I was one of those people that stuck my nose up in the air when I saw people trying the latest dieting trends. Cutting out a whole entire food group? Were they crazy? I swore I could never ever cut out an entire food group, but here I am reflecting on my dairy-free diet.
If you Google “dairy-free diet” you are lured with the promise of health benefits such as clear skin (pizza face, anyone?), stronger bones, weight loss, among solving many other medical mysteries like arthritis, infections, headaches, rashes, etc. So I’m here to tell you what happened when I went dairy-free for three weeks. You’ll never believe it.
Wait for it…
Nothing happened whatsoever to benefit my health. In fact? I was grumpy because I couldn’t have dairy. Mornings are the hardest. No more creamer in my coffee, even the flavoured kinds I love because they have sodium caseinate (dairy) in them, no more ice cold glass of milk, no yogurt in smoothies, no cream cheese on a bagel. NO FUN.
I’ve always struggled with blemishes and acne, even as an adult. Dare I say my skin got worse off of dairy because I know my skin gets worse when I’m stressed (hormones) and I was very stressed for a big portion of my dairy-free diet. I did not lose weight because I didn’t change any of my other eating habits and really didn’t do anything to substitute dairy, I just cut it out completely. I don’t suffer from any other medical conditions and my overall health did not improve going off of dairy.
The only reason why I would ever go on such an extreme diet in my life was for my breastfed baby. That’s it. I’d do anything for my kids’ health and the more I read on Jonathan’s minor symptoms, the more I thought it could be dairy and that it sure wouldn’t hurt me to give it a try if it would help him. Okay, almost anything. Definitely not the Whole 30 diet, that sh*t is just plain crazy, in my opinion.
Jonathan had all 5 of the could-be-a-dairy-sensitivity symptoms:
- Excessive vomitting (spitting up)
They say it can take up to 3 weeks for the cow’s milk protein to leave my system and same, or even longer, for baby. However, if the sensitivity is thought to be mild, it should be less time and mom should probably still be able to consume dairy, just not the main sources (milk, yogurt, butter, cheese, etc.). I saw, perhaps, a slight improvement in his skin, but I also noticed it really flares up when he’s hot and angry — more of a heat rash than a food sensitivity. All of my babies have had eczema, Jonathan’s the worst, for sure…and they have all spit up. I just started Jonathan on Zantac and I can already see an improvement. He had/has all of these symptoms, but other than the first two, they are all very mild forms and I should have seen an improvement from my time off of dairy and from the literature I’ve read.
I determined that it’s not worth it for me to stick to a completely dairy-free diet. I just cannot be militant about it when I don’t see significant improvement in his symptoms. I’ll steer clear of the main sources, or just limit my intake to see if that helps, or at least doesn’t worsen, his symptoms. All I know is that I love my dairy and I missed it very much!
If you want to try any type of diet or cut out a food group you think may be causing unwanted symptoms, do so under the advice of a doctor — follow what the science says, not activist groups!