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So, I am Lactose Intolerant

As long as I can remember, I had always had dairy, in my life. I would have milk in my cereal or breakfast, cheese on my sandwiches, and butter on my toast.

If I wasn’t putting it with or on top of something, I was baking it or mixing with whatever I made. I never thought much about it. I mean, isn’t that what dairy was for?

But, for years, I would get cramps, bloating, or just feel awful, many times after I would have any dairy. Now, it wouldn’t happen all the time, but when it did, oh my gosh… I really thought I was going to die or something. Now, when I was heavier, I just thought it was because I was overweight. But, once I got smaller, the pain got worse. A lot worse.

Now, I always blamed it on stress. I used to stress so much. So, I just would stress more from the pain. But, I found myself lowering my stress, and the pain wouldn’t budge. I actually forced myself to deal with it.

Then, my honey brought up being lactose intolerant. What?  No way!  I instantly thought. Does that mean something is wrong with me?

I then started to research the effects/symptoms you have when you experience being lactose intolerant.

Bloating (check), pain (check), burping (check), discomfort after eating (check, check, check).

So, I started making small changes.

I first started with almond milk, but still cooked with regular milk. For awhile, it was great. I started feeling better and enjoying not being in pain. But, I started cooking/baking more and slowly got out of the almond milk, then going back to whole milk.

Then it started all over again. I then started researching more, and realized I can’t do this pain anymore.

I then started researching about almond milk, soy milk, and coconut milk. I then realized, the more I researched, I realized I ate a lot of dairy. Not only do I put it in my baking and cooking, but I eat yogurt,cereal, and butter on a regular basis. With yogurt, that was one of my favorite snacks, but I would find myself feeling unbelievably stuffed for hours, which didn’t seem normal.

When I would eat cereal, I would be full all day, bloated, and burp for hours.  It really got embarrassing when you are working up patient or about to show an apartment. I also started to feel self conscious, I felt like I instantly would gain 10 pounds. I would hope the pain would end soon and what could I do to help it.

I realized I had a lot to change. I threw away all my yogurt, cooked all of the milk in recipes, and got rid of the butter. I honestly got scared. I am getting rid of all I know. I have embraced this new part of my life, but what do I do?

I then started researching my family tree and I found out that Germans (my father’s side) commonly have had trouble with dairy. This brought me comfort, because I felt closer to my ancestors.

So, to the grocery store I went. I bought almond milk, soy butter, and even soy cheese. Oh, was I nervous!

Instantly I could see a change. I could eat cereal and not be in pain, the butter still melted on my toast-and actually tasted good!- and the cheese was  perfect on my sandwiches. Now, they had a little bit difference in taste, but it turned out pretty good.

I also spoke with my brother Alex and mom and asked them do they experience pay after eating dairy. To my surprise, they did! They actually don’t drink milk that much because of it. I felt like I found the answers to my family that they didn’t know about themselves. I informed them of what I experienced and how the pain just got to be tooo much! They related in the pain and we all felt like some questions (feeling like no one had the same feeling) answered.

When it came to cooking, I replaced milk with almond milk (for us) and oh my. I loved the corn bread. The best I ever had, and with the pancakes it was still pretty good. Now, they aren’t as sweet and I’m still learning how to transfer some recipes to almond milk.

I actually had some organic butter I needed to use, so I put it in my cookies, thinking it shouldn’t effect me that much, since it’s only butter. Now, I hadn’t really had dairy in weeks and oh my gosh. My body wasn’t ready. Instantly, after I ate the cookie, cramps came, bloating came, and discomfort. All I wanted was a cookie, I didn’t sign up for all this pain!

When Walter came home, he smelled the cookies and he liked them. He then ate dinner and asked me why I didn’t want to eat…I told him I put the butter in the cookies and he knew I didn’t feel well. I tried the cookie one more time, just to hopefully proven me wrong. Nope, went to work just feeling horrible.

So, yes, I am Lactose Intolerant. Does this mean I am weird?  No, does it make me special? Well, we all our special. :) I have learned, it’s better to just accept things about yourself and enjoy your life instead of putting up with things just to make the world seem normal. I have learned so much about foods, through this, and even myself. Now, does that mean I won’t ever eat milk products, cook with them, or never buy them for my children? No, I will still cook with it time to time, for family, at parties, I will eat foods that had been prepared, and if my children (are like their daddy) they will drink milk up all the time. I will just have my almond milk to the side.

If you experience any pain during or after consuming dairy products, do your research, try something different. Almond is my favorite, hut some love coconut. I haven’t tried the  coconut milk, it seems tasty. Your body will thank you, and you can actually enjoy food again.

So, yes, I am Lactose Intolerant. Proud of it. :)

 

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