Thank You, Vegans

It’s been nearing two weeks since I posted last and apart from general work business that is sometimes disruptive, I got sick with a virus. It was probably a cold—definitely not the flu—but unpleasant just the same because of fatigue and congestion. However, this time around there were two things that were undeniably different—A) I was constantly hungry (I wanted to eat all the time), and B) I didn’t consume dairy.

Now, I don’t have philosophical issues with dairy—I was a raw milk drinker for many years. I love cheese (raw and pasteurized), yogurt, butter, ice cream, and I drink full fat lattes. I only really use non-dairy milk (coconut) when I prepare a chia breakfast bowl in the mornings. My unplanned abstinence from dairy confirmed something to be true that I’d been told over the years—cut out dairy to cut down on mucus. I know it is there for a reason but it’s also a real killjoy.

To go without dairy here in Portland was a breeze, and a lot of credit goes to our vegan friends who have worked hard for years to bring animal-free products into the true commercial mainstream. I was able to enjoy creamy salad dressings (tahini), coffee with milk (coconut milk), soft dark chocolate (also raw with no refined sugar—hats off to you, Honey Mamas), and yogurt (coconut milk). I’d actually like to try my hand at making coconut milk yogurt after this experience.

As an aside, I also plan to work on a ginger bug to make naturally fermented ginger ale, another good thing to drink when you’re sick (it’s also good any time).

As I continue to get over this virus, I plan to keep dairy out of my diet, and will take this opportunity to eat more dairy-free food. I don’t expect to eliminate it completely in the long run, but for now I’m content to explore the world sans dairy.