Going dairy and egg-free can be hard in a culture where eggs and dairy are big staples. I was having some health issues and decided to eliminate some food items to see if it helped. First, I eliminated dairy for a month and saw some improvement. Then, I noticed a problem with eggs and eliminated them, too. Now, I seem to be mostly alright as long as I don’t eat anything with those two items. It seems simple, just avoid anything with eggs or dairy and it will be alright. But, it isn’t that easy.
Part of the problem is that food ingredients in most products aren’t always that obvious. Sure, the items that have cheese or eggs on them obviously have eggs and dairy. But, many foods have only small parts of eggs or dairy in them. I’ve found several “non-dairy” items that have casein in them. Casein is one of the proteins found in dairy, whey is another one. Lactose is a troublesome sugar in milk that tends to be listed as a dairy ingredient, but for some reason, casein is treated differently. Sometimes, one food type will be fine to eat and another food, in the same category, will not. For example, some breads have milk and some don’t.
Another problem that I, and probably anyone with food sensitivities can relate to, is that friends and family often don’t understand the problem. Since they don’t have the problem, themselves, they don’t realize that the food they’re serving can cause a problem. Since they don’t see anything with milk, cheese or eggs right out in front of them, then it must be alright. Or, they think that it’s such a small amount that it shouldn’t be an issue.
Going out to eat can also be a challenge. I find it best to go to places that serve whole foods and/or let you customize it your order. It can still be hard because sometimes if anything you’re sensitive to even touches your food, it can cause a reaction. Vegan restaurants tend to work well in my case, because vegan food doesn’t have any animal products in it at all. I often have to take my chances and try for the best when it comes to restaurants.
It is possible to live with a food sensitivity, but, just like any type of allergy or sensitivity, you have to make changes to avoid getting sick. For most people, it’s a life time change, but one that will help them live a longer, more comfortable life.