What Living Dairy Free Is All About

In my early blogging days, I shared the story of how I came to realize I am allergic (or extremely intolerant) to dairy.  I also shared about the elimination diet that I feel saved my life.  I don’t know where I’d be right now if I hadn’t discovered my dairy allergy. I don’t even want to think about it. 

Eating Dairy Free

When I tell people I’m allergic to diary, I’m often met with pity.  Sad, downturned faces, and apologies are the norm.  What they don’t understand is that my dairy allergy isn’t the end, it is FREEDOM.  Freedom to live without pain, sickness and inconvenience.  Since my self diagnosis I’ve had a new lease on life! For all of you that are tempted to feel sorry those of us who can’t have dairy, reconsider. Let me tell you what living dairy free is all about.

1. Dairy free is not a death sentence.  It takes time, and yes some struggle, to adapt to a new way of eating but it is worth it. We eventually find substitutes for our favorite dairy free items.  Some things we may even like better than the dairy version, like pumpkin pie.

2. Dairy free means renewed health. When I ate dairy I was sick, and I didn’t know why. Continuous pain, indigestion, sudden violent sickness, middle of the night trips to the ER with no explanation.  No more. I’m healthy. I feel more normal now than ever.

3. Dairy free means freedom. My symptoms kept me from activities I wanted to enjoy. I never knew when I might suddenly be ill.  Long car rides and being in remote places (far from restrooms) made my heart palpitate. Now I’m free to do what I enjoy, when I want to enjoy it.

4. Dairy free means realizing our strength. There is one product for which I haven’t found a suitable replacement – cheese. Sometimes I miss it.  But mostly I don’t.  Before, I couldn’t imagine a world without milk, butter or cheese, but it’s lost its hold on me. I’m stronger than any craving.

5. Dairy free means understanding.  As a whole, we’ve lost touch with our bodies.  They are screaming at us – high blood pressure, heart attacks, diabetes – and we can’t understand what they’re saying. Being dairy free has caused me to listen more closely to my body and understand what it needs.

Going from a dairy to dairy free life isn’t always easy.  Raising a dairy free child can be a challenge at times. Bram is dairy free as well, so I understand.  But it is worth it!  You know that saying, nothing tastes as good as skinny feels?  Well, since experiencing renewed health, I say nothing tastes as good as dairy free feels!

8 thoughts on “What Living Dairy Free Is All About

  1. This is great. It’s amazing to me how much my dairy-free lifestyle pains other people. I have a lot of family members tell me “I’m praying that you can eat like normal again.” And I think? No, don’t pray that. I feel so healthy and energetic and good this way. I wouldn’t want it any other way. It did take a while for the cravings to go away, but now it’s so nice to feel good. I feel ya sister!!

    1. Thanks Debi! I totally agree. As far as things go, being dairy free isn’t so bad so I don’t need to be prayed out of it either 😉 Isn’t amazing what a simple diet change can do for our health??

  2. Debi,

    We just became dairy-free for our second son. As a result, I have a brand new 3 year old. Just blogged about it at growinggraciousguys.blogspot.com. So good to hear that we’re not alone!


  3. Thank you for this. I needed some encouragement. I had a dairy allergy diagnosis 2 months ago and my daughter has showed some similar signs so I took us both on this journey. But, hormone swings and illness have made it hard to stay strong and fight the cravings. I will do this! Today is a new day! Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels!

  4. Well said! I have some diet restrictions as well and I would much rather feel well than eat what my body doesn’t deal well with.

  5. I didn’t think I was allergic or intolerant until after I gave up dairy to nurse baby #2. When I tried milk again (ice cream specifically), I was SO sick. I do eat a little bit of cheese occasionally, but not without consequences.

  6. Pingback: | Cheryl Pitt

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