Milk was the first thing I gave up, and it has been much easier than I thought. I haven’t been tested against ice cream yet, true, but I used to drink milk daily and I’m lucky to live in an age when there is great demand for vegan/vegetarian products and milk substitutes abound.
Much more difficult to kick has been the main source of my former milk consumption: caffeine. Coffee, espresso, tea — I love them all. Starbucks used to be reserved for emergencies and occasional treats until I got sucked into the gold card vortex last year.
I did try drinking caffeine-free herbal tea but it doesn’t satisfy in the morning. It’s too relaxing. I did reduce my consumption drastically — because reloading my card twice a month is not acceptable — but I feel like I’m giving up so much already, I’m just not ready to give up caffeine completely.
The switch to soy milk was easy. I actually prefer my lattes with soy milk, but that presented other problems. Lattes, and even good old-fashioned coffee, are already an expensive habit, but those assholes at Starbucks no longer give free soy milk to gold cardholders (what assholes!). I also just don’t want to consume that much soy. Soy seems to come up constantly in a vegetarian diet, I don’t want to drink it too.
I decided to try buying an espresso and adding my own almond milk, since it’s a good source of calcium. I DO NOT RECOMMEND IT. It wasn’t horrible, but that’s the best I can say about it.
Next I tried switching to black tea. I love a good English breakfast tea, but that was equally distasteful with almond milk. My first success came when I was poking around the office kitchen and I noticed the stash of earl grey. This is a combination I can stand behind, and it’s become my usual go-to when I feel like I need coffee. It’s great, too, because I don’t have to leave the office or pay for the tea.