D is for Dairy (free)

Welcome to day 4. Hope you’re enjoying the AtoZ  Challenge. Today I’m going to chat about dairy, as recently things changed and now I can’t have much of it.

D is for Dairy Free

I was pootling along nicely with my low carb life. There had been some ups and downs, scale wise but in general I was doing well and happy with my progress. Then around the beginning of 2018 I noticed a change in my bathroom habits. I won’t go into detail, but after certain meals I would experience terrible pain in the southern hemisphere, and then with little warning would have to sprint like an Olympian to the loo.

It got to the stage where I stopped going for my long walks as I was worried about being caught short on the far side of the park. I thought maybe I was eating too many peanuts, or had gone overboard on the sprouts, so I just lived with it. Then other symptoms developed. I began to experience nausea in the mornings. I’ve never been pregnant, but if felt like what others described as morning sickness. It would only last for a few hours, and was usually gone by lunch time, then I would be ravenous.

On reflection, I remember having the nausea on and off over the years, but I’d always put it down to hormonal problems I’d been having.

It was only when incidents of a delicate nature *coughs* occurred while I was out for dinner, that I began to see a pattern. It seemed to be worse when I had melted cheese on something; a lot worse and it would come on very fast. I took myself to the doc who also suspected I had some issues with dairy and I went on a 2 week on, 2 week off dairy trial, for 8 weeks in all. The diary I kept pretty much proved the suspicions correct. After a meeting with a dietitian it was confirmed as lactose intolerance.

If you’re not familiar with the low carb life, you might not see the connection. Low carb goes with high fat intake. Taking cheese and cream etc out of my diet made things difficult for me. I totally lost focus, and losing focus for me means gaining pounds, which I did – about 10 lbs in a few months.

Sam at Low Carb Buddy was really helpful and gave me great advice about how to get healthy fats into my diet on limited dairy; recommending products such as coconut and olive oil, avocado and nuts. And there are plenty of dairy free options, which I used for the low carb mini cheesecakes. After a few weeks I was back on track and the best part is, I lost those extra pounds quite quickly.

I’m used to it now. Using dairy-free spreads and lactose-free milk in baking. And I can even have some low lactose cheese on occasion. I was worried that dairy free meant I could succeed in being low carb. But it is doable. 🙂