No More Cheese?

For a girl who used to love cheese pizza, put mayonnaise on all her sandwiches, and was obsessed with chocolate, finding out you have a dairy allergy is a bit of a shock…

I never liked drinking a glass of milk growing up. Something about it just didn’t make me feel right. My throat would feel a little strained and I’d get a tingling sensation, but I never thought much of it until my senior year of college.  I had several bad reactions and choking incidents after I ate a cheese omelette or too much pizza. What I think really put me over the edge was all the dairy-rich foods I ate during my semester abroad in Italy.

So after graduation in May I got an allergy test because I had a feeling I was allergic to milk, and I wanted to confirm it once and for all. Turns out it’s pretty a moderate allergy, so no more dairy products for me… Imagine my disappointment!

Since I found out, I’ve stopped eating all dairy and eggs (yep, because those showed up on my test too) and I feel SO much better!

tacos

These are sauteed snapper tacos with cabbage and pico de gallo and a side salad from the delicious Mexican Corner Restaurant at the base of Whistler Mountain in Canada. Just one example of how I have learned to enjoy eating dairy-free!

I also have been trying different vegan dark chocolate brands and I have to say Alter Eco has got it going ON. These two flavors are so good, and are clearly labeled. On the back they also list “vegan, soy free” etc. and they have interesting stories printed on the inside of the packages.

Alter Eco Choc.JPG

To be honest, it’s been a bit of a lifestyle adjustment. I have to be super careful when I’m eating out and always have to ask if the dish is prepared in any kind of dairy, even if it doesn’t specify in the description. If I don’t ask, I suffer the consequences – my throat closes up and it’s really uncomfortable to swallow. I don’t have an epy pen or anything if I do have a reaction, so I kind of just have to drink water and wait out the swelling. Thankfully I’ve been able to avoid having a reaction and hope to keep it that way.

Despite it being difficult to give up some of my favorite foods, there have been a lot of positive sides from this allergy:

  1. I eat a lot healthier. No more butter, milk, or fatty cheese in my diet! Not to mention I hardly eat dessert anymore… except for dark chocolate. ;)
  2. I’ve learned to explore and create dairy alternative recipes.
  3. I’ve discovered plant-based and vegan food bloggers who I follow on a regular basis now. People like:
    1. Bonnyrebecca
    2. Lauren Toyota
    3. Naomi Smart
    4. Ambitious Kitchen

Stay tuned for dairy-free recipes and more details about how I work with this lifestyle change!

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