My husband and I are in Boston this week, so I’ve decided to repost some oldie but goodie posts while I’m away. I look forward to catching up with everyone when I get home. Have a beautiful week!
7 Tips for Giving Up Dairy
A few weeks ago my sister-in-law, Jeanne, spent a week with my husband and me just after she decided that she wanted to go vegan. We had a great visit with her. It was a blast touring her around SoCal, and showing her the vegan ropes.
Although Jeanne made great strides toward adopting a vegan diet while she was here, she couldn’t part with cream in her coffee, dairy mocha latte’s and cheese. Since dairy was such a challenge for her, I thought she might give up on veganism.
I wouldn’t judge her if that was her decision, but I was excited to learn that it’s not. She recently told me she was finally ready to kick the milk bottle to the curb. What convinced her was talking to a woman about The China Study, a study that shows a connection between dairy and cancer.
I sent Jeanne a congratulatory email. She replied, telling me that she’s still struggling, especially with giving up cheese. I feel for her – I’ve been there! So today I thought I’d share some tips for giving up dairy. Here’s what worked for me:
7 Tips for Giving Up Dairy
- Cravings pass! – This has both a short-term and a long-term meaning. In the short-term, if you can put off indulging for 15 to 20 minutes, your desire will wane. In the long-term, your taste buds adjust to and learn to like what you typically eat. So, once you stop eating dairy for a while you’ll want it less.
- Distract yourself – Cravings may pass, but they’re frekin’ hard not to give in to! So distract yourself with a fun activity like taking a walk, reading blogs or whatever works for you until that craving goes away.
- Don’t beat yourself up if you cheat – You’re gonna cheat. This is normal at first – nothing to beat yourself up over.
- Discover Delicious Dairy Substitutes – There are great products to replace every dairy food you desire, but there are also some not-so-great ones. Sample lots of dairy alternatives and don’t give up if some of them taste like crap. If you keep trying, you will find some you love. For a list of my faves, check out Is There Life After Dairy?
- Educate yourself – Read books like “Eat to Live” and “My Beef With Meat” that cover the research that links dairy and disease, and find out how drinking milk harms cows.
- Remind yourself of your reasons everyday – The reasons for giving up dairy are compelling, but so is an ice cream sundae! So don’t just read The China Study and put it on a shelf, keep it out and read a passage from it every day. Or make it a point to watch a plant-based movie every week (this worked for me). And continue to expose yourself to the painful reality of life for a dairy cow on a factory farm.
- Connect – It’s easier to achieve something when you have support. Find a sympathetic ear and share!
So those are my tips, but I’d love to hear from others. How did you first give up dairy? Was it challenging? Do you have any suggestions for newbies?
Image courtesy of marin / http://www.freedigitalphotos.net