A healthy lifestyle. You could easily think that this goal is something you work towards, achieve, check off your list and move on. Wrong. Healthy lifestyles take maintenance. It really is more of an ongoing process rather than a check-list item. Everyone has changes or improvements they can make. Sometimes we don’t even realize that our choices are hindering our progress.
Today we’re focusing on detoxing our lives – to create the lifestyle we want. One way to bolster positive energy and improve our size is by eliminating things that work against us, like dairy. Although dairy comes in many forms and tastes great, it also is a contributor to some aspects of our life that we may like to change.
Side Effects of Dairy Consumption*
- It’s making you fat – we’re constantly being told to cut back on soda and other high-calorie drinks, yet we’re encouraged to drink milk for strong bones, etc. Both statements are true, but we don’t always realize that milk, even non-fat or low-fat varieties, are calorically dense. Just a cup of milk here or there can add hundreds of calories to your daily caloric intake.
- It’s processed – if you’re trying to eat “raw” or “whole” foods then milk, in it’s pasteurized, homogenized, fed antibiotics state probably isn’t going to help you in your quest to eat clean.
- It could cause allergies – Dairy allergy is one of the most common, with around 12% of the US population being lactose intolerant. Some say that these sensitivities ebb and flow with age. Whether you’re lactose intolerant or not, you may notice gastrointestinal distress when you consume large quantities of dairy – it might be better to spare yourself the discomfort.
- It’s effecting your skin – Milk is pro-inflammatory. Not such a good thing if you struggle with acne. And even if you aren’t, consuming dairy causes your skin to produce more sebum which can clog your pores and mess up your complexion. Dairy has even been linked to exacerbating eczema symptoms.
Here are some simple guidelines to help you in your dairy detox efforts:
- If you don’t already, make a meal plan for the week. Then note the meals that require some type of dairy product and make sure to find a substitute. If you’re not satisfied with the substitute, replace the meal with another option all together.
- Do a little taste testing. Before you eliminate milk completely, identify some products you’ll have a hard time living without. Like milk for cereal, butter, and yogurt. Then find soy, rice, nut based alternatives. Try out options so you find those you like the best. It will be easier to stay dairy free if you’re not dreading putting that dairy-alternative product in your mouth. (If you’re completely in the dark about non-dairy alternatives, take a look in your grocer’s refrigerator the next time you’re there. Soy or nut based options by Silk or Almond Breeze are commonly found at big box stores.)
- Plan ways to increase your fat intake that don’t include dairy – how about nuts, eggs, avocados, etc.
- Read labels! You’d be surprised, but dairy is lurking in products that you wouldn’t even suspect. Make sure you read labels of commonly consumed foods so you know you’re sticking to your goals.
- If cutting dairy completely is too big of a task, choose one product this week that you’ll replace. Maybe it’s butter on your toast, or milk for your cereal, or even just a rule of “no ice cream!” You’ll be surprised how easy it is to take something out when you put something in it’s place and how effortless it may seem to eliminate just one dairy product at a time.
Remember even a small step towards a healthier lifestyle is a positive one!
Something to Consider: Dairy
Choosing to eliminate dairy altogether is common for those who are lactose intolerant. It's even common among those that are picking healthier lifestyles and seeking health benefits that come form dairy-alternative products. However, if the thought of eliminating dairy from your life makes you cringe, at least consider cutting back on the amount you consume everyday. You'd be surprised how many calories you can cut just by eliminating extra servings or cutting back portion sizes. And instead of this being an exercise in elimination, try some dairy substitutes and see if you might not prefer them. You'd be surprised how good chocolate almond milk tastes!
information gathered from www.blisstree.com