Tuesday, 29 October 2013

A life lived without dairy is a life half lived

Much to my horror and dismay (and to my poor flatmates dispair) I recently thought that I'd become lactose intolerant. I may have been being a slight hypochondriac, but just the thought of having to restrict my cheese, ice-cream, butter (croissants!!!) intake seriously worried me. Being born in a  household where there's constantly at least three different types of cheeses in the fridge doesn't prepare you well for a life without lactose. Can you imagine...no more Messina ice-cream without some major discomfort afterwards. Oh the horror!!

Luckily, after a week of not eating dairy, finished by an evening of dairy overindulgence (pizza, chocolate milk, zonut and Messina ice-cream all under a doctors strict orders) I concluded that what I had was simply a bug and I was free from the worry of a life lived without dairy.

But my dairy free week did make me look closer at what was in what I ate. Did you know there was lactose in salt and vinegar chips? I didn't expect purely potatoes, salt and vinegar to be listed on the ingredients, but lactose...really? Surely manufacturers can find a way to cut unnecessary additives to our foods. Or perhaps I should just be opting for the more natural options out there. It may be a bit more expensive, but if I eat less but better quality won't that make me happier?

It also opened my eyes to all the people out there who don't eat one thing or another. I'm not talking about those who have genuine allergies, but those people who, for example, "vegetarian but eat fish". People, a fish is not a vegetable...which means if you eat fish you're NOT a vegetarian. Or what a colleague I worked with years ago described herself as: "rouge-carnivoreus-no-moreus". Can't you just say you don't eat red meat?? Is it just me, or are allergies and dietary restrictions just becoming trendy so everyone wants to be able to put a name to what just comes down to food preferences?

So my outtake from my dairy free week:

  • I know I can survive well with a lot less processed food than I currently eat
  • Living with less dairy in my diet actually makes me feel pretty good. Now I'm not saying I'll go dairy free, but having a long black instead of a cappuccino is actually a pretty good start to my day
  • People need to stop labelling their diets and just eat what they eat

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