Dairy Free: Worth the Hype?

I scream, you scream, we all scream for – even when you’ve made the big kid decision to eliminate all dairy products from your grocery list and become dairy free. The struggle is real my friends – too real!

Whether you are lactose intolerant, allergic to dairy, or simply find that dairy doesn’t agree with your bowels, here are a few reasons that might help to solidify your decision of elimination.

You may be like me and find no noticeable negative effects to dairy so you may be asking yourself, “is dairy free for me”? Well, you get to decide that! (Not helping, I know)! But before I get into the “why I do what I do”, here is the “what I do and when I do it”.

Just so that you don’t think I’m asking you to disown dairy for good, my mindset is simply to treat dairy as if it is one of my cheats. I don’t cheat every day unless I’m …( Kotex Fits ? ), and when I do, I treat that delicious creamy matter like I would sugar or any of the other 5 White Sins: Dairy, Sugar, Flour, Saturated Fats, and Iodized salt. Everything in moderation and balance – that’s my motto! This way, when you do ingest “sinful” foods, it is easy to monitor any potential stressors or allergies.

7 Reasons Why Dairy Free Is the Way to Be

My number one reason for eliminating dairy from my diet is pretty solid. Do you like being bloated? Hmm…that’s a tricky question to answer! Uh, who am I kidding!? Since dairy (or in many cases lactose) is difficult if not impossible for nearly 50 million of the Earth’s population to digest – the first noticeable symptom for consuming dairy is to be uncomfortably bloated. Why? In human terms – your digestive system goes AWOL. If creating an imbalance in your gut bacteria wasn’t enough (and we do love those little guys), ingesting dairy with a mild to severe intolerance means you have an inability to properly break down the carbohydrate and protein make up – creating gas and as a result: balloon lady (or man).

Reason number 2: Mucus. The word in itself is disgusting – and yet overtaken by the substance itself. Excessive dairy consumption has been linked to increased mucus production in the respiratory system. Enough said.

Reason number 3: Skin Breakouts. And ain’t nobody got time for that! Your skin is a dumping site for toxins and stress. When you stress out your digestive system, you’re going to see it on your skin and you know we’re all about having great skin. The end.

Deep Breath, we’re almost done!

Reason number 4: The IBS instigator! Not that I’m asking you for your medical history; but if you are like me and have broken up with a few food groups in the past because of digestive problems, dairy is typically the first to experience heartbreak! If you don’t know what I’m talking about when I say “IBS”, YouTube the “Pepto Bismol song”. Nausea, heartburn, indi….you get the gist!

Reasons number 5 and 6: This is when it gets serious, so buckle up. We have all heard the argument that milk products are loaded with calcium which in turn gives us strong bones. Not only have current studies proven that consuming dairy actually depletes your bones of Calcium, but Science also shows that excessive Calcium intake has been linked to the development of certain cancers, most specifically prostate cancer.

Side Rant: I haven’t even begun to mention the side effects of consuming A1 non-organic milk + milk products. This would mean opening up a completely new and more potent can of worms. Sippin’ on pesticides, rBGH growth hormones, IGF-1 growth factors, and sex hormones (at concentrations equivalent to taking a birth control pill every day). Well, let’s just leave it at that!

Finally, reason number 7: Inflammation and stress. D- Galactose (found in peak concentrations in dairy) causes oxidative stress, chronic inflammation, neurodegeneration, and decreased immune function. Yeah, about that…I guess you won’t be needing this to pop your Ice Cream balloon anymore!

Keep in mind, these are all side effects seen in those who consume dairy products every day and at multiple meals in the day. So please, don’t get overwhelmed! Especially when I have a few simple, cost effective substitutions that will make this transition (if that is what you’re deciding) easy and painless.

Dairy Alternatives

One of the best milk substitutes you can have is nut milk. My personal favorite alternative to dairy is coconut milk. It matches the consistency and thickness of cream in coffee, is deliciously high in fat for the moistest of baked goods, and works even better when you’re making homemade ice cream! You also have the option to go with almond milk, or even goats milk if the flavor of coconut turns you off.

Now that my dairy-free rant is over, I will go back to my suggestion for moderation. It’s ok to take your time to ease into this transition! Have an ice cream a week, instead of an ice cream a day! And allow your body to do the talking (see everything I have ever written for my rule about listening to your body). Our aim is to make a few simple changes to help our bodies be the best versions of ourselves we can be!

So with that being said, the decision is yours! Are you ready to go dairy free?