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College, as many of us know, is full of bad decisions. We have excessive amounts of drinking, partying, and getting ourselves into one of a million situations, which of course is all very fun! I'm sure that all of us can agree that the best parts of those nights, after multiple hours of shaking what our mama’s gave us, is ordering a nice, drunk, 2 AM pizza. The greasy, yummy cheese just melting in our mouths with a nice thick and crunchy crust to top it all off. Sounds nice right? Thinking about it right now? Well, yeah me too, except I can not enjoy the image as much as you because I am dairy free. This was a choice I made, and honestly, I question why I do it sometimes. I mean who can resist a good late night pizza?! Tempting as it is, it is not only a task I complete everyday, but a goal of mine.

I have always been very into fitness and dieting for practically as long as I can remember. I would try different recipes, (or as my family called them, concoctions) workout videos and crazy HIIT workouts. They are all great, believe me! I wanted to challenge myself though and decided to cut out a major love in my life, dairy. This means NO cheese, NO ice cream, NO milk, NO butter, basically, nothing containing milk coming from another animal. Crazy right? I think so too! In all honesty, this seems like a very tough task to take on, especially in college, but there are millions of dairy free options out there. One of my favorites being the Ben and Jerry's Dairy Free ice cream flavors. They have your classic Cookies and Milk, Peanut Butter and Cookie, and even Netflix and Chill! My next favorite dairy free item would probably have to be sour cream. I have always been a huge fan of a quality quesadilla. All the cheese, rice, beans if you are feeling it and then to top it off with loads and loads of sour cream. Before doing my research and looking through grocery stores, I had no idea that the selection of dairy alternatives were as great as they are. You can get anything from pizzas, cream cheese, cookie dough, butter, cheesecake, you name it! Fortunately for us University of Delaware students, the Natural Foods has an entire selection of pre-made vegan desserts! For those that have kitchens, there are many ways that you can make a creamy queso at home for Taco Tuesday, or chocolate covered strawberries for a night in with the girls. The best part about this is that today majority of individuals have social media or some connection to the internet. Scroll through Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, I promise you that you will find things you can make dairy free that you never imagined!

To wrap things up, I wanted to note that this article in no way is trying to convince you to go dairy free. It is a huge challenge and one that takes a lot of time and effort, especially when planning and creating meals. My personal experience going dairy free has been a positive one for sure. I feel less bloated, more energized and makes me feel more motivated in the sense that I am challenging myself to give up something that I once loved very much! I look at this challenge that I have gotten myself into and am proud of myself that I have chosen to make a difference in my life. This is honestly an everyday goal of mine not only in the food choices I make, but in how I want to take on the day. I guess a question I am now asking to all of you now is, what are simple, everyday tasks you complete that challenge you and make you proud of yourself at the end of the day?

Corryn Monaco is currently a junior at the University of Delaware with a major in Psychology and a minor in Sports Management. She enjoys an active lifestyle full of trips to the gym, water sports, and a relaxing day at the beach!
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