A season of new: photography skills & healthy eating

sunshine and grass

Yesterday I had the privilege of attending a photography workshop that Boof had purchased on Groupon for me for Christmas. While geared more toward those with fancy-pants DSLR or point & shoot with full manual functions, I still got a lot out of it. Since I love photography it got me inspired to play around with the settings that I DO have on my camera. One drawback was that most of the people in the class were parents and he didn’t talk much about shooting in low light (indoors) with moving subjects (kiddos), because all of his talk on low light was about using these cool reflector gadgets and extra light flashes, which is SO not practical for a mom of a 1 year old. I’m chasing him down, and have zero time to put a gadgety light box up. A class covering that would have been sweet!

eggs with kale & vegan cheese

In other news: I’m starving. Well, not like African children starving, but still, I feel like I am going to DIE. That feeling comes in waves, though, and apparently it’s pretty common during a dairy elimination diet. I guess dairy has some sort of naturally produced stuff that acts like morphine/opiods, which makes us happy and not like we want to cry/tear our hair out/hit people (which might be how I’ve been feeling the past 24 hours). I tried my couch-5k run today and only managed 1 mile (though physically I felt okay) and almost started sobbing, so I went back inside (because nobody wants to be sobbing, while running in their neighborhood).

I was pretty proud of myself for making an awesome breakfast this morning. I’ve realized I’m going to have to eat practically non-stop to curb the dairy-craving-demon, so I tanked up this morning with a certified humane egg omelette with kale and nasty vegan cheese. The smell of the “cheese” was terrible, but it tasted okay when it finally melted. And I drank a coconut milk/raspberry/kale smoothie that tasted like…dirt. Sigh. I’m going to have to get more tools in my toolbelt if I’m going to make this change sustainable!

But, the longer I go, the more resolve I have (even if I’m blubbering), because today I learned it takes 10lbs of milk to make 1lb of cheese. And, that cheese uses calf stomach (rennet) to make it all thick and coagulated. So they separate a cow from her calf, the calf is sent to slaughter (barely strong enough to walk) and they combine the milk from the cow with the dead calf’s stomach. While it may not go exactly like that, it’s the gist that counts, and I just can’t do it! Though I’m now saying that I am “limiting” dairy, instead of “dairy free” because I will set myself up for failure if I think that I will never, under any circumstances, eat dairy again. Ya know?

Talk to me! Anybody do an elimination diet of any type? What were your reasonings? How long did it take for you to feel…normal?


  1. Good for you! I am also working on eliminating dairy, at this point it is down to yogurt once per day, and when I am back in the U.S. I think it will be easier to cut that out as well.

    I wanted to give my two cents that a) I find it easier to just avoid ‘faux’ cheese products that are processed…they don’t taste that great, and while you are eliminating dairy you are adding some random chemicals! For something like pizza I will make “ricotta” (drained crumbled tofu with lemon juice, salt & pepper and sometimes garlic) and “parmasean” (nutritional yeast, which you can sprinkle on it’s own as parm just fine, but mixing it with some miso really gives it some tang!) …

    2) Go in slowly! The smoothie is a great idea because coconut milk is so nice and creamy…but kale is hard core and even those who love it agree it tastes like dirt! 🙂 Try spinach in that instead, still great for you but less traumatizing! 🙂 Tonight get some vegan dark chocolate (most of the really dark is, just read the label) and melt it in a pot with a can of coconut milk…add a dash of cinnamon and thank me later!

    • I hear you on the faux cheese bit, man that stuff is just NOT the same. I think I’m best avoiding the fakey stuff for awhile before I figure out all those great substitutes! I will definitly be trying your tofu suggestion AND the coconut milk one, too! That sounds yummy!

      It’s so funny, I read your reply after I had the conversation with Boof about choosing spinach for awhile, because the kale was so, blech. Can’t do it all at once!

      Glad to know there’s someone else out there trying to eliminate dairy, too!

  2. I think most commercial rennet these days is man-made. I was vegan for 3 years after getting accepted to the pre-vet program at my University. Cravings (for me) usually mean that I need to amp up my protein. I accomplish this by making a protein smoothie (and bananas are mandatory for getting smoothies not to taste dirtish). Amp up your fluids to eliminate faster, too. Green tea is awesome. So is exercise. And so is having pre-made munchies ready to snack on in the fridge. Veggies, fruits and reasonable carbs without guilt for the first few weeks/months can make the transition easier. Counting calories + diet/lifestyle change (aka Going Vegan-ish) is really too much for a lot of people (and I’m not saying that to challenge you to be one of the few to do it…cuz I’m like that & would hear it as a personal challenge…anyway…) Good Luck and experiment with some different cuisines. Ethiopian, Thai and Indian are great ways to feel full while keeping to a vegan diet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s