my top dairy free items & WHY i'm dairy-free (VIDEO)

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someone start the slow clap. why? 1. i FINALLY got this post up 2. there are sooooo many dairy-free alternatives out there these days for us dairy-free peeps, right!?  i mean just think back 5 years even... it's mind boggling. this is just the tip of the iceberg!  i was raised on full fat cow's milk (full fat everything really, haha) and didn't discover my precious almond milk until about a year after i got married back in '08.  this small but epic swap completely changed my entire life and body. my whole. entire. life.   

i'm a girl who loves a lil' bit of everything and i can't see myself ever sticking to a specific diet (paleo, vegan, vegetarian, etc.).   dairy makes me physically ill and pretty darn miserable though, so it's really the only thing I have to mindfully omit.  i'm lactose intolerant and this is no made-up dietary restriction... nah, we don't do that over here.  dairy makes my tummy go completely rouge.  the following days after consuming dairy are not only hard on me, but my family too if you know what i mean. #bubbleguts the bloating, the gas, the air bubbles which feel more like sharp knives poking me in the intestines (tuck jumps and burpees are hard enough, i mean really... forget trying to exercise correctly cause it hurts so bad); it's just not a fun way to live or feel so i choose to live without it (for the most part!).  

oh i'm expecting alright... a birthday cake.

we are cool with gluten, animal protein, eggs, grains, and all that jazz in this house. we practice moderation, not restriction. but like i explained in the vid, dairy makes me feel anything but my best and i am 99.9% over the aftermath. i say 99% because sometimes i do have a slice of papa john's pizza or a bite or two of something full of dairy (usually dessert... usually when we're eating out, and usually off my husband's or kid's plates; explained this in the video as well lol) and i know what i'm signing up for.  dairy is truly the only thing i intentionally 'cut out' or restrict in my diet with good reason.  now, my kids still love and eat dairy pizza, dairy ice cream, and dairy cakes & cupcakes, etc. i usually keep very little processed snacks in or pantry / fridge though. when we go to birthday parties and what not, i chill out and let my kids enjoy kids stuff.  every now and then i do too!  i also introduce dairy-free alternatives to them as much as possible at home and go from there.

i dabbled in a lil' dairy here and there post pregnancy to be completely honest and not only did i suffer, but Kosi battled with eczema for a few months.

 mama.... can you not?

mama.... can you not?

 when I intentionally and mindfully cut dairy out, the eczema disappeared completely. 

it was no coincidence.  


alright, let's get to eeeeet!

these are some of my absolute favorite and most used dairy-free products right now; i will update this list (or make a new one) as i find more goodies!  

So Delicious Cheddars Shreds (i know, cheese is a big deal to me too...that's why it's first, y'all)

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YES, it melts beautifully for mac n cheese,

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nachos, or in-between your hot, egg omelette for breakfast! and most important, IT TASTES GREAT and not like plastic.  my kids are not fond of it on their pizza but i will rave about it (and keep it all to myself)......foreva.  

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the mozzarella is just as yummy.

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if you're a cool whip lover like me, YOU NEED DIS.

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add in some melted chocolate chips and make a quick, DF icing, 

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or add powdered peanut butter and slather it on my vanilla banana bundt cake!

Trader Joes Vegan Cream Cheese

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i tried a bunch of dairy-free cream cheeses and this one is the best price / taste / nutritional value combo. 

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so, us dairy-free peeps can still have the creamiest of enchiladas! cannot wait to share this Buffalo Chicken Enchilada recipe with ya ;)

Tofutti Better than Sour Cream Sour Cream

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i was soooo skeptical at first! when it comes to my sour cream i do. not. play. this stuff is legit though. their cream cheese is pretty darn good too; TJ's nutritional stats were just a little bit better though..

Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks 

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great for dairy-free baking!  my 6 year old said it tastes, "different" and i knew exactly what he meant.  there's a distinctive taste attached to thi butta but i don't mind it. 

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on toast, bagels, english muffins, crackers, grilled cheese sammiches, sautéing plantain.... 

Enjoy Life Dairy Free Chocolate Morsels

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these are LIFESAVERS!  I'm a choco-holic and chocolate is right up there with cheese...i can't and won't give it up. now i don't have to!  they also have chunks, and mini chips.

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either kind is perfect for making my healthy homemade granola bars right up there :)

So Delicious Coconut Milk Yogurt Alternatives

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they just added peach and key lime!  i normally get plain and add my own sweetener (Stevia or light agave nectar) but the kiddies love the flavored ones for snack time. 

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it does exist!  that was my first thought after discovering it in the grocery store a few months ago. i attempted a key lime pie with this stuff but i couldn't get the texture quite right.  still haven't. working on that, buuuut this stuff is magic right outta the can with pretzels, haha. 

Follow Your Heart Dairy-Free Parmesan Style Shredded Cheese Alternative

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i love making homemade breadcrumbs with these!  try them with my parmesan garlic chicken tenders, or my savory southwest salmon cakes, or just sprinkle some on top of your salad. they do not melt well (which is great new for breadcrumbs tho, right) but they are full of parm flavor and taste. 

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i used the parm in my zucchini fritters and Oooowee! so tasty. this recipe will be up sometime this week! i'll link it here when it's ready, promise.

Breyers Lactose Free Chocolate 

plain and simple. Dego (3) favors chocolate ice cream over vanilla so this one's his fave.

Silk Vanilla & Caramel Almond Creamers

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my early morning #5AMWorkoutClub peeps already know!  i post this stuff on my Insta stories so much; caramel is definitely my fave but i rotate flavors often. 

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milk was my very first healthy 'swap'!  this is where the nutrition game changed for me back in 08.

Breyers Lactose Free Vanilla

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Chiso (6) is the vanilla lover.  these are inexpensive and honestly cost less than what the pints go for these days!  plus they last a lil' longer.  actually wait, no they don't. lol

Lactaid 1% Low Fat Cottage Cheese

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when i need protein quick and have nothing prepared, this particular cottage cheese is often my go-to.  just wish they made a bigger tub!

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  i add a lil' Stevia, some berries, unsalted, roasted almonds or homemade granola... #perf 

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why am i so obsessed with whipped cream?

Nature's Charm Evaporated Coconut Milk

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another great, seamless baking swap.  i used to pour canned milk on my grits growing up. maaaaan!  thanks, Daddy!  i did it cause he did it. what a yummy throwback. 

Pinkberry

sooo basically on date nights with Sonny this is where we go when i want some yummy, creamy, soft serve. can't just stop by Micky D's on the way home no mo' as i explained in the vid..have you watched it yet?? it's at the very top of this post! ya can't miss it ;)  pinkberry's coconut milk ice cream is the best. i will drive across town for this stuff... and i do.

that's it for now, y'all! do you use any of these particular products?  if you've found a dairy-free product you absolutely love, please share below. also, are you vegan? dairy-free? why?

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