Did you know that milk does not do the body good?, it is addictive and that is why it is so hard for you to stop eating it….. When I first slowly started to eliminate most meat products I keep the milk, cheese and yogurt etc…..and I thought WOW I can totally be vegetarian and just eat all the cheese, milk, butter I want and still be healthy because I cut out all the meat…right?….hmmm…..or at least that is what I thought. Even though there is so much research out there on the harms of dairy on your body I still thought well, I gave up meat so I am healthy and good! Well to be honest I don’t know what made me try this little challenge but I decided to give up all dairy for 2 weeks to see how it goes……well it went alright! this I believe is when I said to myself “WOW”food does really affect your body and how you feel…….Now when I gave up meat I did feel I had more energy and less “weighed down” especially in my stomach…… I felt my digestive system was lighter…if that is even a thing…but that is how i can describe it…..
When I gave up milk products that is when I really felt the hard-core affects on my body and so did my immediate family. So of course I am always the food gineaue pig in my family….I usually will try all the crazy recipes, giving up or adding in certain foods…. you get the point….So when I realized how much milk products were affecting my body I thought my family is done with dairy………….Now a little background….my husband and his eldest daughter were always “lactose intolerant” but they would still eat cheese, milk, ice cream and while it may not have been everyday or every meal ….it was enough for them to deal with the stomach cramps, diarrhea and feeling sluggish….so when I realized my youngest daughter was actually allergic to dairy I thought …. I bet they are too!! ….but some bodies just do not manifest the allergy into large allergic reactions, like rashes etc….some will just be the bloating, cramps and diarrhea…that is your body telling you “don’t eat that again” it is not “sitting right” and our bodies are just not truly meant to eat or drink the stuff!
Okay…….. so back to my results of my 2 weeks off dairy….Just a quick background on me…..before my WFPB journey I was “clinically” healthy. My cholesterol was always below 140, I was a healthy weight, no medical issues….remember I started this journey because of what I was seeing all around me with my patients……I drank milk, ate ice cream, used butter etc and I can say….. I never got the stomach cramps and the diarrhea that some people get, particularly people that are lactose intolerant. ….but when I gave up dairy for 2 weeks….. I really realized what it was doing to my body without me really knowing……After 2 weeks were up I didn’t really think much of it and started eating milk products that day again and I did not go overboard just a think a cheese topping on my vegetables at dinner….well…. I woke up the next morning feeling “swollen” all over…my joints hurt, I woke up with a headache and I felt a half step slow ……I had thought am I getting sick? That is when it dawned on me …it is the cheese!!
I thought well there it is… all the research that was already out there talking about how bad dairy is for your body….well I experienced first hand and I would love for you to take the same challenge…Try eliminating dairy products for 14 days…if that is too much try just 7 then???………Come on….You know most of us have tried a crazy diet or 2 for 2 weeks….so why not try this “crazy” diet for 14 days….Now…giving up dairy doesn’t mean you are going to live on overly processed foods like oreos, chips, french fries or over salt everything….so take it easy……I am talking about eliminating dairy and finding replacements if you need to…..Instead of topping your pizza with cheese try topping with your favorite veggies or just have it plain with just the sauce and some fresh basil…yummmm……that is how we have it…or better yet top if with my Roman-NO-cheeze topping, that is also great on pasta dishes, recipe is below.
Replacing your milk in your cereal with any plant-based milk…..there are lots of options to choose from! If you have time, which is only maybe 10 minutes its easy to make your own. While there are great options for plant-based milks it is hard to find really “clean” ones and if you do …they are very pricey! I do both because sometimes yes!! I don’t even have 10 minutes to make it….. but I am always happy when I do because it tastes delicious and way better than the store bought ones. I have a link here for home made plant-based milks and choose the one that suits you and your family best!
This is my everything cheese topping substitute. Anything that you would put parmesan or romano cheese on......use this! I use this on pasta, potatoes, spinach artichoke dip, pizza, lasagna, stuffed shells you name it...I put this one on!
- 1/2 cup raw almonds
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 3/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp pure maple syrup
Add all the ingredients to a mini food processor and pulse blend until finely chopped. Then at the very end add the pure maple syrup and pulse just a couple of times more, until it is incorporated. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. ENJOY!