Giving up the White Stuff was right for me

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If there’s one thing worse than getting sick, it’s getting sick on holiday.

And the worst kind of holiday to get sick on? Why, a trekking holiday of course.

Which is exactly the situation yours truly found herself in last week, on the first day of a four-day trek along Peru’s Inca Trail, final stop: Machu Picchu.

Having booked the adventure almost a year ago, it was somewhat frustrating to find my head down a toilet (I’ll spare you the graphic details) less than 30 minutes in.

Altitude sickness? That wasn’t due to set in for another day or two. Food poisoning? I didn’t think so.

Several hours later, and having seen little but the underside of numerous bushes along the route, I cried with joy (or pain, I’m still not quite sure) at news that a doctor was present at the first campsite.

As Spanish words were exchanged across a table, one had long stopped caring about the cause, and just wanted drugs to make the pain go away. They were duly administered and, 24 hours later, I felt almost human again.

Able to stand up straight without vomiting, I finally questioned what the doctor had said.

Acute gastritis had been the diagnosis, caused by a problem with digestion. Back in the UK, and drastic action is being taken to help ensure no future holidays are disturbed in such an unfortunate way.

First step, a dairy-free diet.

While once milk was thought of as one of life’s necessities, a little research revealed that more and more people are giving up the white stuff.

After all, as one expert points out, we are the only species that consumes the milk of another animal. Kind of gross when you think of it like that.

With that in mind, it’s little surprise that ‘free-from’ diets have become all the rage. But we’re not just talking lactose-free here. Supermarkets have started stocking their shelves with products bereft of wheat, gluten, eggs, soya and nuts.

Almost a week in, and it’s been little problem trying to find food to suit. Dairy-free biscuits, crackers and cakes now fill our cupboards, with almond and coconut milk stocking the fridge.

Last week’s Great British Bake Off, which featured a ‘free-from’ theme (you know you’re on to something when Mary Berry backs it), is waiting to be watched, and ‘Go Dairy Free’, the best-selling cookbook on the topic, is on order.

Got milk? No thank you. And I’m doing just fine.