Friday, April 23, 2010

My Life After Dairy, Day 1

I freely admit it, I am an unrepentant dairy addict. Without my daily made-from-scratch hot chocolate, milk with cereal (I say milk with cereal instead of cereal with milk, since there's always more milk than cereal in my bowl), and loads of cheese on most of my dinners I am unable to function. Dairy is my comfort food. During the last weeks of my pregnancy with Violet, I even craved cream so badly it went right from the dispenser in my mouth, no cake needed.

Now, along came Miss Violet, and with her (or better: within her) loads of gas. We sometimes wondered why she was not simply floating away with all the gas in her little system. I cut out the most obvious culprit first, my high-fiber cereal. Things improved slightly, but she still cried from gas pain almost every day. I cut out the next best thing, coffee, hoping to improve things; all to no avail. Finally, I had to face it: at our first check-up with our midwife she told us that the most likely culprit for Violet's pain and suffering was my much-beloved dairy. I had to rid my diet of it.. ALL of it.. I cursed myself for not having a ginormous cup of hot chocolate for breakfast, but nothing I could do..

So started my journey to a life without dairy. I consulted several people for viable alternatives (special thanks to my friend Nadja, a long-time vegan for the wonderful tips). After a couple of days without any viable alternative for dairy (and much grieving), I finally went out to buy the most recommended alternatives to milk: an assortment of rice, oat, and almond milk. Day 1 I started with rice milk; the consistency is slightly strange for a 2% fat milk lover, much more watery. The taste is not at all milk-like, but still not unpleasant, even though it has a slightly strange after-taste. My next attempt at vegan pancakes made with rice milk instead of regular milk even earned the seal of approval from my gourmet husband (who had everything but shunned my first attempt of vegan pancakes substituting apple sauce and water for milk). Next, I might even be brave enough and try rice milk hot chocolate, who knows...

At this point, I would like to thank again all my friends, who have supplied me with a long list of dairy alternatives. I see plenty of Thai dishes in our near future (coconut milk anyone? and after all, cheese on Asian dishes is even too weird for me..), as well as other non-dairy treats (vegan chocolate cake!!). Our game plan is to cut out all dairy for now and slowly start to re-introduce some into my diet once Violet turns 3 months; hopefully her system will have matured enough to tolerate dairy better at that point.

Ps.: Keep the tips for dairy substitutes coming, everyone!

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