Bloating (arghhh) is quite possibly the bane of my existence. Maybe I’m being slightly dramatic, but I’m sure many can relate to the embarrassing and downright uncomfortable feeling of being bloated.
I’ve learnt to live with my very own Miss Potbelly. She comes and she goes as she pleases. And to be completely honest, I’m at a loss as to why (or how) I’ve upset her. Some days, she freaks out, which usually results in me huddled on top of a toilet seat. Not only is this super annoying but it also disrupts my day.
So, to put her to bed for once and for all, I went in search of a solution. I visited the doctor who diagnosed IBS. In turn, I eliminated certain food groups, increased by exercise routine, and tried eating slower. But, nothing seemed to work.
I then sought some advice from a nutritionist, and he shed some sparkling light on my situation. The nutritionist carefully dissected my day on a plate and insisted I drop all lactose from my diet. Apparently my body has trouble breaking down lactose, the primary sugar in milk and many other dairy products. But, I still wanted to eat milk, cheese and yoghurt for their nutritional benefits. Yes that’s right, despite what you may think, having an intolerance to lactose doesn’t mean you have to cut out dairy completely and it’s these nutritional benefits which is why I AM eating dairy…(hello parmesan!),
“Cheese ticks all the boxes whether you have it as a snack with some fruit and nuts, or add it to a salad. Not only does it provide a concentrated source of essential nutrients, but its macronutrient composition helps keep your appetite under control for hours. It’s also a great way to add high-quality protein to a vegetarian meal like a salad, important for maintaining muscle mass” says Blake Robinson, Accredited Practising Dietitian and Sports Dietitian.
So, with the promise of less bloating, gas and possibly a flatter belly, all while still enjoying a wedge of Parmesan and getting my daily dose of nutrients, I’ve set about upping my dairy intake with a low lactose focus in my diet.
Now, my fridge is full of lactose-free milk and hard cheeses. (Did you know parmesan cheese provides 10g of high quality protein as well as nutrients like calcium, other minerals and B vitamins and naturally has almost zero lactose?) And guess what? My belly has never been calmer. It’s like she’s taken a chill pill, and that chill pill has been lactose-free products.
So, if any of you suffer similar symptoms, maybe it’s time to see a nutritionist. Although I haven’t been diagnosed as lactose intolerant (yet), going lactose-free has definitely helped. I’ve even gone back to one wardrobe now (hurrah!).
To celebrate this milestone in my life I’ve decided to share with you one of my favourite low lactose recipes inspired from True Foods. I’ve even added my own little twist of adding crushed pistachios for a bit of that crunch-factor.
Kale parmesan salad
- A sprinkle of chilli flakes
- Olive oil
- lemon juice
- Grated hard cheese. My favourite is Parmesan Cheese
- Pistachio nuts
- Grilled chicken
- Combine the chilli flakes, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper.
- Mix in the kale and marinate for a few hours so it’s not so crunchy.
- Then toss in grated parmesan cheese and ground pistachio nuts and top with grilled chicken.