So as I’ve previously documented, my acupuncturist wants me on a very strict diet. If she had her way, I’d eat nothing more than organic fruits, veggies and meats, but I’m a cheese eating carboholic sugar freak, so that just ain’t happening. But I decided to compromise with her and give up certain things, namely dairy and sugar, which she thought were the two most important things to eliminate. Sugar because the body spends so much time and energy to process it (plus some other stuff that didn’t really make sense to me, so I don’t remember it). Dairy because it can create a mucous lining on your endometrium that makes implantation difficult (and she believes that dairy is harmful in general).

As I mentioned before, giving up dairy was not something that I thought I could do and remain a vegetarian, so I threw 16 years of vegetarianism out the window and became a full fledged carnivore. Strangely enough, I believe that it’s a lot easier to be a vegetarian than a non-dairy consumer. There is cheese in EVERYTHING it seems, and while it’s usually pretty easy to have cheese removed from food, it takes away a lot of the enjoyment of certain dishes. Burgers, for example, are nothing without a slice of pepper jack or cheddar laid nicely on top. I’m trying to make it work by adding things like bacon or onions, but it’s still not the same. I crave nachos (and had to watch my husband devour two orders of them at the Brewers/Cardinals games this weekend), pizza and grilled cheese sandwiches. I just want to eat cheese in general. Cut me off a nice big hunk of Colby and I’ll be a happy camper. I’m making do with rice milk, so I can still have things like cereal or recipes with milk in them, but I really do miss my cheese. Sigh.

Then there’s the sugar. I have a sweet tooth. A big one. I REALLY like sugar. Like a lot. They say that the first week without sugar is the worst and once you get past that week, it’s not so bad. And I can agree with that statement, it’s really not that bad. But I still do miss sugar. Cupcakes, brownies, cookies, candy…it all makes my mouth water. And for all the shit that I’m going through and putting my body through, it’d really be nice to have some dessert as a small pick me up. I’ve managed to find a sugar free honey sweetened pumpkin muffin recipe that I find to be quite good. They taste like pumpkin bars without the cream cheese frosting (which I never liked anyway), so those are a nice way to add a little “sugar” to my day. I also found a lemon cake recipe that is passable as dessert. But I miss my chocolate. A lot.

I’d heard that they make grain sweetened chocolate chips, so the other day I went on a mission to find them. I found myself at Whole Foods, hoping that I could find some there, and they had them! I opened up the bag when I got home and they taste almost exactly like the real thing! YAY! I also bought some cocoa powder which I can use to make chocolate cakes or cookies and I also found some already ready dessert…ICE CREAM! OK, so it’s not really cream, but it’s delicious! It’s called Coconut Bliss and as you could probably guess from the name, it’s made from coconut milk. There’s no sugar in the flavor I picked (chocolate hazelnut fudge), but you would never know if from eating it. Yum, yum, yum. This stuff ain’t cheap…$5.99 for a pint, but it is well worth it for some chocolate ice cream.

So although it stinks to have to give up a lot of my favorite foods during a time when I want them most, I’m slowly finding ways to get by with substitutions. When I asked my acupuncturist how long she wanted me to follow the no dairy, no sugar diet, she said “through the first trimester at least,” so here’s hoping I get to suffer through another 11 weeks of this!