How to Survive Life Without Dairy
Believe it or not these mutant foods DO, in fact, exist.
I see you sitting there. Yeah, you with that big bowl of cereal. What have you got there? Is that Cocoa Crispies you have? Ah, yeah I hear those are great. I hear that not only do they talk to you, they actually turn your milk into a chocolaty version of its former self. Must taste wonderful. Yep... Oh me? Yeah, I have some Cheerios. Plain. No milk. Why the lack of milk, you ask? Why yes, let me explain. I am what is known as someone with a milk protein allergy. Let me extrapolate. A being with this particular allergy cannot process the protein strands (casein being the most common) within any type of dairy product. So what does this mean in normal English jargon? It means that while you enjoy your morning breakfast cereal, floating contentedly in an ice cold pool of milk, I am attempting to swallow Cheerios from my dry and dusty bowl.
No no, I'm not as bitter and ridiculously angry as I sound. Though I have never enjoyed a piping hot slice of cheesy pizza, or a frozen spoonful of that vanilla/chocolate/cookie/mocha (how many types of ice creams are there now?), or grabbed a mouthful of buttery popcorn from your box at the movies, I'm here to tell you that there is hope for us. With strength, indifference, and the ability to relish in the fact that we will never become fat, we CAN survive without dairy!
Isn't there an app, I mean a pill, for that you ask? No, I'm sorry. You must be confusing me with someone who has a bit of luck. As I'm sure you're about to realize, lactose intolerance and a milk protein ALLERGY are severely different. So when someone says they're allergic to milk, and you say, "Oh, so you're lactose intolerant?" And they say yes. I want you to go up to that person and poke them in the gut for me. Hard. There is a difference. And it's a huge one for the people who are not so lucky to butter their baked potato and drip that over-sized dollop of sour cream atop that steaming starchy lump of Irish necessity.
But again, don't lose sight of the prize! The hope I spoke of earlier resides in your slender figure! And for many, in those Silk brand soy milks. But for those who just can't enjoy soy milk try to think outside the box. There is something called Boba tea. It originated in Taiwan in the 1980s. It is also called Bubble tea. Don't be frightened fellow allergenians! If you seek out a restaurant or coffee/tea shop who sells the stuff, there are two distinct groups of the boba tea; the milk tea, and the fruit-based teas. All come with a nice helping of tapioca pearls if you so wish it. Imagine dropping a few gummy bears into your smoothie and randomly getting one with an occaisional sip of the drink. Many people cannot enjoy them because of the texture, but I believe they should be added to any and all other delicious beverages. So Bubble tea is one alternative to suggest when all your friends want to go out for coffee and you dislike plain black and bitter coffee sans the creamers.
A great tip for surviving a milk protein allergy, always be ready for disappointment. When going out to eat with a group of friends, set your sights as low as possible. See that fantastic looking chicken dinner? Only after you ask your waiter/waitress for a list of the ingredients and any possible buttering of the preparation grills, and after they look at you strangely and say how you couldn't attempt to eat the noodles because they are made with egg, and after the manager comes out and tells you your meager and sparse choice list from the once largely varied menu, only then can you attempt to make a choice from one of those bland looking salads with oil and vinegar(if it's offered. If not, no dressing) and make the best of your ravenous appetite. My suggestion; find out where everyone wants to eat. If Italian looks like a possibility, eat before you go. But always keep those expectations low. If you get your heart set on one of those wonderful looking dishes and it turns out they cannot prepare it without using any dairy, your mood is going to fall. And then invariably, you'll have to settle for something else and each bite will be a slight disappointment.
Tip number three. Vegan places are an milk protein allergenien's best friend. You don't even have to bother asking what has milk(if the place is truly vegan). You can order anything from the menu and not have to worry about being rushed to the hospital and paying lots and lots of money and sleeping from all the Benadryl for the rest of the year.
Tip number four. Have fun attempting to cook food for yourself. Find milk-free recipes of things you've always wanted to try but have never had the chance before. For example, ever smell those freshly baked chocolate chip cookies from Subway? They offer you one for .99 cents at Panera for just purchasing a drink. Or maybe you've passed any of the cookie places at the mall at baking time, with the waves of people rushing for the counter to purchase those ooey-gooey oh so warm and chocolaty chip cookies. Well, there's a reason people make such a big deal about it. I was pleasantly/ ecstatically introduced to carob chip cookies not so long ago. Carob is the chip form of the cocoa portion of chocolate. No milk chocolate at all. I have only ever been able to find them in a small, family run store in the boonies outside the city of Altoona, Pennsylvania. My grandmother occasionally sends me bags of them and I go immediately into the kitchen and make an enormous batch of those warm ooey-gooey milk-free cookies. This can be something of a refuge from the many inconsistencies of being allergic to dairy. For about two or three years I couldn't eat Oreo cookies because they decided to add whey to their ingredients. You cannot imagine how excited I was to see that they had taken the whey out and returned to their original recipe. I always heard that milk of any kind was an expensive ingredient to use. Let's just say, I'm glad it's expensive. Perhaps many other brands will try and cut expenses and find a way to leave out the dairy.
So, after all these years of not eating dairy, I am still around. I'm still surviving. I'm still here, still allergic, but enjoying life. Just keep these few tips in mind, and you can surely survive with this allergy. It won't be easy. It won't be the most interesting thing to say when you stand up in front of the class and tell everyone one thing about yourself. But it does give you something that makes you unique, if not sometimes bitter. But just remember, you'll be forever thin! FOREVER THIN!