Hello lovelies! First things first. My dearest Sing Off fans: who else is stoked that Pentatonix became the champions?! They are so incredibly talented and I couldn’t be more happy for them. I still can’t get over the massive sound they create with just three singers and two vocal percussionists! If you haven’t checked out their rendition of “Dog Days Are Over,” get on it!
How was your Tuesday? I had an exam first thing in the morning and it went far better than I imagined. Success! I woke up at the wee hour of 6:00 a.m. and sipped my Meta-D drink while studying.
Today’s morning meal prompted the return of…dun dun dun…cereal!
I enjoyed about half of the above container of fresh pineapple and a bowl of Nature’s Path Flax PLUS flakes, unsweetened almond milk, and chia seeds. Favorite breakfast of all time!
After my second class of the day, I came back to my dorm room to make a quick lunch. I was in a bit of a time crunch because I had to head out to conduct an interview for the latest article I’m writing for The Gatepost, FSU’s newspaper.
I had an easy peasy salad – minus peas. I combined kale, cherry tomatoes, broccili, and shredded carrots and topped them with a “dressing” made of 1/4 avocado and 2 Tbsp. hummus. For an extra protein punch, I added 1/2 a Field Roast Apple Sage sausage to the mix. Random but divine!
This evening, I had the sheer pleasure of jet-setting to Whole Foods for dinner. I simply needed to get out of my dorm for a little while, and figured that a post-kickboxing meal at the mecca of all grocery stores would be the perfect place to do it! Despite being a sweaty mess, I decided to make the trek! Worth it.
How to Give Up Dairy
One of the questions I often get asked is how to give up the dairy (i.e. where to start, how to do it, and how to not feel guilty about giving up foods you love). For me, omitting dairy from my lifestyle wasn’t very difficult. I wasn’t a huge cheese lover and alternatives to milk, yogurt, and ice cream were readily available, so my transition was far easier than most. I also did a fair amount of research on the health benefits and, of course, took pride in the fact that I would not be contributing to animal cruelty. It may seem like a difficult feat but FEAR NOT! You CAN get there and I’m here to help!
- Ask Yourself Why You’re Doing It. Before embarking on this journey, ask yourself why you’ve decided to give up dairy. Is it for health reasons? Is it because your stomach feels wonky after downing a glass of milk? It is because veganism interests you and you’re simply curious as to how you’d feel? Regardless of your motives, take note of them and use them as inspiration moving forward.
- Conduct a 24-hour recall. Nutritionists often conduct 24-hour recalls with their clients. It is, essentially, a detailed, written record of all food eaten the previous day. I sort of do this on my blog for you every day! Write out your meals and snacks and highlight the meals and/or snacks that contain dairy. Remember that lots of convenience foods contain dairy additives like whey, casein, lactase enzymes, etc. It may seem tedious but it works!
- Take baby steps. After you’ve taken your 24-hour recall and highlighted the places where you consume dairy, don’t freak out! Start small. For instance, say you consume milk at breakfast, have a yogurt for a snack, and eat cheese with your dinner. Start with the milk and research dairy alternatives to the milk. I’ve grown to love Almond Breeze Unsweetened Almond Milk but there are countless other milk alternatives out there – coconut, soy (always choose organic soy!), hemp, rice, oat, etc. One week after you tackle the milk, revisit your 24-hour recall and consider swapping the animal-derived yogurt with coconut yogurt, almond yogurt (it exists at Whole Foods!), or organic soy yogurt. Remember that small changes add up to big ones – and you don’t want to feel restricted or discouraged!
- “But I love my cheese!” This is the most common phrase I hear when talking to people about giving up dairy. To be blunt, no vegan cheese alternative will taste like cheese – simply because every vegan cheese alternative isn’t cheese! Daiya is by the far the reigning king of vegan cheese alternatives. Follow Your Heart comes in at a close second. All other options are not very tasty, in my humble opinion. Changing your habits can be hard, but it will pay off in the end! Your body will love you and you’ll have so much more energy! Plus, the point of giving up dairy isn’t to mimic dairy foods. After all, these are transitional foods. The point is to serve your body in the best way possible by preventing yourself from developing diseases down the road and, of course, to be compassionate to animals! Easier said than done, I know, but just some food for thought. If you must consume some cheese, save it for dinner or an after-dinner snack.
- You’re showing your body love! Many studies, such as this one, have shown that increased dairy consumption leads to more bones broken. Plus, the mucus formed from dairy actually inhibits absorption of other important nutrients (this is why I advised you to consume dairy for dinner or an after-dinner snack). Refer to this post for more information!
Question of the Day: Have you ever considered omitting dairy from your lifestyle? If you’ve already done so, was it difficult for you?