Disclaimer; I am not preaching that everyone should follow a specific lifestyle, nor am I shaming what others do for their mental and spiritual selves. Everyone’s opinions and options are valid! Eat what you like, no-one can tell you otherwise. I am not a vegan, vegetarian, or anything in specific. I’ve simply been learning what foods make me feel good and what makes me feel bad. I have not been perfect with my attempts at this new dairy-free lifestyle.
Over the past summer, I was struggling with my acne more than usual. I started reading some articles about an excessive intake of dairy can cause some acne to flare up. I decided to test out this theory. I started putting ice in my smoothies instead of yogurt. It wasn’t too hard to make this general transition and the smoothies still tasted great! This is where my curiosities toward the effects of dairy consumption started.
While at school, I do learn a lot about the meat industry in my environmental classes. The issues we discuss haven’t affected me in a dramatic way, but have taught me to be more aware of my food consumption. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is about the daily food waste we create. On most days, our eyes really are bigger than our stomachs. This can create huge environmental issues if the leftover food isn’t composted. Check out this article for some mind-blowing statistics -> Food Waste is a Bigger Problem Than You Think
One of my roommates loves to cook. I admire how well she can whip up some ingredients to make soup or zucchini noodles with roasted veggies. She’s the one who introduced me to almond milk. I thought that if I can step away from yogurt, I can do the same with milk, so I decided to switch from dairy milk to almond milk
I knew that almond milk had a great amount of calcium, but not much protein. This, strangely, inspired me to get over my silly fear of the texture of eggs. I never enjoyed eating eggs, but I recently taught myself how to make them the way I like; over easy but not too runny. I enjoy them now with a slice of toast, and a cup of coffee with some almond milk. This is to ensure that I get enough protein in since I’m not drinking dairy milk.
This awareness of what I’m consuming has motivated me to cook more for myself and actually read ingredients to know what I’m eating. The transition from milk also means stepping away from cheese or any other cow products. The hard part is trying to explain to someone what it is that I’m trying to “achieve” or what my specific “diet” is. The truth is, there’s no goal and it isn’t a diet. If I can gradually transition milk, cheese, and red meat out from my diet, then why not. There have been challenges during holidays and when I’m eating with other people’s families. It’s been hard for me to express to people who I can’t eat their homemade mashed potatoes because of my lifestyle trial without dairy. I’ve bitten into sandwiches and realized I forgot to order it without cheese. It’s disappointing in the moment, but it’s things I can’t control, and it isn’t worth beating myself up over it.
This is a choice that I’m making for myself, and I’ll learn how to handle in my own ways. It’s not something that needs to be scrutinized by others, just because I didn’t realize that something I just ate might have had butter in it. Or that someones dad made us steak for dinner and I feel too bad to turn it away. It’s about the greater picture of how I shop for myself and how I consume. It’s about my awareness of what I’m putting in my body. I’m really happy with how far I’ve come in the past few months!
Have you attempted to cut something from your everyday life?
Thanks for reading!