How to Be Dairy Free

Ok, so you’ve tried this dairy free thing out, and you’ve noticed some changes and improvements in how you feel. Awesome! But how do you do this for the long-haul? Living a dairy free lifestyle may seem daunting, but once you learn a few simple substitutions you’ll find it’s not too hard AND can be just as tasty as before (plus you know you feel better!).

Switch from heavy cream to coconut milk or coconut cream. When you got started with your PFC lifestyle, chances are you started enjoying berries and whipped cream for your bedtime snack on the regular. Now that you’ve discovered you feel better without dairy, what will you have instead? Have no fear, coconut cream is here! Take a can of coconut milk and put it in the fridge for a few hours. When you open it, you’ll notice the solid white stuff has floated to the top. Scoop that part off and save the rest for smoothies or toss it (it’s mostly just water). Put the thick coconut cream in a bowl and whip it with your mixer just like you’d whip cream; TAADAA! Whipped coconut cream! Try adding a little vanilla or almond extract for flavor varieties, and try adding it to your berries before bed. You’ll love it! Note: you can find cans of pure coconut cream at Trader Joes’, online, or in some grocery stores. This will save you the step of refrigeration — just open the can and whip it up! You can substitute coconut milk for heavy cream in your coffee, smoothies, soups, or stews. It tastes great and adds a nice creamy texture.

Fall in love with avocado. One of the hardest things about quitting dairy is losing the convenience of having a readily available healthy fat. Fortunately, avocados are everywhere! Ask for avo or guac to top your salad while eating out, add a few slices to your scrambled eggs in the morning, dice ’em over a bowl of chili or chicken soup, or cut one in half and eat it out of the shell with a spoon and some added salt and pepper. They’re not only nutritious and delicious, they’re portable too! Do note that avocados have a very short ripeness window so pick them up at different stages of ripeness from your grocery store. Get a few dark ones to eat in the next day or two and a few green ones for later. Keep the green ones on your counter until they turn darker and soften. If you know you won’t eat them in the next day or two, put them in the fridge to slow their ripening.

Amy’s Avo Crab Summer Salad:

1 avo
  • 4 oz. crab meat
  • 1 Tbsp. unrefined mayonnaise
  • 1/2 c. diced veggies of your choice: onion, celery, capers, parsley, etc.
  • squeeze of lemon.

Mash all ingredients, except avocado, together until well combined. Slice avo in half, remove pit, serve crab salad on the avocado halves.

But what about my CHEEEEEEEEEEESE?! Cheese is a convenient food, and if you tolerate it alright, you might be able to use it as a great fat source for snacks. But let’s face it, we’ve all overdone it with the cheese at some point, and when we do, we probably aren’t eating all those veggies we know we should be. When it comes to cheese, think about how much, what kind, and why you’re eating it. You might find that your body feels ok with a little cheese sprinkled or crumbled on top of your meal as more of a condiment. You might find that goat’s milk or sheep’s milk cheese allow you to keep feeling great but cow’s milk cheese sends you running to the bathroom. Your body might tolerate high fat cheeses like cream cheese or mascarpone but it doesn’t do so well with cheddar or parmesan. Do a little experimenting to find out. Write things down on paper so you can make connections between what you eat and how you feel.

Are my ice cream and yogurt gone for good? There are LOTS of dairy free ice cream and yogurt products on the market, but unfortunately, most of them are pretty processed and LOADED with sugar. You might be able to replace your cow’s milk yogurt with a full fat, plain, organic goat’s milk yogurt if you find that you tolerate it well. Try other quick snacks like turkey/avocado roll ups with cherry tomatoes (PFC!) or a hardboiled egg with strawberries and almonds (PFC!) to replace yogurt. If you’ve got an ice cream maker, you can whip up our dairy free protein shake and toss the whole thing in your ice cream maker for a PFC Ice Cream Treat or make a coconut milk based ice cream recipe for a treat. Remember, ice cream is a treat, so save it for special occasions, consider your goals, and think about whether or not that treat is bringing you closer to them or pushing them further away. The choice is yours! 🙂

You can probably keep your butter! For a very small percentage of people, butter causes an inflammatory response. If you’re one of these people, you may already know it. For the rest of you, buy some high quality grass fed butter and enjoy! (Grass fed butter not only has a better micronutrient profile, but it tastes better too! And it blends better if you want to use it in coffee. Try blending half butter and half coconut oil in a pan for a great flavor variation. If you’re just getting used to the coconut oil taste, this is a great way to get acclimated.

Still have questions? We can help! We understand that big lifestyle changes like quitting gluten or dairy can be challenging. Our coaches have done it themselves and helped hundreds of clients with food sensitivities make successful transitions to a healthy lifestyle. We’d love to help you too! Get in touch with our team to get personal coaching!

Is Dairy Free Right For Me? Get Your Free Guide!

  • Josh Habansky

    If only there was a substitute for COTTAGE CHEESE! I actually have no issues with dairy so I’m not too concerned about cutting it out but because there’s so much controversy surrounding it, I’ve thought a lot about it. Frankly though, I have a serious cottage cheese attachment so it would never work…

    • Kateathealthysimplelife

      Cutting out dairy isn’t for everyone! A cottage cheese attachment is an understandable one, and if it doesn’t seem to be affecting you (or even if it was, but you decided it was worth any suffering), then game on! Just make sure its full fat 🙂

      • Josh Habansky

        To be completely honest, and I know I’ll get crucified for it, but I eat 2% fat cottage cheese. Unfortunately, my budget is extremely tight and getting the 2% Breakstones from Costco is the most cost efficient way to buy it for me. If I had it my way, I’d buy grass-fed organic cottage cheese but I just can’t afford it at this point. Also, I will admit to being a bit afraid (HAHA) of full fat. It’s actually a step that I’m eating 2% as opposed to fat free, but I’ve gotten used to it. At some point, though, I want to experiment with a good quality full fat version and maybe monitor my weight to prove my fears wrong. I doubt, even if I ate it in the same quantities, that I’d gain weight from the switch.

        • Kateathealthysimplelife

          Oh Josh we don’t crucify anyone here at Healthy Simple Life! We only want to provide you with information so you can make the best possible choice for YOUR body! What you ultimately choose to eat is 100% your decision. Everyone comes to the table (so to speak) from different places and we totally understand that! If you feel comfortable eating 2% cottage cheese right now, and that is what you are able to buy, that’s absolutely fine. You need to do what is right for you, and certainly at your own pace. Making the switch from fat free to full fat can be a difficult and, without a doubt, intimidating one for many! We’ve been told “fat is the enemy” for so long, that it can be hard to turn off that voice. You just keep doing what is right for you, and keep taking steps forward at your own pace. We’re proud of you!

          • Josh Habansky

            Thank you for your lack of judgment! 🙂 I love your site!

          • Kateathealthysimplelife

            You’re welcome, and thank you!

  • sophie

    Do you think it is possible that someone who suffers hormonal responses to dairy (i.e. cystic acne) would be able to tolerate it if they balance out their hormones and stick to real food?

    • Kateathealthysimplelife

      Hi sophie! if your body isn’t actually sensitive to dairy, it is possible to consume it once your hormones are balanced. But, we always recommend keeping away from the offensive substance completely. You could always try abstaining from dairy until your hormones are balanced, then try adding it back in and see what happens. Everyone’s biochemistry is so different! We do see clients who have this issue quite a bit, so if you think you could use more specific/individualized help, you can always set up an appointment with one of our health coaches! 🙂

  • Gregory O’Neill Geiger Geiger

    can I safely switch my 2 boys (ages 3 and 5) off of milk without denying them calcium/other essentials obtained from their whole milk?nI switched off and noticed benefits, and I feel they would too (they are often stuffy after consuming).

    • Kateathealthysimplelife

      Hello Gregory! We believe that any nutrients obtained from cow’s milk can be found (and more easily absorbed) from vegetables, fruits, nuts, meats and seafoods, and that milk is definitely not an essential component of the diet. Here is a little more info about our take on dairy (scroll down to the 4th bolded section, “What about cow’s milk?”: Hope this helps!

  • Elaine Jacobson

    What is your view of kefir made with milk? I make my own at home using jersey cow raw milk. I heard you recommend kefir for the anti-inflammatory benefits, but I wonder about the negative aspects since it’s dairy. I’ve heard the kefir grains change the dairy, but don’t really understand it.

    • Kateathealthysimplelife

      How about something like this for a response?

      As long as the milk is full of healthy fat and your body can tolerate it, kefir is good! The probiotics are so beneficial for your gut and because the kefir grains are actually fermenting the milk, the lactose (sugar) has been converted into lactic acid, which is what makes it tangy. It’s best to listen to your body and see how it makes you feel!

      [image: “HealthySimpleLife”]
      *Kate Offen *
      Content Strategist
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