Featured, Healthy lifestyle

Dairy

In my late teens, I started with not being able to tolerate dairy and my stomach started to hurt and show signs of reflux or gurd (I always get them confused). I was told I was lactose intolerant by a doctor and to take the enzyme pills that aid in digesting dairy. They never seemed to work. So, many years ago, I gave up all dairy like cheese, yogurts, milk. I would eat them occasionally and just deal with the issues like stomach pain (and another issue that I don’t want to want to mention because it is just embarrassing and gross).

So, I am totally eliminating dairy from my diet! But, it’s in many processed foods like salad dressings, butter, desserts! Now what do I eat!!!! Instead of getting frustrated, I turned to one of the tools that my mother taught me and I really enjoy doing (and it’s not sewing this time). COOKING!

I had to change many of the recipes that I have been cooking and find alternatives to the wheat and dairy in my recipes. It was harder many years ago when I first started feeling sick because eliminating these foods from my diet was unheard of and not readily accepted.

So, here’s some of the substitutes for dairy that I am using:

  • Almond milk Unsweetened – can use in cooking or drink straight or in a smoothie
  • Coconut milk in a can – can also be used in cooking
  • Dairy free Cheese – American, cheddar, Ricotta, Cream Cheese, Parmesan Cheese…..so many choices!
  • Coconut Cream – (be careful that there’s no added sugar) I’m seeing that this can be used like whipped cream (yummy!).
  • Dairy Free yogurts – Kite Hill is a brand I like even though I cannot eat them any more due to the sugar (which I will talk about next time).

Back to cooking…….I love to cook and altering recipes to see what I can make. Today, I made Chia Pudding. I learned that Chia Seeds are really good for gut health, and the “pudding” made with it is easy to make and yummy! I have made it before and it reminds me of a tapioca pudding.

The recipe I followed had honey or maple syrup in it (which I cannot tolerate), so I altered it and here’s the recipe:

CHIA SEED PUDDING 2 servings

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 banana mashed
  • 1 tsp. orange zest
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

Mix all together in a pint size canning jar or other container. Place in refrigerator and let the chia seeds absorb the flavors overnight (or 6-8 hours). Enjoy!

As I’m typing this, there are so many other variations that I can think of and I’m going to try! Like Pumpkin spice chia pudding, lemon pudding, chocolate pudding! This is going to be fun! You’ll see the variations soon!

This is the Chia Seed Pudding I just made! I’ll tell you later how it is!!
This is the brand of dairy free cheese I like. It does not melt like normal cheese, but it tastes good to me.

Featured, Healthy lifestyle

Getting Healthy!

For a long time, I have been thinking about writing blogs on my getting healthy journey. Today is the day that I decided to start, and the inspiration is that there are other people out there struggling just like I am. Maybe I can make a difference in their life while changing mine.

A little history: I was following the “American diet” of high carbs, refined and processed foods, high sugar, large amounts of food. This lead me to a very unhealthy mind, body and soul. I have tried a lot of diets and paid good money with little or no results. I was feeling exhausted, depressed, anxiety was setting in, not able to concentrate, and no motivation to do anything including excecise. Doctors take one look at me with these symptoms and basically said: loose weight and exercise. I got to the point that I was giving up with myself.

Over the summer I discovered that a friend has been studying to be what she calls a “health coach”. I was excited to start and as always I pray that this time will make a difference. During our initial appointment, she taught me a ton! This is the stuff that I want to share with you as well as recipes that I have tried and adapted to my nutritional needs.

One of the biggest things I have learned is that life style change will happen slowly. It is not all at once and cold turkey. I found that I’m good for a while, then slip into bad habits for a few days, feel my old symptoms creeping in, and then I change back to the good habits. No beating up myself, this is just the process. The good habits will take time to get use to and I’m ok with that.

There’s a lot of basic foods I cannot eat: Gluten, Dairy, and Sugar are the main items. My stomach right now cannot tolerate any type of peppers, eggplant, or tomatoes. That may be for the time being while I’m healing.

When I was eating these foods, my digestive track (esophagus, stomach, intestines) would get all inflamed and cause problems like reflux for example. So, I’d go to the doctor and they told me to take a pill. Even though it stopped the symptoms, it was causing another issue in my body. This would eventually cause my body to not be able to absorb nutrients from the food I eat. Leading to other symptoms, more pills, higher strength of pills because I was not able to absorb them.

So, with Sharron’s help, I have been working through what foods my body needs to function. I will be explaining in my next blogs about my continued journey to health.

Have a great day!