When you first begin to take steps to own your health, it can be daunting. Changing lifelong habits can be freaking hard! When it comes to food, it’s even harder. Add in the thousands of supplements and health products out there and sometimes it seems impossible to even start. I like to keep it simple. In my experience with clients, there’s only so many changes one person can implement at a time. I focus on the smallest, simplest steps that give them back the most amount of good. I have them start with the stuff that, if implemented, will have them feeling the difference in a matter of days or weeks.
One of these is cutting out dairy. I’ve found that it’s one of the simplest actions with a massive amount of benefit. When clients cut dairy, a few things I see are near instant weight loss, reduced joint pain, clearer skin, allergies gone, thyroid conditions improve, respiratory ailments subside, bloating and digestive problems disappear. It happens fast too. If you want more reasons to cut dairy, check out my list here. However, I’m guessing most of my readers know WHY to cut dairy but it’s the HOW they struggle with.
If you haven’t given up dairy yet, it’s time. Even if you’ve cut down significantly on dairy consumption, even the slightest traces can cause problems.
Cut down on meals that require milk
One of the biggest reasons clients drink milk is because they’re used to having cereal for breakfast. You can switch to a dairy free milk option or you could eliminate the need for milk all together. We have this idea that breakfast foods have to be a certain way but really anything can be breakfast! I love a simple breakfast bowl of steamed greens and quinoa with avocado. Sometimes I’ll add in a poached or soft boiled egg. If you prep the quinoa before hand it doesn’t have to take much time! If you can’t part with a more standard breakfast, try a hot cereal like gluten free oatmeal with fruit.
Give up cheese for one month- just one month!
I’ve always been so jealous of people who hate cheese! Why can’t it just be that easy?! This was the one I struggled to give up for the longest time. It turns out casein, the protein in cheese, actually works on our neurotransmitters in the same was as drugs and sugar. It physiologically sparks the addiction pathway! If you find yourself craving cheese and just needing your “fix”, chances are you’re hooked. Work on giving it up for just one month. It’ll take a little bit of grit in the beginning, but once eventually those addictive pathways will be overwritten. After about a month you should be craving free!
Drink something else
If you drink milk straight, try switching it out for water instead. Add fruit and herbs for flavor if you want to feel fancy. I few of my favorite combos are watermelon + mint, strawberry+basil, pineapple + orange, and just plain lemon! Another option is to brew some herbal tea and keep it in the fridge for ice tea! One of my favorites is India Organic Tusli. A simple smoothie can do the trick as well try blending blueberries, coconut milk and a squeeze of lemon.
Find the right alternatives
Be warned. Just because it’s non-dairy doesn’t mean it’s healthy!! There are a ton of dairy free milks out there that are full of questionable ingredients. Make sure they use organic, non-GMO ingredients. Also, try and switch it up. It’s easy to develop sensitivities, especially to nuts and seeds, so it’s wise to try and rotate milk types rather than just using one all the time. Almond, hemp, oat, soy, rice, and coconut are all good options.
Here are some of the alternative non-dairy brands I like:
Three Trees Unsweetened Almond Milk
Dairy Free Yogurts…..My go to yogurt substitute is coconut kefir yogurt, I absolutely love:
New Earth Superfoods Coconut Yogurt
Dairy Free Cheeses and Spreads….