The main thing people need when eating milk-free is real tips and help to live a normal life. My blog will always give you the help you’re looking for too eat the food you want and live the life you deserve. Look below for tips and help to get you started on a milk-free life and restaurants you can eat out at. You will also find dairy substitutes for your favorite dairy items!
Mind-Set: I think the first and best tip is to focus on all the positives of not eating milk. It’s really easy to focus on all the negatives and people will always help you find the negative in not eating milk 😉 Try to always remember the amazing impact on your body & health. You’ll be so much healthier! Just realizing you’ll be taking in less fat and calories compared to everyone else is something to be proud of. Cow’s milk is linked to new diseases everyday and you won’t be eating any of it.
Top Tips for Living Milk-Free
- One of the first things you need to do is get your kitchen completely milk-free. This is extremely helpful and you won’t have to check any ingredients when cooking or grabbing a snack. You also won’t be tempted to eat milk products or have accidents. If this is impossible, you need to designate certain areas for milk-containing products. To accomplish your milk-free kitchen, take a trip to the store and look for the products you need by checking the ingredients
- Get some coolers. Large, medium, small and different shapes. You will always want to be able to pack a cooler and bring along. Look online for trendy hand-held coolers.
- I suggest always having on hand: Tums, anti-histamine (Allegra), Excedrin, Cortizone 10 Hydrocortisone Anti-Itch Creme
- Always have snacks available. I have snacks in my purse at all times. You will end up in a situation where you’re hungry and cannot find milk-free food. You want to be prepared. Always carry gum to curve hunger until you can get to milk-free food.
- A lot of restaurants have allergy menus on their websites now. However, you always want to check the website or call ahead of time. Also, let the waitress/waiter know so they can tell the cook/chef. When in doubt about where you’ll be going to eat- bring along your own milk-free bun and try to order hamburger and fries. I tend to try to stay with American or Chinese Restaurants as I can 95% of the time find something to eat.
- Traveling can be difficult. Bring your own food. I always take along bread, butter, peanut butter, snacks, etc. When staying at a hotel have your own bread to take downstairs to use in the toaster because hotels put the bread out in containers and throw away ingredient information. Yes, it’s annoying
- Social events will be the most difficult. Depending on what event you attend will affect what steps you take. Whenever possible: notify hosts, bring your own food, have a cooler in the vehicle with food you can eat, bring snacks along with you. Social events are centered around food and will be very difficult.
Dairy Substitutes Please!
I know what you really want, you want to know what you can go buy in a store today to replace your dairy products. Don’t worry I have your back. The table below tells you what products you can buy today to still enjoy your typical dairy products.
Eating out is something that most everyone enjoys doing and is a huge aspect of our social lives. However, with a milk-allergy it can cause a lot of anxiety and fear. I know exactly how you feel. Below I’ve listed some restaurants that I’ve found very helpful and also restaurants to avoid at all costs. I plan to keep updating the list- so check back now and then. Many restaurants have allergy menus on their websites you can check. I always ask the staff to notify the chef/cook that I have a milk allergy and usually state to not have any butter anywhere. Sadly, I find butter to be a main seasoning used in the USA. Even though sometimes I will suggest items at a restaurant, things are always changing, so be aware that you still need to check the website or ask to be 100% safe.
Most of my experiences are in the Midwest and I’ve also found differences in the same chain restaurant when traveling. I will focus on chain restaurants because that is usually the easiest places to eat at due to allergy information being given on their websites. I have had very good experiences at local restaurants though. I just ask the manager or cook to help me figure out what I can eat there and then it becomes a favorite option. I base a lot of my decisions on where to eat out by how I’m treated when asking about allergy information. I usually feel safe with a hamburger (no bun) or a steak (no butter). Just know that when eating out- you’re taking a risk and you will definitely end up getting sick on accident at some point. You’re usually only safe when you’re making your own food in your own kitchen.
- Subway: This is a default choice. The white and wheat bread are milk-free and I usually get a turkey sandwich with vegetables and mayo. They have other options too – check website for allergy info.
- Ruby Tuesdays: I’ve had very good experiences at these restaurants. I usually get a hamburger on a wheat bun and some places have even cooked my burger on aluminum foil to keep away from cross-contamination on the grill. They also have an allergy menu available.
- Buffalo Wild Wings: They have provided me with an allergy menu at the restaurant and I usually get mild wings and fries. It’s great to get a wing fix every now and then.
- Chipotle: I usually get burritos and just add guacamole in place of sour cream or cheese. I really love how the restaurant cares about what food it serves.
- Noodles & Company: I’ve found they will make sure to notify the cook that there is an allergic person and clean dishes are used to avoid cross-contamination. Also, the chocolate chip cookies there are dairy-free and it is VERY rare to be able to eat any type of dessert when eating out.
- Panera: They have a huge book of allergy information at their restaurants. I would suggest going in during a slow period and figuring out what you can eat there. I usually get a turkey sandwich or chicken noodle soup with a bagette.
- Olive Garden: They recently obtained an allergy free menu on their website due to complaints of having no dairy-free options. The sad part is their salad dressing contains milk. It doesn’t need to of course but the recipe has a dash of parmesan cheese, so stay away. I usually go in for soup/salad/breadsticks. I ask for salad (NO crutons/NO dressing) and either bring my own italian salad dressing or ask them to bring me some olive oil and balsamic vinegar. YES- we can eat the breadsticks! A waiter confirmed with me they use dairy-free margarine on them.
- Applebees: They have an allergy menu on their website, but I’ve found the waitresses and even managers to be clueless it even existed. Be careful! However, I do believe they have fried shrimp that is milk-free (hard to find!).
- Dave & Buster’s: They have an allergy menu and I’ve found them to be very careful when dealing with allergy dishes. I’ve had great experiences here.
- Fast Food Places: a lot of fast food joints have allergy menus now. I try to avoid these places at all costs though. After not eating at them for a few years and then trying them again when allergy menus came out on their websites- my body just didn’t agree with this food after having detoxed. Beware that McDonald’s french fries contain milk! Crazy! stay away. Fries are usually a safe option for milk-allergy people and the fact that they have milk in their fries- just annoys me.
One thing you’ll realize with a food allergy is that there are TONS of people out there that just don’t get it and hate when you have to know what’s in your food. Many of these people work in restaurants and I’ve had some TERRIBLE experiences. I will also be sharing these.
- IHOP: Avoid this place at all costs! While in Mason, OH at an IHOP I had a terrible experience. Manager refused to even serve me an egg. They would not clean a skillet for an egg to be cooked in or check any ingredients and also had no fruit available for me to eat. They said that everything was covered in butter. I usually avoid breakfast at restaurants but this was a time when I couldn’t and the manager was mad I had even considered coming in. I’ll never be going in again!
Living Milk-Free is a great opportunity to cook your own amazing foods. You can really make any food you desire. However, you also want real solutions for eating and living easy. My blog will help you do this.