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Casein Questions
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14 posts in this topic

So it's only been four days for me without dairy. And a long, long four days it's been.

On the plus side, I definately don't feel like a huge bloated whale all the time. So that's been nice!

But. I have hope. And I know I have willpower. The only problem is that whenever I messed up on cooking I'd just put cheese on top of it as a sort of "deliciousness bandaid." Guess I can't do that anymore.

So a few questions about casein:

Does anyone know if synthroid has casein in it?

What about NatureMade supplements (specifically daily multivitamin and magnesium)?

Should I be taking an additional calcium supplement now that I am cutting our dairy?

Is there such a thing as a casein-free sour cream? (Chili season is knocking at the door!)

What kind of milk do you use - I have browsed but not bought, as I'm hesitant. Can you cook the same way with rice or soy milk as you do with regular milk?(i.e. cream of ** soups, etc...)

If it doesn't say milk on the label, does that mean it's okay? Or are there other red flags I should be looking for?

What kinds of cheese CAN I have? I know there's stuff out there. I'm just not exactly sure what it is.

That's all I can think of right now.

Thanks! You guys are the best.

-Courtney

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Courtney,

For milk, you need to experiment and see what you like. You'll probably like a variety. I use almond milk and Vance's Dari-Free.

I do take a calcium supplement, but Vance's has the same calcium as milk (I think).

I believe that the allergy laws make it so that all you have to do is see if it contains milk. Even the "non-dairy" products now say "contains milk" :wacko:

There is life after dairy ... but I still fantacize about triple organic lattes!

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Does anyone know if synthroid has casein in it?

Sorry, don't know about that one. Two things you should do: Google for the "prescribing information for synthroid" and read the top section that tells you about it's active ingredient and is closely followed by the paragraph about the inactive ingredients (fillers and carriers), or call the company and ask. It seems that pharmacists, though they should know, hardly ever do.

What about NatureMade supplements (specifically daily multivitamin and magnesium)?

I don't know about these specifically, though they do often say "does not contain dairy". Do check the label. Always check the label. Every time you buy it, check the label. For everything you buy, check the label. For each thing you can't have, check the label. Did I mention, don't forget to check the label? :lol: You can also call them to get a list of what things they have that are gluten and dairy free.

Should I be taking an additional calcium supplement now that I am cutting our dairy?

Almost every mainstream western doctor will say "absolutely". The answer, however, is more complex than that. If your concern is bone density, then maintaining a positive calcium balance is not best done with dairy (and I say that *not* being on the anti-dairy wagon :P ), but rather with readily absorbed calcium from a variety of foods, which requires learning enough about nutrition to know what foods are going to give you readily absorbed calcium and which foods are not going to block it (the whole spinach thing). Additionally, high levels of calcium are sort of a moot point without plenty of weight bearing exercise (walking isn't really great but is better than swimming, for instance, if you can't do running) to signal the bones to do more bone creation than destruction. Not to mention making sure to have plenty of supplementary vitamins and minerals (like D, magnesium (preferably in a 1:2 ratio with calcium), and even zinc) so that the body can build bone efficiently. Studies have suggested that magnesium is more important for celiacs than calcium - even those who already have osteoporosis.

Is there such a thing as a casein-free sour cream? (Chili season is knocking at the door!)

Yes, but it's made out of soy and does taste a little different. You probably wouldn't notice it in chili though. There are three I've tried - one from Trader Joe's, one from Whole Soy, and one from Tofutti. Actually, I like Tofutti's the least!

What kind of milk do you use - I have browsed but not bought, as I'm hesitant. Can you cook the same way with rice or soy milk as you do with regular milk?(i.e. cream of ** soups, etc...)

I use one of the following for various things: unsweetened Silk soy milk, Pacific Breeze almond milk, Trader Joe's rice milk, or Eden's Rice and Soy blend. I use the former for cereals and savory cooking or smoothies, as it's not sweet and has a high protein content. :) I use the second two for baking or sweet cooking or some beverages, though it's almost always the almond milk. I use the last one on camping trips since it comes in small aesceptic packages and tastes good. :) I would say that, no, you can't *just* use it the same way you can use milk. It's close. But you need to learn what your taste buds will accept in substitution. In most things, you can make a reasonable sub, but the fake milks are different, and aren't going to work the same way all the time. It may take some experimenting. You'll almost certainly find something that works (for instance, it took a time or two, but I found that what I liked best to replace condensed milk was cooking down almond milk, not using soy).

If it doesn't say milk on the label, does that mean it's okay? Or are there other red flags I should be looking for?

There are lots of other things to look for - casein, sodium/potasium/magnesium caseinate, whey (technically a different milk protein, but could *easily* be contaminated by casein), curds, lactalbumin, lactose (technically the milk sugar, but also could be contaminated - I actually don't tend to worry about this one in medications, though I'm casein free as well, though I'll avoid it in other things). With the new labeling laws it *should* say milk, but it's good to be on the lookout anyway. :)

What kinds of cheese CAN I have? I know there's stuff out there. I'm just not exactly sure what it is.

There's not a lot out there. There's something by Follow Your Heart that's supposed to melt alright, and Chreese, that's a powder. I believe that Tofutti makes a casein free cheese as well. But most of them are tricky to find. :) And none of them come close to tasting like real cheese, because it's the casein that makes it have that wonderful texture. I know, it's sad. :(

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Almost every mainstream western doctor will say "absolutely". The answer, however, is more complex than that. If your concern is bone density, then maintaining a positive calcium balance is not best done with dairy (and I say that *not* being on the anti-dairy wagon :P ), but rather with readily absorbed calcium from a variety of foods, which requires learning enough about nutrition to know what foods are going to give you readily absorbed calcium and which foods are not going to block it (the whole spinach thing). Additionally, high levels of calcium are sort of a moot point without plenty of weight bearing exercise (walking isn't really great but is better than swimming, for instance, if you can't do running) to signal the bones to do more bone creation than destruction. Not to mention making sure to have plenty of supplementary vitamins and minerals (like D, magnesium (preferably in a 1:2 ratio with calcium), and even zinc) so that the body can build bone efficiently. Studies have suggested that magnesium is more important for celiacs than calcium - even those who already have osteoporosis.

Excellent answer, and I agree completely. Another antagonist to calcium in the bones is chronic stress .... I'm learning that one the hard way ...

You can be getting enough dietary calcium, but if you're under a lot of stress and not getting the mineral balance Tiffany mentioned, you still will not place the calcium in your bones.

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There is a company called Galaxy Nutritional Foods that makes gluten-free cheeses in both soy-free and casein-free, as well as other varieties. Their casein-free products appear to be lactose free as well, and include mozzarella, sour cream, cream cheese, and a few other things. All the cheese substitutes I've found thus far either have soy or casein, and these are no exception. Check out their casein-free line here: http://www.galaxyfoods.com/ourbrands/usa/vegan.asp

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Thanks all!

I'm really still trying to wrap my head around all this and am at a loss for what to eat.

My boyfriend just asked me if he could eat the pizza in the freezer since I won't ever be able to. :(

I told him he HAD to eat the pizza in the freezer, but four days into my dairy free adventures when I'm still debating about what I could possibly eat for dinner...not the best time.

I need to do some serious shopping for casein-free stuff. I'm assuming that it's similar to gluten in that until you eliminate ALL casein, you'll still be feeling effects?

Argh. And dinner tonite? Oh, no! Worse yet. Lunch tomorrow. I'll be at work all day long...

-Courtney

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I know it is hard at first to get off casein. But it does get easier! You'll stop missing/mourning those foods and move onto new one. Hang in there!

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I've found avoiding casein a snap compared to gluten. I did miss the cheese at first, and still do a little. But I know there's the soy stuff which I think I'll be fine with once I know my gut is better prepared. Right now I'm just trying to give it as easy a time as I can to quicken the healing process. The way I see it, the quicker it heals, the sooner I can start adding back more of the things I miss (as long as it's gluten-free!).

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Uuuuuuuuch. I just got back from our sorry excuse for a health food store.

Turtle, we really are gonna need to road trip up to Charlotte some time soon!

I felt very much like the first few times I attempted to go shopping for gluten-free foods...like I wanted to break down and cry in the middle of the aisles! :(

Oddly enough, this is at least a littel bit comforting. Because I know I'll get better at it. And used to it.

Plus I did some more google-research and found a few web pages with Gluten-free Casein-free recipes. One just had CF recipes and I couldn't believe how worthless it seemed!!

anyways. Thanks to all for your support!

Courtney

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I just wanted to give another hint for a creamier type milk substitute I use coconut milk... it comes with more or less fat, the fattier kind I like as a substitute for cream in desserts. Like I cut up some fruit and pour coconut cream on top for an easy dessert.

On my avatar, the little bowl is actually red currant soup with some coconut cream on top...:)

Pauliina

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I just wanted to give another hint for a creamier type milk substitute I use coconut milk... it comes with more or less fat, the fattier kind I like as a substitute for cream in desserts. Like I cut up some fruit and pour coconut cream on top for an easy dessert.

On my avatar, the little bowl is actually red currant soup with some coconut cream on top...:)

Pauliina

Yum! Thanks, Paulina. I made Thai food tonite and used coconut milk in the peanut sauce. One of my favorites. I hadn't thought of using it elsewhere, though. So many good ideas out there.

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Yum! Thanks, Paulina. I made Thai food tonite and used coconut milk in the peanut sauce. One of my favorites. I hadn't thought of using it elsewhere, though. So many good ideas out there.

I actually look to SE Asia for inspiration on cooking without wheat or dairy. Good thing I love Thai food!

There's a great web site that might help you out: importfood.com Lots of great Thai recipes and ingredients.

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I actually look to SE Asia for inspiration on cooking without wheat or dairy. Good thing I love Thai food!

There's a great web site that might help you out: importfood.com Lots of great Thai recipes and ingredients.

Thank you, thank you, Nancy! Luckily, I also love Thai Food. It is fast becoming a staple now that dairy is ruled out and that was my favorite part of mexican. (mmm...sour cream.....)

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I've been casein free for about 10 years. I did a challenge a few months ago with goat cheese to see if I might be able to tolerate something again. During that time, I had no idea what to do with the cheese! I seriously had NO idea what to put it on or how to cook with it. I was at a total loss. All I could think to do was eat little chunks of it. Turned out I definitely could not tolerate the stuff, but I just thought I'd let you know you'll adapt to life without cheese (and it won't take ten years). I forget what I ever even needed it for in the first place. Good luck :)

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