How to Eat a Milk-Free Diet
Some people need to eliminate milk, cheese, butter and other dairy products from their diet for various health or medical reasons, or simply to loose weight. Here you will find some helpful tips, a grocery list and meal ideas to live milk-free.
Whether you are lactose intolerant, you have allergies like sneezing or skin rash, or you want to drop some pounds fast, all you need to do is eat a milk-free diet. However, it is easier said than done in our dairy-based society. Almost everything we eat from pizza to pancakes contains milk products. It seems like an impossible task to avoid eating milk products like butter, cream, cheese, milk, yogurt and ice cream. Even when you think you are not eating it, you probably are because milk, whey, casein, butter and cheese are hidden in so many restaurant meals, frozen meals and prepackaged foods.
The first step is to start paying attention to the ingredients in everything you eat, even if you don©t think there would be milk in it. Look at labels on packages and ask for a list of ingredients at restaurants. For example, a can of Campbell©s chicken noodle soup and a cup of chicken noodle soup at Quizno©s Subs both contain hidden milk and whey. A jar of Ragu tomato spaghetti sauce contains milk and parmesan cheese. A bag of M&M©s and Chex Mix snacks both contain milk. A corn on the cob at Chili©s restaurant is slathered in rich butter and the Sonic breakfast burrito with scrambled eggs contains milk. You will be hard-pressed to find a loaf of bread that is milk-free. Once you start looking, you may be shocked at what you will discover. Then you may feel defeated because it seems like there is no possible way to escape milk products in our society.
The second step is to decide that you will be milk-free and stick to it, no matter how difficult it may be. No matter how bad you are craving your usual favorite meals, snacks and desserts. Start by going one whole day without one drop of dairy product. Reward yourself and go back to your usual diet. Repeat this and go two days in a row milk-free. Eventually you will build up to a week, then a month. I am going on three years now, myself. Every once in a while I will splurge on cake and ice cream at someone©s birthday party.
The third step is to do a reverse search for milk products. Instead of being overwhelmed by all the products that do contain milk, search for products that do NOT contain milk. Build up a list of food items and call it the "Good List©. Keep a whole shelf in the pantry stocked with good items. If you get a craving for milk, direct yourself to the Good Shelf for a snack instead. You will use the Good List to make substitutions in recipes, as well as start cooking more meals from scratch. See our sample Non-Dairy Grocery Shopping List.
The final step is to learn to prepare your own meals so that you know exactly what is in it, and exactly what is not -- like milk! You can find several recipes of mine here, such as Pot Roast and Pork Chops. Here are some other ideas using items from the above Good List. You can eat cereal with soy milk (50% diluted with water). You can cook pancakes and waffles with soy milk (50% diluted with water) and non-dairy margarine. You can cook oatmeal with water then sprinkle on brown sugar and a dash of salt. You can cook mashed potatoes as usual, substituting soy milk (50% diluted with water) and non-dairy margarine. You can cook spaghetti with non-dairy spaghetti sauce. You can make garlic bread with sourdough bread topped with garlic powder and non-dairy margarine then broiled. Look for my upcoming recipes for my chicken noodle casserole and my beef and vegetable stew. Other tips: Always steam your veggies instead of using butter or cheese sauce. Always be sure to get plenty of protein, calcium and take a multi-vitamin (watch out -- many vitamins contain milk!)