My dairy-free journey – Part 5

So since last dairy-free journey post, this post is more a reflection on new things I have tried, as well as a reminder on something I had as a kid but forgot I could have now, as someone on a dairy-free journey.

Although I continue to write my posts as dairy-free, there have been times I allowed a bit of dairy in.
Those regular reading will know it might have been a pie, which the pastry contained milk. Another time was when I have had a chicken roast dinner, as it contained a scoop of mash and a Yorkshire pudding on my plate. At these times was when I was eating out, so allowing it in then is not often. But at home, I don’t allow. Having those items did not affect me. The only thing I don’t have when eating out with me finding it did, was when I was at a cafe and I had a chicken and mushroom pie. The creamy sauce making me feel like I needed to keep clearing my throat later.

I learnt that having Cadbury’s Original drinking chocolate that says “swirl into hot milk” and Tesco’s Coco Powder is ok for me. (Cadbury’s Original was what I drank as a kid.) There’re also ok for vegans, I read on a vegan website. They don’t label them vegan though, due to being handled on the same site where there are other products containing dairy are also produced. So I am now enjoying hot chocolate, using soya milk. There’s nothing like a comforting hot chocolate on a winters day. Although I like to drink it at other times too.
Although I had both a Tesco and Cadbury’s ones, I will stick with Tesco’s from now on, due to less sugar. I add honey to sweeten.
I also learnt that a supermarket brand Bourbon biscuits do not contain milk. In fact this particular brand I had was suitable for vegans. Now this surprised me because I expected them containing milk. I thought I picked up a pack once where some contained milk. But maybe I am wrong on this. So it’s nice to know. Although when younger, I wasn’t a complete fan on them. Now, I like them, but again, I am not crazy about them. So at least they will last in my biscuit tin. ūüėĀ

Discovered I like avocado, as I have blogged about in earlier posts, after accidentally having a feeling there was some on my plate, when eating out. I forgot to mention about leaving it off on this ocassion, because I once tried some at home and I did not like it. But I thought I had nothing to lose, so I tried it. I discovered I liked it and told a staff member who served me this, because they know from before I would usually request to leave that off. This inspired me to get my own avocado’s again and I looked up how to tell when ripe and ways to use one. I had my own first avocado on toast.
Lessons learnt after trying again, I now know when I tried the first time, that you always add something of flavour to it, because it’s bland on it’s own.
I also learnt that when I first would have tried one, that it wouldn’t have been ripe.
I’ve now had quite a few since.

I like just a few little things when it comes to coconut. But I am not a fan.

I do not like coconut, which I have been like this since a child. Bounty was my first memory of not liking. But I could eat Nice biscuits.

I tried Koko dairy-free yogurt last year, which does have coconut milk in it. So with liking this and one time liking a Costa iced type drink that also contained coconut, I thought maybe my tastebuds had changed. So I tried a dairy-free milk that contained coconut on my cereals. I discovered I did not like it. So I am not a 100% fan when it comes to coconut. I won’t be trying anything else containing coconut, than having what I already know that I like. So I have found where my limits lie.

I have tried Polenta. I made as instructions on packet, until I had the consistency of how I wanted it. I mixed some dry mixed herbs into it, at the start of cooking.
Once cooked, I added a small knob of dairy-free butter to it, before serving it on my plate, adding mushrooms and sweetcorn on top. I also grated a bit of dairy-free cheese on top, but I felt that was a bit too much, which afterwards, when reading online about it, I was reading how it can be too rich having it like that: butter and cheese. It made a quick meal though. But once my pack has gone whether I will buy anymore, I don’t know.
Have you ever tried Polenta? If so, how did you have yours?

So as you can see and as I found, just by going dairy-free, it encouraged me to try new foods again. 

I will carry on doing what I am doing, cutting out a majority of dairy-free products and using alternatives in their place, like soya.
When I am eating out and the aim will be to cut out dairy, but at times like say having a chicken roast dinner, I am not going to worry about a scoop of mash on my plate and a yorkshire pudding, because this isn’t going to be a regular weekly event anyway.

I am going to make this my last dairy-free post, but I hope what I have shared in today’s and past posts, that it has helped you in some way.
If I ever chat about dairy-free again, it will more likely be mentioned in a chit-chat post, with it just being a chat, than a long post on the subject. 

 

© Elizabeth Fisher and My Wellbeing and Learning Journey.

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My dairy-free journey – Part 4

November time, because of how I have been feeling, I wasn’t thinking when I chose a chicken roast dinner, whether anything on it would contain milk products, until the plate arrived in front of me. But I thought bugger this, I was looking forward to a roast dinner and I was just going to eat it. So the things I ate, that contained milk to some degree, was a small amount of mash potato and a Yorkshire pudding. I enjoyed it and it didn’t upset me.

Another time in November, I called into a cafe for a mid snack, so I asked for a fried egg on toast. The toast had butter on. I was fine with that. But having butter on, is not something I want to keep on regular doing.

And another occasion in the same month, I had a chicken and mushroom pie. That, I think did upset me a little, because as well as the pie containing a little milk, the sauce of the filling would have too. It would have been more likely the filling, than the pastry, I think to have upset me.

At home, I continued to have dairy-free. It was just when I was out, that I allowed it.

In future, when eating out, which I don’t do often, I may allow some milk products into my diet, like when I end up with a chicken roast dinner for example. (The mash was only equivalent if a small scoop, but had it been more, I would have left it.) But I will still avoid the obvious when eating out, like cheese and cream products and that chicken and mushroom pie. And I am not going to start having puddings, or cakes etc… containing milk.

Also, both at home and when out, I am not going to start drinking dairy milk, have yogurt, dairy chocolate, or have dairy icecream products because I know if I introduced them back in, I would start to have phlegm problems. The reason I started cutting out dairy in the first place. So I continue to stick with my alternatives when at home, or out, or I drink black and I only have dairy-free cheese and ice cream.

So although at this point I have allowed milk into my diet, I have still cut a majority of it out and I will continue to do that, or go back to completly cutting it out. I will never add more back in than that.

 

© Elizabeth Fisher and My Wellbeing and Learning Journey.

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My dairy-free journey – Part 3

So I am now 11 weeks into my dairy free journey.

In my early journey of reading up more on dairy-free, I was a little stunned to discover how some people thought eggs were dairy, when they are not. I have known this from a young age, that eggs are not dairy. I can’t imagine, how this confusion came about.
Even my mum asked a few weeks into my dairy-free journey, am I ok with eggs?

I have learnt not to assume that every sandwich will have dairy in it, just because most sandwiches I have checked in the past have.
I now keep an open mind and just check the ingredients, because I nearly avoided having a sandwich in Costa, until I checked and seen it was ok.

I have lost weight

I can’t put this 100% in going dairy-free that this resulted in me losing weight. But I it’s a possibility that some of my weight lost, is partly to do with it. I know other people have said going dairy-free, resulted in some weight loss. Being dairy-free has meant less puddings, or something sweet when eating out with it being limited. It’s a good thing I guess, not being easily available, compared to if I went back to dairy.
The other to do with my weight loss will be the stress I have had, as I am known to lose weight when stressed as I have been.

I have lost half a stone, as I write this and after weighing myself recently. So I am now 10 and a half stone.
The last time I weighed me was 13th July of this year, when I was 11 stone and I have been this weight for many years.

I am happy to see I am at 10 and a half stone. I just now need to check now and again that I don’t lose anymore, as I don’t want to go under 10 stone.
In my 20’s I used to be 10 stone, until it went to 10 and a half. Then I creeped up to 11. But no more than 11 stone, I have been in weight.

So my goal is to stick to 10 and a half stone. But if I lose anymore, then to make sure I don’t go under 10 stone.

No bloated looking tummy

The one thing I noticed within the first month of going dairy free, was that my stomach no longer looked bloated.

Eating out, I am getting used to and I am finding places to cater near me, but I still feel limited.
Nottingham area seems to have more choice, from what I have been reading and from one place I had a vegan breakfast at.

Eating in is certainly easier and stress free. I feel in control, because I have access to my food labels. So I know what’s in the item.

Vegan food and chocolate

Vegan food is the best choice for me when not trusting the menu, to be sure I am having no dairy.

Local supermarkets and a local health shop sell dairy-free chocolate. But now I wanted a little bit more of a variety and so I googled vegan chocolate and I was surprised with the results.
The page I mostly refferred back to was this one: “Viva!’s Top 20 Vegan Chocolate Treats.” I felt very excited after reading it, knowing there was more interesting chocolate out there and especially, the equivalent of some of my favourites.
From there, I visited Viva!’s own shop, to look at more of their chocolate.
I ordered two chocolates.
One was called “Jokerz.” This bar was an equivalent to a Snickers bar and it so did taste like a Snickers bar. I wasn’t disappointed.
And the other chocolate, which I also enjoyed, was the “ichoc supernut chocolate bar.”

I will certainly order from Viva! again, sometime in the future.

 

© Elizabeth Fisher and My Wellbeing and Learning Journey.

Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to My Wellbeing and Learning Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. But Guest Posts that feature on my blog are not allowed at all to be duplicated.

My dairy-free journey – Part 2

So in¬†My dairy-free journey ‚Äď Part 1, I talked about how I hit an area of confusion when it came to some labelling I noticed. I said I would talk about it further in my next post, so this post is just on that.

Just like in this link discussion, which will take you to Allergy Insight, it is shown how people cannot come to same agreement.
I doubt coming to the same  agreement will happen in my lifetime. But I would like to see it happen.

‘Dairy free’ is what I have known for years, as a label. I have known and trusted this term even before becoming dairy-free myself.

A new labelling I have come across is ‘milk free.’
I don’t know how long this has started being labelled on ‘Free From’ products, but I have only become recently aware of it, being dairy-free this time round. I am very cautious about this labelling and I have every reason to.

I wrote to two companies; one a well known supermarket and the other a manufacturer of a product I recently bought, but was hesitant to use, regardless it was suitable for vegans and because I just turned something else down at my mum’s that seamt ok looking at ingredients, but didn’t have faith in it, when it came to the pastry.

Supermarket’s reply to me was short. They did not answer all my questions because they did not answer a question I had on a particular product, in addition to their labelling. All they said was, “… products that are milk free are not always completely dairy free.

Our free from range is filled with dairy free and many other free from products, so always be sure to double check the ingredients.”

Where as the manufacturer of a couple of products I wanted to query, they were more helpful. They said “Milk-free and dairy-free do mean the same thing however this may differ on our packaging depending on what version is being used…

Whilst our chicken pies do not contain any dairy, they are produced at the same site as our quiche which does, which is why we do not make a dairy or milk free claim on them.

Our pastry is produced on a different line and as a result, is safe to be labelled milk free.

If any milk containing ingredients are used in our products then this will be clearly labelled in our ingredients deck…”

Now armed with the answers from both places I contacted, from this, for me, I know my choices. But you can see why there is still confusion about labelling on food products?
For me, as I don’t have an allergy with milk that it can harm me, I can relax. But can someone with a serious milk allergy relax with these replies?

 

© Elizabeth Fisher and My Wellbeing and Learning Journey.

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Tomato and broccoli quiche (dairy-free)

Here’s the recipe I found I don’t know where from and I adapted to make it dairy-free, to suit me.
This is my first dairy-free baking.

Ingredients:

110g broccoli cut into florettes
2 tomatoes cut into 12 slices
110g of dairy-free cheese – cheddar flavour
4 large eggs (or 5 medium eggs as I had on hand)
100mls of unsweetened soya milk
1 tbsp grated onion
Salt and pepper
Ready shortcrust pastry (or make your own)

Instructions:

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C.

Blanch the broccoli florettes in boiling water for 2 minutes then plunge into cold water and drain. (Sit florettes on kitchen paper, until being used.)

Grease a 20cm by 24cm dish, or 20cm round dish as I used. So you may find you will not need all the amount of ingredients, if using 20cm round dish.

Unroll pastry and place in your dish, pressing into the edges and trim off excess pastry with a knife.
Bake your pastry first using the ‘bake blind’ method.

After your pastry has been ‘baked blind’, put 3/4 of the cheese in the base of the pastry case.

Pat tomato slices dry and lay over the cheese, followed by the broccoli.
Top with cheese.

Whisk together the egg, soya milk, onion, salt and pepper and pour over the ingredients.

Bake on the middle shelf if the oven for 40-45 minutes, or 35-40 minutes if using a 20cm round dish.

Quiche will rise during cooking, but will settle down when out of the oven.

This was my quiche, in the two photos below.

 

 

© Elizabeth Fisher and My Wellbeing and Learning Journey.

Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to My Wellbeing and Learning Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. (But Guest Posts that feature on my blog are not allowed at all to be duplicated, as that is their copyright.)

My dairy-free journey – Part 1

Since early June, I have reduced my dairy intake.
I started cutting out milk and yogurt, using soya alternatives instead.
I also cut out, butter/margarine, ice-cream and dairy chocolate. Again, I used dairy-free alternatives to these.

From 20th July I became totally dairy-free and my challenge is to keep it that way.

I decided to cut dairy out of my life, because from reducing it in the past before, I have found the phlegm problem I can get at times at the back of my throat, to be nil. So I am completely cutting out dairy, for curiosity. This is going to continue way into next year and it will be more likely when my hayfever symptoms have finished, before I re-evaluate what I am going to do by then; whether I continue dairy free, or reduce it.

I hope you enjoy following me on this journey and I know there are a few of you that are dairy-free and have been doing it for much longer than me. I will look forward to your advice, or just chat on the topic.

I find eating in is much easier, than eating out. This is because:

  • I feel have more choice in what I want to eat.
  • I feel limited to food choices, or no choice when eating out.
  • I feel in control, knowing what is exactly in my food.

I only eat chicken for my meat, which is not often. Rest of the time, it’s either vegetarian, or vegan meals, or fish.
Now I am going dairy-free, I am aware that it has to be vegan food I concentrate on from now on, to make sure there are no traces of dairy in my diet, if I have any food from the supermarket ready-made, or if eating out. Otherwise, it’s cook my own meals from scratch.

Do you find eating in, is much better than eating out?

Although I generally have lots of foods I can trust, I did hit an area of confusion at one point. This involved with a new labelling I had not seen before, on the front of the box. I don’t know how long this labeling has been going on for, but it left me wondering if a couple of things I had from this section, possibly had dairy of some kind.
Emails to query on this, have been sent to a couple of places.
I will talk about that later in the next post.

 

© Elizabeth Fisher and My Wellbeing and Learning Journey.

Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to My Wellbeing and Learning Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. (But Guest Posts that feature on my blog are not allowed at all to be duplicated, as that is their copyright.)

My dairy-free journey and other posts – your views please

5th February 2016, was my first blog post and at that point in it’s first few months I would not have thought would I still be blogging now. But I have and I have many loyal readers and friends who have followed.
This blog was a refreshing change to my old blog I used to write and still is. Many of you have seen me grown. I started off with very difficult blog content in the early years. But it had to be difficult, for it to get better, as I approached difficult things from my past, to help me heal for my future.
My blog became therapeutic for me, as well as helping others along the way to not feel alone. I also felt not alone as  blog followers chatted with me here, sharing their experiences, or understanding.

In the years I have been blogging I have an idea, what you my readers like to read here, due to you commenting in posts and also how you like certain posts laid out. I much appreciate that and I hope you feel I took those onboard, as I continue to write.

I am going on a new journey of making dairy free more permanent. Since early June, I reduced my dairy more than previous before. From 20th July I became totally dairy-free and my challenge is to keep it that way.

I was going to chat about my dairy-free journey at times when writing chit-chat posts. But I think with recent events on the topic I have had, that this would be best in a topic on its own. Would you like me keeping this as a separate post of its own? 

On the subject of dairy-free. There will be a book review airing tomorrow, that I use.

Are there other posts you would like to see?

Thank you in advance.

 

© Elizabeth Fisher and My Wellbeing and Learning Journey.

Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to My Wellbeing and Learning Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. (But Guest Posts that feature on my blog are not allowed at all to be duplicated, as that is their copyright.)

Chit-chat July

So as you know, I took a blogging break. My mind was getting in a further mess of confusion. I felt overloaded, yet I wasn’t. I just couldn’t cope with how my brain was feeling of further confusion and, forgetfulness and my blog that started as therapy for me, when I first started writing this blog meant I just couldn’t be arsed to write and air what I was feeling, because it felt like too much work.
I was tired. I have been feeling tired for a long time as you know, as well as stressed. I wanted and needed to switch off. If I could have locked myself in a room for a week, or two without any form of contact, I would have done that.
It meant also not reading other people’s blogs, as well as avoiding mine. But at times, when I felt really good, I allowed myself to read the odd blog posts, liking theirs and maybe commenting. But I made sure my time was short.

So did my blogging break help?

Yes, surprisingly it did. I am still forgetful and I don’t expect this to improve, but feeling in general now to before, I feel much better, mentally. But I wasn’t expecting it to, with how I felt back then. This is my first post, since back from my blogging break.

I thank my kind readers and friends for their kind supportive comments, whether here on my blog, by email, or personally. 

Asthma

To top it off, which some of you will know already, my asthma has been very troublesome this year. It affected my sleep in the end, for nearly two weeks, because I was waking up through the night every 2 hours, or less. But the asthma (and cough) itself had been going on much longer than this, before it disrupted my sleep.
I was proper pissed off. If I wasn’t tired enough, I now had to face disruptive sleep, until asthma (cough) was more under control, as well as being pissed off and frustrated with my coughing and limits it was putting on me, because I wasn’t walking out to he extent I was before.

I have had asthma for years, but it’s never been an issue. So for the first time in all the years of having asthma, this year was the first year I can say it was a nuisance.
I have had one nurse appointment that led on to having a doctor’s appointment, as the nurse was concerned on a few things.
At this first doctor’s appointment, after examination and discussion, I was given a short course of steroids. I felt third day in on them that my chest felt lighter and by the fourth day, that night, I got my first decent nights sleep. But my cough was still a pain and gasping for breath with it. And I still wasn’t myself. I also started coughing up blood towards the weekend, so this led to me making a second appointment at my doctor’s.
At my second appointment, I was examined and we chatted. My examination shown, like at my first appointment that there were no sign of a chest infection, but because my cough was no better and because of the coughing up blood, he thought it might be worth having a short course of antibiotics. These antibiotics were a strong dose and I seen further improvement in the end. I just have the odd coughing bout now, which varies in extent, depending on weather and pollen.
I also had a chest x-ray, which turned out to be ok.

I am glad that my throat no longer feels like razor blades from coughing, but I am seeing if the rest may calm down on it’s own. If it doesn’t and I am not back to my full self, I shall go back, which if this is he case, I may have already done it by the time this post airs.

Dairy free

Before my cough got worse, I already decided I was cutting out milk and yogurt again, using soya alternatives instead.
I am also only going to have:

  • dairy free butter
  • dairy free ice-cream
  • diary free chocolate

The dairy free chocolate I find more satisfying. The bar lasts me much longer, as I only take a few pieces at a time, where a dairy bar of the same size, I will eat all in one go.

I did this again, because I know by cutting out milk and dairy yogurt alone, the phlegm is much less in the back of my throat, or not at all mostly, when I have done this before, when I have had the phlegm problem in the past. I am not cutting dairy out for any other reason, than this.

With the asthma being much worse, as already talked about than its ever been, the phlegm in my throat felt very bad, at my worst coughing. I can’t imagine how much worser it would have felt for me, had I not cut milk and dairy yogurt out at this point.

In the past, I have done it on a temporary scale for so many months, but the above I have done now, I am doing it more permanently. But going completely dairy-free in the long run, I don’t know yet. At the moment, the completely dairy-free way, I am definitely doing for the remainder of this year and into the New Year and re-evaluate from there as to whether I continue being dairy-free, or partly.
If I don’t have soya milk in my tea, I also drink it black and I will put a teaspoon of honey in my tea a couple times a day. This was something I learnt to like, when I felt I had to cut the milk out before. So no problems in doing it again. And I can drink coffee black.

As this post airs, it will be my first day of being completely diary-free, after slowly cutting dairy off.
I already know that it gets a little bit difficult, when it comes to eating out in some places, because I already know of two places in my local area, where I won’t be eating, now I choose to be dairy-free.
Do you find it the same?

The only hardest problem I felt for me, was giving up dairy cheese. Which is surprising to say, considering I don’t eat a cheese sandwich often. But that’s not saying I don’t like dairy-free cheese, because I do, as I have ate it before personally.
I have some in the fridge ready, for when I fancy a dairy-free cheese sandwich, or toastie

Do you have dairy-free cheese?

I found a very useful book from my local library, to help me on my dairy free journey. It’s called, “How to cook for food allergies,” by Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne. This book covers more than just dairy, so ideal if you have other food allergies. I bought a second-hand copy in the end, on eBay. I will talk about this book in a post of it’s own, a little later.

Are any of my readers diary free, in their diet?

Celebratory party

I went back to where I used to volunteer for their celebratory party. 35 years they have been serving the community.
It was first time they seen me since I left and when they knew I did not stay in the other job, they were quick to ask me back, if I wanted to come back. I told them that I may be in another job I am waiting to hear from, that’s possibly temp to permanent, so couldn’t say yet what I would be doing. But if it turned out it wasn’t happening, I would come back to help, until in another morning job. As long as they don’t give me another leaving due. We laughed on that and they said they wouldn’t. But if I wanted to come back, they certainly would have me.

Budget

So I may have only been in that morning cleaning job for a short time of not quite 2 weeks, but it was enough to know whether a second cleaning job would make all the difference to my budget.
I know that it doesn’t have to be 10 hours at least a week, as I first thought. I could take on a job of at least 8 hours a week and, with that and my other cleaning job, I would be able to live on it without struggling, as well as being able to save.

DVD’s watched

  • Cold Mountain
  • The General’s Daughter
  • The Stray, A True Dog Tale.
  • Replicas (staring Keanu Reeves)
  • (Re-watched) The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall
  • Life
  • Unbroken
  • (Re-watched) A Stitch in Time
  • (Re-watched) The Square Peg
  • Sherlock, series 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Books

I have not read any books for some time, other than the last book I need to get back into and continue reading; “The Highly Sensitive Person,” by Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D. So this month, I have read, “The Little Book of Bob – Life Lessons from a Street-wise cat,” by James Bowen, which I bought from The Works.
Then I read, “Hope Was Here,” by Joan Bauer, which I got from the library.

I look forward to seeing you back here and chatting with you. Again, thank you for your support 

There are plenty of posts scheduled here, which I hope you are looking forward to.
I hope to get back into joining in with “Fibbing Friday” and “Working on Us,” prompts too.

 

¬© Elizabeth Fisher and My Wellbeing and Learning Journey.

Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to My Wellbeing and Learning Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. (But Guest Posts that feature on my blog are not allowed at all to be duplicated, as that is their copyright.)