How to Love a Dairy-Free Lifestyle. ~ Tina Paymaster

Via Tina Paymaster
on Oct 23, 2013
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With all the controversy over dairy these days, many people are choosing to go vegan and give up this popular food group altogether.

Whether it’s for health reasons, such as avoiding hormones and antibiotics, food allergies, improving digestion or ethical reasons (such as the treatment of animals), there is a growing demand for dairy alternatives in everything from ice cream to pizza.

I found out I was lactose intolerant about five years ago and I thought life was going to be incredibly boring from that moment onward. I knew I didn’t want to feel sick anymore, but I also couldn’t imagine a life without cheese and ice cream. My love for cooking and health inspired me to start experimenting with other ingredients besides dairy to create delicious meals that not only tasted great, but made me feel great too.

Here are a few natural and healthy ingredients you can use to add creaminess to the dishes you’ve always loved, without needing any dairy at all.

  1. Potatoes—add puréed potatoes to soups and sauces to thicken them and create a heartier dish.
  2. Cauliflower—popular in everything from mac-and-cheese to pizza crust, puréed cauliflower is a great way to create creamy sauces and soups, without the added calories and fat of traditional cheeses and creams. You will also get added fiber, antioxidants and important anti-inflammatory nutrients by adding this vegetable to your meals.
  3. Cashews—soak and blend cashews with water, lemon juice and a touch of sea salt for a vegan sour cream. Cashews are also popular in vegan desserts, adding a buttery and sweet flavor to energy bars and decadent cream sauces. They are high in healthy monounsaturated fats that are good for your heart, as well as copper and magnesium, which are vital for healthy bones, hair and skin. Try my chipotle cashew cream recipe.
  4. White beans—much like potatoes, white beans can be puréed into sauces and soups to lend a lighter color and thicker consistency. White beans are high in protein and fiber, which will create a more satisfying meal, control your blood sugar and improve your digestion.
  5. Nutritional yeast—This popular vegan condiment can be used in kale chips, soups, salad dressings and sauces to lend a cheesy flavor to just about any dish. Nutritional yeast is a great source of protein, Vitamin B12 and folic acid.
  6. Avocados—This super-food is a great addition to any diet. Blend avocados into pesto, sauces, dressings and smoothies to create creamy versions of your favorite foods. In addition, try blending it with some cocoa powder, almond milk, vanilla and dates for a decadent vegan chocolate pudding. Avocados are full of healthy monounsaturated fats, the kind that actually helps you lose weight. In addition, they are rich in fiber, potassium, B-vitamins and folic acid.

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Assistant Ed: Bronwyn Petry / Ed: Cat Beekmans


About Tina Paymaster

Tina Paymaster is a Certified Health & Lifestyle Expert living in New York City. She inspires women to feel empowered and discover true happiness from within by teaching them how to love their bodies, feed their souls and create healthy lifestyles that last. Begin your journey to feeling fulfilled and fit every day. Learn more about Tina through her website or connect with her on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.


6 Responses to “How to Love a Dairy-Free Lifestyle. ~ Tina Paymaster”

  1. GerryM says:

    7 or 8 years ago I became increasingly lactose/dairy intolerant and had to cut eating it completely. I found a method online for changing diet 'painlessly'. I was a bit skeptical, but since change was forced upon me I gave it a try. And what do you know, it worked amazingly well. Since others may find the method useful I thought I'd post it here (unfortunately I don't have a link to the original source).

    Week 1 – Don't eat dairy one day in the week (Monday)
    Week 2 – No dairy Monday and Friday
    Week 3 – None on Monday, Wednesday & Friday

    By the 5th week I never gave not eating dairy a though. I mean, I didn't look forward to the day I could eat pizza and ice-cream. More surprisingly, in the years since I've never had cravings for dairy. Seems a programatic change spread over weeks really does work.

  2. Tina says:

    Thanks for sharing, Gerry! That's a great way to transition away from dairy. We often find it so hard because we're actually "addicted" to it, and going cold turkey may only lead us to binge eventually. Different methods work for different people, what matters is taking the steps to improve your health.

    I also can't believe that I don't crave dairy anymore. Years ago, the thought of not eating cheese everyday seemed horrible. I'm glad to see you've taken charge of improving your health and are benefiting from it!

  3. Jessica says:

    These tips are great! I was expecting lots of alternatives like soymilk, almond milk etc but these are so much cheaper and better for thickening food.

  4. Lisa says:

    Amy's Organics has a new dairy free ice cream it's THE BOMB. And the recipes comes from a teeny little vegan restaurant in Asheville, NC, which I am very blessed to work at. Herbivore!

  5. Thanks Jessica! I use these often. i'm personally not a fan of soymilk and almond milk doesn't always give you the flavor or consistency you're looking for. Hope you enjoy these alternatives!

  6. I think I've heard of your restaurant, Lisa! Will definitely check out the ice cream. I also love Coconut Bliss's non-dairy ice creams. They're incredible!