Hey Pretty52 readers, as you've probably guessed by now, I love to do life and social experiments every few weeks to see how they can impact my life. From letting my best friend making all of my decisions to asking my mum dressing me for a week, it can get pretty eventful.
This week I decided to make a change to my diet by cutting out dairy. And let me tell you, I had no idea so many things had dairy in them until I started this experiment. Seriously, there's loads.
I take milk in my coffee, tea and cereal. I put margarine on my sandwiches. I like having yoghurt alongside fruit. And don't even get me started on how much I love ice cream. Of course, this week, I couldn't have any of these because of my experiment. I know cutting something out of your diet for a week isn't going to make massive adjustments but it gave me an insight into what would happen if I tried it out long-term.
Now, I in no way intend to offend anyone who can't eat dairy products for health reasons - please don't take this the wrong way. I undertook this challenge because of my interest in the health benefits, and because of the effects dairy products have on animals and the environment.
Keep reading to find out to why I would I would recommend giving it a go...
Finding Substitutes Can Be Hard
I thought, along with cutting out dairy, I would aim to eat a bit healthier too. But I also wake up at 6:30 and, let's be honest, who can be arsed prepping meals at that time? What I did start doing though is buying more fruit in so I could easily grab something quick to eat on the go that didn't include dairy or, like I said if I could be bothered, blend it all together to make a smoothie. I also aimed to make sure I was eating more veg to make sure my body was getting all the good stuff.
When it came to coffee, however, it was a struggle. I tend to take 2-3 cups a day (yes, I know. Not healthy at all!) and drink them with milk. Obviously this week I had to substitute, and I'm not particularly keen on soy or almond milk so I decided to drink it black. And, I've got to admit, it wasn't so bad. After burning myself about 37 times (who knew milk made it cool down quicker? *eye roll*), I got used to the stronger taste and (spoiler!) I sort of prefer it now.
Bye Bye Bloat
You know those afternoons after you've eaten your lunch you feel reeealllly bloated? Well, my food baby (or maybe I should say dairy baby?) disappeared. I didn't feel as sluggish or bloated as I normally did. But, up until now, I didn't even think this could be linked to my dairy intake.
It turns out, though, that my experience is quite common too as dairy is one of the hardest foods for our bodies to process.
Hello Clearer Skin
A few days into giving up dairy, I started to notice a real difference in my skin. Now, I don't know whether it's maybe a placebo effect in that I wanted to see a difference but even if it was, I think it looks a bit clearer.
Credit: Eve MacDonald
Credit: Eve MacDonald
My skin feels smoother and softer, which I guess makes sense, since cow's milk contains fats, and sugars, which can aggravate the skin. By cutting certain things out of your daily eating habits it's obviously going to have an effect on everything, especially your skin.
The Cheese Cravings Are Real Though
To me, cheese should have its own food group. Cheese is life and it was 100% the hardest thing to give up this week because there's only so much bloody fruit you can eat without craving a good old melted toastie. By day three the trauma had really set in: how was I supposed to get through the rest of the week without cheese?
Don't worry, I survived you'll all be happy to hear. And, as much as I hate to admit it, I started to see more results. My energy levels were up, and I no longer felt as sluggish. Damn you cheese!
Despite the biscuits, pancakes (and obviously the cheese!) I was mourning, I enjoyed the experience. It taught me that there are so many dairy-free recipes out there for alternatives or if you don't want to cut it out all together, do what you can and gradually take milk out of your diet.
Because of the way cutting dairy out made me feel, it's really got me considering if I would carry this on long term. I feel like it's made a difference and would recommend giving it a go - not to mention the benefits to the environment, and to the animals who are tasked with providing the products for our consumption.
Written by Eve MacDonald
Featured Image Credit: Pexels