Food, Food allergies, Health

Israel creamed me

For three years before I moved to Israel, I was dairy free.

And not just, “No thank you, I won’t have extra parmesan on top of my fettuccine alfredo” dairy free.

I was hard core, no dairy, no way, not even a lick from the spoon after making my kids Mac and Cheese, dairy free.


Because I realized about a decade ago the connection between what I ate and how I felt, both physically and emotionally.

On top of that, my kids were all diagnosed with food allergies and our home became food-focused and poop-focused.

(There’s a lot you can tell about your health by being poop-focused, don’t ya know? Good poop. Good times.)

The best I ever felt in my entire life — physically and emotionally– was when I was dairy free, wheat free and sugar free.

I carried on like this for a good year or so. And despite the inconvenience to my family and my book club, I felt AMAZING.

Practically everything I ever thought was going to kill me one day (stomach pain, gas, anxiety, asthma, eczema, migraines) practically up and disappeared when I stopped eating those foods.

Since moving to Israel, however, I no longer cut the cheese.

The cheese cuts me.


I tried to stay away from it. And succeeded for a while.

Until Shavuout.

Damn you, Shavuout.

Shavuout 2011 was my downfall.

Quiche, lasagna, blintzes, cheesecake, chocolate mousse.

After that, I totally I cheesed out.

Started with goat cheese. I was one of those girls who was all like “I’m so totally healthy because, like, I only eat organic, locally-grown Feta now.”

But cheese is cheese.

For me, at least.

Before long, Feta became mozzarella became butter became sour cream became homemade whipped cream three times a week became


And I am pretty sure my body has suffered because of it.

True, I’m getting old. And true, I live on a kibbutz — home to every environmental allergen imaginable.

But I have to believe that the dairy (and the sugar!) are playing a big role in how downhill my physical health seems to have gone in the past two years. (I’ll spare you the details.)

So, in honor of Shavuout this year, in honor of the dietary laws passed down from generation to generation, I am pledging to not pass anything this year. Nothing foul at least.

I’m giving up dairy again.

It won’t be easy. I’ve grown really fond of homemade whipped cream.

And this guy.

goat cheese guy

* * * *

(Follow my last hurrah on Instagram )

9 thoughts on “Israel creamed me”

  1. I feel you! I love those goat cheese rounds and dairy is also not really my friend. My trainer will go on and on about how horrible dairy is, worse than sugar in his opinion! Either way, kudos to you for putting your health first, and blintzes second 🙂


  2. I have to tell you I almost live on cheese, and love the stuff. Once I saw that word the rest of the post became a sort of blur but I’m sorry to hear about the allergies, and hope they don’t plague or limit you too much


  3. You might have Celiac Disease coupled with lactose intolerance. You should get tested. Hope not, but it sure sounds like it. If so, there are lots of us out here. You’re not alone!


    1. Hi Cindy: I have been tested for celiac in the past and came up negative, but i do have a history of being food sensitive which I learned by food elimination diet (a few times). There’s still no good test for people who test negative for the “known” food-related disorders — food allergy and celiac. So, my understanding is, the next best thing is a strict elimination diet, follow by slowly adding things back in and tracking your reactions in a diary. I did this a while back and know my trigger foods, but I definitely think I am due for one again. The body changes as we age.


  4. I’ve been cutting more and more dairy, wheat, and sugar out of diet. Can’t seem to kick the cream out of my coffee though I’ve done it before whenever I was nursing. For the the HARDEST is sugar, but I’ve come a long way. It’s true we feel so much better . . . but that can be easy to forget in the presence of an ice cream sundae.


    1. Funny, Nina. That’s the only habit i maintained after re-introducing dairy. I haven’t had milk in my coffee in like 5 years. (that said I did have a few Cafe Mochas while I was in the US last month and splurged at Starbucks.) I am a happy black coffee (WITH sugar drinker). I need a tsp of sweet stuff inside or coffee just doesn’t do it for me. And I’m just not about to give up coffee (again) yet. So far, I am on day 3 of no dairy and REALLY happy. Also almost gluten free. (save for Oreo cookies, my only sweet treat during the day.) I’m on my way…


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