I want to start by saying this dairy free update is way past due. I apologize to those that have asked me to share an update. I really did not mean for it to take me this long and it really has been too long. We went dairy free for the month of January and it is now April. Yes, it is a bit over due.
For those of you that may not have read my posts from earlier this year, my daughter and I went dairy free for the month of January to see if it would help some digestive issues that she was having. She also has asthma and I was curious if it would help that as well. I went dairy free with her for moral support.
For those of you that are dairy free, I feel for you. I think it was as hard, if not harder than gluten free. I had no idea how much dairy we ate until I started to cut it out. We are definitely a dairy loving family.
I think taking one thing out of your diet every once in awhile is a good thing. Whether it is dairy, gluten, sugar, or something else. When you take something out of your diet it makes you focus more on what you eat. You read labels more and it is very eye opening. Going dairy free taught me a lot about what we eat and don’t eat.
As far as my daughter goes we learned that dairy does bother her, at least to some degree. Her digestive issues were much better when she cut dairy out. As far as her asthma, we can’t say for sure if it made a difference. At first I thought it did, but then when she added it back in we really could not tell a difference. So, although it helped her stomach issues, I don’t really think it helped the asthma.
She went dairy free for the month of January and we slowly started adding it back in one thing at a time. She quickly realized that small amounts of dairy don’t bother her, but large amounts do.
She seems to be fine with butter. I am not sure if that is just butter in general or the fact that butter is usually eaten in small amounts. Even if a cookie recipe has 1 cup of butter in it, you are not getting very much butter per cookie. A cookie with butter in it does not bother her at all.
Pizza, ice cream, or a large glass of milk definitely mess up her stomach though. They all contain pretty high amounts of dairy and she is pretty much avoiding them.
So right now she is eating about 90% dairy free. And really it has not been that hard of an adjustment. Now the whole family is not 90% dairy free, but she is.
At first I worried about how we would make it work, but it has not been as hard as I thought it would. She now rarely drinks a glass of milk or uses milk on cereal. She uses a dairy free milk for that. Buttermilk doesn’t seem to bother her, so I have been making my pancakes, waffles, and other things like that with buttermilk.
For homemade pizza I just make a small pizza or a section of the pizza with little or no cheese on it. The same thing goes for mexican food and casseroles. I try to make a smaller dairy free one for her to eat or avoid the cheese on one section of the casserole.
The biggest thing, and probably the hardest thing, I am doing is letting her make the choices on what she eats. She already eats gluten free, and one of the things I learned with gluten free is that it helps when they realize it makes them feel bad. Slowly they start making the right choices.
Yes, it is hard to watch her eat something I know might give her a stomach ache, but since it is not an allergy, I am letting her figure out what she thinks is worth eating and what isn’t. The reality is that I can’t always be around her. She has to learn to make wise food choices. And overall she is doing great. I am really happy with how careful she is being and what a good attitude she has had.
Now if her dairy issues were an allergy, or a more severe intolerance, we would be handling this differently. For now though it is working for us. I would love to hear how those of you that are dairy free, or have dairy free kids, handle it?
And I have to include a quick update about myself going dairy free for the month. I did not notice a difference at all. I did not think I would because I have tried dairy free several times in the past. I went dairy free mainly for support for her and I am glad I was able to do that for her. However I did not stay dairy free. I have cut back some on my dairy, mainly because it was eye opening to see how much dairy I normally eat, but I did not cut it out not completely. I still eat my cheese, yogurt, and a few other things.
One thing that clued me in to how much dairy I ate was the fact that I lost 5 pounds while dairy free for a month. Yes, 5 pounds. I think it was a variety of reasons, but still 5 pounds is a lot for me to lose in a month when I was not really trying to lose weight. And another clue to the fact that I eat too much dairy was that I gained it back quickly once I added dairy back into my diet. The conclusion I came to with that is that if I ever really need to lose weight, I will start by eliminating dairy from my diet. In the meantime it is dairy in moderation for me.
I grew up with a milk allergy and I also have asthma. I am 54 years old. I can handle small amounts of milk but I never drink a glass, I will have a small amount with my cereal but I usually have eggs or toast. I find that if I have yogurt in the morning, it is fine but if I have it later in the day, I either get a headache or upset stomach. I have experimented over the years and I have cheese on occasion but even though I love cheese, it’s not my first choice. I have food that has dairy in it with no problem (must be because it is cooked) but like I said I don’t usually drink a glass of milk. It’s just a way of life and it’s no big deal, I think my mom freaked out about it more than I did. I was the only one with the milk allergy in my family of 3 sisters. Just a view from an old milk allergy sufferer.
Thanks for sharing that. I am really enjoying hearing everyone’s thoughts!
My daughter also has dairy issues. She is not totally lactose intolerant, but has to be careful the quantity she eats. Something she discovered was that she could handle butter, yogurt, and higher fat milk the best. Hard cheeses were better than soft cheeses too.
My husband is the same way with dairy. We learned that the longer milk products age, the easier they are for him to digest. So yogurt and cheese are easier than milk and ice cream. He went for a long time without eating ice cream and drinking milk. Now he seems to be able to tolerate them better in limited quantities.
The loss in volume in your fat cells says a lot. Cheese is very high in cholesterol. My brother-n-law is relatively thin and is vegan. He was shocked when he found out he has high cholesterol and needs to take cholesterol meds for the rest of his life. He and his wife thought that cholesterol come only from meats and didn’t realize it’s in all animal products. So, they consumed a lot of cheese to get the protein they needed.
I never drink milk because it gives me terrible stomach pains, but I do eat a lot of dairy. Cheese, greek yogurt, cottage cheese, ice cream…the list goes on and on. Those never bother my stomach.
PS I’ll be making your mexican rice recipe tonight. Thanks for posting it!
I hope you enjoy it!
For my children’s asthma I also had to go egg free. This can get tricky when you go sulfite, gluten egg, dairy, soy free but it got everyone’s health, stomach and asthma back under control. All those food additives are bad for sensitive people.
Jen @ Happy Little Homemaker
Because I don’t process dairy well myself, I can’t eat it when I’m nursing. It does something to my milk (extra thick or something) and my babies end up with bellyaches & seaweed poops. I also get plugged ducts more frequently. Since I am on baby #3 with this problem, I’ve given up all dairy except butter & buttermilk, which don’t seem to cause problems.
Add that to the reduction of most carbs because I just don’t feel that great when I eat them, and I’m down to 2 sizes smaller than when I had my first. I really don’t feel much of a desire to add milk back in, ya know ;).
Thanks for posting this! I really think that removal of dairy is the primary cause of my weight loss and I’ve noticed the butter/buttermilk being okay when the rest isn’t as well. I have a low stomach acid issue and take a digestive enzyme from my chiro. If diet doesn’t improve it, that might be something to look into, too.
Have a fab week!