It’s a new month, and a new year thanks to the Chinese zodiac (year of the horse!), which means it’s the perfect time to make some changes! Guess what that means… it’s Health Challenge time! I’m pretty excited about this one- No Dairy February! You heard me right, no dairy.
What does dairy entail? Well that’s a fabulous question! Dairy means pretty much anything that is made from cow’s milk, including milk, butter, buttermilk, evaporated milk, skim milk, margarine, cream, cream cheese, cheese, sour cream, whey, lactose, casein, and so on. I think you get the picture- dairy is a big category, and perhaps bigger than you thought! For example, did you know McDonald’s french fries contain milk? Or even many taco seasoning packets? It’s absolutely crazy some of the things that contain milk!
Now if you’ve read my blog before, you know that I like to research and explain things! Why am I declaring February as anti-dairy month? Many reasons. Of course, there is a good and bad side to everything. Milk is an excellent source of calcium and vitamin D, which are the building blocks of your bones and teeth. Think of vitamin D as an escort- it helps the calcium get absorbed so that it may strengthen your bones like bricks for a house. Milk also provides potassium, an electrolyte. However, milk is relatively high in calories (over 130 calories for 1 glass of 2% milk!), contains unhealthy fats, and is specifically formulated for cows. Think about it- have you ever seen a baby kangaroo get milk from a koala? Each animal makes its own unique milk to help it grow, so why do we drink a cow’s milk?
So why not partake in a health experiment? See what going dairy-free can do for you- you’ll drink less calories if you replace that milk in your cereal for light soy or almond milk, and consume fewer calories and fat if you say hold to the cheese and sour cream on your burrito. Cutting out dairy could give you more energy and make your body goals easier to attain! It’s not nearly as hard as you think- the major grocery stores and health markets (such as Publix and Whole Foods) all carry dairy alternatives! Here is a list of my favorites:
- Soy/almond milk: Silk
- Butter: Smartbalance Light or Organic
- Cheese: Daiya
- Sour Cream: Tofutti Sour Supreme
- Cream Cheese: Tofutti
- Icecream: So Delicious or Tofutti
- Creamer: Silk
- Chocolate: Enjoy Life
- Frozen meals: Amy’s
Also, So Delicious has an AWESOME free online cookbook filled with dairy free recipes of your favorites! You can check it out here: http://www.sodeliciousdairyfree.com/files/2013_CookBook_Email.pdf
Since I am allergic to milk, clearly No Dairy February is a given for me, so I will partake in a separate challenge, which you all will try later! I will not eat processed foods! My favorite little guilty snack of tortilla chips will have to be replaced by fruits and vegetables, and my morning cereal will be replaced by steel cut oats! Like I said, you all will get to try this one later! 😉
Are you going to make the pledge towards No Dairy February? Comment below any thoughts, successes, recipes, or ideas you may have!
Peace and love!