My totally amazing young son (who I breastfeed) is allergic to cow's milk. Which is the primary ingredient in my favorite food: cheese. Also, cheesecake, cheese dip, cheese fondue, baked brie, cheeseburgers, nachos, lasagna, eggplant (or anything else) parmesan, those little plates of cheese that come out with a wine flight, and every hors d'oeuvres on the planet (that's worth eating). I can do without ice cream. Seriously, I can! I've liked sherbet and sorbet better since I was 3 and got to pick my own flavor at the Baskin Robbins in the "old" mall in Kingsville. I always drifted away down to the left end of the little display case, to where the Orange Sherbet, Rainbow Sherbet, and Daiquiri Ice were kept. That was my favorite frozen stuff and it still is, Bluebell's Pecan Pralines 'n Cream notwithstanding.
So, when my wife was considering the Paleo and Primal diets, I urged her strongly to go with Primal. Why? Because of the CHEESE, of course! And every time we got into a conversation with someone about how and why she was eating a Primal diet, this would come up. And I'd loudly -- and likely melodramatically -- exclaim that I would absolutely DIE without cheese. As my friend pointed out tonight, when you say things like that, God quirks an eyebrow at you and says, "Really?" And then He laughs. Likely melodramatically.
Which brings us to how I totally screwed myself out of cheese for the near foreseeable future. Because a baby who is allergic to cow's milk is allergic typically to the proteins in it, which pass through breastmilk from mama to baby. So I'm off the cheese for a while, and all milk-derived products. The great news is that I'm friends with some awesome dairy-free eaters, and they've already turned me on to some great resources and substitutes that will make this transition as easy as can be. The hardest thing so far has been finding a non-dairy milk that will do as a coffee creamer. I'm totally unenthused about non-dairy processed creamers, like Coffee Mate, so I've been exploring the almond milk (fail), coconut milk (fail), flax milk (reasonable), and hemp milk (reasonable) alternatives. Oh, and I'm allergic to soy, so soy milk is Right Out. The problem with most of these milks as creamers is that they don't have the right pH and fat content to actually cream the coffee. The flax leaves an oil slick on the surface of the coffee but tastes good, the hemp milk is grainy and falls out of solution (albeit making beautiful spiral patterns) like miso soup does. I'm still searching for the perfect alternative coffee creamer, so if you know of one, please feel free to advise me!