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!
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.