Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Health - Eating Dairy Free

Given my recent tummy issues I have decided to make more of an effort to look after myself. There is no evidence that diet causes Inflammatory Bowel Disease, but once the condition is established attention to diet can help reduce symptoms and support healing. If there are changes in my diet that I can make that will improve my Crohn's symptoms, then I should be making them.

During a recent flare-up, I've found a low residue diet improved my symptoms.

Now that my symptoms are back under control, I've heard that following a lactose free diet should help longer term. I have to get 3 monthly Vitamin B12 injections; this indicates that my terminal ileum (end of the small intestine) is diseased as this is the only area of the gut that absorbs this vitamin. Lactose is digested in the terminal ileum, which we now know is diseased (this was also found during my most recent colonoscopy), so it follows then that avoiding dairy products should make me feel better. (Just want to stress at this point that I'm not a doctor, so if I'm talking nonsense then please let me know in the comments below).

However it's easier said than done. There is milk in soooo many food products... there's the obvious ones like yoghurt, cream, butter, milk chocolate, ice cream, custard... but there's also milk in certain crisps, soups, cakes...

There are a variety of alternative milks, like soya, oat, almond, hazelnut, coconut milk. There are also 'lactose-free' brands like Lactofree. Lactofree also have cheese, cream and yoghurts. I've tried almond milk before which was ok, but not great in tea. Today I had my first cuppa with Lactofree milk and it was better than the almond milk. It didn't taste the same as regular milk, but I'm just going to have to get used to it!!

Controlling what I eat in the house is much easier, but it's when I'm at work or eating out that it becomes problematic. I've certainly noticed more gluten-free, dairy-free options whilst out and about and I need to make better choices when it comes to ordering. Where possible I'm going to try and go wheat-free and dairy-free.

Here are my ideas so far... I'd really appreciate your suggestions if you follow a dairy-free diet.

Swap ice cream for sorbet (Ice Delight is dairy-free and gluten-free and tastes amazing!)

Swap milk chocolate digestives for Oreo cookies (Apparently there is cross contact with milk, but I don't think the biscuits themselves contain milk). Oreos aren't gluten-free but I have bought some gluten-free, dairy-free chocolate oatcakes to try as well.

Swap sandwiches for sushi or salad. I need to get organised with this one so that I have lunch options with me at work. Today was my day off and I had a gluten-free Warburtons sandwich thin with a mashed avocado on the top. It was pretty good!

Swap yoghurt for fruit jelly (I'm still not convinced by the dairy free yoghurts - I'll need to give them another try to see if they taste any better from when I last had one. Today I bought a coconut milk yoghurt from Wholefoods and I'll let you know how this is when I try it - it was super expensive so I hope it's good!!)

Swap mayonnaise for avocado or hummous (home made mayonnaise is dairy free)

Snack on almond nuts, dried fruit (I love Nakd cola flavour infused raisins and Bear Nibbles yoyos) instead of chocolate bars. Nakd also have nibbles that are gluten and diary-free - I liked the salted caramel ones... yum! Beyond Dark chocolate drops are also gluten and dairy-free plus delish!

Do you have any tips for going dairy-free that you care to share?

1 comment:

  1. Hello! Since I had my youngest I have had a dairy allergy so I understand how hard it can be to find dairy free stuff that is like the real thing. My top tips would be: for really good chocolate, Booja Booja is great. It's not cheap but very satisfying. For a great snack bar, try 9 Bar Indulge. Unsweetened soya milk is great in tea but curdles in coffee. If you're more of a coffee drinker I like coconut milk. Stay away from dairy free cheese, it's so disgustingly grim! Dairy free butter by Pure is good, but if using to bake with add a little oil to the cake batter to stop it getting dry. And biscuits - digestives are unfortunately out but choc chip Hob Nobs are surprisingly dairy free, as are Sainsburys own brand of Jaffa Cakes and Yum Yums too x


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