We spoke with Sharon Neiss- Arbess, author of Me and My So-Called Friends. Founder and CEO of Brave The Waves –  A Program for Building Resiliency.

After receiving a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree from Concordia University’s Communications Studies program in Montreal, I began my career working as a copywriter in the advertising industry. After having my first child, I wrote my first novel Me and My So-Called Friends. The fictional story is about a 15-year-old girl who goes through a turbulent school year that is filled with bullying and academic struggles. Due to the tremendous feedback and a need for a program to help with coping skills for middle school students, I produced a teacher’s manual called Brave The Waves, A Program for Building Resiliency. I live in Toronto with my super supportive husband, Gordie and my three delicious children that keep me incredibly entertained.

When we make healthy choices for the friends we hang out with and the decisions we make, we feel powerful and fantastic. Why stop there? Can you imagine how great you will feel if we make healthy choices for the food that we eat such Yoso Products? Feels like you can do anything, right?

We asked a few questions about her dairy-free lifestyle as part of this series, Living Dairy Free:

Why are you dairy-free?

I have to be honest and say that I am not 100% dairy free, however, over the years, I have cut out a considerably large amount of dairy from my diet and I have several reasons for doing this. Firstly, the idea of eating “things” from a cow does not sit well with me. It’s just well, gross. Secondly, the way that dairy is taken from a cow makes my stomach turn. Once again, gross. “Farmer Mary” is not sitting on a stool, gently getting milk from cow udders. Cows are milked too much and are hooked up to machines which hurt them. Finally, and I think most importantly, the popular slogan “milk does a body good” is completely false! According to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, studies have linked dairy to an increase of breast, ovarian and prostate cancers.

Top five favourite dairy-free products? 

  1. Yoso cashew based style spread is fantastic on a toasted bagel!
  2. I also love the Yoso creamy cultured coconut. Sometimes, I add a little granola on top of it for the perfect breakfast.
  3. I am also a huge fan of Sweets From The Earth desserts. Their chocolate cake is my favourite
  4. Along with their blueberry “cheesecake”
  5. And don’t forget about the whoopie pies!

Favourite local spot to eat that accommodates dairy-free?

Fresh is my go-to place that makes my tastebuds do their happy dance and leaves my stomach oh so satisfied! I always order the mushroom chipotle “bacon” veggie burger with quinoa onion rings!

Favourite place to shop for groceries?

Dave Young. It’s my local fruit and veggie store that is right next door to my gym on Eglinton. At my pace, it’s all about convenience and the fact that they help you bring your groceries to your car is a bonus!


Connect with Sharon at www.bravethewavesprogram.com