by Sarah on March 28, 2012 · 21 comments

Two times, in as many days, I found myself in a situation where I was telling my life story (in a roundabout nutshell) to a relative stranger. As may be evident by the fact that I have a blog, I am guilty of being an oversharer.* Somewhere during my 27 years spinning around the Sun, I lost any semblence of a filter on my personal revelations.

*as I told a receptionist on Monday after she asked me what I taught and received a tragic, 15-minute-long lament about the end of my fifth grade sub position…So, today, I might be found guilty of a little T.M.I. But “too much information” is a D.N.C (“does not compute”) command in my world. Yes, y’all, today T.M.I. might as well stand for Testing My Intestines, because the theme of this week’s What I Ate Wednesday post is just that: how much lactose can Miss Smart’s approximately seven meters of coiled digestive tissue handle? [I apologize in advance, Jenn.]My deal with dairy is a convoluted one. I went from a yogurt obsessed, ice cream addict to no-cheese-for-me vegan in a rather abrupt twenty-four hour span last October. Following my initial month (plus) as a vegan, I tested the waters of dairy consumption, only to be met with borderline violent pain and internal methane overload.

But, Sarah, what about that cheese I saw covering your childhood favorite yesterday?

The need for authenticity (and not to waste anything) aside, it turns out that succumbing to my pimiento cheese cravings last month only served to lead me down a slippery slope of dairy consumption. If I could eat pimiento cheese–forgetting, for the moment, that it is mosly mayonnaise–what else could I consume?Thus began my digestive enzyme poppin’ parade of dairy fun and (occasional mis) fortune.

Y’all know the frenemic* relationship I have with fro-yo. Turns out we are now more enemies than friends. (My resolve: “Two pills are better than one.”)

Oh how tasty...and torturous.

The Chobani Champions Vanilla Orange yogurt you saw above was one of the few I had left over from the company’s generous donation to my class. I couldn’t let them go to waste, right?

For some reason I thought that having the B.R.A.T.-approved banana involved would make things better on my system.Not so much. Let’s just say I had to speak louder during Social Studies so my kids could hear me talking about voting rights over the ‘rumbly in my tumbly.’*

*Best way to skirt awkward intestinal descriptions? Quote a cute and cuddly cartoon. Speaking of B.R.A.T., why is applesauce G.I.–and I don’t mean Joe–approved, but apples are–as I have come to learn–msot certainly not?

(They taste really good with Chobani Vanilla Chocolate Chunk Yogurt though.)

The day I ate Vanilla Chai Yogurt topped with banana, Honey Graham Clif Z Bar, and some of Liz‘s (highly addictive) Vegan Mocha Muffins I felt like I was in yogurt mess heaven.I’m not saying it wasn’t tasty and delicious….but the rest of the afternoon I experienced the same types of starts-with-bl-and-rhymes-with-moat and “Do we all need S.W.A.T.-approved masks for this?” symptoms one might get from pairing broccoli and lentils.Oddly enough, the night I substituted my standard almond milk for some yogurt in my bedtime bowl of cereal goodness, I had no uncomfortable Pepto-popping side effects.Pain DID result, however, when I got the not-so-genius idea to incorporate buttermilk into my morning bowl of oatmeal.Any of the pancake flavor I desired was quickly tainted with the flavor of mixed berry Tums.Using the rest of the buttermilk to make “Pizza Bread” was a MUCH better idea. [It’s like Italian Soda Bread.]Although people had suggested I test the milky waters with goat’s milk, I wasn’t about to shell out $5.00 for so little product when I could end up writhing on the ground in pain. But, a conveniently timed “manager’s special” has taught me that goats and I just might get along, even without the aid of pills.*

*I KNEW there was a reason I wanted to raise a baby goat (aside from the fact that they are adorable…and a good topic for awkward first dates :))!(Of course, drinking a tablespoon in my coffee was an entirely different story for my stomach than when I drank a straight cup of it one night–warm and SO tasty—but evocative of a not-exactly-sleep-inducing mild discomfort in the navel region.)

A bit in my (cereal) bowl worked out fine, though.

So, now, you might be wondering…where does this leave me and my intestinal tract? How am I feeling about dairy these days? Well, I definitely feel about it, if you know what I mean. I can tell, physically, a difference when I’ve been consuming  it and when I haven’t.

Generally, I feel better without it: less bloated, lighter, cleaner.

However, on the flip side, I do think it helps in my overall digestion…things run a bit smoother, if you will. But maybe I can count on kombucha for that?I probably won’t consciously buy anymore for awhile. Instead, I am hereby recommitting to the dairy-free lifestyle. [Vegan with (slightly less) Benefits? ;)] I’ll be keeping the enzyme pills handy, though, because when you go to eat lunch at Arch’sHow can you pass up the free fro-yo (and gooey brownie!) that comes with your artichoke-heart topped spinach salad?

Gotta love Tuesdays at Arch’s. Much like you must love the trio of peanut butter, dulce de leche, and cake batter yogurt I have stashed in the freezer for later. (And will eat happily, even if it does leave me sleepless like the cheesy pasta I showed you yesterday.)And yes, I already have plans to go back next Tuesday. This may be for the free yogurt…or because I now have a schoolgirl crush on the yogurt guy. But we can save THAT conversation for a different kind of T.M.I. post. 😉