Why try dairy alternatives?

We’ve just finished a week of totally fab eating over at The Happy Detox – and some of the questions raised by the intrepid food explorers deserve answering here.

Rather than fill you up all in one sitting, I think I’ll answer the questions in separate posts.

The first one being:

Q: What was the point of having rice/oat/almond milk during the detox?

A: So you can try different stuff!

 

When you think about the recommendations that we get about our food – ie to eat and balanced and varied diet – a lot of people (me too) think they are getting a good mix of foods, but actually are eating the same basic foods, in a different format/shape every week, every day, and often with every meal.

 

For example: breakfast might be cereal with milk on it. Lunch a cheese sandwich. Dinner lasagne. And lots of cups of tea or coffee in between.

 

Granted, there might be a good mix of vegetables and fruits in there, but it’s very likely that the milk used on the cereal comes from cows. The cheese in the sandwich is very likely to come from a cow. The cheese that makes the lasagne so tasty: yup, probably from a cow. And the milk for the tea and coffee; again, likely to be from a cow.

I am not the kind of person to tell you that you should, or shouldn’t have dairy. That’s totally a personal decision and that’s the way I like to keep it (but if you do have dairy, seriously consider having the full fat version).

But seeing as my philosophy is very much that nothing (or at least, very little) is actually bad for you unless you eat enough that your body/digestion can’t cope with it, and at the same time, that eating the exact same things over and over again, even if they are super healthy, is just not a good idea, then trying out all these different kinds of milks over the course of a week, makes sense.

 

Mixing up the kinds of foods  you eat can only be a good thing (unless you have problems with a certain food).

I’m also pretty convinced that one of the reasons many people are finding themselves intolerant to a lot of the more common foods is because those foods are so very common and because we eat them over and over and over every day.

“Ahhh, but I have soya milk instead. I’m fine.”

This is something I hear a lot, and again, the same thing goes. Regardless of your opinion on soya, and your reasons for having it, relying on soya as your sole source of milk/yogurt/dairy alternative isn’t going to be a good idea. It’s the same food (soya) in a different format – milk, yogurt, tofu etc – every single day.

Instead, try mixing it up.

Oatmilk, for example, is fab in porridge and hot chocolate. Sheep yogurt is a pretty darned tasty alternative to cow yogurt. Rice milk works in tea, but not so well in coffee (due to the fact that it just ain’t very creamy) and almond milk tastes best when it’s really cool, which means it works well on cereal. On my Healthy Business Retreat, we use a variety of alternatives to give folk a chance to try them.

It might take a little while of trying different kinds to find which ones you like and when, but it’s a great way to  increase the variety in your diet a little.

This is something I help my clients identify and work on – there’s nothing like having your own personal nutritionist cheerleader to help make those changes easy.

 

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