Dave and I took the month of July to go dairy-free, just to see how we would feel (because of some things we had read and conversations we had). We were definitely surprised by how much better we felt and how little we actually missed dairy. So we’ve kept [mostly] dairy-free since then. For us, this means making dairy-free meals and swapping out cheese for hummus or nutritional yeast (or something else), rice milk for regular milk, etc. We’ve had frozen yogurt a couple times. We’re not scouring ingredients to see if something has traces of dairy. I used butter in Leo’s frosting for his party.
The biggest differences: feeling less bloated, less gassy, mentally clearer, more energized, and less lethargic after meals. I also think my running improved when I got off dairy – I’ve been able to go farther with less fatigue. So in general, yes, we’re planning on staying dairy-free right now, with dairy here and there (the random ice cream craving, if we’re having dinner at someone’s house, etc.).
*edited to add: In the first few weeks when we went dairy-free I dropped 3-4 pounds, which was a big surprise. I never just “drop” weight, but those pounds came off without me trying at all. They have since stayed off. I have not changed anything except for omitting dairy (I still eat dessert, same portion sizes, same amount of snacks, etc.).
At first, we made our own almond milk, but quickly found that to be more expensive. So we’ve been making rice milk every week and it’s much more cost-effective. It’s also making us incredibly grateful for our rice cooker!
(I’d include a picture but we finished our rice milk this morning!)
- 2c. cooked brown rice
- 4c. water
- 1/2t. vanilla (optional)
- pinch of salt
Combine the rice and water in the blender. Blend on high for 1 minute. Strain the brown rice through cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer (I use the strainer from a yogurt cheese maker). Pour the rice milk into a jar. Add vanilla and salt. Shake well before serving. Keep refrigerated. You can either throw out the rice pulp or save and repurpose it (I’ve added it to Leo’s applesauce or used it in veggie burgers, egg scrambles, and stir frys).
We make a lot of rice milk at a time, but the general ratio is 1c. cooked rice to 2c. water. I’ve tried different variations, but if you use more water, the rice milk ends up much thinner. This ratio has given us the best milk, in our opinion. I also eyeball the vanilla rather than measure it.
What’s your favorite kind of milk? I grew up on powdered milk and then skim milk. Anything above skim milk always tasted way too thick to me. Dave was always a fan of 2% or higher.
We like the rice milk for our cereal and also for making banana ice cream. Leo also drinks it during the day instead of formula.