Before you dive into this page, I want you to notice that I’ve titled this page “Why I’M Dairy-Free” vs. “Why YOU Should be Dairy-free.” Different ways of eating and different foods impact each of us, well, differently. What’s most important is that you learn to pay attention and listen to YOUR body. Get curious. Notice how specific foods make you feel. Your body is smarter than any book or expert, if you’re willing to listen to the signals it’s sending you. With that in mind, I share with you my story about why I choose to be dairy-free.
If you’re new to this blog, you may notice that none of the recipes use dairy products.
Since removing dairy from my diet about three years ago, my life and health have been completely transformed.
I went from having chronic ear infections, strep throat, and frequent colds and congestion as a kid to being congestion-free year-round.
I haven’t had an ear infection, strep throat or even the common cold for years.
I went from taking medicine every day for acid reflux for almost 10 years and dealing with bouts of bronchitis every winter and spring to being medication-free and on my path to healing my body.
Click here to learn how I got off of my medication naturally.
As someone who took countless doses of antibiotics as a child and young adult, I am now in the process of repairing my body by taking therapeutic doses of supplements and probiotics from my nutritionist to restore nutrient deficiencies and restore balance to my “gut.”
I rarely get sick. And if I do, I recover twice as quickly as I used to.
If someone had told me years ago that one day I would be congestion-free, unmedicated, and without ear and sinus issues that plagued me for so much of my life, I wouldn’t have believed them.
But I’ve lived it. So now I believe it.
Not only that, but I went from spending $75 PER MONTH on facial moisturizers for my problematic dry skin for almost two years to learning how to use food to heal and beautify my skin from the inside out.
People often think I’m 5-7 years younger than I am.
Removing dairy from my diet has not only helped me heal my gut and get rid of health issues that were a “normal” part of my life for years but it’s also helped me improve my skin and feel better than I’ve ever felt.
This is, of course, coupled with eating LOTS of fresh, whole real food with an emphasis on fruits and veggies, nuts, beans, seeds and certain whole grains. I eat some animal products but treat them more like a side dish than the main event.
Because of years of digestive damage from medications, stress, and a processed diet, my body doesn’t respond well to casein, one of the proteins in dairy. Aside from that, that reality is that 75% of the world’s population loses its ability to digest lactose (the sugar in dairy) at some point.
The idea of “giving up” dairy can be so intimidating, and it was for me. BUT, if you struggle with health issues ranging from acid reflux, asthma, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and gas and bloating to eczema, acne, frequent colds and congestion, and even headaches, removing dairy from your diet could help you feel better. I no longer look at what I’ve done as giving dairy. I think of it as getting rid of bloating, ear infections, colds, sinus issues, allergies, and acid reflux.
It’s like I’ve gotten comfort, my health and the fullness of my life back. It’s amazing!
I recently wrote a post about how to make your own almond milk and included links to going dairy-free that might be helpful. Your body knows what it needs, so just try to listen to it and notice how different foods (not just dairy!) make you feel.
- Got Proof? Lack of Evidence for Milk’s Benefits by Dr. Mark Hyman, Director of the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine
- The Dangers of Dairy from Dr. Amy Myers (Functional medicine doctor)
- Dairy-Free Benefits: The Top 10 Reasons to Go Dairy-Free by GoDairyFree.org
- Dairy-Free Frequently Asked Questions by GoDairyFree.org
How about you? Have you noticed that certain foods affect how you feel – for better or for worse? Pay attention to any symptoms your body sends you. They could ultimately help you find answers, so you can feel your best!