Dairy-Free Favorites

*This post is not sponsored, and all opinions are my own*

I’ve been living the lactose-free (mostly…I will admit I eat pizza on occasion) for almost 4 years now, and it has helped my health so much. I’ve always had a very sensitive stomach, and even as a child I had difficulty eating ice cream. But I never connected the dots that lactose was the problem! For me, cutting out dairy products has helped me be less nauseous most of the time, and spend more time enjoying my life instead of feeling sick.

But after 4 years without dairy, I have tried so, SO many products and found which ones I prefer. I wanted to share my lactose-free favorite products with you all in case you’re newly lactose-intolerant or are looking to branch out!

Dairy-Free Favorites // Imperfect Chevron

 

Milk

So I’ll be honest, I don’t drink dairy-free milk straight from a glass. But I need something to put in my coffee and pour over my cereal, as well as make smoothies and cook with. Anyway, there are TONS of lactose and soy-free milk options out there, it can be a little intimidating the first few times. I prefer almond milk, cashew milk, and almond-coconut blends. I never buy soy milk, just my personal preference!

#1 Top Pick: Calafia Farms brand Toasted Coconut flavor. Honestly, I’ve tried several brands of almond milks and this brand is absolutely the best quality I’ve tried. It’s very smooth and not gritty at all, they have good tasting (not too sweet) flavors, and it comes in a gorgeous bottle. It’s a little steeper price than some of the options, but I prefer this brand to any other I’ve tried so it’s well worth it!

#2 Runner Up: Almond Breeze brand Unsweetened Vanilla or Almond-Coconut Blend. A good overall brand! Lots of flavors (plus they also have all the blends (almond-cashew, almond coconut), and has a good taste. I typically buy the unsweetened flavors, because I find the almond milk already has a slightly sweet taste.

“Cheese”

I don’t use fake cheese all that often, but sometimes I crave nachos or a grilled cheese sandwich, you know? It’s not something I typically eat very often, but I’ve tried several different brands and had to throw out many many bags…here are the brands I’ve found to be the best tasting.

#1 Top Shreddable: Daiya brand Mozzarella Shreds. While costly, this cheese melts really well and has a similar salty/savory flavor as real cheese. It’s perfect for nachos, lasagna or baked pasta dishes, pizza, and other casseroles.

#1 Top Sliced: GoVeggie! brand in American Slices. This is my go-to sliced cheese for grilled cheese sandwiches. It’s similar consistency to like Kraft singles, which sounds kind of gross unless you’re 10 years old, but it melts really great! I’ll use it if I want a cheeseburger or grilled cheese. And you really can’t beat the price, it’s very reasonable for a dairy-free product.

Ice Cream

I LOVE ice cream. To be honest, this has totally been the hardest part of being lactose intolerant for me, because I used to crave ice cream daily. There are many dairy products that I can actually still eat in small amounts, but ice cream is not one of them. It is just not worth how sick I get after eating it. Anyway. The frustrating thing about dairy-free ice creams is that they are A) very expensive, and B) typically come in pint-sized containers. It’s very annoying. Plus, it’s difficult to find ice creams that mimic the wonderful consistency of real ice cream. Here are my top picks.

#1 Top Ice Cream: Lactaid brand (any flavor!). This brand comes in a quart size, and is actually real ice cream (they just remove the lactose!), so it solves both of my quandaries. Plus, it comes in several flavors (salted caramel, cookies and cream!?) which is a total bonus. All in all, an amazing product.

#2 Top Ice Cream: Trader Joe’s Soy Creamy in Cherry Chocolate Trip. If there’s a Trader Joe’s near you, get there immediately and pick up some of their Soy Creamy ice cream! It’s got a great consistency and flavor, and I love that the Cherry flavor has those tasty cherry bits in it. It’s very reasonably priced, too, and you get a quart!

Yogurt

I’ve tried several brands of lactose-free yogurt, and there is only one brand I’ve found that tastes the best to me.

#1 Top Yogurt: So Delicious Yogurt in Plain or Strawberry Banana. Yes, this yogurt is not cheap. But it tastes wonderful and has a great consistency. It isn’t tangy or watery, and the flavors are fresh tasting. So if you’ve gotta have some yogurt in your life, this is the way to go for sure.

So there you go! A quick list of some of my favorites. Found any other brands of lactose-free foods you love? Let me know! I’m always looking for new good ones. Again, this post is not sponsored in any way, I just like to share the products I love and use in my daily life.

xo.

How To: Survive Winter

I’ve complained about winter a lot, which makes me feel bad. It’s not that I completely hate the whole season…there are lots of things I do like about winter, like skiing, Christmas, cozy sweaters, and watching the snow fall. But I’m definitely more of a summer person. I’m the happiest in the sunshine, when I can spend all day long outside.

Winters are always so long (where I live, at least), and by the time February rolls around I’m already so over it, and we’re not even close to being done with winter. If you’re anything like me, it can be pretty hard to keep your spirits up this time of year.

So today, I’m sharing a little list of some tips for getting through the long winter.

How To Survive Winter

1. Find little things that make you happy.
For me, I find a lot of happiness in watching my neighborhood’s feral cats outside of my window. They’re sure resilient little kitties, walking through snow up to their stomachs and surviving the bitter cold Pittsburgh weather. I love watching them hang out and try to find those little patches of sunlight to bask in. I’m also trying to paint some (although school work prevents me from doing so as much as I’d like) because it makes me happy.

2. Get outside every day, no matter the weather.
I know, this sounds a little crazy. But I have to say that I always feel more productive and more awake/alive when I leave my house, even when it’s just for a 10 minute walk around the block. I just bundle myself up in tons of layers and head outside for a couple of minutes.

3. If possible, plan a trip or vacation.
I know that it isn’t always possible. This year, I’m going on a spring break trip for the first time in my life, and I could not be more excited. The mere thought of sitting on a beach in just a few short weeks is enough to keep me happy for a few hours! If you can’t go somewhere far, plan a day trip somewhere for a weekend. Having something to look forwards to really helps.

4. Get to the gym (sometimes).
I’ve been really pushing myself to get to the gym the last few weeks, and even though I hate HATE going, I always feel so much better about myself after I get back from the gym. Any kind of movement helps in the winter. If you live somewhere that doesn’t get so icy, take some brisk little winter walks!

Those are some of my tips for getting through winter alive. Do you have any good ideas? I’d love to hear them–winter is such a rough season for me, and I’m really struggling this year with the dreary Pittsburgh weather (I’m very seasonally affected, and I’m missing the sunshine something fierce right now!).

xo.