My Survival Guide To Going Dairy Free

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Lately, I have been on such a health kick & it’s feels really strange. Usually, I try to see how many bags of hot cheetos and el pastor burritos I can shove into my face while still maintaining my physique…

Especially since moving in with Aaron (why did no one warn me about this??), it was like I was consuming 1,000 extra calories a day. Since he is an extreme foodie, he was constantly taking me out to some of the best food spots on the Central Coast. It got even worse when he decided to start bulking (aka building a Dad Bod), and he was convincing me to get mexican food at 10pm for our second dinner – and lord knows I can’t say no to mexican food.

My breaking point was when the super unromantic side of our relationship came out. After a night of gorging on food, we went upstairs to have sex & literally just kept bouncing off one another’s food belly (scarring moment that may put us in sex therapy). If that wasn’t a motivator enough, I was sick of bloating, headaches, fatigue, breakouts, and not feeding my body nutrient dense foods. I needed to switch gears and start focusing on my health (and saving our sex life). Luckily, Aaron is s-u-p-e-r  into health and fitness so he agreed to testing out going dairy free with me…

Coming from a macro OR iifym OR “bro science” mindset, it was all about eating a certain allotment of calories and just eating one less pop-tart (aka cutting) to lose some weight and be “healthy”.

I have eliminated a lot of processed foods and started taking a more holistic approach to eating. So, last month I experimented w/ going dairy free (baby steps) to see if that would improve my health.


The Why Behind Going Dairy Free For A Month

Apparently it’s causes a lot of bloating .

I am wanting to get rid of inflammatory foods in my diet.

It takes away about 200-400 unnecessary calories on certain meals.

Increases risks of cancer when eaten in high dosages.

It can cause stomaches or gas after digesting.

Pasteurized dairy doesn’t contain great health benefits.

It is known to cause breakouts & I wanted to see if my skin would clear up.

The conceited side of me wanted to see if it would make me look better. 

I was lactose and intolerant as a kid and wanted to see how my body has adjusted as an adult.

Of course, everybody’s bodies are different. I did this as a test to see if I noticed any improvements with my body. A lot of people told me to not cut out dairy because I will then probably become intolerant when I tried to incorporate it back in. My thought process is if my body will reject it when I incorporate it back into my diet, isn’t that a bad sign??!! Again, I had to test this out myself.


GAME PLAN FOR SURVIVING

Ok, so you are probably wondering how the f*ck I lived without pizza, HOT CHEETOS, mac & cheese, grill cheese, nachos, and amazing cheesy dishes?!!!! These were huge staples in my life. Honestly though, I was so curious to see how my body would react to this experiment…I dropped dairy fast. I didn’t really whine at all or die like I thought I would in the beginning. By just cutting one thing, I was able to enjoy a lot of other foods and it wasn’t this stressful “eliminate ten foods” diet.

1.) Stock Fridge Correctly – When it came to meal prepping for the work week, I had to get a little creative and tweak a few things so I could follow my no-dairy rule. I first threw out all the dairy in the house or gave it away so there was no temptation or dairy rotting in my fridge.

Nutritional Yeast. – I have been in love with this product since I was 13 years old. My mom got me hooked on adding this to salads, pasta, soups, bed of rice, etc. My family calls it “cheesy “, but mind you it doesn’t taste like parmesan cheese or anything dairy related. I find it super yummy still & l.o.v.e this brand (buy it here). A great source of b-12 & super good for you.

Apple Cider Vinegar Dressing – The hardest part was parting ways with ranch. That is my go-to, number one, and best friend when it came to eating salads. That was until I went to whole foods and found this amazing acv dressing that happens to be fat-free and made of four ingredients. It doesn’t taste like acv because that would truly be disgusting. It has this apple/tangy/refreshing taste that is BOMB on salads. You also get the health benefits from acv. It’s a win-win (buy it here).

Throw out yogurt- If I am being honest, yogurt makes me gag. I only ate it because it was a great source of protein, but I never really enjoyed it. There is diary-free yogurt alternatives, but my gag reflexes have been so much happier once I dropped yogurt out of my life.

Vegan Protein – I used to take this to-die-for grass-fed whey protein, but it always made me bloated af and left my stomach in knots. It was not cute to work my ass off for four hours of training (back when I was competing in CrossFit) and then drink a shake that made me look three months pregnant. It was hard to find a clean and healthy alternative that wasn’t filled with junk. Vegan proteins can still be filled with sh*t and no I am not vegan. I just need a good source of protein that didn’t come from dairy. I have used this one in the past, but am on the hunt for something better.

Almond milk – Everyone and their mom knows about almond milk nowadays. I am not a fan of rice milk (disgusting) or soy milk (not great health benefits) so I resorted to almond milk. I like to put in my protein shakes or smoothies. I get the unsweetened kind to consume less sugar.

Tomato Sauce – I had no idea how many tomato sauces contained dairy. So I made sure to look on the back of labels and find one without dairy. If you are near a trader joes, the rustico sauce is my favorite.

Cauliflower Crust Pizza- This crust is known to crumble a LOT so you might need to eat it with a fork. It is to die for with a ton of sauce, meat, and veggies. Totally don’t miss the dairy. You can also get a regular crust with meat and veggies. Just throwing out some healthier alternatives.

Hot Sauce – Instead of drenching my eggs or meat in cheese, I resorted to hot sauce. I have an arrangement of siracha, tapatio, and cholula in my fridge. I can’t get enough of spicy things.

2.) Eating Out & Snack Guide – So the first couple weeks were rough. I kept pointing to the nachos or fettuccine alfredo on the menus only to realize that…sh*t…they had dairy in them. I quickly learned though how to enjoy a night out with delicious food without any dairy.

Burgers – I get it without cheese (obviously) with no bun or opened face. BUT, you can obviously get the bun, but I am limiting my intake of gluten and it helps minimize bloating. My favorite burger is with avocado + bacon + jalapeño + hot sauce.

Tacos– I have a bomb mexican spot down the street from my house where they have the best el pastor tacos in the world. They literally know my face and name. Their tacos only contain corn tortillas, meat, onions, and cilantro. I get an order of three with a side of chips & salsa. HEAVEN. If I am feeling a burrito and wearing a loose top to hide the food belly, I get the burrito without cheese and it doesn’t even need it.

Takis – Ok, don’t judge me too hard for this one. A lot of people know that hot cheetos were a daily ritual in my life so I couldn’t go cold turkey off spicy chips. I needed my chip fix on the weekend and takis don’t have dairy in them. They are not healthy, but I am taking baby steps.

Ice-cream – So, I just found out that Ben & Jerry’s has dairy-free ice-cream (f*ck me upppp). I haven’t tried it yet, but if anyone wants to try it before me…let me know how you like it!

Salads – You can get tons of salads without cheese and be a complete weirdo like me who will bring their own dressing. If anyone gives you shit, just say you have allergies. They shut up real fast. OR, if you want to be normal, you can stick with balsamic or thousand island dressing.

Sushi – I get the super dragon roll that is to die for & most sushi doesn’t contain dairy (nix the cream cheese rolls and say no to cream sauce).


FINAL RESULTS

I noticed less bloat and stomaches. 

This was HUGE since my biggest complaint with my health was constantly feeling sick and bloated. I feel tons better now that I eliminated dairy, my stomach went down, and bloating is minimal!!

Hard to tell with skin because I was under ton of stress this month.

My skin has been all over the place since I was under a ton of stress because I had a pregnancy scare (you girls know how stressful that is…). So that was a major bummer. After the pregnancy stress and period breakouts, I started to have little baby blemishes on my face that were due to detoxing from cutting out dairy. It is now back to normal and will give an update on how my skin progresses as I continue to limit dairy & other processed foods.

Put it back in my diet and my body gave a firm no.

So on around day 20, Aaron and I were at a concert were we purchased a sandwich that happened to have cheese in it. I took a bite (and yes it tasted like heaven) but two hours later my stomach was cramping bad. I was ecstatic although in pain, because I had results that my stomach did not fuck with dairy. So yay, my body hates it.

The craving is gone. 

After a few weeks, I didn’t miss it or have intense cravings. That was the really weird thing. Every once in a while I will crave nachos, but the feeling that I will have to face afterward and bloat isn’t worth it right now. There are so many delicious foods that I have accessible that I don’t feel the need to binge on nacho cheese.

Definitely won’t swear off never eating cheese again. 

I used to have the mentality that once I eliminated something, it was never coming back in my diet. A few weeks later, I would be crying at the in-n-out ordering a double double with animal style fries & a chocolate milkshake plus a ton of guilt. I will for sure want to eat pizza or nachos again in my lifetime. I will be eating dairy again and sometimes when I eat out, there will be traces of dairy. I don’t sweat it or go full freak show mode. I do my best, but perfection is not what I am aiming for. I got the results that diary is not my best friend, but I will still occasionally eat it.

Better with grass-fed & raw dairy.

Even if I had no warning signs from my body not to eat dairy, I would still limit my consumption especially when it comes to pasteurized dairy. From my research (and I am not claiming to be a nutritionist or doctor), pasteurized diary is cooked at such a high temperature that it loses the good bacteria and it’s nutritional value goes down. Also, most cows are fed complete shit with gmos and additives. It is cheaper to feed them sh*t and milk them as fast a possible to make more money. If you ever feel like reading about the differences between pasteurized and raw dairy, you can definitely google it yourself. I don’t want to lead anyone astray or shove nutrition doctrine down their throat. This is my beliefs and part of the reason I will be limiting pasteurized dairy.

I do wayyyyy better with raw milk and raw cheeses. My favorite butter to cook with is kerry gold butter and raw cheeses from Europe since they don’t f*ck with their animals. It taste so much better too! Trust me.


That’s it! This month I am getting creative and taking out gluten (posting coming soon).

Have any of you ever tried going dairy-free?

Let me know your thoughts!

-SAV

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