Moo-vin’ in a Different Direction: 30 Days without Dairy

Starting January, I have a challenge: 30 days without dairy.  I confess I’ve tried it before and lasted a whole 2 days.  It was hard!  I didn’t have enough recipes at my disposal and I also had a lot of things going on at the time that it made it difficult to focus.  Now that those challenges are gone and I’ve got a ton of helpful recipes, it’s time–time to say goodbye to dairy.

Cow

My research has concluded that some form of dairy exists in about 99% of the things I like to consume.  OK, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but it can’t be too far off.  Even things you wouldn’t really think about contain dairy products.  Of course there’s cheese, ice cream, and the mochas I drink while I’m writing these posts.  Just typing that makes me sad.  But how many times do you actually think about dairy being in things like chocolate?  Maybe you milk chocolate lovers think of it since it’s in the name, but dark chocolate?!  C’mon!  The only chocolate that doesn’t contain dairy is baker’s chocolate and I sure as hell don’t plan on eating that anytime soon.  Thankfully, they’ve come out with dairy and gluten-free chocolate chips which I will be trying over the next month.

You might be asking yourself why someone would do something so crazy.  That’s a good question and I have two answers.  One–a personal one–is that a food allergy/intolerance test I took came back stating that I have an intolerance to whey.  How it effects me won’t be revealed until I eliminate it completely and then reintroduce it 30 days later.  So I’m interested to see how that turns out.  The other reason I’m doing this is that I’ve been slowly working my way toward the Paleo diet.  Now, I’m no expert in this, but I have a friend who’s quite knowledgable on the topic and writes about it for a well-known Paleo magazine.  Feel free to check out her blog, Paleo Periodical, for more info and links to other sources.

Blah, blah, blah…Anyway, how does this affect you?  For the month of January my posts will be following Paleo guidelines–no grains, no dairy, no refined sugar and no legumes (i.e. peanuts). If you’re like me, you’re probably thinking, “Riiiight!  Like you can actually bake without AP flour, sugar or butter.”  It’s actually not impossible!  I’ll be perfectly honest and say that the real deal tastes better to me, but maybe it’s one of those things that you just have to get used to.  However, some of the things I’ve baked so far have been pretty good.  Instead of using AP flour, Paleo bakers typically use almond flour and coconut flour.  Sugar is replaced with things like maple syrup, honey, bananas and dates.  Coconut oil is the usual substitute for butter and coconut milk can be a substitute for milk.

I should state that the recipes I’m going to post will be very experimental since I’m no pro at baking with these kinds of ingredients.  I’ll let you know what I think of these recipes and if I think there should be any alterations.  I figure if I’m going to be making these things, I might as well post them regardless of how they turn out.   That said, the first paleo post will be [drum roll, please]: Chocolate Chip and Bacon Cookies!  You read that correctly and no, I can’t take credit for the crazy, yet delicious, idea.

So join me in my suffering adventures in going primal and dairy-free!  Here’s to a healthy and happy new year!

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