If you're giving up dairy because you're lactose intolerant in a major way, have decided to go Paleo, want to get rid of your bloated belly or acne, or are doing it for the animals, it's not easy, especially if you consider cheese to be its own food group. With these tips, you'll be able to stop eating dairy and actually feel happy about it.
Discover Amazing Alternatives
The plant-based food world is exploding right now, so there are dairy alternatives to just about everything you could think of.
Get Creative in the Kitchen
Sometimes you need to take matters into your own dairy-free hands and make the recipes you crave:
- Mini Strawberry Cheesecakes
- Mac and Cheese
- Avocado Pesto Pasta
- Chocolate Mousse
- Stuffed Shells
- Cherry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
- Vanilla Milkshake
- "Buttermilk" Pancakes
- Chocolate Cupcakes With Avocado "Buttercream" Frosting
- Fettuccine Alfredo (use vegan margarine instead of ghee)
- Whipped Coconut Cream
- Creamy Potato Leek Soup
- Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies
Find Something Even Better
If you have certain go-to meals like Greek yogurt for breakfast or Friday pizza night, find recipes that are even tastier. Try this chocolate coconut almond overnight oats recipes or a creamy high-protein smoothie. Cook up some chickpea coconut curry or bite into savory roasted sweet potato and black bean burritos. Discover foods you really look forward to, so you don't miss the old ones.
Don't go to the same old places that serve your favorite non-dairy dishes. You'll just be reminded of the chocolate peanut butter pie you can't have and will either have a supersad meal or give in and order a slice. Explore new restaurants — Chinese and Mexican are good options — or try a new vegan restaurant.
Ease Into It
Ditching dairy completely and going cold turkey is a pretty daunting task. So if your health allows for it, try slowly transitioning your diet, and you might not be so depressed about it. Maybe start with one meal a day or by ditching one food like milk.
Remember Why You're Doing It
Keeping a higher purpose in mind can be all the motivation you need to stop eating dairy. If you know you'll be stuck in the bathroom for half an hour just because you put a pat of butter on your bread, then you'll probably think twice before grabbing that butter knife. If you're eating Paleo because you want to gain muscle, getting support from your swolemates (and recipe ideas) can make all the difference. And if you're doing it for health reasons or animal welfare, just keep a powerful image in your mind that will stop your hand from reaching for that piece of cheese. Be confident in your decision and know that the benefits will soon follow.