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Dairy-Free Chocolates Are So Much Healthier! Here’s How To Choose The Right Ones



Dark chocolate has been studied and found to be rich in flavonoids which contain antioxidant properties that can increase cardiovascular function.

The world is full of chocolate lovers, and it can be quite challenging for people with dairy allergies to find pure dairy-free chocolate. The best way to ensure you have the best dairy-free chocolate is to check the ingredients. Chocolate with a long list of ingredients is probably a filler.

The guide below gives you tips on how to purchase dairy-free chocolate and verify that it’s free of milk proteins:

Check Out the Labels

Always make sure you read the labels on the chocolate packaging. The list of ingredients and other related information can help you to determine whether the chocolate is milk-free or not. Pay keen attention to words like “milk-free, “dairy-free,” “suitable for vegans,” and similar phrases. 

You should also look for phrases that indicate the product was manufactured from places that use milk. If you are allergic to milk, this is an indicator for you to avoid such brands or products because of the risk of milk contamination. Other dairy-related ingredients include whey, milk solids (curds), sodium caseinate, lactose or galactose, and caramel colouring.

Choose Milk-Free Chocolate Varieties

Look for specific dairy-free chocolate. Dark chocolate varieties of do not add any milk to their products. Adding milk to dark chocolate will reduce their delectable and robust taste. Dark chocolate is bitter, with a strong flavour. Remember that a few brands will still manufacture dark chocolate with milk or milk derivatives. Ensure you get the right product.

Vegan chocolate also contains no dairy milk. They are plant-based chocolates that taste different from the dairy options. Their flavours are pallet-friendly with a more smooth texture. Find specific stores that sell vegan food or healthy food supplies for your dairy-free chocolate. 

Boutique chocolate makers can also be a good source for your dairy-free chocolate. They pride themselves of sourcing their chocolate from renowned growing areas in the world. They are not likely to adulterate the quality of their chocolate with milk.

If you can’t find local stores with dairy-free chocolate, check out the manufacturers who can ship the products to you.

Take Precautions

Consult with your doctor to discuss your food choices if you are highly intolerant to milk products.

Always triple check the products you are buying. Beware of dairy-free chocolate products with suspicious labels that indicate the product has milk derivatives or it is contaminated. Read the labels carefully, even if it is a brand that you have dealt with before.

If you are not sure of the dairy-free status of the chocolate you purchased, don’t consume it. Ask the manufacturing company for clarification and advice. This is because chocolates labelled vegan or dairy-free do not guarantee that the chocolate is right for you. Some have high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated fat, a lot of sugar, and other ingredients that should not be consumed in large amounts.


A lot of brands and chocolate products are available in the market today. Not all of them are genuine dairy-free products. When you are out shopping, scrutinize the products, read the labels, and verify their authenticity. You don’t want to end up in the hospital for consuming chocolates contaminated with dairy milk.

You can narrow down your search by focusing on vegan and dark chocolate dairy-free options. From there, you will be able to determine the right chocolates from the ingredients on the labels. Alternatively, shop for your dairy-free chocolate products from specialized dairy-free stores or companies that sell pure organic products. 

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Wise Beyond Their Years – Experience Life



Time flies when you’re having fun . . . and when you’re in the midst of a global health crisis, it seems. I’m not sure how we’ve almost reached the one-year mark since the official declaration of the pandemic — the days have seemed both short and long; some as if time stood still, others as if at warp speed.

Yet one day at a time, regardless of the pace, we’re approaching this milestone — one that marks too many who’ve fallen ill and too many who have lost their lives. There are no adequate words of comfort for those who are coping with losses and carrying deep grief, and my heart aches for all who are suffering.

Nor is there adequate gratitude for those who have served selflessly and tirelessly over these past 12 months. To our healthcare workers, first responders, scientists, epidemiologists, educators, support staffs, and countless more: Thank you, a million times over, for your sacrifices and for those of your loved ones, too.

Amid the pain and loss, and as we continue to deal with and discover more about the novel coronavirus and its effects, we also move forward, ideally having learned a thing or two.

Two of my best teachers through this have been my daughters, who have shown such resilience, strength, consistency, honesty, and hope, in spite of it all. On the days when I’ve felt no hope, they’ve shown me possibilities. On the days when all I’ve wanted to do is cry, they’ve made me laugh. And when I’ve needed perspective, they’ve shown me multiple ways to look at and deal with our circumstances.

They inspire me in such unexpected ways. My oldest, now 10, recently put a Post-it above her desk, with a handwritten note that reads, “All you need: 20 seconds of courage.” It’s not the exact quote from We Bought a Zoo, but it’s close, and I adore that she chose to put this phrase in her daily line of sight. I took her lead and now have an empowering phrase written on the board above my desk, too. (For more on mantras, see “STRONG BODY, STRONG MIND: Words of Inspiration”.)

Our 7-year-old, well, she has some wisdom in her, too. On a recent hike, we crossed paths with an opossum, who a few of us quickly described as an ugly creature. Her response: “He probably thinks we’re ugly, too.”

It made me laugh and gave me pause — I simply hadn’t considered that before. But that’s how she thinks, with this 360-degree view that considers all who are involved and affected. She reminds me to put myself in others’ shoes (“Welcome to Wellness,” offered me an opportunity for this).

And one night before bed, after a particularly tough day in which she’d had to deal with the consequences of a poor decision, she looked me straight in the eyes and said: “Mom, some good things happen and some bad things happen. We can’t change it, but we can keep trying.”

I write moments like this down because I don’t want to forget — and because there are often lessons in them about how to live every day.

They’re reminders that even when hard things happen that are beyond our control, we have choices about how we react to and respond to them. We can choose how we communicate about them, and we have agency to take the next step. And the one after that.

Onward — it’s the theme of this issue. It’s not about forgetting or trying to change the past, but rather acknowledging where we’ve been and all we’ve learned. It’s about continuing to forge ahead and do our best as we make our way, one day at a time.

Jamie Martin
is Experience Life’s editor in chief. Follow her on Instagram @jamiemartinel.

Photography by Sara Rubinstein

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