Tuesday, December 18, 2012

{ It's the Most Dairy-Full Time of the Year }

A couple weeks ago, Miss Lainie had some symptoms--very mild--that her doctor says often indicates difficulty digesting dairy. She suggested I stop eating dairy for a few weeks and see if Lainie's symptoms go away.

What?!! No dairy? I have spent my entire life pitying people who, by necessity or choice, do not consume cheese...half 'n' half...butter...and all the lovely things made with dairy.

But I love my daughter, so after a day of mourning, I stopped eating dairy.

:: What? You can't eat dairy cuz of me? ::
I gotta say, the holidays are probably the worst time of year to eliminate dairy. It's not the little daily things, like a bagel with cream cheese and half 'n' half in my coffee, that bother me as much as the special, Christmas-only goodies I'm missing. I made four batches of soda cracker candy and a couple batches of nutella sea salt fudge, pretty much my favorite things ever...and it's all been either given away or sitting in the fridge, waiting to be eaten by others. By the way, I have a new definition of willpower: making the aforementioned treats and not even being able to taste them. Honestly, I don't think anything else has required such sheer determination. My explanation is that everything else I've abstained from, for whatever reasons, had significant consequences as an additional deterrent. The only reason I'm not eating dairy is because Lainie had some extremely mild, extremely short-lived symptoms that didn't bother her at all and which may or may not be caused by dairy...and when she isn't even bothered by it, I feel like the only reason I'm denying myself is out of principle and theory. Gah. It's awful. And I realize, to my embarrassment, how much I am ruled by my stomach. How often, how automatically, I shove food in my mouth to deal with {fill in the blank}. When I have to stop and read labels before shoving said food into mouth, and then not eat whatever I was about to consume, I realize how frequently I eat just for comfort...distraction...whatever. It's humbling, to have an unnoticed idol revealed this way.
I'm also super blessed by many friends who have already traveled the dairy-free road and give me tips and guidance. I was already cooking probably 70% Paleo--which is, among other things, dairy-free-- at Mike's request, though both of us were unwilling to give up dairy, so I'm already familiar with a lot of dairy-free recipes and resources online. A total blessing. But I really really hope Lainie isn't allergic to dairy! Or anything else, for that matter. Not being able to eat dairy is a walk in the park compared to, say, not being able to eat gluten. I don't even know how we'd do that. Little Miss has her six-month checkup after Christmas, and we'll talk to her doctor about what to do at that point. I'm praying she's not allergic anything and that we can go back to our good ol' creamy, milky, cheesy way of life!
Until then, I'll be enjoying coconut milk in my coffee {it's actually super tasty--I may keep doing it even if I can have half 'n' half again!} and Trader Joe's coconut milk ice cream {it's delicious}. See? It's not all bad!


  1. Feeling your pain, girl! Three years ago, one week prior to Thanksgiving, my allergies to gluten, eggs, and dairy were diagnosed. Painful stuff, my friend. Painful stuff! Hoping your need to abstain is short-lived. Merry Christmas!!

  2. Oh Dawna...how DO you do it?! Such a total change in how I cook and eat, not to mention that gluten/dairy/etc.-free stuff can be so expensive!

  3. Sorry... Just now saw your response. Gf isn't so expensive if you like to bake , don't mind experimenting, and don't buy the ready-made stuff. It took a while to get over cravings but pain makes it easier to give things up. ;-) dairy was by far the hardest for me to give up (sorry) because there is absolutely NO good substitute for cheese... And I love me some cheese! Good luck with your changes, sweetie! It's hard but it can be done.