Dairy Free

Dairy is everywhere. It’s in our coffee, it’s in our cereal, and it’s even in our medicine. Dairy is a staple of the American diet, with 63% of people consuming dairy products at least once a day. So many people believe that you can’t be healthy without animal products because they are packed with protein and nutrients. But we’re here to tell you that this couldn’t be farther from the truth. People who don’t consume dairy can still live a very healthy and fulfilling life by consuming plant-based sources of protein like beans, nuts, lentils, tofu, soy milk, eggs, and much more!
We know that kicking dairy to the curb can be hard—especially when you have no idea what to eat or how to cook new recipes without dairy. That’s why we compiled this list of tips for living dairy-free as well as a few delicious recipes so that you can start your journey today!

Healthy Christmas Cookies: Shortbread Recipe with Ghee (Gluten Free + Refined Sugar Free)

These easy, five-ingredient healthy Christmas cookies will be your go-to this holiday season! The classic shortbread cookie recipe gets a major upgrade with gluten-free and refined sugar-free ingredients like raw honey instead of sugar, nutty whole grain flours, and buttery ghee for healthy fats.   UPDATE: This post was originally …

Healthy Christmas Cookies: Shortbread Recipe with Ghee (Gluten Free + Refined Sugar Free) Read More »

Tips for Living Dairy-Free

- Keep It Clean
To start your dairy-free journey, you'll want to clean out the fridge. You'll probably feel like having a drink of milk when you're looking at all of that empty space! But resist the urge and make room for healthy alternatives. Milk can be replaced with plant-based alternatives like almond milk, soy milk, or coconut milk. Even if you won't be cooking with these products, it's better to stock them up so that you don't get tempted by other animal-based products in the grocery store.
-Educate Yourself
If you're going to live dairy-free, it's important to educate yourself about how to cook without dairy and what substitutes are available. There are so many resources online that offer delicious recipes for people who are lactose intolerant or vegan. The Internet will become your best friend as you learn how to craft many of your favorite dishes. And don't forget to ask your friends and family for cooking tips, too!
-Join a Community
It's always easier to remain dairy-free when you have a support team. Most communities now offer support groups for those who are vegan or lactose intolerant. You can find these online, too. Not only can these groups help you remain dairy-free, but they can also provide recipes and delicious carryout options that will make it easier for you to stick with it.
-Keep It Consistent
Your body doesn't function at its full potential if it's not getting enough nutrients and energy from food. That's why it's important not to cheat when following a new diet plan like the dairy free diet plan. Make sure that you are eating a balanced diet every day by eating protein, fruits, vegetables, grains and other healthy snacks like nuts and seeds.
-Find Similar Recipes
The nice thing about following a special diet, whether it's dairy free or gluten free, is that there are many people out there who have already created delicious recipes. After you have weaned yourself off dairy and no longer experience stomach pain after meals, you can try different foods and add them to your diet. This gives you the advantage of trying new food without the worry of making a mistake.
-Don't Go Cold Turkey
If you suddenly stop eating all dairy products, it is likely that your body will suffer some side effects like headaches or nausea. That's why it's better to slowly start cutting back on the amount of milk or cheese that you consume until you reach your goal of no milk at all. Remember that these foods should be in moderate amounts only. Overdoing any kind of food can lead to serious health problems later on down the road.
-Get Support from Your Doctor
Your doctor may have already informed you about this diet but if you have any doubts, consult him or her once again. Your doctor can give you consultations and advise on the best dairy products to cut back on or avoid altogether.
-Print Out a List of Dairy Free Foods
Now that you have a clear idea of what you're going to change in your diet, print out this list and keep it in your bag. This way, when you go grocery shopping, you'll always have a list of foods to pick up so that your daily meals are already well planned out.
-Another Option: Make Your Own Butter
There are several ways to make butter at home from scratch. If you want to try it out but don't want all the fat and calories, try using non-fat cultured buttermilk as a substitute for regular milk when whipping up this recipe for Cultured Butter . Half a cup of buttermilk can be whipped until frothy then 1 tablespoon of butter flavoring can be added for flavor. Whipped for about 5 minutes, you'll have your own non-dairy butter!
-Try Replacing Butter with a Dairy Free Substitute
Earth Balance makes a butter substitute that is dairy free and it comes in tub form. If you're feeling adventurous, you can also try baking with shortening or grapeseed oil. Your baked goods will still be tasty but remember to read the labels! Some grocery stores carry oils that are flavored with vanilla extract so if you want an oil that is truly flavorless, consider getting it from your local pharmacy or health food store.
-Have A Plan Ready for When You're at a Restaurant
Most restaurants are prepared to accommodate your food needs that involve lactose intolerance but it's always a good idea to call ahead and let them know what your limitations are. Most restaurants will post their menus online so take advantage of this option to determine what other dishes you can have instead of just sticking to pasta. Example: If the menu says "spaghetti and meatballs," you can ask the server if they have a "gluten free" meatball dish that you can try instead.
-Try Replacing Milk with Soy or Almond Milk
Soy milk has a rich flavor that is perfect for cooking and baking. You can even use it in recipes calling for buttermilk or sour cream. It doesn't always work in everything, especially if you're making something very acidic like lemonade but it's worth a try. Almond milk is usually much lighter and sweeter than soy milk so it won't overpower your taste buds as much. Experiment with both and see what works best in your home!
-Try Other Lactose Free Dairy Products!
It's important to continue to be creative when eating dairy free so don't be afraid to try different types of dairy substitutes if that's what will help you feel better about eating at home or out on the town. Yogurt made from coconut is excellent as well as soy yogurt in lots of different flavors. There are also lactose free milk options made from almonds and rice. Some of these will even taste better than their gluten-containing counterparts!
-Be sure to Bring Your Own Gluten Free Food with You When You Travel
There are always snacks available on airplanes, but there are tons of reasons to avoid airplane food like under cooked meat, high fructose corn syrup, lots of sodium and more. Bring your own food on the plane and make sure you pack it in your carry on bag (liquids in checked bags are a potential bomb threat if they leak) so that you don't have to worry about gluten sneaking into your food while you're flying.
Baked goods and snacks are always good to bring with you because they won't spoil and they can be eaten as soon as you board the plane without having to worry about eating right before take off. Naked granola is great because it is vegan, raw, gluten free and non-GMO so most people with allergies can eat it. It also has protein, fiber and omega 3's which can help keep you full. Pack dried fruit in your bag and if you want a snack that is more substantial, bring some quinoa crackers or a rice cake.
Coconut water mixed with a bit of raw agave nectar or local honey is great to drink while flying because it will rehydrate you without the dangerous effect that alcohol can have on your body when flying (alcohol dehydrates you). Local organic coffee shops are usually cheaper than the coffee on airplanes, so bring some local coffee with you for the trip home.
The most important thing is to get started. We've got a great mix of recipes here for you to try!
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