If you are considering a dietary change, you may be thinking about going dairy free. Dairy tends to be found in a lot of comfort foods – mac n’ cheese, chocolate, milkshakes – to name a few. Because of this, the concept of eliminating dairy can be both physically and emotionally difficult. Before you read any further, I want to encourage you to speak with a doctor before making any major lifestyle changes.
Fortunately, dairy free lifestyles have become much more widely embraced of late, and many restaurants, grocery stores and recipes have been able to incorporate dairy free options into their offerings. If you are electing a dairy free lifestyle, here is what we suggest, in the following order:
- Fruits, veggies, legumes, and meats (not processed meats)
- Non-Grain Carbs: potato, sweet potato, and parsnips
- Grains: rice, quinoa, wheat products, farro, barley, oats
- If you must turn to processed substitutes (i.e. “dairy free cheese”), use them sparingly, so as to avoid processed food as much as possible. Make sure you read the label carefully as some are only “lactose free” and many contain soy.
If you’re dining out, you may run into more difficulty with dairy free items. However, here are a few solutions. Please note that although you may request substitutions and alterations to your meal, a restaurant may not be able to accommodate your request. Have a backup plan in mind.
- If ordering a salad, eliminate any cheese options (parmesan, feta crumbles, blue cheese, etc), and opt for oil and vinegar for your dressing. Substituting avocado for cheese means you can still have a delicious meal, without the dairy!
- If ordering a meat product, you can ask how it’s prepared, and if it’s possible to substitute oil for butter, if applicable.
- If ordering a grain like pasta or rice, make sure it’s not prepared with butter, and avoid the addition of cheese.
Good news! There are some common misconceptions that the below contain dairy, they don’t! Remember: ALWAYS CHECK THE LABEL! Products can have altered recipes or be manufactured in a facility that also produces dairy:
- Mayo: mayo is a combination of oil and eggs (it is NOT low calorie or low cholesterol so please use sparingly).
- Tahini: If you have never had tahini, we recommend you try it! Tahini is a delicious sauce made from ground sesame seeds and used frequently in Middle Eastern, North African, and Greek Cuisine.
- Many dark chocolates (again, everything in moderation).
As we said earlier, consult with a doctor before making any major lifestyle change. Do your research and make healthy choices. If you need additional support, schedule a complimentary breakthrough strategy session with one of Fusion Wellness’ expert nutritionists. We can help you discover if dairy really is an irritant for you, because every body is different.
While you’re making a dietary change, make a change to your fitness plans, with our 7 proven hacks for finally getting your body back in under 10 minutes a day (without a gym!)
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