Day 1 -
I did some significant research online as to which dairy free milk I should buy and then hit my local organic supermarket. In the end I settled on two; hemp and almond. I had previously had a bad experience with another brand of almond milk and so had my reservations about trying it but this one contained only almonds and water so I figured it might be safe.
Day 2 -
This is a day where I work a long day 9.30 til 8pm. Well some people might consider that a normal day, but I think it's pretty long. As I'm out all day the only time when I consume any dairy on a Tuesday is at breakfast. This morning I had almond milk in my shredded wheat and it tasted fine actually. I found that this almond milk has a very mild taste and therefore the main taste is of the shredded wheat.
Lunch and Dinner consisted or mostly salad and therefore it was quite easy.
(Note added on Friday - Only today did I realize that I messed up on Tuesday. When I work I tend to bring an Eat Natural Bar with me for a snack and my favourite is the apricot and yoghurt. On this day I happily ate my snack without even thinking)
Day 3 -
Almond milk porridge for breakfast. I found this really delicious! It's actually much creamer than porridge with cow's milk and I find myself considering whether I should always make my porridge with almond milk?!
3pm - This morning was really busy. I had two meetings and then an appointment after lunch. However at 3pm I get home and have to study and do thesis work. By 3.30pm I'm lagging already and I feel like I need caffeine. This is actually really unusual for me, I haven't drunk caffeine in almost 4 years, so a caffeine kick is not something I often crave. I decide that it's time for decaf tea (decaf contains some caffeine I realize, but for me it's almost more about tricking my brain into thinking I had caffeine at times like these).
So, it's my first dairy free cup of tea. This was something that I had anticipated and therefore I had researched what type of dairy free milk I should use. Again, having had previous negative experiences with almond milk (separation) I found an alternative. A pro-vegan website I found advocated for Hemp milk in black tea, so I purchased the Hemp milk specifically for this occasion. The honest truth is that if I can't find a dairy free way to enjoy my decaf Yorkshire tea then this is not happening long-term folks!
I boiled my kettle, stewed my tea bag and then added my hemp milk. The first thing I notice is that the tea is not changing colour in the way I would expect and it seems to take much more hemp milk than dairy milk. And then, just like that, the milk separates!
Disgusting!! Clearly I had been misled! I abandon the hemp milk and boil the kettle again. This time I turn to the almond milk. And to my great surprise it works, kind of!
|Tea without dairy 2.0|
As you can see there are a few unappetising lumps of almond floating on top and, as I drank it, a film of white stuff formed across the top. So visually it's not the best but the taste is absolutely lovely. Does it taste like tea with dairy milk? No, it's a lot more watery. However the strong tea flavour dominates and has the desired affect on my afternoon slump so all-in-all I'm happy and the experiment continues!
Day 4 -
Today I was studying from home for most of the day. I found this a little difficult because for me a stay of study starts the same every time; breakfast, gym, shower, and then sitting down to work with the first cup of tea of the day! I love this cup of tea, it brings a beautiful sweetness to the start of my study and helps encourage me to sit down at the ball and chain, I mean laptop ;) I returned to the almond milk tea which I am finding more and more delicious but as the container gets more used the number of unappetizing lumps increases, maybe I'm not shaking it enough?!
Day 5 -
Today I was working and that made things easier. However then I met my Mum and sister for dinner and I'll have to be honest, I slipped up slightly. We went to an absolutely delicious place near Hackney with piles and piles of gorgeous salads and scrumptious tapas plates. I did quite well during the meal but then came dessert! Now I actually hadn't planned on having dessert but when my Mum suggested sharing a brownie, well how could I refuse?! It was only on the way home that I emerged from the trance that overcame me when the brownie approached the table with a giant ball of ice-cream on top. So yes, I ate dairy but I was under the influence of some serious chocolate hyponosis. I forgave myself and renewed my efforts!!
Day 6 -
Today I ate out for EVERY meal - read so much more difficult! We enjoyed a fantastic breakfast at the Wolesley! That place is truly gorgeous! Luckily they were willing to make me an almond decaf latte (despite none-of those things being on the menu,) I felt like quite the diva order off the menu but it was a perfect latte and I was very happy! Lunch was a falafel wrap with hummus, so no issue there. Dinner was in another fantastic restaurant, this time a french place in central london. And thankfully there were plenty of dairy free options. Now, I will admit that I buttered my bread, so not completley without sin but it was 99% dairy free day so I was pleased. Also I saw Kevin McCloud in the flesh which was awesome!
Day 7 -
After all the fun of Friday and Saturday I spent this day at home resting and recuperating while trying and failing to study (thank you 26 degree weather). However I firmly stuck to the dairy free diet. With almond milk on my cereal and then a lot of salad and water all day!
So that was my week! I will admit that there were slip ups but I think that with any diet change there are going to be slip ups and how we recover post slip up is more important in my belief. So each time I noted my mistake and got back on the bandwagon. Tomorrow I can go back to milk but if I'm totally honest, I have a bunch of almond milk now and I think I may well keep having it in my cereal.
Would I go dairy free full time? This is a big question for me. I am currently considering a longer period of dairy free life to see how that goes; maybe a month. I like the idea in some ways and hate the idea with equal measure. I respect those that live a vegan or dairy free lifestyle and it's possible that I may join you for a while but right now I can't make any commitments