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Every day more and more people are learning about the implications our current food system has on animals, the environment, and both individual and public health.
As a result, the number of people interested in removing animal products such as dairy from their diet is continually increasing. Are you interested in going dairy-free but don’t know where to begin? Here I’ll share what an example dairy-free day looks like for me with the hope of offering you some guidance and encouragement in your dairy-free journey.
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For some extra tips, with each meal I’ve linked to some of the types of products I typically use for the meal but feel free to make substitutions based on your personal preference. With these linked products please just note the ingredient, not necessarily the brand.
To learn about the health benefits of going dairy-free, watch our webinar Ditch the Dairy: Debunking Myths and Answering Your Nutrition Questions.
Breakfast: Chocolate Smoothie Bowl
Lunch: Mixed Berry Oatmeal
Dinner: Loaded Sweet Potato
I love starting my day with a smoothie bowl! The amount of ingredients and combinations that can be used for this meal are unlimited, so you can really just go with whatever sounds good to you that day. My favorite smoothie bowl base, as well as the one I make most often, is banana chocolate made with raw cacao powder and nibs.
Bananas for a smoothie bowl base need to be frozen in advance. Bananas should be allowed to ripen completely before peeling and putting them in the freezer for about 36-48 hours. I keep my freezer stocked with frozen bananas so I always have some ready when I want to make a smoothie bowl!
Oatmeal is another extremely versatile meal. I enjoy having oatmeal for lunch and often switch back and forth between cooked oats for oatmeal and cold oats for overnight oats. I usually have cooked oatmeal more in the winter or when working from home and overnight oats more in the summer or when I need to pack a lunch. I try to eat berries every day so this mixed berry oatmeal is what I make the most! You can easily substitute the mixed berries for cut up pears, plums, mangos, or any other fruit of your choice.
If you are looking for a simple dinner, this is a great option! It’s so easy to make sweet potatoes and beans or lentils, which are the only two things you need to cook for this meal. When cooking this meal for a group, it’s fun to set all of the prepared ingredients out in bowls and let each person build their own loaded sweet potato with the various toppings. A cooked grain such as brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, or amaranth can also be added as a great side item.
All measurements included here are an approximation as I don’t actually use exact measurements when preparing meals. In addition, all ingredient quantities listed are meant for one person so if you are cooking for more than just yourself adjust the ingredient quantities accordingly. Lastly, this is not an exhaustive list of what I eat in a day! Depending on the time of year, I typically snack on things like dates, oranges, apples and nut butter, carrots or cucumbers and hummus, and steamed edamame with liquid aminos in between meals. Be sure to fill up with an abundant variety of plants!
Inspired? If you make one or more of these meals I would love to know! Email me a picture of your chocolate smoothie bowl, mixed berry oatmeal, or loaded sweet potato at firstname.lastname@example.org. Special thanks to Britt Cripps, FFAC College Fellow, for making and photographing the loaded sweet potato meal shown here.
Ali Fairchild is the Chicago Director of the Factory Farming Awareness Coalition.
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