Dairy makes me feel downright rubbish. It leaves me generally lethargic and more importantly I have noticed a direct correlation between the amount of cheese I consume and how much oxygen I am able to get in to my lungs. And don’t get me started on what happens if I eat an ice cream.

As a child I suffered from very bad asthma. The sort that required constant medication, sitting out of PE and frequent trips to hospital due to severe asthma attacks. It was not fun. I know my mum avoided giving me excessive dairy as this aggravated my asthma and horrendous eczema (yep I was that delightful child). Sadly my little girl Alice seems to have also developed asthma (which I wrote about on Rock My Family). Luckily I seemed to grow out of it in the main and, apart from a bout of asthma when I lived in a very musty student house, I’ve been clear of it for most of my adult life. I still keep an inhaler but generally it’s manageable.

Recently though I have really been struggling with my breathing and finding myself constantly wheezy and tight of chest. I am needing my inhaler on a regular basis and it seems the yummy cheesy stuff is my nemesis.

I have cut out dairy in the past and have always avoided eating it excessivley as I know it isn’t my friend. Ten years ago I succeeded in cutting it out completely for six months after a blood test for food intolerances highlighted I should be avoiding it as well as wheat, eggs, garlic and brazil nuts of all things. That was not a fun six months. Try doing your shopping and avoiding all those things. It’s no mean feat which is probably why I have slowly slipped back in to eating ALL the dairy.

Over the years I have tried to stick to a mainly dairy free diet but it’s so easy to enjoy a nice slice of bread and butter or a generous grating of cheese on my pasta.

So last week I decided to attempt to once again cut out dairy from my diet. It’s hit and miss to be fair but a couple of days dairy free and I felt a million times better. However, the other night I tucked in a few spoons of the girls macaroni cheese (ok about half a bowl!) and a hot chocolate and then spent the night wheezing away. Even the walk up to school was hard work. It’s that instant. Creating the beautiful spread for the recent The Wedding Shop Autumn shoot for Rock My Wedding in the header above was a nightmare. So much dairy to avoid with yummy cake and cream laden soups.

In the main I buy a lot of dairy free anyway and my new favourite yoghurt is the KoKo dairy free. Not quite as expensive as coconut yoghurt but seriously yum on your breakfast. I also use almond milk or coconut milk for cooking or breakfast although I do tend to use normal milk in my tea at the moment as it took me a while to adjust to the taste of this last time round. I only have a couple of cups a day so I figure a splash is ok. I have been happily surprised by the range of dairy free that is available since I last cut it out, even if it is a touch pricey!

Where I massively fail in cheese. Where is the good dairy free cheese? I need your help. When I last cut out dairy I once bought a delight called Cheezles or similar and dear god it was not nice. Later I discovered Lacto Free cheese by Arla which was actually pretty good but I was never 100% sure if this was ok for me as is lactose free the same as dairy free? It’s a minefield.

I have a wealth of good recipes up my sleeve for dinners and even managed to find some amazing dairy free cakes and treats. You can find a few in our recipe archives. These brownies are a particular favourite as is the sugar free banana loaf. Delish.

Is anyone else dairy free and if so can you help me get back on track? What are your favourite dairy free finds and has anyone discovered the holy grail of a good cheese alternative?!!