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About To Go Dairy Free And Depressed As All Get Out About It
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I've been gluten-free for six months and potty time has dramatically decreased, but I'm still achy, depressed/anxious and having trouble sleeping.

I suspect from lifelong dairy cravings and having casein sensitive autism spectrum relatives that I'm also casein sensitive.

Gluten-free has been so easy for me because I love to cook and have easy access to gluten-free products. But dairy ...I'm about to cry typing this. I can drink cream straight and ate chunks of butter on peppermint sticks as a child. And cheese... :(

If anyone who is dairy-free can give me hope that yes, it was hard for you, but it truly made a difference, I would so appreciate it.

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Try going dairy free and see if it helps. I tried it myself, and it ended up not being my problem. After six months dairy-free, I added it back a few weeks ago and found it causes no symptoms.

If you get better -- GREAT! If not, keep looking as feeling this way is not normal.

I found dairy hard to give up, in many ways, harder than gluten. You can still find foods that you can enjoy ... but it is hard. It will be worth it in the end if you feel better.

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Hi Laurie (assuming that is your name from your screenname),

While not fun, going dairy-free is very do-able. I was dairy-free for almost two years. I used soy or rice butter, soy/rice/almond milk, made my own yogurt from soy/rice/almond milk, etc. Yes, it's easier to eat gluten-free if you also eat dairy, but it's really very adjustable. Kinnikinnick brand keeps dairy out of most of their products and they are SO good. You'll learn substitutions which work and those that don't.

If you need any suggestions, let me know!

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I've been gradually switching to nut/soy/gluten-free rice milks and went shopping last night for some other dairy replacements that taste pretty good, but they're not the real thing that I crave. The cravings are what worry me that casein sensitivity my issue. I'll get up and get dressed some sleepless nights late with no dairy in the house for a Wendy's Frosty run. My mom jokes that when I'm home visiting, she has to buy twice the milk that she and my dad usually drink.

I just read a post by a high functioning autistic guy on another board that doing a challenge after several weeks casein-free will let me know if it's casein I'm craving. He said drinking a couple of cups will cause spacey, neurological symptoms followed by increased fatigue and generalized feelings of ill health.

Thanks for the responses; I know I'll need your encouragement.

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The good news is...if dairy is your problem, the cravings will most likely go away as soon as you get all the casein out of your system. It WILL be worth it to you in the long run to give up dairy if casein is causing you problems. I speak from experience LOL

I also disagree that dairy is harder to give up than gluten. That wasn't the case for me anyway. Dairy seems to be less hidden in things than gluten, and since lactose intolerance is so widely recognized, nobody really cares if you don't drink milk (which is definitely not the case when it comes to gluten, as EVERYONE seems to care that I don't eat bread or drink beer LOL).

Oh and since you seem to be able to do soy, be sure to try Earth Balance if you haven't already. It's really just as good as real butter. Good luck :)

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I was pretty bummed about it too. But the cravings and desires disappear. I do have dairy on special occassions, like a few times a year, but I feel an awful lot better without it.

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While I found dairy-free harder than gluten-free, my brother-in-law gave me a new perspective: he did a short trial and thinks dairy free would be easier as he's used to it from having a bunch of vegan friends. It's a matter of what you're used to, which means you can adapt to it. It may take some time, but you can do it!

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I quit dairy a couple years ago. It was hard, especially since everyone talks about cheese like it is the be-all-end-all, and can't understand why you're so nuts as to not eat it.

A few things to keep in mind.

You'll miss creamy. The whole essence of creamy will be missing. This can be lessened by eating sweet potato or squash or potato with olive oil or walnut oil or toasted sesame oil.

If you're not a vegetarian, bacon fat seems to be the most like butter in consistency, so if you can use that for frying sometimes, that will help. If you are veggie, fry with the smallest amount of olive oil, then add some when you're done frying. It is healthier for one thing, but also sticks to the food better if it's not fried up.

I would personally stay away from soy. There is quite a bit of evidence that it has some health issues. Especially, though, the highly processed stuff should be avoided, like tofu, soy milk, textured soy protein, etc. Apparently fermented soy is better, but that has nothing to do with butter.

The drawback to this, is that there are no margarines/butter substitutes really that are solid, that don't contain soy. I keep looking, but they haven't invented it yet, at least not as is carried in my co-op. Earth Balance is a good one if you decide to go with soy. It melts and tastes roughly like butter. Spectrum spread tastes like butter, but doesn't melt and is a bit weird. Again, though, I now just use oils instead. Coconut oil is good for you (if you buy it unrefined and the like), and tastes good with some foods, but not all.

As to cereal, if you eat it, different ones are better with different milks. I used to be addicted to this one crispy rice cereal, but when I quit soy, it didn't taste right anymore -- rice milk just didn't do it justice. Coco puff type cereal tastes best with hazlenut milk. yum.

Good luck. I think you're doing the right thing. Dairy is just glue, for the most part, along with soy, wheat, and corn. You don't really want your system mucked up with glue, do you?

Take care and good luck. If I think of anythig else, I'll let you know.

Sherri

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I wanted to add that if you start to miss ice cream enough to want to break your bank account www.tomberlies.com is really really really good. Just about as good as the real thing. You can also look into some raw vegan dairy substitutes. You can make all sorts of really great creamy dips and deserts with things such as raw cashews and coconut.

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eLaurie,

Wow-I can symphathize with you. I think it is normal to feel what you are feeling---we all mourn food that we can't have, in some way or another. It is tough, but hopefully the results will be clear enough to make it worth it? There will be tough days, of course, but hopfully it will give you an answer.

Earlier this year, I was reacting to all foods except 8 (no joke). Some meats, chicken, some fish, brocolli, asparagus, bananas, water. That was it. Casein was one of the first things I eliminated. It was really hard for me...I cried and cried. And cried some more. It did help though-and was enough to cause me not to even think about cheating. I hope that it is the case for you.

Luckily, there are numerous companies out there that are gluten-free/cf. Enjoy Life is one of them and makes delicious chocolate chips.....they are heavenly and were the only thing that saved me for the first few weeks. (Then I discovered I was reacting to everything and had to stop----but, that is beside the point----they truly saved me!!!!) You might want to check them out!

Good luck....I'll be thinking of you. Let us know what happens....keep us updated.

Laura

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Hi Laurie (assuming that is your name from your screenname),

While not fun, going dairy-free is very do-able. I was dairy-free for almost two years. I used soy or rice butter, soy/rice/almond milk, made my own yogurt from soy/rice/almond milk, etc. Yes, it's easier to eat gluten-free if you also eat dairy, but it's really very adjustable. Kinnikinnick brand keeps dairy out of most of their products and they are SO good. You'll learn substitutions which work and those that don't.

If you need any suggestions, let me know!

How do you make rice butter and rice yogurt? I am allergic to dairy and soy.

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One the one hand, giving up dairy can be easier than gluten in that it

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How do you make rice butter and rice yogurt? I am allergic to dairy and soy.

I bought rice butter from the store (I don't recall the brand name... it was the same brand that makes "Rice Shreads"... but I think it might have casein in it which didn't bother me) and I made Rice yogurt using a homemade yogurt maker plus a gluten-free/df/sf starter (you'll have to search online for it).

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I bought rice butter from the store (I don't recall the brand name... it was the same brand that makes "Rice Shreads"... but I think it might have casein in it which didn't bother me) and I made Rice yogurt using a homemade yogurt maker plus a gluten-free/df/sf starter (you'll have to search online for it).

Thanks! I am allergic to casein. Sure wish someone would invent a butter, a cheese and a mayo without dairy, soy, almonds and eggs. Maybe it's asking too much. These allergies are the permanent protein kind. I miss dairy way more than gluten.

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Galaxy now makes a casein and soy free vegan rice-based cheese (Rice Vegan Slices):

http://www.galaxyfoods.com/ourbrands/newpr...s.asp#ricevegan

I found it at the Wild Oats by me (Hinsdale, IL). It's okay, but just isn't the same as the real thing. Guess I'll just get used to not having dairy in my life (I am also casein & soy intolerant in addition to the gluten).

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Continued thanks for the encouragement.

I am mourning this and understand that I'm right smack dab in the middle of the anger/depression stages of grief about restricting the favorite part of my diet. Heck, I'm a renal dietitian by profession and talk with my new dialysis pts about the stages of grief when teaching their restrictions, but understanding it and being in the midddle of feeling it are two different things. (And if anyone tells me at this point, I'll be a better dietitian down the road for going through this, I will not like you very much! This is undoubtably true but I'm extremely irritable at present and don't want to hear it!)

As I said, gluten free has been incredibly easy for me, though I am miffed that perfectly eliminating it hasn't made me the "new person" I've read it has others. The only thing I've really missed is Chik-fil-a chicken sandwiches. But dairy ranks fourth behind air, water, and sleep as an at least a perceived 'essential' for me.

At this point, I'm not going to consider eliminating soy, diary is so huge. Since my predominate issues have been psych (depression, anxiety, insomnia), even before diarrhea started in my late 20s, I'm making an educated guess that casein is part of the reason the psych things haven't improved gluten free. And I'm finding casein to be more pervasive than gluten as a food additive. How a product can be called "dairy free" and include casein is completley beyond me.

Thanks all for letting me rant. I can't remember who made the statement, "The best way out is always through", but I love the quote and am just going through unfun times right now.

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Rant away! It does help.

I'm dairy-free, too. And I miss cheese. However, AndreaB has posted some recipes for dairy/soy-free cheeses. I've tried one of the cheese sauces and it really did taste like cheddar cheese and was creamy. Here's the thread: cashew cheeses

I like almond milk (rice/soy milks don't taste good to me at all) - love it with those rice crispy cereals.

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For me, dairy has been harder to give up than gluten. I will cheat with butter and goat cheese sometimes, but wouldn't think of cheating with gluten. I have cheated so much over the holidays that I realized that I have to go back to strictly casein free too, so I can relate to your grieving. I can't have soy, so it's harder to find butter replacements.

Some things that I have found that make dairy-free a bit easier:

Coconut milk - you can make creamy curry dishes, fudge and many creamy white sauces with it.

Almond Breeze Chocolate flavored almond milk - warm it up and put in a few drops of peppermint extract and it makes delicious hot cocoa

Spectrum Organic Shortening - makes good pie crust and works as a replacement for butter in many recipes (you'll probably be able to use soy-based margarine, but wanted to add it anyway)

Sharon's Coconut (and other flavors) Sorbet - rich and creamy!

Good Karma Rice Cream - especially the carrot cake flavor. Vanilla is good in recipes where you mix things in or in banana splits.

I wish there was a really good cheese replacement, but none of them are quite right. It is true that your cravings will lessen, but cheese will probably always be a temptation.

I also wanted to add that I had amazing results going gluten-free, dairy-,egg- and soy-free. I know that just eliminating wheat/gluten would not have helped me nearly as much as giving up all the others. Dairy and soy both give me big problems (joint pain, skin problems, brain fog, etc.). It IS worth it to give it up if it helps. Some people are lucky and only have to go dairy-free for a few months - I hope that's the case with you.

Sorry this is getting so long, but I noticed that you said you're a renal dietician. I have Minimal Change Nephrotic Syndrome (or Minimal Change Disease) and have been controlling it with a gluten free diet. It's been in remission for almost 3 years now, since I discovered that gluten, not just wheat, was my problem. Can't get anyone else with MCD to try it, but would love to know if it would help someone else or if it's just me. (Maybe you just work with dialysis patients?)

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Perhaps if you do some reading about the problems with consuming dairy, beyond your own inability to assimilate it, you won't be as tempted.

To get you started:

http://www.vegsource.com/articles2/goldhammer_milk.htm

http://www.drmcdougall.com/med_hot_calcium.html

http://www.pcrm.org/health/veginfo/dairy.html

Dairy animals also live some pretty awful lives -- you might be able to motivate yourself that way.

There are alternatives for many dairy products to help with any feelings of deprivation. Of course, it is the rare soy cheese that tastes like the real thing. But after a while, your tastes change. If I happen to have real cheese now, it seems overly salty and greasy. I can only handle a tiny amount, say on a salad where there are lots of other ingredients and flavors. And I only do that once in a blue moon where I'm at a restaurant where I can't follow my diet completely so I have to make a choice among poisons. Cheese also smells bad to me now ... I have to hold my breath when I go past the cheese counter at the store.

I thought I could splurge and have a relative's prize cheesecake at Thanksgiving. Six and a half years of a heath-based vegan diet and I still felt so tempted. Ugh -- I suffered for two days after that stupidity. I guess I need to look at it as a learning experience. I don't think cheesecake is going to tempt me ever again :blink:

Good luck!

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There is no question that dairy is hard to give up. I don't miss milk, I don't miss ice cream, but cheese is the hardest. Casein is not the issue with me and dairy, but the fake cheeses don't cut it. How do you have pizza without cheese? Being Italian, I've had to give up a lot of the Italian dishes I used to make with cheese. I once had rice "sour cream" and it tasted like rice jello. Spare yourself the agony and don't bother with the dairy substitutes.

Having said that, ghee works quite nicely for many things in place of butter. Ghee is clarified butter and it tastes like butter too. It's basically all fat with all the milk solids removed. The milk solids have the proteins, like casein, that people are usually allergic to. Ghee can't be substituted for everything that butter calls for, especially in baked goods. I use a combination of ghee and Spectrum vegetable shortening (palm oil) for baking. For sauteeing, I use ghee instead of butter.

Coconut milk works well in soups to substitute for cream. DH can't tell the difference, and he is not one to give up his dairy! When I need a snack with some fat before bed, I take a couple of tablespoons of coconut milk. It's so good!

Yes, you'll have to go through the 5 stages of grief for cheese, I'm afraid. Eventually, you just get used to not eating it, but I could strangle the person at work who smells up the whole place with her onion bagel with cream cheese :angry: .

Welcome to the club that most of us didn't look to be members in :lol: !

Claire

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Some things that I have found that make dairy-free a bit easier:

Coconut milk - you can make creamy curry dishes, fudge and many creamy white sauces with it.

Almond Breeze Chocolate flavored almond milk - warm it up and put in a few drops of peppermint extract and it makes delicious hot cocoa

Just wanted to note for the benefit of the soy-free (like myself - ugh!) that Almond Breeze contains soy (Pacific brand almond milk is soy-free, however), and many coconut milks contain soy lecithin. (Of the ones I've checked, usually the "lite" ones are soy-free and the regular ones are not.)

I agree that dairy-free is harder than gluten-free, and soy-free is harder than both of them!

Jeanne

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Not having dairy was my first diagnosis 9 years ago, and I still find it hard, but when I found out that my bread and pastas where to be taken away...well it's just not right for an Italian. I am finding gluten harder to face than dairy. I had finally gotten used to Rice Dream in my cereal and even their yummy icecream, Until I read the label again and realized that there is BARLEY in it...which I found is on the no no list. when I need that cheese craving filled I go for a drizzle of goat/sheep feta or chevre cheese which is smooth and creamy.

However, I find that when I go to a local pizza parlor with family and friends, I just explain to the staff my situation. They let me bring my own pizza and bake it for me in their stone oven with foil on the bottom so it doesn't touch their surface. I use one of the store gluten-free pizza crust with a home made pine nut pesto sauce, chicken and a few small goat cheese slices. I find that if you include a few high quality fresh ingreadiants you dont realize you are eating "fake" pizza. I also do as above and make puddings and yummy green curry sauces from coconut milk. even my 6 year old likes my "

coconut concoctions"

But alas, sometimes I just cheat and realize I have eaten a piece of Tilamook sharp chedder and just deal with the bloat, headache, and pain later. My hardest time to not eat dairy/gluten is at a friends party or at work potlucks. It is a work in progress.

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Just wanted to note for the benefit of the soy-free (like myself - ugh!) that Almond Breeze contains soy (Pacific brand almond milk is soy-free, however), and many coconut milks contain soy lecithin. (Of the ones I've checked, usually the "lite" ones are soy-free and the regular ones are not.)

I agree that dairy-free is harder than gluten-free, and soy-free is harder than both of them!

Jeanne

I draw the line at avoiding soy lecithin. Even the Food Allergy and Anaphalactic Network consider it safe for people who are allergic. Obviously, it's an individual choice. I react badly to soy - joint pain and digestive issues, but have never reacted to soy lecithin.

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I draw the line at avoiding soy lecithin. Even the Food Allergy and Anaphalactic Network consider it safe for people who are allergic. Obviously, it's an individual choice. I react badly to soy - joint pain and digestive issues, but have never reacted to soy lecithin.

-sigh- I wish I could say the same, but even soy lecithin makes my hands break out in a rash. Not as badly as "full-fledged" soy, but enough that I notice.

Jeanne

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I just wanted to second, or third, the coconut milk recommendation.

One of my comfort foods is apple sauce with coconut milk. A thick creamy coconut milk with 18% fat... :)

Pauliina

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