“Everything catches up with you in the end”
What does Lisa Snowdon mean to you? She might have been the voice on your car radio on your morning commute, or your favourite contestant on the sixth series of Strictly Come Dancing. She was the red bikini clad woman from the Special K advert, the one-time face of Gucci and – as millennials will remember her – the supermodel judge on Britain’s Next Top Model.
‘My biggest achievement is not one single thing,’ says Lisa, 45, when healthy puts the question to her. ‘It’s the longevity I’ve had. To have had a such a varied career that’s lasted over 26 years is amazing. And I’m still doing it – broadcasting and a bit of modelling. I couldn’t pick out just one job because they’ve all been special and challenging in different ways.’
“I’ve seen my energy levels increase.” Lisa is ambassador for Dream dairy-free milks and, unlike some other celebrity endorsements, this one feels like a natural fit given Lisa’s lactose intolerance. ‘I found out a couple of years ago that I was lactose intolerant, so I’ve always been mindful of it as my stomach gets irritated. But recently I’ve cut it out completely and I’ve seen my energy levels increase, my stomach flatten and my skin improve. It just feels like everything’s working properly! I’m doing a 21-days-without-dairy challenge and I’d recommend it to everyone.’
While Lisa has always had a healthy attitude to food (‘10 portions of fruit and vegetables, lots of protein, just a good balanced diet really’), there’s no doubt it’s improved as she’s gotten older – and things like vegan alternatives have become much more widely available. She also likes to add in a few ‘trendy’ healthy ingredients like pollen and flaxseeds. ‘Even when I was modelling I never worried about weight loss,’ says Lisa. ‘I just ate what I wanted to eat within reason to sustain energy and feel good. I’ve never understood people who can follow strict diets. I didn’t think about it as much then but now I eat better, I’m more mindful about what foods serve my body well. I listen to what my body’s telling me.’ And, as she points out, ‘You know everything catches up with you in the end so why not just cut the rubbish out. If you want fast food, make yourself a healthy alternative!’
How to cut out dairy like Lisa
Nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert gives six easy everyday tips for going plant-free. Visit mydairyfreedream.com/21daychallenge for more recipes and ideas to go dairy-free for 21 days and to download your Dream Challenge pack
1 Swap cow’s milk for plant-based milk alternatives
This one is the most obvious, but not everyone realises that if a recipe calls for milk, it’s usually no problem to just replace it with your favourite non-dairy alternative. When it comes to things like tea, coffee and cereal, you may have to try a few types until you find the combination you like.
2 Swap mozzarella for grilled tofu
Cheese is definitely the most difficult thing to replace when you’re on a dairy-free diet, but grilled tofu mimics the chewy texture of mozzarella remarkably well. It won’t melt though, so use it on things like sandwiches and stick to specialty non-dairy ‘cheese’ for meals like pizza.
3 Swap butter spread for avocado
You might use butter as a spread almost every day, but you have a whole lot of (even tastier) options when it comes to something dairy free and delicious to put on sandwiches and toast including avocado.
4 Swap milk chocolate for dark chocolate
Hallelujah! Some good-quality dark chocolate should not contain milk however always check the ingredients list. There are also lots of dairy-free chocolate brands now appearing on the shelves.
5 Swap parmesan for nutritional yeast
Yes, it has a weird name, but vegans swear by the savoury, salty taste of nutritional yeast for adding a flavour hit to almost any dish. Sprinkle it on sandwiches, use it in pesto and pasta and even add it to salads.
6 Swap creamy dips for houmus, guacamole or salsa
No need to feel left out on a dairy-free diet when everyone’s tucking in to chips and dips. Just go for dairy-free substitutes like houmous, guacamole or salsa. Remember to check the ingredients of the chips for cow’s milk, though, as some chips may include dairy.