I've always suspected that I was sensitive to dairy but as the years have gone by, I'm pretty sure my mild lactose intolerancy has now become a moderate one. I don't suffer extreme intolerancy, since I don't become nauseated, vomit or have other gastrointestinal problems after consuming dairy products...but the indigestion, belching, bloating and general discomfort have made me realize it's time to give up dairy.

I seem to have intolerancy to certain dairy products more than others. Milk, ice cream, frozen yogurt, frozen custard and various yogurts seem to cause all the problems versus things like cheese, but even certain types of cheese have caused stomach upset.

I'm going to have a very hard time giving up ice cream and cheese, however, since ice cream is one of my most favorite comfort foods. However, it's promising that I have found recipes that make ice cream out of 'alternative milks' like almond and soy.

I'd rather gradually wean myself off dairy products than give them up cold-turkey, which so far hasn't been much of a problem. I rarely drink milk and there's rarely ice cream, frozen yogurt or custards, or yogurt in the house. However, we always have cheese, which is a BIG temptation.

I'm very happy to see stores offering a good variety of 'alternate milks'. Almond, soy, rice and coconut milks are available at my local grocers. Almond milk is probably my favorite and goes well with just about everything. Soy milk is my second favorite. I've yet to try rice milk and I will not drink coconut milk because A: I don't like coconut and B: there's still no proof that coconut is healthy for you (very high in saturated fats).

I do realize that there are brands of lactose-free milk available, but in my grocery stores charge quite a bit more for it - even more than the specialty milks. I'd rather just go without, because I drink it so infrequently - a container would go to waste if I bought it.

I'd be curious to hear if anyone else has had to cut out dairy from their diet, and if so, how did you deal with the cravings, or how did you go about weaning yourself off them? Any comments will be welcome!

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