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“You’re dairy-free? OMG, what about cheese?!”

01/05/2013

Belle

While in California I was able to meet with not one, not two, but THREE infertility bloggers! It was spectacular to meet these strong women in person and to have a real face and voice to put to their name. While having lunch with Izy and Steph  our conversation drifted to living dairy-free.

So many women dealing with infertility try a diary-free and/or gluten-free diet and few find long-term success. I have had the fortune of being forced into a permanently dairy-free lifestyle. Yes, that’s right, I said  fortune. For me, dairy-free is not an option. I’m allergic to all dairy and while it will not immediately kill me (think anaphylaxis) it could in time lead to lovely things like colon cancer.

Colon drama is not my idea of a good time so I choose to live dairy-free forever – no cheat days, no occasional Gruyère cheese on my humus sandwich. Nada. For me this works best. Much like there is no “just one drink” for a recovered alcoholic, there is no individually wrapped slice of American Cheese for a recovered cheese-a-holic.

My transition to dairy-free living has not been easy. As a resident a small town in the south, true vegan cuisine is few and far between and asking a waiter or waitress to please hold the cheese, cream and butter is cumbersome and occasionally embarrassing (think: fancy business lunch with the CEO).

Cooking at home can also be a big challenge. I like love cheese. Surprisingly the ready-made vegan cheeses and creams are pretty damn tasty  The problem comes when you look at the ingredients. These are not things I can find in my pantry, which leads me to wonder if this is doing anything to help my long-term health? Maybe not!

As we chowed down on our delicious vegan lunches I explained how I have spent the past 3 years really perfecting dairy-free cooking. “I’ve even perfected a hell of a good substitute for a savory grown-up mac & cheese,” I boasted.

Their eyes grew wide.  “Belle, you should really blog this stuff. It could REALLY help folks out!,” Izy and Steph urged.

During the long flight home I started thinking about this. I am struggling with exciting blog fodder lately. At 15 weeks pregnant I don’t have a whole hell of a lot to report symptom wise, nor am I anywhere near starting nursery plans or birthing classes (although I have picked out a fabulous cradle!). I have great plans for Scrambled Eggs as the Chicken grows and makes his or her debut but in the meantime I’m often at a loss.

Rather then fill the days with random posts on pregnancy gripes and worries, I think I will take some time and put together a few posts on my top dairy-free secrets. I’ll start tomorrow with a post sharing my favorite dairy-free creamy pasta bake that even the dairy-loving Professor raves about! In the meantime, if you have any particular dairy-free questions or a particular recipe you are curious about leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to address it!

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14 Comments

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  1. January 5, 2013

    Okay so it’s not a dairy free question, but it’s a recipe one… may I please have your chilli beans recipe???And I’ve noticed that when I order meals I can’t just say dairy because apparently some chefs missed a class at chef school and put butter in anyway. So I have to specify no butter, no milk, no yoghurt, no cheese, no cream… and by the time I’ve finished I end up cancelling it all and ordering a bowl of chips.

  2. SM #
    January 5, 2013

    Please do share all the dairy-free recipes! I’ve tried going vegan for a while but I love meat too much! I would love to try and cut down on the dairy (if not totally cut it all out) though! Share away!

  3. January 5, 2013

    Yaaaay!!!!! I’m so so glad for this and still can’t believe how fabulous my dairy and gluten-free vegan quesadilla and nachos were!!!!!!!!! Bring on the recipe. Woot! Miss you!!

  4. January 5, 2013

    You should try to find Kefir drink! It’s in our gorcery store’s yogurt/cottage cheese section. It says dairy free and is DELISH!!!! I’m not dairy free and I live for this stuff! It’s like a yogurt drink…blueberry is by far the BEST! It’s supposed to be really good for your digestive system too…but like I said, I drink it because I love it so much

  5. January 5, 2013

    Oh yes! Please do!

    Glad your trip was fun! Hope we can meet again some day!

  6. January 5, 2013

    I would love it if you blogged about dairy free recipes!! I have just found out that I’m gluten/dairy/egg intolerant and have been trying to enjoy food again so any tips or tricks would be SO helpful!! I would love the mac & cheese recipe also! Thanks!

  7. January 5, 2013

    I’m insanely curious. I adore dairy, so it would be hard for me to give up as there’s really no reason for me to. But, I’m also more than happy to experiment. So, post away!!

    Glad your trip was amazing and wishing you safe travels.

  8. January 5, 2013

    Good for you for treating your body right! Living dairy-free is very hard from an ingredient perspective. I really applaud you!

  9. January 6, 2013

    My Dr has me going dairy and gluten free and the hardest thing about it for me is not knowing what to make for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. =/ So recipes would be AWESOME!

  10. 35life #
    January 6, 2013

    Cheese is absolutely, hands down, my biggest weakness. I love that you are posting recipes and I’m always looking for new ones.

  11. January 6, 2013

    I too would love to see some recipes! I don’t need to go dairy or gluten free, but I love recipes and love trying new things. Do you use brewer’s yeast? I love the stuff, but would love more recipes for it. 🙂

    Glad you had a great time meeting other IF bloggers.

  12. jak #
    January 6, 2013

    i think i completely missed the gluten-free, diary-free, vegan train. i was busy over a plate of crunchy bacon, chewing so loudly that the train whistled and pulled away and i never even noticed.

    despite this obliviousness, i do have a theory about why so many people without allergies, digestive issues (IBD, high CRC risk, reflux, other), or celiac disease, do gluten free or dairy-free or vegan and feel actual results. i totally believe it makes people physically feel better to eat this way – not always because they have a gluten or dairy reaction, but more frequently because in their former lives when they were eating gluten and meaty meat meat they were sucking down all kinds of pre-packaged crap and SALT and/or not enough of the right proportions of important foods (typically eating too many carbs, and not enough veggies). after going gluten- or diary- or meat- free (imposing some sort of a restraint mechanism on their eating), they start to think more about what they are putting in their bodies and they feel, honestly, genuinely, much, much better. they’ve stopped polluting themselves.

    excited to follow your recipe blogging!!! if the dishes you made for tgivin are any indication, i am sure it’s gonna be awesome (even if i cook your recipes and toast to you by raising a foie gras spread wheat toast point or strip of bacon;)) i actually did try your b sprouts recipe from tgivin with the pomegranate seeds – IT. ROCKED. thanks for sharing:)

  13. January 7, 2013

    I would love some dairy free dessert recipes that you love. I’m currently dairy free because I’m breastfeeding and my little girl has a hard time when I eat dairy. It’s been a little bit of a struggle especially since I have a huge sweet tooth and I can’t find any dairy free options to satisfy that craving. So if you have anything you like I’d love to know.

    PS I can’t wait to hear more about Chicken. Hope all is well!!

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