5 Easy Steps To Eliminate Dairy From Your Diet

dairy free
Dairy is bad. Scientific paper after scientific paper reports that dairy is bad for humans to consume. It leads to an increased risk of multiple cancers, leaves us with weaker bones, and countless other problems including IBS, skin disorders such as acne and eczema, and depression.

Dairy cows are treated in inhumane ways, spending their lives attached to uncomfortable machines, artificially inseminated to get them pregnant over and over again so they can continue producing milk, then having their babies taken away from them for the cycle to be repeated again. Dairy cows are routinely given animal grade antibiotics and hormones (which gets passed into the milk then into us) and if they're 'organic' cows and they get mastitis or any other type of infection they are left to suffer without any kind of pain/infection fighting medication leaving the cows in agony and their bloody puss passing into the milk. The human digestive system was not built to digest dairy, and cows were not put on this earth to be strapped to machines. 

My personal journey eliminating dairy has been a long and rocky one.  Giving up something that we've grown up eating is not easy and anyone who does it deserves a medal. It's been four years since I learnt that I was intolerant to dairy, and I can now confidently say that I'm 100% dairy free. I no longer suffer from acne (something I've suffered from severely since I was a teenager and well into my adult life) and (with the help of a meat free diet) my unpleasant journey with depression has all but come to an end. It's pretty amazing that the food we eat can affect us in so many ways.

While change doesn't happen overnight, taking the first step always helps to get you going in the right direction. So here are 5 easy steps to help you begin reducing dairy from your diet. 

1. Educate Yourself
Do some research. Watch some documentaries. Read some books. Get your facts straight and be clear on why you are deciding to reduce or eliminate dairy from your diet. Not only will this arm you with proper information when people question your decision (that's if you wish to explain it at all, some people don't), but by having a clear reason why you want to cut out dairy also helps you stay strong on your dairy free mission. On a side note, some people don't like it when others change their own habits, so be prepared for people to disagree with what you're doing. That's ok. The world would be boring if we all agreed with one another.

2. Switch Your Staples
Picture yourself at home, adding a dash of milk to your coffee and spreading delicious butter on your toast, taking that freshly baked cheese pizza out of the oven or getting the carton of chocolate ice cream out of the freezer for that movie night... I still enjoy all these things without the addition of dairy. And I promise you, the 'substitutes' on offer are good. When friends come to mine I prepare food the same way I prepare it for myself and no one ever notices the difference between my butter and theirs, my cheese and theirs or my ice cream and theirs. In fact, most people comment on how delicious what I've given them is. That's when I usually mention it's dairy free and the news is usually met with surprise.  If the dairy products are not in your house you are not going to eat them. It's as simple as that.

3. Read Food Labels
A friend of mine recently claimed he didn't eat dairy shortly before ordering and eating a croissant from a cafe. It didn't cross his mind that a croissant is made up of something like 50% butter! When you pick up food and drinks from the shops take a moment to read the label at the back. You'll probably be surprised at how many products contain dairy in them! To this day I always do a quick scan of the ingredients before buying because they sneak dairy into everything these days. When you first start this process is can be a bit overwhelming but you soon learn what does and doesn't contain dairy. In the UK they often put dairy ingredients in bold so it's very easy to see it at a glance.

4. Don't Be Afraid To Ask Questions
When I first went dairy free I would always choose the most dairy free looking thing on the menu. Well, most of the time it turned up on my plate covered in some kind of creamy sauce that wasn't mentioned on the menu. The easiest thing to do it casually mention that you don't eat dairy and ask if the dish you've selected has any dairy in it. If it does have dairy in it, ask them what else they could recommend that doesn't include dairy. If it's as simple as a buttered bun that gets in your way just ask for the bun to come without butter, or for your fish to be cooked in oil instead of butter. Don't be scared of being a 'fussy' customer, there's usually something you can eat in most restaurants and staff are generally more than happy to assist you with finding something to enjoy.

5. Bring A Dish
When eating at friends houses I never expect them to cater specifically to my dietary requirements. Instead, I always ask if I can bring a dish (no one ever says no). Ask how many people are eating, find out if there's a theme to the food (Italian, barbecue etc.) and make enough so that everyone can have some if they wanted to. No one is ever disappointed by extra food at the table.


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Instagrammin'

instagram

I may not always be very active on my blog but I always try to post at least once a day on instagram. I love creating little square images to capture the things going on in our day to day lives.

There's been a few small tweaks to our lives lately. We've started swimming once a week, I've been painting more consistently, and our diets have changed somewhat (think plant based). I'm making an effort to put my 'to-do' list aside as much as possible and spend quality time with Orlaith and my family, we've been playing lots of chess and enjoying lots of movie nights and days out with friends.

Find me on Instagram: @myfroley

France Weekend | Part II

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A few weeks ago I wrote about a surprise hen weekend that was organised for one of my friends. During the weekend we stayed in a beautiful chateau in a little town called Eynesse in a region of France called Aquitaine where they make lots of beautiful wine.

The weekend involved lots of wine, cheese and food, and a whole lot of relaxing. I unfortunately couldn't partake in the majority of the cheese and food fun because of my annoying dairy intolerance, so my diet over the weekend consisted of lots of bread. And champagne.

It was slightly hard to adjust to the child free life. Because it was such a relaxing weekend there was lots of sitting around and being still, something I'm not used to at all. On day one I really ached for Orlaith, I felt like I was missing something. Then on the last two days I let myself relax and it was just the best and most rewarding feeling.

I never usually get to sit down for long periods of time, I'm always fetching something or participating in a game. Just sitting, relaxing and having adult conversation without having to get up every five minutes was so refreshing and by the end of the weekend I felt like I'd been away for a whole week and my stress levels were so low.

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RECIPE | Sweet Almond Balls

Sweet Almond Balls

I'm slowly taking steps to reduce the amount of refined sugar and flour in my diet. So, instead of those lovely packets of biscuits I'm used to picking up from the shops, these days I try to make my own puddings and sweet treats when I get the chance.

These almond balls are such a winner in my house, the only problem is they are so moreish that every single one gets eaten regardless of how many I've made, so I always have to make them in small batches.


Ingredients:
(makes approximately 8 small balls)

80g ground almonds
1 tbsp manuka honey (or agave syrup)
3-4 tsp water
ground cinnamon


Directions:

If you have a grinding mill grind your almonds (I use the milling blade on the nutribullet for this). Knead the almonds with the honey or agave syrup and water with your hands until you've created a smooth mass. If it's too thick add more water until you're reached your desired consistency.  Form the paste into small balls and roll them in the ground cinnamon. These can be eaten immediately or kept in the fridge to eat later.


Quick Tip:

If you're using agave syrup for this recipe I would try adding less water (1-2 tsp). Manuka honey is thicker and therefore needs a bit more water to soften the paste up. 

Sweet Almond Balls
Sweet Almond Balls


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ZSL London Zoo

giraffe London zoo

I haven't been to that many zoos in my time, however we always pop into Barcelona Zoo when we're over there. London Zoo has always put me off a bit because of the high entry fees, but during Orlaith's half term I decided to treat us both to a day at the zoo. We both love animals and it seemed like the perfect day out for us.

Well, what I learned from my trip to London Zoo is that it is a very good zoo indeed. There were lots of 'shows' however it simply gave us the opportunity to watch animals being fed while someone explained some interesting facts about them, there were no animals doing tricks or anything (unlike Barcelona Zoo who's dolphin show made me feel pretty uneasy on my last visit). There was a little petting section with goats and sheep which was great for having some hands on interaction with the animals .

My favourite thing about London Zoo is that they try to educate people on animal conservation and the threats to their habitats and give you tips on how you can play a part in saving the animals and the earth (although, in my opinion, the way things are going the earth is way past saving). Also a portion of your ticket price goes to ZSL's conservation efforts so, essentially, you're not just paying to get into the zoo, you're also giving to charity. Yay.

ZSL stands for Zoological Society of London and is an international conservation and scientific charity based in the UK. Their conservation efforts are tremendous and you can read about them at the ZSL website HERE.

OK, not all kids are thrilled by a whole day of traipsing around a zoo looking at animals. Orlaith got bored from time to time. To tackle the boredom I presented her with a project book and a pencil. Every time she saw an animal she liked she drew and labelled it in her project book. This was a great way to have little breaks in between animals and do something more creative. As a last resort there was a playground in the zoo which we visited a couple of times throughout the day to have some longer breaks.

Now when we talk about the zoo Orlaith immediately starts discussing how we can help to protect the animals natural habitats through our actions. Well done London Zoo, you've created a little animal activist.

butterfly London zoo
penguin window London zoo
giraffes London zoo
hippo London zoo
clown fish London zoo
lemur london zoo
monkey London zoo
london zoo trip
giraffe feeding london zoo
penguins London zoo
london zoo aquarium
hippo london zoo
lemur London zoo
anteater london zoo
sheep london zoo
piranhas london zoo
goat london zoo
pigs london zoo
penguins london zoo
london zoo aquarium
my froley london zoo
butterfly house london zoo
camels london zoo
penguin london zoo
hippos london zoo
penguin london zoo
butterfly london zoo

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