I always have New Year's resolutions. I realize some people do not like them, but I love the challenge of setting a goal even if I don't actually reach it. I would rather try and fail than not try at all.
In the past, I have tried to lose weight or read a book a month, this year I have a different resolution. This year, I am going 99% dairy free.
In April, my doctor suggested I try a dairy free diet for a couple of weeks. She suspected my health problems might be a dairy allergy. I thought she was crazy, but it turns out she was right! I am allergic to milk and all it's wonderful friends.
Now, I'm not lactose intolerant where it affects my stomach, I'm actually allergic to something in milk itself. When I drink milk, my bronchial tubes spasm and it feels like severe chest pain. One of the first times it happened was during the super bowl last year. I ate a buffalo chicken dip which had a lot of cream cheese in it. My chest started to hurt, and I assumed it was a form of heart burn. My solution was to drink two big glasses of milk. This turned out to be the worst think I could have done and it only made the problem worse. I didn't know what it was and I went to the emergency room with these chest pains. After some experimenting, I was able to figure out that I had the same reaction every time I drank a glass of milk.
It also affects my immune system. That is why the doctor's thought I may have lupus last year because the milk allergy messed up my auto immune system so badly.
I have taken milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, ice cream, and cream cheese completely out of my diet. I guess I would say I was 70% dairy free, but there are two last dairy products that I just can't seem to say goodbye to, cheese and butter. Cheese and butter are the glue that hold a meal together, the best friends of every southern cook, and I have had a tough time letting them go.
For my New Year's resolution I resolved to be 99% dairy free, and that includes butter and cheese. In case you are wondering what the 1% is, I'm not going to worry about foods where milk is an ingredient like bread or biscuits. Eventually, I will cut these out, but not right now.
I'm writing this blog post because I have a very weak will power about this, but it is so important to my health to do it. If you know me in real life and see me eating any dairy, I give you permission to tell me to stop. I will probably look at you mean, but I will thank you for the reminder later.
Just last week Shad and I had a conversation that went like this.
me: Let's just get a pizza tonight
me: Yeah pizza!
me: Crap. I forgot.
Shad: How do you forget that?
We seem to have that conversation about twice a week. Knocking out an entire food group has not been so easy. I forget about it all the time. I have just had a hard time adjusting to this new way of eating.
So in 2013 I say goodbye to my good friends cheese and butter, but hopefully I'll be saying hello to a healthy me.
Note: If resolutions are not your thing, check out "one little word." Basically, it's where you choose one word to represent your year. I don't do this at the start of the year. I do it at my birthday. Last year my one little word was "shine," and this year my one little word is "abundant." If resolutions aren't for you, check it out.