So many people are struggling with allergies right now and with everything in bloom, it’s only natural to think that your symptoms are being caused by what is happening outside in nature.

While I don’t deny that all the pollen floating around may be contributing to your allergies, sometimes the foods you’re eating can be just as irritating as the pollen.

When I work with clients who have seasonal allergies, the food group that I most often see as an irritant is dairy.  If you are a dairy lover, that’s probably not what you want to hear, but sadly it’s true.

Milk, cheese, yogurt and ice cream – while these are all foods we know and love, the reality is they may not be loving us back.

The reason dairy could be making your allergies worse is because the milk protein, or casein, acts as an immune system irritant.  If you have seasonal allergies you already have an overactive immune system so every time you eat dairy it’s like pouring gasoline on a smoldering fire.

Even if you don’t have allergies, there are some pretty compelling reasons why you might want to consider eliminating dairy from your diet.  The most obvious one being that milk from conventionally raised cows is loaded with reproductive hormones, antibiotics, growth factors and chemicals.  In fact, some of these compounds are so inflammatory that they have been labeled as cancer causing ingredients.

I struggled with allergies for years and as much as I loved my cheese and yogurt, I had to ask myself why would I continue to drink or eat something that causes allergies, skin conditions, digestive disorders, and possibly even cancer?

My answer was clear and that’s when I decided to give up dairy.

That was ten years ago and back then there were not a lot of “dairy-free” products on the market.  Times have certainly changed and now you can walk into any grocery store and the options for plant-based milk, cheese, yogurt, butter and even ice cream are endless.  And I have to say, I’ve probably tried most of them!

In an effort to help you find the products that actually taste good, have healthy ingredients and are eco-friendly, I created a list of a few of my favorite plant-based milks, yogurts and cheeses.  Some of these companies also make vegan butter and plant-based ice cream.


Elmhurst Nut Milk – This company uses water to separate the nut so every one of their nut milks is free of emulsifiers and preservatives.  The consistency is creamy and you can really taste the nut flavor.

MALK – This small company was started by a mom whose son had dairy allergies.  They sell almond and oat milk and each variety is made with only 3 organic whole food ingredients – almonds or oats, water and pink sea salt.  They do have a vanilla flavor which uses organic vanilla beans for flavor.

Oatley – This Swedish company produces oat milk because it has the smallest impact on the environment.  They use certified gluten free oats.  Oat milk is a great choice for someone who has a nut allergy.

Ripple – I love this one because it contains pea protein powder which makes it super creamy and high in protein…8 grams/serving.  Other types of nut milk only have 1-2 grams of protein per serving.


Forager Project – All Forager yogurts are made with cashew milk which makes them extra creamy.  All of the ingredients are organic and grown on Forager owned farms in California.  My favorite is the unsweetened vanilla.

Kite Hill – This company has a variety of options in terms of base ingredients.  You can find coconut milk, almond milk and a greek-style yogurt made with almond and soy milk.

So Delicious – This coconut based yogurt uses organic coconuts and Non-GMO ingredients.  The consistency is thinner than some of the other brands, but it still tastes great.


Violife –  This is one of my favorites.  They sell sliced cheese, shredded cheese, cream cheese but my absolute favorite is the feta cheese.  It really does taste like the real thing.

Treeline – Treeline uses raw, unsalted, Non-GMO cashews as their base.  The rest of the ingredients are all whole food ingredients.  My favorite is their Herb Garlic Soft French-Style cheese.  YUM!

Miyokos – Miyoko Schinner, the founder of Miyokos, is a passionate vegan who has made it her mission to create a plant-based dairy industry.  Her company uses organic cashew milk and organic coconut oil to make their butter and cheese.

Whenever I buy a plant-based dairy product, I make sure that it’s made with whole food ingredients and no fillers.  I also like to choose the unsweetened version because even though these products are plant-based, they still use cane sugar as a sweetener and I definitely want to avoid that.

Aside from the obvious things like milk, cheese, yogurt and ice cream, dairy can be found in many packaged products as well.  Chips, crackers, dips, dressings, sauces and frozen meals can all contain some form of dairy so be sure to check the ingredients before you buy something.

Transitioning to a dairy-free lifestyle can be as gradual as you want it to be.  Start simple and pick one item to eliminate.  Try that for a week or two and when that feels easy, add another one and keep going until you are completely dairy-free.

Ultimately, we look to food to sustain our health and our happiness.  Once you have a better understanding of what you are putting in your body, you will have a better relationship with your food and then you will begin to love the foods that love you back. 😉

As always, I am here for you if you have questions or need support in any way.

Take care and have a beautiful day!