How I gave up dairy products

As a child, I enjoyed eating milk, cheese, and cream. These items became a source for discomfort over time. I would feel nauseated and pain if I ate just one ice cream cone. My doctor diagnosed me as lactose intolerant. This condition affects between 30 and 50 million Americans. I was devastated and thought I would have to completely change my diet.

I felt relieved after learning more about lactose intolerance. Although I couldn’t eat dairy products anymore, there were alternatives that could be used. They are similar in appearance, taste and texture. Additionally, I wouldn’t have to give up nutrients like calcium, protein, and vitamins A, D. Dairy-free alternatives provide many of these nutrients, but they don’t cause the same discomfort as their traditional counterparts.

Since then, I have added dairy alternatives such as lactose-free milk, cheese, cottage cheese, ice cream, and other dairy products. There are pints of ice cream in traditional flavors like vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and butter pecan, as well as exotic flavors like cookies and cream and butter pecan. Ice cream pops with organic chocolate are my favorite treat for hot summer days. I love the peanut butter flavor of dairy-free ice cream bars.

I love cooking and found dairy-free recipes for some of my favorite dishes. Jalapeno poppers, stuffed mushrooms, lasagna, chicken fajitas, and all my favorite baked treats are available to me. Substitutions are easy and can be purchased separately online if a recipe doesn’t include them.

My local health food shop opened up a new world of dairy-free products, including cheese blintzes and pizza. These were my two favorite foods before I was diagnosed with lactose intolerance. I can now enjoy a parlor-style pizza made with pan crust, tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and dairy-free mozzarella cheese. My body also benefits from eating foods such as these, which are cholesterol-free.

When I reflect on my eating habits, it is obvious that there have been very few changes. I still eat the same foods, but I make dairy-free substitutions. After trying out many different recipes, I came up with my own. I plan to compile them into a cookbook that will provide delicious options for those who live a dairy-free lifestyle.

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