Naturally Better Breathing…And a Recipe for a Vegan Chocolate Shake
I had asthma.
Now I don’t. Or at least I don’t struggle with the need for daily medications and too-frequent courses of steroids.
Now I can run 10 miles without an inhaler. I can get a cold and just have a cold.
What was the miracle that made these changes in my health? Changing my diet, of course!
My whole life, I struggled with asthma. I went to lots of doctors as a child. I took daily inhalers. Two or three times a year, I had to take prednisone to get my breathing under control. I didn’t outgrow it. Even though I exercised regularly and ate a somewhat healthy vegetarian diet, my symptoms continued.
When I was pregnant with my first son, 10 years ago, I took part in a research study to look into the effects of asthma medication in pregnancy.
Then, my son developed food allergies. Because I was nursing, I also gave up milk and eggs, changing my vegetarian diet to a vegan one. At first, I didn’t even notice that my breathing was better. It wasn’t until a co-worker told me that her doctor suggested she give up dairy for her asthma that I realized I had not had a problem in months!
I have followed a vegan diet ever since. I had a vegan pregnancy. I have not had to take prednisone even once since I made these dietary changes over 8 years ago. I feel strong and healthy. An added bonus was that my cholesterol levels also went down due to my new lifestyle.
I am not a doctor or a scientist. I can only tell you that in my personal experience, changing my diet, by eliminating all dairy products, in particular, changed my health and my well-being.
How hard is it to give up dairy? Way harder to gear up to do it, than it is in reality.
First of all, there are some really high-quality dairy substitutes out there that make it easy to enjoy your favorite recipes with just a little tweaking. Non-dairy “milks” made with soy, rice, nuts, oats, coconut and hemp are readily available. In the years that I have been vegan, there have been some amazing strides in non-dairy cheese alternatives, too.
Giving up dairy also gives you the chance to rethink favorite foods. If you need to make some adjustments to a recipe, you can re-evaluate to improve the wholesomeness of a favorite dish. Why not add in extra fruits, vegetables, whole grains or legumes to a beloved dish?
It is with that in mind, that I created this chocolate “milkshake.” I think quotes are necessary for a milkshake that contains neither milk nor ice cream, but does contain sweet potatoes!
Vegan Chocolate Shake
Makes 4 servings
1 cup sweet potato, baked, mashed and refrigerated
1 cup frozen pineapple
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
3 tablespoons date paste (pitted medjool dates either pre-soaked in hot water and pureed, or pureed with a little water)
2 cups non-dairy milk drink (I used unsweetened coconut milk beverage.)
1 cup ice, or more to taste
In a blender, combine all ingredients, except ice. Blend until well combined.
Add ice, and blend until thoroughly combined.
More vegan recipes to try:
Kim Lutz is the author of Welcoming Kitchen: 200 Delicious Allergen and Gluten-free Vegan Recipes. Kim is the co-author with Megan Hart, MS, RD, LD, of The Everything Organic Cooking for Baby and Toddler Book and The Everything Guide to Cooking for Children with Autism and the gluten-free, allergen-free, vegan website, welcomingkitchen.com.