Somewhere in my teens I noticed a sensitivity to dairy. It was nothing much, I just reduced the frequency and quantity I consumed. I used less milk on my cereal and reserved cheese for things like lasagna instead of eating it plain.
All that changed a few years ago. An episode of pneumonia required an inhaler, and instead of getting better, I was feeling more sick. Many inhalers use a source of dairy for its filler and I found out later the brand I was using was known for containing milk proteins. And apparently, inhaling milk protein is much worse than ingesting it. Who knew?
After that, I started having problems every time I had dairy products: not feeling well, difficulty breathing, headaches, dizziness, nausea, hives, brain fog. It got to a point where the slightest little bit of dairy in a product would trigger a reaction. Thus started a new life of learning to eat dairy-free. It is surprising where you find it, and what names it can be found under. Cross-contamination can be a real danger too!
So what does a foodie do when all of a sudden they can’t eat dairy? Learn a whole new method of cooking. Focus less on the things that require more substitutes, as there are multitudes of food that aren’t centered around dairy. Enjoy what you can eat instead of being stuck on what you can’t. When you have cravings, find a similar substitute and don’t worry that it doesn’t taste just like you remember it. It is all about attitude and choosing to enjoy the good of the moment (family, friends and a cozy atmosphere) because it isn’t really all about the food.