A few years ago, I couldn’t imagine myself without dairy in the fridge. I loved my milky coffee and cheesy sandwich in the morning or even granola with a splash of milk. But everything changed after a doctor told me to stop eating dairy for a couple of months. I realized that I couldn’t start eating it again. It was not easy. Here is my story.
A few years ago, I was the biggest cheese fan and I had a happy hour while having my breakfast full of dairy. At the same time, I knew that I was not a morning person – nobody should talk to me before I had my milky mug of coffee.
After I got pregnant, I had a ritual to go and buy different kinds of cheese and enjoy them. After my baby was born, I was still having a lot of dairy, but during the first few months of breast feeding my baby started to get a diaper rash.
The pediatrician questioned me about my food and suggested to stop eating dairy for a while. And it was a shock for me! So, I tried to avoid it for a couple of days and it was magic. The baby’s rash disappeared within a day.
For the first few weeks I was missing dairy a lot, and sometimes I would break the rules. But immediately the nappy rash would come back – so after a couple of times I had to really stop it. As a side-effect of this diet, I started to feel more energetic.
I didn’t feel like a nap after my breakfast, I stopped getting breakouts and my bloated tummy had decreased significantly.
Today I am allowed to eat any dairy, but I don’t want it anymore. The benefits of NOT eating dairy are so much greater. To break or build a habit takes 21 days. After this, the habit is broken. I found that having a coffee with Oat milk tasted very good, and yummy fresh seasonal fruit salad instead of cheese toast made me energetic.
I found an amazing producer of delicious cashew cheese. If I’m at a party, I can have a dish with cheese – but actually it doesn’t give me as much pleasure as it did before.
And here I put together the latest scientific research about milk and dairy products.
Firstly, almost 65 percent of the human population exhibit reduced ability to digest lactose after infancy. The intolerance towards lactose (a sugar found in milk) is because of the absence of the enzyme called lactase that breaks down lactose. Developed markets of North America and Western Europe have showcased a remarkable decline in the volumetric and value-based consumption of specific dairy categories over the past two decades. Consumers, especially in the most prominent markets of dairy products, are inclining towards plant-based alternatives owing to the worries over allergens, hormones, and unethical animal husbandry practices prevalent in the dairy sector. People with acne eat dairy products on a daily basis, according to new research of European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV) Congress in Madrid.
Another major reason is the climate crisis; it can’t be ignored that the impact of animal agriculture raises a number of issues for sustainability. Meat and dairy together use 83% of the world’s farmland and produce 60% of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions while supplying only 18% of calories and 37% of protein consumed by humans, a group of researchers at Oxford concluded last year.
My selection of dairy replacements:
I used to have cheese as a snack, which I replaced with cashew spreads, which you can make at home or buy ready-made. Or there are many other non-cheesy alternatives – tofu instead of paneer (which I used to eat a lot). You have to look closely for a good quality tofu. That’s not so easy in India.
I would still have a bit of yogurt if I’m eating spicy food.
For cereal, porridge and drinks, I would choose an Oat, soy or almond drink as a great replacement for regular milk and it’s so easy to make at home. Coconut milk is nice if I need a richer texture.
Ice cream – these days you can find amazing dairy-free ice cream.
At the end I would just add that you just need to put a bit of an effort to set new healthy goals and find your favorite delicious substitutes.
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