Dairy-Free Product Discoveries

It’s been exactly 15 days since I started my dairy-free experiment. And I have to be honest, it’s going ok. I haven’t had any major moments of weakness or die-hard cravings. Of course, there’s always a part of me that wishes I never had to experiment in the first place. But it’s all good!

Anyways, I think it’s been going ok because of the great dairy-free product discoveries I’ve made. Of course, there is no good substitute for real cheese, but that’s the name of this game I suppose.

So let’s get started.

My beloved Silk Unsweetened Original Almond Milk

Silk Almond Milk

Technically this isn’t a new discovery but whatever. Coming from someone who used to drink 3-4 glasses of cow’s milk for the first 27 years of her life, you have to trust me when I say this stuff is good. BUT you do have to give it a fair chance. It doesn’t taste like regular milk, but when included in smoothies and other foods, you really can’t tell the difference. In fact, a year or so ago, I made our morning protein smoothie using regular cow’s milk and it tasted gross. Vishnu even went as far as saying it made him feel like he was going to vomit (just being honest!). So yeah, this is and has been my favorite dairy-free product for almost three years now. I love it!

SO Delicious Coconut Milk Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert (aka “ice cream)

So Delicious Ice Cream

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have already seen me profess my love for this stuff. It’s good. The flavor is absolutely spot on (at least the Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl was), but the texture isn’t as creamy as regular ice cream. But for someone who can’t/isn’t eating dairy, this is a great little find. You may or may not find yourself standing in front of the fridge, spoon and container in hand, swearing to eat only a little bit only to find that you finished off whatever was left. Again, you may or may not find that to be true…

Trader Joe’s Vegan Mozzarella Style Shreds

TJs vegan shreds

I love love love cheese. Almost as much as I love chocolate. So I had pretty high (and probably unfair) expectations for this “cheese.” When I tried it straight out of the bag, I didn’t like it at all. But obviously wanting to make it work, I used it later that night on some eggplant “pizzas.” And honestly, it was ok. It melted nicely (almost too nicely) and was gooey in texture. And while it didn’t taste like mozzarella cheese, it had a nice buttery flavor to it. I’m not sure if I’ll be buying this brand again. I think I want to try some other “cheeses” first. Or maybe even make my own. (Please feel free to recommend your favorite “cheese” in the comments section.)

 SO Delicious Coconut Milk Creamer

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We don’t drink a lot of coffee at home, but when we do, both Vishnu and I like to add a touch of cream to it. And put simply, this creamer does the trick. It doesn’t have an overwhelming coconut flavor to it, it’s thick and creamy…what more do you want!

Cashews

Cashews

Cashews are obviously not a non-dairy product per se. BUT, when you’re making your own food substitutes at home, this particular nut is great to have on hand. Now, I have to say that cashews are probably my least favorite nut. But for some reason, when soaked and blended together with a bunch of other ingredients, they are the perfect base to delicious sauces and even cheesecakes (I have yet to make a raw cheesecake but have tried Robin’s creations). I made this sauce last week and put it on everything…literally. My favorite way to use it is as a cheese substitute on nachos. SO SO GOOD! I ate said nachos at least five times between last week and this week.

If you have any favorite non-dairy product and/or recipes, PLEASE share in the comments section. 

Three Things Thursday – 2

I think I’m going to make ‘Three Things Thursday’ a regular weekly post.  I love sharing things about my week I would otherwise never write about!  I tend to be more of a topic blogger, but with this particular kind of post, I feel like I’m sharing a special (albeit random) glimpse of my life.

With that, here are this week’s three (totally random) things…

1. Niel (my brother-in-law) and his girlfriend are visiting us this weekend!  I’m so happy he made the spontaneous decision to fly down because he’s the only one who hasn’t been to our place in Miami.  Niel came down for a soccer game right after we got married, but that doesn’t count in my mind because we were living in a not-so-happening part of Fort Lauderdale at the time.  I’m thinking a beach day is definitely in order this time around, along with other fun activities/restaurants/etc.

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BROTHERS!

2. I got a hair cut.  While this isn’t normally newsworthy in any sense of the word, I had to mention it because I got 5 (ish) inches chopped off.  My hair hasn’t been this short in over two years, and I’m absolutely loving it.  I even asked for long bangs (who am I?!). 

Please ignore the fact that I’m terrible at taking these kinds of pictures (and my crazy eyes!).  I don’t have another one to share, and my hair has been in a bun all week because of the rainy weather (go figure!).

hair cut

Short(er) hair + an amazing straightner = a few extra minutes of sleep!

3. The Mindy Project will be airing six additional episodes this season!  I believe they only had 15 scheduled at the beginning of season 3, and as a hardcore fan, this was VERY disappointing.  When I saw the following update on my Facebook feed, I texted Thea right away, as she is the one person who knows and understands my obsession with this show!

If you don’t watch already, I highly recommend you jump on the bandwagon!

Mindy
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Your turn to share – I want to know 3 Things that you’ve been thinking/doing about this week! If you’re a blogger, write a post and link back to one or all of the hostesses; Raj from Pink Chai Living, Nisha from Love Laugh Mirch, or Salma from The Write Balance.  Then share a link to your post (not your blog’s home page). Feel free to use the 3 Things badge in your post.

Half Marathon Training (Week 3) and Why I Run

I feel like the theme of this half marathon is going to end up being “it didn’t go as planned but it went.”  Like in week two, I had to make some adjustments, but in the end, it all worked out.  Maybe even better than expected.

Here’s what week three looked like…

Sunday – Rest
Monday – 3.5 mile treadmill run
Tuesday – Full body dumbbell circuit + a brisk 25 minute walk
Wednesday – 3 mile run
Thursday – Rest
Friday – Unintentional rest day
Saturday – 6 mile run

The absolute highlight of this week was my long run on Saturday.  Because of an unforeseen event, I had to push my run back to 3 pm.  Now for those of you who aren’t familiar with S. Florida weather, this was a very risky move on my part.  Even in November, it’s very hot and slightly humid in the afternoons.  I was honestly dreading every step.

Well, it just so happens that I had nothing to fear.  It was super hot earlier in the day, but by the time 3 pm rolled around, it was slightly cooler and less humid.  I was able to run the entire 6 miles without stopping at a 9:41 pace!  And I felt solid the entire time.  This is totally unheard of for me!  While I’m choosing not to focus on time too much, I’m excited to see if/how I improve over the next few weeks.

Vishnu cracked up as soon as I walked in the door because I left the apartment with a “I HAVE to run 6 miles and it’s gonna suck” attitude and came back with a huge grin on my face and tons of energy.  Go figure!

Why I Run

While running sans music/podcast this past Monday, I thought about why I subject myself to running and everything that comes with it.  And after 3.25 miles of thinking, I think I nailed down the answer.  I’m in control when I run.  I decide how far and how fast I go.  I can lace up my shoes and take off pretty much whenever I want.  If a run doesn’t go as planned, I have to take responsibility and figure out why.  I don’t have to rely on anyone else.  It’s all up to me.  This is why I run.

This answer is pretty much in line with my personality.  I am, what some would call, a control freak.  I like being my own fitness boss!

Why do you work out the way you do?

In case you’re interested, here are links to my weekly training recaps:

Week 1
Week 2