People go dairy free for various reasons. I have a milk allergy and have been dairy free for almost 2 years now and when I was first advised by the doctor to cut out everything containing cows milk and lactose, I thought ‘well I don’t like milk so this won’t be that difficult.’ I was so wrong ; it has been hard and it still is hard. With an allergy if I accidentally have the smallest bit of milk, it can make me so poorly. I have created a list of things that they don’t tell you when you become dairy free:
Milk is in everything
Well not literally everything but almost everything, things that you wouldn’t even realise had milk in. Examples of things that have made me ill where I didn’t realise: cooked chicken from ASDA, pre-packaged salad and baked beans. Ok, so not all pre-packaged salads and baked beans contain milk but some do and therefore, you have to check the ingredients every time you go to eat something. It is also listed as many different things so you need to know what you are looking for. Companies are also known to change their ingredients and sometimes they can be good at putting ‘updated recipe’ on the packaging however, this is not always the case. Therefore, you do need to check the packet every time you buy a product.
I have also found that a lot of the veggie options in stores contain milk as a substitute for another product. I understand that Quorn do a vegan range which is perfect as most of their veggie stuff which I have looked at contains milk. I am not 100% veggie as I do still eat meat on occasions so I cannot complain too much. If I was a full veggie this would be very difficult.
Tablets contain milk
I can no longer be on the pill because in the UK we do not produce or sell a contraceptive pill which does not contain milk, which I think is a disgrace. Of course, there are other great alternatives for the pill but I still feel restricted in my options in this respect.
My consultant recently prescribed a medicine for my suspected IBS which contained milk, he later said that he knew this but wondered how much milk I can tolerate. Turns out I could not even tolerate this small amount of milk. It makes it worse that there is not a suitable alternative he can give me.
I understand that they have to coat the medicine in something, of course they do, but surely they could manufacture alternatives, especially with something so common as the pill.
No one seems to understand what dairy is
I cannot count the number of times that staff in restaurants have advised that a certain dish contains dairy when in fact it only contains eggs. I personally think that staff should have better training in this regarding if they are giving advice as to what you can and cannot eat. Often if you realise that it does only contain eggs and try to explain that this is not dairy it can be hard and uncomfortable.
It is expensive
Dairy free foods specifically marketed as such are becoming much more common in the UK now, which is great. However, these often come as at a price increase. It is often worth doing your research and looking at foods which is not marketed as being specifically dairy free but do not contain milk. These are often the cheaper version of brands i.e. garlic bread which is made with oil instead of garlic butter etc.
It is hard to eat out
I have done a whole post on tips when eating out, which you can find here. It is hard having to ask for advice on the menu at every place you go, especially when you are in a large group of people or with people who you don’t know that well.
Your teeth and nails become weak
I have had to have so many fillings since becoming dairy free which the dentist has put down to the lack of calcium in my diet and I only have to look at my nails and they snap in two. I have started having gel nails but if I have a gap in these then the nails still snap! I don’t think that the girl who does my nails can believe how often they snap. It is therefore, important to find good replacements for the calcium and make sure that you include them in your diet at all times.
What are your tips for dealing with a good allergy?
Love, Minnie x