Monday, January 18, 2016

In Other Words, Go Dairy Free

For those of you who seek out a dairy free lifestyle, many of you are apt to find Alisa Fleming or her links to Go Dairy Free along your searches. I have to admit, I have been a silent fan of Alisa's for awhile-she is a Contributing Editor for Allergic Living Magazine and I was honestly a tiny bit star struck when I met her at the Food Allergy Bloggers Conference in 2014. (Gasp! Am I a stalker? Am I a food allergy stalker?....maybe, but always in a polite, professional way).

Stalker Turned Reviewer This year when I saw Alisa at the Food Allergy Blogger Conference, she asked if I would mind reviewing her book Go Dairy, YEAH!! I was more than honored and so, stalking may have it's advantages. I brought it back with me, I was excited and thrilled and then the holidays came and the kids were home for two weeks so the poor book sat in my office, alone, in the dark. Luckily, dairy free books don't go bad when left unattended.

I Finally Read it! I have to say, upon first opening the book, I felt a bit overwhelmed but how much information she included. It's a lot- like, a lot. Then I realized that this is exactly how I work - I want everyone to have more than enough information. I want everyone to know that their food allergies are not uncommon or something that is not as difficult as they are thinking it is going to be. So after that occurred to me, I knew that I would like this book because her passion is my passion. 
  • Her Story- This is the first portion of Alisa's book and I instantly bonded with it since it was so close to what I had gone through with my undiagnosed symptoms a few years back. I cannot express how important those two pages are to people who have been struggling with symptoms and doctors and ailments that seemed as if they were unanswerable. Especially when people cannot pinpoint their allergies with their symptoms, sometimes all they need is to hear that other people are going through the exact same things as they are.
  • Milk/Milk Alternatives- An entire section that goes into complete detail on all of the different types of milk and milk products. Alisa discusses the importance of each, how the benefits differ, the importance of dietary changes for behavior and disease prevention and why some of these products may or may not be safe to include in your dairy free choices. I personally love that she addresses the positive changes that can be seen by transitioning to a dairy free lifestyle because often times, I feel there is more of an emphasis on options versus valid reasons that foods can revamp your health.
  • Calcium and Nutrient Supplementation- Again, very important to have for those newly diagnosed or those looking to make a dietary change the proper way. The last thing that anyone needs is to begin a new food lifestyle and not continue to receive the proper nutrients and benefits of the foods that they are no longer including. The trick is not in the foods that you cannot have but in the foods that you can have. This paired with specific dietary tables that can quickly answer all of those people who ask "But where do you get our calcium from?!" 
  • Eating, Eating and More Eating- When anyone changes their diet, they all have fears of how to safely adhere to the new foods while also going about their everyday lives. Go Dairy Free has information on all of what you will need- dining out, eating on the go, having meals with friends and family and even how to handle school situations (those dreaded class parties!). Shopping lists also included to keep you safer. Besides- having food limitations should not mean that you are eating less- you should be eating more.
  • Multiple Dairy Free Options- Countless dairy free options and it also includes recipes on how to make your own. I do admit- I have never tried to make my own and I am your typical "I want to go to the store and buy it" on a few of my products but I'm now thinking about it. Alisa also made sure to include the taste, the uses and tips for purchase and storage of each milk substitute. 
  • Cheating and Spreading the Love- I have been a long time supporter and advocate of utilizing different oils to add as a dietary supplementation. I am also a visual person who loves to see simple explanations literally right in front of me. I highly recommend that you check out the chapter that explains oils, supplementation and the easy to use tables simplifying exactly when and how to use them. Also included are multiple recipe ideas for dairy free spread options to use in place of butter. Another point that I cannot repeat enough- rethink your foods and how to use them so the idea of spreads made me smile.
  • From Soup to Nuts- This book has nine chapters of dairy free recipe ideas- nine! Whether it be a pick food, a brunch idea, a fast snack or a full recipe, these chapters cover just about everything that anyone would need as a starting point. The only thing left to do is to figure out which recipe you would want to try out first. Gosh Alisa, could you maybe offer to stop by our house and make one of these bad boys for us? 
...My Only Dislike- No pictures, just the cover photo which is a total tease. Don't get me wrong- I understand how time-consuming adding a ton of photos would have been but in the era of visual people, I think photos would have topped the cake. I don't mean this as a negative at all and I hope Alisa understands that it's not meant as as such. I mean, have you seen the pictures on her website???? Mouth-watering. For a fast example, this is what I'm talking about:

photo courtesy Go Dairy Free Facebook page

Not the End, the Beginning I would be utterly surprised if someone were to tell me that they didn't find this book helpful. Every type of meal needed, every step to an easy dairy free life handed to you in one book. This was obviously written by a woman who wants everyone to have everything at their fingertips all in one spot. As with many other things that happen along the way, food allergies are a journey and a hidden blessing. A diagnosis is not the end of anything- it is always the beginning of a healthier you. What better way to have someone hold out their hand to help than Alisa Fleming and her Go Dairy Free book.



  1. Wow Tracy, this is so wonderful and unexpected! The detail is awesome. Thank you for the kind words and for taking so much time. On the pictures, I've definitely heard it :) But, it actually isn't the time involved, rather the cost. For full color, the book list price would go up to $25 to $30. I wanted it to be as affordable as possible for as many people as possible, so we did black and white. Also, I'm the odd one out to say this, but I USE black and white cookbooks far more than color ones. I don't need a picture to tell me what a banana muffin should look like, I'd rather have a very well-tested recipe than a pretty picture. So it isn't a high priority for me. I guess you could call me a "Joy of Cooking" or "Alice Waters" type of cookbook fan!

    1. Either way, I can feel the passion and effort you put into this book :)


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