This post is all about simple ways to cut dairy from your diet! Also a quick bit about why I think you should cut traditional dairy from your diet!
If you met me a few years ago and asked if I would ever give up cheese, I would have keeled over from laughter. I loved cheese more than a lot of things! (Sad but true!)
At that time, I thought if a dish was going to taste good, then it had to have cheese and milk in it. Can you tell my favorite food is Mac and Cheese, yet? 😂
At the same time, though, my skin broke out regularly, and I had a lot more stomach aches than I do now. So, when I started my wellness journey, I figured out quickly that cutting dairy was going to have to be my first step!
WHY You should cut dairy from your diet
If you’re like I was back then, you’re probably thinking, “I don’t think there is a way to cut cheese and dairy from my life.” I promise you there is!
Here’s a few reasons why you should cut dairy from your diet:
- makes you less bloated and reduces inflammation.
- cutting dairy does wonders for your skin. (I don’t use foundation or any makeup on my skin because I hardly have blemishes anymore!)
- you’ll be more intentional about what you eat and how your food is prepared.
- The meat and dairy industry are HUGE offenders when it comes to the environment. Just do a quick Google search for “Dairy Industry and the environment” and you’ll quickly see the impact that dairy has.
Now that I’ve cut dairy, I have to make sure food isn’t made with butter or milk. Thanks to cutting butter out of my diet, my sodium (or salt) intake is WAY less than it used to be!
I used to always be the person that would order take out because I hated to cook. That’s changed for me now because forcing myself to be intentional about the food I put in my body has helped me not only learn how to cook, but actually enjoy it.
I KNOW that cutting dairy can do the same for you! So, are you ready to take the leap and cut dairy out of your diet?
Cows don’t produce milk 24/7 naturally
If the reasons above don’t change your mind about cutting animal milk, then I hope thinking about the animals will.
There seems to be a popular myth that cows produce milk 24/7 and is just something they do all the time. This is TOTALLY false.
Like any other animal (including humans) cows only lactate when they have just given birth to a calf (or about to).
So, if you think about dairy farms that mass produce milk, these cows are artificially inseminated over and over in their lifetimes until they reach an age where they can’t produce anymore. Then they are sent to the slaughter.
Now, I know that not ALL dairy farms run like this, but if you think about the huge mass production farms. This is typically the case.
I initially started my journey as a vegetarian for ethical reasons, but soon learned that just cutting out animal products was just better for my health (and the environment!!)
If you’ve been thinking about taking the leap and becoming vegan or vegetarian then make sure to check out my posts about how to get protein in a plant based diet and how to make plant based milk at home.
But wait, what about calcium?
You don’t need milk and cheese to get calcium! Like protein, you can find calcium rich foods in a plant-based diet!
Here’s a list of plant-based foods that are calcium rich:
- Dark Leafy Greens: like Kale, Spinach, and Collard Greens
- Chia Seeds
- Nuts and nut butter (Like Almond butter)
Easy food swaps to cut dairy from your diet
Thankfully, as the vegan diet becomes more popular, there are more dairy free products coming out. Here are a few of my favorite swaps:
Switch out animal milk for plant based milk! If this is your first time making a switch, I recommend you try an almond milk from the grocery store.
It’s actually really easy to make your own almond at home. But for now, I would pick out an option at the store. Another tip is to get used to the new type of milk gradually.
Instead of pouring yourself a glass right away (which you may not like) try mixing it with other things, like cereal or using it to bake with. Slowly, you’ll start to get accustomed to the taste.
Switch out greek or other yogurt for coconut yogurt! There are lots of different options, like Almond yogurt but my favorite is the coconut because it is naturally sweet.
I’ve given cheese up outright at this point. But back when I was slowly getting myself off of traditional cheese, I switched to vegan cheese. There are a TON of different options you can buy at the store. A lot of grocers have a “healthy”, “meatless” or “vegan” section. You can find a lot of different options now!
Seriously, there are a lot of great dairy free options for Ice Cream! You can find some based from Almonds, Coconut or even Avocado! The nice thing is with dairy free ice cream, not only are you avoiding dairy, but it’s typically lot healthier than regular ice cream.
My favorite is actually a sugar free version of coconut ice cream (I’ll be real though, I do add a little bit of cocoa in! 😋)
If you’ve been thinking about cutting dairy or meat from your diet, let me know in the comments! Let’s keep the conversation (and the motivation to keep up) going!
Making any change to your diet can be hard, but just know you don’t have to do it alone! I’m cheering you on!
Have a great week!