For today’s post, I am going to talk about my experience of being dairy intolerant. Many of us, whether we consciously know it or not know someone who has a food sensitivity or intolerance.
It isn’t really something that I like to talk about, but it needs to be talked about more, and have more awareness brought to it. There are many different types of food sensitivities and intolerance’s, and they effect people differently and start at different ages. For example one of my cousins is gluten sensitive, and I am extremely dairy sensitive.
There is all the common stuff that you would expect that I can’t eat and drink like milk, yogurt, sour cream, cheese, cottage cheese, coffee creamer (even if it says it is lactose free, it still has sodium casinates which are a milk derivative), Alfredo Sauce, Lasagna, Ice Cream, Cereals, and so on. What I really had to start paying attention to was EVERYTHING, because they slip Milk, Whey and Sodium Casinates into Bread, Crackers, Seasoning Packets for things such as Spaghetti and Taco seasonings, Boullion Cubes for cooking, and just about every processed boxed item you can think of.
At first I had a hard time, because I really didn’t have a support network, and those that should have been my support network were more like “suck it up and deal with it, cause it is all in your head”, so I was really on my own. It has gotten a little better in that regards overtime, but I feel more like a burden than a human being with a legitimate issue much of the time. That is part of why I am greatly need of a real job that I can support myself on, so that I can really just focus on my own needs, without the external negativity.
The first year is the toughest, especially if you don’t have a support network or anyone who gets it, and has been through it to steer you in the right direction. Part of the process even when you have someone to guide you is just getting use to the alternatives, and learning how to live without something or making it yourself with substitutions. While I was in college I had (by choice) gotten used to drinking rice milk, and had gone off regular milk in the process, then I started drinking regular milk again after I had moved back to my parents. I am not saying that the period during college that I stopped using regular milk for a year then starting again was what caused my now not being able to eat it, primarily due to the fact that I was still eating Yogurt, Cheese, Ice Cream and other foods that contained milk and its derivatives. It really started after I had been really sick one weekend during the short time I worked at a daycare, so I don’t know for sure what the causes of it are/were all I know is that this is my new normal.
Since the beginning of 2013, I have seen an improvement in how I feel, and maintaining a dairy free diet. I still have to be really careful, and double wash dishes, and so on and so forth. I still am not a fan of going out to eat unless I know that I will for sure be going somewhere where I know I can get something dairy free.
Over the years I have tried Soy Milk (not a fan of for several reasons), Rice Milk (My Fave), Coconut Milk (My 2nd fave), Almond Milk (Really not a Fan of ), and Oat Milk (also not a fan of). I like Rice Milk because it is sweet without being too sweet, and while it has its own flavor, it isn’t as pronounced as Almond milk and Oat Milk. Though I have found that the Almond Milk Dairy Free Ice Cream is pretty good. I also like Coconut Milk Coffee Creamer, and Coconut Milk Lattes (especially Chai Lattes). Coconut Milk Yogurt is also pretty good once you get used to it. I must say that I am not a fan of soy cheese or soy yogurt.
In part not being able to eat dairy or anything containing dairy and its derivatives has forced me to eat better, Fresh fruit and vegetables are always safe options. I have never been much of a fan of beef as it is, so it hasn’t been all that hard to not eat a whole lot of it. I eat a lot of Chicken and Fish, and on the odd occasion I eat Pork or Ham. Really, it has helped me retrain myself to be eating healthier, which is a good thing.
This is just a little bit of my experience of dealing with a food intolerance, and for each person who has a food intolerance/sensitivity/allergy their experience will be different.