Bye, Dairy, Bye

Hand held grocery basket filled with dairy-free goodies

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!

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7 Comments

  1. I completely relate to this. My son was diagnosed with a milk protein allergy at 6 weeks, and I’m still breastfeeding now (he’s 10.5 months). We actually just found out a few weeks ago that he thankfully outgrew his allergy, but I have kept dairy mostly out of my diet as well. I felt terrible the first few times I tried it as part of our testing per the pediatricians recommendation, and I really just feel better in general without it.

  2. I had bad acne in highschool and in to my 20’s! It’s been better since having my children but I still get some popping up around THAT time of the month. Never thought it might be linked to dairy! I love how you listed your dairy free alternatives! So helpful!

  3. I’m also a non-dairy gal due to protein issues, and love your suggested list of alternatives… sadly I know we don’t carry most of those brands in Canada, but I will for sure check my nearest Whole Foods for the almond milk!

  4. I’m also dairy free because of my son. He has eczema and I suspect also has some intolerance to it since he spits up if I ever have diary! I’ve cut it out before for the Whole30, but it can definitely be an adjustment! I do feel better without it, though, and my skin seems clearer (hard to tell with crazy postpartum stuff like bumps and seborrhea/eczema!! Ha ha). Thanks for sharing the recipes!

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