This week I finally sat down and made meal plans for the next several months. It’s not as involved as it sounds…First I write a list of weeks with blank space between each. Then I thumb through my cookbooks and find adventurous or easy or quick recipes. Then I choose a week to write the recipe name and page number under, trying to vary the recipes for each week by type and prep time. Then each week all I have to do is look up the recipes listed to make my grocery list, and I can swap and rearrange meals as needed.
So I had all of that done, and then this week June’s pediatrician suggested that I try cutting dairy from my diet to see if it helps with June’s weight and digestion. (As a breastfed baby, she receives some cow milk protein when I ingest dairy.) I was skeptical. I knew that the breastfeeding research shows that maternal diet is rarely the cause of digestion problems in infants, even though nursing moms often suspect that it is. However I also realized that June has all of the symptoms associated with that “rare case” of sensitivity to mom eating dairy. Plus Greg may have a dairy sensitivity himself, though he says determining that medically is moot because he won’t give up milk and cheese in any case. (Greg agreed to my sharing that info as long as I add the line: Greg is vehemently opposed to the suggestion that he’s sensitive to dairy, and he’s been eating dairy for years with “no*” adverse consequences. [emphasis Greg’s].)
So the possibility of a dairy sensitivity in June- even a cow milk allergy- seemed less far-fatched. “Hmm….I better give it a try,” I thought.
So I’ve embarked on an experimental dairy-free February. And I have found, unfortunately, that my usual diet is completely built on dairy. Looking over my recipe plan, I see enchilada chicken dip, spinach cheese soup, ham and Swiss chicken, cheesy hash brown casserole, Parmesan potatoes….. Plus I usually use cheese, yogurt, and milk throughout the day as a source of lean protein. And if I’m going to be thorough and also not eat anything with milk ingredients, oh dear… Baked goods, cereals, mocha drinks, chocolate…even my veggie “bacon” contains milk!
It’s been a day and a half and there were times I thought I was starving despite the fact that I had just consumed more grains and meat than I typically do in a week. It’s a big adjustment, but also an interesting challenge. At least I have easy access to vegan substitutes for milk, butter, and everything else. I need to pick some of those items up ASAP, and I think I’ll make it through ok.