As I mentioned HERE and HERE, I decided to try going dairy-free for a full month to see if it would help clear up my skin. Milk has never been a big part of my diet (I actually far prefer almond and rice milk), but I love me some cheese, yogurt and ice cream.
I successfully went the full 30 days, and it was actually pretty easy. There was one Sunday night where I desperately craved Ben & Jerry’s Cinnamon Buns ice cream and another Sunday when I stared longingly at a plate of cheese and crackers, but other than that, I didn’t miss dairy at all. I’m an out-of-sight-out-of-mind eater, so as long as I keep it out of my refrigerator, it’s super easy for me to cut things out of my diet.
Benefits of Going Dairy-Free
So did eliminating dairy from my diet improve my skin? You bet your ass it did. I still got a pimple here and there (I have incredibly oily skin; I think I need to just accept a certain level of zits in my life), but the texture and look of my complexion improved noticeably. No little bumps. My skin tone looked more even. My face felt smoother.
And the health benefits didn’t stop there. Without going into too much detail (you’re welcome), the biggest improvement I saw in going dairy-free was with my digestive system. It was so unbelievably efficient. And as an added bonus, I saw a noticeable decrease in bloating throughout the day. Usually I start the day feeling like a babe and end the day feeling like I’m with babe-y, but eliminating dairy also seemed to eliminate the five-months-pregnant bloat I’d frequently experience.
It goes without saying that I loved the results of going dairy-free. But I’m in no way villainizing milk products. It could just be that I have some mild lactose-intolerance. People have different levels of lactase (the enzyme that digests lactose), and if your levels are low, you can only process a limited amount of dairy at a time.
So where do I go from here? I’ve now proven to myself that, in several ways, my body functions better without dairy. It seems only logical to continue with this dairy-free diet. But I don’t like the idea of putting foods off limits and will most definitely eat dairy again. Everything in moderation.
In fact, if you follow me on Instagram, you know that I ended St. Patrick’s Day by putting ice cream, cookies, cereal and chunks of bagel in a big bowl and stuffing it in my face. It was delicious. And probably gave me cancer.
I’m now going to treat dairy the same way I treat sweets: They’re no longer allowed in my kitchen unless I’m making a specific dish for an event. This helps keep it out of my regular diet without putting anything totally off-limits. If I’m at a restaurant, I’m not going to stress over whether something was prepared with butter or oil. If I’m craving ice cream, I’m not going to think twice about walking to a grocery store or fro-yo shop and indulging. During Boozy Book Club, I’m going to eat the mother-f*@#ing cheese.
Bottom line: Going dairy-free was awesome and I’m now living a low-dairy lifestyle from here on out.
Have you guys tried going dairy-free? How’d it affect your health?