Why There is No Cheese in my Blueberry “Cheese” Tart
Generally speaking, cheese is composed of fat, a “little” bit of lactose, which is a naturally occurring sugar found in milk, and the dairy derived proteins casein and whey. The amounts of each depends on the variety and age of the cheese.
When it comes to a dairy allergy, it is the milk proteins, casein and whey, that are the culprits. It could be one or the other or both. Oftentimes, dairy allergies are confused with lactose intolerance, which is not an allergy but an enzyme deficiency. A person with lactose intolerance is deficient in lactase, the enzyme necessary to digest the lactose.
Food allergies come in two classes, IgE (think peanut allergy, anaphylactic shock and epi-pens) and non-IgE. Non-IgE allergies are still immune related, but the symptoms are delayed. This makes non-IgE food allergies pesky. Pesky because it can be a few days before the symptoms surface and then hard to trace back to the offending food.
The majority of adults with a dairy allergy do not have circulating milk protein-specific IgE and show negative results on the common skin prick test. These non-IgE-mediated reactions tend to be delayed, with the onset of symptoms occurring from 1 hour to several days after ingestion of dairy. Hence, they are often referred to as “delayed hypersensitivity”. Journal of the American College of Nutrition
I love cheese, but cheese doesn't love me. I have a non-IgE dairy allergy. When I eat dairy within 24-48 hours I experience muscular tension in my neck and shoulders, usually on the right side, as well as chronic fatigue. I think the fatigue is the worst, as it zaps my motivation to do anything but sit, sit and sit some more. This can last for a few days to a few weeks.
I realize some believe, not without good reason, that with gut healing, food rotation and nutritional supplementation, oftentimes allergies can be reversed. This however, hasn't been the case for me, in spite of expert guidance. I have avoided dairy for over a year and according to my latest set of lab work and food allergy panel, my gut is doing well, however, I still have a dairy allergy.
In somewhat disbelief of said results, I decided to rebel and test myself by eating cheese. Not just any old cheese, but good organic raw grass-fed cheese. It was the weekend before Christmas, I had 1 oz. of cheese on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and by Monday, I was miserable with a capital M. The aforementioned symptoms returned and they took two very long weeks to subside. Let me tell you, it was so not worth it.
Truth be told, I have avoided dairy long enough to be perfectly okay without it. While I do love a good cheese, it doesn't do any good to cry over spilled milk. I would rather relish in all the creative things I can do in the kitchen with ingredients that are healthy and keep my body happy. Today's recipe is the perfect example of a little creative ingenuity, cream cheese made from blanched almonds that when combined with blueberries results in an amazing healthy dessert.
The quicker you let go of old cheese, the sooner you find new cheese.” Spencer Johnson, Who Moved My Cheese
Other posts about Food Allergies:
- Allergic Tension Fatigue Syndrome
- Downfall of Dairy
- Food Allergies: My Casein Confession
- Q & A : Food Sensitivity and Coconut Milk
- The Cow Says Moo
- The Dangers of Gluten
- What is a Food Allergy