Dairy-Free Update #3

Time for the third update. I’m almost done. I can see the finish line from here! You can read the first post here. I encourage you to follow my progress on Facebook and Twitter as I will be posting more updates in those places.

Dairy-Free Update #1

Dairy-Free Update #2

How Am I Doing?

I’ve gotten used to the diet now. I do not miss bread or anything with gluten. I sort of miss other things like cupcakes, ice cream, and oddly enough–banana pudding. I think I’m just craving those things because I can’t have them. This just reinforces what I’ve been doing for 5 years: eating whatever I want but in moderation. Doing that keeps me from getting this crazy obsessive cravings that make me want to binge.

I wish I had something magical to report. Honestly, I still don’t feel any differently. I WISH there was something. My skin is a little better. I haven’t had any acne breakouts this month, but I don’t know if I can attribute that to going dairy-free yet.

What I can report is that Michael feels like a million bucks. He’s still eating dairy but he gave up gluten entirely. He has noticed a lot of changes and like I said in the last update, it helped his snoring. He’s sleeping much better and I’m thankful for that. He wants to continue doing the gluten-free thing long term. I can support that.


I’m kind of sick of eating rice. I feel like I eat it every day now because it’s gluten-free and easy to make. It’s also something “safe” I can order in a restaurant. I definitely need a break from eating rice!

Something I discovered and wanted to share was an iPhone app I found. It’s called “Shopwell” and it’s a free app. You enter your requirements in it: dairy free, vegan, vegetarian, low calorie, diabetic friendly, etc etc. The list goes on. Pretty much any dietary restriction is listed. So you enter that in and then you can scan foods and it will tell you if it fits your requirements.

My requirements were gluten free and dairy free. I’ll give you some examples. I scanned my raisin box:


It was okay for me to eat. I scanned a Fiber One Bar, which I knew I couldn’t eat, but to give you the example:



The app recommends I avoid the Fiber One Bar because it has milk and gluten in it. It also gives better alternatives at the bottom. The app would be good to use while grocery shopping to find the better alternatives. It’s a really fun and useful app. If you have any kind of dietary restrictions, check it out.

Foods of the Week

Michael accidentally bought the UNsweetened almond milk at Costco (i.e. a case of it) and I was worried we were now stuck with like 10 cartons of something we’d hate. Luckily, the unsweetened wasn’t bad. I used it to make chocolate “milk” (how weird is it that chocolate syrup doesn’t have dairy in it??) after the gym, I drank it straight and liked it, and used the almond milk in a bowl of cereal. The sugar from the gluten-free Apple Cinnamon Rice Chex sweetened the almond milk and it was a delicious breakfast.

FSTG Chips

Michael also got some gluten free tortilla chips. We are both fans! They taste just like regular tortilla chips and are salty and crunchy and delicious. Love them! The photo above is what we got, in case you wanted to try them. We tried the multigrain flavor. The jalapeno looks pretty good to me, too.

I made two dairy and gluten free recipes this week. The first one was a fabulous dessert that I will most definitely make in the future. The second was a spicy Asian dish that was also good.

If you’ve never tried spaghetti squash, I encourage you to try it. It’s a fantastic alternative to pasta. Even if you aren’t gluten free, for some people pasta is a trigger food or it wreaks havoc on their blood sugar. The squash has a very similar consistency to pasta. It’s savory and satisfying and a serving is about 40 calories.


It even LOOKS like pasta! Last night Michael and I made spaghetti squash with marinara sauce and sausage. I cut the squash in half, scooped out the seeds, and placed it face down in a dish with some water in it. I baked it at 350 degrees for about an hour. Then I scraped the insides out and it came out like spaghetti noodles.



The sausage was less than 200 calories, the squash was around 60, the sauce was around 100 and I had a green salad on the side full of veggies. Such a great dinner! It’s been years since I’ve done spaghetti squash. I need to do it more often.


The most common question I got was: “Did you phase it out or go cold turkey?” I’m definitely a cold turkey kind of person. It works better for me to just DO something when I have the initial drive and fire of motivation. Phasing it out over a few weeks would have just made me lose interest and desire to try it. I also do better with specific dates. Having something like that to focus on gives me direction. I wanted to start officially on February first and end officially on February 28th because mentally it seemed like a short period of time. I think one of the reasons I failed with the Slow Carb diet was because I didn’t have any schedule in mind. I said “Oh I’ll just do it for a few weeks and see”. I need that specific date!

QUESTION: How long do you last on a diet before you are burned out?

So it Begins

I was wishy-washy on whether or not I wanted to try this whole dairy-free thing.  I started to feel like I was depriving myself of something I really wanted before I even TRIED it! That’s not a good mindset to have. A few readers suggested I try it in February because it’s the shortest month. Psychologically that worked for me. Sure it may only be like 3 days short of a typical month but mentally it feels like doing something like this in February is doable. Not only that, Michael said he was on board. That definitely made it easier to wrap my brain around.


So for February we are going to go dairy-free and try gluten-free. It’s sort of like the Slow Carb Diet we tried a few years ago, but I’m not giving up fruit. I refuse. There are a lot of similarities to the Four Hour Body Diet.

Have you ever Googled “What foods have gluten in it?” Let me save you the trouble: EVERYTHING. Apparently! 😛

I don’t know how diligent I’m going to be quite yet. I’m taking it one week at a time. I know that a lot of products have dairy in them. I will try my best to avoid those things but I know stuff happens. As for the gluten–I will not be eating bread products or pasta but I doubt I’ll get super focused on things that might have gluten in them–like soy sauce.

I’ve made up a meal plan for February for lunches and dinners. It was actually really easy and not much different than what we normally eat now. Where I saw a difference was lunches: no more sandwiches. Snacks will be the hardest for me because I eat cottage cheese or Greek yogurt before going to the gym. It works really well for me and I’m not sure how that will fair. I haven’t found anything that works as well as that for a pre-workout snack.

What Do I Expect?

Honestly? I don’t expect to lose any weight. Sadly, I gained a few pounds on the Slow Carb Diet. I have no idea why. Michael dropped about 25 pounds. It worked really well for him. I am expecting this experiment to go about the same. It would be really nice if I lost a few pounds, but I’m not expecting it.

My hope is that I see a difference in my skin. It would be awesome if my acne cleared up due to diet and I could stop taking the acne medicine I hate. I also hope it fixes my runny nose. Other than those two things, I don’t have any expectations.


In preparation for this, I made a grocery list of must haves. I won’t get super specific but to give you an idea here is the list:

  • Fruit
  • Veggies
  • Chicken
  • Pork chops
  • Seafood
  • Hummus
  • Nuts
  • Dates
  • Raisins
  • Almond Milk

We already have a lot of the stuff. We have canned veggies, peanut butter, frozen seafood (scallops, shrimp, salmon), a bag of Quinoa from Costco that should last the month and some other items. I’m going to look for some things like salad dressing that don’t have dairy in it. I need to find an alternative to the coffee creamer I use.

Like I said above, I’ve made a food calender for February. I don’t know how closely we will follow it, but it’s nice to have a general idea of what meals to expect. I plan on making a bunch of soups on weekends for the week’s lunches. I printed a bunch of easy, simple recipes to make.

What Will Be Hard?

Giving up the dairy will be the hardest. I love sour cream, Greek yogurt and cottage cheese. I also eat a lot of it! It’s funny–we haven’t had ice cream in the house in over a month and yet knowing I won’t be able to eat it in February makes me want it more!


Going gluten-free means no beer. Or at least, not very much. Michael’s friend Mike is gluten-free due to a severe allergy and he’s mentioned that there are a few beers that are gluten-free but honestly I think I’d rather just skip the beer.


The hardest part for Michael will be giving up pizza for a month. He gets slices for lunch during the work week and his go-to dinner when he doesn’t want to cook is pizza. It’s a huge no-no having both gluten and dairy! Also, I know he’ll struggle with giving up cheese (I think it’s his favorite food).

Somehow I need to change my thinking away from “What I Can’t Have” and focus on what I can eat, otherwise this will never work and I’ll be a crabby mess for a month!


I’ll do a post about once a week with an update on that week. I’ll include the high notes (good recipes, etc), challenges, observations and thoughts.

QUESTION: Are you dairy-free or gluten-free? Please share any tips, ideas, or suggestions!