Excerpt from my e-book Liv’s Dairy Free Kitchen
What seems worse as a 14-year-old girl than a face full of pimples? Honestly, not much. I started eating dairy free at the age of 14 when my hormonal acne was raging. I was seeking the care of a Chiropractor and Acupuncturist who specialized in muscle testing. Through a full food sensitivity assessment, he was able to determine that my body was extremely sensitive to dairy (along with some other foods), which was creating major skin irritation. He recommended I go off dairy completely for one month to see the results for myself. To give you an idea of what I was consuming back then, it looked a little something like this; a glass of milk in the morning with a cheese bagel & butter, a cheese and chicken quesadilla, fruit & mini yogurt for lunch, a glass of milk and homemade brownie for a snack and homemade lasagna, cheese bread and salad for supper. I was addicted to dairy.
At the time, I didn’t understand the link between certain foods and how they made me feel. What I did know was that I was a young adolescent girl who was extremely bloated, constipated, moody, cranky and the acne was affecting my confidence.
After the recommendation of my Chiropractor, my dear Mom and I went on a one-month dairy free eating protocol. Keep in mind, this was 14 years ago and back then there were not a lot of dairy free alternatives in the supermarket, let alone Pinterest to get ideas on what to make. I had a flip phone without a camera and we were still rocking the dial up internet. My Mom and I hit the drawing board with paper and pen. We started by making weekly meal plans, gathering ideas for suppers that could be used for school lunches too. Some of our favorites included garlic shrimp & rice, spaghetti squash & meat sauce, taco salad, omelets, souvlaki and burgers. I still have our meal plans to this day. Interesting thing is we did not make many meals that mimicked dairy, rather completely cut out the concept of dairy as we had no idea how to make an alternative.
One month of no dairy changed my life. I became way less puffy, my skin cleared up dramatically, I could actually focus on school, I didn’t feel dyslexic when reading, I had regular bowel movements and the overall inflammation and bloating decreased substantially. The results I saw in my skin were enough for me to realize that what I put into my body does impact the way my body feels and reacts. It gave me a great appreciation at a very young age for the body’s innate ability to communicate with us when we know how to listen.
Fast forward 14 years, with a food science degree, holistic nutrition diploma, thousands of hours in the kitchen and a food and wellness blog, I now specialize in transforming our favorite nourishing and comforting meals into dairy free meals.
My love for creating no sacrifice dairy free recipes has lead me to write my first e-book, Liv’s Dairy Free Kitchen. As I was writing this book I wanted to do a self experiment to see how my body felt if I ate dairy again. I ate a relatively small amount of dairy for one week in meals such as gluten free pizza, pasta, sandwiches, salads and chocolate to see what would happen. As suspected, my skin broke out, I was cranky, had headaches, nasal congestion and felt super tired. Even my eyes didn’t look as vibrant. I’m so glad to have the knowledge to know what works for my body and how to make it feel it’s best. I will teach you how to do this as well through Liv’s Dairy Free Kitchen e-book.
The need for dairy alternatives sparked my passion and creativity in the kitchen with some of my first creations being my famous cashew cheese ball, spinach dip, carbonara and cheesecake. These are tried and true recipes that you will find inside of Liv’s Dairy Free Kitchen e-book. This e-book will help you feel confident in making the transition to dairy free eating while also enjoying all your favorites that you don’t want to live without. Let me show you that there does not need to be a sacrifice.