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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Lactose intolerance!*

*The title of this post should be read as Meg Ryan's voice in the movie French Kiss.

So it turns out I have developed an intolerance to lactose. This is highly inconvenient for me because many of my favorite foods involve milk or milk products. Coffee and tea -- staples of my diet -- are not complete without milk. Cereal, cheese, yogurt, and butter have been on my daily ingestion list for as long as I can remember.

Ever since I identified my unknown food intolerance as being linked to ingestion of milk products, I have been making an effort to reduce my milk consumption, but I find no day's meals complete without it. I have been taking lactase enzyme supplements to aid in my body's digestion of lactose, and they do help, but they do not completely solve my problem.

Yesterday I tried my very first soy latte. My first sip was a little off-putting. This was not what I expect my latte to taste like. It was sort of nutty and sweet and the texture was a little thicker than I am accustomed to. The taste of the soy milk was stronger than the taste of the espresso. But as I kept sipping, the taste began to grow on me, and by the end of the cup I may or may not have removed my lid so as to lick the frothy foam within. I can't really say I have made a practice of doing that with regular lattes. So in the end I think it may be an acceptable substitution. I hesitate to put soy milk on my cereal, though. It just doesn't seem right.

I have heard that lactose-free milk exists. I'm going to look for it, but I suspect it might be (a) hard to find and (b) prohibitively expensive. Things are always more expensive when they take stuff out, for some reason.

Meanwhile, I will be chomping on chalky enzyme tablets and trying to figure out what kinds of foods I can put into my food staples list that do not involve large amounts of lactose.

I need to find a good substitute for yogurt. I mean, I can't live without yogurt. I am just too passionate about it. It completes me.

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heidikins said...

Oh no!! No cheese and no yogurt sounds like my version of hell. Gaaaah!


Sra said...

Mine too. I have no intention of going without if I can manage it. Cheddar cheese, apparently, is rather low in lactose, and indeed I have not noticed a problem with it. Other cheeses are a different story. But if you take enzymes, you might be able to handle the yogurt and other cheeses. I am still trying to figure out just how intolerant I am and how much enzymes I need.

Sovknight said...

Oh no!  This cannot be!  Surely there is a fix for this.  I would die (die, I say!) if I could not have delicious milk and milk products in great quantity and on a daily basis.  I would rather be diabetic or something.  I hope you can find a workable solution to this.

I guess this means no more ice cream when you come to visit.  :(

Whitney Ross said...

Sra-Tree! You know I've been drinking soy milk for forever, but my new favorite thing is coconut milk on cereal. It is delicious! Buy a small carton and see how you like it. There is just a hint of delicious coconut flavor, really complements any cereal.
Happy eating.

Sra said...

Whit-face! Thanks for the Pro-Tip. I will give coconut milk a try. I hope you are well, my friend.

Sra said...

No, we will be getting ice cream, dammit.

Dena said...

I've never tried coconut milk, but vanilla almond milk is deeee-lish-shus!  In cerea and coffee. 

Sra said...

Good suggestion -- I will try that too. My biggest complaint about soy milk is that I notice its flavor in my coffee. It's not a bad flavor, I am just accustomed to drinking lattes that taste mainly of coffee and less of milk. I may have to start double shotting my beverages.

Tauni said...

We drink almond milk.  LOVE THE STUFF!  I was a huge dairy lover (ice cream, glass of milk whatever) and then my stomach and my daughters stomach decided that milk was not our friend.  We went from going through 3 gallons of a milk a week to not even finishing off one.  Then I switched us over to Almond milk.  I bake anything and everything with it (banana bread made with almond milk instead of milk or buttermilk is actually better tasting!).  I make homemade hot chocolate with it.  We have even made homemade ice cream with it and it was really good!  It took some time to get to a little bit of taste in the milk but I love it over cereal now too.  Almond milk also has a lot more calcium per serving than cow milk - making it that you don't miss out on that important nutrient for your body.  For the original (not vanilla flavored) milk it is only 60 calories per serving.  I can drink a glass of almond milk - something I can't do with soy! 

Now that I typed all this I am really hoping I didn't miss somewhere in here were you said you had nut allergies and couldn't drink almond milk - that would just be awkward!

Sra said...

 No nut allergies here! Actually, I've never had a problem with any food until this lactose thing came about and I'm pretty put out by it. I will certainly try the almond milk based on your recommendations. This week I found some lactose-free milk, and I like it. It's a little sweeter than regular milk: I guess they replace the extracted lactose with some other sugar, and perhaps they overdo it a bit. But eating it on cereal is almost the same, and I could drink a glass of it without wanting to vom. (While I can take soy milk in my latte, I don't like drinking it plain.) I also have tried some soy milk ice cream this week, but I don't really like it. Soy milk has a really burnt taste to me that doesn't go well in ice cream. But I have seen some coconut milk ice creams that I will try next. I guess it's nice to try new things but so far I haven't had a single day where I could completely avoid lactose, because milk products are in everything! Working on it, though.

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