If anyone had told me I’d go a full month without eating dairy, I would have laughed at them. Loudly. I mean, I’m the girl who turned Whole 30 into Whole 4, just because I couldn’t live without cream in my coffee. I am the girl who
considers… considered….considers cheese and ice cream two four food groups (the other two being bacon and coffee). I mean, a life without Ben & Jerry’s? That’s no life at all.
But, I did it. Actually, to be exact, tomorrow it will be 40 days without dairy. And I’m still here to talk about it. So, I figured I’d talk about it!
First off, let me give a shoutout to everyone who chimed in with tips when I originally posted about going dairy-free. The Daiya cheesecake, man. Completely fab.
Cheesecake aside, I’ve eaten some truly delicious stuff in the last month (and a few things that I’d rather not remember), so since you guys were kind enough to share with me, I’m going to share some of the highlights with you.
Straight out of the gate, I knew ice cream was going to be one of the hardest things for me to stay away from. So I didn’t! It’s summerm after all. And, there are a ton of dairy-free ice cream alternatives out there. I tried a lot of them. Some, I threw out, because ewwww. The most popular dairy-replacement right now is coconut, which is awesome if you love coconut, which I do. BUT, not every flavor complements coconut. Chocolate Peanut Butter Coconut ice cream was a hard pass. It just wasn’t right. But, the FOMU (get it? haha!) Bourbon Maple Walnut? Divine. Seriously, see if you can get this near you, and if not, they’ll ship all over the U.S. (If you truly hate coconut, So Delicious Cashew Milk Salted Caramel Crunch does not such at all).
Directly behind ice cream, sits my BFF cheese. And I will say, this one seems a lot harder to replicate. I completely ruined a dairy free roasted veg pizza by smothering it in Faux Mozz (there may have been tears). But, here and there, I found some gems. Namely, the Aged Artisanal Nut Cheese from Treeline. FANTASTIC. It made cheese and crackers for dinner a reality again. A very tasty reality. (Side note, I emailed them to see where I could find other varieties, and they emailed me back in like 20 minutes. I love amazing Customer Service almost as much as I love cheese. Almost.)
I didn’t realize this going in, but the biggest challenge, by far, has been eating out. Considering that dairy is a significant allergen, I’m shocked at how many establishments don’t know what is in their food. I’m not going to go on a cross contamination rant, but the confused look I get when I ask ‘Does your bread contain dairy?’ is getting annoying. One woman said ‘why would there be dairy in bread?’ (Hint: A lot of bread contains dairy, namely butter, for browning).
And while my state, overall, has many vegetarian and vegan restaurants, the number of them in my part of the state is a whopping zero. Luckily, my hippie sister was more than willing to trek into the city with me to go check out Veggie Galaxy. Primarily vegan, with some cheese and egg dishes (there’s always a vegan alternative), and a full vegan bakery, this place knocked my socks off. I can’t wait to go back.
Cooking isn’t as difficult as I expected, at least not most of them time. And as if not using dairy wasn’t change enough, my daughter recently decided to become a vegetarian. I’m glad that I’m a seasoned cook, though. Otherwise, this would be a lot tougher.
Sometimes, it’s a simple breakfast…
…and sometimes, it’s a more complex dinner.
Either way, we’re eating just fine around here.
I’ve got a month left to before the next procedure, and then I’ll find out if I truly have a dairy allergy. When this started, I would have said, with complete conviction, that if it wasn’t a dairy allergy, I would be all up in a milkshake before you could say boo. Now, I’m not so sure.
As much as I don’t love being the person at the restaurant that ALWAYS has to have the manager come over, living without dairy is much more possible than I expected. So, I guess we’ll see. But, I did find out that I’m much more capable of restraint than I’d been giving myself credit for, which was awesome.
So, maybe someday, I’ll turn Whole 4 back into Whole 30. Maybe.