Many people may not know this but it isn't actually the fact that a person loves dairy but the addiction to dairy that makes it very hard to give up when switching to a vegan diet. The milk from any milk producing animal is designed to nurious a growing baby. As a survival mechanism, the milk provides a high to the baby animal. This high prevents the baby animal from straying too far from its food source. When the baby animal gets old enough, the mother weans it off of the milk.
Batteling a dairy addiction can be challening because many times people don't know where to start. Below are ten tips a person can use to wean themselves off of dairy products:
1. Start eliminating dairy from your diet slowly. Cut down on your servings until you no longer have any dairy products in your diet.
2. Look for hidden dairy products. Just because a product is labeled meat free does not mean it is dairy free. Many of the products that include dairy have "contains milk ingredients" on the label. At resturants ask if they add any dairy products to their prepared food. Any small amount of dairy products can renew your cravings.
3. Eat until you are satisified. Eating until you are satisfied reduces the amount of food cravings you will have.
4. Don't eat when you are emotional. Emotional eating leads to poor food choices. When you eat due to emotions you are most likely going to pick up the food that will give you the greatest high.
5. Think about your enviormental impact. Going vegan and cutting out dairy is not for yourself but for the animals. When you take on a vegan lifestyle, you are saving animals and setting an example for others.
6. Try to incorporate vegan subsitutes into your diet to satisfy the cravings. Nutritional yeast will give you the cheese flavor you desire. Nut butters will work great as cream cheese subsitutes and plant based milks will satisfy your milk cravings. Instead of using butter, you can try a variety of plant based oils.
7. Try a short food fast. A short food fast is a great way to retrain your taste buds and forgo food cravings.
8. Block your cravings with activities. Whenever you crave dairy, try engaging in a different activity such as taking up a new craft, reading, exercise, or listening to music. When you distract yourself with something you have to concentrate on, you will forget about the craving.
9. Create non-dairy versions of your favorite dairy filled food. Rediscover your favorite dairy filled foods in a whole new light by challenging yourself to create tasty non dairy versions. You can start with recipes online or just replace ingredients on your favorite recipes to develop a new flavor.
10. Don't give up. If you make a slip up, just consider it that and go back to trying to break the addiction. Breaking an addiction is difficult but don't be too hard on yourself because you can do it. Just take it one day at a time and focus on the positives you have achieved and will achieve.
Note: This post may not apply to many of you on the blog but I wanted to give information for those who are considering transfering to a new vegan diet.