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Blog Nutrition Diets Dairy-Free Diet Plan For Beginners: A Week’s Worth Of Nutritious Meal Ideas

Dairy-Free Diet Plan For Beginners: A Week’s Worth Of Nutritious Meal Ideas

dairy-free diet plan

It is a well-known fact that dairy products can cause disturbances to the digestive systems of some people. Dairy contains lactose, a sugar that these people cannot digest properly and it may also contain casein, an animal protein that can irritate the lining of the intestine (3). Without these common allergens present in your diet, you will most likely find yourself experiencing fewer stomach aches and cramps as well as more energy throughout the day. In order to make sure you’re getting enough nutrients without any interference from dairy products, here is a week’s worth of dairy-free diet plan meals! 

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Day One

  • Breakfast: Power smoothie made with berries, nuts, and plant milk. Try soy, almond or coconut milk instead of dairy
  • Lunch: Grilled chicken and baked potatoes with a side of guacamole and salsa 
  • Dinner: Broccoli soup and whole wheat bread

Day Two

  • Breakfast: Granola cereal made from oats and nuts mixed with plant-based yogurt
  • Lunch: Grilled tofu with brown rice, broccoli, and sesame seeds
  • Dinner: Grilled chicken, brown rice, and steamed broccoli. 
  • Snacks: A piece of dark chocolate or some apple slices dipped in almond butter

dairy-free diet plan

Day Three

  • Breakfast: Avocado, ham, and egg sandwich
  • Lunch: Creamy carrot soup (made with coconut milk instead of cream) and whole wheat bread
  • Snacks: A handful of nuts and fresh fruit
  • Dinner: Beef stir fry with cauliflower rice

Read More: Lactose-Free Diet: Can Ditching Dairy Help You Slim Down?

Day Four

  • Breakfast: Oatmeal made from rolled oats and almond milk. Top it off with peanut butter and frozen berries
  • Lunch: Tuna salad wrap made with whole wheat tortillas
  • Dinner: Spinach, grilled chicken breast, and a side of brown rice

Day Five

  • Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with whole wheat toast
  • Lunch: Whole wheat pasta with Italian seasoning and mushrooms topped with olive oil
  • Snacks: Celery and carrot sticks  dipped in hummus
  • Dinner: Broccoli cheese soup and whole wheat bread 

Day Six

  • Breakfast: Oatmeal with fresh strawberries and peaches mixed in
  • Lunch: Bean salad made with canned beans, chopped vegetables, and vinaigrette dressing
  • Snacks: Smoothie made with berries and plant-based yogurt
  • Dinner: Fresh fish cooked in garlic butter over whole wheat couscous

dairy-free diet plan

Day Seven

  • Breakfast: Turkey bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich on whole wheat bread
  • Lunch: Stir-fried vegetables with brown rice
  • Snacks:  An orange 
  • Dinner: Spaghetti  with turkey meatballs

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See also  How Long Is It Safe To Fast: Are Long Or Short-Term Fasts More Effective?

Tips For Dairy-Free Diet Plan

Switching from dairy products to plant-based alternatives is not always easy.  Some dairy products, such as milk and cheese, can be found in almost every food. It will take time to change your eating habits, but you can do it!

Here are some quick tips for going dairy-free:

  • Reach for the unsweetened plant-based yogurt instead of dairy yogurt.
  • Choose nut or coconut milk over cow’s milk.
  • Look for meat alternatives that are made with beans or soy protein instead of dairy.
  • Try mustard or balsamic vinegar on sandwiches instead of creamy condiments like mayonnaise which usually contain eggs and/or dairy ingredients.
  • Make sure you’re getting enough calcium by reaching for soybeans, almonds, dark leafy green vegetables, sesame seeds, and calcium-fortified juices, etc (1).
  • When eating out, be mindful of hidden dairy ingredients like butter or cheese in pre-made foods like fries or salads.
  • Remember that many products are made with dairy (sometimes without directly stating it on the label). Cheese often appears in prepackaged food items like noodles, crackers, etc.
  • Don’t forget to read ingredient lists! Many companies put milk proteins (whey), whey protein concentrate, casein (from milk), natural flavors (or flavorings which can contain milk products), or lactose (another type of sugar from milk) in their products (3). If you see any of these ingredients listed on the box/packaging/label of the food you’re about to eat, don’t buy it!
  • Be mindful of foods labeled as ‘non dairy’ or ‘vegan.’ These products are not always free from milk proteins (3). In some cases these items may actually contain traces of dairy because processing equipment is shared between milk and non-milk based products. It’s even more important to read ingredient lists when you purchase these types of foods so that you can avoid hidden dairy ingredients.

Read More: Greek Yogurt Benefits For Weight Loss: Flavor-Packed, Creamy, And Totally Guilt-Free!

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The Bottom Line

A dairy-free diet is completely free of any foods that are derived from or contain milk, cheese, or other dairy byproducts. Dairy allergies are not to be confused with lactose intolerance, which means you simply cannot digest lactose, the sugar in cow’s milk.

If you go dairy free for a long enough time, your system may begin to produce more lactase, the enzyme that helps you digest lactose. Your gut will also heal  itself and you will be able to enjoy dairy once again.

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DISCLAIMER:

This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!

SOURCES:

  1. Calcium Intake and Health (2019, nih.gov)
  2. Casein Allergy Overview (2020, webmd.com)
  3. Milk Allergy Diet (n.d., hopkinsmedicine.com)
Jeremy Mukhwana

Jeremy is a writer and part-time soccer player who is keen on demystifying the matters of fitness, health, and weight loss. His articles are focused on providing factual information and helping readers enjoy their fitness journeys. He understands that wellness is an often misunderstood yet deeply rewarding avenue of improving one’s life, which is why he is so committed to encouraging people to live their healthiest lives through his work. When he’s not typing away at his keyboard, he’s indulging his passion for soccer. The motto that guides Jeremy through his life is  ‘Be the change that you wish to see in the world.’

J. Paul

Jovial is from Dubai, and is a Head EMS Instructor/Fitness Manager/Nutrition Consultant for REMS Fitness. He is certified by the Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute and Registered as a Gym Instructor.
Jovial specialises in HIIT training, Rehabilitation/injury recovery, Strength and Conditioning, Kickboxing, Body Weight Training and Weight Training, and practices each discipline himself. His approach is to focus on improving his clients’ lifestyle by motivating them and setting an example.

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