Dairy is the cause of all kinds of bodily mischief. It’s time to ditch the mischief-maker and get healthy! We’re here to make the transition easier!
By now you’ve surely heard that dairy, well, ain’t so good for us. It's been scientifically linked to acne, cancer, and weight gain as well as stomach aches, gas problems, cellulite, and bloating.
This means a lot of people want to cut dairy out of their diets! Great! But the problem is many dairy-less hopefuls often say to me, “but I could never live without cheese!” And to them, I offer these four tips.
TIP #1: Find Your Swaps
If there's one thing dairy's got going for it, it's some delectable textures. There isn’t anything as creamy and dreamy as dairy. Or is there? Ok, there actually is.
All you have to do not to miss dairy is replace its good qualities with something better! Like, maybe consider coconut or almond milk yogurt with your granola instead of Greek yogurt.
How about instead of ice cream with cow's milk and cream you make soft serve ice cream with frozen bananas and your food processor?
What if you baked with coconut oil rather than with butter? (And how great if you coat your baking tins with it, too!) (And your hair and body since coconut oil doubles as a moisturizer. Can butter do that? I don’t think so.)
Maybe it'd be fun to squish guacamole into your burrito, fajitas, or tacos instead of queso and sour cream.
Here's an easy idea: blend a hemp or rice-based protein powder into your smoothies instead of whey. Sunwarrior totally has your back there! And spread almond, peanut, or coconut butter on your toast or bagel instead of butter or cream cheese?
You know, carrots and cucumbers are way better with hummus than they are with ranch dip.
And dark chocolate is totally > milk chocolate.
The way to live happily ever after without dairy is to happily replace dairy with things that give you the similar vibes and textures as dairy.
TIP #2: Become a Dairy Detective
Restaurants actually don't, believe it or not, care about your bloat, skin, health, or bowel movements! So they use dairy - A LOT.
Like for example:
Oatmeal is often made in restaurants with milk, not water.
Smoothies from popular chains often include yogurt or whey powder unless they say otherwise.
Thick dressings like ranch and thousand island and sauces like vodka sauce, hollandaise, and pesto have cream or cheese or both.
Omelets, veggies, or anything else sautéed in a pan is often cooked in butter.
Creamy soup like chowders or bisques (or even in some tomato soups!) are typically heavy in heavy cream.
Breakfast sandwiches, even those without cheese, usually have their bread buttered!
Pastries, even the gluten-free ones, are not dairy-free. (Unless they are; make sure you check!).
And sherbet, unlike sorbet, is made with milk or cream.
To quit dairy effectively, you must become a pro at reading between the lines [of the menu] and deciphering what likely has dairy so you can avoid it or ask for it without.
TIP #3: Dabble in the Dairy Ditching
Obviously, the more dairy you cut out, the better, but it’s cool if you start slow. There’s no need to pull a dairy purge and slay all the cow-byproducts you come across.
For maximum effect without going full-throttle, you can phase out the big guys first: the late night cheese pizzas, the DQ milkshakes, the cheesecake, the sour cream and cheese-filled burritos. And then you can move on to the smaller things, like yes, the splash of milk in your coffee.
But keep in mind that just cutting out the splash of milk in your coffee without cutting the big guys probably won’t lead to the dairy-ditching effects you desire.
TIP #4: Find Your Ditching-Dairy WHY
The hardest part about making dairy a part of our past is really getting past our emotional attachment to it. Dairy is pure comfort food! It's the food that so many of my clients say they LITERALLY can't live without!
Well, to this, I say: can you live without cellulite? Without skin breakouts? Without running to the toilet in the middle of a date? Without feeling bloated and gassy and having a non-flat tummy? Without inflammation? Without developing nasty diseases like prostate cancer and chronic congestion?
When you make the PROS of peacing out dairy outweigh the cons, then fighting your emotional attachment becomes easier. So when pizza is sitting pretty in front of you or ice cream is calling, remember the good stuff that’ll come your way if you happily say “I’ll pass.” (Example: less gas.)