Picture this scenario, it’s Monday morning and you are exhausted from a fun weekend. While fashion week keeps on rotating around the world, sometimes you might be traveling in and out of meetings and events. Unfortunately, we might be feeling bloated, cramps, gassy, nauseous, and in some occasions with diarrhea. The problem here is not in your coffee but in your milk. If you experience all these symptoms, you may be lactose intolerant. In other times, if your skin is breaking out often and you feel highly congested, it probably also has a lot to do with having a dairy sensitivity. The good news is that this problem can be fixed. I know Mondays are stressful enough and sometimes that coffee is a must, but your milk choices can be fixed, changed, and can be fun again.
You may wonder why if you never had problems, why you may have them now. Fact is as we get older our ability to digest dairy decrease and its consumption can cause more harm than good. It is also said that allergies, congestion, stuffy nose/head, stomach issues, and lactose intolerance are the product of the pasteurization process. Due to the killing of enzymes during pasteurization, dairy products now often have added vitamins which can sometimes be too little or too much for the human body to handle. Factory farmers are giving cows growth hormone, and antibiotics. Cows are no longer grazing in the fields eating grass. Instead they are given corn, grain and live in small stables making milk day and night. All this creates an offset for the cows natural PH balance and the animal’s own happiness.
Many people consume milk looking to get some calcium into their bodies. However, that could result in extra cholesterol and fat. Some others avoid milk altogether for ethical reasons and love for animals.
If you are the type of person who still wants to have animal milk, your best alternative is goat milk which is free from lactose and it’s used by many to battle asthma and eczema. If you want to avoid animal products altogether, here are tips for safe vegan options:
- Between the many dairy alternatives you can try: soy, hemp, quinoa, and cashew milk. If you want to use milk for dessert go for almond, oat, or coconut.
- If you want to make buttermilk, combine 1 cup of soy milk with 1 tablespoon of vinegar.
- Whether its for dessert, cereal, or smoothies, the most important thing to remember is that the milk alternatives you purchase will usually be pre-sweetened. The best choice to look for is brown rice sweetener on the label. When in doubt, buy plain and add maple syrup or coconut sugar for flavor.
- While soy milk is fortified with B12, when buying it make sure it’s organic as soy crops are getting a bad reputation for using harmful GMOs.
- If you have a nut allergy, your best bet is to stick to rice milk, or hempseed milk.
- Hempseed milk is enriched with extra calcium.
- Another source of calcium is almond milk.
- If you have time and feel inspired, make your own nut milk! Here is the recipe to do it from scratch:
1 cup of your favorite nuts (cashew, almond, etc.)
3 cups of water
1/2 tbsp of vanilla
- Leave 1 cup of nuts (cashew, almond, etc) soaking in water for at least 6 hours or overnight.
- Add 3 cups of water to your blender, get rid of the nut water and put in your softened nuts.
- Add the vanilla, dates and blend
- After blending put in a nut bag or thru strainer.
Lazy nut milk recipe
1 heaping tbsp of raw nut butter
1 cup of water
1 tbsp of favorite sweetener (coconut sugar, maple syrup, or just 2 dates)
1/2 tsp of vanilla essence
put all in blender and be ready to add it to your cereal, or smoothies. Enjoy!
Maria Andrade is a New York based Certified Holistic Health Counsellor. She graduated from The Institute of Integrative Nutrition and has been building her wellness coaching practice as well as integrating Pilates and other body healing technique. Maria’s personal nutritional philosophy is based on the concept of bio-individuality. Nutrition should be tackled according to the unique characteristics of the individual, such as ethnicity, blood type, and activity levels. She also bases her healing practice on numerous dietary theories.
Maria co-founded TotalBodyFit in 2008, in the hopes of bringing her message to a larger audience by conducting the health counselling, fitness classes, and massage therapy right in the client’s home, office or resident lounge. She leads TotalBodyFit’s nutrition workshops, corporate, and cooking events. She is available for one on one nutritional counselling.
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