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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

How Going Dairy Free Saved My Life

For years I was constantly ill. I had digestive problems, was always constipated and felt tired most of the day.
A neighbour finally said to me why don’t you go for food allergy testing. I had never thought of that, nor had my doctor suggested it.
Well, what a surprise. I found out that I was allergic to dairy, wheat, yeast, eggs, corn, sugar, and soy. Years later, I also found out I was Celiac, which meant I had to avoid gluten in my diet as well.
What a learning curve it was. Most of the foods I ate on a daily basis were no longer an option. Morning cereal, toast and peanut butter, and sandwiches were gone. What the heck was I going to eat now?
First I did a little research online, then, I went to my local health food store, where they were so happy to help and give me suggestions as to what to eat. I wasn’t so sure I wanted to eat the foods they suggested, but I did buy a few, and with trial and error I was able to come up with tasty, alternatives to the foods I could no longer eat.
Dairy Free Options
I was amazed at all the dairy-free options that were available to me. Rice milk, flax milk, hemp milk, coconut milk, and almond milk were all products that I could use. It was simply a matter of trying them out and seeing which ones I liked. To my astonishment I liked all of them. Some worked better in baking and coconut milk became a favourite when I made smoothies for myself.
Eating Healthier
What started to happen was that I no longer ate food out of a box, can or package. I started to cook again and thoroughly enjoyed it. I made up a weekly menu plan for myself which helped me when I went grocery shopping and meant I wasn’t eating the same thing night after night. Fruits and vegetables became the bulk of my meals along with organic meats, nuts and seeds, and so I knew I was improving my health. I no longer felt bloated and ill most of the time and those very embarrassing, smelly toots were a thing of the past.
I soon learned that dairy was very acidic to the body and once I started to incorporate many more greens into my diet and help my body to be more alkaline, I noticed that my eczema started to improve as well. Keeping your body alkaline by eating more alkaline foods like kale, spinach, and avocadoes is a great way to ward off disease.
Dairy seemed to be the cause of many of my health issues and once I started to avoid it and change my diet it became clear that if I had stayed eating certain foods I might have become a very sick individual. Isn’t it amazing how you think some things are such a pain, but end up being a blessing?
Shirley Plant is the Author of Finally… Food I Can Eat, a dietary guide and cookbook for people with food allergies and dietary restrictions.
Through Delicious Alternatives she helps people come up with healthy, tasty menu plans that fit into their dietary needs.
twitter @sherrecipes
Facebook page Finally Food I Can Eat

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