Switching from cow’s milk to almond milk (which I LOVE more than words can express!)
Eliminating cheese from pasta, salads, pizza, and any other dish that calls for it (which I HATE more than words can express!)
Cutting out yogurt, ice cream, and cream
Switching from regular butter to Earth Balance (I’m borderline obsessed with it)
As far as my normal every day life is concerned, all of these changes were as easy as can be. Sure, I miss cheese and yogurt, but I can live without them.
When I cook a meal for Michael and me, I usually use almond milk rather than regular milk, or I remove my portion before adding the cream and/or cheese. Butter is not an issue since we both adore Earth Balance.
The difficult part of everything is ordering in restaurants and being a guest at someone’s home. No one every wants to inconvenience someone else with crazy demands, so it can be a challenge. Over the past year, I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks that seem to work.
When visiting someone’s home, I’ll just remove the milk product, if possible. This works great for cheese, and sometimes even sauces can be scraped aside. Since I do not have a milk allergy, a little bit of residual cream won’t kill me.
Restaurants seem to think that suffocation is more extreme than constipation (go figure!), so I simply say that “I cannot eat dairy” and ask that my meals come without cheese and that they are cooked in oil rather than butter. If they specifically ask if I am allergic, I’ll tell the truth. I don’t want to cause any chaos and worry!
If I am not sure if the sauce is made with cream or milk, I’ll ask for it to be served on the side. If I use it sparingly, I’m usually OK.
I know this one is common sense, but I’m always polite when I make the requests and appreciative when they are met. I find that the restaurant staff are most always accommodating in return. I’ve only had one experience where the restaurant wouldn’t comply when I asked for steamed vegetables. They made me feel like a total inconvenience. Needless to say, I’ve never been back.
There are times when I’ll splurge and eat something that contains dairy (like peanut butter pie). I just know that I will pay for it severely later. For the most part, I’ve actually discovered new yummy things that don’t make me miss dairy at all.