Two weeks ago I discovered that I am allergic to dairy…and I am ok with it! You think I’m crazy for thinking that? I can understand your thoughts, but if you knew my health history through the years you would understand. I left the doctor’s office in tears…not from knowing I have to change my world a bit but rather from happiness that I FINALLY have some real answers. Now it is time to learn all about surviving a dairy free life!
I have been put through test after test….after test through the years. The blanket answer back then was Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Can you say Metamucil? Please understand that I am not saying Metamucil isn’t a good product, but it only works for specific situations….which just happened to NOT be what I needed. There was never a full battery of blood tests run on me until 2023! My loved ones urged me (well pushed is more like it!) to go to a functional medicine doctor and I FINALLY listened.
The Medical Results ~
An extensive blood panel was performed and voila…dairy (and a few other things that I will get into later) is the culprit! Through teary eyes I looked at the results that the doctor was going over with me and asked her, “Do I dare hope that THIS is truly what is wrong with me?” Well, it’s only been a few short weeks, but friends I cannot even begin to tell you how much better I am feeling already.
Brad and I headed out to SO MANY health food stores to get our pantry set up with all the new food items I would need to switch to. *Brag alert….my husband has been truly amazing with all of this…from shopping with me and scouring food labels to trying out new dishes with me (which if you know Brad….well, you just know!) The items I can eat became a bit more difficult because I am also allergic to coconut, vanilla, oats and garbanzo beans. These just happen to be many of the items that are substituted in dairy free products…ugh!
So What Now? ~
With all of that being said, I want to explain why I am blogging about it! You already know that I love to write about food…we will still be bringing you amazing recipes for those without restrictions. I am just adding an extra tab under Recipes named Dairy Free. Even if you aren’t dairy free, I promise you, you are going to want to check out some of these recipes because …. well because even Brad likes them! 🤣
I also am going to get very personal with you right now because I think it is important to be transparent. I have struggled with diarrhea horribly for years. The word colonoscopy literally just makes me cry. (not kidding!) It’s a horrible thing to never know when it is going to hit you. (Speaking of that, did you know that Duluth Trading Co. sells Sh!t Kits? I kid you not…and they are a very wonderful thing!) Let me just tell you, that already (several weeks into my new diet) I have gone out to eat several times and have not had to run to the bathroom. I drink coffee…and nothing! It’s freaking amazing!
Recipes We Have Tried…and Loved ~
The first recipe that I made was Mediterranean Couscous Salad. I had cooked with couscous quite a while back and wasn’t a big fan. This time I bought a different brand, and for us, that made a big difference. Let me clarify, it wasn’t so much the brand but the size. I had no idea until now that there are 3 different sizes of couscous. We like the pearls which are larger (and to me not as mushy). I’m including a link to the brand we love, but obviously you can get it at most stores.
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I actually really love Bob’s Red Mill brand of many products!
Mediterranean Couscous Salad ~
Jessica Gavin from Jessicagavin.com pinned this delicious Mediterranean Couscous Salad which is incredible. It is so delicious that Brad took some for lunch the next day….and that NEVER happens! Use the link in green to get her recipe. I had to change a few things to meet my dietary needs:
- Garbanzo beans – removed (unfortunately)
- Feta cheese was a no for me but a yes for Brad so I just kept let him top his salad as he wished
- Extras of the other veggies were substituted to make up for the loss of garbanzo beans
Salmon and Crushed Cucumber Grain Bowl ~
WOW! This was so good! Instead of cooking the salmon on stovetop as they did, Brad smoked salmon for ours and it was delcious. I’m also a little funny about seafood leftovers and by smoking the salmon it does last longer in the refrigerator than conventionally cooked salmon. This allowed for a delicious lunch the next day! Use this link for the Wild Alaska Salmon and Crushed Cucumber Grain Bowls by Purewow.com here!
Using the fresh herbs is vital to the freshness of this dish. Farro which is a high protein, high fiber whole grain wheat, helps to give you that “full” feeling that you don’t always get when eating salmon alone. Also, as stated earlier, I love Bob’s Red Mill products so that is the farro I used!
Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread ~
There really weren’t a lot of changes that needed to be made to make yummy banana bread, however, I followed This recipe by Annie from MyLifeAfterDairy.com. After making this recipe, Brad took his first bite and asked, “Remind me what is different in this recipe from the normal cinnamon swirl banana bread you have always made!” Then we both decided that we actually like this recipe even more! Check out the recipe in this link ➡️➡️ Amazing cinnamon swirl banana bread by Mylifeafterdairy.com.
The couple of changes that I did have to make were:
- substitute maple syrup for vanilla
- substitute vegan “butter” for coconut oil
You do not have to make these changes if your are just allergic to dairy. As stated earlier, I am also allergic to vanilla and coconut.
Adding In The Right Supplements ~
You have to be sure to make up for the nutrients that you will be missing when cutting dairy out of your world. My practitioner helped me with this. I am also learning what foods I need to add more of to my diet along with these daily supplements. A prime example is changing from a breakfast of eggs and toast to eggs with avocado, tomatoes and spinach. This is even Teddy Ruffsavelt approved ⬇️!
As stated earlier, whether you are allergic to dairy or not, these recipes are truly amazing! Heck, I’ve shared some dairy free recipes with you before I even knew I needed to cut out dairy. This chicken stir fry recipe for instance is delicious and dairy free…who knew? Anyhoo, give these a try and let me know your thoughts! Also, I would love to hear some of your favorite recipes if you are on this dairy-free ride with me. There are definitely hard days without cheese….but surviving a dairy free life so far has been pretty good!
Happy cooking and happy health to you all~
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I’ve been cooking dairy-free or a few years— lots of great recipes out there!! Thanks for sharing!
Great to know there are friends that are living this same lifestyle … if there are any recipes that you just love please share them! I look forward to connecting with you over these! Thanks for reading!
Hey Shelly – I think you will be happy you gave up Dairy . I did this DECADES ago before we even had almond milk available . No Doctor told me to .. I just KNEW .
“ not my Mama , not my milk “ 😊
You are going to FEEL so much BETTER !
Thank you Lynn! I am already feeling better and it’s just the beginning. I’m looking forward to getting some great input from you!
I think I am in a similar boat as you and just need to bite the bullet and eliminate dairy! Thanks for recipes, I’m definitely making the couscous one.
I hope you do take the steps as I am amazed at much of a difference it has made for me in such a short amount of time! Good luck! I would love to hear what you think of the couscous recipe…I have become a big fan of several couscous recipes!
I have been eating dairy-free for nearly 3 years now and feeling much better. I struggled a lot at the beginning but there are so many alternatives nowadays that make our lives easier. Thanks for sharing your recipes, I’ll surely try the cinnamon swirl banana bread!
I love to hear about the success stories of others who have gone this route before me. I agree…I am so thankful that there are so many wonderful alternatives out there! Enjoy the cinnamon swirl banana bread….we loved it!
Going to try this and Also will share how it’s going. Thank you Shelly!!
Awesome! Can’t wait to hear how you do! Good luck and thanks for reading!
Food allergies are no joke! Do you have an issue with beer too? I discovered I was allergic to beer and oats. I adore oatmeal. I didn’t know the two allergies are linked. I can’t wait to try your recipes.
Food allergies are indeed no joke! Oh my gosh…beer? Thankfully no…however, oats are on my allergic list too and I think I forgot to add that in. How are you doing with your allergies?
These are great! It’s always good to eliminate dairy when possible!
Thanks! I totally agree…I only wish I had done this much earlier! Eliminating dairy from my diet has been such an amazing experience!