What can I eat if I can’t have dairy?

Often, when people first start on the SD Protocol, we send them off for a blood test that tells us which foods they are intolerant to. It’s called the IgG test, and its unlocked many a health mystery! But of the thousands of IgG tests we’ve seen come back, there are four repeat offenders: Wheat, Cows Milk, Egg and Corn. If you’ve recently been told that cows milk is a no-no for you, don’t freak out. Life can go on. If it’s an IgG thing, then you’ll need to stay off it for 3-6 months while you heal your gut. After that, you may be able to tolerate it again. But it’s possible you have a lactose, casein (both dairy proteins) or dairy allergy, in which case you won’t be able to tolerate it again. The first thing I hear when people learn they can’t have cows milk is “But, but, but, chocolate!” The second thing I hear is “Cheese doesn’t count right ;).” The only thing you need to lose out on here are the uncomfortable results of cows milk intolerance (which is different from lactose intolerance but that’s a story for another day). As the world apparently becomes more food intolerant, we are seeing more and more substitutes on our shelves. Solving the “what will I eat instead” mystery is getting easier and easier. But more choice can also mean it all gets confusing.

Here are my top tips for dairy substitutes:

 
  • Coconuts! These babies contain an absolute wealth of possibilities. There is coconut oil, milk, yoghurt, and cream. You can use these to whip up an amazing array of yummy recipes. Don’t freak out about the high level of saturated fat in coconut products. They won’t lower your cardiovascular disease risk, but they won’t make it worse either.  Did you know that in the Pacific Islands, where people get 30-60% of their calories from fully saturated coconut oil, they’ve next to non-existent rates of cardiovascular disease? [1]. The fats found in coconut oil have been said to benefit heart health, weight loss, immune health, metabolism, energy, skin, and thyroid function. So there’s a lot of good to gain. Here are some examples of what you can do with Coconut products. – Condensed Milk: full fat coconut milk and maple syrup. Easy! – Coconut yoghurt: This is just coconut milk and probiotics. Pop some yummy berries in there for flavour, layer it up with chia pudding, add bananas or cocoa. The possibilities are endless. Or you could just pick some up from the supermarket. – Whipped coconut cream: Refrigerate a can of coconut milk, scoop out the solids and whip them with vanilla and a sweetener until it’s fluffy. OMG! You can also use it as a butter substitute.
 
  • Almonds: Almond milk is a common milk substitute. You can even find it at some forward-thinking café’s these days. But did you know there are other things you can do with almonds. – Almond butter: You can make this at home and it’s a lovely sub for peanut butter if that doesn’t sit well with you. All the instructions are here. – “Soft serve” ice cream: I found this amazing recipe using bananas, honey, almond milk and candied ginger. All the good things. All the flavour, none of the bad guys. Check it out here. The same website also has a recipe for Warm Chocolate-Almond Sauce and Almond Milk Rice Pudding. Once you master cooking with this, or other milk substitutes, you’ll see there’s not much you miss out on – apart from maybe the tummy upsets or inflammation that used to come with dairy intake. – Almond Milk Ice Cream or Yoghurt: You don’t even have to DIY these. You can find them in the freezer/fridge section of most supermarkets.
 
  • Banana: Bananas are commonly used additions to a lot of milk substitute recipes, or they are a nice standalone. How do you make banana ice cream? – Banana Ice cream: You can use bananas, shredded coconut, and coconut cream (along with vanilla and maple syrup) to whip up a nutritiously awesome treat that tastes like it should be naughty. More details here.
 
  • Avocado: Avocado is the hipsters best friend right now, but there’s a very good reason it’s back in fashion. It’s loaded with good fats and other nutritious goodies. It’s also a handy butter substitute. But that’s not all. It might surprise you what you can do with avocado. Here’s an example: – Chocolate Mousse: Try this recipe for a delicious, dairy free, chocolate mousse. It’s rich and decadent, and will make you forget you even needed dairy.
 
  • Goats milk: Along with being another milk substitute, you can also get goats cheese to fill the void left in your cheese-loving heart.
 
  • Sorbets: There are a huge amount of sorbet ice-cream alternatives out there. You can find them at the supermarket. You can find a myriad of recipes for them on the internet. Heck, if you are taking a wander along South Bank (Melbourne) and see one of those luxe gelato places, they’ll usually have some sorbet options too. It really hits the spot if ice-cream is your weakness.
 
  • Dairy Free Chocolate: You don’t have to go chocolate free if you’ve gone dairy free. There are plenty of dairy free chocolates out there. Look for higher cocoa content. There are also brands like “Sweet William” and “Moser Roth” that are readily available (in Australia) and their dairy free blocks are amazing. You can also use cocoa to whip up yummy chocolate flavoured chia puddings, avocado chocolate mousses, or flavoured dairy-free yoghurt. You don’t have to go without.
 
  • Cheese: If you are going to go for a cheese, triple cream brie is one of the best you can go for. Again have in moderation as a treat. Otherwise cheese from the milk of another animal is a good place to go too.
 
  • All the rest: Honestly, there are so many substitutes available. Other milk substitutes include rice milk, oat milk, flaxseed milk and even hemp milk. They’ll all have different textures and nutritional values, but they’re all bona fide ways to get around your dairy problem and can offer up some seriously yummy results.
   
  • Soy: I’ve left this one further down the list because I’ve seen soy come up on a few IgG tests, and because it can be high in phytoestrogens (or plant-based oestrogens). 98% of the world Soy crop is genetically modified so our body doesn’t like it so much. My Advice – steer clear of anything with soy in it. The Phytoestrogens can wreak havoc on your hormone balance.
    So there you have it. There is a world of possibilities out there. Yes, it will take a bit of time to adjust as taste can differ. But once you take the plunge and go dairy free, you’ll be surprised just how luxe your diet can be. Now, I have to flag something here: there are a couple of myths out there about removing dairy from your diet. One is that the substitutes are high fat. The other is that you’ll miss out on calcium. We will be myth-busting both of those very soon. Keep an eye out on our blog for that information. But the scoop is basically this: low fat isn’t the gold standard in weight loss any more, and if you do it right, it won’t raise your risk of cardiovascular disease. There are also lots of sources of calcium that don’t involve cows. Stay tuned. Stay healthy. Live life on your terms! Dr Anthea   OUR SOURCES: [1] https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/10/22/coconut-oil-and-saturated-fats-can-make-you-healthy.aspx [2] https://detoxinista.com/how-to-make-homemade-almond-butter/ [3] https://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/banana-almond-milk-soft-serve [4] http://www.pbs.org/food/fresh-tastes/vegan-coconut-banana-ice-cream/ [5] https://www.taste.com.au/recipes/dairy-free-avocado-chocolate-mousse/33f015f8-5a87-4b9d-a1fc-91f9e04fa72c Picture sourced from: https://gooddecisions.com/dairy-products-good-decisions/
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