Saturday, February 20, 2016

ten tips for cutting dairy out of your diet while breastfeeding

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A couple days ago I posted about why I had to cut dairy out of my diet. I said it in that post and I'll say it in this one: it's hard.

But! It won't always be hard. You'll get used to it. It'll become second nature. And, eventually, you won't be breastfeeding anymore and it'll come to pass.

But until then, here are my top ten tips for cutting dairy out of your diet while breastfeeding!

→ Cut it out cold turkey. I know, this sounds so awful. But you are just prolonging the process if you do it one by one. Most likely if your little babe is bothered by cheese, he/she is going to be bothered by milk and ice cream. Cut it all out now and save yourself some heart ache.

→ Don't cheat. Did you know that it takes 4-6 weeks for any and all dairy to leave your system / your breastmilk? You cheat one day, you have to start all over. That's a huge bummer so just don't do it. 😉

{side note: while it does take 4-6 weeks to leave your system, you can see a difference in your little babe as quick as the next day.}

→ ^^^ A side note to my side note. Wait at least two weeks before you "give up". While it may take overnight in some babies to notice a difference, it can take up to six weeks, depending on how sensitive your little babe is to it. Give it some time before you start eating it again.

→ Check every.single.label. Like, every single one. Did you know that there's dairy in taco seasoning? I didn't either (and who would, honestly?) until I checked the label. There's dairy in way more things than you would think, so always double check and don't assume.

See my dairy-free taco seasoning recipe HERE!

→ Know your dairy names. I don't mean names such as milk, cheese, ice cream, sour cream, etc. I mean other names for dairy in ingredients lists like whey, casein, lactose, etc. You can find a complete list here. Most of the time you can just look at the bottom of the ingredients list that says "Contains: ...". That's where they list the most important allergy foods that are contained in the product. Usually, if milk is contained, it will say "Milk" or "Milk Ingredients". But again, always double check.

→ Find dairy free snacks that you love (and stock your pantry full of them). After cutting dairy out of my diet, I found that I love Larabars. I'm still planning on eating these even when I'm able to have dairy again. They are simple, pure, and delicious. Once you find dairy free snacks and food that you love, it'll be much easier.

→ Plan your meals. Every week I sit down and plan (dairy-free) meals for the week. That way, I'm not running around at seven pm on Wednesday trying to find something dairy free to make, and then end up making something with dairy in it as a last resort. Plan plan plan.

{side note: I'm always trying to add more dairy free recipes to my blog. Check back often for dairy free snacks, meals, and ingredients!}

→ If you eat out for one reason or another, check the allergen menu before you go. There is SO MUCH dairy in fast food/restaurant food. Most of the time, even if you order it with no cheese, there's usually still some sort of dairy in it. I always check this site before I go anywhere to eat. It has both fast food and restaurants. It also has a ton of information about going dairy-free that I found extremely helpful.

→ Remember that it's only temporary. Eventually, you will be done breastfeeding. You will be able to eat dairy again! And, in some cases, once baby starts eating solids, you can start to reintroduce dairy into your diet. If you do this, make sure you keep track of what you are eating when so if little babe has a reaction, you will know why.

→ Remember that it's WORTH IT. So worth it. You are one, saving a ton of money by not having to switch to an allergen formula, and two (most importantly) you are helping your baby. Instead of putting your little babe on 10 different medicines and/or formula to help with their allergy, you alone are helping him/her by cutting dairy out of your diet.

If you have decided to cut dairy out of your diet while breastfeeding, you are A BOSS + I applaud you! It's hard work, and you are wonder woman for making and sticking to the dairy free decision. Remember- you can do it. It will get hard but you will get through it! You are helping your little babe in more ways that one, so give yourself a little huge pat on the back!

If you have any questions at all, please feel free to comment below and I will get back to you!
I've linked some of my favorite dairy free snacks below!

Check out some of my dairy free recipes HERE.

{I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength. - Philippians 4:13.}

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