Monday, January 12, 2009

Ever Had to Go Off Dairy?

When Gwen hit 2 weeks she also became extremely fussy... EXTREMELY. When we talked with her pediatrician, it was suggested we try going off dairy. I was feeling pretty deprived because, as we all know, holidays are filled with delicious foods that ALL contain dairy! I tried to be positive though. Perhaps this will be the only holiday season in which I DON'T gain 10 lbs from all the cheeseball, cookies, egg nog, etc. Well, Gwen's 'collick' got much better right around week 7-8 and by the time we were home from our Christmas vacation, she was doing so well... I thought, 'hey, why not see if she can tolerate a lil dairy now?' Just a lil dairy in a dessert, not even straight milk or cheese, and the next day I was regretting it because she bawled all day. Okay, so looks like I'll be off dairy for a lil while longer.

Do you know how many things contain dairy? Besides the obvious butter, cheese and icecream, so many delicious foods have dairy. Consider: pizza and lasagna are out, most latin-American cuisine is out because of cheese, the dairy in cheese and/or cream of 'whatever' soups pretty much makes most casserole dishes out of the question, since whipped cream is a no-no you can't have fruit salads, cheesecake is off limits, creamy salad dressings are out, many salads you would buy eating out have cheese on them, most cookies and sweet breads have dairy, no pudding, no chocolate, etc... plus many foods you WOULDN'T expect to have dairy do. For example: many breads, cereals, soups, even potato chips (can anyone explain why salt and vinegar chips need dairy?!?!) have a silent and unexpected dairy ingredient.

Well, I'm here to share with you some of my favorite 'non-dairy' alternatives. For any of you who ever have to do this, these things really help me to feel less deprived... and some are actually pretty tasty!

Tofutti cream cheese and sour cream. seriously, tastes just as good as the real thing! I eat the cream cheese every morning with a bagel and the sour cream has tasted delicious in stroganoff, on baked potatoes, and on fajitas. I love it!

Silk soy milk is good, but really any soy milk will do for cooking in general. It works in recipes same as milk. But I really like this VANILLA soy milk that Silk makes. I know some people have said it is too sweet, but I think it tastes great and love it on cereal. It is the only kind of soy milk I enjoy drinking straight.

Kashi Strawberry Fields cereal is the best dried strawberry/raspberry cereal I've ever had. Of course, you pay for it (definitely more expensive than Honey Bunches of Oats varieties, but those have dairy in them.). It is all organic, that is why it is so pricey, I guess.

Purely Decadent coconut milk ice cream... WOW!!! This stuff is AMAZING!!! I would eat it any day, except it is so much pricier than regular icecream. but it has lots of flavors and is so rich, you don't feel cheated at all!

Kraft vinaigrette salad dressings/marinades are so delicious! Definitely the way to go if you are going to avoid the creamy dressings. I love the variety of flavors. My favorites are: Asian Toasted Sesame, Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette, and Tangy Tomato Bacon. The BEST part about these dressings, besides the flavor, is how healthy they are! Only 5-6 grams of fat per 2 tablespoons which is less than the 8-9 grams of fat per serving in most other vinaigrettes! I would choose these dressings to be healthy any day! DELICIOUS!!!!

Well, there you have it. My non-dairy favorites. Maybe this will help one of you someday, but I hope you don't ever have to go there. Any body else have favorite foods for certain diet/allergy restrictions?


  1. Good for you sacrificing all those foods for a happy baby! Hopefully she will grow out of that intolerance and you don't have to forever be shelling out for the non-dairy items. Thanks for the suggestions though. I want to try that sun dried tomato viniagrette. Yum.

  2. You know it's funny I am having exactly the opposite situation. I am slightly lactose intolerant, but since I've been prego, milk doesn't bother me in the least. I know it's short lived, cause as soon as I deliver it's back to watching what I eat. Good luck to you! When you're done feeding, life will go back to normal, and I've heard most babies grow out of the intolerant stage.

  3. Elisa - you have found some amazing alternatives! I am lactose intolerant, so I knew a few - but you've introduced me to some new ones - thank you! I love Silk also, but if you are ever in the mood for some Rice Milk - the fresh/refridgerated Rice Milk at Trader Joe's is fantastic. I am SO glad that you figured out what to do to help Gwen, but just reeeeally sorry you had to miss out on all of the holiday treats. Good thing you like this little girl so much, eh:) We'll have to have a big dairy party when you are done breastfeeding!

  4. My sister-in-law -- Mark's wife -- can't eat dairy either & hasn't since she was 13. It's not easy! I'm glad you were able to find out how to make Gwen happier & good for you for sticking to it. I probably would have been selfish and just stopped nursing! I'm terrible that way.

  5. When I was nursing I had to give up ice cream because it made Sydney vomit, but I can't imagine giving up ALL dairy. Wow. (I wish I'd known about that ice cream you suggested, too... though not eating any ice cream wasn't a big deal.)

    My neighbor has celiac disease, and I had an interesting talk with her to see what she CAN eat since gluten seems to be in EVERYTHING. Eating hamburger on corn tortillas sounds fun, huh? Anyway, good luck with your diet. Isn't it great when you know how to help your baby?

  6. I am so sorry you have to give up dairy! But, like Shannon said, good for you to sacrifice like that for your baby! And remember, she won't be nursing forever, so it's only a short time really. It will be interesting to see what she can tolerate when she gets older and starts eating different foods!

  7. So that ice cream looks SOOOO yummy right now! Oh, the things we moms have to do...but they are SO WORTH IT! :) Hey, it might even a good thing she cant tolerate dairy now, cause some doctors link dairy intake to most ear infections. I LOVE the SOYMILK too. Have you ever tried ALMOND MILK? My mom is such a healthnut and made it for us growing up. I am also a Trader Joe's/organic eating fanatic so if I think of some other great alternatives I will let you know! Anyways, I think you are doing a terrific job as a new mother and love seeing your baby girl grow!

  8. I totally empathize! I can't have dairy at all, and haven't been able to for years and it stinks! I remember, when I first learned I couldn't have dairy any more, that any time someone even mentioned cheese or some other dairy product, that's all I could think about and I wanted it soooo bad! Going without dairy is a huge sacrifice to make for your baby, but be strong! The first milk shake you have after you're done nursing will be like heaven! (In my dreams, heaven is made of whip cream clouds and malt shops and Mexican restaurants with cheese enchiladas. . . Yum!)

  9. I went off dairy when Gorden was a baby. It was hard but totally worth it. I think after a couple of months or so I was able to introduce things back into my diet though, and it went well. Hopefully before long she'll be able to handle it a bit more. Good luck!

  10. Wow, I feel so bad for you, that would be so nearly impossible. I guess on the bright side, I'm sure you will most definitely lose your baby weight. I had a friend who had to do this... I don't think she made it breastfeeding very long! But I think that's great how many dairy-free yummy things you've found. I have another friend who has a disease and it's latest manifestation won't let her eat dairy so I will have to tell her about these.
    p.s. yes, enjoy your clean house while you can!! It didn't really get bad until I had two mobile ones though :)

  11. Oh my gosh! Eating no dairy looks expensive too! You are a trooper. And your nursery is so darling, you are so talented.