I remember the day in the summer of 2005 I quit cow’s milk cold turkey like it was yesterday. I grew up like so many of us do loving all things dairy, especially cow’s milk! I don’t remember a single day of my life, prior to the day I quit, without cow’s milk in my cereal, tea or just as a drink. It actually even still seems funny to me to refer to it as ‘cow’s’ milk because it was just ‘milk’ to me…there was no other kind and it seemed abominable that people would drink anything else and refer to it as milk!
I was propped on the couch on that summer morning reading Marilu Henner’s Total Health Makeover and going over the chapter on dairy while having my usual cereal with milk. It was enlightening, educational and disgusting all at the same time to read about how milk is produced and how it’s one of the biggest allergens for most if not all people. As soon as I was done with my cereal, I began sneezing, producing phlegm and blowing my nose… and then… a light bulb went on in my head! It was so bright and the biggest aha moment I’ve ever had so far about being aware about what we put in our bodies and how it makes us feel. My blowing my nose, feeling stuffy and sneezing was as much a part of my morning routine as brushing one’s teeth might be. I realized in that moment that my morning fogginess was due to a milk allergy. I quit cold turkey that day and mornings are my absolute favorite time of day now! I feel the most mentally clear, awake and motivated to get it done in the am 🙂 Go me!
That day was the beginning of learning how to pay close attention to how the food I eat makes me feel, understanding where it comes from and how it’s processed. I went on to try many other kinds of ‘milk’ but have finally found my ‘happy place’ with my homemade raw almond milk recipe. There’s no doubt about what’s in it and it tastes divine. I use it in my smoothies, drink it plain or use it in any recipe in place of cow’s milk. Here’s the recipe…
- Soak 1 cup of raw organic almonds in 2 cups of water for about 5-8 hours
- Drain, rinse and peel the almonds.
- Blend the almonds with 3 cups of water and *2 dates for a hint of sweetness.
- Strain and store in an airtight, preferably glass container. This makes about 20 ounces of milk. Feel free to use more almonds or less water to produce a thicker milk. The milk should stay fresh for approximately 4 days.
*using dates is optional, I have only used dates a few times in my recipe and I don’t miss them if I don’t happen to have any in my kitchen. Other optional additions might be stevia and 1/2tsp of vanilla.
~A big shout out and thank you to my BFF for lending me Total Health Makeover by Marilu Henner~