While you are taking the Dairy Free Challenge it is very important that you eliminate all dairy from your diet for those brief 10 days. However, once you have completed the trial and reviewed your results, it is up to you to decide which dietary route you would like to take.
If you opt for a dairy free lifestyle, but do not experience severe allergic or intolerant reactions to milk, some flexibility should be well tolerated in your diet. Here are our recommendations:
- Strictly adhere to a dairy free diet when eating in – You are in control at home. Keep your kitchen dairy-free and this step should be a snap.
- Emphasize whole foods and home meal preparation – Processed foods are notorious for hiding allergens under various names. If you do head to the center aisles, try to select the “less-processed” foods, and scrutinize the labels for anything from our milk ingredients list. Just about everyone will agree that limiting processed foods is an excellent health move as well!
- Check ingredients of any store bought prepared foods – Most deli foods will have ingredient lists readily available on the packages or labels; be sure to check them out.
- When dining out, scan for dairy free options – it will be difficult to find out all of the meal ingredients at restaurants and social functions, just steer clear of the obvious offenders. Your meal may show up with some parmesan cheese sprinkled on it, but this doesn’t compare to the fat and dairy load in a plate of fettuccine alfredo.
Sometimes it is tricky to avoid a dairy moment. Maybe you can’t sit by and watch as your family devours a cheesecake, or you would feel rude turning down your best friend’s homemade lasagna. A 4-day rotation cycle is an excellent solution for those who can tolerate occasional milk products. It allows you to to “indulge” without suffering extreme consequences or veering too far off of your intended path.
Strict rotation diets are essential for those with multiple allergies, but they have been adapted in many ways to suit individual needs. The basic concept of a 4-day rotation cycle is quite simple, three days on, one day off. In other words, keep your diet dairy free for three days, and the fourth day can be more relaxed. It is believed that this cycle allows your body to fully process a food, preventing a build up of the offender in your body, and thus minimizing any negative reactions. Many people rotate foods regularly for basic health, and to keep their diet varied.
If you do choose to consume dairy, stick to these guidelines:
- Limit it – The four day rotation is ideal, but if this doesn’t work for you, try to keep it down to one “healthy” serving per day.
- Choose Organic – Go for quality, you are worth it! Why run the risk of synthetic hormone and antibiotic contamination? It also supports dairy farmers who are socially aware and follow humane guidelines.
- Keep it “Healthy” – The majority of American Dairy consumption is in the form of cream and cheese. No doctor in their right mind would argue the fact that the saturated fats found in these dairy sources will do you more harm than good. Yogurt, skim milk, and small quantities of feta and parmesan are your best available options. Low Fat and No Fat cheeses are not high on our recommended list for the obvious reason, flavor, and for the not so obvious reason, they are typically loaded with unnatural foods and chemicals to make them “cheese-like”.