Earlier this year I went in for some allergy testing because I thought that may lead to an explanation for my ever-non-stop-eczema. After the 20 some scratch tests they did on my arm and properly passing out, I was told I wasn’t allergic to anything they can scratch test for. Next they sent me for a blood draw because clearly they thought I hadn’t been poked enough.
Two weeks later I went back in for my test results. “Dairy allergy” came back as a 3 on a scale of 1-5, which, given everything else, was the best lead I had. My doctor advised me to eliminate milk, cheese, yogurt, and ice cream from my diet for three weeks as a test. Anyone can do something for just three weeks, right? No big deal.
Then, though, my eczema improved at least 80%. I no longer had spots on my face or itched nearly as much. That kind of result can’t be ignored, so I decided to continue with being dairy free. [Also, why the hell did it take 25 years for doctors to diagnose me with a dairy allergy when I've been dealing with eczema and hives outbreaks since I was born??]
I think that is when the true gravity of the situation kicked in. No mac & cheese, no pizza, no Magnum Gold?! ice cream bars, no yogurt and berries breakfast, no morning cereal, no nacho cheese Doritos, no parmesan garlic boneless wings from Buffalo Wild Wings, and the list goes on. It was a pretty shocking revelation to say the least.
And then, as with all things, I complained enough until people started offering suggestions. I’ve begun using almond milk on my fruit-loops with marshmallows each morning (omg, so good) and it turns out, I like it even more than milk. I’ve been getting my daily mocha with soy milk, no whip, which is sad, but doable (and more expensive). The ham & cheese sandwiches the conference this past weekend? Sure, let me dissect it here at the table and just remove what I can.
Turns out though, most things have an alternative. Last night, Joe and I ordered pizza from Pizza Luce. We were able to get it with pepperoni + pineapple and then Rinotta “cheese” (get it? It is like ricotta but without cheese, so it is “notta”). Pure gold. The pizza was good too, albeit a bit spicy. Hopefully my Minnesota-pallet will mature.
The thing that was hurting me the most though, causing sleepless nights and a general irritability, was not being able to have Velveeta Shells and Cheese. How can one properly go out hard one night only to know the hang over breakfast won’t be complete? Let’s just say, it was eating me up.
So, this last weekend when I was talking to Kraft, I asked them when they would introduce a dairy-free mac & cheese. I didn’t get an official answer, but I also didn’t get a “never.” Feeling hope, once again, I went to Whole Foods and found, omg, dairy-free mac & cheese. As I sit here typing, I’m so excited to get hungry and make myself a bowl. I’ll let y’all know how it turns out.