Both my kids have Milk Protein Intolerance (MPI), so while I ate as much cheese, ice cream, and whole milk as I could get my hands on prior to their births, I had to give up dairy if I wanted to keep breastfeeding; which, of course, I did. With my son, I went back to dairy as quickly as possible, but with my daughter I’ve been off dairy for 6 months now and I’ve made a huge decision. Once she’s done breastfeeding I’m not going back because I’ve notice some really positive changes for myself while being off dairy.
Firstly, I have much clearer skin! I’ve struggled with acne since puberty. As a suffer of cystic acne, I just learned to live with it and treat breakouts as they came, but now I really don’t have to. I’ll admit that I went through a rough “detox” period about 2 weeks after removing dairy from my diet, but after that was over my skin is better than it’s been ever. I also wash with a cinnamon+honey mixture and moisturize with coconut oil. These 3 elements go a long ways to keeping my skin clear, but being off dairy has a huge impact as well. No cheese is worth lots of cystic acne in my book.
Secondly, natural weight loss just by eliminating such fatty foods.Even breastfeeding all the time, I couldn’t lose the weight with my son. It was a huge point of frustration and anxiety for me. I had to keep enduring people telling me how the weight would just fall off or listening to friends talk about how easily they dropped their baby weight. That just wasn’t my story. This time around though I have been able to lose quite a bit of baby weight and I’m smaller now than when we got pregnant with our daughter. I’m also healthier and it feels amazing!
Making the initial switch can be hard, especially if you ate as much dairy as I did. Truly milk products probably made up 40% of my diet since I loved to put cheese on everything. The worst part of getting off dairy is trying to figure out which brands are delicious and what recipes will give you similar results to the ones you enjoyed with dairy. Since I’m also Soy Free, any brand recommendations and recipes I share will be as well.
My Favorite Dairy-Free Alternatives:
Coffee Creamer — Califia Farms
Ice Cream — Nada Moo or Licks Honest Ice Cream
Sweet Treats — Hail Merry Bites & Tarts
Chocolate — Enjoy Life’s Rice Chocolate Bars
Milk — Whole Food’s 365 Vanilla Almond Milk
Pudding — Zen Chocolate Almond Milk
My Son’s Favorite Pancakes:
-1 C to 2 C Almond Milk depending on if you like thinner pancakes
-1 tbsp. Baking Powder
-1/4 tsp. Salt
-1 C Flour
-2 tbsp. Olive Oil or Coconut Oil
-2 tbsp. Maple Syrup
Cook on medium-low & enjoy as is or with more maple syrup! Also delicious reheated in the toaster!
My Favorite Pasta Sans Cheese & Sans Red Sauce:
Toss cooked pasta with fresh garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, pepper, & salt!
It is so good, quite healthy, and in my opinion better that trying to make pasta with non-dairy cheese. In my experience the “fake” cheese just doesn’t measure up.
If you’re Dairy-Free, what recipes or products do you love? Share the love in the comments!