To Dairy or NOT to Dairy … was the question.

Most people have no idea how good their body is designed to feel.

– Kevin Trudeau

One of the hardest changes to our diet was the loss of dairy. I thought for sure it would be the bread or the sugars or the fact that the kitchen is my second home now. But, NO … it was the dairy. You ever try to eat tacos without cheese or sour cream (if you love those things) it isn’t easy!

The biggest thing I have learned on this new venture is the way food makes my body feel. When we cut out processed sugars, gluten and dairy the body really changes. I am fat, very fat and have been most of my life. YAY for food addiction and no portion control. I have a lot of ailments you would expect; easily out of breath, lower stamina, pain, soooo much pain. My feet hurt, my back hurts, my knees hurt, my fingers throb .. even my elbows ache. When sleeping my hips hurt so much I woke up often to reposition myself. Suddenly, one day, I didn’t hurt.

We went off the wagon for most of December. Between friends gifting us home-baked goods, our annual trip to Reno for 3 days of fun with our gang and all the traditional holiday foods, we conceded to the non-paleo life. This was our first holiday season in this lifestyle and I am going to admit I wasn’t strong enough to endure the pressure of bad foods. Now, when I say bad I don’t mean bad tasting, heavens no … I mean bad for the body. Christmas passed and the new year began, as did getting back on diet.

I came across an article via Facebook on the many types of Paleo and I was beyond excited to find “Primal” was a thing. This new to us version includes dairy (cheers). Primal means we can have full-fat grass-fed dairy, white potatoes, occasionally white rice and a whole bunch of approved booze’s. Traditional paleo you can’t have any of those things and only Wine.

I cannot express to you how deeply sad I was when I realized just how badly dairy made me feel. I knew it would slow the weight loss because of the calories but I didn’t realize dairy was inflammatory. We have a few more meals on the menu that have dairy which we will finish off because I already purchased the ingredients, but once they are gone we will say our goodbye’s. No more dairy for us.

What does no more dairy mean exactly? I will still use grass-fed butter, butter is life. Ghee is ok at best, butter is far superior in taste. I have found some great cheese substitutes and no I do not mean soy vegan products. Soy is a legume and therefore not allowed. They make almond and cashew milk-based cheese products. They DO NOT taste the same or melt the same but they do taste good. We can also have goat cheese! They make almond and cashew yogurts while finding ones that are sweetened with honey instead of cane sugar is hard, it isn’t impossible. Then, of course, there is Cashew/Almond/Coconut milk and creams, I find the cashew to be the closest to traditional dairy in taste and texture.

The bottom line is, as much as I LOVE dairy and miss it … I love the way my body feels without it more. Listening to the body is a great way to live. If you suffer from chronic fatigue or aches and pains … constant congestion or have autoimmune/thyroid disorders, I highly suggest you look into changing your diet. I am not brainwashed or on some humdrum diet kick, I am speaking from experience. Transitioning is hard and I also highly suggest cutting things out one category at a time as you finish off your pantry products etc. I imagine my initial start last year would have been smoother if I had tapered off rather than cut it all out immediately.

Creamed Spinach and Tomato Chicken & Bacon Sauteed Brussels

Creamed Spinach and Tomato Chicken:

  • 6 boneless/skinless chicken thighs.
  • 1&1/2 cups fresh spinach roughly chopped.
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 1 cup diced tomato
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 cup chicken stock (I used vegetable)
  • 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk (I used coconut cream for a richer sauce)
  • 2 tbs of ghee, butter or oil of choice.
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste

1.) Melt cooking fat of choice in a skillet over medium-high heat.

2.) Season the chicken to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.Brown the chicken thighs on both sides, 4 to 5 minutes per side, and set aside.

3.) Add the garlic, onion, and tomatoes to the skillet and cook 2 to 3 minutes.

4.) Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a light boil, then simmer 4 to 5 minutes.

5.) Add the spinach and chicken to the pan.

6.) Pour in the coconut milk and simmer 10 to 12 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

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Bacon Sauteed Brussels:

  • 1 pound Brussels washed and halved
  • 4 strips of bacon (peppered is better)
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1&1/2 tbs of ghee (I used grass-fed butter)
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste

1.) Place the bacon in a warm skillet over medium-high heat. Fry until nicely crisp Set aside, let it cool and then roughly chop the bacon. (I chopped my back before cooking.)

2.) Drain most of the bacon fat from the pan (leaving a tbs in the pan) Melt ghee in the same skillet and add the garlic and onion. Cook until soft 1 to 2 minutes, then add halved Brussels sprouts.

3.) Stir everything while cooking until Brussels sprouts are nicely browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Season the sprouts to taste, add bacon back to skillet, and give everything a nice stir. Cook another minute or two then serve.

I hope you try these yummy good things and enjoy them! Please share your food experiences and how you notice certain foods affect you!