After a couple weeks where my toddler barely wanted to leave the house due to the cold weather, we finally got out for our first hike with friends in a couple weeks. I was so jazzed to meet up with some other mom friends and get some good socializing in. As I was pulling into the parking lot (a whole 10 minutes early!), I saw the whole hiking group taking off. Apparently I had read the meetup time wrong in our Facebook group and showed up almost 30 minutes late! Womp womp.
Luckily, I had been to this trail a few times and it was a short and sweet walk. I hiked in with my son on my back (I love our current carrier – but have my eyes on this toddler-sized one next) and met up with everyone almost right before we decided to turn back. We had a great time, but once we got to back to the trailhead, my son wasn’t ready to go home. So we turned around and did the whole thing again on our own!
(Here’s a sweet candid photo a friend took of us at this same trail a few months ago when I carried him on my front!)
I’ve been hiking with my son now since he was about 10 months old. I love the time we have together out on the trails. But one of the big things I noticed was that our time outside started shrinking and shrinking as he got older and snacking more. That toddler hunger is no joke.
It wasn’t until another mom friend recommended that I start carrying snacks to get a little more time in that I was able to relax more and enjoy our hikes together. I could stretch our half-hour walks into over an hour by handing him back snacks when he asks for them (… and of course letting him down to explore when he wants to stretch his legs).
Being prepared with snacks has proven to be the easiest way to keep him up on my back – so I actually get some mileage and exercise in instead of just following him around (which is fun too – but not always what I’m after). Not only does it keep him occupied, but it keeps him from melting down from hunger before we get back to the car.
I’ve learned that keeping snacks around – not just for my son – but also for myself is the difference between keeping up with my GFDF diet and lifestyle, finding something that won’t make me feel great later, or going hungry until I can get home.
I’ve also heard from a lot of you that you are looking for some easy and quick-fix snacks that are gluten-free and dairy-free too. So I wanted to round up a few healthy and super easy snack ideas that you can integrate into your life right away.
When I started working on this post, I had a full list of snack ideas – but then I realized that while some are quick and homemade, others are straight from the grocery store – and even easier if you have busy lives and hectic schedules. I know I rely on the store quite a bit for snacks around our house.
With that in mind, here is a handy list of 21 snack ideas that are not only gluten-free and dairy-free, but are healthy AND store-bought.
- Coconut or almond milk yogurt – I like the So Delicious or Almond Dream brands
- Dried fruit or banana chips – Trader Joe’s has a great selection at decent prices!
- Raw or roasted nuts
- Nut butter packs – This brand is my fave!
- Fruit leather
- Popcorn (this is my favorite brand without any butter)
- Olives or pickles
- Crackers and hummus
- Gluten-free turkey jerky
- Sahale nut mix – You can even get this at Costco sometimes
- Tortilla chips + guacamole or salsa – The mini cups of guacamole from Costco are great for packing in a lunchbox or to take on-the-go
- Kettle brand potato chips – Maybe not an everyday snack, but still gluten-free
- Gluten-free pretzels – This brand is great!
- Kale chips – I tried these recently and really enjoyed them
- Apple chips
- Sugar snap peas – Get these in the produce department
- Granola – I like this brand
- Lara bars – Peanut butter chocolate chip is my son’s favorite
- KIND Bars (some varieties) – My husband lives for this flavor
- Rice cakes (plain or with nut butter or hummus on top)
- Applesauce pouches
You can see that some of these snack ideas are great for packing in a car or in your purse, while others are better to keep in your fridge for right before you want to eat them. Either way – there’s more than enough healthy snack options that you can get straight from the grocery store without having to do any extra work.
We try to keep Larabars, KIND bars, and applesauce pouchesin the trunk of our car for anytime snacks if we’re out of the house. Bonus points for these three since they easily fit in my pockets while hiking! Honestly, it makes the world of difference just simply being prepared for healthy snacking than having nothing ready for you when you need it.
>> GFDF Buying Tip: I buy all three of these: Larabars, KIND bars, and applesauce pouches through Amazon’s Subscribe & Save service every month so I never have to check if we need any at the store – they show up automatically on our doorstep!
I hope if you’ve been on the hunt for some healthy gluten-free and dairy-free store bought snack ideas, that this list has been useful for you!
Now it’s your turn – tell me in the comments below what YOUR favorite GFDF store bought snack is?
Want more tips on eating a gluten-free dairy-free diet? Be sure to sign up for the FREE GFDF Lifestyle Course by clicking here or the image below!
I got an email last week from someone asking me if there was a certain way to go about making a transition to a gluten-free dairy-free diet and lifestyle any easier.
At first, I couldn’t come up with much to say. The truth is when anything is brand new, it’s going to take some getting used to before things start to feel easier.
I have a friend who recently discovered a peanut and tree nut allergy with her child and we were talking the other day about how hard it is to know where to start. It’s overwhelming no matter what foods you’re giving up, because the rules of what you’ve always known about eating (and feeding your kids) all of a sudden change in an instant.
All of a sudden, you have to read all ingredient lists on packaged foods and especially for someone with an allergy (which I don’t have), you cant even always trust those to be 100% honest and accurate. You have to go above and beyond to make sure your family not only healthy, but happy about what they’re eating too.
There is a definite learning curve, but the ways that you can make a gluten-free dairy-free life easier on yourself when you’re starting out. Here are the few ways that I came up with to answer that question of how can this possibly be made easier?
1. Clean out your kitchen of any foods containing gluten and dairy.
Go through all items in your pantry, fridge and freezer and read ingredient lists to find the lurking gluten and dairy. Donate the unopened food to a food bank or gift them to friends.
2. If you have other family members who will continue eating these foods, make separate areas for GFDF-friendly food and other foods.
Mark off the foods that are yours so that your other family members know not to eat them and save them for you. (Find more info on how to live with someone who can eat foods that you can’t here)
3. Restock your fridge with healthy choices and gluten-free dairy-free friendly foods.
Once you have the foods removed that you aren’t going to be eating anymore, the next step is to restock with foods that you CAN eat. Have these foods on hand so you don’t feel tempted to eat things that aren’t going to make you feel good. Stick to whole foods and simple meals.
Check out my full blog post on how to stock your GFDF fridge.
4. Restock your pantry with naturally gluten-free dairy-free options – and some GFDF alternatives that you cant live without.
There are many foods that you will be able to continue to eat that are naturally GFDF-friendly like rice, quinoa, oatmeal, and all nuts and seeds. You can use this shift to a new diet and lifestyle as an opportunity to shift your diet to an overall healthier one. Seek out some alternatives that you cant live without (or just plain don’t want to) like gluten-free noodles and bread.
Check out my full blog post on how to stock your GFDF pantry.
Get more tips and strategies for going gluten and dairy-free with the GFDF Lifestyle Course. Enter your details below for instant access!
5. Find replacements for some of your favorite recipes.
One big thing that was overwhelming for me when I started eating gluten-free and dairy-free was feeling like I was giving up some of my favorite dishes, especially comfort foods. Do yourself a favor when you’re just getting started and find replacement recipes for your favorites so you know what ingredients to have on hand when you want to make these dishes.
6. Seek out a handful of go-to gluten-free dairy-free friendly cookbooks.
Having cookbooks on hand that are full of recipes that you know are 100% safe for your new GFDF lifestyle is beyond helpful. Do some research to find a few cookbooks that have dishes that look good to you – and also look easy enough for you to make and actually follow. It’s worth it’s weight in gold when you don’t have to go searching around on a weeknight or scouring Pinterest to find recipes that suit your new diet. A few of my favorite go-to recipes are: The Healthy Gluten-Free Life and The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook.
Another great place to look for cookbooks is on my weekly cookbook deals page.
7. Start menu planning.
If you aren’t already a menu planner, now is the time to pick up this good habit. Thinking ahead for meals will not only help you be more organized, but will make shopping easier. Plus you’ll be less likely to ditch your GFDF diet and lifestyle out of frustration for something easy (and not great for you) like picking up drive through or or ordering takeout.
Heres a sample menu plan that I used over the winter months.
It’s not always easy to get started with any new lifestyle and diet change, but with a little purging, restocking, and preparing ahead of time, it can be a lot more straightforward than you think. Once you get into the swing of this new way of eating and living even after a few weeks, it will begin to feel like second nature to you and you’ll wonder how you struggled at all.
What has your experience been like? What other tips do you have (or are looking for) when it comes to making this transition to gluten-free dairy-free living easier?
This has been one long winter in the Seattle area. I feel like its been ages since weve had warm weather and havent had to bundle and layer up to go outside to play. Even though I look forward to fall every year, come this time of year the dragging on days of winter Im itching to swap the sweaters and blankets for shorts and sprinklers.
The one saving grace of the lingering winter is the food. While, spring and summer have amazing fruits and veggie-based dishes, I always count on the cold months of fall and winter always to get my fill of big flavors and hearty meals.
Even as the the season is ending in a few weeks (I hope!!), I thought it would be fun to round up some delicious recipes for soups, stews and chilis that are gluten-free dairy-free. And of course, if youre like me, you still eat some of these foods year round, because theyre just too good to keep for only half the year.
Ive separated these soup recipes out into categories of chicken, beef, ham/bacon/pork, vegetable, and 20-minute soups. Depending on what you have around the kitchen or how much time you have, I hope you find this list useful.
Gluten-free Dairy-free Chicken Soups
- Cream of Chicken Soup
- Easy Chicken & Rice Soup
- Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup
- Avocado Chicken Soup with Lime & Cilantro
- Chicken Detox Soup
- Gluten-free Chicken & Dumplings
- White Bean Chicken Chili Soup
- Turmeric Chicken No-Noodle Soup
- Gluten-free Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe
- Gluten-free Chicken Noodle Soup
Gluten-free Dairy-free Beef Soups
- Easy Crockpot Chili
- Old Fashioned Vegetable Soup
- Tender Beef Stew with Potatoes and Carrots
- Beef Stew
- Gluten-free Beef Chili
- Nightshade-free Vegetable Beef Soup
- Tomato-free Chili
- Paleo Sweet Potato Chili
- Hamburger Soup
- Ground Beef Curry
Gluten-free Dairy-free Ham, Bacon and Pork Soups
- Potato Bacon Corn Chowder
- Creamy Sweet Potato Bacon Chowder
- Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup with Ham
- Ham and Pinto Bean Soup
- Creamy Cauliflower & Ham Soup
- Creamy Potato and Ham Soup
- Ham & Bean Soup
- Best Ever Chorizo & Vegetable Stew
- Crock Pot Chili Verde Recipe
- Healthy Pulled Pork Soup
Gluten-free Dairy-free Vegetable Soups
- Roasted Cauliflower and Potato Soup
- Sprouted Vegetable Soup
- Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup
- Vegan Cream of Tomato Soup
- Roasted Veggie Soup
- Crock Pot Potato Soup
- Easy Veggie Cabbage Soup
- Dairy-free Crockpot Broccoli Potato Soup
- Copycat Panera Breads Autumn Squash Soup
- Creamy Vegan Tomato Basil Soup
Gluten-free Dairy-free 20-Minute Soups
- Lemony Chicken and Orzo Soup
- Egg Drop noodle Soup + Kimchi Sauce
- Curried Pumpkin Coconut Soup
- Spiced Creamy Broccoli Soup
- Spicy Chickpea and Tomato Soup
- Carrot & Coriander Soup
- Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Easy Thai Green Curry with Shrimp
- Speedy Pea & Broccoli Soup
- Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Greens
If you’ve found this post useful or would love to save this information for later, be sure to share it out on Pinterest here!
If you’re going dairy-free, one of the first things you know is off the table is cow’s milk. If you never were a big milk fan, this probably isn’t too difficult for you to adopt. However, if you love to drink milk, use it in a lot of cooking, or eat cereal regularly, giving up milk can become a pretty big challenge.
Even if you have to give up cow’s milk (or any other dairy milk), there are milk options for you! They all have their own pros and cons nutritionally, and I’ll do my best to outline some of the most popular dairy-free alternatives here in this blog. By the end of this post, you’ll hopefully be setup to try a few new plant-based milks that are not only good for you, but taste good and are a wonderful addition to your dairy-free cooking.
Before I get into the specifics of the dairy-free alternatives that are available to you, let’s first talk about milk in general.
One thing that many women worry about when going dairy-free is where their calcium will come from if they cant enjoy milk, cheese, or yogurt anymore. And while I totally love the enthusiasm to keep your calcium levels high and your body healthy, we don’t actually NEED cows milk products to get our calcium needs every day. There are loads of other high-calcium foods that we can eat in order to get our daily requirements like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and kale. Eat more greens and don’t worry so much about getting that calcium.
You might also worry about getting enough protein if you give up drinking milk regularly. Of course, this is something to consider – but you can also get adequate protein from other sources. Meat, the most obvious source, is a great way to get your protein. But other foods like eggs, almonds, oats, peas, quinoa, and even broccoli provide protein. Check out this great list of high-protein dairy-free foods as well. This is another great resource on vegan protein sources as well.
Now, onto the topic of dairy-free milk alternatives. One thing to take note of is that all of these “milks” don’t really come from nature. We’re creating them in our kitchens or companies are manufacturing them. That means that in order to keep them shelf stable (and even tasting decent sometimes), you’ll find a lot of extra sugar, preservatives, and artificial ingredients thrown into the mix.
When you’re choosing a dairy-free milk alternative for yourself and your family from the grocery store, look for the ones with the least amount of ingredients, thickeners, sugars, preservatives, and artificial ingredients included. This is where knowing how to read ingredient lists is super important! The healthiest option will always be the unsweetened and plain varieties.
With all that out of the way, let’s go into details of what the most popular dairy-free milk options are – and some of the pros and cons of each.
6 Popular Dairy-free Milk Alternatives
Pros: Naturally sweet, nutty and very palatable compared to other dairy-free milks. Great source of calcium, potassium, manganese, magnesium, vitamin E, copper and selenium. It’s naturally low in saturated fat and has no cholesterol.
Cons: Doesn’t hold up well to heat during cooking – the flavor shifts substantially in my opinion. Manufacturers tend to additionally fortify this milk with vitamin D and calcium to make it match cow’s milk – even though the body doesn’t readily absorb these nutrients than when it occurs naturally.
Pros: Neutral coconut taste that can used in sweet or savory dishes, and palatable on its own. Good source of saturated fats and antioxidants. Coconut milk is said to contain antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal elements to boost your immune system.
Cons: Often contains additional gums, thickeners, binders, and additives like guar gum, xanthan gum, and carrageenan. Canned coconut milk is often lined with BPA.
Pros: Good source of protein, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. High in Omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids, low cholesterol, and a similar texture to cow’s milk.
Cons: The flavor is very “grassy” and isn’t very neutral tasting in many dishes. More expensive and harder to find.
Pros: A tasty alternative that is great on its own or in cooked dishes. Good source of B vitamins and antioxidants. No saturated fat or cholesterol.
Cons: Not a good source of calcium or protein. Since it is so starchy, it is high in carbohydrates and therefore not great for diabetics or those watching their blood sugar. Rice contains arsenic and many are concerned that drinking too much will bring about health effects.
Pros: Good source of protein, no cholesterol or saturated fat. Is a popular dairy-free option and therefore readily available in many grocery stores and restaurants. Palatable and neutral flavor.
Cons: Concern over presence of phytoestrogen in excess that can cause an estrogen overload in the body. Is especially of concern to those who deal with any sort of thyroid issues, allergies, and reproductive issues.
Pros: Sweet, creamy flavor that is quite palatable and a neutral flavor. Great source of calcium and healthy fats. Low in saturated fat.
Cons: Not as easy to find in grocery stores (yet!).
With a full rundown of what your options are, here are a few additional tips on choosing a dairy-free milk alternative that’s right for you:
6 Tips for choosing a dairy-free milk alternative that’s right for you
1. Always check ingredient lists.
Check out and compare the nutritional value between brands and milks – and settle on the one that gives you the most bang for your buck. Look for the milks that offer the most protein, calcium, and not a ton of additional fortifying ingredients. We like our food as close to real as possible to keep us healthy. Look out for carrageenan (a known carcinogen) and additional artificial additives.
2. Unsweetened is always better than sweetened or vanilla varieties.
The unsweetened versions of all these milks are way better for you than the sweetened or vanilla versions. And if it comes in chocolate variety thats not as great for you either if were talking about sugar consumption.
3. Choose refrigerated over shelf-stable.
The refrigerated versions have a shorter shelf-life which indicates less artificial ingredients than the shelf-stable variety youll find in the aisles.
4. Choose a dairy-free milk alternative that suits your specific cooking or drinking needs.
Find a dairy-free milk alternative that suits what you’re looking to do with it. Almond milk doesn’t heat well in my experience – the flavor changes too much for my palate. Hemp milk has a very nutty – almost grassy – flavor. Soy milk tastes a little like beans (well, it is made from them..) in its aftertaste. Rice milk is pretty sweet and holds up to the heat of baking. Coconut milk is really creamy. Almond milk is more on the sweet side. Depending on whether you’re drinking it straight, adding it to a bowl of cereal, or cooking with it – choose a different milk for each of your needs.
5. Try all the options and see what you like the best.
There are plenty of pros and cons nutritionally, but in the end, if you don’t like the flavor, you won’t enjoy drinking it or cooking with it. Give them all a try over time and find the dairy-free milk that you enjoy the most.
6. Try your hand at making your own at home.
Every single one of these dairy-free milk alternatives I’ve described here can be made in your own kitchen with a little effort and time – and are extremely easy to make. All you need is a a few ingredients, a high-speed blender, and a cheesecloth or nut milk bag (to strain through the larger pieces). Try one of these recipes at home:
As you can see, there is a lot that goes into choosing a dairy-free milk that’s right for you. Do your research, spend time finding what tastes good and is good for you, and learn to live a lifestyle that includes the benefits of drinking (dairy-free) milk.
Today, I’m so excited to share something that I’ve put together for you.
One of the things that I’m constantly doing with this website is thinking through ways that I can be offering more content and information that can help you be successful in either starting out on a gluten-free dairy-free life or simply just being able to stick with it over the long haul.
I know it’s not easy, and one of the things that people ask me for ALL the time is for recipes. Honestly, when I get this request, I feel a little bit like I’m holding the weight of the world on my shoulders.
I know that I come up with my ownrecipes all the time. I know that I share about 1% of what I actually feed my family here on this blog… and honestly, it’s not because I’m shy. It’s because I simply just don’t have the time in my lifeto do it all RIGHT NOW.
But trust me, if I could be hanging out in my kitchen for hours at a time, while throwing recipes at you multiple times a week, and inspiring you with beautiful photos… I would!! With a busy toddler at home (who has nevernapped on his own during the day), it simply just isn’t happening for me. I feel like I barely get time in to write to you once a week.
This has left me over the past few months asking myself “how can I provide something valuable for this community while also not burning myself out creating recipes right and left?”
And I think I’ve finally come up with a pretty amazing solution. And a win-win for bothof us.
I’ve been a long-time user of Amazon products and as a proud affiliate,you probably see me link off to many of their products in blog posts all the time.
Honestly, I talk about them all the time – but Amazon has become one of my survival strategies not only in my GFDF shopping – but in everyday mom life. I buy everything from food to clothes to diapers to gifts on there.
One area that I’ve been overlooking that I can share with you is the plethora of cookbooks that are available on Amazon… and not only paid cookbooks, but FREE cookbooks.
Here’s the deal:Every week, loads of digital cookbooks go on sale through Amazon.com for FREE!
I’ve decided to put together a page here on my site that can become your go-to resource for finding cookbooks that are gluten-free and/or dairy-free friendly.
Now, not every book featured on the page will be BOTH gluten-free and dairy-free friendly – but many will. As long as you know the many names of gluten and dairy and know how to substitute ingredients, you’ll still find value in the books.
I plan to update this Cookbook Deals page every week (probably on Fridays) with the newest and most current free digital cookbooks that Amazon is offering. That way, if you’re in need of some new gluten-free dairy-free recipe inspiration, you can quickly and easily come over to my site – and click through the titles that look interesting to you.
You’ll see a full listing of featured books and when you click on any of the book covers,you’ll be able to read a full description for each book, read reviews, and download a completely free cookbook – just be sure to check that the deal is still going on. It will say the price of $0.00 before you checkout. If it doesn’t say that or is higher than $0.00 – the deal is over and you can either pay for it or move on to another free option on the page.
Ready to check out this week’s cookbook deals? Click here or the image below.
I hope that you’re as excited about this new feature as I am. I know that I get excited about getting free stuff – so I hope that if you’ve been on the lookout for recipes and cookbooks that will suit your GFDF lifestyle, that this is super valuable for you.
Wishing you the best!