Sunday, April 13, 2014

Something that I really love but can't handle like I used to is milk. Could still manage yogurt and cheese, but in fairly limited quantities. Going out for an ice cream cone is done after a cost/benefit analysis on my part*.

Last Fall, all hell seemed to break loose stomach-wise; became too frightened to eat. First thing folks worried about, of course, was appendicitis. That ruled out, allergies were looked into - mainly celiac and soy. The Celiac was easy to determine; all it took was a blood test. A few days later, the doctor called me to let me know that I was okay in that regard. She then suggested that I lay off of all dairy and soy of all things.

Now, the dairy part I'd been dealing with for some time, so that wasn't a problem. Soy however: how to live without that? Soymilk's what I'd drink instead of regular milk. Miso's like peanut butter to me; soy sauce like ketchup. For crying out loud, Tofu was my staff of life. I could serve it for all three meals and have it for dessert. This was going to be tough**. Then I discovered almond milk, particularly the Diamond Brand stuff. What I like best is the unsweetened, low-fat, fortified with calcium kind; taken neat, it's got a nice, subtle, nutty flavor. Also seems to be a good, neutral taste for most recipes, sweet or savory.

Interestingly enough, had a hard time finding the same quality of almond milk when I returned to France. Everything I'd found was a.) more expensive b.) shot up with sugar c.) with nut : water proportions considerably inferior to what I'd gotten used to here. Found oat milk (of all things - labeling in the EU is not so clear as here, so it took a while to figure out where this came from. Thought the brand was Italian; turns out the contents are Swedish.). It's a pretty acceptable drink, but am not crazy about cooking results.

Back to the States again, found that my lovely almond milk nearly doubled in price.*** Since I ain't made of money, am trying to work this out. I consume about 1/2 as much of the almond milk as I'd like and have been trying to spoon a bit of regular yogurt or buttermilk on things from time to time. It's not been too bad. Still haven't touched the soy, and I really don't plan to. A visit to an emergency room last Winter in France (same pains, just worse) showed something interesting though not completely related to the GI and which could be influenced by the soy. We'll see; have to hit the doctor again soon.


* Is it good enough to make it worth the pain afterwards? There are relatively few places where this ends up being the case: Christina's in Inman, Dairy Queen because of its rarity here - love the soft serve dipped in their nuclear red flavored coating, a stand in Fort Mahon that still is allowed to serve treats from unpasteurized cream. Normally I'd be a bit iffy about that, but they're very clean and am sure that at the first case of Resort Town Diptheria, they'd close. Anyway, my favorite there is sea-salt caramel. The Frenchie likes mint.

** Particularly, too, because I found that if I got a good bit of soy in me in the weeks before my (ahem) time of the month, the PMS symptoms - migraines, cramps, a chest that felt like there were two Ridley Scott aliens just waiting to burst forth - would be vastly reduced. Even the depression symptoms went from, "just give up, Be" to, "sigh, and this too shall pass."

*** Not surprising, given the general rise in commodity prices, not to mention transport.

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