Why I Go with Goat

One question I’m frequently asked is why I choose goat dairy over cow dairy, so I thought I’d address that today. I was kind of hesitant to write this post because as I’ve said many times before, I don’t want to influence anyone’s eats. Every body is different and just because a silly blogger is doing something doesn’t mean that we all need to follow suit. It’s up to us to do our own research, experiment and determine what works best for us.

Goat Dairy vs Cow Dairy

I’ll get back to goat dairy in a moment, just a little bit about my crazy day today first. 🙂 Today was been a frantic frenzy and I still haven’t finished everything I needed to do. I did set aside 30 minutes of Eat, Pray, Love watching and laying on the couch with Bell for sanity 🙂


She got her haircut today! I look shaggy as ever, but at least my dog looks prim and proper, right? 🙂 She’s been Miss Sassafras since I picked her up- she knows she looks pretty.


protein french toast

Maria’s Protein French Toast

Packed snacks up to munch while I was out and about:

seaweed, plum, larabar

and lunch was leftovers.

sweet potato black bean chili with goat cheese

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili tastes every better the next day, and everything tastes better with goat cheese on it 😉

On very rare occasion, I’ll have a little bit of cow’s dairy (like if it’s in my nana’s egg casserole), but most often, I prefer not to.  If you like cow’s dairy and it works for you, by all means, feast away <3

holding a baby goat

[One day, we will have pet baby goats… one day….]

Goat Dairy and the Raw Food Diet

The main reason I changed over to goat dairy was about two and a half years ago, when I got really into raw foods. I found that the raw food lifestyle, while incredibly healthy, wasn’t something I could maintain over the long-term, but I took many of the lessons from studying it (and through raw culinary school) and still apply them today. A great example is my love for smoothies, salad beasts, sea veggies and goat dairy.

Natalia Rose’s books had a significant impact on my eating style, because I took many of the things she said and found that they worked well for me. Things that didn’t work well? Eating a teeny breakfast or food combining. Just goes to show, different strokes for different folks. You can read her thoughts on dairy *here*, if you’re interested.

Natalia Rose

Why I Go for Goat

-Cow’s dairy is more difficult to digest. Our bodies are actually only made to process milk until the age of one, which is why so many adults are lactose intolerant (about 65% according to this). The type of casein in the milk is what makes it more difficult to digest–A-1 casein, unlike A-2 casein which is found in human and goat’s milk.

-It’s highly mucus-forming. Mucus is good for preventing absorption of toxins, but too much of it can prevent us from getting nutrients.

-Goat cheese has pretty much the same nutritional stats for cow’s dairy, so it’s still a great way to get protein and calcium, and probiotics in yogurt.

-I prefer the taste of goat’s dairy over cow’s.

So why do I eat real butter, which is from cows?

-It has very low levels of hard-to-digest casein. Ghee is also a fave to cook with 🙂

Some of My Favorite Uses for Goat Cheese

-Sprinkled on top of a salad beast

-Shrimp penne pasta

penne pasta with shrimp and goat cheese

-Omelet style


cowgirl creamery cheese 

[If you live near a Cowgirl Creamery, I am jealous of you.]

-I’ve been wanting to try a goat cream cheese cheesecake, too. Maybe next dinner party?

Are you a goat cheese fan or notsomuch? Did any books have an impact on your eating style? Which one(s)?

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  1. chelsey @ clean eating chelsey on August 9, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    Very interesting! I was wondering why goat milk products as well. I can’t tolerate dairy (other than greek yogurt), so I usually use dairy free alternatives!

    • Fitnessista on August 9, 2011 at 8:26 pm

      i’ve heard that many people who have a tough time with cow dairy are find with goat- maybe something to ask your doc about if you’re looking for more options!

      • Kate on August 10, 2011 at 11:15 am

        It depends on why they have a “tough time” with dairy-lactose intolerance and a protein allergy are really different!

        • Fitnessista on August 10, 2011 at 11:18 am

          definitely why it’s important to ask your doc first

  2. Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn on August 9, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    Mmmm notsomuch. As you said, different strokes for different folks! Thank you for finally answering this question though, I’ve always wondered! 😉

  3. Megan @ Healthy Hoggin' on August 9, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    I’m a HUGE goat cheese fan! (I’m also a huge fan of Natalia Rose– I just finished training with her in NYC this summer!) Ever since reading her books, I was sold on goat cheese over cow’s dairy. My body can feel the difference!

    Luckily, I think it tastes better, too. 😉

  4. Caitlin on August 9, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    I love goat cheese.. haven’t tried other goat dairy. But you should definitely check out this recipe.. it’s not exactly healthy, but it uses goat cheese 🙂 http://www.bhg.com/recipes/how-to/bake/how-to-make-raspberry-bars/

  5. christina on August 9, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    Love goats cheese and goats milk! Im also a fan of sheep’s cheese…wonder if it aligns more closely with goat than cow? Presume it would….

    • Fitnessista on August 9, 2011 at 8:40 pm

      yep- it’s very similar 🙂 i like sheep’s cheese a lot, too

  6. Kate @ Vet in the Saddle on August 9, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    Oh man, I tried goat cheese at THE FANCIEST restaurant in town (it came with my salad) and it literally tasted like I’d licked a goat. I don’t know if it was a bad batch or what, but I had my boyfriend try it too and he said the same thing.

    Maybe it’s because we’re vet students and well acquainted with goat smell? 🙂

    • Fitnessista on August 9, 2011 at 8:39 pm

      hahah wow.

    • Danielle (Shrinking and Studying) on August 9, 2011 at 8:44 pm

      Hahaha, I have a couple friends who say that goat cheese tastes like the smell of goat… so I don’t think you’re alone!

    • Jennifer on August 9, 2011 at 8:55 pm

      I thought the same thing! I bought just plain Ol goat cheese and thought it tasted like a goat farm smells. I was disappointed and still am! I really wanted to like it!

      • allison @ thesundayflog on August 9, 2011 at 10:17 pm

        this is what i THOUGHT would happen when i tried raw goat milk, but instead it was super creamy and didnt taste goaty at all. ACK even typing that makes me gag…

  7. Jen on August 9, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    I love goat’s milk products! Cheese and yogurt, especially. A long time ago, I actually went through a phase when I used straight up goat’s milk in my cereal. I haven’t had it in forever. I wonder if I would still have a taste for it today! I remember it tasting somewhat gamey. Have you tried it? I bet it would rock in smoothies!

    • Fitnessista on August 9, 2011 at 8:43 pm

      i have tried it- pretty good. goat’s milk kefir is AWESOME is cereal, too 🙂

  8. Danielle (Shrinking and Studying) on August 9, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    This is an awesome post, I especially like that you said that just because you roll with the goat products doesn’t mean that everyone has to. It’s so true that people seem to think the way a blogger eats is *the* way to eat. I like that you did your research for too before you made the switch. 🙂

    I am ADDICTED to goat cheese! Unfortunately, in southern Alberta (aka a serious cattle and beef province), most stores don’t carry many other goat products. I don’t eat a lot of dairy just because large amounts upsets my stomach, but I still like greek yogurt and cheese and such. Goat cheese is definitely my favorite cheese though (I like the taste of it better), and I’d love to try more goat products if i had the opportunity.

  9. Emily on August 9, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    Bell is super cute with her bows!!

    • Fitnessista on August 9, 2011 at 8:46 pm

      she says thank you 🙂

  10. Jen @familyfoodfitnessandfun on August 9, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    I’m going to have to try goat’s cheese. I’m not completely lactose intolerant, but my system doesn’t really like it…if you know what I’m sayin 😉 Thanks for the info!

  11. Abby @ Abz 'n' Oats on August 9, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    Aww Bella looks so cute! I love her bows! I have only tried goat cheese a couple of times but I really enjoyed it. There is a local goat farm in my area that sells a lot of different varieties of milks and cheeses that are pretty good too. I especially like it on pizza!

  12. Danielle C. on August 9, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    Mmmm I love goat cheese, I’ve recently found that I am very dairy sensitive and am trying to ween out the cow dairy (I have a few exceptions lol).

    What is the recipe for the sauce for the goat cheese penne pasta? That looks amazing.

    • Fitnessista on August 9, 2011 at 9:01 pm

      it’s in one of my rejected book proposals. i should post it haha 🙂

      • Danielle C. on August 10, 2011 at 12:20 am

        Awww I will hold out and buy your book for it! 😉

  13. Stephanie @cookinfanatic on August 9, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    I want to like goat cheese so much but for some reason the taste of it repulses me?! It tastes like the smell of a barnyard we used to visit when I was younger (I’ll just leave it at that). It’s the weirdest thing because I really have a very open/tolerant palate and am quite adventurous with food – never one to turn my nose up to anything without trying it. I’ve tried goat cheese on multiple occasions thinking that one day I will magically like it, I even tried it again last weekend! Same result. Have you ever heard of this with anyone else before? I feel so strange not only not liking it, but being disgusted by it 🙁

    • Kate @ Vet in the Saddle on August 9, 2011 at 8:54 pm

      I posted a little ways up with the same comment. I went to a super fancy restaurant and some goat cheese came with my salad so I thought I’d try it. It literally tasted the way goats smell. I couldn’t handle it 🙁

    • Tiffany on August 9, 2011 at 8:54 pm

      I just posted a Conner similar to yours. Barnyard is a good description of the taste and smell! I keep buying goat Gouda and other artisan goat cheeses hoping I’ll see why everyone else loves it.

      • Tiffany on August 9, 2011 at 8:55 pm

        Posting comments from an iPhone = auto correct fail, lol

        • Stephanie @cookinfanatic on August 9, 2011 at 9:09 pm

          I’m so glad I’m not the only one! It always looks so good and I want to like it so badly, but it just never seems to happen 🙁 Bring on the brie, gouda, stinky blue cheese and I’m fine but I can barely stomach a bite of goat cheese? So weird.

  14. Lili on August 9, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    I’m confused. Does goat cheese contain lactose? My fiance is severely lactose intolerant, he can’t even drink lactose-free milk. We stick with almond milk, but would he be okay with goat’s cheese?

    • Fitnessista on August 9, 2011 at 9:00 pm

      it does contain lactose, so it may still affect him. many people with dairy allergies are fine with goat’s dairy though. i’d ask his doc before trying it and see what he says

  15. Felicia (Natural + Balanced) on August 9, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    feel the same way! i have 2 goats and they are tooo cute 🙂

  16. Katie on August 9, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    I love goat cheese! I especially love it n salads or just eat it by pieces ; )

    Happy Tuesday! xoxo <3

  17. Tiffany on August 9, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    I feel the same way as Kate. I want to love it, but ick. It literally tastes like someone took a nasty, dirty goat, hosed it off, gathered the dirty water and used it to make cheese. I get so frustrated at nice restaurants because everything seems to be covered in goat cheese 🙁 I think goat cheese is one of those foods that tastes really good or gag inducing to people, kind of like cilantro. I keep buying different types hoping I will find one I love, but alas, no dice.

    • Fitnessista on August 9, 2011 at 8:59 pm

      that’s true, it might just be super gross to some people. and super tasty to me haha 🙂

    • allison @ thesundayflog on August 9, 2011 at 10:19 pm

      omg dying laughing at this comment. and YES cilantro! love or hate relationship fo sho (i hate it with a fiery passion. it tastes like stink bugs smell)

      • sarah on August 10, 2011 at 5:07 pm

        That’s how I am with beets. It tastes like I’m eating a dirt. But I do love cilantro and goat cheese!

  18. Parita on August 9, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    Not gonna lie – I’ve been dying to try some of the goat’s milk products you talk about. Does Trader Joe’s sell a lot of your favs?

    • Fitnessista on August 9, 2011 at 8:59 pm

      yep, they sell almost all of them!

  19. Mindy on August 9, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    Funny, I’ve been wondering this too since I’m trying to add in dairy products and eggs back into my diet after 5 months. This past week I was away on a trip and ate out a lot, so just went ahead and ate cheese like I used to, and now I am sick with lots of mucus (sorry for the TMI, but I wonder if it’s related to eating all that cheese again?).

    I do like goat cheese too, so maybe I can stick to adding that back in over other dairy, which I was fine without anyway, just wanted more variety of protein sources again.

  20. Haley on August 9, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    I stick with goat cheese for the same reasons. My husband + I found that we function better without dairy… but we LOVE cheese so much that we started experimenting with goat to see how we felt on it. Turns out, as long as we’re not eating heaps of it, we can tolerate it! Thank goodness =)

  21. Liz @ Tip Top Shape on August 9, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    I still go for cow dairy–but goat cheese is pretty fantastic!!

  22. Karen @ Goofy Can Cook on August 9, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    I LOVE goat’s milk yogurt. When I saw your pictures of yogurt from Redwood Hill Farm I knew following your blog was meant to be. I’m so with you on goat’s milk tasting better. I really think once you go goat, you can’t go back. Also, sheep’s milk cheese is a super tasty alternative.

    • Fitnessista on August 9, 2011 at 9:08 pm

      lovelovelove their yogurt 🙂

  23. Kiah on August 9, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    My little pup Salsa was sitting on my lap while I read this post–she barked (which she never does!) when she saw Bell’s pic! I think she wants bows, too…
    I LOVE goat cheese, slightly warmed/browned with walnuts on a salad. It tastes like heaven.

    • Fitnessista on August 9, 2011 at 9:08 pm

      that is so cute!!

  24. mi-an on August 9, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    i do love me some goat cheese!!! i’m lactose intolerant so can’t have milk but i’m actually ok with other dairy. and i too prefer goat cheese over cow cheese. books that have impacted my cooking: crazy sexy diet, and tal ronnen’s the conscious cook (look into it, he makes gourment vegan food!!)

  25. Violet on August 9, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    Woah, that was 2.5 yrs ago??? I remember everything about your raw days:) Btw, I know you don’t want to influence how to eat, but since reading your blog (since ’09) you’ve got me eating: goat cheese, baigan bhartha, breakfast cookies, chia and more:)

    • Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga on August 9, 2011 at 9:18 pm

      I know…time flies. I thought the same thing when I read that. My daughter was a peanut back then and I wanted to go to Raw School so badly but b/c of the timing of life, there was just no way.

      And yes, I ate one or two breakfast cookies because of Gina, too 🙂

  26. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga on August 9, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    Gina, thanks for graciously offering your thoughts on this matter.

    The whole goat vs. cow’s milk dairy is an interesting one. In my dairy intolerance research spanning a decade now (and people can be both LACTOSE intolerant and milk PROTEIN intolerant, so you get two for the price of one…ugh…) but some people find that goat’s IS easier to digest than cow’s. Many babies who have a hard time with cow’s milk protein, i.e. in traditional formula, do much better on (homemade) goat’s milk formula if human milk isn’t available. Same with adults, goat’s tends to be easier. Not perfect for everyone but better for many.

    And ghee, butter, from cow’s milk…many people also find that the higher fat in butter or in half and half, i.e. cream, is easier for them to tolerate as well.

    Great post and I could go on and on…from the food allergy/intolerance aspect to the human milk aspect to the science…both as a result of my food allergies and my training as a lactation educator, I have spend YEARS studying this 🙂

  27. Nicole on August 9, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    First off, I can’t get over how adorable that baby goat is! I want one! I’m one of the lucky 25% who is not lactose intolerant, but I’ve cut back on dairy a lot since become a vegetarian. I did it because of the inhumane treatment of animals. I quickly found that I it was very hard for me to live without cheese (cuz it’s so YUM) and eggs (since it’s a good protein source for me) so I do my best to keep it minimal.

  28. Carrie on August 9, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    Great post! I have long-since wondered why you were a goat afficionada 🙂 I’m not likely to give up dairy any time soon, but thanks for indulging some curiousity! 🙂

  29. Brittany on August 9, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    Omg so after I read your prenatal super foods post I decided that I should try to incorporate something new into my diet.. I’ve been reading in my weekly pregnancy updates that my baby boys brain is developingquickly during my third trimester so I decided to pick up some seaweed snacks at whole foods for all the benefits you listed… well thankfully they are only .99 cuz they were sooooo yuck! I wish I could force myself to eat them but the small bite I had left a lasting taste in my mouth and I was burpinjg it up forever!!

    Any other ways to eat them besides just plain out of the pack? I don’t want to waste my dollar!! 🙂
    Thanks for helping me branch out a little more though any ideas on how touse them will be super appreciated!

  30. Emma (Namaste Everyday) on August 9, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    I LOVE GOAT CHEESE!!! I have also always dreamed of having pet goats and making my own goat’s cheese…we are kindred spirits! Recently in New Zealand, I went to a Sheep’s milk dairy farm, and enjoyed brie, gouda, and blue cheese. Oh, and ice cream made with local macadamia nuts. All made from sheeps milk on their farm! I felt like is was somewhere between cow’s and goat’s dairy products. I try to avoid cheese for humane issues, but it is just so darn good!

  31. lindsay on August 9, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    i have to say, my new favorite drink is goats milk powder with almond milk, ice, banana, and vanilla. Definitely goats milk for digestion. But you are right, to each his own. Gotta find what works!

  32. Lindsey on August 9, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    I love goat cheese but have some friends that grew up on farms and cannot even stand the smell of it – too weird!

  33. Amanda Hinderliter on August 9, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    Goat cheese is my favorite! I have to buy it in very small portions because I can’t stop eating it. I tried goat’s milk – I had a recipe that called for buttermilk, and the store didn’t have it but they had goat’s milk?!?! That was the worst thing I have ever tasted – I couldn’t believe it.

    I am curious about the scientific evidence supporting Natalia Rose’s view on cow’s milk. Although, I think her argument that cow’s milk is for baby cows, doesn’t really go along with her thought that goat’s milk is fine for humans, I guess it is for kids, ha, ha! I just wish there was less biased data out there.

  34. jodie on August 9, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    Gillian McKeith and Natalia Rose has definitely influenced my way of eating.

  35. Lindsey @ SoundEats on August 9, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    I really wish we lived by each other, because if we did, you’d be coming over tomorrow (or vice versa) this weekend for a goat’s milk cheesecake party. Haha maybe we should each make different varieties and have a virtual dinner party? 😉

  36. kaila @ healthy helper! on August 9, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    Thanks for the info Gina! I was always wondering about your reasoning behind this!!! 🙂

  37. Alexandrina @ The Cardio Queen on August 9, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    Love goat cheese. Pretty much the only cheese I actually like.

  38. Elizabeth @ reads recipes runs on August 9, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    I roll with goat’s cheese for a lot of the same reasons, I don’t have nearly as many of the negative side affects with it as I do with cows dairy. There’s a local farm here that has awesome stuff, I always load up at the famers market 🙂

  39. Laura @ Meet Virginia on August 9, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    Thanks for sharing this Gina! I’ve always wondered about this. Some very good info that I never knew before!

  40. allison @ thesundayflog on August 9, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    i am weirdddd about dairy products. my family thinks im neurotic. a few months ago a farmer at the farmers market offered me raw goat milk, and while i admit it was actually delicious, the thought of it skeeved me out too much. but what youre saying about cow’s dairy being difficult to digest totally makes sense to me. ive been meaning to get a food allergy test done because i notice i am sensitive to a ton of things. very interesting post!

  41. Jessica @ Sushi and Sit-Ups on August 9, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    This is something I’ve been wondering about so thanks for sharing! I’m definitely a huge fan of the taste of goat cheese, but I love just about any cheese really.

  42. simi on August 9, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    Thanks for posting this and the link. I now really understand why I have stomach issues. Lately, I’ve been staying away from dairy except for greek yogurt (in small doses) and seem to be ok now 🙂

  43. Kath on August 9, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    Actually the reason most people are lactose deficient stems from evolution. Those with ancestors in northern Europe needed a way to get vitamin d while wearing winter clothes so many months of the year (African ancestors could get it right from the sun). Those who could digest lactose formed a symbiotic relationship with cows and through natural selection, lived longer and reproduced. That’s why most Europeans and many Americans can happily drink milk but most of Asia and Africa can’t – because they didn’t need to.

    • Kate on August 10, 2011 at 11:21 am

      Kath is right. I like the topic but this post has a few minor factual misrepresentations. To say lactase deficiency is present in 75% of adults may not be wrong, but it is really important to recognize that there is quite a continuum, with about 15% of people of North American descent being affected but up to 100% of people of American Indian and Asian descent. (Swagerty, D., Walling, A., and R. Klein. (2002) Am Fam Physician. 65(9):1845-1851.) Also, casein is definitely present in butter in small amounts, so again for people with clinically diagnosed allergies, butter can be problematic.

  44. J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) on August 9, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    My hubby and I prefer goat’s milk for all of the same reasons you listed! That and we LOVE goats and like you, we too will have goats one day!!! 🙂

    Bella looks super cutie with her new cut!

  45. Lisa on August 9, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    I haven’t read Eat, Pray, Love yet, but I have read Committed and loved it. Are you liking the book?

  46. Lauren @ Sassy Molassy on August 9, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    This was an interesting post. I’ve always wondered why you’re always a goat cheese girl. I find that my bod doesn’t like reg milk that much so I usually roll with almond and sometimes use half almond/half reg milk in a smoothie or cereal.

    You have GOT to try this honey goat cheese from Trader Joes. I found it last week and fell in love. http://justcallmesassy.blogspot.com/2011/08/trader-joes-tuesday.html

  47. Allison @ Food for Healing on August 9, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    i’ve never really had goat cheese before, but i should definitely try it out one day!

  48. emily on August 9, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    a great topic. thank you for writing about this. currently, i’m working on a post about milk. it’s a never ending battle for me (choosing milk for my family). i’ve been researching a lot and goats milk always comes up but, i’ve yet to try it. i’m not a big fan of milk (unless i’m pregnant!) and have been drinking coconut milk myself lately but my little family loves cow’s milk and i’m in a predicament right now over the cost of organic cow’s milk. anyway, …. not interesting, i know. i just wanted to say thanks for sharing.

  49. Dana Marie on August 9, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    goat’s milk products while I surely enjoy- aren’t really a replacement for cow’s milk products for me. The flavors are night and day different and I don’t have a problem with casein – ( I LURVE cottage cheese) so I mostly don’t have much of either since it’s not advisable to have more than one serving of dairy a day and cheese is high on the calories and I’m only going to have it if there’s room for it calorically – ie I worked my ASS off

  50. Julie on August 9, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    I just love the sweet and sour taste of goat dairy! I also don’t consume cow dairy except Greek yogurt because of the mucus. I prefer almond milk when I have milk.

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