I Swore Off Dairy For 7 Years. Here's Why It's Now A Staple In My Fridge

Although I'm a wellness blogger, I haven't always been passionate about healthy eating and, like many of us, grew up on fast food and processed junk. About seven years ago, I decided I wanted to change my eating habits and, ultimately, my life. These three big changes, made up of many small decisions, have helped me cultivate the life of my dreams:

1. Create a fitness regimen—and stick to it!

One of the first changes I made was dedicating more time to fitness. I took up running and soon fell in love with the sport.

2. Pay attention to food, both the ingredients and the quality.

I quickly learned how big an impact nutrition has on all forms of fitness performance and how crucial it is to provide my body with proper nutrients, especially while I train for marathons. Food is fuel.

Now, more than ever, I'm conscious of the foods I consume and prepare for my family. We choose to follow a vegetarian diet in our home and pay close attention to ingredients when choosing dairy options.


3. Incorporate dairy back into my diet.

For many years we avoided dairy because it was so hard to find products with quality ingredients. But now, Arla cream cheese is a staple in our refrigerator. It's so refreshing to see companies that care what they're feeding their consumers and show that using minimal ingredients (just four ingredients in Arla original cream cheese!) doesn't mean you have to sacrifice taste! My husband and son share my love for this product—it's become a go-to in our home.

So, how does our vegetarian, active family stay fueled in a healthy, mindful way? Keeping reliable staples on hand is a big part of it! Here are the items we always have nearby:

1. Arla cream cheese

My son Charlie is a huge fan of toast or graham crackers with Arla cream cheese and berries; sometimes I even add a little raw honey and hemp hearts. My husband Jim loves it as a spread on his egg sandwiches (plus some avocado, tomato, and arugula…YUM!)

2. Hummus

Another favorite staple of ours is hummus. Jim and I are both Middle Eastern, and hummus is something we've enjoyed since we were kids—it's just so delicious when paired with fresh veggies.

3. Kombucha

Kombucha is something else we always have in the fridge and that I enjoy daily. Probiotics play a huge role in helping with my digestive issues and even complexion. Happy gut, happy life!

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