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January: No More Dairy

I recently read an article that suggests changing something every month to improve your life. It’s actually a blog post about building a luxurious life, one month at a time, but I can definitely appreciate its value to my goals and plans for 2018… it fits. Instead of a bunch of resolutions at the beginning of the year, or a complete overhaul any time of the year, I can conquer my missions one at a time. It’s easier to tackle one bad habit (or start one good habit) at a time, and it takes about 21 days to create a habit, so a self improvement project consisting of one thing a month seems like a great idea.

I’ve been toying with dropping dairy altogether after finding out I’m lactose intolerant – the reason I look pregnant some days and have a concave stomach others (the ones I don’t have any dairy). I love cheese and Greek yogurt so much that I started taking probiotics and Lactaid as a sort of compromise. I would sometimes discover I ran out just as I was about to bite into a calzone, and other times I resented having to buy these rather expensive products just to eat cheese, so I cut out pretty much all dairy instead except feta cheese. I still feel like maybe I need to go full measure (think the “half measure” story from Breaking Bad- it’s better to go full measure) so I decided that in addition to my single resolution for 2018 (to read with my son every single night before bedtime) I would also make “No More Dairy” my January habit.

Trust me, this is NOT easy.

I’m not going to force my family to do this, and this doesn’t mean I will never have dairy again (if I am offered a delicious dish at at party to try with a little feta or cream in it, I may decide to indulge and keep a small stash of Lactaid at home just for those occasions). I just won’t be cooking or preparing any meals or foods for myself with dairy anymore. If I make tacos, only my husband and sons will top them with sour cream. If we order Italian, I will get a hero with no cheese on it while everyone else chows down on pizza and rolls. I keep hearing that cutting out dairy cures a lot of ills, and I’m anxious to see if that will help me too.

(honestly, today I saw a story on the news confirming that many who dropped dairy from their diets have seen drastic changes to their digestion, beauty, sleep, and cognitive faculties, and I have friends constantly telling me dropping dairy changed their life, so I feel especially inspired to finally try this and see how it helps my overall well-being and health, and figure it’s worth a try.)

Sleeping better, feeling more energetic, clear skin and clear thinking- those are great goals ♥︎ If dairy is really affecting all that, and I see improvements, I don’t think I’ll ever touch it again. I’m kinda sorta wondering what took me so long!

Are you making any health-related New Year resolutions as well? Have you considered eliminating dairy as well? Just for some inspiration, here are some of the benefits of cutting dairy from your diet:

Reasons to stop eating dairy

♥︎ You can lose weight. If dairy is inflammatory for you, once the cause of constant inflammation is gone, your weight will go down. This was one of the first changes I noticed- I lost weight once I stopped eating something dairy daily. I knew my body didn’t love it (as per the bloated belly) but I didn’t realize how much until I cut it out and left everything else about my lifestyle the same.

♥︎ Less bloating, better digestion, and cleared up sinuses. Apparently, milk causes a slew of digestive issues including the bloat that makes your tummy look big (and keeps you in a constant state of inflammation if you aren’t allergic but your body just doesn’t like dairy). You may find any issues with constipation have disappeared (some dairy products are considered binding) and one of my past co-workers said he noticed less “mucus”… ie his way of saying his sinuses and throat felt great (he suffered from allergies for years and suddenly, didn’t).

♥︎ You may find your skin clearing up. Many believe adult acne is caused or aggravated by dairy products, so saying no to milk may make your skin prettier.

♥︎ Lots more energy! Something about dairy (and the fact it is harder to digest for many than other foods) sort of slows down ones metabolism and stamina, and cutting it out may actually provide a surge of energy so you can exercise more, and not feel tired too quickly. Mental stamina is boosted as well… no more sluggish mornings or foggy memory.

That’s all good stuff! I will update my journey with going dairy-free in my next “new habit” post, and hopefully will have great stuff to share.

Read more in our 2018 Get Healthy series:

February- Intermittent Fasting

March- Cutting out sugar