Hello hello!

Hi! I've just joined, although I've been following the site for several months now! I'm a college student from California, but not near enough to San Francisco or LA to get to the good asian food stores. :( Our big store closed only a few months ago. I stayed in Japan for two months last summer, and during a month of school my host mother packed me onigiri every day! The food was possibly my favorite thing while I was there, so when I came home and was feeling a bit 'homesick', I happened to stumble across this site and it was instant love. I haven't made any bentos yet, but I have classes for only two days a week this semester and I hope I can start. Unfortunately I haven't gotten the hang of waking up in the mornings..... My mom and I have been cooking Japanese food for a while - her gyoza is the best! But I recently discovered I've developed an allergy to dairy, which is different from being lactose intolerant. But since a lot of Japanese ARE lactose intolerant and so can't have milk, how do they get the proper nutrients? I'm constantly hungry and have lost 5 or 10 pounds since I cut out dairy, and I'm not sure why. As for calcium, I know they eat whole fish and bones in Japan, but that's a bit impractical here. I don't trust our fish that much. Also, if someone knows of a muffin recipe that doesn't have milk (butter is okay), sling it my way! Signing up has made me VERY hungry.