I feel your pain. I’ve had a dairy allergy since I was a wee one and never found a dairy substitute I actually enjoyed until almond milk came around a few years ago. When I was in my 20’s and getting bone marrow biopsies at the cancer hospital in NYC, I was told by Western M.D.’s to add in non-organic (conventional) dairy because they thought they knew everything and they didn’t know dittily squat about nutrition. They followed the awful food pyramid and let’s just say the dairy didn’t do me well. I cut it back out after nearly spending the entire day (and night) bloated, in pain and feeling gross. So, out it went.
Now, when I was 25 there weren’t many other options to dairy out there but that’s not the story these days. We’ve got loads of choices that don’t include soy. I’m sure you all know not to touch soy—it’ll screw with your hormones, it’s one of the top GMO foods out there and it’s SO insanely processed. Trust me, stay away from anything with soy in it!
So, what’s a gal to do without dairy and soy? A whole lot.
Here’s a few pointers to help you navigate the aisle and help keep you happy minus the moo!
For starters, steer clear of those processed fake cheeses and processed ice creams, yogurts, etc. that you simply do not need. Why? Most of them are full of sugar, additives and fillers (yuck!) and they’re not doing much but create inflammation in your bod pod.
Reality check. Toss those packages out the door and welcome in these healthier, tastier and fun-er (not a word, but you get it) ideas.
When you crave it, take a minute to pause and remember why you’re not eating dairy- to lower inflammation, heal your beautiful bod, have more energy, less mucus, less sinus issues, vibrant skin and more energy as well as no belly bloat. Helllooo skinny jeans!
Start slow. Pick one or two of the below swappers and start with them this week. Then next week, add another and before you know it, you’ll be a dairy-free rock star. Trust me, once you get the hang of it, it’s easy as pie (dairy-free pie, of course).
Keep an eye out for dairy lurking in:
- condiments, yogurts, ice cream, sorbets, popsicles, smoothies
- the word “WHEY”….because that IS dairy
- the word “CASEIN”….because that IS also dairy
- salad dressings
- anything you order out in restaurants that was made with butter or cream
- cakes, cookies, power bars, granola bars
- protein powders
Now here’s a few dairy-free yummies to reach for instead of a slab of cheese:
- creamy avocados whirled in a food processor with sea salt and pepper does the trick in place of mayo on a sandwich or wrap.
- homemade or store-bought organic hummus is also a great mayo replacement.
- soaking raw cashews, almonds, walnuts and any other nuts overnight in water then draining and rinsing and whirling them in a food processor to make your own creamy ‘cheese’.
- soaking raw cashews, almonds, walnuts and any other nuts overnight in water then draining and rinsing and adding them to a blender with clean water to make almond milk, walnut milk, cashew milk, etc!
- adding chia seeds to water or almond milk and making your own chia pudding with fresh fruit.
- raw nuts and seeds to make your own granola or trail-mix.
- raw veggies served with guacamole, salsa and hummus.
- fresh fruits drizzled with melted coconut oil.
And a few ideas to inspire you to get creative in your kitchen without downing a glass of cow’s milk:
- use coconut oil instead of butter when baking muffins, cookies, breads, cakes, etc.
- use nut milks (almond, etc) when you make waffles or other baked goods.
- use a protein powder that doesn’t contain (whey, which is dairy) such as Amazing Grass.
- make a smoothie with fresh fruits, ripe avocado, nuts, seeds and coconut milk.
- use full fat coconut milk when cooking stir fries, etc.
- whirl a bunch of frozen bananas in your food processor to make an easy ice cream.
- add ground flaxseeds in place of parm cheese.
- thicken your soups with creamy avocados or soaked cashews.
- use nut or seed butters such as almond butter, walnut butter, tahini (sesame seed butter) or sunflower seed butter on sandwiches with sliced bananas or roasted organic chicken — instead of mayonnaise or condiments containing dairy.
- eat more veggies in place of dairy for pastas, pizzas, tacos, fajitas and oatmeal. Yes, savory oatmeal is amazing!