Subway Employee – Would you like your sandwich toasted?
Me – No thank you.
Subway Employee – What kind of cheese would you like on your sub?
Me – No cheese either, please… just spinach, tomato, pickles and sweet onion sauce… thanks!
My Judgmental Friend – No cheese? Aren’t you a dairy farmer or something? Or are you one of those people who think “not eating dairy” is going to make you loose weight? *LOL’s to herself*
So, this scenario ACTUALLY happened. I was getting lunch with a friend at Subway and I skipped the cheese on my sub, which resulted in IMMEDIATE judgement from my peer. But how about we take a moment to set the record straight.
- I don’t do “diets” so no, that’s not why I skipped the cheese. Being 100% in shape and “thin” will never feel as good as chili fries taste. Or chocolate truffles.
- I’m lactose intolerant, so she should have actually been happy I skipped the dairy on my sub.
- Lactose intolerance occurs when the small intestine does not make enough of an enzyme called lactase. Your body needs lactase to break down, or digest, lactose.
Let me tell you what, being a lactose intolerant dairy farmer isn’t easy. Chocolate milk, cheese, and ice cream are pretty big no-no’s for me. It also doesn’t help my rep that I’m not always consuming the products I’m constantly pushing others to include in their diets so they get the calcium and overall goodness their bodies need.
So, how do people “like me” get the calcium they need? A lot of people end up resorting to products like “almond milk” or “soy milk” to replace what they (think) can’t get from ACTUAL milk without getting an upset stomach. And though I will confess, flavored almond milk tastes good (because it’s sugar content is on steroids) you will NEVER see me drinking that wanna-be “milk.” Wanna know why? I’ll give you 3 reasons.
- For pete’s sake folks, IT’S NOT MILK. You don’t milk an almond or a soybean. Is it a beverage with added calcium? Yes. Is it milk? Hell no, so just stop calling it that right this second.
- It’s (for lack of a better term) total crap that it’s marketed as “better” than real milk. Bessie and Daisy go bonkers in the milking parlor when they hear that people actually believe that. Nothing is better than the real thing. Click here if you’re not convinced. And here. Or here.
- Products like Lactaid exist, so I can still get the calcium I need.
I have found my solution. Lactaid is a brand of dairy products (mainly milk, ice cream and yogurt) that are made with REAL dairy milk. How is this possible? This brand has created a line of dairy foods with the lactose already broken down in the product. They also make a dietary supplement that provide you with the lactase you need to consume other dairy products, without feeling discomfort.
So yes, I am a lactose intolerant dairy farmer. And yes, milkshake dates at the local creamery sometimes make me a miserable person. But that doesn’t mean I’ve turned my back on dairy products. I dug and I searched and I found a solution that allows me to still enjoy REAL dairy products and give my body the calcium it needs. Because of that, I challenge YOU, fellow lactose intolerant community, to do the same as I did.