Exactly 280 days until we say I do! I know it seems like eternity but I think it’s going to fly by. As promised, I’m going to share this little journey with you guys each Wednesday & today is all about the health and wellness part of wedding planning! Even if you’re not engaged, getting married, blah blah.. this post isn’t all wedding stuff, in fact I started eliminating dairy from my life before the new year and will continue limiting dairy after I’m married (sorry RJ).
Honestly, I don’t have an exact reason I wanted to give up dairy. I’ve always hated drinking milk, so that was easy but I really LOVED cheese. Like yea, I know everyone likes cheese but I actually loved it. Like ate it almost every meal. It was almost like an addiction, so that was a huge reason why I felt the need to go without it. Another thing I was worried about was cooking without dairy (a lot of my go to recipes contain cream of chicken soup, sour cream, milk or all of the above). I’ve also read a lot of articles about why dairy is so bad for us as adult mammals.. the added hormones, we’re the only mammals to continue to nurse past infants and we drink another mammals milk. Is it true? I don’t known but I figured it was worth a shot.
So I quit. Cold turkey. I went 6 full weeks with zero dairy. I do eat it extremely sparingly now, mainly when I’m out to eat or cooking something special for Babe.
To my surprise cheese wasn’t the hardest part, in fact not eating cheese has been really easy. Almost every meal you eat can be eaten without cheese and you cannot even tell a difference. I’ve found substitutes for my favorite foods.. I used to love quesadillas but now I use refried black beans (organic from whole foods) and mashed up avocados. It’s actually more delicious and filling than a cheese quesadilla. Avocados are a great substitute for the creamy texture you’ll crave when you stop eating dairy. I eat at least one or two or more everyday.
Another thing I worried about was my coffee creamer. I started using sweetened almond milk and cinnamon in my coffee every morning and I love it. I feel better after drinking it. You can taste and feel how much less artificial it is than normal creamer.
I still haven’t found a substitute for cooking dairy free. Most of my meals are meat and veggies. One of my favorite things to eat are these sweet potato bowls I shared last week and they are completely dairy free. You do have to think about your meals a little bit more in advance (I’m going to share my favorite & go to salad recipe below.. I eat it 3-4 times a week) but it’s honestly so worth the extra few minutes.
So after 6 weeks dairy free how did I feel? I felt great and my body was thanking me. First with the help of Neighborhood Barre, I was down 10 pounds. I had more energy and my skin cleared up so much. We were out to eat one night and RJ got queso, one of my (old) favorites. I literally couldn’t taste it. Not only did I not crave cheese anymore but I didn’t even like it or taste it. (Last night RJ actually said the same thing about milk! He used to go through a gallon in a couple days but last night he took one sip and said he couldn’t really taste it and no longer liked it either!!).
So if you’re like me, thinking about going dairy free or at least limiting your dairy intake, you’re thinking ‘Well what the heck do I eat?!’. This salad was my daily go to because 1. it’s quick, like less than five minutes to make, quick. 2. It’s healthy and DELICIOUS. All my friends eat it now 3. I used to put goat cheese on it but it’s just as delicious without it.
The ingredients store well in the fridge throughout the week so it’s great to take to work or eat at home and they’re also inexpensive. You can virtually add or take off anything you like from this salad (sometimes I don’t put avocado on it, I’ve also added turkey and hardboiled egg whites to it). If you Snapchat me you’ve already seen this salad 5 million times, no lie.
Dairy Free Arugula Salad
1-2 handfuls of Arugula (Add a paper towel to your greens to soak up moisture and keep them fresh!)
Lemon Juice (I keep the reusable one in the fridge for this salad)
1 Spoonful of Hummus
3-4 Slices of Roasted Red Peppers
1 Morning Star Chick Patty
1. Place the chick patty in the microwave
2. Place arugula on plate, drizzle with lemon juice
3. Top with hummus, red peppers and diced avocado
4. Dice the chick patty and add to salad
This post isn’t sponsored by any of the brands in the photos, I just LOVE this salad and wanted to share! I’m not lying when I say it’s is so easy. It’s SO good. You should try it at least once, you’ll be hooked! We just finished our kitchen make over this morning, I cannot wait to share it with you guys but for now I added a sneak peek photo above! 🙂 Xo,
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