Living Without Lactose

A few years ago, I started having some stomach pains on a regular basis. I went to an allergy doctor who poked my back with about 20 different needles and decided I wasn’t allergic to anything. He suggested I do an elimination diet to see if it was a mild intolerance to something that would cause digestive issues.

Well, it turns out that I developed an intolerance to lactose. Sigh.

The possible causes can be debated and we will never know for sure, but that is beyond the point. The point is that I’ve had to learn how to deal with this HUGE inconvenience (thanks, body).

I miss biscuits. I miss pizza. I miss a few desserts, although I never really ate much of those to begin with. I miss the occasional milkshake. And I really, really miss chocolate (Twix bars were my jam).

The good thing is that I found a vegan butter that tastes just like regular butter, which has helped with my options when cooking at home. I’ve also developed a love for soy milk, which can replace milk in a lot of recipes.

Probably the hardest part to deal with is going out to eat; I usually have to bug the waitress to go ask the chef if any butter, milk, or cheese is used when cooking certain dishes. I could always just eat a salad with no cheese, but who wants to do that when there are so many delicious options at every restaurant?

I’ve gotten pretty good at knowing what I can eat and what I should avoid, and Lactaid pills help a little bit. But not so much this past weekend, when I had eaten half of my veggie wrap and then, and only then, noticed there was shredded cheese hiding amongst the hummus. Sad day.

My stomach is only now feeling *almost* back to normal (five days later), which goes to show how the smallest bit of lactose can affect me.

I guess the moral of this pity party is that life throws us curveballs, but we learn to deal with them! I just thank God that I’m alive and healthy, and I’m thanking my good friend Cassie Stockton who is making our wedding cake completely dairy-free! I’ll get to eat cake with my husband and not suffer for it on the honeymoon. Victory.

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