Friday, June 10, 2016

Life without dairy

So, remember last month when I finished up my Whole 30 and blogged about how great I felt the entire time? 

Well, you also might recall my exciting find that my swelling issues were food related! I was convinced it was the whole grains - specifically the wheat - that I had eliminated.  I was so convinced that the first food I re-introduced was dairy. Simply to rule out my favorite food group and move on.

Well, I was completely wrong and found out fast.

Within a few days it was all whoa-nelly. It looked like someone was inflating one of those balloons they make animals out of at the fair in my legs. 

So, I dialed it back for 2 weeks....ankles and legs went back to 'normal'...added it back in...there they go again...

Dairy, you guys! Dairy!
I love dairy. But I love my body more. So I begin my quest towards a dairy-free diet. And it's not as easy as I thought.  I mean, dairy is everywhere!

All my favorites -- yogurt, cheese (cottage, cream, cheddar - all the cheeses!), taziki sauce, keifer, ice cream, whey  [OK so I don't eat it very often but ICE CREAM IS NOW A NO-NO!]

"So what?" you might think...but it's a little more complicated. Because it means no more pizza, omelets, parfaits, smoothies.......(luckily I found a dairy-free option I like). They are all out of bounds, plus more, even less obvious items (like pop chips...yup, whey powder there).

But, actually, it's not that bad either....
The good news is that because it's a common allergy and the FDA requires manufacturers to include allergen information on food labels it's easy to spot.

A whole piece of fruit or a veggie is probably the better choice for a morning snack than yogurt. Plus my old standby LARA bars do not contain dairy (whew!)

...and I'm thankful for it.
Lots of people deal with lots of allergies - of the "eat now, stop breathing" variety. While I might not love the aesthetics of the swollen extremities, it could have been worse. If I slip now and then it is most certainly NOT a life-threatening mistake.

Yes, my edema causes stiffness at times. It's certainly unattractive. But I found the cause, and it's as simple as eliminating something from my diet.

I don't have congestive heart failure, kidney disease or an inadequate lymphatic system. Those are the most common diseases associated with edema. 

So I choose to be thankful and healthy and wear lots and lots of skirts this summer.

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