Dairy Free, New Me

Long time, no blog. I wanted to fill you guys in a little bit. For as long as I can remember, and recently significantly worse, my stomach and I have gone through phases where we just don’t get along at all. After going through my second round of the flu back in March, I realized that I was pretty much avoiding food altogether, and that is a major problem. I knew it was time to see a doctor about this again, and pursue some answers. 

*I won’t get majorly into the specifics just yet, but my doctor referred me to a specialist who wants to do a minor outpatient procedure and see if there are any underlying issues. As I’m sure you could’ve guessed, this whole ordeal has done a number on my anxiety, and I am appreciative of any positive prayers/thoughts/vibes you’d like to send my way!*

Disclaimers aside, my primary care physician asked me to strictly cut dairy out of my diet. She went on to explain that it is very common for caucasian people my age to suddenly develop food allergies and intolerances. Seeing as she was the third medical professional to tell me this, (in line after my ‘lifestyle advisor’ and dermatologist) I thought it best to take her advice and immediately cut out all dairy in my diet. I’m here to share some thoughts and facts on how this is going. 

The Good

  • Well, first and foremost, my gut is a lot better. Am I magically cured? Unfortunately not, but I’m no longer avoiding meals and that is a true blessing. 
  • My skin has improved somewhat. What do you know? My dermatologist knew what she was talking about when she suggested that I might be experiencing nontraditional symptoms of a lactose intolerance. 
  • My allergies are significantly improved. I stopped caring what that lifestyle advisor was saying the second she told me to cut dairy, but it turns out, she was right! In addition to an intolerance causing skin issues, it also causes overproduction of mucus and flares up allergies! 
  • Oreos are vegan. Please don’t confuse vegan with ‘good for you.’ 
  • Ben and Jerry’s has dairy free ice cream now and it’s lit, fam. 

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The Bad

  • Dairy is in (almost) everything. Or so it seems. Stuff you’d never have thought of. Truly, I thought I’d been cutting my dairy intake for months, but I hadn’t. Here is a list of shit that has dairy in it and will leave you with a question mark tattooed to your forehead: 
  1. Lactose-free Cheese (wtf)
  2. 99% of potato chips 
  3. Quite literally everything that Morning Star makes 
  4. Eggo waffles
  5. Most cake mixes (so, even if you sub with almond milk in the mixing process, you’re doomed)
  6. The dried snap pea things 😦 
  7. While french fries are generally safe, most restaurants and fast food establishments use some sort of dairy in the frying process. 
  8. Many sliced breads don’t have dairy, but they’re made in facilities that do and I’m not taking any chances…. ugh. 
  • I’m obsessed with yogurt, so that is a tough blow. Fortunately, I gave that up back in January on my dermatologist’s recommendation, so I’m adjusting. Almond milk yogurt tastes and smells like play-do, so….
  • RIP mac ’n cheese 

The Downright Ugly 

  • PIZZA 😦   I had done some research on dairy and gluten free frozen pizzas and finally found a grocery store by my house that sells one of the popular brands. It. Was. Terrible. Fresh from being absolutely disgusted from that experience, I discovered that Mod Pizza (a kind of build your own pizza joint) had a gluten free crust and dairy free cheese. We picked one up a few weeks ago, and I thought it was going to restore balance in my life, and it did… the first time. Unfortunately, the taste and texture have gotten progressively less appealing each time I grab a pie, to the point that last week I ate two slices with my nose pinched shut and threw out the rest. Laughing at Leigh Ann Lifetime Achievement Award to anyone who can suggest a baller dairy and gluten free pizza. 

The Gratitude 

I’m feeling better! I’ve learned new things about food, given my afternoon cookie addiction the boot, and lost five or so pesky pounds that have been hanging around since I got a desk job. 

On deck, I’ll take on the Low FODMAP diet, yippee! Do any of you out there suffer from food intolerances, or are just generally really watching what you put into your body? I would love to know some of your favorite recipes and products! I’m also happy to share what I’ve learned so far with any of you experiencing something similar! 

❤ This post is dedicated to and in memory of a coworker of mine who passed away this morning after a very brief battle with cancer. I didn’t have much interaction with him, but we often arrive to the office at the same time, (a time I call, ‘not late, but really pushing it’) he had a kickass, edgy fashion sense, great hair, and judging by the outpouring of support I’ve seen for him today, an abundance of people who loved him. 

xoxo Cheeseless in Columbus 

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Maker of artish things. TV junkie. Where's the pizza?

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