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KFOX2003 SparkPoints: (1,567)
Fitness Minutes: (1,474)
Posts: 13
1/1/14 1:04 P

Do you need to drink milk? You can get calcium from food, too, so if you don't like to drink milk, you don't have to!
I don't do animal products so I use almond milk in my recipes and occasionally drink chocolate flavored almond milk for dessert. I think it tastes great!

SIMPLYME80 Posts: 406
1/1/14 11:08 A

We still eat white pasta, family or me don't care much for the texture or taste of the whole grain or substitutes. We do enjoy almond milk as a creamer in coffee, but not as a drink alone.

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
1/1/14 10:51 A

I would just get a little of the different milks ( soy,coconut, almond ), and buy 1 box of wheat pasta, and try them yourself first. I didn't find wheat pasta to be any different tasting, but my brother hated it. I don't eat pasta anymore, preferring to do meat and veggie stir fries most days, but it all really depends on you. You may LOVE wheat pasta.

However, if the idea of wheat pasta just sounds healthier, and is the sole reason you want to eat it, you may want to stick to regular pasta, or get some brown rice. Yes, wheat pasta is slightly healthier, but at this point you are really working to find better nutrition. Pasta/ rice is going to spike the blood sugars, wheat, OR white. That is why you add it to dishes with healthy fats, and proteins, and lots of vegetables.

Most people I see worrying about white or wheat pasta, are consuming liquid calories, sweets etc. and then worrying that a 1/2 cup of white pasta will be the ruin of their diet, or failure to buy organic veggies.

Cleaning up the diet is done in steps, and worrying about the type of pasta is way after getting rid of salt, sugar, processed foods, liquid calories ( shakes, soda etc ). Try the wheat pasta, and if you like it GREAT!, but if not, just eat the regular pasta. It will be okay, as long as the rest of your diet is clean, and you are in your ranges. Don't obsess about eating any one food. No one single food is going to make or break your diet.

With the milk, you might want to have a tasting party with friends, and see what everyone likes. Lots of people are switching off cow's milk. A majority of humans can't digest it properly, so it might make it more fun, and some of your friends might switch too. Lots of people are thinking about it, but never buy the product and try it.

Hopefully you find a pasta, and milk you like. Good Luck.

EXOTEC Posts: 3,327
12/31/13 6:10 P

I love almond milk, too! I also will use coconut milk, and they're making an almond-coconut blend that's good, too. The nice thing is - although nut milks will "settle", you don't have the spoilage issue that body milks (cow, goat, etc) have. They even sell it in shelf-storable cartons. Some stores are beginning to market their own brands of almond or coconut milk, too. I occasionally can get coupons (online coupons) for brand-name alternate milks like these.

I would caution you about soy milk, though. Soy really isn't the health food it's touted to be. If there are alternatives (and there obviously are) I would just steer clear of that. I see rice milk on the shelves, but I've never tried that sort.

I don't do any sort of grains... but there's a company by the name of Cappello's™ which makes almond-flour pasta. They only sell fettucine, lasagna, or gnocchi, but it's good. I can't tell the difference, in any case. The only down side to that is that it's expensive. Similar to the refrigerated pastas you can find in groceries. I've never seen this in a grocery; I buy it from the company in bulk, online. It does have to be kept refrigerated; I freeze some of mine. It doesn't taste almond-y... but it doesn't have wheat pasta's slippery surface. That's good with me, since I'd prefer my sauces to actually adhere to the pasta base a bit! And this stuff cooks a LOT faster. It's worth a sampling, at least.

LADYSTARWIND SparkPoints: (83,102)
Fitness Minutes: (65,019)
Posts: 4,896
12/31/13 5:04 P

if $$$ are a concern, and depending on where you live, sometimes goat milk is available for less $$$ than the Almond, Soy, Etc "milks". My sister's family has switched to it due to allergies to regular milk, and not liking the flavors of the "substitutes" nor how they bake, etc.

Personally, I like the Nuttier taste of the whole wheat pastas now. Did take some getting used to though! LOL My first tastes were of really cheap brands, and I think they were old as well...(Whole wheat flours can go stale because the natural oils can go rancid.) Focus on what you are putting on the pasta though and adding to it rather than just the pasta itself!

Enjoy this time of trying out new and healthier alternatives--what a Great way to start your New Year!!

ALL4MYHEALTH SparkPoints: (332)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 15
12/31/13 4:24 P

Blue Diamond unsweetened original flavor almond milk is great for drinking and baking, but I don't like it for cooking as it does have an almond flavor to it, albeit very faint, it's still noticeable in some foods. I don't care for whole wheat pasta but that's just a personal taste thing.

KOALA_BEAR SparkPoints: (18,475)
Fitness Minutes: (1,207)
Posts: 1,172
12/31/13 11:17 A

I drink soy, almond or coconut milk and use the plain soy in many recipes - you can add a little flour or cornstarch to thicken if cooking for a while.

I have tried many whole grain pastas - spelt is great and the veggies mix ones too. Barilla is also served at some restaurants which can make that convenient. At home we eat a lot of spaghetti squash served with pasta sauce, a little parmesan cheese sprinkled on it is a nice touch. You might try serving it over ricotta cheese then adding the spaghetti sauce. Gives it more staying power.

If you are eating spinach fettucine, carrot or beet noodles, know that although they have veggies added for color they are mostly the same as semolina grain added.

Consider trying quinoa for your health - doesn't look like pasta but more of a grain and can fill the same purpose to bulk up a meal without the carb effects since it is a seed and therefore completely protein.

AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (74,443)
Posts: 3,293
12/30/13 7:52 P

I don't like whole wheat pasta, but I find Barilla Plus quite edible. It still has a lot of carbs though.

12/30/13 7:27 P

I absolutely LOVE Almond Milk. It tastes like the delicious nutty cousin of cow's milk (odd comparison, but when you drink it, you'll know). I sub it into almost all my baking recipes even, and they still taste great.

A couple years ago I switched from white pasta to whole wheat. I am a big fan because I feel fuller longer and without near as much as before. If you're worried about the taste, try Dreamfields pasta. It is a low carb pasta alternative that tastes EXACTLY like white pasta. It's awesome! I would try Dreamfields first and then whole wheat. Good luck!!

SIMONEKP Posts: 2,700
12/30/13 6:04 P

I only drink almond milk, I never really liked the taste of dairy milk. Whole wheat pasta tastes the same as regular pasta to me.

ELENGIL Posts: 957
12/30/13 5:28 P

I love almond milk! Even if I wasn't lactose intolerant I would drink it (I've never liked milk.)

I drink Silk brand unsweetened plain or vanilla almond milk. Only 30 calories a cup, almost half of your daily calcium, and I think it tastes great. I prefer Silk to Almost Breeze, and Silk notes they don't use GMO almonds.

ALGEBRAGIRL Posts: 1,925
12/30/13 5:09 P

If you buy the whole grain pastas or any of the pastas that have been 'fibered up' (they contain x grams of fiber per serving) and even the pastas that also have omega-3s added: they vary in taste but they are not bad at all. Especially when tossed with a small amount of sauce.

They will fill you up pretty quickly just on their own - adding veggies to the dish will only make you feel really satisfied quickly. I LOVE these kinds of pastas.

FEDGIRL4 Posts: 2,180
12/30/13 9:49 A

I am lactose intolerant. I used to drink Lactaid milk until I got turned onto the other milks like soy and almond. There is also coconut and rice. Try some and see what you like. I am now drinking unsweetened vanilla almond milk and it is not as bad as I made it out to be. I cannot drink soy milk because I have a thyroid condition. Whatever you try, understand each one has different cons.

As far as wheat pasta, it is tough to eat for most folks. I used to just shove it down, but the others are correct to bulk it up with lots of non-starchy veges and low fat protein. Before you know it, you are full and have eaten less than you thought you would.

12/30/13 9:24 A

I usually drink 2% milk, but almond milk (I don't care for the unsweetened) or coconut milks are good too! I do not care for almond milk in baking however, for instance macaroni & cheese with almond milk is just not good. emoticon

Try out different pastas to see what works for you! Sticking to a cup of pasta is challenging at first but when you fill the volume with other things it works out great. Roasted veggies, tomatoes, ground turkey, etc. are all great. I usually eat whole wheat pasta but I will eat the rice pastas too. If you try rice pasta and don' t like it, try different brands. Some of them have a better texture than others.

The thing about living on your own is anything goes! My husband is going on a 4 month work trip and I am going to try a lot of new dishes while he is away, and I'm pretty excited about that (although I'm going to miss him terribly). So enjoy this time of experimentation while it lasts! :-D

EXNOLA Posts: 309
12/30/13 9:14 A

I use unsweetened vanilla almond milk in certain things, but I do not usually just drink a glass of it. I also haven't had a glass of milk since being an adult. But almond milk works great in coffee, smoothies, and even baking. I also have used it this holiday season for milk punch. So, try it if you want to, but there are other ways to get the calcium requirements than drinking a strait up glass of milk or almond milk.
I like whole wheat pasta now- particularly the organic whole wheat pasta from Trader Joe's. I have had whole wheat pasta with a strange taste so I stick with the one that I know I like. You could also try the partially whole grain pastas or veggie pastas like multi grain, Barilla Plus that have a bit more nutritional benefits than plain pasta.
However, they all have about the same calories as plain pasta so if you like plain pasta and can control the portion, keep eating the regular pasta. I find I have a hard time with portion control on pasta so I have cut way back on eating it and I plan for a double portion when I do.

SUNSHINE6442 Posts: 2,216
12/30/13 8:26 A

White pasta contains a large amount of high GI (glycemic index) carbs. The refined white flour will release sugars into the bloodstream quickly...resulting in more fat storage.

Maybe try Brown rice pasta, it is actually more dense, I have purchased this pasta (Hodgson Mills @ Walmart) and Trader Joe's Has their own Brown rice pasta. The correct portion for a pasta serving is the size of a light bulb cooked or about the size of a quarter raw. To help with digestion and make the plate more dense add broccoli or green beans to the mix, or even a small turkey meatball.

I, personally, stay away from wheat pasta as it gives me a sugar surge....also eating a lot of white pasta may also raise your blood’s levels of the bad LDL cholesterol. Pasta also creates the roller coaster effect on your blood sugar and insulin levels which will make you feel hungry more often.

Brown pasta tastes similar to the white and I find it doesn't have that pasty texture associated with white pasta. Have you heard or cooked with Quinoa pasta? It is gluten free and a great substitution and lighter and easier to digest than traditional pasta... Be careful not to overcook it. It can turn mushy very easily. It cooks faster than white pasta because it is not as dense. There are many shapes of quinoa pasta; elbow, macaroni, and spaghetti just to name a few.

Here is a tip that may help you....Add olive oil to your pasta water to reduce its stickiness, the added fat content will prolong digestion...and always cook pasta Al Dente. Watch the sauce...some have loads of sugar in them...check the labels.

As for milk...try the skim as it has less saturated fat and still has vitamins and calcium.

Edited by: SUNSHINE6442 at: 12/30/2013 (08:33)
KIRSTENCO SparkPoints: (11,539)
Fitness Minutes: (10,000)
Posts: 214
12/30/13 7:26 A

Soy, rice and almond milk are great substitutes for cow's milk.

I use grated and steamed zucchini or wheat-free pasta as a base for my pasta sauces - and cram extra veggies into the sauce to make it healthier :-)

Fresh and dried herbs and spices add great variety to all your meals, without the calories of store-bought sauces...

Have fun and be kind to yourself

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (244,058)
Fitness Minutes: (41,124)
Posts: 26,628
12/30/13 4:13 A

I use Soy Milk. Whatever milk you choose, make sure that it has a good source of:
Vitamin D

As far as Pasta is concerned, when I use it, I use wholegrain pasta, but don't use anywhere near the normal amount. Instead I eek it out with shredded cabbage and onion, which I saute before adding to the pasta. I also sometimes use mushrooms in it. It is a great way to get the extra veges, and they are cheap and very low calories. Also, as a 'thickening agent, instead of using flour, I cook red lentils with the pasta, but don't use much water. When I want to use cheese, I use a little tasty cheddar, and a tiny bit of mustard powder, and also a little powdered chicken stock. That tends to bring out the cheese flavour, so cuts the fat and the calories. I don't add any salt, tho' because the stock has that in it.

Rather than cooking a plate full as a meal, try 1/4 to 1/3, and add some more veges on the side.

If you eat meat/fish, don't be afraid to use canned fish to add to it, or buy a cooked piece of chicken to save you having to cook it if time is a factor.

Good luck, and enjoy your experiments :-)

Kris xxx

MICHELLEXXXX SparkPoints: (12,100)
Fitness Minutes: (5,920)
Posts: 3,750
12/30/13 4:00 A

I like unsweetened almond milk a lot.
I use spaghetti squash in pasta dishes.

GREATLAKE1980 SparkPoints: (1,535)
Fitness Minutes: (95)
Posts: 31
12/30/13 12:28 A

I have a really hard time drinkin regular milk...I have been told to try almond milk....any thouhgts....also I am a huge pasta person....thoughts on wheat pasta....I'm afriad tht it will taste like cardboard....I am just startin to live on my own so I want to cook healthier.....I have already looked up recipes and just lookung for ideas and things I can use for substitutions.....

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