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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Dairy Free Diet

Here we are at the "Ds" already, which will have fewer recipes, I think, since I can't think of many recipes that start with "D".  I might have to name things, Dang Good Dinner or Darling Egg Omlette.  Anyway,  I haven't eaten much dairy in over 25 years.  It's been fairly easy for me to take it out of my diet, although it has taken many years, perhaps most of my life, to realize I am dairy intolerant.

Now I eat a little goat and sheep cheese.  Recently I've discovered that I have far worst allergic symptoms from eating wheat than from eating dairy.  The problem with starting up again with goat cheese is that I really can't eat much of it without getting symptoms and it's so yummy, I forget and have it for a snack or in burritos or scrambled eggs more often than I should.  I always know when I've had too much as my nose begins to run and my head starts hurting around my eyes.  For me this is sinus related.  I also have digestion problems, and sometimes dizziness.  The dizziness was very pronounced as a child.  Also skin eruptions, dry patches that itch mostly on my face.  Curious--these showed up when I was pregnant with my daughter.  Even then, the docs didn't relate it to food allergies, they just said, get more protein, a cup of cottage cheese everyday, and don't forget several glasses of milk.

After my daughter was born I moved onto a mini farm and raised goats for milking.  My husband was a fan of drinking gallons of milk. He loved the goat milk. I didn't care for it much, so stopped drinking milk.  This is how I began to discover I had an allergy.

If you want to quit all milk products--be sure to read labels because whey, lactose, casein, skim milk, powdered milk, etc. is listed on the label and is in many more products than you realize.  Just say no to dairy for 2 weeks--then add it back in.  See how you feel.  You'll know what to do.

Now how to eat out with a dairy intolerance.  Ask the wait-person to check with the chef to see if there is dairy in the soup and don't forget to ask for no cheese on your salad.  Oil and vinegar dressings are the safest.  I like Mexican food, and I can eat corn tortillas and ordering without cheese is fine with me as the sauces are picante and I still get a lovely dinner.  Italian is a little harder--sides usually work: meatballs, salads, clams, red sauces.  No bread, of course, which is such a disappointment.  Some towns are more hip to serving customers non-dairy and gluten-free meals.  I'm lucky I live in one, so I have more choices than some. Perhaps take along your own gluten-free bread sticks when you eat Italian out.   Not sure the restaurant will allow this, but it's worth a try.  Some Italian places serve rice pasta.  We've come a long way. 

Okay, good luck with this new way of eating.  If you have questions, write them in a comment.  I'll comment back...Cheers!  Nancy

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