Over the last month, I have read through Kathryn Budig’s book Aim True. In one chapter she urges her readers to eat without fear. This is something I have struggled with up until 2 years ago when I had a violent reaction to dairy. The culprit was a ricotta-based lasagna recipe. I woke up the next day at 5am getting sick and remained pretty ill through the day and into the next. A week after this incident, I had it happen again with goat cheese as the culprit. Something wasn’t right. I knew something was up.
My history with dairy items leaving me feeling uncomfortable and bloated has been a long one. It was as if my body was desperately trying to tell me something. The time had come to make some changes. I made the decision to omit dairy from my diet in hopes that it would make me feel better. I waved goodbye to mac n’ cheese, pizza and anything with frosting.
After a week of being dairy-free I noticed a difference in how I felt. I was no longer bloated and my tummy felt great for once. So I decided to keep my dairy-free lifestyle up! It hasn’t always been easy though. I married into an Italian family who loves pizzas and heavily-cheesed lasagnas. I also crave cheesy, delicious meals every so often. It was an adjustment. It takes patience and dedication to avoid food you once loved but it was so worth it!
Omitting Lactose Changed My Eating Habits
By omitting lactose from my diet, it changed the way I saw and ate food. I began to focus on what foods I could substitute for all the dairy I usually ate. I made salad dressings with avocados instead of Greek yogurts, paired my morning cereal up with soy milk and stopped ordering pizza-a food that leaves me very ill. I began experimenting with veggies, spices and new recipes that would replace the cheese-filled, dairy fest that was what I used to make.
Omitting lactose from my diet taught me to respect my body and listen to what it was telling me. If I ate chocolate, I’d have to eat it sparingly or my stomach would let me know it was too much. My love of popcorn was still possible by eating a natural/organic popcorn without the butter. After a few months of my dietary changes, my body felt energized and I felt happy with my decision.
There Are Options.
When I first decided to omit lactose from my diet, I didn’t think it would be easy to adhere to. Almost everything has some sort of lactose in it. Especially all the good foods! But what I found surprised me…there are plenty of dairy-free, lactose-free options out there. I started with soy milk. I could still enjoy cereal plus soy milk just tastes so much better than regular milk. Judd helped me find lactose-free items to enjoy throughout the first few months. He brought home Breyer’s Lactose-Free chocolate ice cream once and I indulged.
Another way I can enjoy cheese if I am brave enough to do so is with a Lactaid pill. Typically it always works unless it’s pizza. If I go to a restaurant and I’m craving something cheesey or creamy, I take a pill so I can enjoy it without problems. I heavily relied on it when I first become lactose intolerant but I’ve tried to avoid it if I can.
Do you have any dietary allergies? Share with us!