The Agonies of Dairy

When I was doing my degree and PHD (many moons ago) I spent a lot of time to-ing and fro-ing to Paris.  As soon as I arrived, I would head straight to Bastille to buy a pancake from this little crepe stall that I adored.  My favourite pancake filling was nutella and banana.  After savouring every mouthful of the pancake, I would then spend the next half hour or so sitting on the steps of the Opera de Bastille, clutching my tummy in agony! 

I've spent a lot of time sitting on these steps!

It would take me another 4 years to realise that I was actually allergic/ intolerant to dairy.  Throughout my student life, everything I ate seemed to give me stomach cramps and upset stomachs.  Being a vegetarian, it was likely that most dinners I ate at university would have contained dairy (this was a long, long time ago when the classic response to ‘I’m vegetarian’ was to serve you pasta or vegetables covered in cheese).  

I went to the doctor’s a few times over the years, but they would put the stomach problems down to ‘student lifestyle’.  I put up with it for years (with a little help from bottles of kaolin and morphine).  The ‘lightbulb’ moment came when I complained to a friend that even a cup of tea would leave me in agony with stomach cramps.  Ding!  I realised the culprit must be dairy.   As soon as I stopped consuming dairy, all the symptoms stopped.  No more stomach cramps, no more upset stomachs… and even the patches of eczema that I’d had all my life completely vanished! 

Since I’ve stopped eating dairy, I’ve never looked back.  I feel far healthier, my skin’s clearer than ever, I weigh less and I have no more stomach pain.  People ask me if I feel that I’m missing out but the answer is no, not for one moment as I’ve never felt so good. 🙂  

I’ve subsequently found out that most of the world’s population is lactose intolerant.  Studies have also shown strong links between the consumption of animal protein and increased risk of heart disease, hypertension, obesity, diabetes and the common cancers.  More than ever, I’m glad that I’m unable to consume dairy.

Another reason that I don’t feel that I’m missing out is that I simply substitute animal protein for vegetable protein when I cook meals and bake treats.  One such example is pancakes with chocolate sauce.  Inspired by a recipe by Jane Easton from Viva, I’ve created my own version of my Paris favourite.  Our family love having these pancakes for a weekend breakfast treat.  If there’s any chocolate sauce left over, Lil’ L loves to spread it on crumpets or toast as an afterschool snack.  Both the pancakes and chocolate sauce are low fat and nutritious, so we can all indulge to our heart’s content 🙂  Here’s the recipe.

Vegan Pancakes with Chocolate Sauce and Banana

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6 Comments

Filed under Breakfast and Elevenses, General wittering

6 responses to “The Agonies of Dairy

  1. No adult animal was designed to consume milk past infancy! It’s one of those things, like tripe, that was required to consume for survival at one point and somehow became a “delicacy.”

    I’m also in the intollerent club.

  2. E

    Hello there,

    First of all, epic YUM to that vegan crepe photo! Your blog is so beautiful (did you take that rainbow photo?)
    Nutella was actually one of the ways I figured out that I too am dairy-intolerant; when I was a teenager living at home, my every-morning breakfast consisted of Nutella and marshmallow fluff on white bread, accompanied with a big glass of chocolate milk.. and then I just had no idea why I had stomach pains all the time, and skin blemishes galore!
    There are other factors involved, but switching dairy from an every meal thing to a virtually-never thing has improved so many aspects of my own wellness, from eliminating migraines and stomach cramps to skin clarity. It’s so good to hear that veganism has been such a positive change for you, too!
    Thank you for posting this! I’ll definitely be reading here again!

    Cheers,
    E

  3. Hi E. Really nice to hear from you! The photo in my header was actually taken by my friend Cheryl who lives closeby. It’s the beautiful view that we have from our houses. In 2008, our local council decided that it wanted to turn this ancient water meadow into a huge car park! Can you believe it!! It actually gave itself planning permission to do this, but we’ve been campaigning hard to stop it. Back in the day, I set up a campaign website http://www.savebathamptonmeadows.org.uk. In May this year, we had local elections and there’s been a change of leadership. We’re hoping the new council sees more sense and stops this crazy scheme. We won’t give up fighting!

  4. My baby cousin was just diagnosed with a lactose intolerance, but before they realised what was wrong, she would cry constantly. While I knew a lot about the problems with dairy before, I have never heard screams like what came from that poor child, and it’s really made me realise how it doesn’t work in our bodies.

    Love the idea of that chocolate sauce!!

  5. It’s so good that your baby cousin’s lactose intolerance early on. It’s a horrible thing to live with. Luckily, there’s so many alternatives to dairy now that you don’t have to miss out at all 🙂

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