If you’re anything like me, you grew up on milk and cereal for breakfast, a ‘heart healthy’ glass of milk with dinner and if lucky, a yummy bowl of ice cream for desert. Memories of the old school food pyramid come to mind; you know, the one that touts the nutritional values of bread, rice, pasta (suggested 6-11 servings daily!) and at least 2-3 servings of dairy (milk, yogurt and cheese group daily).
So my parents, being diligent to the health and well-being of their children, followed the recommendations and made sure we got our daily doses of grains and dairy. So it’s no surprise that at 12, I found myself in a gastroenterologist’s office for terrible stomach pains and migraines. Doctors scratched their heads, and said I suffered from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), telling me to avoid caffeine and chocolate, and limit dairy to 1-2 servings daily. Yep, I was still eating dairy.
As the years went on, and I started to notice a connection between my stomach cramps and dairy, I cut it out and today am free of symptoms.
So, before you start to feel overwhelmed and your head is spinning with visions of cheese and ice cream, take a deep breath and focus on why you’re here. There’s some reason you’re considering going dairy-free; maybe you have a dairy intolerance or allergy, or you’ve heard it’s a healthier way of eating, or you’re supporting a loved one facing a life-time of no cow products. Whatever the reason, I’m glad you’re here, and I’m here to tell you that you can live without! There are so many wonderful casein and dairy free alternatives today and I’ll help you explore them all. So let’s start with the basics:
Embracing your new life.
With passion for health comes the ability to succeed.
Just like with any stage in life, you must first decide to make this a priority and dedicate yourself to a healthy life. Take baby steps; if you cut something out completely (or too many things at once) you may start to feel deprived, and you’re most likely going to fail. So start slowly and as you start to feel better (and find new and yummy alternatives to the foods you’re replacing) you’ll find the journey to be an easier one filled with mini milestones, improved health and overall happiness and success!