The Dairy Diary

Supplements taken today: Samento (24 drops!); Probiotic (90 billion count / 6+ strains); FemOne; Pro-Omega Fish Oil; Vitamin D3; CBD oil; Monolaurin; Adren-All; turmeric and curcumin blend; Quercetin; CoQ10; Serrapeptase; Pinella tincture (10 drops); Superfood

Breakfast: Cashew almond “yogurt” with blackberries; banana

Lunch: Taco salad (organic kale, spinach, and tomatoes; leftover grilled onions, peppers, mushrooms, and zucchini; a few organic blue corn chips; salsa; and leftover eggplant “queso”)

Dinner will be: Organic, grass-fed beef patty (from cows raised and processed by a local farmer my mom knows) on gluten-free bread with almondmilk cheese and dehydrated jicama chips

As you might be able to tell from my menu today, the Lyme doctor I saw last week told me to eliminate dairy (and minimize fermented foods). I feel like I am just coming out of shock about the whole dairy thing (by the way, I keep typing “diary” instead of “dairy”– apologies if that happens and I don’t catch it). The last time I had dairy was my breakfast yogurt on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017. I’ve been dairy free for about a week now.

Forget that my breakfast for years has been Greek yogurt and a banana. Cheese has long been my favorite food. When I was five or six years old, I got mad at my parents and told them that I was going to eat all of the cheese in the fridge in retaliation for whatever (I don’t remember even a little bit now what it was that I was mad about). I do remember sitting on the end of my bed in the dark, swinging my feet, happily taking bites out of a block of cheddar while everyone slept. I was quite proud of myself and disappointed when my parents didn’t seem to care the next morning that our house was bereft of cheese.

So when the doctor told me that I had to give up dairy, my first thought was that life was no longer worth living. Through the haze of disbelief, I heard her explain that my immune system is too weak to handle the complications of digesting dairy and fight the Lyme bugs at the same time. Perhaps she could see the horror on my face, because she placated me by adding, “Just while you heal. Once your immune system is back in control, you can add it back in if you really want to.”

I did some research online and could see where she was coming from, but I’ve lived too long with cheese as a bosom and reliable companion to drop it without trying to replace it. Since we were in New Mexico and there are Whole Foods and similar stores there (food paradise!), I went ahead and bought a couple of kinds of vegan cheese. I’ve tried one kind so far, some “cheddar” shreds. It’s okay. Doesn’t have much flavor, but it looks like cheese. I have almondmilk pepperjack to try also. And I found recipes to make my own when that runs out. Yesterday, I made eggplant “queso.” It tasted good with the spices and all, but was not really cheesy. I have a couple of more queso recipes to try, so I’m still holding out hope. Because queso can be used on everything, right? (Picture here an artist’s rendition of cereal with queso…)

I looked for non-dairy, unfermented “yogurt” recipes next, and they were surprisingly tough to find. First, I tried a coconut one. It was difficult and messy to make, and as it was, I couldn’t stand to eat it. I like coconut, but it just tasted like pre-chewed coconut. It was weird. Not at all yogurt-y. I ended up adding maple syrup and cocoa powder to it to make it into a kind of chocolate coconut pudding. That was pretty good, but I don’t know if I’d make it again. Next, I tried this almond-cashew cream “yogurt.” It’s got a nice flavor, and it’s probably the recipe I will stick with for awhile. It was even a little too sweet for me, and the only sweetener it had was dates! I might try leaving them out next time and see what happens.

By the way, I am feeling lighter and a little more sharp than usual. Yesterday was marvelous! I felt well enough to saddle up my reliable 16 year old pony and ride at a walk in the arena for a good half-hour. It was wonderful. We even jogged a little bit near the end– Dunny has a fantastic, smooth jog, so it wasn’t too hard on me.editimg_0149 I was going to ground drive my colt while I had my saddle out– just as a refresher– but I was really achy after going riding, so I ended up just brushing him. I realized it was amazing that I had even been able to get on a horse in the first place. It’s been months. MONTHS.

Today I woke up with my joints screaming, and I couldn’t lift any weight with my right arm. But it was worth it, and I am grateful that I got to go outside and be with my little herd.  Even today, I’m feeling a little sharper and I have a little more energy than usual– I’m just too achy to do anything about it. Is it being off dairy that is causing the difference? Is it the Pinella tincture I’ve been taking for the brain fog?

It’s the first real improvement I’ve felt in months, and I’ll take it. I guess that’s worth going without cheese for a year or two!

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