Five Easy Ways to Reduce Dairy Consumption

November 3, 2011 § 11 Comments

As coincidence would have it, three people I recently spoke to about why I became vegan said they wanted to cut out dairy. Sounds like a good enough reason for a post to me!

Dairy not only is strongly linked to causing cancer but it also produces inflammation in the body. If you’re suffering from arthritis or joint pain, giving it up is worth a try.

Trying to lose weight? I dare you to give up dairy for two weeks and see what happens. I bet you will see the pounds melt right off! Since I went fully vegan, I never knew what exactly cutting out dairy meant for me. But, my husband lost about 10 pounds and my mom 7 pounds the first week they gave up dairy. No extra exercise. No trying to diet. That was just getting rid of dairy! And for my mom – all that meant was cutting out the one yogurt in the morning. Not only did she lose weight, she says the arthritis she’d been feeling in her leg is completing gone. All from that little yogurt. Crazy huh?

So, how can you go about cutting out some dairy from your diet? It’s much easier than you think. You don’t even need to go to Whole Foods for all these, standard grocery stores are starting to carry more of these items on their shelves as well.

  1. Try almond, soy, or rice milk in your cereal or milk glass. We are partial to the Whole Foods 365 Almond Milk –  Vanilla flavor. Keep in mind all varieties taste different so if you don’t love the one you pick up, try another brand.
  2. Swap your dairy creamer for coconut milk creamer and enjoy a delicious cup of joe – silky and flavorful – and you won’t be left with that heavy feeling in your belly that dairy creamer leaves. We like So Delicious Coconut Creamer – Hazelnut flavor.
  3. Need a sweet fix? Before you reach for the dairy ice cream at the grocery store give coconut milk ice cream a try. I usually get ours at Whole Foods as they have so many options but even our standard grocery store has started carrying a few. I like Coconut Bliss the best but So Delicious is less expensive and very good as well. Regardless of brand I’ve found the chocolate base flavors are the best.
  4. Need butter? There’s vegan butterEarth Balance Vegan Buttery Stick is a great option. You can use it for vegan baking or savory dishes like risotto or this squash I made recently.
  5. Can’t live without pizza? Well don’t! Try a delicious veggie pizza and ex the cheese. Pizza crust usually doesn’t have any dairy in it and a pizza with a medley of roasted vegetables and a savory red sauce leaves nothing to be desired! There’s also of course vegan cheeses. I find I like my pizza without it but if the thought is too hard to bare, you could try Daiya and they also serve it at Mellow Mushroom.

This is just a small list to start off with and doesn’t include super easy ways to reduce dairy intake such as leaving that little sprinkling of parmesan off your pasta or ordering a delicious salad or vegetable sandwich minus the cheese. Some common foods containing dairy that you may not realize include Caesar Salad dressing, any kind of pesto, aioli, and some chips and crackers.

Start small and see how you feel. I challenge you to remove dairy for a week or two. I bet you will feel great. Let me know how it goes 🙂
Also, see my 10 tips for undertaking a vegan 30 day challenge.

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