Saturday, November 10, 2007

dairy? no

I did not plan to blog about this topic. But, as it has consumed so much of my energy this week, I need to type. First, a little family food background. Youngest Daughter is a vegetarian. I am 95% vegetarian. I will eat fish to be polite. Youngest Son is probably lactose intolerant, he and the rest of the family are carnivores. Our daily food routine is a bit of a dance. I am pretty good at it. Then came Nutritionist.

Nutritionist was a speaker at Husband's work. One of his big topics was milk and how we should not be drinking it. He had all these facts and studies and common sense arguments. Husband brought home the information and Nutritionist's card. I listened and wondered how he got sucked into this conspiracy theory. The researcher in me could not just leave it at that. I talked to people who know, I read reports and studies. I researched my little heart out. In the end? We decided to give up milk. All dairy actually.

The most immediate and biggest plus has been for Youngest Son. In the past he would not drink milk, or eat cheese, or yogurt. A couple bites of ice cream or pudding and then he was done. I have spent a fair amount of time fretting about his diet. Since the switch to soy? He will eat a whole cup of pudding. "Ice cream" sandwiches are being gobbled down. It is truly amazing to watch his body tell him it is now OK to eat these things.

Going to the grocery store has become an outing. Not only do I have to find the new items on my list. I have to read the labels of every single brand to find the ones that do not contain MSG or one of its 100 code names. A 20 minute trip is now closer to an hour. I know that will change as I become more familiar with things. Right now it is a bit overwhelming.

Making the switch cooking wise has been pretty easy. We made some totally rocking cupcakes last night. Soy products stand in for dairy products with grace. The one thing I am having a hard time with? Cheese. I LOVE cheese. When I was diagnosing the MSG allergy I thought, as long as it was not popcorn, wine or cheese, I was good. I could do without the other things. Well, the daily bowl of popcorn is gone because the girls and their braces can not eat it and, I feel guilty if I am eating it. I have not yet found a good soy cheese. Even the one all the vegan blogs talk about, that is imported all the way from Scotland. Ick. That leaves me with wine. Eventually I will get over my cheese dependence. Until then...please keep my glass filled.

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