For a while now, I have not been feeling well. I’m tired a lot and have a lack of energy, I have heartburn and acid reflux sometimes, and just generally feel, well, blah I suppose is the best word to describe it. I get through my days, but I could definitely be feeling better. But I don’t just want to feel better, I want to feel great. Getting back to the gym and watching what I eat are all good starts to moving from feeling blah, to feeling better, to feeling great. One thing I have been thinking about a lot lately though is the amount of dairy that I consume.
I have been doing some research, and have been reading articles and blogs about the health benefits of giving up diary. One blog in particular I read this week, written by Kris Carr, made me realize that maybe giving up diary is something I should seriously try. Going off dairy can potentially:
- increase my energy
- eliminate my digestion issues
- clear up my skin issues (I have had eczema since I was a child).
So, here’s the thing. Giving up things like drinking milk, or eating yogurt or ice cream – no big deal. It’s not often I will sit down and drink a whole glass of milk, and I can live without it in my tea. I don’t drink coffee, so that’s a non-issue as well. I hate yogurt and although I like ice cream, it’s not something I crave on a regular basis. The two items that will be the biggest challenge for me when it comes to giving up diary are cheese and chocolate.
Chocolate I’m not so worried about. I’m sure I could find some tasty dairy-free chocolate alternatives if I’m really craving it, and even if I can’t, I could learn to live without it (it certainly wouldn’t hurt my waistline). But oh, the cheese. THE CHEESE!! Just the thought of living without cheese makes me want to run to the nearest fromagerie and start a samplin’!
I know there are people out there who will tell me that there are all kinds of dairy-free cheeses out there that can substitute nicely for regular cheese. To those people I say nay. NAY!! I have tasted a few dairy-free cheeses and all I can say is I’d rather just give up cheese altogether than have to try and choke down some fake cheese-wannabe. No thank you.
Now just to be clear, I am not becoming a vegan. I have no desire to give up meat, but I think eliminating this one area from my diet could make the difference in how I feel, and if that’s the case, what’s the harm in just giving it a try. Sooooooo….I’m going to start a 30-day no dairy challenge starting tomorrow. No diary from January 24th until February 22nd. We’ll see how I feel after a month off the junk and then evaluate. If things are going well and I’m feeling better, I’ll keep going. If I don’t really feel any difference then I either need to give it a couple more weeks or assume that dairy isn’t really the problem. Though I suspect that after four weeks diary-free I’ll start to see a change.
So I invite you to check back occasionally and see how I’m doing. This can really only go one of two ways – either I feel so fantastic I never have dairy again or I crack by Day 4 and eat my weight in cheese curds. Stay tuned!!