Have you discovered you’re intolerant or allergic to dairy? Maybe you want to try a new diet (vegan/paleo perhaps)? Or have you just heard how beneficial cutting out dairy from your diet is? If it’s one of these reasons or more, you’ll be pleased to know that I too decided to get rid of dairy from my life, and today I’m going to share my top 6 simple tips to cutting it out of your diet! Woo!
Quitting dairy can be beneficial for your health in SO many ways that you don’t even realise til it’s gone. You may not know this, but dairy has been scientifically linked to acne, cancer and weight gain as well as stomach aches, gas problems and bloating (I wish I knew this 3 years ago!). Since I’ve cut out dairy from my diet, I’ve noticed improvements in my mood, my skin, my bowel, my energy and more!
I’m here to tell and show you it’s easier than you think. What’s stopping you?
My Dairy Story
I quit dairy about 3 years ago, after seeing a Naturopath for the first time. Some of the symptoms I was experiencing each day included tiredness, irritable moods, bloating, (smelly) gas, pimples, and red skin. Little did I know, some of these symptoms were linked to the fact I was eating and drinking cows milk products EVERY DAY. When I think back on it, I can’t believe I used to drink a cup a milk a day (sometimes more!). How did it take this long for my body to start rejecting it?!
Since removing all dairy products from my diet, I’ve had more energy, NO pimples or red skin, and my mood has increased overall. I’m so happy with myself now, and although overwhelming at first, after I broke it down and stuck to the basics that I’ve described in this post, maintaining a dairy-free diet became easier than ever!
You Really NEVER Eat Dairy??
Okay well occasionally I give into the temptation of cheese or sour cream with my nachos (look even I’ll admit I miss it sometimes). But as soon as I do, I can feel the dairy instantly (which keeps me away from it for another few months!). It makes my throat phlegmy, it makes my stomach cramp (like a knife in the left hand side usually), and it makes me really tired. My skin also flares up again after a day or so.
For some people, dairy or lactose gives them the runs (literally running to the toilet), and others say it clogs them up. It’s just not natural for humans to consume dairy!
The most important thing is to listen to your body before, during and after you quit dairy. Then you will notice the symptoms associated, and eventually the improvement in your weight, skin or bowel!
6 Alternatives to Dairy
I’ve provided 6 easy alternatives for dairy food so you can cut dairy out of your life for good! These are all tips based on my personal experience. Start phasing out dairy one step at a time and watch your skin, health and mood change right before your eyes.
One. Plant-based milks.
The easiest alternative is to switch your cows milk for a plant based milk. They pack plenty of flavour and nutrients. You can pick them up from your supermarket, local health food store or you can make them yourself using a nut milk bag! These may include:
- almond milk,
- cashew milk,
- soy milk,
- coconut milk,
- hemp milk,
…and more if you want to be creative!
TWO. Coconut products.
This one is pretty broad, but you can pretty much find a coconut alternative for every dairy product. For example,
- coconut yoghurt
- coconut milk (coconut milk powder too)
- coconut oil
- coconut cream
- coconut water
- coconut ice cream (less ingredients means more benefits)
- cheese made from coconut oil (BioCheese – it doesn’t taste like coconut I promise)
Coconut ice cream is my favourite. You can make it yourself, or there are so many different flavours to choose from in your local health food store or supermarket! Some brands I recommend are CoYo and Over The Moo.
tip: If you scoop the cream layer off the top of your pure coconut milk tin), you can whip it up like you do with dairy cream, and it tastes delightful on pancakes, with cake or used as a whipped cream substitute.
Nooch, aka Nutritional Yeast, is a flakey type substance that provides a ‘cheesy’ and almost nutty type of flavour to foods. It’s often used as a healthy alternative to parmesan cheese, as it’s similar in texture and flavour. I use it in replacement of cheese for many things, including:
- on my Spaghetti Bolognese,
- in mac n (no) cheese,
- on top of popcorn,
- made into vegemite,
- sprinkled onto pretty much anything!
Nooch is very popular among vegans as it is usually fortified with vitamin B12, and can take on a sweet or savoury flavour depending on what it’s mixed with. It’s also important to note that Nooch isn’t like other ‘yeasts’ – bakers or brewers. It can not cause candida as it’s processed differently and totally deactivated. You can pick it up from your local health food store.
Okay, I’m totally BANANAS about bananas. They’re great for making:
- smoothies (freeze them overnight for extra creaminess)
- icecream (nicecream is basically just bananas and a flavour of your choice)
If you freeze a bunch of nana’s and keep a supply in the freezer, you’ll be able to have endless creamy smoothies, nicecream and smoothie bowls (including Acai)!! This is what I do, and can’t recommend it more!
Five. Nut Butters.
Instead of smothering butter all over your toast, try a few different nut butters instead!
- Cashew butter,
- peanut butter (not paleo btw),
- almond butter,
- hazelnut butter,
- ABC nut butter….
- Sunflower/pumpkin seed butter (for a nut-free version!).
Make sure your nut butters contain nothing BUT NUTS! There’s no need for salt, oil and other additives! You can find pure nut butters in the healthfood section of your supermarket, or local health food/bulkfood store. I love spreading my nut butters on some toast with bananas, strawbs or cinnamon to name a few. You can also drop a tablespoon or so into smoothies for creaminess or flavour.
tip: not a nut butter, but hummus is great for using as a spread on your wraps or crackers (I’m obsessed with hummus at the mo ♥).
Believe it or not but cashews are the upcoming trend at the moment! Cashews are so versatile because after they are soaked they can be blended to create different types of creamy textures in all sorts of sweet and savoury dishes.
I don’t use cashews to make anything myself, but I’ve heard of great simple DIY cashew cheeses. I might try it out and write a review about it… Do you think that’s a good idea? Please let me know in the comments! ↓
Why Should You Quit Dairy?
Still not convinced? Here’s a couple of more examples on why dairy simply sucks.
If I think about it now, it doesn’t make sense to me why humans drink cows milk. Think about it.. COWS milk. Humans are the only species who drink another animals milk, for no purpose at all. It’s not like we are drinking it to heal something in our bodies, we just drink it because that’s we’re conditioned to do. Would you be willing to re-condition yourself? – it’s the only thing stopping you now.
What are you waiting for?
Now that you have the info to quit dairy, you’re ready to throw away the bucket of sugary, fattening and pimple-forming ice cream without worrying what you’ll do without it! If I can do it, so can you.
What’s your experience with dairy? Have you made the quit or want to? I’d love to hear about it! Please leave a comment below. Alternatively, send me a message and I’m happy to support you in any way I can on your dairy-free journey! ♥