Dairy is highly inflammatory and high in unhealthy saturated fats linked to increased heart disease. Furthermore, the protein in dairy is very hard for humans to digest. In fact, about 75 percent of the world’s population is lactose intolerant. Allergies, acne, asthma, arthritis and eczema have all been linked with dairy consumption. It’s not hard to believe that dairy- naturally intended to fatten baby cows, will have a fattening effect on human bodies as well. While it may seem impossible to give up your ice cream or cheddar addiction, even swapping out cow’s milk for a non dairy milk in your diet can save you from a bounty of health issues. Luckily, we now have so many healthier, and tastier, alternatives to choose from for a dairy-free lifestyle. See what works best for you!

The Main Alternatives


For a long time soymilk was the standard dairy replacement. However, since the increase in processed and genetically engineered foods, soybean crops have become one of the most genetically modified and heavily (chemically) sprayed crops, ultimately leading to a myriad of health problems. Experts suggest avoiding unfermented soy on a regular basis. Instead, get your soy protein needs met through unprocessed, fermented soy- miso, tempeh and natto. The less processed the better, and always choose organic and non-GMO when available.  A soy latte now and then won’t kill you- but with so many other non-dairy milks available, this one is better as a once and a while treat.

Almond Milk

The new “it-girl” of the non-dairy milk world. You can find it at virtually any grocery store in various flavors and brands. Always go for the most natural, unsweetened variety- without Carrageenan if possible (a stabilizer who’s health impacts are being debated). Or if you feel up to it, try making your own at home. It is actually super simple! Not to mention much healthier and cheaper if you have access to well priced almonds. Check out my recipe at the bottom of the page!

Coconut Milk

Once only sold in cans for cooking, coconut milk is coming in a close second to almond milk in the commercial market. These do tend to have more sugar and preservatives, so make sure you are diligently reading the labels when purchasing. Coconuts are also very high in fats, but since they are a plant-based fat it is a lot easier on your body. A little bit of coconut cream in your coffee is a decadent treat- you won’t even miss the dairy.

 Hemp Milk, Rice Milk, Cashew Milk, Oat Milk, Coconut Ice Cream

With this ever expanding market, healthy folks are making “milks” out of everything! Try out a bunch to find your favorites, and experiement with making your own. There are also a number of high quality coconut milk ice creams that are just as good as their dairy counterparts. The natural fat in the coconut makes for a perfect creamy, frozen treat. Try one of my faves – Organic Coconut Bliss, which can now be found in most grocery stores!

But What About Calcium?

The dairy industry has done a remarkable job in convincing us we all need tons of dairy, all the time, you know, for our bones. The truth is the calcium found in dark leafy greens is actually much easier for our bodies to absorb than the calcium found in milk. Other plant based sources of calcium include beans, almonds, kale, collards, figs, turnip greens, mustard greens, and fortified nondairy milks. A well rounded dairy-free diet will get you all the calcium you need.

For a great resource on the topic, as well as delicious recipe ideas, check out this cookbook, fittingly called  Calciyum!: Delicious Calcium-Rich Dairy-Free Vegetarian Recipe

Basic Almond Milk Recipe


  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • water for soaking nuts
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 dates (optional)


  • Soak the almonds in water overnight .
  • Drain the water from the almonds and discard. Blend the 3 cups of water, almonds and dates until well blended and almost smooth.
  • Strain the blended almond mixture using a cheesecloth or a “NutBag”. Megan Telpner sells them here.

*Homemade raw almond milk will keep well in the refrigerator for three or four days.

Let me know your thoughts! Have you ditched the dairy? Tried throwing almond milk into the mix? It can seem daunting, but I guarantee your health will improve once you take the plunge. Share with me via Twitter or Facebook !


Image courtesy of

Pin It