Thursday, January 31, 2008
To be honest, when I started this blog my intentions were for it to be only food based. Sharing personal information about yourself is never that easy. Well, after many months of searching for personal information about gastrointestinal problems I discovered there needs to be more than just the medical symptoms and treatments out there. I know it is not the most pleasant thing to talk about or hear about, but it is comforting to know when there are others out there that share common problems and who could possibly recommend some non-medical solutions. Now, don't misunderstand me, this blog is still about is about how the foods we eat effect our bodies. I am a foodie that has always focused on nutrition and how what we eat really does effect how we feel. If you have any food allergy or intolerance this is extremely evident if you eat the wrong thing! You will suffer for weeks! I believe that we all some level of intolerance to the foods we eat, it just boils down to how our body reacts to digesting that food. Ok, so I will go into more detail in many more posts, but I thought that I would share that I have been silent here a lot lately due the hectic pace that I have been living for the past couple of months. I still cook/bake all the time, but depending on the situations around here...I may not have time to photograph the fruits of my labor. I have also been cooking a lot of bland things (I will elaborate later). I have dealt with "tummy troubles" (doesn't that make it sound so cute?) for many years. I was lactose intolerant as an infant and as I grew up, it was not as bad. From what I have read in the past, this is completely normal. After I had my first baby (Jay) my body started to change. I would blame him...but he is just too darn cute! I knew that things were changing for me because I had hard time getting the second baby (Max) here. He was hard work, but he happens to be just as cute as the first one, so I can't blame him either! Right after I had Max I started to experience digestion problems. I had no idea what to do. I lost so much weight and was constantly in the bathroom. As anyone with kids knows...this is exhausting on its own. Then throw in the feeling of having your insides turned out and you are pretty much running on empty. After many years of feeling like a gross freak and not knowing what was going on...I started to do some research. I then was told by my GI doctor to eliminate everything from my diet and start from scratch. That was fun! After many weeks of rice, fruits and vegetables I started working things back in. This lead to the discovery of the dreaded lactose intolerance! Now, being the frozen yogurt lover that I am, this was painful! I will tell you that I have learned to deal with it. It has taken many years to get to the point where I understand that while I can't necessarily mimic everything I miss, I have found a new appreciation for other foods. A lot of people I know think I only eat like a "freak" because I tend to focus on "clean" foods when I am not home. (By clean I mean mostly fresh or I know it well!) I feel fortunate that I am old enough to understand all of this. Now, the reason that I started this little youngest son, Max, is having stomach problems. I feel very overwhelmed again and very frustrated. Hopefully, his road will not be as hard and long as mine was.

I wanted to share this because there is not a lot of this kind of information out there. I will continue to share when I get more, but for now we are doing the proper tests and starting the elimination route.


posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 6:05 PM   8 comments
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Competing With the Cafeteria
I don't know how many of you out there have kids, but this one was a lesson well learned! I cook and bake all the time. It is a rare occasion for the kids to have to ask for anything to be baked around here. I always get excited when someone actually asks for something different because I always shy away from stepping outside of the box. Normally when I do that, I either have to eat the whole thing by myself or throw it out if it has dairy in it. Well, a few months ago, Max (my youngest) came home from school and asked if I ever made blueberry muffins before. He had one at school (it was breakfast for lunch day) and he like it. I was super excited because the illustrator is not a huge fan of blueberry muffins and I thought I was going to have a partner to eat them with! No such luck! After working on this recipe for something I thought would be good and would hit the spot...I was the only one to eat them. Then I started thinking...hello, it was the cafeteria. It was most likely at box recipe and I bet the blueberries were dehydrated. So, after eating them all by myself...I am going to try a different route. I am not above boxed baked goods, I just have this thing about wanting to be able to make things from scratch. I still have not perfected the brownies (the illustrator says that the boxed ones are the best), but I will defeat the blueberry muffin! I will let you know when I get it where I want it!
As a foot note, the illustrator said that he did like the flavor and texture, but not the crushed cereal on top. That was one the problems Max had too. I think next time I will maybe use smaller blueberries (or dried) and maybe a crumble topping or turbinado sugar on top...


posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 6:39 PM   7 comments
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Holiday Cheer!
So, it has been forever since I last posted anything. The holidays are now a complete blur to me and life has been so busy that food has not really been a priority around here lately. That is definitely going to change now! Between stomach bugs, travel, work and holiday parties...we have still not slowed down around here. Since the holidays are all about doing for others, I did not really focus on dairy free treats for myself. The illustrator and I always do holiday gifts for our clients, so I thought I would just show you that I have not been a lazy bum after all! I always have a blast making these treats for our clients. They always seem so appreciative and it is fun coming up with new a different ways to package them. We individualize them for each client with a focus on things that they like. It seems to have evolved into us adding an ornament on the packaging that is very specific to the client! Honestly, everything can be made dairy free. I just don't worry about it when it is for such a large number of people and the cost can get pretty high for the dairy free alternatives! So, here is what we did...

Each of these boxes have something different in them. I made white chocolate peppermint bark, chocolate fudge, rocky road fudge and oatmeal date walnut cookies (my standby recipe)! These are for the larger clients.
I love these little guys! They are so sweet (literally). We did these for a smaller clients and the kids teachers. The one showing is for a bartender. I loved how they turned out!
So, now that the holidays are over and life is pretty much back to normal...I plan to get back into things that are more for myself. I seem to have lost focus when it comes to cooking. Do you ever just get so overwhelmed with the options that you just stay with the old standbys? I am very guilty of finding new recipes and putting them aside for another day, to then finding myself only having an omelet for dinner. I have decided to start to plan more menus and try to stick with them. I think that will encourage me to try more things and not sit here and see all the beautiful things that other people are making and start trying more things out for myself! I do much better with organized plans than I do with trying to figure things out on the fly!


posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 11:18 AM   7 comments

Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen
Home: Atlanta, GA, United States
About Me: Lactose Challenged
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