There are many reasons people decide to quit dairy – moral, health related and, yes, even beauty related. If you’re someone who suffers from gut problems or breakouts, dairy could be the culprit and trialling an elimination experiment is worth a go. But, we get it – cutting out the cow’s milk, cheeses and chocolate can feel very ‘too hard basket’ and tricky to navigate in social settings. While taking it out of your diet can be a health and beauty benefit, it can feel like it’ll wreak havoc on your social life… (‘What do you MEAN you’re not going halves with me on a chocolate fondante?! ‘ you imagine your future dinner date to say). Well, don’t fret – read on for our best tips to putting the brakes on dairy, that won’t disturb your dining out plans.

 Image: Instagram @devwindsor Image: Instagram @devwindsor

Get mylk

For many, the biggest barrier to kicking the cow habit is that faithful morning (and midday? and afternoon?) heart-starter, coffee. If the thought of giving up your beloved latte makes the panic rise, help is here. Dairy milk alternatives are really having a moment, so whether it’s soy, macadamia or almond milk, there’s bound to be one that suits your taste. Beauticate founder and giver upper of the cows milk, Sigourney loves Vitasoy Oat Milk, and Little Cove Coffee Co reckon Nutty Bruce is the best almond milk for frothing.

Find new foodie faves

If your favourite barista happens to make you feel awkward about your cow-free cap, you might need to break up. Same goes for your go-to restaurants. While it can be personally very rewarding, going dairy-free is not yet really free from judgement and stigma. So, make sure you find eateries that won’t make a huge fuss about you asking if there’s feta in the salad. You want to be able to clearly see DF (dairy free) indicated next to appropriate items because let’s face it, or at least feel comfy asking about their dairy free options.

Treat yo’ self

Living dairy free doesn’t mean sweet creamy textured treats are out of the question; thanks to some very clever food companies you can have your cake AND ice cream AND chocolate, and eat it too. So Good’s Almond Frozen Dessert is so, so well … good (don’t forget the chocolate topping), as is the Weiss sorbet range if that’s more your thing. Lindt Excellence 70% Cocoa dark chocolate is dairy-free (or try 90% cocoa if you’re feeling brave) and if you’re in a baking mood check out our list of guilt-free cake recipes. And can we please give a shout-out to all the foods that are accidentally vegan like Oreos, Coco Pops and Skittles? (But always check the labels for other potential animal products if you’re going vegan).

Cheers to That…

Speaking of labels, have you read the back of your Shiraz lately? That’s right, we’re sorry to tell you this but most red and some white wines are treated with milk and therefore contain traces of dairy. If you’re shopping for a wine, look for one that’s ‘unfined’ and unfiltered. Sommelier Louella Mathews from Bibow Wine Bar recommends 2016 Gentle Folk Village Pinot Noir as a red, 2017 Sigurd Gargenega Semillon blend for white and she’s currently pouring bubbles of Prosecco Col Fondo by Story Wines. Oh and Veuve if you’re celebrating, of course.

Most spirits are dairy-free so you’re all good there, and thankfully (so thankful), if you choose the right prosecco, there’s no dairy in an Aperol spritz. If in doubt, barnivore.com has a database of over 35,000 liquor products.

Story by Velvet Garvey

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