Food intolerances are awful aren’t they? They take over your life, cause lots of pain and sleepless nights and most of all, lots of frustration because it’s incredible hard to figure out what’s causing it.
For me, I’ve been bugged by some sort of suspected intolerance for the past few years. I’ve tried so hard to figure out what’s causing it but never succeeded but recently it’s become a lot worse, with sickness being a weekly issue (so lush). So for the past few weeks, I’ve cut back on dairy and gluten, as well as certain fruit and vegetables and attempted to follow the FODMAP diet. It’s important to note as well that I did seek the help of my doctor who advised me on the FODMAP diet, so if you also suspect you’re intolerant to something, get medical help and don’t just listen to me.
FODMAPS are types of carbohydrates that are rapidly fermented in the gut and include certain foods dairy, gluten, vegetables like onions and garlic and fruit like apples and pomegranates. If you’re interested in reading more, check out this from Kings College London.
For me, I’ve always suspected the issue was gluten so I decided I’d limit it for the three weeks but after delving deeper into my diet, I also focused on cutting back on dairy and onions. And for a burger addict, cutting out the most important parts of any burger was SO difficult!
However, it’s not all doom and gloom. If I hadn’t decided to cut back on dairy, I wouldn’t have discovered these amazing dairy free goodies:
Booja Booja Ice Cream
I have an incredibly sweet tooth and nothing pleases me more than after dinner desserts (or anytime desserts for that matter!). When the sun is shining outside, a chilled ice cream is the perfect way to cool down and when I first cut out dairy, I struggled to fill that longing. That was until a friend recommended Booja Booja Hunky Punky Chocolate ice cream (I found in Whole Foods). It’s made from cashew nuts and agave syrup in Norfolk and is delicious. It’s incredibly refreshing and fulfilling and honestly, I think it’s better than normal ice cream! I usually feel quite sick after eating ice cream but with Booja Booja I could sit and eat it all day (which is exactly what I did for a whole week). It does cost £5.99 for a 500ml tub but for me to enjoy something so delicious and not get ill afterwards, I don’t mind paying it.
Another big part of my diet was yoghurt. I loved having natural yoghurt with a handful of raspberries and flax seeds for breakfast, but when I had to cut out dairy, I couldn’t eat it anymore. Then, I was told about The Coconut Collaborative who have a wonderful selection of dairy free yoghurts from natural to ones filled with fruit. I must warn you though, I ended up stocking up on about 10 of these in one week, they’re that good. It’s made from coconut but doesn’t have an overpowering taste so you can easily bring it into other dishes, as well as enjoying it as a treat.
There are lots of brands out there that you can try, and I’m sure many of you already have done so, but almond milk has been my dairy-free saviour these past few weeks. I’m a tea drinker and will regularly get through 3+ a day, so cutting out milk was probably going to be the hardest challenge for me. Thankfully, it didn’t take long to get used to using almond milk instead and now, I actually prefer it. For those of you who are avid tea drinkers like me, it does take a little time to get used to the taste, after all you don’t get the creaminess that you get with cow’s milk, but it does mean I can enjoy a cuppa without being ill so I’m willing to look past that.
Perfect for that chocolate fix! They’re made from fruit and nuts and bits of cocoa and are utterly delicious. I usually stock up on these when Holland and Barret have their penny sale and then use them as my afternoon snack. Something that’s quite hard to get used to when you cut out dairy is to cut out milk chocolate, so I loved being able to enjoy a chocolate-treat. Obviously dark chocolate is allowed too but there’s something about a Nakd Bar that I love.
What dairy free treats have you tried? Send your recommendations my way! Tweet me @MiaHolt using #MiaEats