Where to Start… Gluten and Dairy Free

Hey friends! Thanks for joining me today! So let me start by saying that today’s post is not a persuasion to go gluten or dairy free =)… There are so many opinions about food and I feel that it wise to do what is right for you, your family and their needs. If you have caught up on some of my recent posts lately, you will remember that I have shared that we are making some changes around here and one of them is dietary. We have had some health concerns that have encouraged us to try it out. Furthermore, I wanted to also add that we have had the help and guidance of a nutritionist. So when making these kinds of changes – I would definitely say that proper research and guidance is very important.

Anyhow, as we have taken this little food journey I thought I would share what has been helpful to us and where we started. As you may know, making any kind of food changes can be overwhelming and that is exactly how I have felt at times. We are a family that loves our bread and even more, we LOVE our cheese… haha. Seriously though we have really had to take this challenge on with some diligence. And while we have been dedicated, this brings me to my very first and most important tip – to take it slow and one day at a time.

Unless there is an extreme reason or doctor’s recommendation to start immediately, we have found this much more doable to take time and switch out ingredients over the course of a couple of months. We found that this gave us time to see what things the kids really enjoyed and just plain ole’ get used to the idea of no more cheese ;)…

Next comes all the varieties of non-dairies out there. Taste test all the different versions of lactose/casein free products out there… 

I was surprised at how many there are! There are coconut, almond, flax, soy, etc… So far our favorite has been cashew milk and it was the very last one we tried in our “taste test”. My daughter has been pretty picky, so I was crossing my fingers that cashew would be the one, thankfully it worked for her! This also includes yogurts (similar to the milks).

Rethink flours and play around with baking…

Much like dairy, there is a wide variety of gluten free flours out there! I picked up the Costco sized coconut flour and then while at the grocery store grabbed some of Bob’s GF flour too. I baked up a batch up GF donuts/muffins using this last flour and they were a huge hit! No one even questioned if they were the real thing and it left me completely encouraged. I know that not all recipes will end with such enthusiasm, but this left me feeling that it is possible. Don’t be afraid to try if you are wanting to and go easy on yourself for it takes practice.

Blenders and food processors are your friend…

We recently invested in a new blender and processor combo (Ninja Brand) because I have found that smoothies are my best friend in the breakfast department. They are great way to incorporate the right veggies and fruits; plus the kids LOVE them. While the smoothies are my best friend, blenders and the processor are not far behind! I can see quickly how convenient and budget friendly it will be to eventually be making pastes, muffins, purees and more. While I haven’t even dived head into the processor side of this diet, I have a list ready to go. See how I am being kind to myself and not trying to conquer DF and GF overnight ;)?!

At the end of the day I feel like this nutritional change is doable for our family and it just takes a little rethinking, planning and budgeting. I am certain we can try, do our best and see what happens. After all breakfast burritos can be made with tortillas, eggs and cheese (doesn’t matter if they are corn, milk free and have almond shreds instead- =). With fresh ingredients and creativity anything is possible!

Thanks for letting me share with you today and again I am not claiming to be the expert here, I am just hoping to encourage any of you out there that may be making changes too. There are so many wonderful blogs to help and professionals too – especially when making the above changes (as vitamins/nutrients are key – making sure you don’t leave out what is necessary).

As always I am grateful you visit with me and stay tuned for next week as I will be back sharing a couple more fun updates to our home… Can’t wait!

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  1. Thanks for all the great information. I have been trying to do this too. Haven’t tried the cashew milk but we have been using the almond and I bought some coconut too but think I like almond better. I only have a Bullet for breakfast shakes and it’s a little small. The Vitamix is so expensive but I know it’s a good one. Are you pleased with the Ninja? Which one did you get? Love your pictures and blog as always.happy Spring!

    1. Hi Donna, thanks so much for visiting and that makes me happy to hear this is useful! I liked the almond too a little more than the coconut. I found the coconut has been nice for smoothies =)… We would LOVE a Vitamix too but it was out of our budget for now so we chose the Ninja and we have really enjoyed it so far. We got it at Costco (that was packaged with the processor and smaller bullet sized cups) and it has a sensor button that does all the time management for you. Again – thanks so much for taking the time to chat, do appreciate it! Happy Spring to you as well…

  2. Thanks for sharing your journey! I ended up having to go gluten & dairy free 2 years ago this month. As a girl from Wisconsin, I thought it was a death sentence to give up my sharp cheddar cheese addiction. Per the recommendation from a functional practitioner, he suggested I try removing gluten & dairy from my diet for 2 weeks and journal everything I eat. Once two weeks past, it was a no brainer for me to keep going on this lifestyle. I simply felt so much better and my skin was so much happier! Everything really is a trial & error process and learning what you like and don’t like. I’m personally a fan of almond and cashew milk & not so much of the coconut or soy milk varieties. I found a lot of inspiration from Against All Grain and Oh She Glows. I’ve even started sharing some of my own recipes on the blog & you’re right, the blender and processors are going to be your best friend!

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