Sunday, June 24, 2012

Don't say it!

You know how if you say something like, "I can't live without cheese!" you're supposed to immediately knock on wood so you don't jinx yourself?  Yeah, I shoulda done that.

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!


D said...

I am so sad for you right now! It's a toss up between cheese and potatoes on what I feel that I would not be able to live without, but I certainly can feel your pain!!

heavy hedonist said...

I stopped drinking regular milk (never liked it much) over 2 years ago, have been winding down the cheese and such, but I haven't found a good sub for my half-n-half, and my morning coffee is one of the great pleasures of my life. The coconut creamer I'd had high hopes for was a fail for just the same reasons you mention-- not the right fat content for mouthfeel.

Of course, it takes time to get used to, but after one container full, I still hated it. We'll let eahc other know when a good sub happens, okay? Please???

Peace, Mari

CarreyB said...

I am also sad for you. I told Rose I might send you a condolence card - I'm So Very Sorry That you won't know the amazingness of warm baked brie for a while.
(Condolence cards for food allergies is an idea I've been kicking around for years.)

So, if you don't like the coconut creamer that I keep around the house, there is another alternative I have found, but it has 2 drawbacks - you have to make it, and I always have to use kind of a lot to get my coffee right. You don't have the sugar hang-ups I have when I'm being super strict, so you could just add a little sugar, or maple syrup would be good too.

Here's the link:

It's what I make when I can't handle black coffee anymore on a Whole30. Adding cocoa powder and cinnamon to this is awesome!

Love you, and it's not forever!

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