Ice-cream, like a friendship, can be complicated, although for me lately, it’s been harder to distance myself from a good ice-cream than a friendship gone sour. Over the years, when discovering that a friendship had turned toxic – meaning the person was draining me emotionally with negativity and drama – I would simply spend less time with that friend, loving them from a distance. What a beautiful idea: to love someone from a distance. That usually means I could handle being in a friend’s presence in small doses, but after a while, I’d need to leave.

Ice-cream is similar in that small doses work best for me. Deep down in my heart I know that sugar and dairy are not helpful. My body rejects dairy in many ways because dairy exacerbates my allergy/sinus problems. It surely causes other symptoms too, but this isn’t the place to explore. I have alternated between eliminating dairy from my lifestyle for several months at a time, to enjoying it in small doses. However, I discovered that when I overindulge, I fall in love again, and will eat it every day if I’m not careful.

When indulging in this dairy treat more than once a week, my body begins to crave the ice-cream. What’s the problem, you say? It’s summer, it’s hot. Why not indulge? Your average pint of ice-cream has 39 grams of saturated fat and 69 grams (16 teaspoons!!) of sugar in it. My arteries are already clogging, and my insulin is spiking just thinking about all that fat and sugar! Because we now know that sugar is addictive according to all the experts, TV docs and real docs, too, it makes sense that my cravings increase when I indulge more than once or twice over the course of a few days; hence my need to distance myself from my friend, the ice-cream.

Other than reading the sobering ingredients, how do I know that my body (not my taste buds) doesn’t like ice-cream? Every few months I engage in a gentle detox from sugar, dairy, soy, gluten and caffeine for 30 days at a time, and I indulge in eating clean, whole foods and plant-based supplements. I highly recommend it, for you can learn how your body reacts to a variety of foods and what it needs to function optimally. A few years ago, when I first started the detox plan, I learned about how wheat and dairy affected me. Several months later, when I was eating SAD (Standard American Diet) food, I developed a sinus infection. After going to the doctor and receiving my antibiotics, I thought I’d soothe my misery by indulging in comfort food – Heavenly Hash ice cream. Less than an hour later, the sinus pain in my face increased, so I took a nap. The next day, because I was still feeling miserable and waiting for the antibiotics to work, I ate another bowl. Within an hour, my pain increased. It took about four days for me to see the pattern: an unhealthy diet, an overload of sugar, dairy, plus a sinus infection made for a bad combination.

Since then, I have experimented with dairy-free ice-cream and sugar free ice-cream, and they taste quite delicious, but have not had dairy-free, sugar-free organic ice cream made with all-natural ingredients. That requires making a premium purchase, and I’m not quite ready to invest in that type of relationship right now.

Lynne B. Ford is a health-wellness entrepreneur who enjoys the beach and a good book. She lives in Pawleys Island with her family. Contact her at lbfordh2hconnect@gmail.com.