What’s the Best Milk Alternative?

Many of us are deciding to give up cow’s milk. This could be because of allergies, intolerances or moving towards a vegan diet. Luckily, these days there’s a large variety of plant-based alternative milk products available in our supermarkets, but what type is best?

Cow’s Milk

Let’s first take a look at cow’s milk. It is widely available in supermarket shops and comes in three varieties – full fat, semi-skimmed and skimmed. Cow’s milk is a well-known source of calcium and protein as well as vitamins and minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, iodine and vitamin B12. Cow’s milk is not suitable for anyone with a dairy or lactose allergy or intolerance and reduction may be recommended for people suffering from skin conditions such as eczema (always seek advice of a dietician or nutritionist).

Soya Milk

Soya milk is made from hulled soya beans. It is close nutritionally to cow’s milk in terms of macronutrients – carbohydrates, protein and fat – however, it tends to be lower in calcium, iodine and B vitamins. Many varieties are fortified with these micronutrients so these are the best types to go for. This type of milk tends to be sweeter because it comes from a plant source so you don’t normally need to add extra sugar or sweetener. Soya milk is not suitable for anyone with a soya allergy or intolerance but is perfect for anyone who struggles with dairy. Soya milk is very versatile and can be added to tea, smoothies and cereal.

Hemp Milk

Hemp milk is made from hemp seeds which are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, protein and other nutrients. However, experts warn that the process of making hemp seeds into milk can strip many of the essential nutrients so it is best to find a fortified version. It does, however, contain high levels of protein and more essential fatty acids than soya milk. The good fats in hemp milk can help boost our cardiovascular health. Hemp is suitable for anyone with dairy or soya allergies or intolerances. Hemp milk can add a sweet nutty taste to tea or baking.

Oat Milk

Oat milk is made from oats which contains beta-glucan – this contributes to the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels. Oat milk naturally contains more B vitamins than soya milk and coconut milk but has lower levels of protein and other vitamins and minerals. While it is suitable for people with milk or soya issues, it may not be suitable for people with gluten allergies or intolerances or celiac disease. It’s good added to your baked goods.

Almond Milk

Almond milk is made from almonds which contains high levels of protein, fats and flavonoids. However, most almond milks are made with only 2% almonds so contains little almond and will not boast the large amounts of nutrients. There are many varieties out there which are fortified with vitamins and minerals. It is suitable for milk and soya allergy/intolerance sufferers but not for nut allergy sufferers. It adds a great nutty taste to cereals and smoothies.

Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is made from coconut cream. It probably has one of the lowest nutritional values out of all the milk alternatives. It contains almost no protein, higher amounts of fat (including saturated fat) and you would need to ensure that you get a fortified version to make up for the lack of nutrition. It also tends to be one of the most expensive. It is suitable for milk and soya allergy/intolerances but possibly not for nut allergies. It can be used for baking and making homemade curries.

Rice Milk

Rice milk is made from rice. It is the least likely to cause allergies as it contains no milk, soya and nuts. It doesn’t naturally contain good amounts of nutrients but is often fortified. It has a higher carbohydrate content so would not be suitable for diabetics. It’s texture resembles cow’s milk so is good in tea and smoothies.

Cashew Milk

Cashew milk is made from cashews and is one of the newer kids on the block. It is not naturally high in nutrients but is usually fortified. It has a creamy texture that is similar to cow’s milk and has a subtler taste than almond milk. It is suitable for milk and soya allergy/intolerance sufferers but not nut allergy sufferers. It is very versatile and can be included in tea, baking, cereals, smoothies, etc.

 

If you do decide to move away from dairy, seek the advise of a dietician or nutritionist and ensure that you find a brand that is fortified with vitamins and minerals to enure you’re not missing out on essential nutrients such as calcium and B vitamins.

Kinesiology

Do you suffer from low energy, sleep problems, stress, digestive issues, etc.? Well, let me introduce you to a therapy that could help you … Kinesiology.

Kinesiology

What is Kinesiology?

Kinesiology is a non-invasive alternative therapy which uses muscle testing to find imbalances in the client’s body. Muscle testing simply involves holding an arm or leg in a position that the kinesiologist requests i.e. straight up towards the ceiling (generally, these positions aren’t uncomfortable but you can tell the therapist if any are). The therapist will then push against the arm or leg while you try to resist it. If you’re able to resist it, it shows that the organ that this muscle’s energy system is connected to is balanced. However, if the therapist can move your arm or leg, it shows an imbalance. The kinesiologist will then investigate to find what the body needs in order to balance itself out. This could be nutrition (a deficiency in a vitamin or mineral), you need to release stress, you need a bach remedy or a food intolerance.

Kinesiology can help with the following issues:

  • Stress
  • Sleep problems
  • Digestive issues (i.e. food intolerances)
  • Pain
  • Tiredness and fatigue
  • Mental health (i.e. depression and anxiety)
  • General wellbeing

The kinesiologist will have vitamins, minerals and bach remedies to test. If you want to test for food intolerances, you will need to bring in a sample. This just needs to be a thimble-sized amount and I would suggest bringing it in a glass jar (not plastic as this could affect results). Vitamins, minerals, bach remedies and food will usually be placed on the stomach while the muscles are tested. The therapist will give you homework to help keep your body in balance. This may include a prescription of vitamins and minerals to take daily, relaxation techniques or food to avoid.

My Experience with Kinesiology

I decided to try out kinesiology after I’d heard about the possibility of getting some food tested for intolerances. I had already been tested for some intolerances with wheat being the main one that showed up but I thought I’d get it tested using kinesiology to see if it came up with the same results. I thought I’d also get milk tested. As far as I can tell, I’ve never had a problem with milk but I thought I’d get it checked to see if anything showed up. Another big reason I decided to get a kinesiology test was because in the week leading up to the test, I suddenly broke out in this skin rash on my arms and a little bit on my face. This was after starting a Marine Collagen supplement (which is meant to help improve skin quality). I thought I’d see if I could get this tested to see if this was the cause.

I went to Ashlins Natural Health Clinic in Walthamstow, East London for my kinesiology session. My therapist first had a little chat to discuss what problems I was having and what I would like to gain from the session. I had brought in a small sample of the intolerances for testing. I brought in a small jar of bread to test for wheat, a small jar of milk and the Marine Collagen supplements I had been taking. After a shot discussion, I slipped off my shoes and hopped onto the massage table.

Firstly, he tested me to see if I had any nutritional deficiencies. He did this by testing a muscle (asking me to clear my mind and study the pattern on the ceiling) to see if it goes weak then placing a small jar of a vitamin or mineral supplement on my stomach and testing the muscle again. If the muscle was weak before the supplement was put on my stomach then became strong when the supplement was in contact with me, it means that I need it. He then tested the muscle to see how many I need to take per day and wrote me a little prescription. Luckily, Ashlins sell all the vitamins and minerals at their reception so anyone who needs them can buy them there. He explained that I may only need to take these for a few weeks to balance me out with levels being adjusted or removed at a follow up session. He gave me a multi-vitamin to take immediately and checked my muscles again. I was now in balanced which prepared me for the next part.

He then went on to test the samples I brought in. He started off with wheat. He placed the jar of wheat on my stomach and tested my muscles. Everything apart from the muscle connecting to my brain went limp. As soon as he removed the wheat, I was back in balance. He had a small jar of ancient wheat which he decided to test on me to make sure I wasn’t just reacting to modern wheat. Same thing happened. He advised that I avoid all wheat – which I obviously have been doing already but it’s good to know that he’s in agreement. Next, he tested milk. Unlike the wheat, all my muscles remained strong which means I don’t have a problem with milk. He suggested that in a future, I could bring some cheese to get tested as some people can tolerate milk but not cheese. Finally, he tested the collagen supplements. It was exactly the same result as the wheat. It made me wonder whether my chronic dry skin – which never gets relief no matter what products I use – could be related to fish (I eat a lot of fish). I queried this with him and he suggested that I come back in a couple of days with some fish to get it tested.

I came back a couple of days later with a small jar of cooked salmon. After checking to see if I was in balance, he started to test the fish. He found that the muscles connected to my liver and my GI system went weak. He theorized that if salmon is causing my liver to be out of balance, that could explain my chronic dry skin. He also decided to test fish oil capsules on me. When I was a child, I took fish oil capsules on my mum’s request in order to get my Omega 3s. Unfortunately, the smell seemed to come through my skin so I constantly smelled of fish. Testing the fish oil capsules would show whether I am reacting to the fish itself or whether it could be a reaction to any toxins or pesticides that can sometimes get into fish depending on how it’s caught and farmed. When he tested the fish oils, the muscle connecting to my liver went weak. This shows that I clearly have a sensitivity to fish.

Overall, I have certainly found kinesiology very interesting. While it should always been warned that intolerance tests aren’t always accurate, the results seemed to make sense with what I already knew (with the wheat) and what I was suspicious of (fish). Since cutting out fish, my skin has greatly improved. I will certainly go back to get more food tested.

If you would like to find out more information about Kinesiology or any of the other therapies offered at Ashlins Natural Health clinic, check out their website: http://www.ashlins.co.uk

Recipe – Egg Substitute

With shows such as “The Great British Bake-Off” on television in recent years, the nation has been inspired to do more baking. But what do you do if you have an egg allergy or intolerance? Here is a recipe for an egg substitute I found in my research after I learnt I had an intolerance to egg and use it all the time when I bake. This recipe is for one egg:

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed (I get milled flaxseed)
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons of water

Method

  1. If you don’t have milled flaxseed; grind it to the consistency of cornmeal.
  2. Mix the flaxseed, baking powder and water in a bowl.
  3. Leave for about 10 minutes to let it congeal.
  4. Add to your baking as normal

sunp0002