For the last several months, I’ve been weaning myself off of dairy products–milk, cheese, ice cream, butter–all of it! And I’ve felt tons better! (And I mean TONS!) For instance, normally, I have horrible seasonal allergies, and this year was supposed to the worst in three years for our region–but being off dairy, my body was able to fight the allergens and I only had to take an allergy pill about three times all season! On top of that, my stomach has felt better. I didn’t even realize I felt bad, but those couple of days that I would add it back in as a “test,” I definitely felt it. So, I have noticed a beneficial difference, and–as much as I can–I’m going to try to stay off of dairy for good.
I thought I would miss cooking with butter, but between olive oil and coconut oil, I really don’t miss that too much. I thought I would miss cheese, but I’ve noticed that I am enjoying the flavors of different fruits and vegetables and grains on their own without it. Having said that, the one thing I’ve missed the most is probably mac-n-cheese…but I only miss it when I see someone else eating it. So, I found this recipe that is pretty much like it but uses cauliflower, dijon, nutritional yeast and garlic for the flavor instead, and I used soy milk instead of milk. It’s not quite the same, but it’s enough the same that I don’t feel like I’m missing out…and it’s has quite a bit fewer calories than its original counterpart!
In the meantime, I’ve also had quite a few friends find out they are not only allergic to dairy but also allergic to gluten. So, rather than go to an allergist, I thought I’d run my own experiment. This month, I’m going to try to be dairy-free AND gluten-free, and see how it goes. Now, for the record, I have nothing against dairy or gluten or wheat, and I believe God gave us all things richly to enjoy! But, we also live in a fallen world–and that means our bodies have weaknesses, including allergies for some. Plus there is research that suggests the nutritional content of our food is significantly different from that of our Old Testament ancestors. Needless to say, I am one of those flawed, fallen creatures with a weakened body. No, I’m not sickly or anything. In fact, I’m pretty healthy, but I want to be as healthy as I can be and be a good steward with the body God’s given me–flawed as it may be. So, I’m trying to fuel it with the type of fuel it needs and runs best on (kind of like not putting gasoline in a Mercedes Benz when it needs diesel to run best).
One thing I’m learning is that having allergies doesn’t have to be a death sentence…or a death sentence to enjoying good food! I love pure, raw, unadulterated produce! As close to the earth as it can come! And I’m not sure I would have figured that out without experimenting with these foods apart from the common allergens. I’ve also learned that cooking for those with food allergies can be a means of hospitality and care for my brothers and sisters in Christ or as a means of showing love and grace to unbelievers I come in contact with.
So, I’m starting by compiling recipes! One list I came across that seems to have a good smattering of recipes in different categories like breakfast, breads, side dishes, desserts, etc., is from Gluten Free Goddess’s blog. It has quite an extensive assortment. Another thing I did was create a board on Pinterest for GF-DF (gluten-free, dairy-free). Feel free to follow it, as I’ll keep adding new recipes as I come across them.
And I found these helpful, snapshot, meal-planning ideas on Pinterest too:
Do you have a favorite gluten-free, dairy-free recipe? Share in the comments, please! And enjoy the journey!