This post is sponsored, but even if it wasn’t, I’d still be a Dairy Girl 🙂
I have to admit, I love dairy foods. Always have. Yep, can safely say, I’m a dairy girl.
And I see dairy products as an irreplaceable component of my diet.
Milk, cheese and yoghurt are very often the ‘main event’ of a meal or snack in our house, and not just a component of a dish. We might have a yoghurt for breakfast, cauliflower cheese for lunch, or cheese and biscuits with a glass of wine for dinner, and a milky coffee as a mid-morning snack.
And while we are conscious of serving sizes and variety, we realise that dairy in itself is not the random culprit associated with weight gain, and that dairy provides healthy calories rather than those unhealthy calories associated with junk foods.
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Dairy is irreplaceable
Over the years I’ve heard lots of mixed messages about dairy products and to tell you the truth I haven’t always been a dedicated dairy girl.
Eat it, don’t eat it! Eat less, eat more! Bad for your cholesterol, even worse for your weight – and many other less specific reasons not to consume dairy have been bandied around during my lifetime.
Read more about dairy and your health, and some dairy myths here.
In recent years there’s been an upsurge in milk alternatives claiming to offer healthy choices and many fad diets which generate confusion.
But these days, for me, a life without dairy is dull and boring!
Yep, I’m a Dairy Girl!
Dairy is so often part of my favourite dishes, and sparks feelings of joy – because I know whatever I cook or produce, especially using cheese, will always be amazing. It’s a very forgiving ingredient and perks up many of my ‘bleuh’ dishes.
I cook a mean lasagne, thanks to cheese – just ask Dave 😉 In fact nobody (yet!) has ever turned up their nose at my cheese lasagne served with a large salad.
And let’s not forget the feta and avocado toasts we enjoy making, which are always associated with happy family brunches eaten on Sunday mornings in the kitchen with steaming mugs of tea and milky coffee along with lots of chat and banter – #LovinLife and ohh yes #Hygge!
Practical, Versatile and sometimes WOW!
I love dairy for its practicality and versatility – milk, cheese and yoghurt can be relied on not only to satisfy hunger but also to provide a boost of flavour or a ‘wow’ factor.
Dairy connects me to my past, my youth and my energetic country lifestyle.
It’s nostalgic in many ways because it’s been a constant in my life, often offering comfort.
Dairy in my diet connecting me to the past
In my very early days in England there was the daily dose of milk in little glass bottles at primary school. For a time I was a ‘milk monitor’ – this was a schoolyard ‘job’ which made me feel very important.
Dairy foods have been around during my best and happiest life experiences … from my show jumping days when lunchtime cheese sandwiches often went hand-in-hand with winning red rosettes.
On a social front dairy has always been part of celebrations – which brings back so many memories of sharing, bonding and connecting. Who can forget the 1970s party staple of cheese cubes and pineapple chunks on toothpicks stuck into an orange covered in tin foil?! We’ve come a long way since then!
Yoghurt appeared in my life sometime around my 14th year – and I loved it, but we were rationed because in those days it was considered an extravagant delicacy. These days you’ll always find healthy pots of yoghurt in our fridge, not just for breakfast but for making lovely creamy salad dressings too (I mix plain yoghurt with grainy mustard and a big squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice).
I think back to the indomitable cheese pizzas of my early twenties when parties were perfect and excitement ran high. I might also have discovered cider and found a steady boyfriend.
And as I get older I realise that osteoporosis is something to be very aware of, and I know that dairy could be my helping hand to staying upright as I age – not just protecting my bones but maintaining my muscles too.
So you see from the cradle, and most probably to my grave, dairy has been, and will be a component of my diet, my memories and my life.
At which point, I think it would be nice to recognise, and say, “Thank You” to the farmers and producers who make it possible for us to have access to and enjoy dairy every day.
In my eyes, they really are modern day heroes often working against the odds to provide our daily dose of dairy.
Did you know?
Milk, cheese and yoghurt are a rich source of calcium in the Australian diet, supplying over 40 per cent of the calcium we eat. While it is true that calcium is found in other foods, meeting calcium needs without dairy foods can be difficult. You need to consume 5 cups of cooked broccoli; 32 brussel sprouts; one cup of dry roasted almonds; or five cups of red beans to provide your body with the same amount of calcium as it will get from one 250ml glass of milk. You can find out some interesting facts about Calcium here.
So tell me – are you a Dairy Girl too?