10 for 2015 to Help You Eat Dairy Free
Having a food allergy means avoiding that food completely. If you are allergic to milk like I am, you need to be extra vigilant since milk and its derivatives are found in so many foods and medications. Here are ten ways to stay safe and eat well this year:
1. Resolve to ALWAYS Read Labels — Manufacturers change ingredients often so it’s crucial to be a vigilant label reader, even for items that have been safe in the past for you to eat. Be extra careful when reading “dairy free” on an item. That does not always mean it is truly dairy free. Always read ingredient labels.
2. Resolve to Find Hidden Dairy in Foods and Meds – Dairy is often used a filler in foods and medications. It is crucial to learn where dairy is hidden. Did you know some mustards contain milk? Vitamin supplements are often filled with dairy. Many thyroid medications contain dairy fillers. You may need to use a compounding pharmacy to make sure you are not ingesting dairy through meds.
3. Resolve to Learn the Alternate Names for Milk and Dairy – Foods that contain whey and casein are filled with dairy. Milk can take on many different forms so be on the lookout for other ways to describe it including lactulose, caseinates to name a few.
4. Resolve to Limit/Avoid Use of Products Made on Shared Equipment – Many products will say they are dairy free but offer the disclaimer the item was made on shared equipment that does use milk. This opens you up to the possibility of cross contamination. I avoid all foods made on shared equipment for this reason.
5. Resolve to Try New Dairy Free Products – This may mean buying food online if your grocery store does not carry a wide selection of safe foods. I recently discovered Wholesome Chow and enjoy the high quality baking products/mixes that are shipped to my door.
6. Resolve to Make One New Recipe a Week in 2015 – This will help fight food boredom and open you up to the possibility of new, safe foods. Check www.dairyfreegina.com often for frequent updates to the recipe pages.
7. Resolve to Educate and Introduce Friends/Family to Dairy Free Deliciousness– Teach them how to make delicious, milk free items so they are not hesitant to invite you to a meal.
8. Resolve to Request Supermarkets Stock More Dairy Free Foods – Ask your local grocery store to stock brands you have come to know and love. The worst they can say is “No,” but just think if they said “Yes!”
9. Resolve to Start a Garden – Having your very own garden means you grow your own vegetables without pesticides. There’s nothing better than fresh picked tomatoes right from your own plant. Many vegetables and herbs grow well in pots so even if you live in an apartment you can have a garden.
10. Resolve to ALWAYS Carry an EPI-Pen and Know How to Use It –It’s easy to run out of the house in a hurry and not take it, but that may be the one time you actually end up needing an Epi-Pen. It’s a good idea to also keep Epi-Pens in various spots in your house. I have one in my purse, kitchen drawer, and bedroom.