The challenge this week is to give up dairy.
Theoretically, this shouldn't be that difficult. I was vegan for several years when I was younger. I was lactose intolerant before then, but I didn't realize it until I became vegan. My husband can't eat diary because it causes eczema flareups.
However - I eat a lot of dairy these days. I don't drink milk, but I like cheese on my pizza, by itself, half-and-half in my coffee, ice cream, milk chocolate... I could go on and on.
But I've been having some stomach issues and I'm curious if diary is causing them, so I figure this is a good way to find out.
If you've never given up diary before, it helps to do some research, although modern food labels make it easier. Generally, you can read the line at the bottom that lists common allergens, and "milk" or "dairy" will show up there, if it's in the product. I still read ingredient lists even if milk isn't listed (usually on Eric's behalf), but you can save time by checking that statement first.
Casein and whey are components of dairy that you'll sometimes see in ingredient lists, so avoid those, as well as the more obvious milk, cheese and butter.
It's trickier dining out. Restaurants commonly butter buns before toasting them and sprinkle parmesan on appetizers before they hit the table. Steaks are often brushed with butter before they hit the table. Breading might contain dairy. Sauces based on mayonnaise sometimes contain sour cream or buttermilk. Pies might have butter in the crust. If you really want to avoid dairy, you'll have to ask a lot of questions, or order items that won't contain any of those things.
Since I'm still avoiding restaurants as much as possible as part of the 1% savings challenge, that part won't be too bad. I think my biggest challenge will be finding replacements for my comfort foods, such as pizza. It's been a long time since I was vegan and I've forgotten what foods used to work in that way!
But I can do it for a week, I'm sure. I might have to branch out and try new things, and that's usually a good experience. And maybe I'll solve the mystery of my stomach upset. We'll see!
Week 45: Diet - No Dairy