Partway through 2015, I realised something was wrong. I was grabbing my usual cappuccino before uni lectures and making myself hot chocolates at home on my days off. And I felt sick every single morning.
“It’s not the milk,” I told myself. “That’s ridiculous.”
I decided (on a totally unrelated note and not at all because of my milk suspicions) to nix the hot chocolates and swap my morning coffee for a juice. I felt amazing.
“It’s just because I’m being so healthy,” I thought. “Milk has nothing to do with it.”
See, I’ve ALWAYS loved milk. It was my go-to on cold mornings and evenings. It was in my coffees and hot chocolates and basically everything I enjoyed in life.
But once I started keeping an eye on the issue, I realised milk was the common denominator. Finally, I decided it had to go. No amount of tastiness could outweigh the crippling-pains-in-my-stomach-about-to-throw-up feeling that I got every single time I had milk.
After 10 months, I’m still going strong! I do miss my milk but I’ve also noticed a significant change in my skin and body since cutting out a lot of the dairy in my life. If you suspect you’re lactose intolerant or you simply want to try the dairy-free lifestyle, check out these benefits that I noticed:
I didn’t realise how much dairy could influence my skin. My complexion has been AMAZING since cutting it out. Now, I only get a breakout around “that time of the month” and I don’t have to worry about a dreaded spot coming up before an event. Phew!
No more bloating
No matter how much I loved my caps, hot choccies and Nesquik (don’t judge me, it’s the best thing ever. If you’re reading this, Nesquik, I still love you) I don’t miss the post-milk bloat. Now, my hot drink of choice is peppermint tea, which has a lot of great benefits. But to be honest, I just love the taste! It satisfies me on those cold mornings… as long as I don’t smell coffee - then I’m ruined.
The aforementioned post-milk bloat always made me reluctant to get out of bed. Now I feel more satisfied, I definitely have more energy and I feel like I can manage my tiredness so much better than when I was drinking milk. I guess if you’re working out you probably shouldn’t be chucking back too many coffees anyway!
I’m naturally super thin so this hasn’t been too much of a game changer for me. But I do know people who have dropped a whole heap of weight after cutting out dairy. Make sure you’re taking dairy-free alternatives or calcium tablets to ensure your bones are still strong! Green vegetables, carrots and nuts and seeds are great for this!
Lactose intolerance is a gastrointestinal condition, which means the body is unable to digest lactose easily. This is because most people stop producing lactase (the enzyme you need to digest dairy) in adulthood. When you think about it, we’re the only species that continues to drink milk after we’re babies – how weird is that! So it’s not really a surprise that we have problems digesting it. Give it a go - try cutting out dairy and watch your digestion improve immensely!
Disclaimer: I’m speaking from personal experience but I am not a health professional. Please consult your GP before making a lifestyle change.