If I can’t eat dairy, what can I eat that doesn’t suck?
Once you get over the mourning process of dairy, it is time to look on the bright side at all the delicious things you can eat! Believe me, I was in your shoes once, crying while people ate pizza in front of me, chewing on a piece of chocolate and then spitting it out. Don’t. Just don’t. Yes, it is a tragic loss, yes you can cry about it, but I guarantee your husband is going to get annoyed very fast if you keep up the whiny routine. So, mamas, it’s time to get your milk-free eating on. Here we go!
Some of my favorites include the following:
Let’s start with DESSERT, shall we?
If you ask most people what dairy is, they will probably say the following:
Sour cream, yogurt, butter, milk (obviously), cheese, cream, and eggs. Let me be clear: EGGS ARE NOT DAIRY. Yes, they are found next to the dairy products in the refrigerated section of the store, but they are not dairy. Cows make milk. Chickens make eggs. The end of that dispute.
While those items above certainly are no-nos for those who can’t consume milk (EXCEPT THE EGGS!), there are many names that milk ‘hides’ in, and label reading is just one of the many feats to accomplish in ensuring you’re not ingesting hidden milk. The FDA requires that companies list the TOP 8 ALLERGENS in a statement in the ingredients. More information on that can be found here: http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/Allergens/ucm106187.htm
Unfortunately, the law does not apply to items such as natural flavorings so you must be a vigilant label reader, and learn the names of hidden milk. Here is a link to an excellent, comprehensive list of hidden milk names:
If in doubt, don’t eat it, or be sure to call the company for more information about their ingredients. If they don’t know what’s in their product, it is a product that you do not want to eat.
Cheese and I had a great relationship. After 29 blissful years, it was time to break-up. Neither of us wanted to, but I had to do what was best for me and my health. Plus, I found out I was allergic, so there was that, too. No more mozzarella, pepper jack, cheddar, whatever processed crap is in Velveeta. No more cheese! Hearing that you need to cut dairy from your diet is very stressful and extremely sad. Plus, it is very difficult to do since the American diet relies heavily on milk products.
When I became pregnant with my daughter, I was concerned that I would pass my allergic tendencies on to her. It’s been two years since I’ve cut dairy so I didn’t consume it while pregnant, and I don’t consume it while breastfeeding. I am slightly worried that her introduction to milk will be a fail because she’s never encountered the proteins in milk before.
I’ve encountered many moms who have had to eliminate milk from their diet because their breastfed baby has an intolerance, or allergy to the proteins in milk. The milk proteins, casein, and whey, are very hard to digest for babies because their immature gut has a difficult time breaking them down.
It can be very daunting to create a menu of delicious foods to consume when one cannot eat dairy. The process is not without trial and error, but there are many steps a mother can take to ensure the health of both her and her child while going milk-free!