Last Sunday I completed my 30-Day dairy-free challenge. I realize I am a few days late with this, but I wanted to give my full report! At the halfway point two weeks ago, I wrote this post, and many of my thoughts and feelings are the same now as they were then.
After 30 days of (almost…) no dairy, many of my GI issues have been resolved. I no longer get stomach aches during the day that require me to curl up on the nearest couch! That is huge. Also, I’ve heard stories about people’s skin magically clearing when they give up dairy, and while this wasn’t my primary motivation for doing so, I was hoping it might happen. It didn’t. My acne can still compete with that of my 12-year-old self.
Even so, there is no question that I feel better when I am not eating dairy than I feel when I am eating it.
The One Time I Cheated:
Okay, the one time since the last time I said there was one time I cheated. I cheated twice in 30 days. The first was for some wedding cake on our anniversary. The second was last week during my crazy, stressful week. I had not packed lunch, and by the time I finally peeled myself away from my desk to go buy something, I was starving. And stressed. I went to Martin’s–a grocery store with a fairly extensive cafe–and after circling the salad bar a few times, I decided greens were not going to cut it that day. Pizza. Pizza was all that I wanted. I ordered a slice of plain cheese and enjoyed every single bite. The next day I did get a pretty bad stomach ache (like, an unbutton my pants while sitting at my desk kind of stomach ache.) Perhaps it was the cheese, but maybe it was just stress.
Am I Cutting Dairy Out of My Life Forever?
Heck no. In fact, I’ve already enjoyed some pizza this week. 😀 Now that I have “detoxed” from dairy, I am hoping I can eat it less frequently and perhaps in smaller doses than I did prior to this and have it not bother my stomach. My plan is to not purchase/eat dairy regularly, but allow myself to enjoy it when I really want it (and carry some lactaid pills with me at all times.) Whereas cheese, yogurt, and ice cream used to be daily staples for me, I am now not going to keep them in the house or eat them regularly. I am equally content with soy yogurt, and my taste buds have adjusted to soy milk in my coffee. However, if I want a piece of pizza, I’m going to have a piece of pizza. If I am eating at someone’s house, I will have whatever dairy they are serving. And ice cream? There will always be room in my life for ice cream. My hope is that my stomach can handle dairy in smaller and less frequent doses.
I will conclude with this: Last summer I went to Detroit on a mission trip with the youth group. One afternoon we went to an awesome ice cream shop named “Mootown Creamery” (Get it? Mootown instead of Motown? :-D) This sign was mounted on the wall, and it basically sums up my feelings on the matter:
There is nothing wrong with me a little ice cream won’t fix.
Any dairy-free folks out there? How do you deal with life without pizza and ice cream?
Well done for giving it a go! Personally, I love dairy! But I have got a lot of friends who it just doesn’t agree with, in massive bucket size portions. Everything in moderation I suppose 🙂
Thanks! Yeah, I’m hoping the moderation thing will work!
Congrats on finding your culprit! And on only cheating twice, that’s pretty good in my dairy-loving books! One question – now that you’re going to cut down, are you going to take calcium supplements? I’ve been pondering about this especially as we’re always told to look after our bone density given our future menopause etc. and wanted to know if you had any thoughts? I don’t like the idea of supplements without knowing that my bone density is definitely at risk, but don’t want to end up old and crumbly either 😉 PS love the ice cream sign. I agree wholeheartedly!
Hmm, that is a good question. I don’t like the idea of supplements either–I feel like I should be able to get all my nutrients from the food I eat! I probably will NOT take one because 1. I do eat a lot of other calcium-rich foods (greens, almonds, herbs,) and 2. a lot of soy products (like milk and yogurt) are already fortified with calcium to mimic the real thing nutritionally. Hopefully that will be enough!