Milk is not my friend and cheese is my nemesis. A Chicago girl and a pizza lover, I will never be 100% vegan because I like to indulge in every once in awhile. I also eat eggs occasionally but I hadn't had cow's milk for over ten years until I went to Kenya. That's when dairy crept back into my life and it seemed like everything started going downhill.
In Kenya chai tea is a staple. Upon entering most people's homes you will immediately be offered a cup of chai. I adore tea and chai, however, almond milk is not readily available. So what started as a way to be polite quickly became an addition. Over the next 9 months I started drinking and even craving chai with cow's milk every day. I'd usually drink about 4 cups per day. The effects on my body were horrible.
My fibroids started to grow to a dangerous size causing me a lot of discomfort and pain. My face endured acne breakouts and I gained quite a bit of weight. After leaving Kenya I traveled to India, another milk loving country. In India chai is also a staple in the daily diet as well as paneer. There are also many sauces that contain fresh milk, yogurts, and cheeses so dairy is not easy to avoid there. My already lactose body reacted violently to the fresh cheese and twice I became so ill I thought I would have to go to the hospital.
Upon coming to Malaysia I decided that it was time to get serious about my health and take a 90 Day Dairy Detox challenge. No cheese, definitely no milk and no ice cream or yogurt either. This is the second time I'd done a 90 Day Dairy Detox however, I have not had so much dairy in my body for over a decade. It had been at least 10 years since I'd stopped drinking cow's milk and living in Thailand naturally cut a lot of cheese out of my diet since it's pretty rare and expensive. The effects were far more noticeable this time around.
What I didn't realize is exactly how much I would be affected. The first couple of weeks I was met with migraines, acne breakouts, mood swings, and cravings. However, once I got past this hump the benefits were quickly visible. I switched to almond and coconut milk for chai and breakfast cereals, sorbet instead of ice cream and eliminated butter, pizza, and cheesy dishes altogether.
In order to assist my motivation to get healthy, I also started an exercise program along with this detox. My goal was to work out 20-60 minutes per day, with 60 minutes being the goal but allowing myself to workout only 20 minutes on days that I didn't feel well or was traveling instead of taking a full day off. Without dairy, it actually seems that I am losing weight faster and easier than before. Within as little as 10 days I noticed a huge difference and loss in cellulite in my problem areas.
So far it's been 30 days since I've had dairy. As a sufferer of osteoarthritis, I can finally feel a lot less pain in my body since I stopped the dairy. My mood overall has finally improved and my digestion is also back on track. Updates at the 90 day mark!