I Have to Go 30 Days Dairy Free

Hey there! How’s your week going so far?

Mine has been off to an interesting start. It’s been super rainy every afternoon, which honestly is a welcome break from the sweltering heat and humidity. I almost want this to last, although it does add to my commute in the afternoon. Maybe it’s a worthwhile trade off though?!

One thing I have HAD to trade off (for my health) is dairy. I was telling my dietitian that I have been feeling constantly bloated, like all.the.time. One thing that has changed in my diet over the last couple of months is that I’ve started adding fat free cow’s milk to my smoothies. I used to always use almond milk, but I wanted to switch to something higher in protein.

My dietitian thinks I could be allergic to lactose and/or milk proteins. Blood tests don’t always correctly diagnose a milk allergy so she’s having me eliminate dairy for 30 days. If I have a milk allergy my bloating should go down. If it does, then we can determine what I’m allergic to by adding back in lactose free cow’s milk and seeing what that does.

Remembering to replace cow’s milk with almond or rice milk is easy, it’s all the food based dairy products that are throwing me off!

I honestly didn’t think going dairy free would be that difficult but I have learned there is cheese in EVERYTHING. For the first four days of my dairy free life I messed up because I would accidentally eat cheese in a meal. Or I would just forget that cheese is dairy. I also once forgot that yogurt is dairy too and I added yogurt to my smoothie.

Then I forgot that butter is dairy and I added butter to my bagel, thinking I was doing a good thing by skipping the cream cheese :).

I feel like I’m getting into the swing of it though. I’m writing this on Tuesday night and so far I have not had any dairy (that I can think of) today!

I purchased a bunch of soy, almond and rice based products to try out. So far I’m not really loving anything except just plain rice milk. I like almond milk in small quantities, but not in my smoothies as I don’t love the taste of almonds and berries being combined.

The soy based cheese and yogurt is absolutely disgusting. It literally tastes like eating really out of date products. I couldย maybe get used to the yogurt but that Go Veggie cheese is just awful.

Rice milk has been the one thing I’ve discovered that I like. If you’re wondering, rice milk basically just tasted like water. That makes it a great replacement for milk in drinks like my berry smoothies.

My raspberry smoothies are super bright red now that the color isn’t being diluted by milk or yogurt. They honestly taste just as good though. Even if I don’t have a milk allergy I may use rice milk in my smoothies for the rest of my life anyway!

So that’s where my life is at right now. What are you up to?

What type of milk do you prefer?
Anyone else prefer rice milk to almond or soy milk?
Anyone else with a milk allergy with any good food substitutes to share? ๐Ÿ™‚

18 comments

  1. Heather [is probably running]

    I hate the taste of milk. To me regular milk tastes like it has gone off. Bleh. As a result, I don’t really drink milk of any variety (soy, almond included…because they still taste like milk to me). I’m also mildly lactose intolerant. Which, as a non-milk drinker isn’t too difficult to deal with. I use almond milk for cereal and cooking and almond creamer for coffee. I try to avoid soy milk because, as a vegetarian, I get a fair amount of soy in my diet already. I’ve never tried rice milk.

    A lot of dairy products I can still eat, like greek yogurt (but not regular yogurt) and hard cheeses like cheddar (but not soft cheese like Brie). Alas ice cream is my favorite food, which I pay for dearly with digestive issues and bloating any time I eat it. Lactaid pills help, but aren’t a perfect solution. So if it does end up being lactose and not milk, you might be able to add a few things back in in small amounts or as an occasional treat.

    Good luck!
    Heather [is probably running] recently posted…Half training: weeks 1 & 2My Profile

    1. Kate @ Kate Lives Healthy

      Heather,
      Have you tried Nada Moo dairy free ice cream? It is amazing and tastes like the real deal without tons of fake ingredients. It is my absolute dairy free favorite item!
      Kate @ Kate Lives Healthy recently posted…WIAW #163My Profile

      1. Heather [is probably running]

        Next time I have an ice cream craving I’ll have to give this a try, thanks!
        Heather [is probably running] recently posted…Goals: Tahqua Trail Run 25kMy Profile

  2. Laura F

    I do unsweetened soy milk in my smoothies and cereal. I never even tried to get into almond milk because of how low in protein it was. It did take a while to get used to it for cereal but now I’m 100% on board. I accidentally bought the sweetened version once and could tell the difference instantly!

    I’m pretty sure I’d do the same thing as you if I tried to go off dairy… Milk and yogurt would be easy but butter? Ice cream? A little sprinkling of shredded cheese? Sour cream? That’s a lot to remember!

  3. Megan @ Meg Go Run

    Oh girl I commend you for trying this! I hope it does help your bloating. When I had diahrhea for a couple months straight, my doc suggested I cut dairy and see what happens but I did not do that haha! (I think it turned out to be melatonin causing me pooping problems.) We get skim milk but I do like 1% too! We get that for our cat sitter and there is always some leftover. 1% tastes like a treat compared to skim!
    Megan @ Meg Go Run recently posted…NYC with my Honey to see Colby!My Profile

  4. Hanna @ minimal marathoner

    I don’t put milk in my smoothies. I like them with just greens, frozen fruit, water, and a little bit of ginger to help mask the flavor of the greens.

    I’ve actually found avocado/guacamole on things like sandwiches and salads to be a satisfying substitute for cheese, since it’s sort of naturally creamy and high in healthy fats. I haven’t tried many vegan substitutes for cheese and cream, but I have had some vegan mayos that were actually really good.
    Hanna @ minimal marathoner recently posted…Thinking Ahead: Running Post-MarathonMy Profile

  5. Staci

    I don’t use milk in any sort of smoothie. I am all water for liquids. I like having the flavors of what I am putting into them. ๐Ÿ™‚
    I also tend to use Vegenaise, or avocado on sandwiches and such. They are great replacements for cheese and mayo.
    Something that really does suck about being dairy free (at first) is you have to go into it knowing things won’t taste as you would expect. If you are wanting yogurt…a substitute isn’t going to taste the same even though mentally you want it too. Then rolls in the disappointment. ๐Ÿ™

  6. Lisa @ TechChick Adventures

    Dairy free would be a challenge for me! I really hope it helps you out. I agree, dairy is everywhere!! We buy skim milk. Have tried almond milk before, but I didn’t care for it. I’m sure it’s just a matter of finding a flavor that I’d like. I did switch over to Greek yogurt and that was a big change for me to get used to. But now I like it better even though my family thinks it’s gross! Good luck with the diet change!!
    Lisa @ TechChick Adventures recently posted…Fun weekend in the cityMy Profile

  7. Ana

    Wow!! that’s amazing! Have you had problems with milk before? My sister is lactose intolerant, and she has horrible pain when she has dairy without her pills.

    Right now I like coconut milk, especially in my macchiato or Frappuccino.

    Good luck with your dairy free journey!
    Ana recently posted…Looking At The NumbersMy Profile

  8. Karen Bayne

    I am glad you like rice milk! At least that is good option that works ๐Ÿ™‚ I put frozen fruit and Vega and ice and water in smoothies and they’re really good.
    I am lactose intolerant to milk in a bad way and real ice cream can double me over, but I can eat cheese and if milk is cooked like in mac and cheese or scalloped potatoes it doesn’t seem to have the same impact on my GI. I do chew a lactaid pill every so often for good measure if I am giving something that I know has milk in it.
    I hate that bloated feeling ๐Ÿ™ I get like that from time to time.

  9. Rachel R.

    I like unsweetened soy milk the best – I use it for everything I would have used milk for – smoothies, mashed potatoes, cereal, you name it. Plus it has the highest protein content of the milk alternatives.

    Go Veggie cheese IS terrible – no doubt. I pretty much just don’t eat cheese-like products now (vegan for a couple of years now and while I craved it REAL bad for a few months, my taste for it pretty much went away), but when I do, here’s what I use – Daiya for shreds, Follow Your Heart for slices (their smoked gouda and American slices are legitimately good on a grilled cheese), and Tofutti for cream cheese. When I want a cheesy flavor, I’ll sprinkle nutritional yeast on my food (pizza, burritos, popcorn – I use it on A LOT of stuff!). You can also make a straight up delicious cashew cheese sauce – I use the recipe from The Full Helping called Truly Amazing Cashew Queso Sauce. Just leave out the chili powder if you’re not using it on something mexican oriented. And the tomato paste is totally not necessary if you don’t feel like cracking open a can.

    I don’t eat a lot of yogurt, but I would check out Kite Hill and Silk – I’ve heard good things about both of those. Happy Healthy Life did a pretty in-depth vegan yogurt review here – http://kblog.lunchboxbunch.com/2015/11/vegan-yogurt-reviews.html that might be helpful. Earth Balance spread for butter, Vegenaise or Just Mayo for mayonnaise.

    It’s a big adjustment – there’s no question. I still get caught out sometimes – random stuff has dairy in it that you wouldn’t even suspect! Good luck on your journey – I hope that it makes you feel so much better!

  10. Nathaly @NathyCure

    Hi Kristina:) I’m not quite sure I’m allergic to milk but might have some intolerances. I used to add whole milk in my coffee all the time and now replaced it for almond or soy milk. If you have to replace the creme in your coffee, I recommend you do it with soy milk.

    In my smoothies I’ve discovered that bananas would simulate the same creamy consistency as any milk.

    And as far as cheese, I still eat it and it doesn’t really cause much difference on how I feel.

    Yogurt on the other hand, is something I haven’t found a good replacement for. The taste of Coconut yogurt is something I don’t enjoy. So I just don’t eat yogurt anymore.

  11. Susan

    I have to do no dairy but I am OK with it because it has been forever since I had to give it up. I like chocolate almond milk for my iced (decaf) coffee. I probably drink 3 cups per day!

  12. Brittney

    I remember the transition to cutting out dairy being the toughest part when I went vegan 6 years ago. You’re right; the go veggie cheese is AWFUL. If you can find it, Chao Cheese (from the brand Field Roast) is the best replacement I’ve found.

  13. Kate @ Kate Lives Healthy

    I have severe lactose intorance and can’t handle any milk products with lactose. I have only just recently started having lactose free milk but was otherwise dairy free for 2 years. Here are some of my favs. Califa Farms Almond and nut milks and creamers. They have a vegan egg nog in the winter that is amazing. Kite Hill has great dairy free items. The cream cheese and ravioli are amazing. Hampton creek has good tasting mayo if you like that. The Earth Balance olive oil butter ‘spread’ is good as well. I found I would use spicy mustards or condiments to add flavor to sandwiches or wraps. The ultimate dairy free recommendation is Nada Moo ice cream. It is so good and you must try it.
    Have you had testing for SIBO…small intestine bacteria overgrowth or tried low fodmap diet? I battled symptoms like yours and had SIBO and manage it by avoiding high fodmap trigger foods.

    1. Kristina

      Thanks Kate! I’m looking forward to trying your recommendations this month!

      I have not had testing for SIBO but I have heard of it and I understand it can lead to a ton of bloating. I will definitely bring that up with my dietitian, and I’ll look into the fodmap diet. I have not heard of that!

  14. Nicole

    I’ve been dairy free for almost a year, and I can say it definitely gets easier. I prefer Silk cashew milk, unsweetened vanilla. As for the cheese products, a lot of the time it is better to skip than deal with the substitutes. I get cheese-less pizza, and I honestly like it more than regular pizza. Breakfast was the most difficult for me, as I loved eggs and lots of things with dairy. Now I stick with oatmeal and smoothies, or dairy free waffles. Oh, if you can find Hampton Creek products, those are all dairy free, and the ones I’ve tried so far are fantastic.

  15. Judi L.

    not sure if anyone else posted this – but for a butter substitute, use Ghee……..it’s clarified butter (all the milk fat is removed)………I did a Whole30 earlier this year and discovered it – it’s a life saver when you cannot have dairy.

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