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An Alternative Lifestyle: Lactose-Free

Yes, I am lactose intolerant. Yes, that means no pizza. or ice cream. No, it’s not terrible.

I still remember being forced to drink 3 glasses of milk everyday, ” to keep my bones strong.” I was a child with no food restrictions, eating a daily scoop of vanilla ice cream, yogurt, cheese, and everything dairy that you could imagine… until one day a couple of years ago I noticed that my usual afternoon cup of greek yogurt wasn’t sitting too well in my stomach. As time went by I noticed my tolerance for lactose was worst, reaching to the point where I now simply can not consume any lactose, not even a tiny bite.

But it’s not the end of the world! I want to share some tips and tricks for those struggling with the same problems that have really helped me adjust to this new lifestyle.

  1. Stop thinking of it as a limitation, think of it as an opportunity! If you think negatively, you will be miserable. Think of it as a new beginning, a journey that you are going to take, exploring totally new products, cuisines, restaurants, etc. You can even make it a challenge for yourself. A big hobby of mine is creating dairy free alternatives to common recipes ( especially desserts) and it’s a lot of fun!
  2. Go with the feeling in your gut- literally. Everybody has a different level of tolerance and it can vary from product to product. Don’t be afraid to test different products out, no need to limit ALL dairy if it doesn’t all negatively affect you! For example, I used to be able to consume goat and sheep’s milk cheese just fine because the level of lactose is really low. You can also try drinking skim milk, since the content of fat is lower and it might not upset your stomach as much.
  3. Sometimes it can be worth it, let yourself live a little! You don’t need to be so strict with yourself. If you can stand the stomach ache for a slice of pizza, it might be worth it once in a while. I used to indulge weekly in Pinkberry ( my favorite frozen-yogurt) and would have a terrible stomach ache, but hey! I had a great time eating my frozen yogurt and enjoyed every bite of it. And guess what? Now they offer a dairy-free coconut milk flavor that I love just as much!
  4. Find your favorite dairy free products. There are SO many dairy free products out there from milks to cheeses to desserts and the list goes on. A lot of them are not very good, but a lot of them are! I now prefer to eat some dairy free products because of the texture and taste and really do not miss the dairy version at all. For example, almond/coconut/hemp milks are so much more delicious than regular milk in my opinion. Or I have found this almond milk cheese made by Kite Hill that has the best taste ever. What about that cashew milk yogurt I eat everyday? Delish!!
  5. Finally, spread the love! Show and tell your friends and family about all the new discoveries that you have made and all the new dishes you can create. They will be impressed and even join the movement themselves!!

Now, go enjoy your stomach-ache free day!

ps. Check out this amazing resource that really helped me with my journey at the beginning http://www.godairyfree.org/

you can find recipes, tips, how-to’s and lots of advice on it!

 

 

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