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Got Milk? Living Dairy-Free

0 Posted by - April 10, 2013 - Health, Other

I gave up cow’s milk just under four years ago and I get a lot of questions from people who are debating dropping cow’s milk from their diet, particularly in relation to skin health and acne. Before we get started let’s make it clear that I’m not a nutritionist and I’m in no way condoning cutting out a food group without good reason. I personally tried quitting dairy when I found out that I had tiny lesions on my small intestine. When I cut it out, any side effects of that problem were totally gone so I stuck with it; but dairy elimination has also been linked to the improvement of IBS, eczema, migraines, acne and of course a dairy-free diet is also part and parcel of veganism.

As it garners most questions, let’s look at acne for a minute. A dairy-free diet is by no means a miracle cure for acne, but there are several studies linking acne and inflammation to cow’s milk. The link seems to be a two-pronged issue caused by milk sugars (lactose), which can spike insulin, and hormones. There are ‘hormone-free’ (organic) milks, but all this means is the cow hasn’t been given artificial hormones. The cow’s naturally produced hormones, designed to turn baby cow into massive beast, are still present. These growth hormones have been shown to aggravate acne, and skimmed milk was shown to have the strongest link to acne of all. My skin wasn’t particularly problematic prior to ditching dairy, but I have noticed since then I haven’t had any of those furious, deep-under-the-skin monsters.

How do I give it up?
If you’ve ever undertaken any kind of elimination diet, you’ll know the only way to get a true read of how a food affects you is to give it up entirely for a number of weeks. Unfortunately giving up cow’s milk on your cereal, but still chowing down on ice cream won’t have the same effect. Grit your teeth and drop cow’s milk entirely for a minimum of three weeks (but try not to make drastic changes in other areas, i.e. don’t give up wheat at the same time) for best results. After that you can try reintroducing different cow’s milk products if you want to (and aren’t vegan!). I quickly found that I could tolerate about one small serving of dairy per week so, although I’m ‘dairy-free’ and have no desire to eat dairy, I don’t worry about every ingredient in a meal when eating in restaurants etc.

But that means I can’t have…

Milk
Like most people who give up dairy, soy milk seemed like the obvious alternative. I was using soy for the first three years of going dairy free but I now avoid it all together. Soy has its own problems (including phyto-oestrogens, which mimic oestrogen in the body) and the ‘original’ version of the UK’s most popular soy milk contains almost 6g of sugar per glass - almost the same as a can of Coke. With all cow’s milk alternatives, I’d recommend picking up the unsweetened version and sweetening it yourself if necessary.

Nut milks are the best route in my opinion (unless you have allergies). There are quite a few varieties but almond is most accessible and my preference for texture and mild flavour. Coconut milk (not to be confused with what you’d use in curry – one option is ‘Kara/Koko Dairy Free’ in UK supermarkets) tastes great but is a little too coconut-y for use in tea or savoury dishes. Oat milk is also nice and tastes, unsurprisingly, like oats. Rice milk has a mild flavour, but is usually quite watery and Hemp is fantastic nutritionally if you can tolerate the strong nutty ‘green’ taste. Unfortunately all of the alternatives are more expensive than cow’s milk at around £1.40-£3.50 per litre, but you can make your own.

Lactose free milk is available (Lactofree in the UK) but I found it caused almost as much irritation as normal cow’s milk – leading me to believe lactose is not the worst offender. It might be worth testing after an initial elimination period, but it’s quite unusual for someone to produce no lactase (the enzyme that breaks down lactose) whatsoever. More often than not there is a threshold at which lactose begins to cause problems.

Cheese, Butter, Yoghurt 
Again it’s best to try cutting everything out and then reintroducing things in small portions. If you’re not going vegan you might find you’re still fine with a little mature hard cheese as it has about 0.5g of lactose vs. the 12g or so in the equivalent serving of milk. In my experience, vegan cheese is invariably foul tasting mush with a questionable ingredients list, but there are lots of recipes online that incorporate nutritional yeast (above) for ‘cheesy’ flavour without dairy or additives.

There are quite a few vegan spreads available (Pure is in most UK supermarkets) but I only bothered with them for a couple of months. I find a little avocado, almond butter or coconut oil fills the gap. If you’re just beginning to eliminate dairy, dodge yoghurt altogether and start taking a probiotic instead. There are a few dairy free and soy yoghurts available but, again, watch the sugar content.

Chocolate, Ice Cream, Processed Food  
There are plenty of dairy-free ice cream and chocolate alternatives and you can also experiment with cocoa powder (not hot chocolate powder, which generally contains dried milk). However you only have to look on the box of processed anything (including bread) to find ‘milk powder’, ‘milk solids’, ‘lactose’, ‘whey’, ‘casein’ etc. It’s best to simply avoid whatever long ingredients list you’re looking at and find a recipe to make your own. If you’ve given up dairy for the sake of your skin or digestion, the last thing you want to replace it with is something in a box which lasts for an unnaturally period of long time.

I know it all sounds a bit extreme but if eliminating dairy for a few weeks actually makes a difference to how you feel, it doesn’t feel like deprivation at all. I don’t really think about it unless someone questions me or I’m too polite to refuse a couple of cups of tea made with cow’s milk (and feel rotten the next day). A lot of people worry about calcium on a dairy-free diet but there are several vegetables and seeds with more calcium per serving than milk and, even if you stick with milk, it’s not a good idea to rely on dairy for your calcium requirement as levels vary with pasteurisation etc.Hopefully this is helpful if it’s something you’re considering and if I missed anything, feel free to ask below or via Twitter.

65 Comments

  • Jo Cannon April 10, 2013 - 6:14 pm Reply

    This is such a helpful and insightful post, thank you so much for taking the time to write it. I’m vegetarian, and seriously considering becoming vegan, so this is incredibly useful x

  • Luxe Life Aspirations April 10, 2013 - 6:17 pm Reply

    I’m supposed to be dairy-free for my skin. I use dairy free spread, eat soy yoghurts and use oat or almond milk but I miss cheese…

    • Kristie April 10, 2013 - 7:29 pm Reply

      As an esthetician, when clients present with acne I usually instruct them to cut out dairy for a few weeks. Almost all report a reduction in breakouts, specifically with deeper, cyst-like ones. I wrote a post about the link between dairy and acne, and through my research I’ve come to believe that it may be in part due to elevated levels of blood sugar and inflammation.

      Did you notice an improvement in your skin when you cut out dairy?

  • Anna April 10, 2013 - 6:18 pm Reply

    This is a really fantastic post, thank you!

  • Dreams That Glitter xoxo April 10, 2013 - 6:23 pm Reply

    This is a wonderful, wonderful post! I’m actually dairy free because I have a dairy allergy so I can’t say giving up was ever an issue but for those that can’t give up milk I always suggest trying almond milk as it’s lush, in my opinion :). This has definitely made me want to start my healthy skin diet blogging recipes etc again :).

    xoxo

  • Amy April 10, 2013 - 6:23 pm Reply

    I’ve read scary facts about milk and when I think about it I do feel quite ill however I do think I would find it hard to give up, having said that I have never tried.

    After reading this I would like to try nut milk as I have never even heard of that before and I do think it sounds rather appealing.

    I don’t eat much cereal to be honest, I’m a fruit or toast gal so my main worry would be tea as I have milk in my tea and I drink probably far too much of it.

    A really interesting post, thank you for putting it out there :)

    Amy xx
    A Little Boat Sailing

  • HETTY April 10, 2013 - 6:24 pm Reply

    Great article, I was really looking forward to this when you tweeted about it. Especially useful for me as my daughter is possibly lactose intolerant and I’m always looking for alternatives to dairy that we can both enjoy. Never thought to use coconut oil as a spread! Thank you!

  • Dreams That Glitter xoxo April 10, 2013 - 6:24 pm Reply

    Awww no wrote a long reply and looks like blogger deleted it but anyway, as someone who has a serious dairy allergy I loved this post :) xoxo

  • Natasha April 10, 2013 - 6:25 pm Reply

    I’ve been vegan for a while now and it’s very easy at home, but can sometimes be difficult when eating out. I live in South Africa and there’s not than many vegan products available yet. I wish I could buy pre-made almond milk. I like it, but I don’t want to make it every week. I’ve been trying out different recipes for vegan cheese too.

  • Becky F April 10, 2013 - 6:25 pm Reply

    This is such a helpful post! I started “avoiding” milk at the beginning of the year, as I have neurodermatitis and dairy products are supposed to make it worse. Unfortunately we don’t have any almond milk in our local supermarkets, which is why I always used soy milk so far – but what you wrote about it, doesn’t sound good at all.
    I really, really appreciate your health/life related posts! It makes me happy to see that people actually think about what they’re doing and that they act “responsible” (either for themselves or for their environment)… it starts to get slightly cheesy, so I will stop now. :’)

    xx

    beckythewallflower.blogspot.com

  • Katie April 10, 2013 - 6:31 pm Reply

    I would love to give up dairy, but my diet is very limited already. I am gluten intolerant and vegetarian, so it’s very pricey already!

    http://golddustk.blogspot.co.uk/

    x

  • Clumsy Daisy April 10, 2013 - 6:36 pm Reply

    I am allergic to milk (not dairy products, but just the milk straight from the cow/bottle – liquid milk, that is) and hated it already so I’m glad I have a really excuse to avoid it now. Unfortunately France isn’t really evolved when it comes to vegan alternatives to anything at all, and if you’re lucky enough to find soy milk or even vegetarian food, it costs an arm. Thank you for this very interesting post, I didn’t know milk had such an impact on acne. And I wondered why my skin looked slightly better than last year (before I got allergic). It makes sense now. :)

  • Rachel April 10, 2013 - 6:45 pm Reply

    Thanks for this post! After a stubborn bout of acne on my chin recently and generally feeling sluggish I think that when I return to university this weekend and regain control to cook for myself I will give up dairy. I’m not a big milk drinker anyway and LOVE almond milk, however I’m going to miss cheese! I suppose I can always rely on Parmesan if necessary but I am going to at least give up completely for 3 weeks. If its a success I also want to love on to full veganism. I agree with you on the soy milk: I stopped drinking it a few months ago after research and have since moved on to almond (sometimes coconut in baking).

  • Jenny April 10, 2013 - 7:02 pm Reply

    Really interesting read! x

  • Pampered Prince April 10, 2013 - 7:12 pm Reply

    Lovely post and I for one definitely saw a huge improvement in my acne when I cut diary completely for a few months. I’m not completely dairy free now but I am very low dairy. Where I can substitute dairy I do. The only thing I really couldn’t find a decent sub on was cheese, so I do occasionally allow myself pizza, which lets face it should be a food group all of it’s own.

  • Sammie April 10, 2013 - 7:15 pm Reply

    A little over a year ago after suddenly falling quite ill I discovered that I’m lactose intolerant. I had to change EVERYTHING and even now I have to check the ingredients of the most ridiculous things (chicken nuggets, crisps…) because so many things unnecessarily contain lactose.

    Lactofree milk is just regular cow’s milk with an added enzyme (lactase, to break down the lactose), so I’m not surprised you had the same problems with it!

  • Annabel April 10, 2013 - 7:31 pm Reply

    I tried going dairy free a few months ago and It was an utter disaster, lurpak butter, mozzarella on anything, a tub of Ben & Jerrys and a few sneaky full fat milk hot chocolates later I realised I love it a little too much. I tried vanilla rice milk for my cereals which was awful, should have tried the almond milk I’m just not a fan of nutty tastes.
    I really would love to go dairy free as I feel my skin would really benefit.. perhaps even help the millia on my cheeks that not even a year of using liquid gold will remove :(
    I just need to be very strict, plan out my meals and remove all temptation!
    Thanks for this post m’dear, I have renewed determination! :)
    xo

  • Killian Reimers April 10, 2013 - 7:36 pm Reply

    Very useful, helpful post! I’m always considering to see what eliminating dairy would do for my skin as well as my general health, but it is difficult to start out with..I have tried using soy and rice products, which are good, but again worry about the sugar content/oestrogen content. Your tip on just making it yourself is a good idea, though.

    Thank you much!

    - Killian x
    indulgenceonabudget.blogspot.co.uk

  • Rachelle April 10, 2013 - 7:36 pm Reply

    Thank you for this post! I’ve been thinking that I should try to avoid eating dairy for a few weeks to see if it makes a difference to my skin. I suffered from acne at school and over the past year it has flared up again. I put it down to stress at uni but since I graduated it’s been no better! I’ve heard a lot of good things about the almond milk so I might start easing myself in with that. I’m such a cereal/milkshake/cheese lover though :(
    Rachelle x
    http://inspiredbytheretired.blogspot.co.uk/

  • Anonymous April 10, 2013 - 7:55 pm Reply

    Really interesting read.

    Carly x

  • Lost Morgendorffer April 10, 2013 - 8:03 pm Reply

    I have to thank you,
    This blog post is exactly what I have been looking for. Much like many people who have commented so far, I am lactose intolerant.

    I was buying lactose-free products and eating sheep’s or goat’s milk products but still felt awful the next day. I have been cutting out dairy since January when preparing my own food with the exception of ghee as a replacement for butter in cooking and the use of butter (with an added lactaid pill consumed on my part) in baking. I am definitely going to move to the coconut oil or avocado route in places where I don’t really need butter.

    As you alluded to in your description of skim milk, I find higher fat dairy products to be easier to digest. I thought that this was counter intuitive but I can’t really argue with it. I am not also sketched out by soy products and have been enjoying the coconut or almond milk alternatives.

    I have still been feeling a little weak since I haven’t been eating yoghurt but will be reintroducing probiotics as you suggested. I’ve been doing a lot of research but this information was really what I have been looking for.

    Thank you kindly!
    - Donna

    • Michaela April 10, 2013 - 9:17 pm Reply

      This is because skim milk just has lower fat content; the amount of lactose is the same, or in some cases higher! Strange, huh.
      I personally found adding a probiotic helped with a lot of my digestive issues.
      xx

  • bliurblog April 10, 2013 - 8:55 pm Reply

    I have been reading your blog for months, and this post has given me the perfect excuse to comment. I found it very interesting, very reliable and well written. As a lactose intolerant (fact I discovered recently due to intestine and stomach problems along with a dreadful breakout all over my face) I don’t find particularly difficult giving up milk. I’ve found oat milk to be the perfect substitute for me, I don’t really miss cheese and yoghurt and I make ice cream just freezing one banana and blend it the next morning, et voilà! I really appreciate your approach to the subject, and also the reference to calcium, which is by far the most asked question I receive on a daily basis. Le sigh.

    Keep up the good work.

    P.S.: I hope I’ve expressed myself well, English is my second language :)

  • Kale and Coriander April 10, 2013 - 10:13 pm Reply

    Really great post! You make dairy-free much more appealing! : )

  • florarosereviews April 10, 2013 - 10:47 pm Reply

    I’ve given it up since Christmas and I have noticed my skin has been not horrendous since then but I have also found that it has been creeping in more and more to my diet. I think I could do with another elimination round…

  • Krystel April 10, 2013 - 10:48 pm Reply

    Such an interesting/informative post I have been hoping for a post like this for ages as I have been wanting to give up milk for some time now D: but was unsure how to or what to use as a substitute and the reason why I wanted to give up dairy is down to the hormones and chemicals injected into the cows and high levels too this causing ill health in people in extreme measures so I really wanted a healthy/natural option and this post has explained everything :) and I never knew it also caused acne (another thing I suffer from) but just mild spots that I get treatment for and have healed very nicely so this is another reason I am stopping tomorrow and getting a coconut or hemp alternative, thank you so much for this post I have bookmarked it for future reference xxx

    http://www.krystelcouture.com

  • Jessica Penny April 10, 2013 - 10:51 pm Reply

    Great post! I have been on and off vegan (mostly on) for 3 years now, but finally recommitted for good just a couple of months ago. It’s surprising, but I really don’t miss dairy products, even cheese which I thought would be a major issue for me. Thanks again for this post xx

    http://onlyogresknow.blogspot.com.au

  • cleartheway April 10, 2013 - 11:10 pm Reply

    Hey! I abstain from dairy because I’m Vegan. I am very blessed to live in an area where Vegan (and gluten-free) products are plentiful and readily available for me. My favorite nut milk is this new blended one I found that has almond, cashew, and hazelnut. It’s so yummy.

    Kate from Clear the Way

  • Tasha April 11, 2013 - 12:20 am Reply

    Really interesting read!

    Do you drink coffee/tea with other milk substitutes then, if you don’t mind me asking?

    Tasha x

    http://www.hello-freckles.com

  • Katherine xo April 11, 2013 - 12:48 am Reply

    I’m dairy AND egg intolerant so I know how all this feels! No matter what though cannot find an alternative to chocolate or cheese. Annoying but Party Rings fill the sweet void in my life! x

    http://thebeautyvisual.blogspot.co.uk

  • Gigi Song April 11, 2013 - 12:50 am Reply

    Thanks so much for writing this! It was really interesting to read, I had no idea cow’s milk could affect your skin like that! I might cut it out for a few weeks and see what happens :)

    This Happy Little Blog

  • Martha Woods April 11, 2013 - 1:02 am Reply

    I also gave up dairy, though not in the extreme–I still eat chocolate and Cheetos! But I have to say, ditching the dairy milk, cheese and ice cream has made a huge difference in how my skin looks and how I feel overall. I have so much more energy and I’m not bloated or sluggish anymore.

  • byandie April 11, 2013 - 3:33 am Reply

    This was really interesting to read, I’ve cut out milk and some dairy products for about 5 months now and it has helped my digestion and acne problems a lot ! I’d recommend almond milk to anyone and if they don’t like the plain taste, there is always the vanilla flavored one :)

    byandie.blogspot.ca

  • Samantha April 11, 2013 - 6:06 am Reply

    So interesting, I’ve cut out all dairy apart from the odd bit of yogurt, but still very helpful!
    Lots of love from New Zealand,
    Samantha
    novellaplace.blogspot.com
    xx

  • Romila Marie April 11, 2013 - 7:47 am Reply

    Love this post! I gave up pure cow’s milk completely last year, but stuck with chocolates & cheese. I just can’t help it. :o It helped with my acne though, so I guess pacing your intake is key.

    http://norwegianelephant.blogspot.com

  • Mrs D. April 11, 2013 - 7:48 am Reply

    Such an interesting read, thank you!

  • amber April 11, 2013 - 8:46 am Reply

    Funnily enough, I have irritation in my small bowel (I have Crohn’s but it’s behaving itself for now) and my most recent gut biopsy showed that my digestive enzymes have dropped below normal int he last three years, including lactase, which means that dairy is difficult for me to tolerate. I usually only have dairy in the form of a splash of milk in my tea and… cheese. It’s cheese that I would miss the most, but I think I can go without for three weeks to see if some of my autoimmune and hormonal symptoms improve. You’ve inspired me!

  • Eleanor April 11, 2013 - 10:21 am Reply

    I would love for my partner and I to give up dairy but he has a severe nut allergy and I haven’t found any milk substitute that compares to almond, particularly for use in tea and cereal :(

  • Drop Stitches Not Bombs April 11, 2013 - 11:17 am Reply

    Thank you for such an interesting an informative post! I gave up drinking milk several years ago, when I was singing regularly in a choir – I found that the dairy sort of clagged up my throat, and cutting it out made a big difference. I’m not totally hard-line about cheese and ice-cream and the like, but I do definitely feel better if I avoid it. My favourite milk alternative is Sainsbury’s Basics Unsweetened Soya Milk – only 59p, and makes lovely, creamy porridge!

  • FAB Head To Toe April 11, 2013 - 11:41 am Reply

    I very rarely have milk these days; I think I have it about twice a week and sometimes never! Since cutting down I have seen a massive difference in my skin, the next step is to cut it out completely or switch to a different type of milk like soy or almond x

  • Ally April 11, 2013 - 11:45 am Reply

    This is a really interesting post! You only mention cows milk though – does this mean goats milk products (I love goats cheese!) are “ok” to eat?

    • Meg April 11, 2013 - 1:16 pm Reply

      ah i was running out of space. basically (as I understand it) the thinking is that goat’s milk is more ‘homogenized’ than cow’s making it easier to digest. But it is still designed to nourish a small animal so I’m not sure about everything else? My mum gave my brother goat’s milk as a child because he couldn’t tolerate cow’s so there is definitely differences.

      I opt for goat’s cheese over cow’s even though i can tolerate a little cow’s cheese so it really depends how you fare with it? Sorry that’s totally garbled and probably no help! x

    • Ally April 11, 2013 - 5:31 pm Reply

      No, that’s really helpful – thanks for replying! I love goat’s cheese so I think I will try to do a bit of research into it to see what the effects are.

  • Anonymous April 11, 2013 - 4:36 pm Reply

    I’ve been thinking about this for a while now. Even though I really want to take a break from dairy I’m not sure I’ll be able to commit to it with a student budget – what do you think?

  • lov2read68 April 11, 2013 - 5:10 pm Reply

    Thank you for taking the time to put this post together Meg! My son is allergic to dairy, not just lactose but the milk protein as well (casein). We’ve been dealing with this for 10 years now. He is also allergic to eggs, peanuts & treenuts. The nut allergy rules out almond milk but some of the other ‘milks’ I wasn’t aware of so will be looking for those to try. We use soy milk but he won’t sit down & drink a glass of it or use it on cereal. However, the vanilla soy milk is great in cornbread & pancakes – adds just the perfect hint of sweetness.

  • Anonymous April 11, 2013 - 7:50 pm Reply

    Brilliant post!

    I have never been diagnosed as being lactose intolerant by a doctor but have always had issues with dairy products since i was little. Giving up dairy hasn’t really be an issue as I really don’ t like milk, cheese, cream etc. My only weakness is chocolate and ice cream. I use the Lactofree milk on my cereal but I rarely have it because I’m not keen on milk.

    I’ve never had problem eating yoghurt’s so I guess I just have weird tolerance.

  • Rebecca-Louise Murray April 11, 2013 - 9:28 pm Reply

    This is honestly my favourite ever post! Going to see how I do lacto free tomorrow… I will deffo miss the cheese but hey ho, its got to be done (: thanks Megan!

    http://www.iamenglishrose.com

  • Anna Black April 12, 2013 - 12:59 am Reply

    I’ve suffered from quite severe acne and after giving up diary my skin improved dramatically, I can’t express how happy I am and you’re right it doesn’t feel like your depriving yourself at all, I’m never turning back!

    http://www.beblacknblue.blogspot.co.uk
    http://www.bloglovin.com

  • Alexandra I. April 12, 2013 - 1:36 am Reply

    I’ve given up cow’s milk for the same reasons, and have noticed that it has benefited my skin and overall health :) Instead of cow’s milk I absolutely love almond milk! It is so good and I do not miss cow’s milk at all. I am still however, trying to eliminate other dairy products from my diet, such as cheese, ice cream, and yogurt. It is definitely difficult, and I no longer eat dairy on a daily basis, but I have decided to just eat those other dairy products on special occasions.

  • Charlotte April 12, 2013 - 7:29 pm Reply

    Personally I love both the almond and hazelnut milks by Alpro. I’ve seen a sugar-free/reduced sugar almond one popping up in the shops recently so I’m going to give that a go when I’ve worked through the current stockpile.

    Just one thing I wanted to mention – for anyone in the UK (and indeed Europe), cows are not given growth hormones to stimulate milk production. This (and antibiotics in feed) is banned within the EU but if you read articles on farming online you may be reading ones focusing on US farming practices and there are many differences between the two.

  • Sherbet and Sparkles April 13, 2013 - 10:50 am Reply

    I get massive migraines when I have too much dairy so I stay away from it most of the time (the odd icecream doesn’t seem to hurt me that much..)

    Here in Germany they are pretty good with lots of different products to try. I am a big fan of rice milk, and dairy free butter tastes just as good as the real thing!

  • Anonymous April 13, 2013 - 11:22 am Reply

    very interesting post.
    I pretty much have been growing up drinking soy milk because I’ve been allergic to dairy in my childhood. That’s why I still can’t stand the taste of milk and try to avoid it as much as I can. your post opened my eyes to try other alternatives such as almond milk which sounds delicious ;-)

  • The East Side April 14, 2013 - 8:23 am Reply

    You have an amazing blog!
    inflictinferno.blogspot.com

  • grumpyphee April 15, 2013 - 2:16 pm Reply

    About a month ago I started developing an allergy. I had always had an intolerance to dairy and I’d limit my intake but sometimes I’d binge and really pay the price. So like I said before I developed an allergy, turns out after 29 years I’m full on allergic to dairy and couple other things after never having a food allergy ever. It’s strange and odd but not unheard of apparently. Anyway I had to cut all dairy cold turkey lol. It was kinda hard at first, but so far now it’s going better. I’m really glad I read your post today cause I never actually thought about the sugar especially in yogurt. I was buying the almondae brand. So I appreciate your tips very much!!!! Thank you!!!!

  • Wonderlusting April 15, 2013 - 8:27 pm Reply

    Great informative post. I find that most people don’t realise there’s a difference between lactose intolerance (mainly a lactose issue) and dairy allergy (mainly a casein/whey issue). Depending some people can tolerate goats’ and sheeps’ milk – unfortunately only way to tell is to try. As Meg says there are lots of tasty dairy free alternatives now. Food & Drink section on my http://www.wonderlusting.co.uk has lots of dairy-free ideas.

  • Jenny April 16, 2013 - 2:24 pm Reply

    This is a great post! I also gave up milk a few weeks ago, and although I don’t really like milk I’ve found it hard to find a replacement for milk in porridge. Unfortunately rice and almond milk make porridge very watery and it doesn’t taste great. The only thing that works in terms of taste and consistency is soy milk, but I would like to cut that out as well if I can. Have you had similar problems or tried an alternative to milk and water in your porridge? I would be very curious to know :-)

  • Courtney Seager April 17, 2013 - 8:12 am Reply

    I’ve heard people rave about the benefits of raw milk before. How lactose intolerant people can drink it. because when you pasteurize milk, it breaks down the enzymes that help you digest milk.. therefor raw milk is just milk that hasnt been pasteurized (boiled at a certain temperature). It’s known for curing up asthma. I dont think you can buy it from grocery stores though… at least not here in canada, you need to find a local farm.

  • Anthea Lau April 18, 2013 - 6:39 am Reply

    i’ve never had nut milk before but I’m really curious about the taste! would love to try that out :)

    A
    xx
    http://epiquemoi.blogspot.com

  • Wendy Peck April 20, 2013 - 11:54 am Reply

    Thank you so much! This post was so incredibly helpful that I even made my husband read. Not only have I decided to opt out dairy for health issues but until only recently I was ignorant of what really going on behind the scenes. But for real, thank you :)

  • Gabrielle Logan April 20, 2013 - 8:55 pm Reply

    Great post!! I recently had to get off dairy because of my eczema. I realized when I ate dairy products my eczema got way worse and inflamed and itched .. just awful. I cut out all dairy and it really helped my eczema. I use coconut milk in my coffee and smoothies and there’s also ice cream made from coconut milk that I love. Not going to lie I do miss cheese, but I use goat cheese in salads and on crackers when I’m having a craving. Great post again!

  • Fabiola April 21, 2013 - 9:26 am Reply

    I also gave up cow milk some time ago and I’m currently having soja milk. My stomach problems have improven a lot. Thanks for the post.

  • Haley April 24, 2013 - 6:10 am Reply

    I’ve been completely allergic too dairy since about seven, so 13 years now. I love hearing about people who are also dairy-free, so the moment I saw ‘Living Dairy-Free’ I got a bit excited. As you do :) I have lots of recipes/product suggestions if you ever need an idea!

  • Caroline July 26, 2013 - 9:56 am Reply

    I tried lactose free milk and same as you, I didn’t see any benefit. It still upset me. My friend has almond milk which is quite watery but at least I can tolerate it and its not that bad in hot drinks. Not tried it on cereals. That’s the part I miss, my cereals. Thanks for the comments. I’ll keep plodding on!

  • Elise Baldwin September 2, 2013 - 9:51 pm Reply

    Heather Nichols (healthyvegan) on youtube has a great tutorial for makig your own nut/grain milk. It takes a little experimenting and time but worth it for the cheap price and no to little sugar.

  • Susan September 14, 2013 - 9:08 pm Reply

    A friend told me that she knows 2 people who after giving up milk entirely, then devoloped an Allergy to Milk. Is there anything to this? I had a terrible rash as a baby and the dr. took me off all foods for 2 yrs. and put me on Soy milk. It took that long til I no longer had allergic reactions to milk, I guess..? I’ve always had suspicions that milk was the culprit in my diet for the Eczema I’ve suffered, and the Rosacea I’ve had for 18 yrs. I’d like your opinion on what my friend said and also if you have any idea that it might cause the Rosacea. Thank You. Susan

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