First thing to be cut out of my diet is this: DAIRY. Did you know: dairy products are pro-inflammatory, not easy to ingest & can interrupt the absorption of other essential nutrients? "Dairy-free" includes all milk, cheese, etc. - Dairy ingredients come in many different forms, several with names more difficult to pronounce than "milk." The important thing is to be able to recognize them when they appear on a label. Look for: curds, whey, ghee, casein, rennet, casein, lactose, lactulose, whey, casein, hydrolysates, lactalbumin, and lactoglobulin. Also note that dairy-free is not the same as egg-free.
The first thing I did this week was switch to Rice Milk. I had been drinking Almond Milk for awhile, which I really liked, but was pretty expensive. Since I hadn't really been drinking much cow's milk anyway, this wasn't very hard for me. I purchased some Rice Dream Enriched Vanilla Milk. I had never tried Rice Milk prior to this and I INSTANTLY fell in love!!! This is significantly sweeter than cow's milk and since I tend to have a sweet tooth... this satisfies me in so many ways. It has the consistency of skim cow's milk. Rice milk is great on cereal or just for drinking!
I was doing some research today on rice milk and found that Whole Foods has a generic rice milk that I may try. It has more fiber than Rice Dream. It contains, the controversial, carrageenan though. It also contains "natural flavor" which could actually be MSG. And I'll need to compare prices... Whole Foods is about twice as long of a drive for me to get to than Target, where I bought my Rice Dream, so it may not be worth it. Yeah, I think I'll probably stick with my Rice Dream. lol.
I also enjoy almond milk, though as I mentioned above, it's a bit spendier than my rice milk. It has a distinct almond flavor, yet sweeter. Probably because I get the vanilla flavor, except it has no added sweeteners. I've only tried one brand & that's Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla. It's delish! Has anyone tried any other brands? Again, I did research and found a generic brand at Whole Foods. But, it has the same issues as mentioned above with the generic rice milk. My Blue Diamond almond milk is all but organic (I think). Does anyone know, if Blue Diamond is organic??? Almond milk has the consistency of whole milk, being that it's on the thicker-side. It's great for cooking with when you need richness & creaminess, like in milkshakes, creamy soups, creamy sauces, puddings or homemade ice cream.
I tend to stay away from soy milk because soy contains compounds that block the absorption of needed nutrients like zinc & disable enzymes your body needs to access other nutrients. It directly blocks thyroid function & protein absorption. Women who are extremely sensitive to estrogens of any kind (such as women with endometriosis) may react negatively to them. It also demonstrates toxicity in estrogen sensitive tissues & in the thyroid. FERMENTED soy products are fine, in moderation, but should be eaten with protein like fish or seaweed for the best absorption. Examples of fermented soy are tempeh, miso & tamari (aka soy sauce).
I have yet to find a good alternative to cheese, since I'm trying to avoid unfermented soy, as mentioned above. A vegan friend of mine mentioned that she uses Nutritional Yeast in place of parmesan cheese. I have yet to try nutritional yeast, as I am torn. There are plenty of benefits of it, yet I know that eliminating sugar is coming later in my endo diet and nutritional yeast is on the no-no list. However, it also contains chromium, a trace mineral known as the Glucose Tolerance Factor, with may help with fluctuating blood sugars. Hmm... guess I'll have to think on that one a bit more. Any other suggestions for cheese alternatives? So far I've just eliminated it... we went to the Olive Garden & I ordered the Eggplant Parmigiana without cheese. Today the kids had green pepper slices and string cheese for snack; I just avoided the string cheese. I made spaghetti & put Parmesan cheese on top for the kiddos for lunch this week; I made mine without it. I also have yet to find alternatives to cottage cheese & ricotta cheese.
BUTTER & CREAM CHEESE
This week I made The Heart-Healthiest Chocolate Chip Cookies in the World. Thanks to my friend Amy for passing along the recipe. They were delish! I made a few additions and substitutions to mine, but the one thing I didn't change was the ground walnuts and oil (I used butter-flavored grapeseed oil in place of the canola oil, only because I didn't have any canola oil on hand) in place of the butter and eggs. I was amazed at how well this worked! As far as a "butter" replacer on food, I've started using Earth Balance Organic Buttery Spread. This gives a great buttery flavor, but it's hard in texture, making it hard to spread or mix. It also contains unfermented soy, so I use it very sparingly... today I used it on toast. I left the tub out for a little while to get it softened up a bit. I also put it on my toast immediately when it was piping hot to help melt it faster, making it more spreadable. Any other suggestions out there for a good butter replacer? Nut butters are also great (almond butter, peanut butter, etc.)
Here are some other great substitutes for butter/margarine when using it for cooking & baking:
Baking = Sunflower oil or other organic nut & seed oils
Sauces = Olive Oil
Margarine on Vegetables = Flax Seed Oil
Salad Dressing = Flex Seed Oil
Cooking = Do NOT use Flax Seed Oil
As far as cream cheese goes, well, I've just avoided it, much like I've done with cheese. I have yet to find a good replacer. Yesterday morning, the kids had cream cheese on their toast for a change from their usual butter or peanut butter; I just stuck with my Earth Balance Organic Buttery Spread. Suggestions???
Ahhh... ice cream. Funny story... before I met my husband, I hated ice cream. But in the last few years, it's unfortunately grown on me. And I can't seem to get enough of it this summer. :( This is the one thing I've had a hard time giving up. I was craving it yesterday and literally as I was going through the drive-thru at Dairy Queen I said, "Crap! This is dairy!" I went through the drive-thru anyway. ;) Luckily, I only ate 1/2 of a mini-sized Heath Blizzard, so it wasn't too bad. Or at least, that's what I'm telling myself. lol. Does anyone have a good dairy-free ice cream recipe or know a good ice cream shop in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area that has dairy-free options? HELP!
There are great substitutes out there for baking when it calls for eggs. Here are some great ideas, that I haven't yet tried:
Commercial Egg Replacers = baking
Arrowroot Powder = baking
1 tbsp arrowroot for each 1 cup non-glutinous flour
Psyllium Seed Husk Powder = breads, cookies, cakes & muffins
combine 1 tbsp psyllium w/3 tbsp water & let sit for a few mins
1/2 banana, cookies, muffins, cakes
1/2 tsp Baking Powder + 2-4 tbsp extra liquid = 1 egg
1/4 cup applesauce w/1/2 tsp baking powder = 1 egg
1/2 banana, mashed w/1/2 tsp baking soda = 1 egg, adds a distinct banana taste
2 tbsp ground flax seed + 1/2 c water, blended to egg white consistency = 2 eggs
The thing I'm trying to find a substitute for is scrambled eggs. I thought I would try the ground flax seed with the water today and see if it would turn out edible. It did not. It wouldn't thicken up into a solid form, like eggs do; instead, it became sticky & had the consistency of egg whites. Yuck! Oh well, A for effort. That's what this new lifestyle is about... trying new things.
Yogurt is a tricky thing. The natural ‘live’ yogurt is beneficial for your intestinal flora and helps address the negative bacteria overgrowth caused by Candida. I need to do a little more research to see if the benefits of yogurt outweigh the negative effects it could have on my system. Thoughts??? Goat’s milk based yogurt is best, as it's easier for our human bodies to digest than the traditional cow's milk yogurt. I haven't tried goat's milk based yogurt yet. Has anyone else? What did you think? I do love Greek Yogurt, as it's high in protein & has the natural live & active cultures, including 3 probiotics. It tastes much creamier than the unhealthy, sugar-filled traditional yogurts, too. Mmm...
As far as good baking alternatives to yogurt go, Nut Yogurts are great for puddings, some salad dressings, mayo or where creamy texture is needed.
Other items I need good alternatives for that don't contain unfermented soy: mayonnaise, creamer, etc.
Well, there you have it. The beginning of a new me! I am so excited about getting healthy and taking charge of my health. It saddens and angers me that it is legal to poison us through our "food" and be sneaky about it, too. And for what? Money and profit-margins. Well, this foodie ain't having it anymore! Time to be my own foodie advocate for healing! Thank you to the companies like Rice Dream & Blue Diamond who try their hardest to provide us with REAL food, using only the healthiest ingredients that the good Lord provided. I am indebted to you.
Information was taken from various sources including: Recipes for the Endometriosis Diet by Carolyn Levett, and the Whole Foods Market website.