About a month ago, my doctor asked me to give up dairy for 3 weeks. Yikes. I wasn’t prepared in the slightest to do so but I did intend on giving this “assignment” my best shot.
Over those 3 weeks, I learned a few things about living a dairy free lifestyle and wanted to share my tips on how I managed to quit dairy almost overnight.
Plan Your Meals
Meal planning is such a huge part of changing your diet. When you don’t plan out all of your meals, you wind up going for the easiest, quickest meal which might not fit into the dairy free category. I started a board on Pinterest (LINK!
) where I collected some dairy free meal ideas which was a huge help when it came to meal planning. I would definitely suggest to check out mine or start a board of your own! It’s important that you choose recipes that sound good to you so you can actually be excited about meals and not feel like you’re missing out.
Don’t Be Afraid to Try Alternatives
A dairy free diet means you’ll probably be trying a few alternatives to regular dairy free products. Some will be weird but once you find some you like, you’ll be SO excited. Whatever it may be, don’t be afraid to try dairy free alternatives. Finding your staple alternatives will make the process so much easier and way less painful.
Some of my favorite alternatives are…
Almond milk yogurt – Almond milk yogurt tastes so similar to regular yogurt that you won’t even notice. The consistency is a bit thinner than regular yogurt but honestly, it isn’t even a big deal. I like to get the Silk almond milk yogurt in vanilla and then add granola, chia seeds, coconut shreds, and a few dairy free chocolate chips. Best thing ever and completely vegan too. I can pick this up a the normal grocery store.
Vegan butter – The Miyoko’s Creamery brand is my favorite. Seriously, it tastes exactly like normal butter. The only downside is that it has to be kept in the fridge so it can be a bit of a pain when it comes to spreading it on toast and it’s still a little stiff. I get it from Whole Foods but other grocery stores might have it too.
Gluten Free Bars – These are definitely a pantry staple. They’re called The Gluten Free Bar but they’re also vegan, kosher, non-GMO, dairy free, and soy free. My favorite flavor (oatmeal raisin) has 12g of protein which is a pretty solid amount. These are so good for a quick breakfast or as a lunch with some fresh fruits and veggies on the side. You can order them from their website here (LINK!
), but you might be able to find some in Whole Foods.
Vegan ice cream – Seriously guys..SO!!GOOD!! If you haven’t already, you need to try vegan ice cream. Ben and Jerry’s makes a good vegan ice cream which you should be able to find at any grocery store.
Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself
I would be lying if I said I didn’t cheat and have a little bit of dairy every now and then during those 3 weeks. Changing your eating habits doesn’t happen overnight and will never be a perfect science. Plus, nobody says you have to go dairy free overnight. Slowly introduce dairy free meals, snacks, and alternatives into your diet before jumping into the deep end. Start with trying to make one meal a day dairy free and then move into other meals. Even if you never go completely dairy free, making small changes every now and then is cool too.
If this post helped at least one of you or inspired you to try something new, I’d be more than excited to know, let me know in the comments or on instagram or twitter (@itsashleymarie7).