How I Left My Dairy Life Behind

zuivel1.jpg

Hi, everyone. I'm Eliza and I used to be a self-proclaimed dairy addict. In fact, I always took my coffee, extra light, with cream. Whenever I could, I would season my meals with an overabundance of cheese. And, truth be told, I had this special bond with full-fat dairy yogurt. But, one day, I decided to leave that life behind in pursuit of a dairy-free diet. This is my story.

Before my dietary transition, I had skin problems. I suffered from breakouts, scarring, and uneven skin tone. I sought my dermatologist out religiously only for her to say "continue on your medication and come back in a few months." So helpful. Ugh!

Since I stopped consuming dairy products, my skin has drastically improved.

Don't get me wrong, I still have problem areas here and there, but overall, there are more good parts than bad ones. Nothing's better than a compliment like "You're not wearing any makeup? Wow! Your skin looks soo good!" Oh—that and not having to pay the copay for a 5-minute derm visit. 

I've always been an easy bloater. I would wake up in the morning feeling toned and generally lighter, but once I ate or drank anything, I would gain an immediate two pounds. Once I cut out the creamer in my morning coffee and skipped the cheese on my lunchtime sandwich, I was suddenly not bloating as much as I used to. In fact, I started losing a couple inches around my waist and soon, my entire body. When I started exercising more and incorporating vegetables into my diet, my body responded by becoming more toned. I was feeding my cells with the essential vitamins it needed from places other than dairy!

The biggest impact I've felt from staying far, far away from dairy, is that my energy levels have increased!

From a sluggish and tired person in the world, I became a relatively early riser. I'd get up in the morning feeling refreshed and that energy stayed with me throughout the day. Now, when I go to bed at night, I look forward to waking up, having my cup of tea, and getting my day started!

As a disclaimer, I'll admit that when I really want cheese, I let myself have it. But, as far as other weaknesses go, I've found solutions to having my cake without having the dairy products in it too! My light coffee? Yea, that's now made with soy or almond milk. My ice cream? I've swapped that out for coconut milk-based frozen treats or banana "nice" cream. Yogurt? Dairy-free versions of those DO EXIST! Cheese is just my reward for being good and I only have every once in a while!

Remember to listen to your body if you choose to go sans-dairy. If something doesn’t seem right, consult your doctor or dietician. But if I, the former cheese aficionado did it, so you can too!