Have you ever had a relationship with someone who doesn’t treat you well, but you love them so much that you’re willing to take their abuse? Well, that’s the relationship I have with dairy.
Admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery.
I was 21 when my doctor pulled me into his office to talk to me about my little “problem”:
Doc: It would appear that you are lactose intolerant, Suzanne.
Me: What does that mean?
Doc: Blah blah blah… You need to remove all dairy products from your diet.
Doc: No, seriously. Dairy is not good for you. You’ve got to cut that shit out or you’re going to be sick all the time.
Needless to say, I didn’t take the news all that well. Dairy and I had been in a relationship since the time I was born (does a mother’s milk count?) Why would my body just suddenly reject it after all these years? There had to have been a mistake. I urged my doctor to look elsewhere, but he was positive that I was lactose intolerant and suggested that I immediately work to remove all dairy products from my diet.
Me: How about ice cream? Like what if I just have a small instead of a large?
Me: What about milk? I mean, a girl’s got to have milk in her cereal.
Doc: You can try soy.
Me: Uhhh… Right. What about cheese? A sandwich is never complete without cheese. What if I make it fat free or something?
Doc: Suzanne, cheese is bad for you. Milk is bad for you. Ice cream is especially bad for you. I urge you to remove all of this from your diet for your own health and well-being.
Me: Is there a pill or something you can give me?
Doc: There are over-the-counter solutions like Lactaid you can try, but the best solution is to just stop eating dairy.
That was probably ten years ago that I found out about and fought against my lactose intolerance. A decade has passed and I still haven’t learned a damn thing—except to always check my purse before I leave the house to make sure I have Lactaid on me.
I wish I could say that now that I’m much older and wiser I want to turn over a new leaf and really try to quit dairy. I mean, dairy quit being nice to me a long time ago, so it would only make sense, right? Meh. I just can’t do it. What I can do, however, is try my best to cut down on it as much as possible or find ways to trick myself into eating something non-dairy that tastes like dairy.
I can’t talk enough about how much I love pasta. Love, love, love me some pasta. The problem there is that I always feel the need to cover it in dairy. To be honest, the only reason I have the urge to do that is because canned tomato sauce from the store sucks real bad. When we’re out to eat I never ask for any cheese on of my pasta because the homemade sauce is always flavorful enough on its own.
Why then have I not started to make my own sauce if the stuff from Publix is so bad? Well, I’ll tell you why.
I guess I just assumed that to make your own sauce it would take hours of work and I’d rather spend that time reading or writing or playing with Charlie or watching TV. Is that so bad? I guess it kind of is when I’m choosing to pollute my body with unnecessary amounts of dairy rather than go the healthier route.
With that being said, I discovered this Go Dairy Free article on ways to create food that tastes creamy, but that is free of dairy and pretty good for you. The Creamy Roasted Tomato Vodka Sauce with Penne is the first of these recipes I’ve tried and it’s amazing! Whether you’re lactose intolerant or not, I urge you to give this recipe a try. This is the second time I’ve made it and it’s a hit with me, my boyfriend, and my stomach.