So you are here because you have some issues with dairy. Might it be because you have an idea dairy affects you badly, have hormone issues, need to go dairy-free for you or your little one’s tummy, have chronic inflammation, or just want to see how you feel going dairy-free? Regardless of your reason, I hope this product guide helps make your journey easier!
First I want to start out saying, Dairy can have tremendous health benefits… but it is important where you source your dairy . Conventional Dairy (which is in 99% of processed foods, supplements and products) is not equal to grass fed dairy. Conventional milk and beef comes from cows that are fed mainly grain, soy, alfalfa, and corn products, The diet results in a high omega-6-to-omega-3 ratio which causes inflammation in the body. You are what you eat, so if you are eating or drinking a product from a highly inflamed cow fed an unnatural diet, you will also have inflammation, unbalanced hormones and poor fat in your body.
Grass fed dairy and meats are from cows who have a diet based on grass all year round. These cows graze on pasture until the winter when they are then fed cut grasses inside the barn. Yielding milk and beef higher in healthy fats, vitamins and minerals.
You can buy organic and/or grass-fed/pasture raised milk and dairy ( I know this is overwhelming but it gets easier). Grass fed is better than conventional but grass fed and organic is the best if financially feasible. Organic overall means the grass they are eating is free of chemicals and pasture raised means they are able to roam free vs. being fed grass. Here is article explaining it all.
Here are my favorite Grass-Fed dairy products:
I went dairy-free almost two years ago in midst of my healing journey. Ironically my headaches stopped (I am still not too sure if it was coincidence or not), but I got pregnant two months later. Dairy can be a great part of your diet if your body can tolerate it and it is cleanly sourced. Unfortunately, like most of our food these days, it is over-processed and the cows are fed an unnatural grain and high inflammatory diet like corn and GMO feed. Just like humans with breastfeeding, the food animals eat is transferred into their milk. This is why if you are able to tolerate dairy, it is important to drink it from a clean source and organic, if feasible.
The great news is, after you decrease inflammation in your body and heal your gut lining most people can tolerate raw or grass-fed milk in their diets again. Most intolerances and sensitivities are due to the process of processing the milk. Learn more about it here.
I have spent plenty of money over the years just to toss out yucky dairy-free alternatives. On top of the taste, many alternative options are filled with chemicals, inflammatory oils, and preservatives. The below options are not only my favorite for taste but are also on the cleaner side. I am gluten-free, so all of these products will work for my gluten-free people also! Most of these products are available at your local health food store such as Wegmans, Sprouts, or MOM’s Organic Market.
Dairy Free Suggestions – That actually taste good and aren’t terrible for you!
Here is a list of my favorite Dairy-Free Alternatives:
Three Trees Nut Milks : Organic with only the needed ingredients. Remember Oats should ALWAYS be organic, and it is easy to make it at home if this is out of your price range. Elmhurst is a shelf stable brand with good nut milks but non organic.
Culina Yogurt: This is the closest thing to greek yogurt I found and it has just the right ingredients with ]out added junk! Coco June is another alternative. I buy it plain and add in my own honey or sweetners.
Siete Snacks: They make “Doritos”, Tortillas and Churro snacks. Everything they make is clean and delicious with avocado oil instead of hydrogenated oils like sunflower and canola.
Primal Kitchen: They make great dressings and sauces with clean oils and ingredients. Ranch is hard to copy– I make my own with their mayo and herbs!
Protein Bars: My new obsession is Skout but they have to be bought online. I love the ingredients. RX Bars and Larabars are okay but high in natural sugars. I also buy Cerebelly for my child.
Icecream: Be careful here…a lot of “dairy-free” ice creams are filled with junk. My favorite brand is Coconut bliss. Cado is another great alternative but still has gums in it.
Lesser Evil: They make great snacks! I love their paleo puffs and popcorns. They use ghee (if tolerated) or coconut oil for a true dairy free snack. They also make brownies that I mix into my ice-cream!
Simple Mills: This is a much have in a gluten free kitchen and luckily they make great dairy free options as well. They make mixes for cakes, muffins, and crackers.
Chocolate: No fear there are great dairy free clean options (everything in moderation). Unreal chocolate has healthier alternatives for M&M’s, Reeses, Almond Joys and Snickers! Back to Human (HU) makes great chocolate bars and baking chocolate. I also use Enjoy life chocolate for baking.
Goat and Sheep Cheese: A great alternative as your gut heals. Look for the raw versions. I buy it in a block and shred it for easy use. *Not everyone can tolerate goat or sheep cheese but a lot of dairy-free people can. Many alternative cheeses are filled with all kinds of junk. I just try to not eat it daily. It tastes great on pizza and grilled cheese. I don’t even miss regular cheese anymore, and I was a cheese lover. This goes for ghee as well if you are trying to add in butter. Butter alternatives–well stink.
These are my main staples in my household. I hope this helps you on your dairy-free journey. Going dairy-free can be hard at first, and it may take a couple weeks for your taste buds to adjust. BUT, I promise once you start feeling better and your taste buds adjust, you won’t miss the dairy as much as you think. Once your inflammation has decreased and your gut has healed you can add in grass fed and raw options. Feel free to reach out for more suggestions or guidance.