Monday, February 20, 2012

1.5 Weeks Without Dairy (or Chocolate!)

Yes, it's true. I've successfully completed my first week and a half dairy free! YES. One huge positive result is much less bloating (I got right to the point, eh?). That is a symptom I had nearly every day and was so used to that feeling (although it still bothered me), so it feels great to notice that difference so clearly. I think it's cheese really that caused it. I didn't drink much milk anyway, but I added cheese to lots of food, and loved it! I'm now realizing it may not have been loving me back.

Since I've noticed so directly the impact food really has on the way my body feels, I'm more aware of all food I'm eating. Since most chocolate (aside from very very dark chocolate I think) has milk, I haven't had any of that either! For those of you who know my love for chocolate, this is a big deal. I've been skipping dessert altogether pretty often too. I just have a new awareness of what the food I intake is doing for me, and see more clearly how little that junk food does for me - in fact, with all I'm reading lately, it really hinders our bodies and can work against us. I'm not nixing desserts all together, but have a new awareness for reading labels (it's amazing how many words are used for milk!), and being cautious of the food I eat, and how it will impact my body. 

Another positive update for today is that my new medicine routine (gradually lowering Savella doses, and adding scheduled ibuprofen) seems to be helping. The main difference is I don't feel quite as stiff throughout the day, and headaches may be better, but are definitely still there right now. 

On Saturday, Nick and I were also able to enjoy dinner with my cousins and a friend they traveled to the Twin Cities with. It was SO great to see them and catch up on life - I love and miss these girls! It was also my first meal eating out since starting dairy free, so I was a bit nervous about my options since I can't eat bread, many dressings, etc. I verified my option was dairy free with the server and got an asian salad that was really good! I started easy, but eating out dairy free will take some getting used to. Driving by Jimmy Johns tonight made me think of Turkey Tom (#4, one of my go-to choices there), and I got sad thinking there's probably milk in that bread. Maybe I'll have to try their unwich, where the ingredients are wrapped in lettuce instead of bread... sigh.. Jimmy Johns bread is sooo tasty.

I did buy this "ice cream" ;) last week at the store as I was worried about how I'd handle being without chocolate. I haven't even tried it! I'm a bit nervous I won't like it really. This brand is all dairy free though, they do a lot with almond and coconut milk rather than cow's milk.

I've also come to appreciate brands that list out the "allergy warning" clearly so we don't have to scan the entire ingredient list looking for the code words. Brands that don't have that warning get under my skin and just may lose my business! People with actually allergies to milk, wheat, peanuts, etc, need to be able to quickly look at that label and see if something is going to be a problem. I can't imaging a mom at the grocery store with kids in the cart looking at every label for potential allergens to keep her family safe. Once you know the products you get each week, the labels are less of an issue, but still, many companies need to get better making their labels family friendly, like the one I found below
(I'm trying to overlook the fact that this product appears to be Famous Amos Chocolate Chip Cookies...).

A fun "did you know" tidbit I learned this week. Raise your hand if you think eggs are a dairy product. Yep, many of you out there raised your hands, as I would have a week ago. You may know now that I asked the question, that eggs are NOT considered a dairy product! Dairy products come from the mammary glands of mammals to produce milk, cheese, etc. Eggs, well, don't come from those glands, so they're not dairy! They're considered an animal byproduct. Find out more information about it here - it's pretty fascinating stuff. 

In other news, we have 3 snow storms coming our way in the 7 day forecast! One is happening outside our window as I write. This is crazy since we've had a record mild winter since moving back to Minnesota. It's a bit exciting, but would have been nice to happen on a Saturday when we can be snowed in and not worry about our drive. Oh well, we do live in Minnesota :)

7-Day Forecast

80% PM30%30%40%30%50%


Maggie said...

oh, marissa. you are one brave lady to try all this. but i don't blame you one bit.
the dairy free ice cream that you have is really good! and i think that brand has dairy free yogurt too, which is also pretty good.
have you tried coconut milk yet? i LOVE that stuff. it's awesome on cereal or just in a glass.

i also love Kinnickinnick chocolate dipped or regular glazed donuts (in the freezer section). they are both gluten free and dairy free and delicious! if you're in need of something for dessert (especially something chocolate), these would help!

i don't have dairy or gluten sensitivities, but i buy certain foods in that section, because they taste good and they're healthy! and peyton doesn't know the difference yet:)

last idea, that you might already know about....trader joe's website is really helpful in narrowing down which products are gluten free (they have lists of all the products). my sis in law can't eat gluten and i went to trader joes to find her christmas gift this year and it was super easy. not sure about a dairy free list, but TJ's is pretty good about ingredient lists.

you're a true veagan now! who knew this would happen? we used to sit in my basement and eat greasy chips and drink mountain dew....times have changed, huh?:)

love you and excited to follow along on your new diet adventure!

Marissa said...

Thank you, Mag! I appreciate your input! After your encouragement, I tried the ice cream and it is good! Today, I bought one of their yogurts made form coconut milk so hopefully I like that too.

I forget about Trader Joe's since we didn't have them in TX! I'll have to check out their site for more into. For now I'm just doing dairy free, but I see it as a bonus when dairy free items are also gluten free, just in case I have any sensitivities toward it. At this point, I just want to feel better! :)

I hope to see you and Pey-Pey, (and baby belly when it shows!) soon.

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