June 29, 2017

Life’s Good Dairy Free

By Dr. Emily Kalambaheti

Did you know that June is National Dairy Alternative Month? There are dozens of reasons to be dairy free - allergies, autoimmune conditions, veganism to name a few. Many people that suffer brain injuries or chronic inflammation benefit from going dairy free. Some studies even suggest that an overabundance dairy could have negative impacts on mental health. Casein proteins, which are prevalent in cow’s milk, have been linked to one’s risk of bipolar and schizophrenic disorders. The thought of lessening or cutting out dairy is all together in your diet can certainly be daunting, but the dairy free lifestyle isn’t as limiting as it once was. Whether you have a dairy allergy or are just interested to learn more about going dairy free, let me show you how to make being dairy an easy and delicious option.

Currently, going dairy free is easier than ever. I’ve been lactose intolerant my entire life. Growing up that meant getting juice boxes for lunch instead of milk cartons. But nowadays, being lactose intolerant doesn’t mean missing out on the milk products that everyone enjoys. There are dairy free alternatives for just about every traditional dairy product. There are dairy free cheese alternatives that are not only delicious, but some of them, such as the offerings from Daiya, are also soy and gluten free. Brands such as Luna & Larry’s also allow dairy-free diets to still have sweet treats and indulgences. For the first time ever, I have an almost constant supply of ice cream in the freezer, although the ice cream is made from coconut or cashew milk.

As an avid baker, I routinely substitute almond milk into my baked goods. Googling ‘dairy-free substitute’ for almost any dairy ingredient will lead you to different ways to modify classic recipes. My dairy-free gluten-free vanilla cupcakes with buttercream frosting replace buttercream with canned coconut milk mixed with lemon juice.
There’s tons of different non-dairy milk substitutes out there for you to try. From almond to soy, hemp to coconut, and so many more, the possibilities are endless! Try a dairy alternative this month and see for yourself how good dairy free can be.

Emily Kalambaheti, DC is a Staff Clinician at Plasticity Brain Centers in Orlando. She was born and raised in Iowa, where she attended the University of Iowa, graduated with a bachelor degree in Health Sciences, and was a member of the Iowa National Guard. Learn more about our team here.

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