Two Years Delivert From the Dairy Demon: My Dairy Free Journey and An Update

Photo: Daria Yakovleva
Two years ago in March of 2016, I made the decision to cut dairy completely out of my diet.

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"I don't eat dairy no mo'! I only likes coconut milks!"

This dietary change would later turn into cutting meat out of my diet, becoming a vegetarian, and eventually going vegan in August of 2017. This dietary decision was one of the best I've made in my life! To keep the story short, I removed dairy out of my life due to skin problems. Like many teens, I suffered from acne back in high school. I honestly paid it little mind because it's pretty normal. Stangely enough, I had acne in my early 20's too. After graduating from college, I had enough. I felt my skin was "clogged", and it was! I'll go into a more in-depth post on how I healed my acne naturally very soon.

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After doing my own research on what the hell was going on with my adult acne, I found out there are links between dairy and acne (that the mainstream health community won't tell you about). As I stated, my skin felt clogged and seemed to be inflamed. The pimples would appear close to each other and were reddish. Come to find out, I had a hormonal imbalance and dairy was a link to my skin being out of control due to natural hormones in milk based products.

Not only is dairy linked to acne and hormonal imbalances (which go hand in hand in creating problematic skin), but it's also naturally inflammatory and linked to leaky gut syndrome (both can be naturally healed with anti-inflammatory spices like turmeric and ginger, probiotics, and a plant based diet). Now I did stop drinking milk back in 2014, but I still consumed dairy in ice cream, bread, and other foods. (Like duh, sis, how you gonna stop drinking milk but still eat dairy ice cream and other cows milk foods?) I officially made the change and for me it was a pretty easy conversion.

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Source: Dairy Reporter
Nowadays there are a lot more dairy-free alternatives due to more people removing dairy out of their diets. Coincidentally in March 2016, global market research group Mintel established studies that reported a 7% decrease in dairy milk, predicted to continue to drop to 11% by 2020. According to a January 2018 article from the Wall Street Journal, even the sales of organic milk have dropped as consumers switch to non-dairy alternatives. Some of the reasons why consumers are giving up cow's milk is because of health related issues such as allergies, dairy allegedly being linked to cancer, and the simple fact that cow's milk is for baby cows, not for humans. 

Photo: LisaRedfern
As I stated above, my dairy-free transition was fairly straightforward, especially since I wasn't using cow's milk in foods like cereal previous to my lifestyle change. There are so many dairy-free milks, breads, desserts, and much more on the market nowadays and it's so beneficial for those of us on the no cow's milk tip. Coconut milk is my absolute favorite! And I can't get enough of SoDelicious' Cashew Dark Chocolate Truffle Ice Cream.

As a result of being dairy-free, my skin cleared up amazingly! This was the sole reason I went on this journey, but it also resulted in losing a bit of weight too. My menstrual cycles have also been a lot less painful due to removing hormone filled dairy out of my diet as well. Please note that while I stopped consuming dairy, I also stopped consuming meat, gluten, and switched over to a more plant-based, holistic diet. I also started replacing drug store medications for minor illnesses like cramps with herbs. Two years later, and I'm better than ever. I physically feel better and I definitely glowed tf up LOL. Not saying I felt I was unattractive even with acne, but that dairy-free thang has certainly worked wonders.

Being dairy-free eventually led me into being a vegan which is hilarious looking back because it never was my intention to begin with. I only wanted a cleaner diet in order to heal myself from hormonal acne. Sometimes it can be tough, but I wouldn't change this lifestyle for anything.

My tips for those who want to go on the dairy-free diet are as followed:

  • Start off small: You don't have to go cold turkey. Take milk out of your diet first and replace it with alternatives like coconut milk, hemp milk, almond milk, cashew milk, and other dairy-free milks.
  • Do your research: Always know what you're getting yourself into before jumping into something new.
  • Check your local grocery store: I'm a Chicagoan and being in a major city makes it a lot easier for me to grab dairy free goods pretty much anywhere from Whole Paycheck Foods to Seven Eleven. However, everyone doesn't live in places where dairy-free alternatives may be available. Do you need to order cashew milk online? Always check what's available at your local market before making the big plunge.
  • Read Ingredients: Although dairy-free is the wave, you still must be mindful of what's packed into these alternatives. For example, soy milk is a popular alternative, but many people have soy allergies too. Always read ingredients before purchasing. 
  • Check Restaurants: Wanna go out to dinner with friends? Be sure to thoroughly look up the menu and even call the restaurant if you must to be sure there are non-dairy foods on the menu. 
  • Know Secret Dairy Names: This goes along with the "Read Ingredients" tip, and this is why it's important. The word "milk" may not always be on a label. Sometimes words like "lactose" or "whey" are slapped onto ingredient lists. Here's a list from GoDairyFree that reveals all the secrets names for dairy.
  • "Snack On": There are so many dairy free alternatives for snacks. Get rid of the goat milk brownies, and get you a Larabar, seaweed, or even fruit. 

I believe transitioning to a dairy-free lifestyle is fairly easy in comparison to going vegetarian or vegan. I let go of the cow's milk and ain't turnin' back! Thanks for reading!

More Reading: 12 Frightening Facts About Milk

Have you went on a dairy-free lifestyle? Would you go this route? Share in the comments!

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  1. GIRL! My acne breakouts reduced SIGNIFICANTLY when I cut out dairy and I haven't gone back since! One of the best dietary decisions I have ever made! For people that don't have something like bad acne to drive them, these steps are perfect- always best to start small!
    Tisha x

    1. Giiirrrlll! Lol I always see people suggesting expensive, crazy remedies to help heal acne when sometimes the real problem is what you're eating and it's as simple as cutting out certain foods! Thanks for commenting!