Food Intolerance Journal – Week One
With my recent discovery of food intolerance issues I've had to make some changes to my nutritional plan. Honey is a little tricky and I do need to read the label to make sure that it's not part of the sometimes cascading list of sweeteners found in some foods. Berries, and melon are fairly easy to avoid and since they aren't in season right now I'm telling myself that by avoiding the frozen ones I'm on a journey to heal my gut in time for them to be back in season again and hopefully back on my plate.
Dairy on the other hand? Well that's proving to be more challenging. In my first week I've had less than stellar success with my new dairy-free lifestyle. This is in part due to the need to travel and in part due to all the places that dairy hides in the diet. When looking at labels remember to also look for casein, lactose, and whey or variants of those since they are a part of the milk product.
I should clarify, I need to avoid cow's milk dairy products. Goat's milk is fine and sheep's milk (if I could source it here in Texas) would also be fine. Luckily I like goat's milk cheese and goat's milk yogurt is available at my grocery store. But I'm also looking to alternative dairy (coconut, almond, rice, hemp, oat, or flax milk-based products) to help replace any dairy in baking or drinking as a less expensive and easier sourced option. The biggest challenge with the alternative dairy is that most products come with added carrageenan. Made from a red seaweed it's not a healthy option for anyone, but especially for someone with a challenged digestive tract. Found in products that come in those convenient containers in the dairy case, in the tetra-pack versions, in frozen confections made with alternative dairy, it's really hard to get away from carrageenan. My options are to find brands that don't have it or to make my own. Feeling squeezed for time I'm really not interested in making my own at the moment so my current favorite option is to purchase coconut milk in BPA free cans.
For other dairy options I am definitely looking in a more vegan direction. I'm not switching to a vegan diet, but it does offer some great substitutions for dairy. One that I was recently introduced to is a fabulous dish called RawFredo. A raw vegan version of spaghetti alfredo made with spiraled zucchini and a cashew based “alfredo” sauce. This sauce was so delicious that I can't wait to make it again. I'm not ashamed to confess that not only did I lick my bowl, I grabbed my spatula and, ahem, “cleaned” the blender jar. I'm grateful to my friend and colleague, Primitive Diva, for introducing me to this delicious dish.
While it takes time and effort to make these changes the end result is definitely worth it. In order to be successful when accommodating any shift in nutritional plans, the key is to find delicious alternatives to what you are used to eating,
photo credits: MaxStraeten, wax115