Category: Eastern Medicine

Different types of non-dairy milk

How to transition a dairy-obsessed toddler away from cow’s milk

As part of Sasha’s journey toward building a stronger immune system, I knew we had to transition her away from her beloved cow’s milk. Now I realize there are varying opinions about dairy, and we’re certainly not a dairy free family. However as I’ve aged, I’ve become more sensitive to dairy products and I’ve given up milk, creamer, yogurt and many cheeses (although I can’t bring myself to completely let go of cheese). Additionally, based on my experiences with Eastern practitioners, I’m more aligned with the theory that our bodies were not meant to drink milk past breastfeeding age nor we were meant to process another species’ milk.

As someone who was still drinking at least three “babas” a day in sippy cups, I can’t describe how traumatic this was for Sasha. When I first raised the idea, she cried so hard I felt like she was going to nominate me for “worst mother of the year.” But two months after making the switch, she promptly told on my mom who had offered her cow’s milk for breakfast. Not only did she rat her out, but she also told my mom that cow’s milk was “not good for her body.”

Here’s what worked for us:

  • Start laying the foundation a few weeks before you make the big switch. Because Sasha tends to get sick on a frequent basis, I wasn’t short on opportunities to start explaining why cow’s milk wasn’t helping her little body fight off viruses and infections or poop regularly (constipation is also an ongoing struggle for Sasha and I’m sure she’s going to be thoroughly embarrassed when she reads this as a teenager). To reinforce my messages to her, I would also bring up the subject during our visits to various practitioners. Eventually she stopped balking less at the idea and started becoming more curious about the change.
  • Let your child choose his/her new “milk.” We planned a special date to our local Whole Foods just to pick out some new “milks” to try. As hard as it was not to grab some additional groceries while we were there, I wanted this trip to feel special and all about Sasha so we only shopped for “milk.” She picked out five different varieties/brands which certainly wasn’t cheap but was definitely worth the investment in her long-term physical and emotional well-being.
  • Throw a taste test party. Continuing to play up this moment as something positive and exciting, we had a taste test party when we got home from the store. The entire family gathered around our kitchen island and watched as Sasha poured and tasted each one of her new “milks.” We cheered her on as she tried almond, coconut, almond-coconut and cashew finally landing on coconut.
  • Reward progress with milestone treats. After the excitement of the taste test died down, we experienced a few more tears that evening (and the following few evenings) at bedtime when reality sunk in. It took her a few days to get used to her new coconut “babas” but I kept telling her how strong she was and how proud we were of her for making good choices. I also let her have a small glass of chocolate almond milk here and there to acknowledge her progress.

Since giving up milk combined with treatments from the craniosacral therapist, regular visits to the chiropractor and regular use of essential oils, we’ve seen a big difference in Sasha’s ability to fight off viruses and bacteria. In the short time we’ve been back at preschool, she’s already moved through three colds without them worsening and moving into her lungs. Certainly there’s a part of me that’s already worried about the heart of cold and flu season since this year was so rough. But I do feel like we’re better prepared this time around and have many more tools to help us pull through the season!

With love, lipstick and lavender,






Sasha’s story: Exploring Eastern Medicine

In the past three years, my youngest daughter Sasha has had more than her fair share of illnesses: chronic ear infections, RSV, two bouts of pneumonia back-to-back and a mono-like virus that sent us to the ER two days in a row with 106 degree fever.

The mono-like virus was straw that broke my already unnerved back. Aside from the incredibly scary fever, Sasha’s tonsils looked as big as golf balls and they were covered in white pus (sorry for the graphic details) plus she was wheezing every time she coughed. After our pediatrician told us there was nothing she could do for her other than busting out her albuterol inhaler, I immediately went home and researched essential oil recipes for fighting viruses. I made two blends with fractioned coconut oil and started alternating them on the bottom of Sasha’s feet four times a day. Mix one: tea tree, lemon and thyme, and mix two: thieves and oregano. Additionally, I applied tea tree to the outside of her glands. Within 24 hours her fever stopped and within three days her tonsils were back to normal and her cough was gone.

About a month after the “mono,” Sasha came down with another virus followed by an ear infection and a nasty cough that seemed to go straight to her lungs.  As I sat in her pediatrician’s office for what felt like the hundredth time, I went from feeling empowered to helpless once again. Like clockwork, she wrote out a prescription for antibiotics, made sure we had enough  albuterol and layered on a steroid called Qvar as a preventive measure. Knowing what a dairy lover Sasha is, I asked the doctor if she thought certain foods such as cow’s milk were contributing to her frequent illnesses. She shrugged her shoulders, shook her head no and told us to check back with her in a month.

Now before I go any further with this story, it’s important to note that I believe Western medicine serves an important purpose and I’m grateful for it. If you haven’t read my introductory post, I vaccinate my kids and give them the flu shot. However, I don’t believe that Western medicine looks at the body holistically. In my experience, there’s never been an investigation into the root cause of Sasha’s illnesses (or any of mine for that matter). To me, it feels like Western medicine begins and ends with treating just the symptoms and it’s hard not to think the drug companies have something to do with that limited approach.

On our way back home from the doctor, I thought about a recent conversation with my friend Brooke who recommended Sasha see a craniosacral therapist. Not even knowing what that meant, I picked up the phone and made an appointment. Unfortunately, there was a two-month wait to get in but I figured that meant this woman must be a miracle worker and hoped for a cancellation! In the meantime, we took the antibiotics, used the albuterol as needed, skipped the Qvar, did our daily essential oil regime and waited patiently.

With love, lipstick and lavender,


To read about Sasha’s journey with the craniosacral therapist, click here.