Thanks to Trader Joes, I found some good dairy substitutes. My favorite has to be my non-dairy butter. I thought I would miss cheese the most, but I did not realize how important butter is. My non-dairy butter really tastes good, and I use it every day cooking for my family.
During January, we ate out.....a lot. I just felt so overwhelmed. Dairy is in almost every casserole, Crock Pot meal, and Italian. If you take all those meals away, I had just a few meals left. Learning how to cook with dairy substitutes just overwhelmed me, and I was afraid if I cooked with regular dairy I would end up with my face buried in a cup of cheese unable to resist it's cheesy goodness.
When I shared my problem with Shad, he told me not to even try to make all the casseroles, crock pot meals, and Italian. He said they weren't his favorites so why bother.
Our plan was to start all over and to make our meals more simple with a meat, vegetable, and a grain. During February, I've been trying some simpler recipes, and I don't feel as overwhelmed anymore.
Yes, I have missed dairy, and yes, it's been difficult to redo how I cook, but the payoff has been big. Since going 100% dairy free, I have not had an asthma attack. I haven't even had a wheezy day! A wheezy day is not where I watch an all day Jefferson's marathon. No, a wheezy day was usually a cold and dreary day where I could not breathe very well. The temperature has gone all the way down into the teens, and I did not have any breathing troubles.
Brandon has been my dairy police. If I get close to any dairy at all, he reminds me, "Mommy you can't have dairy." Last year, he saw me very sick, and my breathing machine creeps him out. He gets nervous if I eat dairy because he knows I will get sick. I don't want to scare him so I stay far away.
Not having asthma attacks in the middle of winter has been absolutely amazing for me. A year ago, I sat in the pulmonary doctor's office, and asked him, "Who gets asthma at 30!?!" After a brief exam, he said it could happen and handed me three medicines to take every day for the rest of my life.
I'm still amazed that my problem could be fixed not by taking all those medicines, but by controlling my diet. I had just accepted the fact that I would struggle with breathing for the rest of my life, but for the first time in over a year, I have hope.