On Tuesday I took our 7 year-old, Natalie, to a Naturopathic doctor. Craig and I have been concerned about her health and some of her behaviors for quite a while, but that is a story for another day. As I suspected she would, the ND had me pull gluten and dairy out of Natalie’s diet for 30 days, while we wait for the allergy tests to come back and to see how she feels. We know there is something going on inside her, because of her symptoms, but her vitamin D and iron levels already came back really low, too.
There are so many labels in the Paleo community. We don’t really follow “strict” Paleo. I guess what we do would be classified as “Primal.” We still eat raw grass-fed cheese, yogurt, and sour cream once in a while. The kids drink small amounts of the best quality milk I can buy at the store. They also eat school lunch once in a while, snacks and birthday treats at parties and get to order what they like when we go out to eat.
But all of that changed Tuesday for Natalie. And honestly, my mind is a little blown, too, despite having eaten Paleo for the last year and a half. It just kept hitting me all the things we will have to be careful of, because although we have chosen not to eat gluten and most dairy all this time, it was just that…our choice. Now it is an absolute must for Natalie, and therefore, probably for the rest of us in many circumstances. So, when she asked to go get ice cream for being brave at her blood draw after the appointment, I had to make it work. I want her to feel as normal as possible, and as and adult, I understand everything she is giving up. We stopped at Whole Foods for coconut milk ice cream, and she loved it. I also made a trip to look at gluten and dairy free items that would help her feel “normal,” and I grabbed a few things while I was there. I have been really happy I grabbed a carton of almond milk a couple of times this week, like today when the girls walked through the door from school, cold, and wanting hot chocolate. It was another chance for me to show Natalie she can do this! The last couple of years, I have made my own hot chocolate mix, but you have to add milk to it, and I know for sure the chocolate I used in it was not dairy free. So I got creative, and this was the result!
Dairy Free Hot Chocolate
1-2 Tablespoons raw cacao powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 Tablespoons maple syrup
a pinch of salt
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1. Boil a little bit of water. I had the tea kettle on the stove, so I used that.
2. Heat the almond milk in a saucepan.
3. Place the cacao powder in the bottom of a mug. How much you use will depend on how chocolatey you want it. We used 2 Tablespoons.
4. Add the vanilla, maple syrup, and salt to the cacao powder.
5. Add about 1/4 cup of the hot water to the mug and whisk until smooth. Add the warm almond milk to the mug and whisk everything together. At this point, you can add more water if the hot chocolate is too thick or more maple syrup to taste.
This mug says it all 🙂