Hello lovely people! What you may or may not know is that I once took egg and dairy out of my diet for a whole year. I know that many people decide to cut out certain foods out of their everyday life for one reason or another. This blog I’ll go through my reasons to choose this lifestyle, how I found it, and why I eventually gave it up.
For my whole life I’ve suffered with a common skin condition called eczema. For anyone that is unfamiliar with it, it’s basically where you have very sensitive skin and your skin can often be red and dry. Having eczema often left me really self-conscious and I would usually get my eczema baldy on my neck or arm. Curious classmates would turn to me and innocently ask “what was wrong with my skin”. I hated it, and along with all this I would often be restricted from using a lot of skin care and make up products because of the uncertainty with how my skin would react. My doctor was well acquainted with me and with each visit of me nearly in tears because of my appearance he would continue handing out different types of special creams that would clear up the problem but never fully got rid of it.
I was always up to trying out new ideas and products to combat my eczema and one day mom asked me “what if it’s what your eating?” This idea had never dawned on us before and we decided to look into it. I went to my local nutritionist and got a blood test done, within a week it came back that I was allergic to egg and dairy. As a pure lover of all things chocolate and cheese this news came as a shock for my thirteen year old self. But my mom who had a full lifetime experience of my eczema clung onto this piece of news with hope. With her encouragement we set about filling ourselves with knowledge on the whole idea of living life without egg and dairy. Cow milk was replaced with rice milk, soya butter was used instead of regular butter and I set about the kitchen trying to teach and create my own recipes. I learnt how to make my very own vegan chocolate chip cookies using an egg replacer from the company Orgran (http://www.orgran.com/products/174/) If you’re wondering, it’s basically powder mixed with water.
Truthfully it was a tough year. Firstly I didn’t receive any support from my doctor who scoffed when he found out what I was doing and criticised me by saying that people who cut out calcium in their lives only ended up having osteoporosis. Secondly managing a diet without egg and dairy is easy when you’re in your own home. But I found socialising outside of home with the temptation of food all around me very hard. Going for meals wasn’t the same, if anything it was depressing looking at a menu full of food that I couldn’t eat. Because let me tell you this, EVERYTHING has egg and dairy in it. Food is such a main part of everyday life and when you put restrictions on your self on what you can and cannot eat, it is naturally hard. But more importantly did these changes in my diet do anything to help my skin? Initially my skin got worst, the worst it had ever been, but this was how my body was reacting. After years of eating something that technically I shouldn’t have been eating, my body was trying to cleanse itself and as a result my skin has to get worse before it got better. But finally my skin started to show signs of improvement and it even started clearly up. But mentally I was down, I found the whole experience depressing and found no enjoyment in eating if I wasn’t doing it at home. After a year I started to slowly bring egg and dairy back into my life and personally it was the right choice.
Nowadays my skin is a million times better, and I eat all the chocolate to my hearts content. I know that people reading this could criticise my decision to return to my own ways but for me it was the right choice. Though I understand reading this that it seems that I hold a negative view on the whole experience, there was pros alongside the cons.
PROS AND CONS OF BEING EGG AND DAIRY FREE
- I educated myself on food and became accustomed to reading food labels and learning what I was putting into my body.
- I found a love for rice milk (way lighter and tastes nicer then regular milk and I still drink it today) and I became brave with my food choices (hello tofu)
- I was egg and dairy free (I wasn’t vegan and I can’t find any term online that defines the type of diet I was on because I still ate meat. If anyone knows, feel free to tell me!) way back in 2010, at a time when veganism was still yet to hit the mainstream. So there was very few if any choices of food suitable to my needs found in restaurants, cafes or supermarkets.
- I hate putting people out of their way, but going to friends houses I was that picky guest who you panicked about before she arrived (WHAT WILL WE FEED HER).
To the people who are vegans/ vegetarians etc. I take my hat off to you. Maybe in the future I might try out one of those lifestyles, but at the moment I am happy as I am!
I hope this post wasn’t too long but I wanted to go into as much detail as possible, so I could pain the best picture . Obviously I’m not qualified on any of the things I talked about (lol I’m only 19), but if you have any questions on anything I discussed or you just want to share your own experience that would be lovely! Leave a comment down below!