New Year’s resolutions can often be an intimidating and lonely endeavor. They often involve sacrifice and doing things outside of your comfort zone. Instead of committing to something drastic or restrictive, we invite you to join our ever-growing dairy-free community. Yes, ditching dairy will help you fight inflammation and achieve your health goals, and yes, you’ll feel better than you likely have in years, but it’s also a non-restrictive and accessible way to leap into better health. You can live dairy-free and still enjoy your cheese from time to time—it just happens to be made from plants instead of cow’s milk.
So many of us go through life thinking dairy-related symptoms are “normal.” Adult acne, eczema, inflammation, bloating, digestive issues, and feeling phlegmy during workouts are all associated with and can be exacerbated by consuming dairy. For more of the research, check out our Improved Health page. Once you’re resolved to feel better come 2022, check out these five tips to make your dairy-free January a breeze.
1. Remember, there’s a dairy-free version of everything
Even though the dairy-free lifestyle is one of abundance, many people think about what they are going to miss. Whether it’s cheese, ice cream, coffee creamer, or baked goods, we guarantee that there is a high-quality and accessible dairy-free version of all of your favorite foods. For our tried-and-tested products, check out our Ultimate Guide to Dairy-Free Alternatives.
2. Find recipes you can rely on
There are millions of plant-based and dairy-free recipes online, and while options are great, they’re also intimidating when you’re just starting out. We have a good handful of tested recipes on our site (try our GoodBowls!), but you can also explore others who crank out reliable and simple recipes. We highly recommend Audrey Dunham’s blog, Megan Sadd’s 30 Minute Vegan Dinners cookbook, and Steve Seighman’s The Nut-Free Vegan blog for those with food allergies.
3. Don’t go it alone
Lifestyle changes are easier when you’ve got a support group. We’re always here when you have questions or simply need a virtual cheerleader (email us at [email protected]), but having a family member, friend, or co-worker go dairy-free with you can be extremely effective. Swap recipes or favorite new products, encourage each other when challenges arise, and celebrate together every week you’ve successfully stayed dairy-free.
4. Tune in to your body
Before going dairy-free, make a list of how you feel throughout the day. Do you get bloated often? Feel sluggish in the afternoons? Experience constipation? Do you constantly fight inflammation or feel itchy or mucusy at times? Tune in to how you feel and continue to pay attention after removing dairy from your diet. Do you feel the same, or have your symptoms improved? Some react more quickly than others—some feel improvement in days while others take up to two weeks to feel the difference. Once you start to feel better, you won’t want to go back to the old days of feeling less-than-awesome.
5. Immerse yourself in your “why”
Remind yourself why you’re giving dairy-free a try on a regular basis. Do you want to fight inflammation, settle tummy troubles, enhance your skin? Our Switch4Good podcast offers up a weekly dose of inspiration. When you hear from experts, athletes, and changemakers about the power of living dairy-free, you’ll be motivated to keep it up. We also recommend signing up for our Dairy Detox which walks you through your first two weeks of a dairy-free lifestyle, offering a plethora of resources and tips to help you succeed.
New Year’s resolutions don’t have to be hard to be effective. Ditching dairy is one of the most impactful decisions you can make for your health, and it’s easier than ever before. Give it a go this January to banish bloat, fight inflammation, and feel fantastic in 2022!