Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Totally Honest Tueday #5: My Dairy Dilemma

 Today, I want to blog about something that has been a real problem for me lately...lactose. I realize this may be crossing over into tmi territory, but I'm seriously stuck and need some advice. So here it goes...

As I mentioned in an earlier post, last year I was diagnosed with a lactose intolerance.I was puzzled when the doctor told me this because I have consumed (devoured, enjoyed, LOVED) dairy products my whole life and never really had a problem with them.
 
*As a kid, I could NOT go to bed at night without a glass of milk. I was convinced I would have nightmares unless there was milk in my tummy. I have really strong memories of my mom and dad bringing me milk in bed. It's almost an emotional connection; like my comfort food. Me and milk, we're bffs.*

So the doctor explains to me there is apparently a difference between being lactose intolerant (like a lactose allergy) and having an intolerance for lactose. I don't break out in hives/a rash or get an upset stomach right away. It's more like a gradual ,downward spiral into gastrointestinal hell...I'll spare the details.

At this point, I assume most of you reading are like "Girl, just don't eat dairy. Problem solved. Idk why you are even writing this..."  but you see, I have a problem, an addiction if you will, and it's called milk/cheese/butter.

I've tried to stay away. Goodness knows for a couple of months, I hardly had a bit of dairy. I got lactose free milk (yuck), switched to margerine (double yuck) and even got tofu cream cheese (so beyond yuck, it's scary). I was not happy but I solidered on. But I soon realized, whenever I ate out, I lost a lot of control over how my food was made. Things would show up on my plate covered in cheese or butter or cream, even if it wasn't on the menu. That was aggrivating but I was determined to make it work.

BUT DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY THINGS HAVE DAIRY PRODUCTS IN THEM?

I'll tell you. A whole freaking lot. I would eat something, glance at the label when I was halfway done and then BAM!  the dreaded "this product contains milk"

I became hopeless and gave up.

So 5 months later, here I am. I have dairy on a daily basis, even though I somewhat try not to (as in I don't ask for cheese on my sandwich anymore). But I still have butter, cheese, and a glass of milk everyday. And my tummy is upset everyday. It's not fun, but I don't know what else to do. Milk makes my soul happy, even if the rest of me rebels.

Well, blog readers, this is where  I need advice. Is anyone else going through this? Have you found an easy(er) way to navigate all this lactose nonsense? Like I said, this may seem trivial, but I've got to figure something out. Due to all the tummy troubles, I seriously look pregnant and it's so not cute. Help...

Nicole

2 comments:

  1. I don't even know now how I just came across your blog... but anyhoo I did and it's lovely! My husband deals with this... but on the allergy side. Three years ago he started drinking Almond Breeze -he loves cereal and protein shakes. So now that is all we both drink and I cook with it and everything. However, we both LOVE cheese... so this is where we compromise. We've been able to do a lot without butter and use olive oil... but we don't know how to get around the cheese issue. Like yourself, we'll limit it on sandwhiches and where we can... and then once a week we'll cave and eat pizza or enchiladas. I'm sorry you're going through this -it's tough! Maybe there are some good books out there with substitute recipes and such! All the best.

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  2. Hey! I decided to check out your blog, and I'm glad to see you're doing well! I also have an intolerance for lactose. I generally don't get affected by cheeses in small portions, and I've started drinking organic silk (soy milk). I've found the organic kind without the sweetener tastes closer to real milk. But they make some lactase tablets which you can take with actual dairy products. Lactase enzymes in the tablets break down the lactose to make up for the fact that your body can't. I've only tried them a few times and I had no problems those days!

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