I have a food intolerance…for whatever reason my body decided about 6 years ago that it could not handle lactose.

It makes me sick…sometimes very sick…

It’s not life threatening, but before we finally worked out what the cause was, it was debilitating.

It will hit within 30 mins of eating something with lactose…the waves of nausea start and well, I won’t give you the gory details!

I saw doctors, was referred to a gastroenterologist…then a surgeon who subsequently removed my gall bladder…which turned out to be perfectly fine.

Then one day after being ill after eating yogurt, the light bulb finally came on…it was lactose that had become a poison to my body!

lactose_intolerance_by_rentnarb-d4pxp06Image Source

So I cut all dairy etc from my diet. It isn’t easy avoiding dairy as you would think it would be…everyone is well versed in Gluten nowadays, but dairy products can be hidden where you least expect it!

For example, I bet you didn’t know that milk is often used in the finishing process of wine. You will find this information on some wine labels, but not all. I used to drink Rose…couldn’t figured out why I was getting sick despite having no diary in the food I was eating…read the label on the bottle and bingo!

Gravy powder such as Gravox has lactose, some bread has lactose, many of those powdered instant soups have lactose in them….even some medications have lactose as an ingredient!

I became quite paranoid about eating as I was scared about getting sick…anyone who has experienced chronic nausea will know what I mean!

But gradually I have worked out what my “safe” foods are!

What I stick to is what my husband and I call “Nude Food”! Basically it means no sauces, marinade, dairy based gravy etc….no dressing at all, hence the term “nude”! An example would be a nice piece of steak or chicken, cooked with no marinade etc, and steamed veggies.

This was a meal I had recently which was absolutely delicious, and dairy free…you can see I had already tasted it before I remembered to take the photo…!

Dairy Free Meal

If I get totally stuck, a bowl of hot chips is a safe bet…as long as they aren’t seasoned.

Eating out is still a thing of trust…I trust that the staff at the restaurant won’t forget about my request, I trust that organisers at functions will remember that I have dietary requirements….

I am so jealous of people who can eat anything and not worry about it…I so wish I could go out, and eat whatever I feel like, then rather then having to explain that I have lactose intolerance and negotiate a special meal.

And I miss cheesecake!

I hate the feeling that I am causing hassles because I need a different or altered meal. My husband gets impatient with me because I still get paranoid about what I am going to eat if we go out…if we are going to be out for the day, I have to either take my own food, or plan ahead! I dread traveling on a long plane flight….

Dietry Requirements

Most restaurants and cafés are pretty good about it nowadays…it has definitely become easier as there is more awareness about food intolerances and allergies. But some do it better then others, and it is always a relief to get an understanding waiter/waitress!

A few months ago we went to Tutto Bene, a restaurant in Southbank, Melbourne, and not only were they very aware of dietary requests, they had a whole menu dedicated to dairy free…heaven!!

Dairy Free Menu

And a few weeks ago we went to a function and the venue prepared a perfect three course meal for me…..there was no hassle and I was able to relax and enjoy the food like anyone else!

But it is hard work being “special” sometimes…and one mistake can have sickening consequences…..