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Allergy Awareness Week - Giving up Milk / Dairy

Karen - Marketing Manager

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"On the first day, breakfast was a real challenge. Yogurt, cereal and butter were all out of the question so I was left with dry toast with marmite. I drank black tea during the day, which I don’t mind, and I also took some earl grey to work with me. However I did have a slight lapse when I returned from work, as I accidentally ate some chocolate without even thinking!

Day 2 wasn't too bad, I googled ‘dairy free breakfast’ and there was literally 2 options, fruit or eggs. I opted for some bananas on toast. After work I was invited to an Italian restaurant for dinner, however I declined the invitation so I wasn’t faced with the temptation of cheesy pizza or pasta.

As the week went on, and work became busier I didn’t have the time to plan meals, and I began eating out more. This was a real struggle. Trying to find a sandwich at the train station without butter was impossible and there wasn’t much choice in the supermarket either, only the odd wrap to choose from.

I went to Thorpe Park at the weekend and was obviously faced with a lot of fast food eateries. I opted for a Burger King on the Saturday, and I asked for no cheese in my sandwich. I held the queue up for more than 10 minutes as they created my burger, which made me feel very embarrassed.

Reflecting on this week of giving up milk and dairy products, I would say I found it very hard to adapt to this lifestyle. I had to plan out what to eat, (as my staple fall back is always pasta and creme fraiche) and I felt very restricted in my diet, particularly at breakfast time. It was extremely difficult to buy pre packed food without milk ingredients, and I found eating out very frustratingly difficult, to the point the where I wouldn't even go. However I did find that all the food I ate tasted okay, and it did force me make choices and eat things that I wouldn't have otherwise.

Overall I think this week has definitely made me more conscious of allergens in food, and more empathetic toward allergy sufferers. It was so difficult to eat out or on the go unless you had something prepared, however it did make me eat more fruit, a habit I’ll try and keep up.”

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