I didn’t give up dairy by choice. If it were up to me, I’d be stuffing my face with chocolate milk and macaroni and cheese every single day. But, unfortunately, I can’t eat dairy without rushing to the bathroom to dispose of it (sorry for the TMI). I removed dairy from a diet a few months ago and it was hard. Very hard. I honestly didn’t think I would make it the first month without dairy, but thanks to all the amazing things that happened to my body after removing it, I’ll never eat dairy again.
Here’s everything I’ve experienced, so far, on my dairy free diet:
I Realized Dairy Was In Everything
I never knew how prominent dairy was until I removed it from my diet. Fun Fact: Dairy is in everything. Seriously, EVERYTHING. You might be thinking, “How can dairy be in everything? Not everything is made with milk.” True. But what you probably don’t realize is that butter is dairy and butter is in a lot of food. And if it’s not mixed in with the food, it’s in the fryer, the skillet or whatever cooking utensil the food is being prepared on. It’s hard to escape dairy!
My Skin Began To Clear Up
I never suffered from acne until a couple of years ago. Gradually, I started breaking out more regularly and before I knew it my skin was covered with pimples and dark spots. Cutting out dairy hasn’t completely transformed my skin, but it’s definitely helped clear up some of those bumps and now I can leave my house without a full face of makeup.
I Was Still Getting Enough Calcium
People think you need milk and other dairy products in order to get calcium. But that’s not actually the case. I’ve been able to get just enough calcium to maintain healthy bones by eating fruit, leafy greens, and nuts (almonds are my favorite). Calcium is a great mineral to have, but contrary to popular belief, it’s not just in milk.
I Fell In Love With Almond Milk
I really experimented with dairy alternatives to find the right one for me. I started with soy milk and I really liked it, but all the hormones in soy milk made me a little nervous so I switched to coconut milk…which was disgusting. Almond milk was the last one I tried and I am now completely in love. I put almond milk in my coffee, my dairy-free cakes, and even my cereal. Yeah, it’s that good!
I Couldn’t Eat At Restaurants
Unless the restaurant has a vegan kitchen, I prefer to eat at home. I can tell the waiter I have an allergy until I’m blue in the face, but that doesn’t mean my food won’t be completely dairy-free. There’s a lot of cross-contamination in most kitchens! The chef might not use butter on my burger but he might fry my burger in a pan with butter remains, which will make me sick after I eat it.
I No Longer Felt Bloated & Gassy
I used to feel horrible after I ate. If I wasn’t rushing to the bathroom, I was crouched down unable to walk because my stomach hurt. I suffered from multiple stomach ulcers and my friends and family were convinced it was psychosomatic. It wasn’t until my lactose intolerance diagnosis did everything improve. In the first week of cutting out dairy, my stomach felt so much better. I could eat without feeling like I gained 10 pounds and it was honestly life-changing!
My Energy Increased
I used to take so many B-12 tablets, not to mention the caffeine I was pouring into my body, because of how tired I felt. I didn’t realize how much of an impact food had on my energy level until I replaced dairy products with non-dairy products. Instead of waking up feeling like I needed to go back to sleep, I felt alert (and that was before my first cup of coffee).
I Lost A Lot Of Weight
I’ve always been a fitness guru. My mom’s a runner and she taught me at a young age the importance of exercise. Because of her, I never struggled with my weight. That is until I cut out dairy. After a few weeks, I started losing a lot of weight. In the first month of my dairy-free diet, I probably lost about 20 pounds. Which forced me to really increase my food intake and weight training to make sure I wasn’t losing my muscle.
I Had Some Serious Withdraw
The first couple of months of my no-dairy life was a struggle. Every day I missed dairy, and watching people eat food with dairy was heartbreaking. I missed pizza, I missed fettuccine alfredo, and I missed not having to read the ingredients on everything I ate. I feel so much better on this dairy-free diet, but it was and still is a challenge to not be able to eat whatever I want.