I grew up loving dairy. There’s never been a breakfast I’ve loved so much as a latte paired with a freshly baked buttered bagel (I was born in Brooklyn, where the best bagels are made). And when I went out with friends, mac and cheese, nachos, pizza, and buttery garlic mashed potatoes were my favorite snacks.
However, over time, the level of dairy intolerance increased, ultimately impacting health and weight.
I knew this was coming—my mother was on the same trajectory. When she was younger, she considered pizza and ice cream her favorite foods, but as she got older, even a little dairy was used to grease the pan in which she fried an egg white omelet, which caused stomach problems. I came to experience
In my late 30s, I realized that eating buttermilk biscuits and whipped cream had side effects, like a rumbling stomach. I could still easily handle cheese, but butter and cream-based products were becoming more and more of a problem. Research shows that it does.
Fast forward to the beginning of this month. For my birthday week, I dined out in style with a different group of friends, starting with a delicious dinner of buffalo mozzarella and cacio e pepe. The next day we enjoyed creamed spinach and birthday cake. I don’t regret it because it was all delicious, but my body is telling me that it’s time to cut back on dairy. All dairy products.
So, I made a commitment to take a week off from dairy. Here’s how I cut dairy out of my diet and the effects I’ve seen.
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my action plan
I wasn’t planning on quitting all dairy forever. And even after the week was over, slowly reintroducing some of the dairy I thought I could still handle one at a time helped me stay on track forever. I was able to see what needed to be cut and if there was anything left (at least for a while).
I’ve kept my diet fairly consistent and eliminated dairy only.
I had already restricted many types of dairy products for a long time, so there were certain aspects of my routine that didn’t need to change. However, the daily morning egg whites with goat cheese and spinach omelet were replaced with plain old egg whites and spinach.
For lunch, I usually eat a variation of a mixed green salad topped with a protein like feta. As for dinner, I leaned heavily on my love for sushi and poke bowls.
My daily diet was honestly pretty consistent with what it was a few weeks ago, but the dairy component of those meals was gone.
I have not tried plant-based non-dairy substitutes.
An important part of a long-term plant-based diet is finding plant-based alternatives to these dairy options.There are some excellent non-dairy butters, cheeses and milks. But this was a one-week experiment, not a long-term life change, so I didn’t want to introduce all those new items. I needed to know if any positive or negative body reactions were caused by not eating dairy instead of the new things I’m eating.
Alternatives exist, but many of them don’t taste as good as the “real” ones, but sometimes they do. For example, I really like Trader Joe’s Brown Sugar Oatmilk Creamer. In fact, it tastes better than many “real” creamers I’ve tried.
Well, it’s been a week since then and I’m currently making New Year’s Eve plans with a small group of friends. And yes, dairy is involved! I learned a few things about my body by quitting dairy. So, I definitely have some degree of lactose intolerance, but what was most shocking and exciting was that I can still tolerate some dairy products.
I felt more energetic.
I wasn’t planning on making any long term changes this week. During the holidays, I was eating out and eating out non-stop, and I felt a little tired. I feel more vitality now. But even on my days off, I was able to relax without overdoing it. Was it because I was eating R&R or a healthier dairy-free diet?
I didn’t feel much change in my skin.
I have read in the past that dairy can make rosacea and other skin problems worse. I was hoping it would improve, but my skin is exactly the same. If I had stopped dairy for longer, I might have seen more of a difference. It was windy, so even if the dairy trigger was removed, the dry, cold air itself could have been the trigger. .
I felt less puffy.
This was a big one. After eating dairy on my birthday weekend, I was gassed for days and bloated and very uncomfortable. After a week without dairy, I don’t feel bloated at all. It also shows that eating too much of something can make your body feel better, compared to eating too much. And I never woke up in the middle of the night with an upset stomach after a sumptuous dinner.
I know there are times when I ignore them because I don’t want to give up my intolerances, food, and other things. Broadly speaking, I think food intolerances are exactly the same. We can see what that food is doing to us, but at the same time, we enjoy experiencing those foods so much that giving up those foods benefits us. We avoid accepting the reality of bringing
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I was more creative in the kitchen.
Quitting dairy also gave me the opportunity to be creative and try new ingredients in my recipes.I’ve long had a can of coconut milk on hand for my curry dishes, but when I made tomato soup on a particularly cold Christmas Eve, I tried adding coconut milk instead of cream to the recipe. I discovered it was just as creamy, delicious, and lacking nothing! My life was like a living, breathing basket. chopped.
Learn more about which foods contain dairy.
Dairy is in far more things than we realize. But butter may be hidden in food at many restaurants you wouldn’t even think of. I needed to know. Some things may surprise you.
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limit future dairy consumption
I’m still planning to include feta in my salad, goat cheese in my morning omelet, and grated parm in my pasta. , as all other dairy products do, no more bending the rules for butter- and cream-based sauces in the name of special occasions.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet is in moderation and I think that was the message for me. but you probably don’t need a full dairy detox long term. Eating one type of dairy in moderation is fine for me. But do I need to make other types of dairy? Absolutely not.
Lactose intolerance is incredibly common, but I think it’s also important to remember that it can be experienced in different ways by different people. Some people can’t, and others are sensitive to certain types or large amounts of dairy. But if you love cheese and you think your body can handle it, give it a try. It’s a source of calcium!
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