E is for Egg and Dairy Free

For a long time, Nutsy has had headaches. They were sporadic, but consistent enough that I started keeping track of them. And they were bad enough that she would be laid out on the sofa for a few hours.

This last year we bit the bullet and started trying to track down what was going on. After lots of questions we were told that it could very likely be an intolerance to dairy. I was skeptical; we don't really have any food allergies in our family and I didn't like the idea of changing how I prepare food.

So for a couple of months we kept a food diary for her, and tracked her symptoms. And guess what, each time she had some form of dairy, the next day she had a headache.

We tracked it down to even eggs in baked goods being the culprit.




 How did this happen? Well, it could be two different issues. First, she could have damaged her gut at some point. Dairy is one thing that can aggravate the tummy and is usually a culprit for stomach issues. The other issue could be that she is lactose intolerant. She is a quarter Japanese, and Asians do have a much higher rate of not being able to tolerate lactose. And talking with my Japanese mother-in-law recently, she shared that she also has an intolerance to dairy, although not as extreme.

Either way, we needed to make some changes. And needless to say, giving up ice cream, cheese (we do have pizza every Friday night), and yogurt was hard on her.

So what have we been using?

Milk

In place of milk she has been drinking rice milk. She did not care for soy milk, and almond milk tasted too sweet for her. We are not big milk drinkers anyways, but she will have milk with her breakfast sometimes.

Ice Cream

For a treat we will get coconut ice cream, but that can be pricey. She also had a slight headache after a coconut ice cream bar, so she is leery to try them again. But what has worked best for her are Tofutti Cuties. So we stock those in the freezer for our Friday night dessert for her.


Butter

We do get sticks of vegan butter that I have baked with, but she mostly replaces butter with coconut oil. When we make popcorn I use coconut oil (which gives it a lovely flavor) and she makes a mixture of coconut oil, cinnamon, and a little sugar to put on toast.

{Popcorn balls made with vegan butter}


Eggs

This has been the one hard thing to replace. Our family has eggs almost every morning for breakfast, and I have had a hard time finding replacements for her. I made a batch of these Carrot Muffins that she liked and they were super easy to make.

Until recently, we were making desserts that didn't require eggs. (Popcorn, pies with coconut oil in the crust) But then I found what I call Vegan Eggs. (An oxymoron, I know.) These are actually very easy to make - you grind up flax seeds, add some water, and let sit for 5 minutes. Then add to any recipe in place of eggs.

We made these vegan brownies a couple weeks ago and they were so yummy. These Funfetti Vegan Cupcakes were such a big hit that the whole family ate the whole batch one night. And I am going to try to make this Epic Chocolate Cake soon.

In a lot of these recipes they are not only vegan but gluten free; I just add equal parts of my ground whole wheat and white flour to equal the same amount.


Cheese

This was another hard one. The first thing we tried was soy cheese. That did not go over well; the cheese didn't even look melted on her part of the pizza. Almond cheese did a little better, but rice cheese behaves the best when it comes to melting.


We found that she really doesn't like cheese substitutions, so I make a quarter of a pizza without cheese and put extra ingredients to hide that it is missing.

Has it worked? Well, a year ago we were dealing with two to three headaches a week. Now, she is having maybe one every three weeks to a month. She is also taking some homeopathic pills to help her gut, and is on probiotics as well.

This has been a hard lesson for her. She loves cheese and ice cream, and has had to learn to have self control with those things. She has cheated, and paid the price the next day. But God works all things for our good. Through this she is learning the hard lesson that life isn't fair. That sometimes God asks us to walk a more difficult road then those around us. We have had talks about being content with what God has given us, and how His plan is perfect.

But there are still lots of yummy things she can eat, and each day we are exploring her options. 


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Comments

  1. I've been milk-free for more than 20 years because they trigger my migraines. I also have a lot of egg-free experience from baking for my son (outgrew his severe milk allergy when he was eight) and my younger daughter (avoiding milk, eggs, and other foods for the past few years). Let me know if you need any recipes or other cooking help.

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  2. Oh Cristi, thank you! When you bake, do you use an egg substitute, or just forgo the egg altogether? Some recipes work with the flax seed-vegan egg, and some don't, but all have a different texture. I guess I am trying to look for good breakfast type muffins I can make that are closest to normal-type muffins.

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    1. For baking, I often use a powdered egg replacement made by Ener-G (and found at many health food stores). The flax-seed egg works for binding, but doesn't provide any of the leavening that eggs normally contribute.

      Our favorite egg free baking recipes come from a cookbook called "Bakin' without Eggs." She doesn't use egg substitutes; she reformulated the recipes to not need eggs.

      I'll send you our favorite muffin recipe.

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    2. We have used Ener-G Egg Replacer (http://www.amazon.com/Ener-G-Egg-Replacer-16/dp/B0014DZGUQ) from almost the beginning. You obviously can't make an omelet with it and doesn't do well with things that require a lot of eggs, like quiche, but it works well for baked goods. I'll have to defer to Cristi on the recipes, though. I know she has several breakfast recipes for things like muffins, coffee cake, etc.

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    3. BTW, I also feel for your daughter. I know that must be hard at her age to give up those foods. I know it would be devastating for me!

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    4. Thank you, Tim! Yes, not eating cheese would be hard for me too.

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  3. Thank you! I have a daughter that is sensitive to milk, but why I never thought to check on eggs is daunting. I will start watching.

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    Replies
    1. The eggs one I was not expecting either. Keeping a food diary was super helpful and I am thankful we were able to narrow it down. :)

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  4. Glad you have been able to figure out some things that help your daughter!

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