Let me be still and listen...

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Dairy Free

When JJunior was about a week old I started to notice problems with his digestion and over the first few months things didn't improve. So the doctor and I watched and decided to feed him and me dairy, soy and red meat free. The first few weeks of that major diet change for me were hard, since I am a chocaholic and love to eat all the good things out there. Now it turns out, dairy is in EVERYTHING, and if it does not contain dairy it has soy. The red meat wasn't that much of a problem, since I could still have chicken.

I got a few books and started reading and realized that cooking at home wouldn't be such a big deal. You can substitute dairy for cooking and baking with all kinds of things, Rice milk, almond milk, shortening...Obviously you need to try it out and adjust things as you go along and learn all the new ways of eating. But it is easily manageable. The problems start if you go out and dine at restaurants, go to coffee shops, bakeries or want to EAT ICE CREAM;0)

Most restaurants now ask in big signs to let them know about specific allergies. But I must admit, when you do, many struggle to help you. Some are very professional and have prepared lists easily accessible, for example Chipotles has a list with all the meals and ingredients as a little printout.  Friendly's had a messy folder with so many sheets to read and search through. Not a very easily manageable task, when you sit in the restaurant with a hungry husband, preschooler and a whiny baby.  You end up trying to please everyone (including the oh so helpful waitress), racing through the list and eating nothing good and healthy.... Margaritas has a list of all their items that contain dairy, or soy, or any other allergens. So you have to read the regular menu and when you find something you like, you check the allergy menu if any of your ingredients are to be found there...and again, first time I ended up with plain rice and plain grilled  chicken...Burger King actually has a printed menu on the wall with all the allergy information. Very helpful. Not that I dine there a lot, but occasionally I do.  

Now one important thing, if you are very allergic to something, you shouldn't trust the waiter to tell you about the ingredients. I have had a couple of occasions where people looked me in the eye stating that this and that was dairy free and I had to insist for a written and approved list of ingredients (oh how I love to be a pain in the neck... you should see husband hiding behind my back when I get annoying;0)) just to find out that the waiter was wrong. It's not such a big deal for us, since JJunior wouldn't have immediate life threatening symptoms, but many people do. But I am sure those of you who do, are probably aware of people's obliviousness. 

We are now introducing Soy back into my diet and JJunior's diet, so my life has improved a 80 percent. We will see how baby does with it and then we can start giving him Soy milk at age 1. So buy buy nursing and stinky predigested formula;0) I am sure JJunior will approve!

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