Wellness

Why Am I Dairy Free?

Whenever I get offered ice cream, cheese, or anything that includes dairy, I now decline. I always get the question “What! why?!.” Well, there’s a lot of reasons actually… Follow along and I’ll share with you reasons why I chose to go dairy free. Along with tips on how I cut out what some people would consider the hardest thing to leave behind. Whether you are lactose intolerant or doing it for the health benefits, cutting out dairy can be a hard transition, but I am here to try and help with that.

WHY, am I dairy-free?

Digestion 

When I was a freshman in college I found myself feeling very sick and constant stomach pains whenever I drank milk or ate ice cream. I never ever thought I would ever be lactose intolerant until… I was! After about 30 minutes to an hour after consuming dairy, I felt abdominal bloating, pain, or cramps. I did not realize it was dairy causing these symptoms until I tested it out. I had a bowl of cereal every day for one week with my regular milk that I always drink. I then ate cereal for breakfast for one week with almond milk. The results were insane. I no longer felt bloated or crampy after about an hour of eating the cereal. I then realized that dairy was the cause of this uncomfortable abdominal feeling.

65% of the human population has a reduced ability to digest lactose after infancy. So it is way more common to be lactose intolerant than people think because it isn’t natural. Although some of the nutrients in dairy can be beneficial, there are much better ways to get them. I take calcium vitamins every day so I still supplement my bones with it. Potassium, protein, and fats can all be replaced with certain veggies, fruits, seaweed, whole grains, and certain seeds.

Skincare 

Skincare experts are known for telling clients to cut down on their dairy intake to help clear up the skin. Dairy is full of hormones and is mucous-forming. Hormones cause excess sebum to be produced which causes acne (ick, I know). This interesting read is someone’s experience who indulged in dairy after being vegan. Super interesting read!

HOW, can I handle being dairy free?

Dairy product alternatives 

Being able to cut out “milk” products from your diet is almost impossible, especially after living with them for 18 years of your life before realizing you can’t have them. We now live in an age where being vegan, dairy free is so so common! My go-to is almond milk, but oat-milk is very similar and is another alternative I am interested in trying.

Ice cream was something I did NOT want to give up. Luckily there are so many different vegan/dairy free ice cream options on the market today. Halo top recently made a vegan line of ice cream that I find myself buying occasionally Ben & Jerry’s is my favorite because it tastes so so similar to actual ice cream. Life is good if you can still eat ice cream!

I know it is not an easy thing to remove from your life. If you feel uncomfortable when eating dairy or having bad skin days, give a dairy-free lifestyle a try.

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