01. April 2010 · 2 comments · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: ,

***A note about this picture. I just stole the picture because I think it’s funny. I checked out that website listed at the bottom and found that lawsuit they’re proposing a bit far-fetched. Just my opinion.

Dave was diagnosed this week with lactose intolerance. Without getting too much into the healthcare debate, this diagnosis was a long time coming…Dave’s been going through multiple referrals, tests and consultations since January. While his gall bladder surgery last September solved many of his problems, this issue emerged slowly this past winter, perhaps masked for some time by the other problems the gall bladder was causing.

This means looking at our family menu in a whole new light! Not only do we need to cut dairy foods from Dave’s diet, but we also need to be aware of the many sources of hidden lactose: baked goods made with milk, hot dogs that contain sodium lactase, cold cuts, cereal containing whey, etc. Oreo cookies, for example. I found this nice list as a starting point.

First off, we are switching our household’s milk. At first I was just switching our skim milk, from Land O’ Lakes to Lactaid Brand Fat Free Milk. Dave enjoys cereal in skim milk, and we each drink 8 oz. of skim milk with dinner every night. He also uses skim milk to cream his coffee in the morning. So the skim would definitely have to switch. The Lactaid milk is your standard skim milk, but with the lactase enzyme added, which breaks the lactose sugar down into two simple sugars: glucose and galactose. It tastes sweeter than we’re accustomed to, but definitely not bad at all.

I then realized that I should switch the 2% milk to Lactaid too. I prefer to cook with 2%, and my still-growing-like-weeds sons drink 6 oz. or so with breakfast and dinner every day. If I also switch the 2% milk, I can continue to use it to make pancakes, breads and mashed potatoes without problems for Dave. It’s going to cost more, about double actually, but that’s okay. I predict an extra $15-20 per month. One less trip out to eat.

Secondly, family meals now needs to have less dairy in its preparation. Probably a good call anyway, right? No more pizzas, lasagnas, enchiladas, pasta bakes, macaroni & cheese, and veggies with cheese sauce. I also need to keep tabs on butter used for things like mashed potatoes and pastries. We’ll be having more Asian stir fries, and traditional grilled meats, with a steamed vegetable and starch offering.

And finally, our ability to eat out at restaurants will take a big hit. This is definitely a good thing! I’ll get on these lazy streaks and want to just drop everything and go to a restaurant once or twice per week. BAD MAJOR MOM! I just did it on Sunday, I couldn’t get Outback Steakhouse off the brain, I hadn’t been in a very long time, and I convinced Dave that we should go. Mistake. It was expensive, and despite Dave’s best efforts, we think some lactose sneaked into dinner somehow — perhaps the bread? Or the Caesar salad dressing, even though it should be dairy free!

While at first I viewed this as an inconvenience, I had to stop for a second and think about my poor Dave. He has to watch his dairy intake with EVERYTHING now! Talk about inconvenient! He’s been advised to cut ALL lactose from his diet for the next several months in an attempt to heal his GI system, which has been very very stressed lately from all this.

I see a trip to our local-but-not-really-local Whole Foods Market to stock up on some lactose-free dairy products and dairy alternatives, such as Tofutti ice cream, and perhaps some soy cheeses. I’m hoping I can find other Lactaid products at Whole Foods, too, such as their evaporated milk.