Dairy Free Diaries

Ice Cream Sandwiches

As I’ve referenced in previous posts, I have been having a lot of digestive/skin/hair/body issues the last 8 or 9 months.

There is a long list of health issues related to dairy, thanks to the growth hormones and pesticides used to produce it, and they all sound like a blast! Bloating, diarrhea, gas, acne, anemia, skin rashes, and more. Upon my doctor’s orders, I had to give up all dairy products for a month in order to see if it was the root cause of the problems.

This was hands down, one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do.

I have my own theories about why this was so hard, but my mom made an excellent point about why it could be more difficult than other food I’ve cut out in the past. Aside from the fact that daily I eat way more dairy than the average person (3-4 x’s what I should), having someone tell me I can’t have something versus making the decision on my own doesn’t sit well with me. Call it stubbornness or ego, but I don’t like being told what to do haha. Something else that made this hard was the fact that

I never realized how many foods have dairy products in them!

I don’t know what exactly I expected would happen when I gave up dairy, but I don’t think I ever imagined my body would actually go through a detox. I decided to jot down my thoughts each day, so I could share it with anyone who’s debating doing something similar.

DAY ONE:

  • I miss cheese…
  • There’s dairy in everything, even salad dressing!
  • What do you mean I can’t have butter?!
  • Watching my family eat creamy, buttery mashed potatoes at dinner was torture!

DAY TWO:

  • Thank goodness I already drink my tea with soy milk.
  • I don’t know how I feel about the fact that Coffeemate is “non-dairy creamer”.

DAY THREE:

  • Grocery shopping is a lot harder now that I have to stare at every label…before putting 90% of the food I normally eat back on the shelf.
  • I found a Soy version of Cherry Garcia ice cream that is pretty BOMB.

DAY FOUR:

  • Yay, I can have Oreos!
  • Man, if I’m not careful I’m gonna gain like 50 pounds this month snacking instead of eating actual meals
  • Veggie chips for the win!
  • Ben & Jerry’s tweeted me today & told me that they make a line of non-dairy ice cream including Cherry Garcia.

DAY FIVE:

  • Dairy detox is real guys.
  • My energy was dragging all day.
  • My stomach is NOT happy.
  • TMI – spent half the day running back and forth to the restroom.
  • Why does gluten-free pasta liquid have such a viscous creamy texture when you boil it??

DAY SIX:

  • MOD pizza with vegan non-dairy cheese isn’t terrible, but it’s not real cheese.

DAY SEVEN:

  • Nothing sounds good to eat & everything tastes like sawdust in my mouth.
  • I probably should have forced myself to eat something before going on my run, talk about lightheaded!

DAY EIGHT:

  • My coworker came over to my desk, sensually peeled apart a stick of string cheese and ate it in front of me…just to twist the knife.

DAY NINE:

  • Smoothies for dinner, again, because nothing tastes or sounds good.

DAY TEN:

  • Constantly having to ask restaurant staff whether something is dairy-free or not is exhausting and I feel terrible about it.

DAY ELEVEN:

  • (insert obscure cheese-related thought I’m sure I had)

DAY TWELVE:

  • Is it just me, or are Monday’s extra difficult without dairy?
  • I’ve been asking my coworker for months to bring in donuts for us and OF COURSE, he chooses to listen when I can’t have dairy!
    • Top Pot needs to get on the dairy-free donut train!

DAY THIRTEEN:

  • Tonight I thought I’d try to replicate the MOD vegan pizza I had the other night but I’d make it a little healthier by using the infamous Trader Joe’s cauliflower pizza crust.
    • I think this could have been better if I didn’t have to have vegan cheese (which tastes like car tire rubber) so I’m eager to try it again if I’m able to add regular cheese back into my diet.

DAY FOURTEEN:

  • I thought I chose the best month to do this since it’s technically shorter but turns out being constantly surrounded by chocolate I can’t have made this the worst month to do this.
  • Gotta love when they cater in pizza for lunch at the office…

DAY FIFTEEN:

  • Okay, I’ve officially hit the two-week mark without any slipups!
  • Does it actually get easier or do you just stop trying/caring?

DAY SIXTEEN:

  • Joined friends for dinner before finally seeing Hamilton: An American Musical, everything was fine until they brought out their cheesecake and ice cream dessert…needless to say I left early to go get our seats.

DAY SEVENTEEN:

  • It’s been 3-weeks and I still can’t figure out a better thing to have for lunch than a peanut butter and jam sandwich…

DAY EIGHTEEN:

  • Let me tell you, it’s hard not to feel like an absolute idiot when you ask a movie theatre attendant if their butter is dairy-free
    • I was shocked when they told me that it was, indeed, soy-based! Shout out to AMC Theatres 🙂

DAY NINETEEN:

  • (insert obscure cheese-related thought I’m sure I had)

DAY TWENTY:

  • This cold, bitter weather makes me want to curl up with soup…too bad all the soups I love are cream-based!

DAY TWENTY-ONE:

  • Cereal for dinner with cashew almond milk…I’m too tired to be inventive with cooking

DAY TWENTY-TWO:

  • PMS and I can’t have ice cream or chocolate…THIS IS THE WORST DECISION I HAVE EVER MADE!!!

DAY TWENTY-THREE:

  • PMS and I can’t have ice cream or chocolate…THIS IS THE WORST DECISION I HAVE EVER MADE!!!

DAY TWENTY-FOUR:

  • PMS and I can’t have ice cream or chocolate…THIS IS THE WORST DECISION I HAVE EVER MADE!!!

DAY TWENTY-FIVE:

DAY TWENTY-SIX:

  • At this point I’m just cranky because I haven’t noticed really any difference in my body or my skin…why did I do this again?!

DAY TWENTY-SEVEN:

  • This week has been so stressful and my stomach is taking the brunt of the impact.

DAY TWENTY-EIGHT:

  • I’ve got “One Day More” from Les Miserable playing in my head all day! Tomorrow it will take all of my energy to not make 13 boxes of Velveeta mac n cheese…

Overall, I found some great dairy-free options that I plan on making in the future and found some vegan products I’m going to keep buying. If you have any recipes or recommendations, leave them in the comments! Now comes the part where I spend the next few weeks slowly reintroducing dairy into my diet to see if my body has a reaction. I shudder at the thought of having to permanently give up dairy, but for now…

Dobby Dairy Free

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About Essentially Erynne

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