Tuesday, July 12, 2011

My LOVE Hate Relationship with Dairy

I love icecream, yogurt, quesadillas and so many other comfort foods that are made with dairy products that quite simply hate me. Over the past 6 years I've battled stomach issues that have been incredibly frustrating ... they last 3 months, go away for 1, come back for 2, and well, you get the picture. In college I encountered one to many uncomfortable doctor exams and at the end of it all I put up the white flag and gave up on some of my faves. Needless to say, it was a sad day.
...Until I read the Kind Diet.  Alicia examines the controversy behind dairy and how it can negatively affect our bodies (she claims dairy is linked to asthma, allergies, heart disease and diabetes - check out her book for all the deets). While all of this is just dandy, I was freaking psyched to know that there are so many alternatives for people like me with love/hate relationships with dairy! I apprehensively set out to Whole Foods praying that I wouldn't be horribly disappointed with the pseudo-dairy products I set out to buy and to my disbelief I found some delish new staples. 
Here is a little recap of my purchases ...
(it's worth noting in advance for all who are just as skeptical as I was that my cheese loving hubby enjoys them all!)

DAIYA CHEESE - Cheddar Style Shreds

Daiya is plant-based cheese alternative and i'd personally have to give it a B-. I first had it in a wrap and there was a noticeable change in flavor ... it's also a bit pricier then other shredded cheese alternatives which is an immediate turn off for me.

 
Galaxy Nutritional Rice Shreds & Toppings


Point blank, it sounds awful but it is SO yummy - it actually tastes like cheese! My hubby and I now buy this in place of real cheese (he seriously loves it!) and it passed the quesadilla test with flying colors - melted perfectly! I give this a strong A+. I have 2 packages of the rice shreds in my fridge now.

Tofutti -  Sour Cream & Cream Cheese
The Sour Cream is seriously better then the real thing and again, it is a new staple in our house, it's an easy A ... so long Daisy Sour Cream!
As for the Cream Cheese, it was awful.  I ended up throwing out my bagel which made for a very unhappy mornng. Fail.

 
Blue Diamond Almond Breeze - Unsweetened Original Flavor
This tastes much better then soy milk and is a good source of calcium, Vitamin D, A and E. My hubby absolutely loves it ... I sometimes think the taste is a little thick but it's still pretty damn good. I give it an A-.


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If you battle GI issues like I do or just want to switch to a more cow friendly dairy alternative, I seriously recommend trying 1 item from the list above. A small change can make a huge difference in the way you feel. I am so thrilled to know I can find relief and that I don't have to sacrifice a night of stomach pain or bloat for a yummy homemade quesadilla.

I'm pretty sure you're now wondering How do you get enough calcium? 
Well, many veggies have calcium especially the green leafy ones which i've come to love (kale included) and you can find loads of calcium in different types of beans (soy included), seeds (think sesame) and nuts. I personally eat a lot of black beans, hummus (it has 60mg of calcium per 1/2 cup serving), almonds, brocoli and kale.

I hope this post has been helpful ... If you have any dairy alternatives you'd like to recommend, please let me know!

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