After my juice cleanse I thought it would be a good idea to restrict my diet a little bit and ended up going dairy-free for a full month. This was a very hard challenge for me as I am a lover of cheese, cheese and more cheese. Yet, as I get older I have realized that dairy has affected my body in different ways. My throat would feel clogged after having sour cream or coffee creamers. My stomach would feel fuller and bloated after indulging on cheeses. I also felt like dairy made me a bit moody, stagnant and unmotivated. How could something I love so much affect me in such negative ways? It was time to live without it and boy was it a hard month.
You don’t realize how much you use something until it is taken away from you. I would consume dairy on a daily basis and sometimes without even knowing. I could no longer use my Natural Bliss Vanilla Flavored creamer from Coffee-mate. I couldn’t add a splash of milk to my eggs before I scrambled them or sprinkle grated cheese on the top of them. I couldn’t have salads with ranch, thousand island or Caesar dressing. I noticed when going out to eat at Mexican, American, Italian and even Japanese restaurants I had to customize my order.
When I told friends and family that I was going dairy-free a lot of people recommended using Almond Milk as a substitute. Unfortunately for me I am not a huge fan of almond milk or almond butter. I didn’t know what I was going to do if I suddenly had a craving for ice cream or couldn’t drink my coffee black and then I stumbled upon the brand So Delicious (. The name says it all! I used a lot of their coconut milk products as well as their cashew milk ice cream. I don’t think I will ever go back to normal ice cream again!
So Delicious’ website shows all of the products they offer and they have a tab for Dairy-Free recipes. It was a very helpful tool when I was struggling trying to figure out what I was going to make for breakfast, lunch or dinner (http://sodeliciousdairyfree.com/thrive/recipes/ ). The website also had a tab for coupons and I would print them out to save on my favorite products. I am a total bargain shopper and love getting all the deals I can.
The first week going dairy-free was by far the hardest. When going out to eat I would have to customize my order or ask if they had a dairy substitute. I did have a salad with ranch in the beginning and completely forgot that ranch was dairy. It took some getting used to and was quite a challenge. During the second and third week I noticed I had more energy and making healthier food choices were coming easier to me. I didn’t crave cheese as much and was beginning to drink my coffee black or with coconut milk French vanilla creamer. By the last month I had the dairy-free life down.
I ended up losing 2 pounds which I will contribute to cutting out dairy. I have since kept the weight off from my juice cleanse and my dairy-free month! I now have 14 pounds that I want to lose before the wedding and have begun to workout with my friend and bridesmaid, Ashley Bowman. If you have a recommendation for a challenge you would like me to try please send it my way! I am up for a new challenge and love trying out new things.