I've been lactose intolerant since 1999/2000. While spending a year abroad in Spain, my body just decided that lactose and I were no longer friends. In fact, we were enemies.
Now I think my lactose intolerance is a blessing in disguise, but back then it was another story.
It was a my senior year of college and besides being dumped by this guy who was my best friend (which is never good), I had this horrific roommate situation. I'm not going to relive the drama here, but if you ever catch me propped up at a bar, do ask. My housing situation was pretty crazy and I'm not sure you'd believe the drama that I went through.
To add serious stomach issues into an already stressful situation was horrible. And painful. And embarrassing.
I'll spare you the details for now, but I stand behind my statement that becoming lactose intolerant was a blessing in disguise. Less dairy meant less mucous production, clearer skin and less consumption of added hormones into my food.
And truly, honestly, I don't miss dairy. At all.
At first I did. In the early 2000's the only dairy free options available were Lactaid (liquid chalk) and soy milk. I have distinct memories of trying both in my parent's kitchen and gagging.
Luckily, things have come a loooooong way and I no longer pine for the days of taking a lactaid pill to eat my favorite slice of pizza or bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream. (I swear those lactaid pills never really worked 100% perfectly. Either that or I was just so traumatized by dairy that I could never disassociate the food with being sick.)
So fret not if you have a dairy intolerance or allergy. The market is flooded with dairy free options in the freezer section of your local supermarket. You don't even have to hit up the health food store. Just yesterday I picked up my favorite brand and flavor at Target. I never, ever dreamed of this day!
These days ice cream is made with a base of coconut milk, almond milk, goat's milk or rice milk. And there is no shortage of flavors either - your basics such as vanilla, coconut and fruity flavors are covered. Then bring on the coconut bliss, pistachio who knows what, mint chocolate chip, deep fudge something, Mudd Pie...the list goes on and on.
And if ice cream isn't your thing, then So Delicious or Tofutti makes these yummy ice cream sandwiches or bars. Coconut Bliss also does some coconut, chocolate bars which are to die for.
Sure, some of you might be saying, well Johanna, when was the last time you had "real" ice cream? And the answer is that it's been awhile. 13 years in fact. I'd like to think that "real" ice cream has made some progress with taste in that time. Regardless, I love to indulge my non-dairy options year round!
Have you ever tried non-dairy ice cream? Would you? Why or why not?