My wife and daughter have been considering a gluten-free diet to see if it would reduce general body inflammation in joints. I have had stomach issues since I was a child, and I have recently been told by my doctor to stay away from dairy products. Gluten can also play a role in some digestive problems. So, we decided that we would try cutting gluten from our family diet, while daddy also attempts to cut dairy out. We have some experience with the non-dairy process from Amy breastfeeding Aaron who was lactose intolerant as a child. Amy had to cut dairy from her diet for his benefit, which she did. Amy may not be a big milk drinker, but she loves cheese. That was a difficult time.
Today we made our first shopping trip to pick up groceries that align with our goals. As usual, I found some of the snackiest (yes, I made that a word) snacks which were both gluten and dairy free. I wanted to highlight a couple of alternatives that I found exceptional today. I am usually a pessimist and I thought there was no way I would find alternatives to milk, yogurt, or chips. I love milk and I have to have an unhealthy snack every now and then while paying video games or working on the computer.
The first alternative was for yogurt. I was surprised to find that Silk makes a soy-based yogurt which tastes amazing and very much like Greek yogurt. The flavor I had today was strawberry. Silk’s alternative offers live bacteria cultures for digestive health as well.
The other alternative I found was for one of my favorite things, milk. I drink milk by the glass full. In the evenings I like a bowl of cereal with cold milk. I know it is bad to eat before going to bed, but I cannot fix everything at once. I had been doing some research on various milk alternatives and I remembered some of the things we had tried when my wife was nursing. Quite frankly, dairy is one of the most difficult food items to replace, in my opinion (this is especially true for cheese).
The milk choices for today were Silk Cashew Unsweetened (with a touch of almond) and Almond Breeze
Unsweetened Original. I tried the unsweetened version of each because I was afraid that something unlike milk would taste even worse if it was overly sweet. I think I will be trying the Vanilla version which is sweeter for both brands next time. The cashew milk tastes thick and milky, but quickly brings on a nutty taste. It is not so much that I can taste cashew, but I can definitely tell that I am not drinking cow’s milk. I actually like the almond milk. I think it needs to be just a bit sweeter, but I look forward to a big bowl of apple cinnamon flavored Cheerios tonight to see if the sweetness from the cereal adds to the taste.
I look forward to trying some new things as a part of this diet and I hope I see some changes to my weight, health, and overall well-being. As many of these alternatives are also non-GMO (not genetically modified) and Vegan, we will also see how that affects us overall. I am not planning on cutting out animal-based products or meat at any point, so I am not as concerned with that aspect. However, I do imagine that eating so many foods with genetically “enhanced” organisms is not so great for our digestive system. We are finding more organic options within the gluten-free choices as well. This will be an interesting journey, but I hope it is something that lasts. If we truly see benefits to our health, then this is something I think we can continue. As a side note, eating this way is more expensive. Our shopping bill was higher for an equivalent trip to the market. It was not, however, significantly higher. The value is definitely there should this turn out to benefit us in the long run.