I got home from the gym on Tuesday of this week to find Michael making his famous (and amazing) pimento cheese. NOM! I love this stuff. It’s so good. Why do I bring this up? Because I’m thinking about dairy.
One of the things I did not like about the Slow-Carb diet was that fruit was not allowed. I don’t care if there are sugars and carbs in fruit–it’s natural and healthy. Fruit is NOT a bad thing. Because of that, I disliked the Slow-Carb diet from the start. But a few years ago I gave it a try for a few weeks. The outcome: I gained weight and Michael lost 25 pounds. Of course!
That being said, I’ve been thinking lately that my diet needs a jump start. I’ve been in kind of a rut with my food, not seeing much of a loss on the scale, and feeling frustrated. While I’m not really trying to lose very much, I would like to see a few pounds off that scale.
A few months ago my mom went on a diet to address some allergy issues. Her doctor suggested she cut out dairy and grains for three weeks and then slowly add back one at a time to see which one was causing the issues. It turned out that cutting dairy and bread from her diet was a miracle. She lost like 14 pounds, lowered her cholesterol a few points and fixed her constant runny nose. While I am usually against any diet that is so restrictive or labeling certain foods as “bad” or “forbidden,” this intrigued me.
I don’t really need to lose 14 pounds and my cholesterol is fine. But I do have some inflammation in my body and allergy issues. I have a runny nose all the time. I blame my cats (allergies), I blame the toxic mold in my office (I know it’s there), I blame seasonal allergies…but I never associate it with food. And seriously, my nose is ALWAYS runny.
I was talking to someone on twitter who has been dairy-free for two years. She loves it! She said the results were immediate for her and it cleared up her skin. I would love a cure for my acne because what I’m currently doing does not work well.
I started to wonder: could something like this help me too?
Then I wondered: could I actually cut out dairy?
When I did the Slow-Carb Diet, I had no problem cutting out bread products. I found that once I STOPPED eating it, I didn’t crave it. Same with sugar. The problem was when I ate some–then my body wanted more and my brain would get super focused on it. Cutting out bread was easy because I don’t eat a ton of pasta, don’t really take sandwiches for lunch and our dinners didn’t include potatoes or rice on a regular basis. I didn’t miss it.
What did I miss? Besides the fruit (see above rant), dairy was the hardest to give up. I put flavored creamer in my coffee each morning. I may only have one cup of coffee but it’s necessary. I cannot drink it just black. Yuck. I also admit to being addicted to sour cream. I put it on everything I possibly can. I count the calories and use moderation, but I do put it on a lot of things. Also, I eat plain Greek yogurt as my pre-workout snack and it works great. I have no found anything else that works as well except hummus (but that sits in my stomach like a rock).
Could I give up dairy entirely? My mom doesn’t even put butter on her vegetables. I could cut out milk. I could probably get over the sour cream thing. But the yogurt would be particularly hard for me.
I know the only way I’ll figure it out is if I try it but I’m dragging my feet. I told myself that I’d wait until all the dairy is gone from the fridge and then do it. Still, I feel apprehension and dread–like anyone about to start a diet. I’m not sure yet what I will do or when I will do it. It may just be for a week or maybe two to test the waters. I am still thinking it through.
QUESTION: Are you dairy-free or have you gone dairy-free? What was your experience?