Monday, February 15, 2016

Monday Musings: On Going Dairy Free

I spent my entire pregnancy dreaming of the wheel of Camembert that I would eat as soon as I came out of the delivery suite. And I did. Literally. Steve went to the supermarket the morning I gave birth and brought me a fresh baguette and my favourite bleu, Camembert, Brie, and butter and I stank up the postnatal ward with my beloved and much-missed cheeses. But in the midst of my funky-smelling bliss, I was completely unaware that I was wreaking havoc on my precious little girl's digestion.

Chloe didn't have her first bowel movement until she was 2 days old, and was growing increasingly fussy and colicky by the hour up until she finally was able to. When she came home, the pattern continued and she went another 4 days without a poo. At a week old, she developed jaundice and looked like she'd been smothered in Fake Bake. Then she had another 4 (or was it 5?) days of constipation and increasing discomfort, breaking my heart to see her so unhappy, as ourselves and the midwife became increasingly concerned. 

Fresh pressed apple juice and prunes became my new go-to snacks, and we were eventually able to get Chloe pooping regularly by 2 weeks old. On a hunch, I decided to cut dairy out of my diet. I had noticed that her fussiness increased after I had eaten cheese, and sure enough she was feeling better within a few days. After a week without dairy, I had milk in my tea, and the problems started again! I conferred with the health visitor at our next appointment and we decided that it was best if I continued a dairy-free diet until she's a bit older (most babies grow out of a dairy sensitivity before 1 year old). 

So, it's almond or soy milk in my tea, and avoiding cheeses, and reading labels (Waaaa! Nutella!). I posted a recipe last week where I made pasta without using Parmesan, and for snacks I've opted for fresh fruit (kiwis are in season, somewhere, according to their sudden presence and low prices in every supermarket) and the Aldi equivalent of Nature Valley granola bars. I really want to use my Nutribullet more this week, but I've avoided it thus far because Chloe is usually asleep when I'd like to make a smoothie and it sounds like a jet taking off. 

Here are a few more dairy-free meals I've made this past week (and yes, I was a little heavy-handed on the Asian theme; it was Chinese New Year, after all):

Left: Roasted potatoes, radishes and chorizo with baked eggs and salad. Right: Chili and lemongrass salmon and prawn fishcake (from Aldi) with salad. 

Left: Korean beef bowl over rice, with steamed broccoli and courgettes in a soy dressing. Right: Homemade roast pork ramen with mushrooms and spinach.

Left: Smoked haddock risotto with asparagus, courgettes, and an egg. Right: Thai red curry chicken and veggies with sticky rice.

I mentioned my struggle to find a dairy-free butter alternative, so I gave this one a try: 

And it's ok. I say ok, because I don't really know what I was expecting, but I felt a little let down by the lack of creamy buttery-ness. I guess I just assumed that it would taste like margarine? I don't know. Maybe I should have opted for the not-so-healthy looking one (Flora now makes a dairy-free spread) so perhaps I'll give it a try next time. After all, if I'm being naughty and smothering something in "butter", I might as well have the one that tastes most like butter. This does the job for now, though; I'm not saying it's bad, just that it's a bit light in flavour for my liking. 

If you'd like me to post any of the recipes from the meals above (except the fishcakes, obviously), let me know! And please feel free to comment if you have any tips or stories about living dairy free :) 

No comments:

Post a Comment