Dairy-Free Month Two

Well, I survived the first dairy-free month, on to month two!

Day 31 I hosted our monthly “healthy dinner night” with a gluten-free dairy-free menu.  (This was before my decision to go vegan so meal plan included chicken). Appetizer was kale chips, and dessert was gluten, dairy, and sugar-free blueberry walnut muffins.

Kale chips

Muffins for dessert

My guests enjoyed dinner so much they requested I post the recipe. The entrée recipe came from Clean Eating with a few minor alterations such as adding honey.  Here it is, spicy orange chicken and bok choy:

Cook 6oz of brown rice noodles according to package. Heat coconut oil on skillet, add a pound of organic chicken and clove of garlic and cook until golden brown. Add two cups of bok choy, stirring frequently for two minutes. Add two cups drained mandarin oranges, a tablespoon soy sauce (I use organic gluten-free), some honey, and ½ tsp red pepper flakes. Cook until chicken is cooked through, remove from heat and add ¼ cup chopped green onions and two tbsp. fresh cilantro. Serve over noodles. Simple and tasty!

Well, today is day 48 and I still don’t quite know what to make of my new dairy-free lifestyle!  I have no problem substituting hemp milk, almond milk, or coconut milk for cow’s milk and can do fine without ice cream.  I have come to like a lot of vegan “sour cream” and “cheese” type dips I have made.  But it is hard to be part of normal society with things like potlucks and people ordering pizza.  Most of those things are things I would stay away from anyway though, even without the dairy issue. I still would like to give organic cheese another try and see how I feel once I re-introduce it.  Now I just have to decide how long I will continue before I do that!

Making homemade “cheese” sauce using bell pepper, nutritional yeast, cashews, tahini, and a few spices

Day 57 – I have decided today (after eating an egg for breakfast) to go vegan! Haven’t felt like dairy-free has benefited me too much, but maybe eliminating all animal products will.

Day 62 – I had a little setback after having the worst headache of my life for several days and being admitted into the hospital for meningitis! (Was in the hospital for seven days which is why I didn’t write a blog last week). I hadn’t eaten much for several days since I felt so bad and had no appetite. I decided to loosen up on myself and eat whatever I would be able to stomach. So I ordered a gluten-free grilled cheese sandwich and broke my dairy-free status! I can’t say that it made me feel bad or that I really noticed any changes.

I still plan on adapting a vegan lifestyle; however I will make the change more gradual than I originally intended. I may eat some dairy here and there and some organic meat products as I recover at home and slowly start cooking again. I have a long-term IV placed in my arm (PICC line) and am not supposed to do much cleaning or cooking while I receive my IV medication at home for the next three weeks. I will be concentrating on recovering completely and can focus on a vegan diet once life is back to normal.

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