Lifestyle, Wellness, Fashion

My Favorite Non-Dairy Alternatives | Dairy-Free Update!

As many of you probably know, I am working towards being 100% vegan! Now, I don’t think I will ever be 100% vegan 100% of the time, but ya girl is trying. This summer I started this vegan transition by cutting dairy out of my diet. All summer I posted about it on my Instagram stories, but I wanted to give you all a detailed update about my favorite non-dairy alternatives!

First, let me explain why I went dairy free in the first place…

My decision to go dairy free was made after some serious consideration and some serious research. I did not just wake up and decide, “today is a great day to cut dairy from my diet!”. Before even thinking about going dairy free, I was a dairy monster. I loved everything that had to do with dairy. The cheese, the milk, the ICE CREAM(!). I loved dairy so much..but I didn’t love how it made my body look and feel.

Sometime this summer I came across an article written by a woman about how her body changed after going without dairy for two weeks. Words like “weight-loss”, “less bloated”, and “better skin” stood out to me instantly. The biggest thing that screamed at me (which is a little vain, I know) was the weight-loss part. I had been trying for so long to loose weight and nothing I was doing was working. So I thought to myself, I could do this. How hard could it be?

Now, me being me, I love to research things. I never make a decision before doing my research first. I googled things like, “pros to going dairy free”, “what happens when you cut dairy from your diet”, “results from going dairy free”. Everything I found seemed promising! Not to be one sided in my research, I also googled things like, “cons of going dairy free”, “downsides of going dairy free”, and “drawbacks of not consuming dairy”. The pros seemed to outweigh the cons, so I decided that the next time I hit the grocery store, I would not buy any traditional dairy products. Which bring me to these babies down below….my favorite non-dairy alternatives! All of the things below are things I have tasted and eat on a regular basis!

Cream Cheeses / Spreads

  1. Tofutti Cream Cheese (Taste is very subtle but FAR better than the Daiya brand!)
  2. Treeline Tree Nut Cheese (Spreadable)  (A recent discovery, so yummy on crackers!)
  3. Earth Balance Butery Spread  (Seriously, tastes like normal butter!)

Sliced Cheese / Shredded Cheese

  1. Daiya Cheddar Style Slices (So yummy to melt over a veggie burger!)
  2. Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds (Amazing for quesadillas!)
  3. Daiya Mozzarella Style Shreds (THE BEST to make homemade pizza with!)

Milk & Coffee Creamers

  1. Silk Light Vanilla Almond Milk (I get the 50 calorie one but they are all delicious)
  2. Silk Caramel Almond Coffee Creamer  (*Both this one and the hazelnut are my go to’s!)
  3. Silk Hazelnut Almond Coffee Creamer 

Ice Cream

  1. SO Delicious! Cashew Milk Cookies N’ Cream (Not my first non-dairy ice creams, but one of my favorite flavors!)
  2. SO Delicious! Cashew Milk Carmel Cluster (The first dairy-free ice creams I tried!)
  3. SO Delicious! Snickerdoodle (My current fav from SO delicious!)
  4. Ben&Jerry’s Non-Dairy P.B. & Cookies Ice Cream  (Pretty good, not as good as SO Delicious! but still up there!)
  5. Ben&Jerry’s Non-Dairy Chocolate Fudge (Yummy chocolate taste if the store is out of the SO Delicious! brand)

Other

  1. Daiya Cheeze Lover’s Pizza (A quick frozen pizza option that is dairy-free and yummy!)
  2. Daiya Deluxe Cheddar Style Cheezy Mac (Definitely has that Daiya cheese taste, but fills the mac&cheese craving when you have it!)
  3. Dr. Praeger’s Bibimbap Veggie Burger (These are seriously my favorites, I eat them all the time for both lunch and dinner and have been featured on my Instagram stories many a times!)

The results of going dairy free?

Too many to count (honestly!). I have slimmed down so much since cutting dairy out of my diet and I just feel better overall. Within the last year, with a lot of effort at the gym and by watching what I eat, I have lost almost 20 pounds. Part of this I credit to going dairy-free. My body is less bloated, my skin is clear all the time, and I just feel better. Some of you might say it’s all in my head but I swear, I notice a HUGE difference in my body when I have consumed dairy and when I haven’t.

Now, don’t think I am perfect at this. There are times that I still eat meals that have dairy in them. When I tell people I am vegan, I quickly follow up with “I am mostly vegan.” I like to describe myself as 80% vegan and 20% not. That 20% accounts for when I go out to dinner or am in a setting where there is no vegan option. I am not going to starve myself or go hungry or not order something delicious when out with my friends because there is not vegan option. Life is short, so I am going to eat like a non-vegan person if I want to! (But when I am at home and in charge of my own meal, I am vegan 😉).

Have you ever thought about going dairy-free? Truly, it isn’t as bad as you think it is. The biggest difference to get used to was the cheese substitutions, everything else was very easy. Wanna know something else? I think almond milk taste better than normal milk! I hope this helps all my babes out there who are thinking about going dairy-free (or maybe vegan!).

Shine on,

Maddy

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