreme diet, only to be adding in a lot of food that could be her intolerance (like I did with the BED diet).

We decided to do the same  test on Elena and see what her food intolerance was. With the advice of Dr. Zeff we are going to give her a whole month to heal, and then see where we are at. When we got  her test results we found out that she was the same as me-no dairy, and no fruit and sugar together.

Dr. Zeff is hopeful that by simply removing her intolerance all of her digestive issues will resolve. So, we are waiting a month to see what happens. Meanwhile, I am going to read  Gut and Psychology Syndrome and also read some of the forums discussing the GAPS diet so that I  have more information if we were to choose to start it up again.

I think GAPS is a great diet, and really can help many, many people. So I encourage you to read up about it if you have any digestive issues in your family.  I’ve always known it may not work as well for us as Elena is sensitive to eggs, nuts and maybe even legumes and the diet would be very limited without them included. I plan on continuing the high amounts of bone broths and cultured foods to keep boosting her digestive system as well as making sure I am careful about properly preparing her grains and legumes.  If we need too, we can look into doing the full diet again, armed with hopefully more information about how to deal with any problems that could crop up.

So there you have it, our update on GAPS and why we are dairy free. As always, I welcome your thoughts.

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I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!

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  1. says

    I can really sympathesize as I am dealing with my own food issues. I have learned through elimination diets that I really don’t do well on sugar or fruit or grains. I would hate to give up dairy again after having been reintroduced to it through NT (I’m focusing on raw dairy now), but if my blood sugar issues don’t get better soon, I may need to try it again and see how things work. It’s difficult to maintain the dairy too when DH does not tolerate lactose. Best of luck with figuring out the details!

  2. says

    So complicated, issues like these! I used an elimination diet to find out that dairy was my problem…not sure if that makes me lactose intolerant necessarily but for brevity’s sake that’s what I call it. However lately I’ve been interested in all the good qualities of raw milk and would like to reintroduce small amounts to my body and see what happens. They say allergies and such change over time and lately I’ve been ok with a little dairy here and there. Who knows?

  3. says

    I’ve been trying to figure out our family digestion issues as well and am very thankful for Nourishing Traditions as well but I’m wondering if dairy is the true cause of our allergies and other digestion issues. I guess I have a question though. What does “dairy free” mean? Does it include eggs and butter? Would you mind making a list of the foods that you are specifically avoiding in your “dairy free” efforts. Thank you so much!

  4. says

    Hi Kimi,
    Thanks so much for sharing. I did a little reading on the links you provided, but I’m still a bit confused. How would I go about getting tested? Is it something I need to find a practitioner in my area (boston) to do? Thanks!

  5. says

    Food intolerances are quite the challenge. I am moderately lactose intolerant and my 2.5 y/o son is extremely lactose intolerant and pretty much just intolerant to milk (raw milk isn’t an option for us). Lactose makes him vomit, as well as the general dairy intolerance causing him severe eczema, but doesn’t seem to cause him any digestive issues. He was completely off dairy for several months and we have since learned that he can tolerate moderate amounts of cultured dairy, raw cheese and small amounts of regular cheese. It also seems that my 5 month old nursling is intolerant in some way (not sure if it’s lactose or general) because when I have dairy it causes her lots of tummy pain. My 5 y/o seems to have missed out on the dairy issues, thankfully!! Thank you for sharing some of your journey and I enjoy reading your recipes!

  6. says

    I too am lactose intolerant and was off of milk/milk products/milk ingredients for several months. Most of my digestive issues cleared right up. As you mentioned, raw milk is such a nutrient rich food that I wanted to try to reintroduce it. It would appear that the break helped my body to clear up some of the other issues it was having and raw milk seems to settle just fine. While off milk I read all labels and suprised at how many items have milk or lactose in them > food stuffs I did not need to be eating. All appears to be well now.

  7. says

    Hi, Kimi,

    Thanks for such a great post.

    I healed my digestive system when I was in my 20s. I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at age 26. The joint pain was so bad it would wake me up at night. and it was spreading from my knees to my elbows and fingers.

    I also suffered from multiple other symptoms including chronic fatigue syndrome, allergies and chronic sinus infections, thrush on my tongue, sores on the inside of my nose that would not heal, etc.

    I read everything I could get my hands on re: nutrition/alternative healing etc. And I finally deduced that I had a candida overgrowth and this was the root of all my problems.

    I went on an elimination diet (the anti-candida diet) and within a few weeks, all my symptoms were 80-90% gone. Of course then I tried to cheat on my diet every once in a while and BOOM the symptoms came right back.

    I worked with a chiropractor-nutritionist to help me rebuild my health. She found (via muscle testing) that I had a wheat sensitivity and that I also couldn’t tolerate sugar. So I went off wheat and sugar and took very strong (therapeutic grade) supplements. She also had me on other supplements to help my adrenal glands and rebuild my immune system.

    I followed this wheat-free sugar-free diet pretty strictly for about 2 years. After that time, I noticed that I could eat anything and I would experience no symptoms.

    In Dr. Campbell McBride’s book, “Gut & Psychology Syndrome” (or GAPS) she explains that the gut takes a long time to heal because you have to let the microvilli grow back. You can read about it in the book but the microvilli are the tiny microscopic hairs that grow on the villi — which are the bumps that line the intestinal tract.

    It is these microvilli or little hairs that secrete the enzymes that are necessary to help us digest certain foods. We don’t need enzymes to digest all foods. Meats, fish, broth, are all easy to digest. As are most vegetables and some fruits. These are simple proteins and simple carbohydrates, called monosaccharides.

    It is the complex carbohydrates that require enzymes to be digested. These are called disaccharides (double sugars) and polysaccharides (multiple sugars).

    Lactose is a disaccharide. It requires enzymes (like lactase) in order to be digested. The same is true of ALL grains, most beans, and all sugars except honey. Honey is made up of monosaccharides whereas sugar is a disaccharide.

    This pdf explains it really well: http://jacobsonchiropractic.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/newest-gut.pdf

    Dr. CMB also explains it in the book.

    Anyway, this is why it is hard for you to digest dairy and why Elena is sensitive to dairy among other things (including eggs). It’s the lack of microvilli and hence, lack of enzymes. Dr. CMB says almost all food intolerances are caused by this. She says you have to help the gut heal by avoiding things that are hard to digest, working to repopulate the gut flora, and let the microvilli grow back.

    By eliminating dairy for a period of time your gut has healed to some extent. The microvilli is growing back and you are secreting more enzymes. But it takes years for it to grow back. And you have to take powerful probiotics (most don’t work) in order to rebuild your gut flora. Dr. CMB has a plan for reintroducing dairy. She says to start with ghee (clarified butter) then wait another month minimum (or a few months) then introduce butter. If you can tolerate that, move on to kefir or yogurt. Then move up to aged cheese then soft cheese then milk and finally cream. But each step can take months.

    This is why her diet (and the Specific Carbohydrates Diet or SCD) is based on avoiding all grains, most beans, and all sugar except honey.

    I do think you can heal while still eating grains. I certainly did. I only gave up wheat and sugar.

    However, you need to make sure your probiotic supplement is powerful enough (I have taken some that I swear did absolutely nothing — and then used another brand and saw major results within a few days) and it also depends on the extent of damage to your gut. I also think, the more you avoid those complex carbs, and the more broth you eat, the faster you can heal. I probably would have healed a lot faster if I had done strict GAPS… but I don’t know. It worked for me and I’m grateful for that.

    That said, if it were Kate who had digestive issues, I’d absolutely get her on GAPS. Kids heal a lot faster than adults — and I’d want to get through the strict diet so she could heal faster. Plus when your gut is messed up, you don’t absorb nutrients very well so that’s another factor to consider. Growing kids need nutrients more than ever.

    Sorry for the long comment! I hope it helps somebody.

    Ann Marie

  8. says

    Very interesting post and comments! I was allergic to milk as a child and was told that I would ‘outgrow’ the allergy. Now I am wondering if my digestion is more the problem since I have symptoms more like lactose-intolerance(upset stomach) than allergies (sneezing, congestion) when I consume too much of dairy products…I have only drank milk twice in my life and I tend to limit other dairy consumption, except maybe cheese! I would love to know how I would react to raw milk but it is not available here.
    Thanks for the information.

  9. says

    Cheeseslave –If you don’t mind sharing, which probiotic brands seemed worthless to you and which seemed to help you the most? I’m always on a quest for a better probiotic supplement. 🙂

    Kimi — It’s great to get the whole story on the dairy-free thing! I had been wondering for a while. Actually, I’m thinking about going dairy free myself for a while and seeing what happens. But that makes me really sad. I think it’s worse than living gluten-free. I’ve done it before, but never as an isolated experiment where I was excluding *just* dairy.

  10. says

    I have been lactose intolerant for a long time, I only ate cultured products. Finally when we decided to try raw milk all of my issues cleared up.

    I don’t know if I could go dairy free. The only dairy I have is in my coffee and some cultured products occationally. I tried the coconut milk in my coffee but it just wasn’t right. Oh well, I’m glad I have local source for raw milk.

  11. KimiHarris says

    Hi Everyone,

    Thanks for the great comments. I will try to answer a few questions and make just a few more points. Megan, not very many doctors use this test, as it takes skill to be able to do it (I think I read that Dr. Zeff spent three years learning how to do it!). But you can find a list of doctors who use it here. http://songofhealth.com/goods.html, perhaps one of them could help you find a way to get tested, if that’s what you desired.

    What’s Cooking, we avoid EVERYTHING with any dairy in it in any shape or form. That includes many things you would never think of. The only exception for me is ghee. Even when a bite of rice with a bit of butter would sent my stomach into spasms, ghee didn’t bother it. I am waiting a month to add in ghee into Elena’s diet.


    Thanks for the great comment. I am sure it will be helpful to lots of people! 🙂 It was helpful hearing some of your story too. I had read some of the stuff you mentioned in different places, but it wasn’t written quite as clearly. I am really looking forward to reading the book. 🙂

    As far as with Elena, her gas issues (which is her main issue), has come and gone. I think that may have been caused by the fact that dairy has been in her diet here and there, sometimes a lot, sometimes very little. Taking out my intolerances really seemed to deal with any swinging issues in the bowel movements for me, I am assuming it will for her too, and am really hoping that her gas issues will also be resolved. (Now we’re getting personal, aren’t we!). That’s why I am hopeful that Dr. Zeff is right, that it was really just one food or two food items that was bothering her body. However, if not, I think we will try the full GAPS diet again, as long as I feel that we can do it without giving her another digestive issue-constipation!

    With the egg and nut and legume issue, eggs and nuts don’t seem to bother her anymore. I was giving her eggs everyday for a long time, and I think it was just too much. But after a few months of no eggs, she has no reactions at all. So I don’t have a problem giving her eggs, I just wouldn’t want to over do it. With nuts, I wasn’t sure if she really had an issue with them or not. I just took them out for a while to be safe. I didn’t think legumes bothered her, but when she was on the “modified” diet the first week, after about 5 days she ate some homemade beans with her cousin, and she got totally gassy afterwards. They weren’t the GAPS friendly legumes however (though they were soaked). She seems to react more to legumes then to grains. Anyways, I don’t know if she has any real “damage” to her digestive tract that will take long to heal. She may have just been reacting to foods that bothered her. That’s what I am anxiously waiting to see what happens now that dairy is totally out of her diet.

    By the way, with this food intolerance test, common intolerances do include some things included in the GAPS diet (for example, fruit and meat), which is why I was so anxious to have Elena tested. I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t giving her food that was hard on her digestive tract when trying to heal it!

    And finally, to everyone, I totally agree with Cheeseslave. Some probiotic supplements do NOTHING! The one that made a huge difference for me was HMF’s super powder, however it has two GAPS unfriendly ingredients, FOS and fructose. But it did wonders for me and Elena. The one that Cheeseslave will probably recommend is Bio-kult, which I am eagerly looking into (I haven’t tried it yet, but it sounds great). Both of these supplements are not cheap, but have very high amounts of probiotics. HMF super powder is a very simple formula based off of what’s found in a healthy human, by the way.

  12. spencer says

    Hi Kimi! It’s been a while, just stopping buy and saw the great post. I have recently been on a strange journey that you might find interesting. Here’s a little history on my health issues. When I was twelve I found a small lump on my left arm, well turned out to be a calcium deposite(bone spur) thats what they called it, I now belive it was a community of nanobacteria. Anyways it was dooms day of course you know the story, surgery, massive antibiotics and that will answer everything. Well it didn’t, when I look at pictures of me after that I was overweight, pale and had huge circles under my eyes for years.
    Then at 17 I began to develope serious stomach pain, I tried to ride it out but it got so bad that I couldn’t even hold food down anymore so back to the doctors for another doomsday report. After finding ulcers in my intestines I was diagnosed with chrones disease and was given the wonder drug of the century, steroids(prednisone) but somehow this didn’t fix everything, go figure. I was getting worse and now had to deal with steroid side affects. The worse I got The more steroids they gave…..This was where I began to really understand things such as greed, lies and truth, I learned to read between the lines very early.
    So lets fast forward to summer before last, my stomach has been a lot better since I taught myself how to cook and cut out most all refined foods at 17, but I began to experience other issuse. I was getting sick more, had less energy and this was affecting my personal life a lot. I kept getting painful ear infections and I had never had an ear infection in my life. This was when I found B.E.D. by accident on the web. It helped me enough that I was able to keep working and manage a meager existance. But nothing seemed to “cure” me and I really began to belive that mabey I was a bad or weak person and the world just wanted me gone. But I’m not a quiter.
    So I lived like this for a while and decided that I was worth fixing so I began a new search. This is when David Wolfe found me on myspace. I added him as a friend and checked him out, seemed like a raw foodist weirdo(limiting beleif) but he had some good info for sure. I sort of blew it off and kept trying the bed diet, lots of cultured foods and soups and salads. Then I got really sick again, every time I laid down I began spinning as if I was drunk, my balance was poor and I really just felt bad. It was time to try raw foods!
    I did David Wolfe’s raw food system for about 40 days, eating lots of salad cultured foods, avacado, superfood smoothies. I felt so good at first but after about 30 days I began to get bloated and constipated. I had foul gas and movements, it was like I was full of rotten meat but I wasn’t eating meat! I figured that I had a dieoff of bad organisms, so to slow down the detox I began to do some more bed soups and I started to eat bitter melon. Then came a day I’ll never forget. It was december 12, the moon was closest to earth that day and full, so I took that as an opportunity to cleanse and ate very little. It was the end of the work week and I felt an urgent bowel movement a brewing….after going to the bathroom I checked it out(I always doo) I quickely realized what had happend. I had killed my tapeworm! It took about 3 bowel movements to eliminate all the segments and it had to be over 1 foot long!
    So I starved it out with raw and cultured foods and killed it with bitter melon. Strange story I know but I haven’t been sick since and I feel myself finally recovering though I have a lot of damage to repair. But I’ve learned how to really starve parasites, desolve impacted mucose, remove heavy metals and nano bacteria and implant good organisms. And I owe it all to David Wolfe and Donna Gates. This is my path to the truth and it has only just begun.

  13. says

    Great post, Kimi, thanks. Our youngest daughter has an allergy to casein, the protein in milk, that exhibits as eczema on her neck, trunk and arms. When she was two, it was severe and we were convinced by our doctor that she needed immediate antibiotics and steroids to get it under control. I am very thankful it hasn’t been that bad since.

    On the Standard American Diet, oddly enough, she had very few outbreaks, and all were manageable without drugs. However, since we have started eating as recommended by the WAPF and Nourishing Traditions cookbook, even withholding milk and dairy, she has had an outbreak nearly as bad as her worst. I was beginning to lose hope that we could continue this path when I remembered the “die off” effect. Now I’m willing to wait it out a little longer.

    It can be scary and frustrating to begin a journey you believe is right, only to have the “evidence” point the other direction. I’m glad you and Elena are hanging in there!

  14. says

    Kimi, I got a similar test done too (It could be the same, I’ll check with my naturopath) and found out that I have candida, diabetes and thyroid issues and some vitamin deficiencies.. (mainly vit B) and also that I was intolerant to many fruits, milk and sweeteners of all kinds. Going on a Candida elimination diet helped a lot…. I can still have yogurt or kefir.. but I notice that when I don’t have milk, my nails grow stronger and whiter.. Apparently milk (organic, pastuerized) was blocking the absorption of calcium in my body. Once I gave it up and the white rice (which I was eating by boatloads), all seems fine.

    I nodded my head up and down when you said how a person with candida craved sugar!!

    I’m so glad you have a good doctor to help you figure out these issues… Here’s to good healing!!!

  15. Mimi says

    Hi, Kimi!

    Thank you so much for writing this blog. I am enjoying your posts and just purchased my own copy of Nourishing Traditions.

    I was wondering if there is anything you do differently with your diet when you are pregnant? Please let me know when you can as I just found out I am expecting! 🙂

    Thank you again! I look forward to hearing from you!

  16. Diane E. says

    Greetings to all, and to Kimi most of all,
    I stumbled upon your blog via the Frugal Granola blog looking for interesting recipes since I love to cook and live a “simple life”. Thank you for the information that you have posted, I was never aware of Nourishing Traditions, and I thought that I was quite knowledgeable about nutrition, and health in general. Since I am in my early 50s, I date back to the Diet For A Small Planet, food coops, organic and sustainable farming before it was called that, and living in a commune off the land. A.K.A. a hippie! Anyways, I have always cooked from “scratch”, no process foods in my house, no fast foods for political reasons, and my hero is Michael Pollen.
    I thought I was incredible healthy and miles ahead of the masses with their love of anything packaged, super sweet and generally gross. Then I became seriously ill. My toddler son had a series of toddler colds, sinus infections month after month and I right along with him. My sinus and cold infections would last 3-6 weeks, and I started the course of antibiotics. I had never been sick from my teens to my forties, why now, my breastfeed, home food son infecting me? Yes, that is what conventional MDs say, when he grows out of it, so will you. Then I came down with the clincher of my health and later, digestive problems. I contracted Clostridium bacilli, a fast acting, diarrhea, and vomiting, intense gut spasms, throwing up illness. I picked it up from my son (who had a mild version) and threw up and had such intense diarrhea in 4 hours that I went into eletrolyte imbalance, shock, my entire system shut down, my, blood pressure and heart rate plummeted, and I was dying right in front of my 3 year old son. I instructed him to call 911, they were at my house in 5 minutes, pumped fluids into me, rushed me off to UNC Medical.
    After reading all of your posts (tapeworm was precious!) following Kimi’s personal story, I know believe that with the combination of antibiotics wrecking havoc on my flora (Cheeseslave, many thanks to your fantastic post, makes perfect sense now) and the Clostridium bacilli illness, I probably have little flora left and this has been three years now. I have had the symptoms that y’all mentioned and will purchase the GAPS and BED books on Amazon as soon as I finish writing.
    I have my now 7 y/o son on the Feingold Diet (and me too) the preservatives, dyes, etc really affected him with ADHD like symptoms. He has very dry skin, and some eczema, but I thought that was due to the preservatives and dyes that are in foods (candy) that he sneaks and eats in school. Any ideas here?

  17. KimiHarris says


    That’s a crazy story! Thanks for sharing and I am so glad that you have found healing. 🙂 That’s great.

    Local Nourishment,

    i am so sorry about your daughter. It can be confusing to figure out whether you are having a “die off” effect, or whether you are adding something into their diet that is bothering them. I wish you well! I know just a tiny bit of what you are feeling.


    First, I just tried to survive. 🙂 Good things to eat while pregnant include plenty of protein, lots of calcium rich food, and plenty of cultured foods. The Weston A Price Foundation has some excellent recommendations http://www.westonaprice.org/children/dietformothers.html.

  18. KimiHarris says

    Welcome to my site! I am so glad to have you here. I had some similar things happen (but in no way to the extreme that you experienced them) after I finished my 6 weeks of antibiotics. I got really sick with what I thought was a flu, but nothing stay in me at all. Got dehydrated, was still nursing, and felt extremely miserable. My body felt “dead” inside. HMF probiotics helped me, as well as coconut kefir in repopulating my healthy flora. I find that including a cultured food like kefir or coconut kefir very beneficial for not only the healthy flora but digestion as well. Best wishes on your journey to recovering!

  19. says

    Thank you for sharing your story – as always, so helpful!

    I had a question – when you said you were feeding Elena eggs every day and felt that that could have caused her sensitivity, were you adding them soft-boiled or raw as per WAPF/NT? I found that my two boys are MUCH less sensitive if I added their eggs to their milk, instead of cooking them. Heaven help us if they get a hold of them hard boiled. (Eczema, rashes, etc.) I just wondered if you thought there could be a correlation there.

    • KimiHarris says

      They were prepared different ways, including scrambled, and poached and fried. I have wondered if it was more the white that she was reacted too. I don’t know!

      That’s so interesting! Thanks for sharing your story. Soy does bother a lot of people, so I guess it’s not surprising and it is in everything!


      Thanks so much! You are so sweet! Your comment made my day. 🙂

  20. mattyegg says

    I’m new to this blog, but I’m really enjoying it! Thanks for the quality material! I just have to chime in as I’ve been navigating intolerance issues with my son (16m). We went through the whole thing… green mucousy poo as a infant.. then blood and mucous etc. We were waiting to introduce solids due to all these issues… so while nursing exclusively still, after five weeks of being on a strict elimination diet ( brown rice, baked poultry or fish, olive oil and raw greens) we challenged things one by one (dairy, gluten, corn, citrus, egg, and soy) To make a loooong story short :), the biggest culprit is soy! We felt as though it was dairy as well (the proteins) but he is now tolerating the goat milk yogurt that we make well. There is lots of disagreement as to whether there is any difference between the ‘milks’, research doesn’t seem to say there is… but I know many report that they have much different reactions and that’s what we seem to be seeing. SO, I’ve been navigating a dairy free and soy free home for a while now and just now seeing good response ( ie: no response:) to the goat yogurt. I’m curious as to others who have found soy to be an issue (soybean oil and lecithin are in EVERYTHING!) and any one who has found the goat milk products to be well tolerated despite a true milk protein intolerance. Sorry for the lengthy inaugural post!

  21. says

    I am so impressed with your blog. The overall feel of it, your writing style, the photos, and your story are all very moving and keep me coming back for more. I learn something every time I visit. I think you are incredible and I thank you for sharing your journey.

  22. Jenna says

    I just found your blog, and I’m really enjoying it! YOu’ve collected all kinds of wonderful tidbits of info on here

    And thank you so much for sharing this story, Kimi! My daughter is 7 months, still almost exclusively nursing, partially because I’m afraid to introduce foods to her because she has severe eczema and had suffered with some bowel issues that I am sure are due to a food intolerance of something in my diet, and have no idea what. I’ve tried cutting out milk and eggs, and was wondering what i should be trying next. I had look at the link you included, and there is a doctor in the city I will be moving to at the end of the month who does the testing. Going to get into see her asap! Thanks again!

    • KimiHarris says

      Hi Jenna,

      So glad you found me. 🙂 I nursed my daughter almost exclusively until she was almost 12 months old, mostly because she refused to take anything else! She didn’t really start to eat food in earnest until she was a year and a half. Looking back, I am glad because I think it really helped her, though it was pretty tiring at the time. I truthfully have noticed more problems after I stopped nursing her, so I am glad that I nursed her as long as I did! Hang in there. I know it’s so hard to see your daughter have to deal with skin issues. I am afraid that it runs on my husband side and know it was hard for his mom. If you are able to do the test, I hope it really helps you! It was very accurate for me and some other family members. It seems to be helping Elena already too. I am keeping my fingers crossed that this was her main issue.

  23. Shannon says

    My 12-yr old has just recently been asked by a Naturopath doctor to eliminate dairy from his diet for 30-days to see if they relieve some of his ADD symptoms. He’s definitely having gas issues, cravings, and diarrhea as a result of the change. He’s desperately waiting for the 30 days to be over so he can have milk and cheese again (what kid doesn’t miss pizza??). He really hates the soy milk and soy cheese.

    What are the chances that he can slowly add some dairy back to his diet?

    Unlike when he was a toddler, forcing a pre-teen to accept a raw, macrobiotic, or other complex diet would be virtually impossible. Yet, if dairy does ultimately affect his behavior by not allowing his system to absorb many of the nutrients it needs to create balanced biochemistry, it really is essential to identify, right?

  24. Sheri says

    Where do you think you picked up a tapeworm? Just curious because I’ve been trying to fight what I think are parasites (I’ve spent time in third world countries, 4 months over 3 trips). Is that what was on your arm when you were younger?

  25. Sheri says

    My husband is a pastor at a SG church. Thanks for your wonderful site. Your story is remarkably similar to mine. I’ve been intimidated by the BED diet (sea veggies just don’t float my boat….). Cabbage has always made me extremely gassy (And most other fruits and veggies). Any quick tips about what is most palatable on that diet? Did you stick to it completely? How did you do that with outings, date-nites, home group functions, conferences etc..etc…
    thanks so much for your heart in all these matters of health and digestion….
    with hope,
    sheri stehr

  26. KimiHarris says


    A die off effect can make you feel like you have a really bad flu, aches and pains that sort of thing. I think it varies. When I went off dairy, I mostly dealt with feeling super gassy with an uncomfortable stomachache. Not comfy, but it passes soon enough. 🙂


    I would actually recommend that you don’t use soy cheese. Soy is not good news and could be contributing to his stomach pains and gas. Check out this post for more info http://hartkeisonline.com/2009/02/27/dangers-of-soy-explained-by-health-activist-elaine-hollingsworth/

    Chances of getting back on dairy? That depends on how well he heals his gut. Many people have had to go on restrictive diets, but then heal so well that they can enjoy foods that bothered them again. Hopefully that’s the case for you. 🙂 Raw dairy is much more easy to digest, it could be an option for you to consider too (you can get raw dairy cheese too!).

    Hope everything works out well for you! I know that’s hard.


    It seems like there are many of us on similar journeys! Welcome to my site. So glad to have you here. 🙂 I did stick with the BEDS diet completely for about 6 weeks. I liked her mex-millet recipe, for example. I ate a lot of carrot salads, green salads, cooked veggies, and some meat and grains (I had to eat a lot to stay full as I was nursing during the time). I also ate a lot of homemade sauerkraut, but coconut kefir is a great option too. It certainly wasn’t easy keeping track of all the rules, but I did get used to it after a few weeks. I do wish that I had included more homemade chicken broth during that time period, as that is so healing to the gut. We would have soups at least once a week, but when I did the recent trial with the GAPS diet, I really noticed a difference having soups all the time. I felt so satisfied and nourished! It’s also possible that having the raw veggies weren’t so easy on my stomach and it could have been better to have all cooked veggies. All to say, I am still learning what works for me on my journey of healing!
    As far as how I made that work for outings, dates etc, I mostly brought food with me everywhere (a pain, I know), but we were able to find a few places that did veggie and meat woks and we just asked them to wok it in plain oil and not put sauce on. It was a nice treat.

    Hope that helps some!

  27. Penelope says

    I found the fact that raw dairy dosen’t bother you very interesting. Do you have an expination why? I am the same way, but my doctor is more concered that I consumed raw milk than finding answers, small town mentality:(


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