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Adding back dairy to Paleo diet
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After my first month of Paleo, I decided to add back some dairy products. Now, before anyone gets too excited, that means hard cheese, butter and cream. It also still means that when mixed with non-Paleo ingredients, they are still on the banned list, so, no ice cream. Of course, after this cold snap, who is really in the mood for that? But, I wonder if I can figure out a way to make Paleo powdered sugar ... I could go really go for a maple-walnut truffle.

Nevertheless, adding back dairy really adds a lot more food options. You never realize how much stuff contains cheese until you try to avoid it! So far, I have not noticed any negative reactions, so hopefully that means that I don’t have any minor dairy allergies.

I had never thought about it before reading up on this diet, but did you know we are the only animal in the animal kingdom that consumes another animal’s milk and the only animal that consumes milk products after infancy? Seems kind of crazy, but I guess we’re also the only animal that has domesticated other animals, so who knows how crazy we really are? But, I am grateful to not have to live my life without cheese.

Christmas parties are in full swing, and so far I have been able to adapt some appetizers (thank you for the inspiration, Aaron Spanier and congratulations to your mother and father on their 50th wedding anniversary) that are both delicious and Paleo-friendly. I think I still owe it to my family to make some regular goodies and, because I drew my eldest brother’s wife in our family Christmas drawing, I will most certainly be making pizzelles (Italian waffle cookies). We will have to see how well I can resist sampling. As I mentioned before, I cook to taste, so if it proves to be too difficult to resist, my family may have to live with store bought candy/cookies this year. However, I am pretty certain I will not be making baklava, because even if I cheat, it’s hard to eat just one!

So far things are still progressing pretty well. I am down 10 pounds and am still losing, albeit a little more slowly. I think the biggest thing I miss in my diet is potatoes. If most of you grew up like I did, our main meals consisted of a meat, a vegetable and potatoes. Roasted, fried, mashed, baked, casseroled, or riced, it’s hard to mess them up and they pair up well with just about any other ingredients.

I think, though, if my blood work stays good, I will probably try to continue to stick Paleo after my two month commitment. I feel great. I don’t feel hungry, I’m getting my weight in-check and I don’t feel deprived (most of the time). Plus, I think if I can be careful most of the time, an occasional small scoop of potatoes (or other cheat) for a special occasion will be OK ... provided I don’t start making up special occasions!

Mary Hoisington