Hope your week is off to a great start! Apologies for my lack of post last week. I was traveling for a conference that lasted three days (and where I got to speak!!), so I had to focus on the event, client work and two work dinners. But now, we’re back to regularly scheduled programming… 🙂
Today I want to talk about dairy: the good, the bad and the ugly. My family and friends know that I gave up dairy this January. So it’s been about ten months that I’ve been dairy-free and I wanted to share my journey with you. If you’re considering making the move, hopefully this post helps you weigh the pros and cons. [Also, this is my experience and what has personally worked for me. Everyone is different and I encourage you to find what works for you!]
THE SCOOP ON DAIRY
Humans are the only species that drink milk past infancy. The milk we drink comes from another animal, which is truly meant to nurse calves. There are differing opinions on whether or not adults should drink milk. The side arguing for milk says that humans have been milking animals for thousands of years, and our bodies have evolved to be able to break down the lactose in dairy products. Not to mention, we gain so many nutrients (i.e. Calcium, Vitamin D, B2, and more) from milk products.
The anti-dairy camp says that our bodies do not produce the lactase enzyme meant to break down dairy after early childhood. Hence, we are not meant to ingest and break down this product. There are also many arguments against the ingestion of dairy such as the potential increase of acne and some other more serious ailments. [From my personal research, the evidence is not conclusive on the links of dairy and serious diseases.]
WHY I QUIT
Ever since I was about 23/24, I started getting acne. I was the teenager that never had a pimple during puberty and started breaking out after graduating college. [You can read more about that here.] After years of trying countless products, seeing dermatologists and estheticians, I decided to try removing dairy from my diet. Since my acne is primarily hormonal and mainly resides on my chin, I knew that changing my diet would only have a partial effect, but I was willing to try anything!
PROS OF QUITTING
Although dairy did not get rid of my acne completely, it certainly helped! My cystic acne started to disappear. Now I still get breakouts, have redness and flare ups, but they are primarily around the monthly cycle time and are related to hormonal fluctuations.
In addition, quitting dairy got rid of excess bloating around my stomach. I could also tell that I lost about .5 – 1 inch around my waist and even lost a couple of pounds. I didn’t give up dairy for either of these reasons, but I was really happy with the results!
CONS OF QUITTING
Since I quit dairy, I knew that I would have to supplement my calcium and vitamin D. I started taking a gummy supplement which I take every night.
I am also constantly missing my bagels, lox and cream cheese! [Like the one pictured above from Russ & Daughters in New York. You can see my NY itinerary here.] I miss queso, nachos, bean and cheese tacos and more! I definitely still cheat and probably eat a meal with dairy about 1 – 2 times a month to stay sane. 🙂
PROS OUTWEIGH THE CONS
All in all, I’ve had a very positive experience with removing dairy from my diet. My main goal was to help decrease my breakouts and I have achieved that. I also don’t feel as bloated as I used to after eating dairy. I do have to take a supplement now but to me, it’s worth it!
Have you ever thought about giving up dairy? Do you currently enjoy a dairy-free diet? I’d love to hear what you think about the topic and your own story!