Why go dairy free?
Well there are multiple reasons as to why some people might.
– Lactose intolerant,
– Allergic to milk,
– It’s simply a personal preference.
My reasoning is based off a personal preference. Already having low stomach acid, it is hard for my body to break down most foods, so you can only imagine how dairy and gluten react with me!
I have tried to restrict dairy from my diet a few times but it was tough. I would usually end up just consuming more of it (and as we all know restriction can lead to forms of bingeing). Though I wasn’t bingeing, it was definitely recurring more regularly in my daily diet, enough to realise it wasn’t doing me any good in terms of energy or physical factors in the long term.
Let me give you a scenario of this past week.
I would usually have Greek yoghurt in the evening before bed – the next morning I would wake up bloated and lethargic. I would either go to the toilet or I wouldn’t at all. Throughout the day my stomach would usually decrease in size but I still didn’t feel right. It would further sometimes cause me to have stomach aches and gas (sharing is caring haha).
Dairy can cause other reactions, such as acne or weight gain and that is why a lot of people actually reduce or eliminate it completely from their food choices. So if it’s a sustainable change for you there is definitely no harm in trying it out for yourself to see how it goes for you. You may be surprised with the outcome!
They say it takes around 2-3 weeks for it to completely eliminate from your system
before noticing any changes or results.
To determine if having no dairy is helping you I would base it off how you physically feel and look. This is the approach I take, as it is pretty obvious. Taking photos will also help too!
Currently I’m on day 4 out of 21 days of DAIRY FREE and I can say I already feel so much better. I feel and look less bloated first thing in the mornings so I’m taking that as a good sign.
I will admit though… because I am a pizza and chocolate lover I have had to find alternatives to help me along the way… and also make this a sustainable change for myself too! Like I said, it’s not an easy change but with similar substitutes and a strong mindset and the willpower to do it for yourself, it will get easier overtime 🙂
So here are my 21 tips and tricks to keeping off that dairy!
Substituting milk is the easiest first step of removing diary.
– Coconut, Almond, Cashew, Soy or Rice Milk instead of whole or skim milk.
– Coconut or almond yogurt instead of Greek yogurt.
– Coconut milk instead of cream.
Swapping a plant-based spread for a dairy-based spread.
– Almond, peanut, or cashew butter instead of butter or cream cheese.
– Hummus instead of cheese.
– Slice avocado onto your burger instead of cheese.
You don’t always need dairy to flavour your meal.- Guacamole instead of sour cream.- Avocado, coconut oil, or tahini instead of butter or sour cream.
– Cashew cream instead of full cream.
– Pile tons of veggies (or pineapple) onto your pizza or pasta instead of cheese, or you can use nutritional yeast.
- SWEETSYou can still treat your sweet tooth without dairy.- Make ice cream out of bananas and/or coconut milk instead of cream.
– Bake with coconut oil instead of butter. (And coat your baking tins with it, too).
– Blend a hemp or rice-based protein powder into your smoothies instead of whey.
– Use almond milk when baking instead of dairy milk.
– Purchase dairy free chocolate from your local health & organic grocery stores.
Quick and easy tricks:– Carrots and cucumbers with hummus instead of ranch dip.
– Air popped popcorn instead of popcorn in butter.
– Fruit with nuts instead of a candy bar.
– Granola bar instead of muesli bars with yoghurt toppings.
- EATING OUT
When eating out, be careful of the sneaky places where dairy often hides in:
– Creamy soups.
– Oatmeal, which is often made with milk.
– Thick dressings or sauces like ranch.
– Omelettes or scrambled eggs, as they may add milk or sauté the veggies in butter.
– Smoothies often include yogurt, milk or whey powder.
– Sherbet, unlike sorbet, is made with milk or cream.
- MENTAL TRICKS
And finally, a lot of success with phasing out dairy begins in your head, even more so than in your coffee. Try these tricks:
– When you crave cheese, remember WHY you’re cutting out the dairy: to feel better, look and to live better (with more energy and less bloat) than you do right now.
– Remind yourself that living that better way will bring you more pleasure than that bite or two of dairy.
– Start simple — pick one of the above swaps and keep with it for a week or two.
When that feels easy, add another. Then another. Keep going until you’re dairy-less and energy-full!
– Don’t beat yourself up. If you mistakenly order oatmeal when eating out and realize midway through that it’s made with dairy, don’t tell yourself that you just failed and
it’s all over. Instead, be happy you found out, don’t finish the bowl, eat some fruit and remember to ask next time whether or not the meal is made with any dairy.
Once you establish this, it’ll become a habit 🙂