Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Dairy-Free Diet

Why would anyone go dairy-free and miss out on ice cream, cheese, and yogurt? They would if their health was being sabotaged by this food. It is a more complex issue than many think who do not have to worry about intestinal issues or congestion. Going on a dairy free diet is a freedom for those who have suffered for a long period of time with sensitivities to dairy.

Going on a dairy-free diet is not as challenging as it first appears. The switch to cooking with alternatives is not as bad as you might think. All it requires is open-mindedness, experimentation, and a little knowledge. First, let go of all of your pre-conceived fears and realize that you are beginning a new journey that you have never experienced before.
Second, do not be afraid to experiment with new recipes and cooking techniques. Yes, sometimes a recipe may not turn out, but how else will you learn how to cook without milk products. Third, get on the internet and search for recipe blogs of those who have experience cooking without milk, cheese, and butter. You would be surprised how many have experience. Find a blog that fits with your style of cooking and see what the author has to offer. That author can help you in your quest. Some authors have personal preference on what they substitute for dairy. You might like their preferences or you might like to try others. This is where your willingness to be open-minded and experimental will come in useful.

I embraced a dairy-free diet years ago when my sons were very young. I never would let them have any milk products. If they did, they would become severely congested and sick for quite some time. They have an actual milk allergy. So, instead of doing some research, I would just cook two types of meals. Theirs would be dairy-free. Then, I decided to do some experimenting with alternatives. I tried the rice milk and almond milk. They were a substitute, but nothing to get excited about. Then, I came across coconut milk. I fell in love with it. It is creamier and makes a great substitute. In fact, my husband who is a dairy farmer will even eat foods that are cooked with it.

To complete the dairy-free diet, my two young daughters were diagnosed with epilepsy. Then, I also became congested after consuming sour cream or cheese. I decided to put all three of us on a gluten-free dairy-free diet. The side effects were not worth it and I had to do something for my two daughters health (especially since one was having status seizures-seizures that do not stop on their own). Now, I am open-minded, willing to experiment with recipes anytime, and very knowledgeable from my experiences.

If anyone asks me, "How do you live without ice cream, cheese, and yogurt?" I can simply tell them about the congestion that comes from dairy. Or I can always talk to them about what they would resort to if they watched their child have a seizure for an hour. Going on a dairy-free diet is worth it to improve health. This new way of eating requires letting go of preconceived ideas, seeking knowledge, and being willing to experiment in the kitchen.

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