Dairy-Free Conclusion

I MADE IT.

You can read the first post here. The other updates are here:

Dairy-Free Update #1

Dairy-Free Update #2

Dairy-Free Update #3

I’m glad it’s over. I didn’t see any drastic changes and I don’t see why it would be beneficial OR pleasurable to continue. Now the breakdown.

Challenges

Now is a good time to address this question: Was there cheating involved? Yes, a few times. I’d be lying if I said I was 100% perfect for the whole month of February. There were some weak moments when I just needed REAL CHOCOLATE and not fake crap. I had several small “fun size” candies (i.e. a mini Reeses Peanut Butter Cup, a Dove chocolate square and a mini Twix bar). I had about 5 total the whole month. I felt mildly guilty for giving in and having chocolate but I tried not to beat myself up too much because overall I did very well resisting things that had dairy or gluten in them.

What I Liked

I actually did discover a lot of things that I enjoyed and will continue to eat. The Omission gluten-free beer was a really good alternative. Almond Milk is something I will continue to drink instead of regular milk. It was a delicious enough substitution that I never felt like I was missing out on something.

Frozen grapes were an excellent dessert option, as was frozen banana slices with peanut butter on them. I loved the RiceWorks chips we bought and will continue to buy those in the future.

What I Disliked

I hated how much processed foods I ate in February. I was trying to find gluten and dairy free options and while I did eat a lot of natural things (fruit and veggies), I also ate more foods that came out of a box. Gluten-free crackers, chips, dairy-free cookies, etc etc. I did not like that aspect of it.

I also disliked feeling restricted. That lead to feelings and desires to binge. I couldn’t wait to be done with diet and I planned all the dairy and bread I was going to eat! I don’t like feeling like that. I think counting my calories and eating whatever I want that fits into that calorie range works best. This experiment is just another confirmation of that.

Weigh-In and Measurements

When I started this challenge I weighed 145.2. I wasn’t expecting any weight loss, so I was happily surprised when I stepped on the scale after one week and saw over 1.5 pounds lost. So what was my final total? 143. I lost 2.2 pounds, which is decent but not mind-blowing enough for me to continue this diet.

As for measurements, there wasn’t a lot of change:

February 1st February 28th
Hips: 37 inches Hips: 36 inches
Waist: 34 inches Waist: 33.5 inches
Thighs: 18 inches Thighs: 18 inches

 

I wish there was more of a drastic change but I did lose an inch around my hips, so that’s something.

Final Thoughts/Observations

It didn’t take long for me to conclude that I could pretty easily go gluten-free but never entirely dairy-free. I didn’t really miss the bread (despite the two food p0rn dreams I had about eating freshly baked bread). My mom commented that when she gave up gluten, she stopped craving sweets and the second she ate it again, those cravings came back. I experienced something similar. I didn’t really crave sweets or candy or chocolate (except for a few crazy cravings in the beginning) and definitely didn’t miss bread or pasta.

gluten-free-jpeg

The dairy was another story. I craved cheese and sour cream. I didn’t think about Greek yogurt or milk as much as I thought I would. As the month stretched on, all I wanted was pizza or a grilled cheese sandwich!!!

Something else I did notice: it did not take very long to adjust my thinking and get used to looking for gluten and dairy free choices. It took about a week and a half and then I just became that person that was gluten free. It felt normal and familiar and not awkward like it did the first week. It almost feels strange to go back to eating the way I used to!

I will probably do another update as I re-introduce gluten and dairy back into my diet and let you know if I felt anything different. Other than that, I’m pretty glad I’m going back to normal.

chocolate

I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t feel any differently or see a drastic change because that means I don’t have to continue the diet.

Now pass me the ice cream!

Dairy-Free

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/LisaEirene/status/291380833611309056″]

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.

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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).

dairy-free

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?