Dairy-Free Mom

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dairy-freeLast summer, I was on a mission to gain back my health. I felt lethargic, bloated, and living with an autoimmune disease and one sinus infection after the other. Not sure what to do about all of it or who to talk to, I sought out the help of a nutritionist that I had worked with years before. After a consultation and a long talk, and an overview of my medical history, she ordered a blood test.  

Two weeks later, my test results were in – I am highly intolerant of dairy. It was time to cut out all cheese, butter, milk, ice cream, and yogurt. Plus, all of the trace proteins that come in baked goods and MANY packaged foods.  

What?! No more cheese with my fruit and wine? No more Ben and Jerry’s on a Friday night? No more yogurt for a mid-morning snack? You’ve got to be kidding me, I thought. Unfortunately, this was no joke. My dairy-free lifestyle started right then and there. Within days I was feeling MUCH better. My sinus infections were gone, autoimmune symptoms went away, and I lost 10 pounds of weight that my body had been holding on to for a long time.  

Over the last year of being dairy-free, I have learned some tips and tricks to keep my meals and snacks interesting.

I have been able to show my family new ways to cook and eat. I use more condiments and dips like pesto and hummus in place of cheese. Another good replacement is a ripe avocado. It gives the creaminess of the cheese and the benefits of healthy fats. I’ll eat sorbet or “ice cream” made from frozen bananas in place of ice cream. Luckily in today’s grocery stores, you can find all sorts of “milk” (almond, cashew, rice, coconut, to name a few) and “cheese” (soy and almond-based are popular). That way, you don’t have to feel like you’re missing much.  

Eating out at a restaurant can be challenging since everything yummy seems always to be cooked in butter. But you CAN find good meals on the go!

Salads are an easy go-to at any restaurant. Omelets at the diner (hold the butter but load up on the veggies!) for breakfast, salads for lunch, burgers or chicken with roasted veggies (olive oil is my new best friend) for dinner. Also, most restaurants are happy to help out customers with allergies or an intolerance, and you’ll quickly get to know what to look for.

Confession – I still really miss dairy sometimes, even after nearly a year of not eating it. I would love not to think twice about what to eat.

However, I feel a thousand times better than I did last summer. As a result, I haven’t had any sinus infections this year, my autoimmune symptoms haven’t come back at all, and I have kept off that 10 pounds of bloat that I was hanging on to. Thankfully there are loads of great substitutes at the grocery store that make it feel like I’m not missing out all that much. I’ll raise my glass of coconut milk to that!

Check out some of my favorite dairy-free recipes on my Pinterest page here. You’ll find links to dairy-free dinners, sides, appetizers, desserts, breakfasts, and more desserts! Life isn’t so bad as a dairy-free mom, after all.  

Are you curious about going dairy-free? The FAQ section of this website is a great place to start.  

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Abby is a full time middle school teacher and mom. She was born and raised in Fairfield County and despite a few attempts at moving out west to Colorado, she has always ended up back here in the tri-state area. She met her husband, Chris, in college, and they were married in 2008 in Norwalk. They welcomed their first son, Ben, in 2010 and their second son, Tommy, in 2012. They recently just bought their forever home in Wilton and brought home a Bernese Mountain dog puppy, Nora, to add to the fun. Abby spends her weekdays working and parenting her two young boys and her weekends trying to relax with family and friends. She enjoys running, podcasts, nice dinners out with her husband or friends and the quiet hour alone with her coffee each morning before everyone else wakes up.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Abby

    You keep posting articles that are so helpful and relevant to me! This is the second time I comment to ask about the topic you posted about – could you pass me the name of your nutritionist? I have been trying to find a good one and have yet to find a match. Thank you!!!

  2. Hi Eva!
    Thanks so much for your comment. I really like my nutritionist and her approach. Her name is Monique Class. She works at the Center For Women’s Health in Stamford on High Ridge Road. Give her a try. Good luck!

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