I had to give up dairy (mostly) when I realized how it was impacting my body. As a child, I hated drinking milk. I didn’t feel good after drinking it, and to this day, looking at a jug of milk makes my stomach turn and my mouth feel like I need to throw up.
My History with Dairy
That physical reaction has a lot to do with why I don’t like the taste of ANY kind of milk (dairy, almond, coconut, oat, etc.) Fortunately (I think,) my brother had a very bad reaction to milk as a baby and small child. This led to the parents deciding to we had to give up dairy. We got rid of the cow and replaced them with goats. I tolerated the goat milk better, but I still didn’t like it and wanted to throw up looking at it.
When I moved out at 18, my roommates and I always bought milk. “Milk is good for you” was the motto, and we drank it. Again, I didn’t like it. I didn’t like the taste and I didn’t like how it made me feel. About six months in, I quit drinking it. Life is too short to ingest things you don’t like. I loved telling the parents I didn’t want milk with dinner as an adult.
I went to work for an ice cream company when I was 23. I spent 17 years with that company and quit eating the ice cream about three years in. I rarely had any, even though we had freezers full of ice cream products in the main kitchen. Ironic, huh? It wasn’t until I began exploring veganism and raw food that I connected the dots. My body did not like dairy and I had definite reactions to it.
Why I Don’t Need Dairy in My Life
Over the years I’ve learned a lot. First, factory farms and dairies are horrible. HORRIBLE! Those poor cows. Cows are sweet. They don’t deserve what happens to them. Don’t believe me? Watch the film Earthlings, but be prepared to cry a lot.
I also have discovered a list of reasons why I shouldn’t have dairy. While there are two sides to the “dairy, good or bad” topic, I am firmly in the “you don’t need it” camp.
Dairy causes inflammation which is the biggest issue I have when I indulge. It causes my sinuses to stop up and my nose to run. The pain-points in my body begin to flair (ankle, knees, lower back, hips,) my stomach becomes…iffy, and 9 out of 10 times I get a migraine. While these symptoms suggest a milk allergy, I’ve not been diagnosed as having a milk allergy. We’ve always called it “lactose intolerance”.
I’ve had to modify my diet a lot to accommodate this issue. I kind of envy those who don’t have these problems, especially at parties. Cheese and dairy-based dips are often prevalent. Add to that the fact that I’m cutting way back on gluten, and there’s not a lot at parties I can eat. Now that I think about it, this makes me sad.
Some Things I Love That I Should Never Eat
- Anything Alfredo
- Pudding made with cow milk
- Cow milk-based milk or creamer in coffee
- Vodka Sauce
- Bisque (tomato, lobster, crab, any kind of bisque)
- Ice Cream
- Hot chocolate
- Anything at Starbucks that has cow milk in it
- Queso (which simply isn’t fair at all)
I love pasta. Fettuccine Alfredo is my all-time favorite. Throw some mushrooms in and I’m in heaven! The last time I indulged in Alfredo sauce, I suffered for days and received an IBS diagnosis. Oops.
I absolutely love those little pudding cups you buy at the store. I know, they are a shitstorm of chemicals, but damn! They are good. I also love the little rice pudding cups. They used to be a staple in the evening. Not anymore, not since I had to give up dairy.
About 75 percent of the world’s population is genetically unable to properly digest milk and other dairy products.– Mark Hyman M.D.
What CAN I Have Occasionally and in Moderation?
- Sour Cream
- Goat cheese.
- Sheep cheese
- A TINY bit of cow cheese
- A bit of whipped cream
Goat and sheep cheese are easier to digest than cow cheese. They contain less lactose and significantly less A1 casein. This doesn’t mean I can have a lot of it, but I can have some now and then.
Living With the Decision to Give Up Dairy
I have begun asking which is which when faced with a charcuterie. I love me a charcuterie! So much cheesy, dried meat, fruit, and nutty goodness. But alas, I must beware.
When I have tacos (because NO ONE should be forced to give up tacos,) I have a little bit of sour cream and cheese. I limit how many and how much. I do the same with burritos. One of my favorite Mexican restaurants serves a sampler that is so full of cheese, I’m literally ill before dinner is done. Of course, I shouldn’t order that and the queso, but I digress.
Italian, Mexican, Thai, and sushi are my favorite foods. I have to be very, very careful. Italian and Mexican CAN be done with little to no dairy, and it can be done well. One just has to know how to order and how to prepare it. I simply try not to drool looking at the dishes around me when I’m out for lunch or dinner.
Where do you stand on dairy?
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